Smolikas: the (second) Highest Peak
Kefalochori to Konitsa
It was a spectacular view. Smolikas, the second highest mountain in Greece at 2637 metres, rose, snowcapped, beyond the pines and across the rain-washed valley. We’d been caught out in a violent thunderstorm that night, and sought refuge in a sheep shelter, clearing away the dried sheep droppings to put up the tent. Luckily, the sheep had not yet arrived that summer.
Another Dragon Lake awaited us below the Smolikas peak, its luminous alpine waters surrounded by wild crocuses among the snow melt. Legend has it that the dragons fought each other, hurling rocks that can still be seen around the lake. But it was too cold and bleak to camp, and we hurried down through the rain to Palioseli village and a comfortable bed with Dinah of the Roses.
Route: Kefalochori, Drosopighi, Aghia Paraskevi, Smolikas, Palioseli, Konitsa