Dragons live around here!

In the tall Pindos mountains, at Zagori and the nearby areas, alpine lakes dot the treeless landscape.

Looking calm, dark and mysterious, they breed awe and legends: In the tallest of the tall mountaintops of the Pindos range, mighty dragons live. Once, many many years ago, a few of them started a brawl, for one reason or another, throwing rocks at each other: huge rocks, making dents in the mountains, but also smaller ones, gravel to them, regular rocks to humans. The mountain dragons fought a lot; this is how the alpine lakes on top of Timfi, Smolikas, Grammos in the north and Mavrovouni were formed: from the dents the huge rocks made in the alpine meadows. This is also why the black banked Drakolimni (meaning Dragon lake) of Timfi is dotted with white pebbles, while the white-pebbled banks of the Smolikas Drakolimni has scattered white gravel all around. What, you don’t believe us? Go see for yourself: the dragons will probably be hiding (and that is for the best) but you may see their youngsters in the shallow lake waters: alpine newts they call them in the science books, but you know what they really are, don’t you?

The outworldy landscape of the alpine lakes of Pindos, popular with the herdsmen of the Pindos villages and modern mountaineers, gave rise to many myths and legends, but the dragon one, stemming probably from the local newt and giving the lakes their name, is probably the most captivating one. You can explore the Timfi Dragon lake with day-long hiking trips that start usually at Papigo – it’s an 8 hour hike both ways, or you can spend the night at Astraka mountain shelter to make the route easier and have more time to enjoy the nature there!