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The Enormous Cliffs of Haros at Pyrgos Kotylis


The Enormous Cliffs of Haros at Pyrgos Kotylis

In the northern part of Voio, which belongs to the Kastoria Region, we find Pyrgos Kotylis, the mountain’s fourth highest peak, with an altitude of 1,768 meters. A series of impressive, vertical rocks is the southern extension of Pyrgos, a natural wonder right above the remains of Palia Kotyli. These are the enormous cliffs of Haros, or Spanoura, and its natural continuation towards Kypseli, rock Krithari tou Ntina, and Katabothra. The cliffs, with the characteristic grey shades of the rocks of Voio, are 300 meters high and are truly breathtaking. Underneath, a slope covered in pines continues all the way to the village. The back side is also covered with dense forests of beech lower down, in the area of Nestorio. Their highest altitude is 1,627 meters.

The cliffs can be admired from below with a visit to Palia Kotyli. But the sight is most impressive from above, from the small plateau they form. This is where the forest road leads, starting north of the neck of the national road Kastoria-Ioannina. In essence it is the northern continuation of the path Diashisi Voiou (Voio Crossing), which links Pentalofos with Nea Kotili along the mountain’s crest.

The area was thus named (Haros=Charon, in Greek mythology the aged boatman who ferried the souls of the dead across the river of Hades), because at a certain spot the narrow path that linked the area of Palia Kotyli and Nea Kotyli would freeze during the winter and passers would slip, falling to their death. Another version says that this terrible name was given due to another tragic incident. During the civil war, the three remaining soldiers of the Democratic Army that defended the hill refused to surrender and jumped from the cliff. In memory of this, a monument has been erected at the top of the cliff, with the inscription Honor and Glory to the Eagles of the Democratic Army along with carved figures of three armed men with angelic wings. A few kilometers beneath the cliffs, at location Livadia, near Palia Kotili, the Park of National Reconciliation serves as a gate to Grammos, where the visitor can study the history and the nature of the area, while there are also available services of touring, accommodation and dining.



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