The Unreal Part of Epirus
One of the special landscape of Epirus.
Red hills that seem endless and at the same time enchanting, few trees and space vegetation just enough to make landscape unreal beautiful. A place that you certainly can’t imagine is in Greece and let alone in Epirus, unlnown to many and well hidden only for a few, mainly those who love photography but also discovering special places
From the rising scarps of Vikos, to the magnifficent peaks of Pindos, and the still perfection of Drakolimni, Epirus is anything but shy of natural marvels. However, in the region’s far south lies a geological formation that truly stands out the rubicund hills of Kokkinopilos.
Named after its striking colour, this unique place might leave you wondering whether you are still in Greece or whether you got randomly cast into the middle of the Australian outback.
How to get there
Although the location of Kokkinopilos feels fairly remote, it is surprisingly easy to reach from Ioannina. Head to the city’s main bus station and buy a ticket to Filippiada. (If you want to research the bus schedule online, you are looking for the bus towards Preveza).
However, you don’t want to go all the way to Filippiada but instead get off the bus shortly before, since Kokkinopilos is located seven kilometres north of Filippiada, near the village of Agios Georgios and the Louros reservoir. Simply tell your driver to drop you at the side of the road just a wee bit south of the lake (right after the bend).
If you follow the road towards Filippiada, you should quickly spot a set of stairs leading up to a gated crevice on your right-hand side (the tunnel used to be part of a Roman aqueduct). Pass the tunnel and continue for another minute to reach the path leading up to the site (you will see a map of the area and red soil, so you can’t really miss it!).
The red hills of Kokkinopilos are situated just a few metres further up the steps.
Several buses a day run between Arta and Filippiada. Once you reach Filippiada, you will have to decide whether you want to walk (7km) or hitchhike the remainder of the way.
Take the bus towards Ioannina and tell your driver to drop you off just south of the village of Agios Georgios and the Louros reservoir (7km north of Filippiada). Admittedly, I don’t know if a ticket to Filippiada is sufficient or if you need one for a destination further up the road. Repeat the steps from above to find Kokkinopilos.
How to Get Back
While reaching Kokkinopilos without a car is relatively straight forward, be aware that getting back to where you came from might prove to be a tad bit more challenging and will certainly include (at least some) hitchhiking in the process.
Since you can’t just hop on the next best bus back home, hitchhiking will be your most reliant option (unless you are merely returning to Arta) since buses from Arta to Ioannina and Preveza run very infrequently.
Definitely keep that in mind to leave enough time for the return journey!
Alternatively, if there is a late bus from Arta going back to Ioannina or Preveza respectively, you could just head to Arta and catch a bus there.