The Tzoumerka mountain range is one of Greece’s most unspoiled nature spots full of authentic quaint villages and natural wonders. One of these hidden gems is Gefiri Plakas, a lovely guesthouse that boasts bioclimatic architecture and fits harmoniously in its stunning natural surroundings where ecotourism activities abound.
While the building itself is very interesting, complete with a delicious restaurant and modest wellness facilities, it is the human factor that has driven hundreds of guests to write overwhelmingly positive reviews online. The owners, Niki and George have been praised for their welcoming Greek rural hospitality and desire to make guests feel at home.
The hotel and its hosts form a perfect backdrop for the outdoor activities and nature exploration that guests can embark on, particularly since the property is right next to the crystal-clear Arachthos river, which provides great opportunities for rafting, hiking and simply wandering around in nature. It is worth noting that the hotel itself was named after the nearby Yefiri tis Plakas or the old stone Plaka Bridge dating from 1886, considered the largest single-arch bridge in all the Balkans and third biggest in Europe!
Bridge aside, the stay in the hotel itself is a really great experience as the owners are keen on promoting ecotourism activities such as hiking, river rafting, horseback riding, cycling, and more. Niki and George have teamed up with experts in the area who can provide all these activities, so you certainly won’t run out of options.
A taste of local goodies
On the premises, you’ll get to start your day with a fabulous local breakfast that includes freshly baked cakes, fritters, and homemade jams prepared with local fruits (you must try the cherry, plum and quince jams). Lunch and dinner in the restaurant-bar will open you up to a world of locally prepared dishes with choices that will appeal both to meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans alike. The region is known for its “pitas” or savory pies, and Gefiri Plakas will also not disappoint in this respect. Local wines, local herbal teas, and cold beers are also part of the package. The nature-filled view from the restaurant – and the rooms of course – is stunning.
Noteworthy green practices
We’re impressed with the bioclimatic construction in this hotel and its orientation, especially as it takes full advantage of the sunlight when it gets cool, thanks to the large windows. Although the region has no recycling option, the property owners take their recycled trash to bins in the nearby city of Ioannina. LED lighting, double glazed windows, composting, glass bottle return system, using eco-friendly detergents and favoring fresh mountain drinking water over bottled water are just some of the other steps that Gefiri Plakas has taken to make the hotel green.