The village with the biggest population in Zagoria
Tsepélovo, the village with the biggest population in Zagoria, is located 49 km (40′) from Ioannina city at an altitude of about 1100 meters. It was the chair of “Tymfi” municipality before “Kallikratis” but remains the most vibrant village of all Zagoria villages and maybe the one with the greatest history from all the rest.
The special stony architecture makes Tsepelovo a traditional settlement, while many of its buildings considered listed. The central square of the village (100m from the guesthouse ) with two impressive plane trees to shade it and with the great stone steeple, is ideal for relaxation or recreation. In addition, next to the square stands the church of St. Nicholaos, built in the 18th century, decorated by impressive paintings since 1786. Shortly before entering the village there is the stony Monastery of St. Ioannis Rogovos dating from 1028 with well-preserved frescoes and woodworks.
Tsepelovo is the birthplace of the great Greek actrors Marika Kotopouli and Demetrios Mirat, while one can also find the tomb of the poet Ioannis Vilaras, who had chosen to be resident of the village during the last years of his life. The newly built town hall after the transfer of municipality due to Kallikratis, has been allocated to the Athens School of Fine Arts, so many cultural events take place in this area.
Nowadays Tsepelovo is the most populous village of Zagoria and one of the most favorite tourist destinations. It can provide everything to a visitor of the region because it is the ideal “basis” for the attractions of Zagoria. The famous Vikos Gorge is just before the village while the famous Gamila summit (2497 m) is a bit higher than the gorge. Towards the peak and at 2200m, there is Drakolimni, an alpine lake where alpine newts live, small salamanders that look like small dragons. On the route from Ioannina to Tsepelovo and few kilometers before the arrival, on can find the erudite old ”Kokori’s stone bridge” which is characteristic of Zagori’s bridgework .
The touristic season of the village has been lengthened in recent years and is not limited to winter as before. Every year at the Assumption (Augoust 15), a 3-day long festival is organized, while some days earlier the Zagori Mountain Running Race (from 10 to 80km) takes place, starting and ending to Tsepelovo.
The access to Tsepelovo is easy all year long, even during the winter. The driving distance from Athens is 470 km (about 6 hours), but there is also air link with daily flights from Athens to the airport of Ioannina. From Thessaloniki, Tsepelovo is 311 km (about 3 hours) via Egnatia road.