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Katara (Cursed) Pass and Metsovo

mountain deerBoth the nature and the Vlach village in this area are quite fascinating, though some complain that the latter has become overly touristic (and it is also a ski center).

It is, however, still very much worth visiting, and also a good base for exploring the area.

The Pass, which used to be the only way to get into Ipiros from Thessaly (the new Via Egnatia now bypassing Metsovo), is at an altitude of about 1400 meters or 4592 feet (though the highest point is at 1600 meters or 5248 feet) and hence often impassable in winter. Near the village are beech woods and grassy clearings with a good variety of flora, though up by the pass are some mixed deciduous and conifer forest.

Beech and Bosnian pine are among the trees up here. The mountains in this area are of serpentine rock. Anytime between late April and July are good for visits to this area, though June is probably the best.