The village of Ano Hora on the Nafpaktia Mountains is stunning in its beauty. Here's where a totally eco-friendly guesthouse lies, offering fantastic food, superb hiking and great mountain biking opportunities.
Welcome to one of the most sparsely populated areas of Greece, where small communities live a healthy and happy life in nature. 'Ta Petrina', which means 'stone houses', represents a collection of six gorgeous chalets with kitchenettes for 4-5 people, as well as eight double or triple rooms. Offering the perfect place to discover this magical hidden area of Greece among mountains, forests and bodies of water, these classic chalets pack all the modern comforts and advantages such as wifi, satellite TV, modern bathrooms, outdoor terraces, a fireplace and independent heating (adding a very cozy ambiance during the winter months).
Hiking and mountain biking paradise
If you like hiking, this area with its sign-posted paths will impress you, especially since you can hike to mountaintops and take in the amazing views while admiring the biodiversity. For a hike among fir-tree forests, head from the village of Krioneria through Perdikovrisi, passing by the stone fountain to reach Tsekoura. You can also take the route from Ano Hora to Tsakalaki, which will reward you at the end with views of the Nafpaktia Mountains and Vardousia, as well as the mountains of Evrytania and Trichonida. Also noteworthy is the hike from Ano Hora to Krioneria passing through the magical gorge of Kakkavos, then through Ambelakiotissa and Tsekoura.
Mountain bikers will fall in love with this place with routes that start from 4 km in length under open skies to those that are 23 km through forests, with some being much more challenging than others. The team at 'Ta Petrina' will help you plan your trip, while Dimitris the owner can offer his services as a professional hiking guide. Do bring a camera to capture these amazing activities. The area is also perfect for mountain climbing and horseback riding, activities which can be explored in collaboration with Dimitris and his team.
Mountain flavors and cooking lessons at their best
Welcome the day with a great breakfast in the main building. Try the hand-kneaded bread and homemade jams such as plum, carrot and orange. Tasty fir-tree honey, home-baked cakes, a traditional gruel made with sheep's milk (Trahana), country eggs, local cheeses, puffy bread (Tiganites), fantastic herbal mountain tea and hearty hot chocolate are all on the breakfast menu.
You'll be very happy to know that Ta Petrina also offers a delicious choice of local dishes prepared with the freshest meats, herbs and vegetables, perfect with regional Greek wine or strong Tsipouro liqueur. Wild boar 'stifado', goat's meat, bean stew, and free-range beef cooked in tomato sauce are some of the common main dishes on the menu. You can always find homemade savory pies prepared with handmade phyllo dough such as herb pie, cheese pie and zucchini pie, in addition to favorites such as roasted potatoes and wild greens.
Finish your meal with great desserts on the property or in the village, including Greece's famous Karidopita (walnut cake), semolina Halva, fruit preserves, yoghurt with honey, homemade ice cream and a traditional syrupy dessert called Soultan Kadaif. The best part of it all is that every year from April to October, the folks at Ta Petrina are now hosting onsite cooking lessons and sharing their secrets of this delicious mountain cuisine!
Good eco practices
Beyond its fantastic local cuisine and traditional architecture, Ecotourism-Greece is happy that Ta Petrina supports recycling in the area and has installed an efficient wood furnace that is fed with old and fallen branches from the area. The property is also working on a geothermal system to support its heating needs! Choosing this place for your activities or holidays will strengthen sustainable tourism in Greece and encourage others to join such a green model of tourism. Best of all, it's really a magnificent place to visit!