Weekend Escape: Exploring Lake Plastiras and Its Surroundings

Nestled among imposing and picturesque mountain slopes, Lake Plastiras and the surrounding villages ideal for a quick nature getaway.


The sky and clouds are reflected in the lake’s serene, calm waters, which are only disturbed by the passage of small boats and water bikes. Lake Plastiras attracts couples and families from surrounding cities looking to have fun and relax.

The artificial lake was created in 1959, when the dam that holds back the waters of the Tavropos river was built. The few villages located here, at the foot of the western Agrafa Mountains, were inaccessible and isolated. Over the years, however, the area slowly began to develop, revealing the region’s natural beauty. Aside from the lake, the lush fir forest and mountain trails make Lake Pastiras an ideal weekend destination.

It is worth climbing the slopes of the mountain Vouchikaki to the Agrafa Mountaineering Refuge, which sits at an altitude of 1,536 meters. Surrounded by fir trees, the refuge is an excellent resting spot. Sit back in the warmth of the fireplace and enjoy some of the traditional dishes on offer.

If you would like to explore the mountain, the refuge also serves as a starting point for several trails. Hiking tours start from the nearby village of Fylakti, and you can even climb one of the peaks of Mount Agrafa, Kazarma, which stands at an impressive elevation of 1,977 meters and provides a breathtaking view of the lake.

If you prefer to drive, you can take the road to the dam and see it from above. On your way to the dam take a quick detour and follow the signs to the lake’s Observatory, which provides a spectacular view of the lake.

Visitors of all ages can enjoy a variety of activities along the shores of Lake Plastiras, including horseback riding, canoeing, hydrobiking, and SUP. For more information, contact Tavropos Activities (Tel. (+30) 697.774.0066) and Zampeta Farm (Tel. (+30) 24410.928.55).

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WHERE TO STAY

Montanema Handmade Village (Anthochori, Karditsa, Tel. (+30) 24450.452.20), one of Greece’s most welcoming guesthouses, is located less than 10 kilometers from Lake Plastiras. The guesthouse, perched above the gorge, offers self-contained houses with fireplaces, as well as a variety of activities and spa treatments. Guests at Kazarma Lake Resort & Spa (Kalyvia Fylaktis, Tel. (+30) 24410.922.90) can enjoy a beautiful view of the lake from their balconies, as well as easy access to all of the area’s attractions. Titagion Hotel (Aghios Athanasios, Lampero, Tel. (+30) 24410.946.60) is an excellent choice for viewing the lake from the eastern side. The hotel provides spacious and elegant double and triple rooms, as well as suites. Aiolides Hotel (Kalyvia, Pezoula, Tel. 24410.929.66) offers warm rooms with fireplaces, wood ceilings, and iron four-poster beds.

 

WHERE TO EAT

Korkotaras (Fylakti, Tel. (+30) 693.732.0969), is a family-run restaurant in the village of Fylakti, 5 kilometers from Lake Plastiras. It serves delicious lambchops, hand-cut French fries, and other grilled dishes at reasonable prices. 903 (Pezoula, Tel. (+30) 24410.920.00), named after the altitude at which it is located, serves a variety of grilled dishes as well as pork shank, Smyrna meatballs, and hearty salads. Closer to the lake, Fagopoti (Kalyvia, Pezoula, Tel: (+30) 24410.929.98) serves original dishes made from local ingredients, such as zucchini salad with tsalafouti (a soft, creamy cheese), pancetta with Karditsa split peas, and wild boar.

HOW TO GET THERE

From Athens: The 332-kilometer drive to the lake will take approximately 4 hours. A round trip from Athens will cost around €134 (€34 for tolls and about €100 for gasoline).

From Thessaloniki: The lake is 224 kilometers away and takes approximately 2 hours to drive to. A round trip from Thessaloniki will cost around €89 (€19 for tolls and about €70 for gasoline).



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