Iliochori is one of the Vlach villages of Zagori and belongs to the municipality of Tymfi. It is located on the eastern slopes of Tymfi, 70 km northeast of Ioannina, and built at an altitude of 900 meters in the green nature.
History and Information
The oldest name of the village was Ntomprinovo or Domvrinovo. The period when the settlement was built is not known precisely. Based on findings and oral testimonies it seems to have been created through a combination of several small settlements that existed in the region.
For various reasons (such as lack of drinking water in some parts) the inhabitants of these regions gradually moved to the current location of the village. In the 14th century a monastery was established in the area by Cretan monks. During the Ottoman rule the village is mentioned as big and well developed. During the World War II on October 18, 1943 the Germans burned all the villages of the region and of course Iliochori as well.
The huge disaster for the village was not just financial though.
According to the testimonies there was important historical material concentrated in the community and in private homes which unfortunately could not be salvaged. Documents and religious and historical relics of centuries were destroyed in one day by the Nazi atrocity. The village’s population shrank much after the Second World War. The civil war that followed worsened even more the conditions. Many residents fled as political refugees from their homeland and others to the big cities in a search for work.
The waterfalls Balta di Striga
At Central Zagori and just outside the village Iliochori, you can find the impressive waterfalls “Balta di Striga”. A cluster of three waterfalls in the bed of the river Kryopotamos with the largest having a height of approximately 25 meters. The waterfalls form 2 large green pedestals and a smaller one literally within a virgin forest. Balta di Striga in Vlach means the small lake that cry. Legend tells of a woman who jumping into the waterfall to kill herself cried out loud and was heard up to the village.
Following the marked path from the village square one can reach the impressive waterfalls easily after 30 minutes walking. The route of 1050 meters is easy and in a well maintained and cared path in a beautiful landscape. The local community has arranged and constructed stone benches and has formed a part so you can sit and enjoy the scenery comfortably. For the adventurous it is recommended to dive into the icy waters. It is such an impressive place that captivates you and makes you forget that you have to take the way back.