In the beautiful ravine of Paleokarya (Παλαιοκαρυά), just 30 km from the city of Trikala (Τρίκαλα), with a dense forest and remarkable fauna, run the crystal clear waters of the small river Paleokaritis or Paleokaryotis (Παλαιοκαρίτης ή Παλαιοκαρυώτης), which springs from the nearby mountains and flows into the river Portaikos (Πορταϊκός).
In this unique scenery, a single-arched stone bridge emerges in a rocky strait, at a distance of 500 metres from the village of Kato Paleokarya (Κάτω Παλαιοκαρυά). It was built probably in the 16th century and together with the stone bridge of the Pyli (Πύλη) were the two main ways of connecting Thessaly (Θεσσαλία) with Epirus (Ήπειρος). The bridge, made with excellent technique, is framed by steep high rocks and the two dams built in the 1970s, the lower in front and the highest behind the bridge, give birth to two small-scale artificial waterfalls.
It is a place where man, respecting the natural environment, has created a unique work that surprises you with its beauty. The large waterfall added later enhances the spectacle by creating a water curtain as a backdrop behind the bridge. The image of the sun’s rays under the bridge at a certain time of day as they penetrate the water droplets will leave you breathless.
In recent years, access has become easier and a large plateau has been constructed near the bridge with stone steps and yards. The place has become very popular mainly through social media and is flooded with enthusiastic professional and amateur photographers who want to capture the unique scenery with their cameras and mobile phones. On holidays and weekends, there are also some local vendors who sell traditional products.
In order to reach the location, you must follow the route from Pyli to Stournareika (Στουρναρέικα). Before Stournareika, after the sign for Ropoto (Ροπωτό), continue straight until you see the signs for Paleokarya, follow these signs and immediately after the small bridge you turn left on the dirt road (it has a sign) and in 100 metres you find the stone bridge of Paleokarya.
If you do not turn at the sign and continue on the road for a few metres, you see a small wooden kiosk on the left side. From this point begins a stone staircase that leads to the top of the stone bridge and from there you can cross to the other side of the ravine.
You do not need to be a professional photographer to immortalize the beauty of this place in a photo, but at the same time there is no photo that perfectly captures such beauty. Although your images of such a photogenic place will impress everyone and will be a unique memory, only if you visit this place you will feel its true magic.
Read also our other article about the region: Road trip in the “Greek Alps” : Elati, Pertouli and beyond