N. Kokkas

Wild Landscapes of Kozani

Gorges, waterfalls and green mountains

The unique terrain of the Kozani region boasts an impressive variety of landscapes, with high mountains covered by dense forests, and others with low vegetation, alpine valleys, steep slopes and ravines, small rivers, waterfalls and lakes.

Mount Voio’s highest peak exceeds 1,800 metres and belongs to the North Pindus mountain range. The mountain is located in the western part of the regional unit and Voio Municipality was named after it. The eastern slopes are covered by dense deciduous forests, with chestnut trees predominating in the northern part, in the area of ​​Kastanochoria. The western slopes are covered mainly by pine forests. The numerous old paths on the mountain used to facilitate communication and transport between the villages, as well as with Tsotili, where the local popular open market took place, and all the trails used to lead to it. It is a habitat for many species of fauna and flora, and also very popular with mushroom pickers, especially in its southern part, on the border with the Grevena region. The Skotomeno Nero Waterfalls near Vythos village are relatively easy to reach by those with a good stamina or a 4x4 vehicle; they are an impressive sight, especially in spring and early summer. The beauty of the landscape around the man-made lake of Vythos on Pramoritsa River is a huge draw for visitors, as are the area’s lake fish. The easily accessible double-arch Svoliani stone bridge, on the fringe of Agia Sotira village (former name: Svoliani), is also an attraction, mainly from an engineering perspective. The picturesque double-arch Deris bridge is very close to the road that connects Tsotili with Pentalofos, after the crossroads for Dilofos. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from Morfi village to the double-arch impressive Tsoukas bridge, which connects the banks of Pramoritsa River, and is considered the oldest stone bridge in the area of ​​Voio. The charming single-arch Chrysavgi bridge, near the like-named village, stands out for its craftsmanship and the height of its arch. There is a recreation area, but also a renovated old watermill, and a waterfall a bit further up.

Mount Askio or Siniatsiko (named after its highest peak, at 2,111 metres), is covered by low vegetation on the majority of its slopes, but also by the lush beech and oak forests on others. Its excellent location, practically in the centre of Western Macedonia affords stunning panoramic views even from its lowest peaks.

On the east side of the Kozani regional unit, Aliakmonas River - the largest river that flows entirely within Greece - and the man-made Polyphytou Lake have shaped the landscape, to a great extent. The lake was created in 1973 to cover the needs of the Public Power Corporation (DEI), after the construction of Polyphytos dam on Aliakmonas River. It covers a 73-square kilometre area and it is a habitat for both fish and birds. The foundations and the 27 huge columns of the Servia-Neraida High Bridge were built before the lake was filled with water. It has a 1,372-metre span and it is considered one of the largest in Greece. It is worth going up to Neraida village, to enjoy the view of the bridge and the lake in its entirety. The route from Servia to Palia Kastania, along the slopes of Mt. Pieria, crosses beautiful landscapes which offer unobstructed views all the way to Kozani.

The impressive Boucharia and Nochtaria geological formations are located on the slopes of Mt. Kamvounia, on the way from Mikrovalto to Livadero, in the Boucharia geopark. These are landforms ranging from 3 to 7 metres in height, which were created from soil erosion, approximately 70,000 years ago. Boucharia look like chimneys with a cover - that is what their name means in the local dialect. Nochtaria look like obelisks.

The gorge of the Nine Pierides Muses, or Skepasmenos Gorge, as it is largely known, is an area of astonishing beauty, with lush vegetation, freshwater springs and waterfalls. It is easily accessible, just 2.5 km from Velventos, and there is a path running along the side of the gorge, for hikers.

© N. Kokkas

© N. Kokkas

© N. Kokkas

© P. Merakos

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