Plastiras Lake is a human intervention which manages to unite the artificial with the natural, culminating in a magical place with a fascinating landscape.
Lake Plastira is one of the most attractive places in Greece. It’s the perfect choice for someone who looks for serenity in nature, as well as for someone who loves adventure. It is one of the biggest artificial lakes in Greece, located about 25km west of Karditsa.
It was created thanks to the conception of the Greek politician Nikolaos Plastiras to collect the waters of the Tavropos River. The purpose of the dam was to give life to the region which suffered from drought. Today, the lake holds up to 400 million cubic metres of fresh water which is used for irrigation and as a power source for a hydroelectric plant, but also as the main water source to the city of Karditsa.
Lake Plastira attracts thousands of visitors all year round. Every season in Lake Plastira is dramatically and breathtakingly different as it is framed by fir tree forests and the peaks of the Agrafa Mountains (particularly stunning when covered in snow). Nature adjusts its colours, beauty and scenery to the time of year.
Autumn is a colourful picture; winter is a glittering white scene; spring an vision of re-birth and delicate flowers; whilst in summer everything is green.
The area offers religious monuments with great cultural and architectural interest, monasteries, museums, the Agrafa Mountain Shelter, arched bridges, caves and plateaus and high mountain perches that offer panoramic and breathtaking views of the Lake. A tour of the Lake should also include a visit to the dam where locals offering traditional products for sale can be found, the Observation Tower, the botanical garden, the Educational Forest Park of Belokomiti, and of course the Monasteries of Korona, Panagia Pelekiti and Petras, all steeped in history with imposing views.
One thing is for sure, Lake Plastira is not just a winter destination; there is always a reason to vacation here, any season of the year.
Activities for everyone, from extreme to luxury
Riding a hydrobike in the lake (even with snow) is wonderful! You enjoy the beauties of the lake from a different angle. Your hydrobike experience will stay unforgettable.
You can also rent a canoe-kayak and explore the islands and the fjords of the lake. Or why not rent mountain bikes for your excursions (some hotels offer them to clients as a courtesy). During the summer you can swim in the Lake in one of its two organised beaches, one in Lambero village and the second one in Kalyvia village.
Horseback riding in the meadows, adjacent to the Lake is another interesting activity. For those who want to try their skills at archery, there are several organised centres in the region. For those more adventurous and athletic, it’s an ideal venue for hiking, 4×4 adventures, or rock climbing. You can even try skiing at Karamanoli’s small resort or crossing the stunning ‘Grand Stream’ Canyon. Bring your own equipment, or rent from the many adventure companies in the area. Onwards and upwards!
The road around the lake’s perimeter is a montage of beautiful images. Along the route (70km long), you’ll enjoy all the most important sights of the area. You can divide it in sections and see it in two or three days stopping off at anyone of the traditional and picturesque villages, such as Pezoula, Neochori, Kalivia, Mouzaki, Kerasia, taking time out to taste authentic local flavours, wines and spirits.
An artificial lake in perfect harmony with nature, embraced by picturesque villages, fir forests and the imposing Agrafa Mountain range.
Historic monasteries built of faith and stone
Carved into the steep vertical rock, the Monastery of Panagia Pelekiti is one of the most impressive attractions in the area. It has two churches, Analipseos and Panagias, both built in 1640. Petras Monastery is even older (1553) and its altar is built based on the structure of those of Mount Athos. The Korona (Crown) Monastery will remind you of a castle, and from here up high you’ll admire the glorious surroundings. Its murals were painted in 1587 and its altar with its ornate wooden iconostasis dates back to the 16th Century.
There is an endless choice of romantic hideaways and villas or rooms to rent fully equipped to accommodate families and groups of friends.
Enjoy your holidays in the villages of Kalyvia Pezoulas, Kastania, Kryoneri, Lambero, Belokomitis and especially Neohori, you’ll find beautiful stone guest houses with all modern comforts, fireplaces, lake views, cafes and restaurants. For more discerning customers, you can choose a luxury hotel with spa complex.
Enjoy grilled and stewed meat, trout cooked over charcoal and other traditional dishes paired with Messenikolas wine (a fine vintage). The stone tavernas at Kalyvia Pezoulas, Belokomitis and Neohori, in the region of Tsardaki, are famous for their good food and hospitable atmosphere.
We particularly enjoyed a trip to the trout farm, especially the delicious food that they serve which we ravenously attacked after a long day exploring the area. In the morning and afternoon you can enjoy a leisurely coffee while basking in the sun next to or overlooking the Lake. Our afternoon hot chocolate was made even more enjoyable as we watched swallows dance in the ever-changing lights of the setting sun.
Hidden gems of Lake Plastira
Winery and wine museum – Messenikolas is one of three villages that cultivate the red-grape variety Black Messenikolas. There are wineries in the area that you can visit, as well as the Wine and Vineyard Museum – one of the most interesting theme museums in Greece – where you’ll learn everything there is to learn about its production.
Botanical garden in Neohori – On the western side of the lake, near Neohori, there is a beautiful botanical garden. On its 10 hectares you’ll receive tonnes of information about the surrounding ecosystem and about the lush and rich vegetation of Greece.