Stone and water Snowy peaks shining brightly in the sun. Dark and abysmal gorges. Tree lined gorges filled with waterfalls and a river that flows endlessly. This is the forgotten Tzoumerka. The Tzoumerka which is quite separate from administrative reality, half in the prefecture of Ioannina and the other half in the prefecture of Arta. Its wild beauty conceals peaceful paradises, precious hiding places for animals and birds full of trees and wildflowers . Communities ascending up steep slopes are surrounded by much sought after grazing grounds. This is the place where nomad cattle raising has reigned for centuries. The craftsmen who work the stone, silver, dying facilities and wool are competent and hard working. bridges, jewelry, icons and traditional clothing. 3 protected traditional communities (Kalarites, Raftanei, Sirrako). One national park.
Strong, clear tsipouro (raki)accompanies the local cheeses and meat tid bits enjoyed under the hypercentenarian sycamore tree. Magical caves, climbing areas and a madly frothing Arachthos await adventurous visitors.

(Photo: Nikos Desillas, Epirus an Aesthetic Wander Through a Greek Region, Synolo Publications, 1998, Athens)

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