Civil War Footprints
About The Place
Prespes National Park, nestled in the northern part of Greece near the borders with Albania and North Macedonia, is a pristine and captivating haven for nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers, and those seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of modern life. This exceptional national park, encompassing the Prespa Lakes and the surrounding landscapes, offers a unique blend of biodiversity, cultural heritage, and tranquil beauty that beckons travelers from around the world.
At the heart of Prespes National Park lie the Prespa Lakes – Great Prespa, Small Prespa, and Mikri Prespa. These interconnected lakes form a crucial wetland ecosystem that provides a vital habitat for an astonishing array of wildlife. Great Prespa, one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe, is particularly noteworthy for its crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery. Small Prespa and Mikri Prespa add to the area’s ecological significance, creating a paradise for aquatic and birdlife.
Birdwatchers and ornithologists are drawn to Prespes National Park for its remarkable avian diversity. The lakes and surrounding wetlands serve as a critical stopover point for migratory birds on their journey between Europe and Africa. Over 260 bird species have been recorded in the area, including the iconic Dalmatian Pelican, which finds sanctuary here. The park is also home to several endemic species, such as the Prespa Trout and the Prespa Minnow, which are found nowhere else in the world.
Exploring the park’s lush forests and meadows reveals a rich tapestry of flora and fauna. Oak and beech forests blanket the hillsides, providing habitat for diverse mammals like deer, wild boar, and otters. The park’s floral diversity includes rare and endangered species, making it a botanical treasure trove for botanists and nature enthusiasts alike.
Prespes National Park is not only a sanctuary for wildlife but also a place steeped in history and culture. The surrounding villages, such as Agios Germanos and Psarades, are charming and have preserved their traditional way of life. The locals are known for their warm hospitality, and visitors can immerse themselves in the region’s cultural heritage by exploring ancient churches, monasteries, and traditional architecture.
One of the park’s most iconic cultural sites is the island of Agios Achilleios, situated in Great Prespa. This island is home to a historic monastery that dates back to the 10th century. The monastery, perched on a rocky outcrop, offers breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains and is a testament to the enduring spiritual and cultural significance of the region.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Prespes National Park provides ample opportunities for exploration and adventure. Hiking trails crisscross the park, taking visitors through diverse landscapes, from lakeshores to mountain vistas. Water sports such as kayaking and canoeing are popular activities on the lakes, while cycling and horseback riding allow for a deeper connection with the natural surroundings.
As the sun sets over the tranquil waters of the Prespa Lakes, the park takes on a serene and magical quality. The stillness of the lakes mirrors the fading light, creating a sense of peace and tranquility that is truly therapeutic.
In conclusion, Prespes National Park in Greece is a natural paradise that combines remarkable biodiversity, cultural heritage, and recreational opportunities. Whether you are a bird enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a serene escape from the demands of modern life, this national park offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the beauty and significance of Greece’s natural landscapes.
- 6 Hours
Step back in time and explore the historical significance of the Prespa area, where the last chapter of the tragic civil war that once divided Greece unfolded in 1949. As we embark on this captivating excursion, we’ll follow in the footsteps of the DSE guerrillas, whose presence still lingers in the region.
Our journey begins on mountain bikes, departing from Vrontero village and descending towards the banks of the minor Prespa. Along the way, we’ll pass through the remnants of the extinct village of Agathoto, where a significant location awaits us—the Kokkali cave, which served as the DSE hospital, operated by Doctor Kokkalis.
Leaving our bikes behind at the serene shores of the minor Prespa, we’ll continue on foot, tracing the lakeside path that guides us deeper into the heart of the Prespa National Park. This easy 6-kilometer route runs parallel to the lake, revealing enchanting vistas that exude tranquility and peace. After approximately 2.5 hours of leisurely walking, we’ll arrive at the site of another village, Daseri, where a few scattered ruins silently bear witness to its past existence.
Resuming our adventure on mountain bikes, we’ll follow a gentle rural road spanning 5 kilometers, ultimately arriving at the outskirts of Pyli village. It is here that the renowned Zachariadis cave awaits—a significant location linked to the guerrilla leader.
Embark on this captivating combo activity, immersing yourself in both hiking and mountain biking, as you traverse the preserved landscapes of Prespa and uncover the traces of history that shaped the region.
- Minimum 4 Participants
- Starting Time 10:00
- Ending Time 16:00
Cancellation Policy - Flexible
- Whenever you cancel 4 days or earlier than the confirmed activity starting date, your fee will be refunded for the entire activity charge.
- In case of cancellation within 48 and 96 hours before the scheduled activity starting date, you'll get 50% reimbursed.
- Those who cancel 48 hours or beyond are considered last-minute cancellations. There will be no refunds