Like most of Central Greece – or Sterea Ellada – as it is known in Greek, fertile Fthiotida represents an exciting mix of beach, mountain and local traditions, although with one more very important advantage: it is the prefecture with the most natural spas and medicinal springs in the country. The beaches are pristine, having been designated as blue flag beaches many times in the past. A visit to the capital Lamia is best kept short (i.e. archaeological museum, local sweet shops and a couple of attractions) in favor of the more amazing places the prefecture has to offer. Lamia could be a quick city stop before going on to one of the most beautiful historical villages nearby, called Ipati, on the slopes of Mount Oiti. Not far away is the 15th century monastery, Moni Agathonos.
History and archaeology are at every turn, with major sites such as Alamana, Drymaea, Thermopylae and Gorgopotamos. Then there is Mount Oiti, parts of Mount Parnassos and the Spercheios delta which all represent a nature-lover's paradise and many opportunities for eco adventures. The mountains are amazing for hiking, cycling and climbing, so is the Asopos gorge. Even paragliding has its place in this bountiful, biodiverse prefecture.
On the other hand, idyllic village life on the plains and valleys of Fthiotida remains unspoiled by the onslaught of insensitive tourists. There's the village of Amfikleia on the edge of Mount Parnassos, with an old part of town, idyllic village squares, a medieval castle and a folklore bread museum to boot! In the municipality of Amfikleia which hosts the village by the same name, there are other attractions including the wonderfully classic village of Tithronio and the very nature-filled area of Brallos with lots of green and bubbling waters. On higher ground Lake Nevropoli, situated on Mount Kallidromo will also entice you with nature's bounty and quiet life, so will Xyliki and Palaeochori.
The municipality of Gorgopotamos is worthy of special mention, with its woods, watermill and wildlife sanctuary, as well as the Asopos Canyon and the natural area of Vathirema, all around the area of Moshohori. Picturesque mountain village such as Delfinio, Dio Vouna, Koumaritsi, Skamnos and Eleftherohori well leave you spellbound, revealing their little secrets such as the ancient settlement of Trahina, the ancient fortress at Dio Vouna and the castle of Iraklia at Delfinio.
Elsewhere, the enchanting nature-filled municipality of Tithorea, lying between Mount Parnassos and Kalidromo, offers serene villages, the Kahala Canyon and a verdant forest. The community of Pavliani at 1,050 meters of altitude, is considered the gateway to the Oiti or Iti park which is home to the Katavothres Lodge. Pavliani is also part of the heritage preservation project called Habitat Agenda, and is only 1.5 hours away by train from Athens. Also noteworthy in the municipality of Tithorea is the lovely village of Agia Marina with rich cultural and architectural heritage and the Monastery of the Assumption dating from the 10th century.
Lastly, if you want to jump to other beautiful sections of Central Greece and Thessaly, the seaside village of Arkitsa offers a ferry service to Northern Evia, while the nearby port of Agios Konstantinos offers ferry service to Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos, as well as Northern Evia.
The Fthiotida TopoGuide, a fantastic new hiking app, has just been released for Fthiotida, Central Greece. Great images, wondrus hiking routes, geological curiosities and even roadmaps will guide users on amazing journeys. www.ecotourism-greece.com is proud to have contributed its insights to this app! You can download this app from Google Store here!