The Stone Villages of Silversmiths
George Papadellis | SG Head
Panagiotis Papadellis | SG Team
Hanging one opposite the other and waking up with the imposing Tzoumerka since the 14th century, Syrrako and Kalarites, day by day, abandon abandonment. The river Chrousias that flows between the villages, was the one that, in 1881, brought freedom to Kalarites and kept Syrrako to slavery for forty more years. Today, a beautiful stone trail links the two villages as if nothing ever divided them. Here is where Vlahika was born, this mixture of Greek, Latin and Slavic dialects, which started after Greece was conquered by the Romans.
Here is where silversmithing got perfected from the Kalaritins, with best proof of this dynamic manufacture being the Bulgari family of the international brand "Bvlgari". It is where mountainous tourism in traditional settlements is being dynamically developed today, which also led to the development of the restoration and the conversion of old ruined gorgeous mansions into touristic infrastructure, ending up with the total magic of the architectural heritage of Epirus within a seductive natural environment.
Sirako and Kalarites lie on a steep slope of the Peristeri (Lakmos) mountain (Pindos mountain chain), at an altitude of 1200 m, close to Ioannina town. The population of Sirako is mainly Aromanian and it is the hometown of the poet Kostas Krystallis and the former Prime Minister Ioannis Kolettis. The rivers Chroussias and Kalaritikos, tributaries of Arachthos river, separate Sirako from its twin village Kalarites, although if you look at the villages from a far point, you think that they are almost attached to one another. Kalarites is surrounded from Peristeri and Tzoumerka mountains, and it is also at the altitude of 1200 m. The area's visitors are served from the airport of Ioannina (IOA) and the international airport of Thessaloniki (SKG).
Visit | Taste | Learn
The first economic activities in the area were cattle breeding and agriculture, due to the mountainous landscape. In the 18th century, due to the privileges that people in the area gained from the fact that Sirako became the area's capital town under the orders of an Ottoman Sultan, cattle breeding and agriculture declined being replaced by industry and trade.
The inhabitants started processing cattle raw materials to produce and trade wool off high quality, especially capes for soldiers, sailors and shepherds, which became widely known and exported all over the Mediterranean. At the end of the 18th century, the areas traders had developed a very organized exports' network all over Europe. Many trade houses and brands of clothes started and flourished in Italy. In parallel, poverty turns a part of local people to start learning silversmith, brought from the town of Ioannina. But they become the best, spreading their art in Europe, Small Asia and Egypt. Many trade houses and brands of silversmiths establish in Italy, some of them being world leaders today (Bulgari, Nessi and more).
Our Hotel Proposals
Casa Calda Guesthouse
The mansion where Casa Calda Guesthouse is hosted was built in 1864. The idyllic scenery that remains unchanged, along with the warm hospitality, await visitors for a fairy-tale atmosphere. The 3-storey stone building consists of 5 rooms in 2 floors and an old cellar transformed into a lounge. The restaurant - café - sweet shop offer delicious local tastes by the fireplace with view to the peaks of Tzoumerka.
Orizontes Tzoumerkon Hotel Resort is situated at an altitude of 1000m., on the mountainous Tzoumerka region. The hotel consists of 12 spacious rooms, especially designed to offer an extremely relaxing experience to the guests. The restaurant serves flavors of Epirus and Tzoumerka, among which traditional pies, freshly cooked stews, homemade bread, feta cheese and local meat delights.
Syrrako Hotel is accommodated in the most impressive three-store stone building of the whole region. The hotel offers nine spacious rooms and 1 suite, with 26 beds in total. The decoration, inspired by traditional elements, is warm and elegant. The visitors can relax near the fireplace, enjoy the magnificent view of Tzoumerka mountains, taste a local traditional breakfast and feel an unforgettable stay.