Laista is the third largest village in the municipality of Tymfi. It is located 80 km from Ioannina. More specifically, its location is at an altitude of 1020m on the slopes of the hill Kleftis and thus it is the most remote village.
During the 18th and 19th century Laista was the only town of Zagoria, with about 3000 inhabitants. However, the occupying German army destroyed the village during the cleansing operations of 1943-44.
Currently it has about 127 residents.
Brief Historical Information
There have been several opinions during the last decades about the origin of its name.
According to Ioannis Kogoulis, the word Laista is derived from the words: lai-sta and means: blackish sit (the sites). The word lai is purely Aromanian (Latin-origin Vlach dialect). In addition, the word sta (sitting) is derived from the ancient Greek verb stand (stand).
Those that stay in the village during the winter will have noticed that, when it starts to snow, the sites around the village are the first to be whitewashed. Then, snow comes in the village as well.
The inhabitants of Laista, among other things, were also engaged in farming. They naturally noticed that this part does not hold snow as the surrounding areas. Therefore, the place was related to the identification of areas where they could graze animals in the winter. The selection of the site for the installation and moving of the residents of neighbouring settlements, which were dissolved, is not random after all.
Today the village lives from farming, logging and its two guesthouses.
Laista is a beautiful village with a stunning view that really captivates you. One’s eye travels over the top of the trees to the Alpine figure of the famous “Red Korfi” of Tymfi or “Tsuka Rossa ‘in Vlach.
What to see in Laista
By walking through the village, you can visit the church of the Archangels (1770 AD) as well as those of Agios Nikolaos, Agios Dimitrios, Agios Georgios where Kosmas of Aetolia taught, and Agios Charalambos.
You can also visit the old watermill which was restored by the Mountaineering Association of the village. You can also visit the the old village school (1908). Finally, you should visit the neighborhood with the old mansions on the top of the village.