Drakolimni of Tymfi | Zagori | Where Myth Meets Majesty in the Land of Dragonflies
Updated: Oct 11
George P. Papadellis | SG Head
with some good tips from AI
Nestled high in the heart of the Pindus Mountains in northern Greece, at an altitude of 2.050 m., (within a 5 hour hiking from Papingo village) on the mountain range of Tymfi in the Vikos–Aoos National Park, among the peaks of Gamila (2.500 m) and Ploskos (2.380 m), Drakolimni of Tymfi stands as a majestic alpine jewel, captivating all who dare to venture into its enchanting realm. Surrounded by towering peaks, lush meadows, and crystal-clear lakes, this natural wonderland offers a mesmerizing experience for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. In this article, we delve into the allure of Drakolimni of Tymfi, exploring its breathtaking beauty, rich biodiversity, and the thrill of embarking on an unforgettable adventure.
A Mythical Landscape
The first glimpse of Drakolimni of Tymfi is like stepping into a mythical realm. This glacial lake is known for its surreal turquoise waters, reflecting the surrounding peaks and ever-changing skies. Its name, translated as "Dragon Lake", evokes a sense of mystery and awe, conjuring tales of legendary creatures and epic adventures. Surrounded by the imposing cliffs of Gamila and Astraka peaks, Drakolimni forms a dramatic amphitheater, leaving visitors spellbound by its rugged grandeur.
The Myth of Drakolimni
The myth says about a fight between a dragon who lived in the Drakolimni of Tymfi and a dragon who lived in the Drakolimni of Smolikas. The fact that the lakes have a different setting in their watersides, is the basis of this myth. The fact that the two dragons were throwing stones to each other is the reason why the watersides of Smolikas are black with white stones and the watersides of Tymfi are white with black stones.
A Biodiversity Hotspot
Beyond its captivating beauty, Drakolimni of Tymfi is a haven for biodiversity. The surrounding Tymfi massif and the wider Pindus National Park harbor a remarkable array of flora and fauna. Alpine meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers blanket the landscape, providing a tapestry of color during the summer months. Ibex and chamois gracefully traverse the steep cliffs, while golden eagles soar above, their piercing calls echoing through the valleys. The endemic Tymfi salamander, found nowhere else in the world, adds to the unique ecological tapestry of this alpine wonderland. The lake’s name (drakolimni) has been given from the locals due to this species of Alpine newt which the locals call drakakia (dragonflies) due to their shape.
Trekking through Nature
For adventure seekers and hikers, Drakolimni of Tymfi offers an unparalleled playground. Embarking on a trek to reach this natural gem is an experience in itself. The journey begins in the picturesque village of Mikro Papingo, where traditional stone houses and cobblestone streets exude a charming old-world atmosphere. As the trail ascends, it winds through dense forests, crosses gushing rivers, and unveils panoramic vistas of the surrounding peaks up to Lakka (Astraka Refuge). The trail is medium with some hard parts, but the views and the environment are astonishing. The final ascent to Drakolimni demands stamina and perseverance, rewarded by a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the shimmering lake nestled amidst the rugged wilderness.
Beyond hiking, Drakolimni of Tymfi offers a plethora of adventure activities for thrill-seekers. Mountaineers can test their skills on the jagged cliffs of the Tymfi massif or attempt the challenging ascent of Gamila peak. Rock climbers will find sheer walls and exhilarating routes to conquer, while paragliders can take to the skies and witness the alpine paradise from a different perspective. During the winter months, the region transforms into a snow-covered wonderland, attracting ski tourers and snowshoe enthusiasts eager to explore the pristine wilderness.
Lace Up your Boots
Drakolimni of Tymfi is a true gem of the Greek alpine landscape. Its breathtaking beauty, rich biodiversity, and boundless opportunities for adventure make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. Whether you seek a tranquil escape into nature's embrace or an adrenaline-fueled exploration of the mountains, this majestic alpine jewel promises an unforgettable experience. So, lace up your boots, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring wonders of Drakolimni of Tymfi.