The charming winter beauty of Samarina, Greece
Nature, local traditions, history and environment mixed together, this is what can be found in the famous mountain village of Samarina, one of the gems of Greece.
It is located at an altitude of 1,600 meters (5,250 feet), on the slopes of Mount Smolikas, which at 2,637 meters (8,651 feet) is the highest peak in the Pindus Range in Greece, West Macedonia.
Just before the summit of the majestic Mount Smolikas, the second highest mountain in Greece, is the famous ‘dragon lake’ near the summit, known for its pristine beauty.
The region is home to rolling mountains, lakes and forests that are home to a wide range of flora and fauna, even wild horses.
The village is located at the foot of Mount Smolikas
Samarina is one of the tallest villages in Greece and the spectacular landscape surrounding it has made it famous in Greece.
The beautiful village has a summer population of around 5,000, but during the rest of the year only a few hotels remain open due to the harsh weather conditions.
However, visitors take day trips to see the beautiful region and explore its natural surroundings during the winter months.
The Samarina region is surrounded by pine forests and has plenty of natural water sources. The village is also known for its charming beauty and healthy climate, which has earned it the name “Good Samarina”.
Samarina, Greece known for its breathtaking landscapes
Seen from afar, the landscape is that of a postcard; the picturesque village at the foot of Mount Smolikas, one of the most beautiful mountains in Greece, sits under snow-capped peaks that remain white until the end of May.
The buildings in the village are also well known for their uniqueness. One of them, the Church of Panagia, is the largest basilica in the Pindus region; inside the shrine, there is a living pine tree that crosses the roof to reach the open air.
Samarina is the most famous of the Aromanian (Wallachian) villages of Pindus, where the inhabitants are proud of their heritage and continually honor their traditions. The Wallachians speak a Romance language and have their own distinct culture and history. They are found in all the Balkans.
On August 15, Samarina celebrates the Dormition of the Virgin, an event that sees Samarinese from different parts of the world return to the village to celebrate.
On this day, thousands of people gather in the main square of the Great Church for their “Great Dance” (Tranós Chorós in Greek, Corlu Mari in local dialect). They hold hands and form concentric circles while singing their traditional songs.