Baros Pass in Epirus: Driving at 1,900 metres you will think you are flying in the clouds

Baros Pass

This article by Travel is dedicated to the Baros Pass, something other than some picturesque destination with hotel and tourist infrastructure. It is aimed at those who believe that in an excursion experience, the destination matters, and the journey itself.

The passes of the Alps or the stunningly beautiful Transfăgărășan highway in the Carpathian mountains of Romania are some routes that are usually included in the lists of the most beautiful on the planet, the most interesting for driving lovers, especially those who ride a motorcycle.

In our country, too, a route competes with them.

The Baros Pass connects Thessaly with Epirus by road and is at the highest altitude of any other paved road in Greece.

To get from Kalambaka and then from the villages of Aspropotamos to the town of Kalarrites in the northern Tzoumerka, you will drive for more than 2 hours. At some point you reach the Baros pass (passa barou as locals and Vlachs call it) and drive at an altitude of over 1,900 metres.

The green landscape of Thessaly gradually gives way to the wild landscape of Epirus. When you cross the pass and drive at such a high altitude, you will see the peaks of Peristeri (2,294 metres) and Kakarditsa (2,429 metres).

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As impressive as the image you see in the drone videos, the experience of crossing this stretch of asphalt by car or motorcycle is even more unforgettable. The serpentine turns to take us in front of steep ravines.

Now and then, we stop to enjoy the landscape and the wildness of the mountainous Epirus. One of our stops, however, will be forced as a herd of cows passes in front of us. After all, ranchers knew about this past centuries before driving buddies and drones discovered it.

See the drone video:

The mountain pass was, for centuries, the road followed by the caravans of the wagoners who wanted to transport passengers and goods to Thessaly and Epirus, but also for the livestock farmers who every spring brought their herds from the Thessalian winters to the alpine meadows.

In the past, the peaks of central Pindos and the villages on its slopes were much more densely populated than today.

After the Civil War, the whole area was deserted. Later, newer roads were created, which connected the villages of Tzoumerka with Arta and Ioannina, as well as the towns of Aspropotamos (the other name of Achelou) with Kalambaka and Trikala.

The practical importance of the mountain pass of Baros disappeared. For many years, only owners of 4x4 vehicles attempted to cross the dirt road during the summer months. But, since the end of 2014, the road has been completely paved.

During the spring and summer months, as well as much of the fall, locals wait for people to discover this route of unique beauty that all driving fans will love and even more by motorcycle travel enthusiasts.

Before you try to cross the pass, it is necessary to be informed beforehand about the weather conditions prevailing in the area.

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Sights in the area itself

The village of Kalarrites itself (as well as the neighbouring village of Syrrako), where the route we recommend ends, is a work of art with genuine Epirotian architecture, stone-built houses that look like small towers, arched entrances, stone-covered roofs, magical fountains with running water, and picturesque cobblestones.

While near the Neck of Baros is the Monastery of Panagia Galaktotrofousa.

It was built in 1799, and after being destroyed by the Germans in 1942, today only its catholicon remains, which is very beautiful. Very close to the Monastery is the double-arched bridge of Michos, another beautiful creation of continental architecture.

READ MORE: Conde Nast Traveler: Mykonos second in Readers' Choice Awards 2023.

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