POLYFYTOS LAKE - VELVENTOS

about THIS ROUTE

Polyfytos lake-Velventos

70 kilometers overflown with intense, alternating nature separate Elassona from Velvento (in the region of Kozani). History is in equal abundance and begins to unfold as soon as you reach the 20th km of the Elassona-Kozani road. This is where Hatzigogou’s Chani is located. The building was used by the troops of the Greek successor to the throne, Constantine, as headquarters in the Battle of Sarantaporo. It is here that on October 1912 the Greek armed forces defeated the Turks. This was a decisive victory as it led, a while later, to the liberation of Western and Central Macedonia. Nearby, a museum exhibits material evidence surviving from the battle (armature, military uniforms, etc.) and a memorial monument has been raised to commemorate those who died.

 

Shortly after Sarantaporo, in the wider region of Microvaltos and Livaderos, you come across one of Greece’s most unique landscapes. The “Boucharia”, in Microvaltos, are curious geological formations weirdly shaped as columns. Varying in height, reaching from 2 to 6 meters, these columns have been formed after erosions thousands of years ago. The peaks of the columns, which are covered with horizontal plates, create an otherworldly “alien” spectacle. The geological “curiosity” met in Boucharia doesn’t end there. Close by, in Livadero, a series of conical formations, two-kilometers long, called “Nochtaria” form an amazing geo-park that makes a lasting impression to visitors.

 

Next stop is a “doorway” in time. The almost unknown Byzantine castle-city of Servia Kozanis emerges with its Acropolis offering stunning views to the area. Old Byzantine churches, like the 11th-century episcopal Church of Agioi Theodoroi, the Church of Agios Prodromos and the Church of Agios Georgios bring to light the region’s long-standing religious tradition with their magnificent Byzantine decorations and murals. Another striking feature of the region is the Canyon of Servia. Nearly three-kilometers long, it is breathtaking with its human and animal-like geological formations and its point of entry by the Chapel of Agioi Anargyroi.

 

In the highlands of Kozani, there is Polyfytos Lake, the largest manmade lake in Greece. It was created after the construction of the local dam, which was flooded by the vibrant waters of Aliakmonas River. An ecosystem of unimaginable beauty and home to over 120 species of birds, 17 species of fish, woodland with plane and willow trees, the lake is a popular spot for bird-watching, fishing, rowing, water-skiing and sunset walks. Making a stop at the dam just to take photos is a must-do. The lake is, also, crossed by the longest bridge in the country, the High Bridge of Servia, wherein nature and technology seem to come together in perfect harmony. Crossing this amazing 1,372m long bridge is certainly an outstanding experience. Over the other side, there is the village of Neraida. Built high up on the hill, the village is an ideal place to stop for either having something to eat or for taking pictures of the lake.

 

If there is time available, it is worth visiting Velvento, which is located 15km away from Servia. In this picturesque town, you will admire Macedonian architecture and visit the Byzantine churches of Agios Minas, Agios Nikolaos and Agios Dimitrios Gratsianis. You shouldn’t miss trying the famous peaches of Velvento and visiting one of the region’s wineries. Approximately 2.5km from Velvento, nature is doing again its miracle. The canyon and waterfalls of Skepasmeno, with the steep rocks on the one side and the lush environment on the other, with the natural ponds and waterfalls, establish a scenery made in heaven. Canoe-Kayak and rappelling are some of the activities that you may enjoy if you wish to have a lifetime experience in the canyon.

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011
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Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

DESTINATION

polyfytos lake

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

ON ROUTE

velvento

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Velventos

If there is time available, it is worth visiting Velvento, which is located 15km away from Servia. In this picturesque town, you will admire Macedonian architecture and visit the Byzantine churches of Agios Minas, Agios Nikolaos and Agios Dimitrios Gratsianis. You shouldn’t miss trying the famous peaches of Velvento and visiting one of the region’s wineries. Approximately 2.5km from Velvento, nature is doing again its miracle. The canyon and waterfalls of Skepasmeno, with the steep rocks on the one side and the lush environment on the other, with the natural ponds and waterfalls, establish a scenery made in heaven. Canoe-Kayak and rappelling are some of the activities that you may enjoy if you wish to have a lifetime experience in the canyon.

In Pyhtio you may, also, admire the eremitic caves from the Byzantine ages. The wall paintings found in the eremitic cave of the Holly Cross date back to 1339. Elassona, the last destination upon the route, has been known since Homer’s Iliad as it took part in the Trojan War. The river Elassonitis divides the new from the old town. Among sights to visit, there is the Monastery of Panagia Olympiaotissa and the arched bridge.

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Servia

Next stop is a “doorway” in time. The almost unknown Byzantine castle-city of Servia Kozanis emerges with its Acropolis offering stunning views to the area. Old Byzantine churches, like the 11th-century episcopal Church of Agioi Theodoroi, the Church of Agios Prodromos and the Church of Agios Georgios bring to light the region’s long-standing religious tradition with their magnificent Byzantine decorations and murals. Another striking feature of the region is the Canyon of Servia. Nearly three-kilometers long, it is breathtaking with its human and animal-like geological formations and its point of entry by the Chapel of Agioi Anargyroi.

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

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