Surrounded by wonderful scenery, traditional villages and hiking paths, Karpenisi is everything you could ask for in an alpine escape. On the slopes of the ski resort in Velouhi, families and friends ski, snowboard and play games in the snow. Meanwhile, in the monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa, believers bow to the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. And in the town of Karpenisi itself, you’ll enjoy lively evenings with generous helpings of food and entertainment in tavernas. The flavours and aromas of the local cooking fill the air, along with the smells of flickering fireplaces. The magic is captivating.
What to do in Karpenisi
Velouhi: A quality ski resort
The Velouhi plateau is home to one of the largest and most challenging ski resorts in Greece. Spread over 5,500 sq m, at an altitude of 1,850 to 2,000 metres, it boasts 11 slopes and has been operating since the 1970s. Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding down the resort’s black run or playing in the snow with family and friends, you’ll enjoy every minute – particularly with the incredible view.
Welcoming and historic Karpenisi
A vibrant town that stays lively all year round, Karpenisi has great hotels, tavernas, shops and sights. Take a walk around the square to see the monuments, the statues of Antonis Katsantonis and Markos Botsaris (heroes of the 1821 Greek Revolution), the church of Agia Triada and the plane trees and icy mountain-water spring. On the main road, Zinopoulou, you’ll find coffee shops, bars, boutiques and shops selling everything you need, from skis to local products.
This traditional village will surpass all your expectations. Walk back in time, through this historic settlement’s stone streets, with their well-preserved old homes. In the main square, you’ll find the church of Agios Athanasios, built in 1865, and the historic public school from 1901, which now houses the fascinating Museum of National Resistance.
The miracle-working Monastery of Proussos
Every year, thousands of believers make their way to this historic monastery in one of the most important pilgrimages in Greece. Once there, they kiss the icon of the Virgin Mary (Panagias tis Prousiotissas), regarded as a miracle-worker. The icon is said to have been brought here from Proussa (Bursa) in Asia Minor, to protect it from the Iconoclastic purge taking place at that time. It has been said that the silver and gold cover was a donation from Georgios Karaiskakis (a War of Independence hero). Situated 300m from the monastery, on a rocky hill, is the elegant Clock Tower.
Hidden gems of Karpenisi
The panoramic view from Agios Dimitrios
Agios Dimitrios, with its lovely little chapel built in 1886, is very near Karpenisi. The views of the region from this lush hillside, which stretches as far as Velouhi, are spectacular.
‘Always Raining’ canyon
Just a stone’s throw from Karpenisi, the narrow passage of Krikellopotamou, between two mountains, looks like a canyon. It’s a magical place with lakes, waterfalls, caves, dense vegetation and steep cliffs, located at the base of Kaliakoudas and the Platanaki mountains.
Footprints of the Virgin Mary
On the road from Karpenisi to Prousso, not far from the junction for Karitsa, seven markings of white marble on the dark rock can be seen on the slope and have the shape of human footprints. Believers say that they are traces left by the Virgin Mary, from when she brought her icon to the cave.