About Kokkinopelos Valley we had heard a few things. But when we visited the area, we were really amazed! Walking the short path from the highway between the vegetation we couldn’t imagine what was hiding a few meters ahead : a red valley, a landscape from planet Mars!
Kokkinopelos valley, located close to Louros River and the settlement of Agios Georgios on the Preveza-Ioannina national road, constitutes one of the most ancient archaeological sites so far not only of Epirus but of entire Greece. Besides its momentous historical background, it impresses through its characteristic colour as well as the corrosion sustained over time by rainwater. As it was situated on one of the main natural passes close to the abundant waters of the Louros River and offered plenty of raw material for food and clothing, it attracted prehistoric humans quite early on in history. A stone hand axe found in recent years (one of the few examples of the Helladic area), which dates back 250,000-200,000 years, along with some other indications to the area’s date – as yet unconfirmed since they do not come from excavation evidence – lead us to the Lower (most ancient) Paleolithic period. The indications for the subsequent eras, the Middle and Upper Paleolithic (200,000-10,000 to date), are clearer, as survey work and excavation on the site have revealed several stone tools which incontestably proves its inhabitation during the above mentioned period of time. It is believed that it was inhabited by the same group or groups who dwelled in Asprochalico and some more sites in the valley of Louros. In any case, Kokkinopelos constitutes one of the few sites of the Helladic area which is related to the transition from Neanderthal to modern populations. It remains to be determined how this transition occurred and how modern humans, Homo sapiens, managed to prevail over them. Very interesting is also the fact that an underground tunnel crosses the valley of Kokkinopilos, from the Roman aqueduct of Agios Georgios to the city of Nicopolis, traversing a distance estimated at more than 70 kilometers!
We spent many hours on this special place. We couldn’t stop running up and down in the red hills, playing with our shadows and enjoying the beautiful energy! The area also gave us the opportunity to talk with children about prehistoric life and the importance of drinking water then and now.
Very close to the Kokkinopelos Valley there is one more wondrous landscape of nature, the Ziros Lake. It is ideal for a walk and photo shooting. Also you can have a pick nick there or enjoy water sports like SUP and kayaking.