Mount Timfristos or Velouchi, located between Evritania and Phthiotis prefectures, belongs to the Pindus mountain range and is connected to Agrafa. From its peak you can see the mountains of central Greece, with Vardousia and Kaliakouda to the south and Panetoliko and Chelidona to the southwest. About 50% of Evritania is dominated by forests- a higher percentage than any other greek perfecture-, consisting mostly of firs and some deciduous species on lower grounds.
Sadly, uncontrolled construction and the opening of roads within the forest is no longer a rare phenomenon, under the seemingly indifferent eyes of local authorities. On the nortern side, the summit, also known as Psili Korfi (High Peak), constitutes a challenge for those who attempt to climb it from its rocky side. The Karpenisiotis river runs at the mountain’s feet.
284 km from Athens
368 km from Thessaloniki
EOS Karpenisiou (Diavolotopos): tel. + 30 22370 23051
A trail starting from Agios Athanasios, crosses the mountain from east to west, leading close to Koubi peak. The fastest route to Psili Korfi is via a path that begins just after an abandoned open quarry, on the way to the villages Agios Charalambos and Agia Triada (the road intersects with the main road connecting the town of Karpenisi to Lamia; you will see it on your left if you’re leaving from Karpenisi). In the winter, bring snow chains with you, as the road is often buried in snow.
A map is essential, as the path’s opening is not easy to spot. Begin your ascend on a steep slope, heading southwest and keeping Koubi peak on your left, until you reach the mountain’s ridge,offering a panorama of Karpenisi/ Spercheios valley. Then head west, following the ridge. Alternatively, keep the ridge to your right until you come across the gully and then begin your ascend from the right side. The final part of the route is quite steep, while the snow is often frozen; in the winter, you should not attempt it without crampons and an ice axe.
Spercheios river, springing from mount Tymfrystos, was worshipped as a god by the region’s ancient inhabitants. There’s also a reference to Sperceios in the Iliad.
A tour of the region’s villages is greatly recommended. There’s a museum of national resistance at Koryschades, where the first national council of Greece occurred after the end of WWII. The village has been named a national heritage site, with its landmark, Agios Athanasios church, dating at 1865. There is also a museum located centrally in Karpenisi town.
A 10-piste skiing center operates at Diavolotopos, 12 km outside the town of Karpenisi. The fully equipped chalet can house up to 100 people.
author – photographer: Panos Bampaloukas