Mouth-watering cheeses, yoghurts, and pies
Trikala’s local cuisine won’t fail to amaze you. Ingredients are locally grown and sourced, and small family farms and dairy farms produce milk, yoghurts and cheeses that will satisfy even the most demanding food connoisseurs. As you explore Trikala’s misty mountain villages and quaint shops and tavernas, make sure you taste the many delicacies the region is famous for. Trikala is known for its delicious varieties of feta cheese, Equally mouth-watering are Trikala’s thick creamy yoghurts which are made in small family-run farms. If you like rustic-style butter and sour-milk, you’ll be amazed at the variety you’ll find throughout the region. The creamy texture and taste are a testament to the quality of locally produced dairy. If you’re a cheese connoisseur, make it a point to savor the different types of myzithra cheese that locals produce from fresh milk. You can eat it on its own or as part of the many
pites or pies Trikala’s cooks have turned into an art form. Everyone’s a fan of spanakopita or spinach pie, as well as the popular tiropita or cheese pie, but Trikala is a pie-making center. Prasopita is a leek pie that will leave you wanting more, while hortopita is a pie combining a number of wild leafy greens Trikala’s cooks collect from the slopes of nearby mountains. Not only is it healthy, but you’ll find it will soon become a favorite of all vegetarians. Also, make it a point to taste trahana, which is milk-soaked dry dough that’s perfect for soup. For dessert, taste mouth-watering halva, made of burnt sugar and rice flour.
Herbal teas, wildflower honey
With all the stunning natural landscapes Trikala is famous for, its meadows and mountain slopes fill with wildflowers each spring. This is wonderful news for honey-lovers as the region’s eclectic varieties of honey will make you a lifelong fan. Good with tea, on bread or in baked goods, honey is a staple food in Trikala. As you venture through all these beautiful mountain villages, pop into the local shops and stock up on herbal medicinal teas. Following in Asklipios’ footsteps, the locals brew their tea from medicinal herbs they pick from the mountains. Take a bag home with you and you’ll understand why they’re very rejuvenating in the winter.
A foodie’s tour of Trikala
Koziakas Mountain is one of the most beautiful pristine natural landscapes in the country, and the villages that huddle along its slopes have most certainly reflected this beauty in their local cuisine and products. Xilopariko village is famous for its goat’s milk and cheese, made in local dairy farms whose herds graze along the mountain slopes. Villagers also sell herbs gathered from the mountain as well as handmade trahana. The village of Gorgogiri makes its own beans, so make it a point to sample traditional bean-based dishes at local tavernas. Another village known for its beans is Prodromos village – in fact these giant white beans aren’t just mouth-watering but also award-winning. As you tour Prodromos village, pop into various tavernas and taste locally churned buttermilk. Teal tea is also a source of pride for local brewers, and is picked from Koziakas Mountain. If you love getting involved in orchards or if you’re interested in gathering your own fruits and vegetables, Prinos village is the place for you. Here you’ll be able to pick your own wild berries, right off the slopes of Koziakas Mountain. Another must-see village for foodies is Genesi village. Honey, mountain sage tea and wild oregano all picked from the mountain are sold in local shops. Try Genesi’s locally churned buttermilk as well.
The Pili area is known for buttermilk made from goat’s milk, tsalafouti which is a drink made from sour milk (especially popular in Paliokaria village) and cheeses from local dairy farms. Walnut-based desserts are also popular here. Make sure you try the region’s excellent honey – and buy some oregano and sage to take home with you. They’re all gathered from the mountain. From Agios Prokopios village near Pili you must sample leafy greens found growing in the wild and locally harvested beans. Kotroni village is also famous for its organic beans and vegetables. When in Kotroni, also make it a point to taste their wild oregano, wonderful apples, and tea made from wild mountain herbs. Buy some locally grown flowers – they’re beautiful. Another village known for its locally grown nuts, fruits and vegetable is Ropoto. Hazelnuts, walnuts and chestnuts from the village are all mouth-watering, as are Ropoto’s apples. Make it a point to stop at a coffee shop for breakfast. The village’s creamy butter is one-of-a-kind.
Meteora isn’t only one of the most unique UNESCO World Heritage sites, it’s also the perfect destination for vegetarians. Mouth-watering local dishes include rustic moussaka, which is an eggplant and bechamel oven-baked casserole, as well as a wonderful bean soup. The villages around Meteora are usually dotted by open-air fruit stands, so stop and buy some apples, pears, and other fruit as you explore.
There are a few interesting villages around Meteora and Kalambaka that are worth a visit as a culinary tour. Mantania and Kalogriani villages are known for their mouth-watering feta cheese (excellent with salads and oven-baked vegetarian dishes). If you’re looking for a healthy way of sweetening desserts, head to Klinovo village - known for its wonderful honey. Chrisomilia village is another definite stop for foodies. Here you’ll find creamy feta cheese, a unique type of apple called skioupia, and sweet honey. For cheeses and other kinds of locally made dairy products, stop by Glykomilia village nearby, while Aidona village is famous for its walnut and fig preserves, trahana pasta, feta and cheeses, and locally grown beans. For excellent mountain teas, bean soup, vegetables and honey, stop by Paleohori. Kastania village is famous for its nuts – orchards of hazelnut, chestnut and walnut trees yield mouth-watering nuts, as do the plentiful apple orchards that offer bushels of sweet apples. If you love going on picnics, this is the perfect village for you. In Farma, you’ll be able to buy a number of local products to sample, including fruit, nuts, giant white beans and cheeses from local dairies. Fruit and nut preserves are also sold here. Dessert-lovers, make sure you visit Amarantos village. This beautiful mountain village boasts its own version of baklava called baklai, made of nuts, fyllo pastry and honey, in addition to walnut preserves made in the village. Also buy rustic-style bread – it’s perfect with locally made feta and honey.
If you’re around the Pertouli Ski Resort, which is also fantastic for spring and summer visitors as it offers hiking and mountain-climbing along snow-free slopes, take a culinary tour of the area. Pertouli village itself is famous for its mouth-watering cheeses made at local dairies, perfect rustic bread baked in traditional ovens and oregano that’s locally grown or picked from the mountain. The mountain village of Elati offers foodies a wonderful array of local delicacies – try the sun-dried trahana noodles, honey, pita pies made with leafy greens, herbal teas, fried vegetables, rustic pastas, desserts, fruit and nut preserves, and mountain-picked herbs. Neraidohori village will captivate you not only for its unique atmosphere but also because of mouth-watering treats like walnuts, trahana pasta, other rustic noodles, and excellent honey. If you love herbs and herbal teas, you must stop at Vrontero village. Here you’ll find mountain-grown or picked thyme, chamomile, oregano and mint. Also, stop by a local taverna and try their trahana. Kalogiri village is also famous for its herbs and teas, including wild and cultivated oregano, fir tree blossoms, lots of mountain teas, nettles and bee grass. Stop by local tavernas and shops to sample the village’s dairy products – you’ll love their buttermilk. Combine dairy products with the wonderful baked goods you’ll find in quaint rustic bakeries around the village.
For more baked goods, head to Pirra village. You’ll also find mouth-watering feta cheese, fresh mountain teas and trahana. If your travels take you through Desi village, stop and buy some mountain teas for you to take home. Don’t forget to try their feta cheese – it’s mouth-watering. Agios Nikolas village is a vegetarian’s dream. Here you’ll be able to sit down at a local tavern and have some wonderful pies called pittas which are stuffed with leafy greens picked from local fields and the mountain – they go really well with the village’s fresh hard cheese. Finish your meal with a local dessert – Agios Nikolas’ milk pudding pastry is a must! Buy some mountain teas and vegetables to take with you. The village of Drossohori offers visitors wonderful feta cheese varieties, while the mountain village of Gardiki is famous for its nettle pitta pie, which vegetarians will love. Nettles are picked from the mountain slope. Make sure you accompany your meal with the village’s excellent feta cheese and don’t forget to buy mountain teas, honey and oregano. If you love arts and crafts, don’t leave this village without admiring and buying their famous hand-carved wooden hiking staffs. It’s a perfect souvenir and one-of-a-kind. As you explore Athamania village, make sure you taste and buy locally picked mountain teas and mouth-watering honey made from wildflowers.
If you enjoy following the natural landscape as part of your tour, you’ll be able to combine this with a culinary excursion as well. Follow the flow of the Malakasiotis River and savor some wonderful local products. Begin at Kalomira village for luscious apples and meaty walnuts then head to Matoneri village for feta cheese made at quaint local dairies. If you love nuts, head to Ambelohori for walnuts. The mountain village of Malakasi is ideal for cheese lovers – buy the local dairy farms’ smoked and fresh cheeses as well as creamy village-style yoghurt. While you explore the area, buy some walnuts on offer from the farmers, then stop by a taverna for mouth-watering bean soup. Panayia village is another perfect destination for dairy lovers – with excellent feta cheese and other mouth-watering dairy products made locally, as well as creamy home-churned butter. Korydallos village is also known for a wonderful variety of locally-made feta cheese, as well as locally grown walnuts. If you love fresh vegetables, explore the St. Athanasios area. Known for its many quaint farms, you’ll be able to buy peppers, beans, walnuts, tomatoes and apples. You won’t regret it! And it’s perfect for a picnic.
As you make your way around the Tria Potamia area to organize your kayaking or canoeing trip, combine your favorite sports with your passion for food. Villages around the Kraniotikos and Aheloo Rivers that dot the mountain-ringed valley are famous for a number of wonderful local products. Aghia Paraskevi, Anthousa, Krania and Polithea villages make mouth-watering honey and cheeses. Haliki village is another must-see for cheese lovers. Family-run dairy farms produce a variety of cheeses, from hard cheeses to feta cheese and fresh cheeses. For another type of cheese, go to the mountain village of Stefani. Cheese there is made using local recipes by family farms.
If you love hiking through forests, it’s a wonderful opportunity to sample the local cuisine served at tavernas in villages located alongside these beautiful natural landscapes. Moshofito village offers visitors some of the best walnuts, mountain-grown oregano, mouth-watering honey, mountain-picked herbal teas and feta cheese. Then ask the shepherds at Valkano village for their stunning varieties of cheeses before you explore Mirofilo. At this beautiful village you’ll be able to sample locally harvested hazelnuts, honey, walnuts, apples, desserts, and cheeses. Make it a point to try a very unique drink called tsalafouti. It’s made by boiling milk and then adding salt to it.
When you explore the Pyndaioi part of Trikala and admire the lush forests that flow down steep mountain slopes, tour some of the most beautiful villages in Trikala and discover wonderful local products. Giant beans, feta cheese, honey, oregano and trahana pasta are all products that have a place of pride in Stournareika. For mouth-watering buttermilk and locally grown beans, go to Vathirema, while
Livadohori village is famous for its mountain-picked oregano, fresh mountain teas, and beans grown by local farmers. Vegetarians, you must visit Paramero village. Stop by a local taverna and sample crispy snap beans, a mouth-watering recipe for cabbage-filled pastry-dough dishes, locally churned buttermilk and excellent cheeses. For trahana dishes and wonderful cheeses, buttermilk, and other dairy products, head to Mesohora. While you’re there, don’t miss out on the village’s famous mouth-watering vegetarian pitta pies, oregano, desserts, wild honey and mountain teas. Then make your way to Armatoliko village for walnuts and berry preserves. Korifi, Pahtouri and Neraida villages will captivate you with excellent honey, creamy varieties of cheeses, fresh cheeses made locally, and desserts.
Popular drinks in Trikala
Tsipouro is the most popular alcoholic drink in the region – it’s a pomace, grape-distilled brandy which is only made in Greece. Villages famous for their locally distilled tsipouro include Petrohori, Agios Prokopios, Ropoto, Xilopariko, Prinos, Genesi, Meteora, Mantania, Kalogriani, Kalomira, Ambelohori, Kalogiri and Desi.
If you’re a wine enthusiast, sample the wines at the villages of Kastraki, Mourgani and Ambelohori – which translates to “village of vines.”
For an original drink, head to Gardiki and Armatoliko villages where you’ll love their dogwood berry liqueur.