Usually, and rightfully so, when thinking about Greece and its possible destinations for holidays or short-term visits we tend to imagine sunny shores and high temperatures; Greece has all that, it isn’t a well-kept-secret. What might qualify for a great place to visit though, is a small sized village named Trikala Corinthias, located in the Xilocastro (“Wooden Castle”) municipality in north-east Peloponnese
It is definitely a village of very small dimensions, (716 people are living there according to the Greek Wikipedia page), it sits at 1100 meters above sea level, and is split in three parts (Upper, Middle, and Lower) each one located at a different height of the mountain, and it is famous for three ( “tria” in Greek) good (“kala”) things: Clean air, a dry climate, and spring waters therefore the name Trikala. Having spent some very cold and snowy days over there I can’t really vouch for the spring waters, but I can say that the rocky sights and rigid temperatures can be a very enjoyable change of scenery once in a while.
This area is commonly referred to as “Little Switzerland” among Greeks and, even though both the landscapes and the mountains do not really resemble that part of Europe (I mean, you can still see the blue of the sea once at the top of the town!), it just needs a night-long snowfall to make you think “you know what?! Not really the Alps but still, outstanding!”; and it is this ability to surprise the visitors, mixed with the calm and the slow-paced life which wrap around the whole area, that drives visitor numbers throughout the year. Thanks to the construction of a sky-centre nearby, tourism numbers are rising, as well as the options to choose from for travellers: hotels signs, guest houses directions, and room-to-let ads surround the few streets that cross Trikala, showing the desire locals have to share their beautiful territory as well as to create business opportunities for themselves.
If you want to have a great and comprehensive view of the village and the valley just in front, the "Pigi Tarlaba" hotel is a good choice. It is almost at the top of Upper Trikala and welcomes visitors to a very cosy and warm atmosphere. The wooden furniture and the wide stone fireplaces are what you’d expect, and it is actually nice to find them once getting inside. Even better however, is to find a fireplace in your room! I can’t tell you how many rooms have this feature, but some have so do yourself a favour and ask for it when you are booking. My last suggestion is to check out "Pinakoti" restaurant and try some of the local food like roasted goat with olive oil and oregano, the roasted suckling pig, the “kleftiko” (with veal), “trahanopita” (pie with frumenty) and almond pie with local fruit conserves. The local products of the area are the Corithian raisin, honey, wine and, obviously, olive oil.
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