Thesprotia: West Coast Flavour
Like the small hidden gem it is, Thesprotia region in Greece is exactly how you’d expect paradise looks like. It’s lush green canopy, turquoise green waters and rustic architecture stands out amongst Greece’ many unknown quantities. To those who do know, it represents a comforting reassurance that the world is still holding it down. Thesprotia has an impressive history, owing its name to an ancient tribe that belonged to the Epirian League.
Nestled in between its northern neighbour Albania and the lush Ionian and Adriatic sea, Thesprotia is the capital of the Epirus region. The Venetians kept things civilised for the Ionian islands while the Ottoman hordes ransacked the rest of Greece, including Thesprotia. This resulted in a different mentality and attitude. And thats really one of the draws in Greece. Each region has a very distinct set of cultural norms that stretches back centuries.
Like much of Greece, the trifecta of food, culture and R&R delivers a sensory spa that is hard to find anywhere else. Lets find out whats good to see and do in this beautiful corner of Greece.
Culture & History
Gitana theatre is one of them. Built out of limestone in the 3rd century BC it still bears some inscriptions from actors who performed there back in the day. The Paramith tower is an 18th century fortress tower that is remarkably intact, and does in fact host several cultural events throughout the year. In addition to that you can check out some neat monasteries such as the 14th century Giromeni founded by St. Nilos, as well as Saint Minas monastery. The settlement of Elea near Paramythia village is a real curiosity. Dated to the 4th century BC it is believed to be the capital of the Thesprotians. It has a dark and occult undertone as it was said that this is were the Oracle of the Dead was. The nearby Acheron river is equally spooky as the river that leads to the underground Hades. The Necromanteion hall inside has a sinister aura and visitors there complain of a lack of oxygen and dizziness. (Someone please get The GOT producers over there).
R&R & Beaches
The Acheron river isn’t all that scary, though. It is in fact, a lovely river, full of twists and turns, with some rapids that are ideal for kayaking and canoeing. Piges Acheronta and the springs are ideal spots for excursions and hikes through the waist-deep river. Plus, no monsters and chimaeras. Ping! As if that wasn’t enough, the nearby Tzavelena cave offers a cooling system for hikers as well as the opportunity to explore a cavern.
Beaches are the best way to cool down, though, and luckily Thesprotia is predictably well endowed. Mikri and Megali Ammos beaches are next to each other in the verdant Syvota area, and are family oriented places. Agia Paraskevi is organised but more rugged and hard to get to, while Karavostasi is big enough for water sports.