Day 5 started with a magnificent clear blue sky that stayed with us all day, however, I have to say it was cold. But that didn’t put us off and early in the morning, we were in our way to Prespa National Park.
Prespes in brief:
Wetlands locations in the north-west of Macedonia are home to the national park of prespa as well as the twin lakes Megali Prespa and Mikri Prespa (Greater and Lesser Prespa). Greater Prespa in Balkans’ biggest lake and is bordered by Greece, Albania and FYROM which meet at a tri-national point on the lake. The two lakes are divided by a 200m wide and 1000m neck of land and their waters are linked underground.
Lesser Presap has an islet in the middle called Agios Achilios and this was our first stop
Lesser Prespa Lake & Agios Achillios
The is a 800m bridge/pathway that gets you to the islet. As mentioned before the weather was nice and the landscape around us amazing.
Saint Achillios Basilica
The islet (as almost everywhere in Greece) has a couple of ruins of ancient settlements as well as Byzantine churches. The first one that we encounter was the three-aisled 11th century basilica of Saint Achillios
Church of Agios Demetrios
The next ruins that we encounter where those of Church of Agios Demetrios. Not much is left of it by it still blend nicely into the landscape.
We then climb up a hill to the Cross of Saint Achillios a nice 360o view of the Lesser Prespa and some beautiful photos.
Our next stop was just 10 minutes away at the very small village of Psarades. There we can find a could of fisherman that will take you in their boats and give you a sail along the coast to show you the Byzantine and post-Byzantine hermitage that we build inside caves and rocks.
The locals believe that is you look very carefully and the cave below you can see the outline of the Virgin’s face, Can you see it?
Once back on dry land we went for a well deserved lunch to warm our poor bones. There are a couple of taverns along the small harbour, all very quiet this time of the year but we still very nice and local recipes.
Once back in Kastoria we went for a nice cocktail in a cafe on top on the hill and a panoramic view of the city by night.
The next morning we went for a last walk around the lake before starting around 6 hours drive back to Athens.
So that was it. You wouldn’t think of Greece as a winter destination by there are so many hidden gems in this country! We had a wonderful time and I do hope to do it again soon.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip and…