This is the third (of the four) part of the Mount Tymfi (Pindos) Thru-Hike. In case you haven’t checked the first part and second part, feel free to check it out here:
Drakolimni (“Dragon Lake”) is the name of several alpine lakes in northwestern Greece Epirus region: the ones in mountain Tymfi and Smolikas are the most widely known. According to local folktales the lakes used to be inhabited by dragons who fought each other by throwing pines and rocks and thus created the peculiar landscape and gave their names to the lakes.
The first lake resides at an altitude of 2050m above sea level, on the mountain range of Tymfi, in Vikos–Aoös National Park. It is overlooked by the nearby peaks of Ploskos and Astraka. At 5 hours walking distance from the village of Papingo, the lake is a popular trekking destination in the Vikos–Aoös National Park. The lake is inhabited by a species of alpine newt, called drakakia by the locals and, according to local sources, the newts’ resemblance to small dragons gives the lake its distinctive name.
We started our hike towards the Drakolimni (Dragon Lake) from the Astraka Mountain hut. The first part of the path is a nice downhill that overlooks the Xeroloutsa lake that is dry during the summer months.
After about 50 minutes to 1 hour, we have finally reached the magnificent Drakolimni (Dragon Lake) of Tymfi. The view towards the lake with the background peaks is breathtaking. The feeling that you are above 2.000 meters above sea level and you can see and experience such a beauty, unique. As soon we arrived at the lake, we left our backpacks on the shore and we have walked around the lake and from each part you had something nice and different to see. Bellow some photos of the views:
Once we have fully enjoyed the views of the lake, we searched for a spot on where we could set our camp. On the shore of the lake there are not many spots, though, we have managed to find a great location where we could cook, sleep and of course experience Drakolimni. On Drakolimni I used the Sierra Designs Lightning 2 tent.
A couple of information about the “Drakakia” of Drakolimni (Dragon Lake). The alpine newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris) is a newt of the salamander order Caudata (or Urodela) in the class of amphibians. It was formerly known as Triturus alpestris. Inside the lake there were hundreds if not thousands of these little salamanders. They are not dangerous and although in the photo bellow might look big, are rather small little creatures. Bellow a photo of the “Drakakia” (Alpine newt).
In the coming days, there will be the 4th part final part of the Mount Tymfi (Pindos) Thru-Hike. On this 4th part you will see the highest peak of Tymfi, Gamila I, Gamila II, Stoma Peak, Loutsa Robozi, Megas Lakos etc. Make sure to come back to this blog to see the exciting final part.
In case you haven’t checked the first part and second part, feel free to check it out here: