High in the Pindus Mountains of northern Greece, far from the sun-baked shores of the Aegean, leafy forests grow in lieu of the country’s characteristic olive groves, and sparkling alpine lakes are framed by soaring slopes. This is Zagori, a place where storybook villages reveal traces of Ottoman traders; and it’s where you’ll find Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas, perched above one such stone-and-slate town. The lodge’s traditional exteriors reflect the character of the region, while the elegant interiors provide a sanctuary after a day of adventuring. The spectacular Vikos Gorge is ever present—you can gaze at this natural wonder while enjoying northern Greek fare in the restaurant or relaxing in the spa. But the scenery shines brightest from the terrace at sunset, when the valley’s cliffs light up in brilliant shades of pink and violet.
Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas was designed to celebrate Zagori’s timeless culture and intriguing history, providing an experience that reflects the region’s multilayered past. Guests can set out from the lodge and explore this untouched area much like the locals have for hundreds of years, accessing mountains and gorges via stone mule paths and Ottoman-era bridges, and discovering villages that remain mostly unchanged from their trading-post heyday. The surrounding landscapes, including Vikos-Aoos National Park, provide an ideal setting for ecotourism activities. The rivers here are reputed to be among the cleanest in all of Europe, and nearby forested mountains shelter some of the most rugged spots in Greece. Zagori’s distance from Athens and the highly trafficked Greek Isles allow it to fly under the radar of mainstream tourists, making the region one of the country’s best kept secrets—and Aristi a true hidden gem.
Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit through a National Geographic expedition. The owners of Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas have access to a special key that unlocks the door of a nearby 16th-century monastery, and National Geographic guests are invited to step into this incredible church. Gaze at stunning frescoed walls and climb the charming bell tower as you learn about the monk who founded this small hermitage hundreds of years ago while seeking the solitude of the surrounding mountains.
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