The gorge (or the “narrows”) of Kalama have entered the network Natura 2000 due to its rich flora and fauna and the beautiful scenery.On the gorge’s entrance and exit, the two ancient Osntina and Ravenis citadels, defy time as their rough walls and their slate pencil carved churches stand like guards for centuries long.
The gorge is accessible easily from Ioannina, Igoumenitsa or Filiates. On your way from Igoumenitsa to Ioannina turn left towards Plakoti and continue towards Pente Ekklisies. Before you enter the village, follow the road that leads to “Paleochora” as the locals call the ancient settlement. Continue until you reach Belei bridge in Klamas. On the rock is the Osdina citadel with its ancient castles, the Byzantine fortresses and the post Byzantine churches…
Enter the gorge by the river’s left bank. In front of you will open the ruins of a unique bridge (Boliana) verifying that the particular place was a passage in ancient times as well. The caves on the steep rocks above the river sheltered many ascetics. You can reach “Stavropigadia”, a place full of springs, without entering the river. (At a certain point after the riverbed you will need to climb for a while).
If you decide to cross the gorge you need to know that the route in “Faraggopidima” location, which is the narrowest part of the gorge, is cut off and you will have to enter the river to cross to the opposite bank, of course if you are properly trained. (For those who do not want to risk it we suggest stopping at that point and start the route from Polidroso side some other time…).
A little further you will have to choose again whether you want to walk in the river until “Anavristika”, a beautiful place with many springs under the Raveni castle, and reach the village following the road which ends up in the river, or to pass to the left riverbank and follow the pathway starting from an old watermill and go to Polidroso.
There you can visit the village folklore museum and eat at the coffee place. Wherever your route finishes you can return following the same road or by car.
The route lasts 4 hours and is difficult. You need to be careful.
The mountains and the hills existing close to Kalama river delta where islands once. The sedimentation of the river during its centuries old course along Thesprotia area covered the sea around them and formed today’s fruitful plain which expands over the triangle Igoumenitsa-Ragio-Sagiada.
During the 1960s the new watercourse of Kalama river bed was opened. In its new watercourse between Mavronoros (mountain of Skoupitsa) and Maastilitsa a new delta was formed which expands very quickly.
The area is one of the most important water biotopes in the country with rich bird fauna and that is the reason why it attracts many visitors who are interested in aquatic birds.
We suggest starting your route from Sagiada between the main settlement and "Skaloma" which is its port. From there a dirt road which leads to the delta starts.
The center of the water biotope is located on your left side under Mastilitsa hill. On your right you can see the old salterns of Sagiada which nowadays have been incorporated into the water biotope.If you want to have better view of the water biotope and the delta climb on Mastilitsa rocky slope. It is probable to see some of the wild horse herds that live in the delta.
In the SE side of the hill you will see ruins of an ancient castle, from battlement of which you can have an amazing view of the river.
There are two ways of accessing the delta. One of them is to pass the bridge located close to the sea towards the delta (but only during the summer period as in winter there is a lot of mud). The other is to go towards Kalama bridge and then turn right. The dirt road reaches the beginning of the river estuaries. From there you can continue up to the delta edge where Kalama waters are connecting to the sea. You can receive information about the delta and its flora and fauna from the Information Center operating in Skaloma of Sagiada. It is wise to visit the information Center before you visit the delta.
The islets that are formed in the delta are a very good spot for observing thousands of birds living in the water biotope. You can reach them by boat from Sagiada.
Kalamas river is navigable by a small boat until its last bridge. The route is amazing.