The National Park occupies an area of about 820 km2, stretching across the mountainous regions of Ioannina, Arta and Trikala Prefectures (that is the central part of the Pindos mountain range). Within the boundaries of the Park there are two large mountainous complexes: Mount Lakmos (also called Peristeri), with its highest peak Tsoukarella (2,295m), and the Athamanika Mountains (or Tzoumerka), with the highest peaks Kakarditsa (2,429m) and Katafidi (2,393m). Apart from these mountainous complexes, the National Park also includes the Arachthos River gorge and the springs of the Acheloos River (Aspropotamos).
In the different habitats grow a lot of rare and endemic species of plants. The terrestrial ecosystems host many rare & protected species of mammals such as the Otter, the Brown bear, the Wild Goat. The presence of deer is an indicator of the variety & diversity of ecosystems found in the National Park.
Concerning the bird species, the area hosts about 145 species, while hundreds of invertebrates, fish, amphibians and reptiles have been recorded so far. Butterflies & moths decorate the alpine meadows with their colourful wings & some butterfly species make in the region one of their rare appearances in Greece. In some places of the National Park the visitor might be able to watch the Vulture (Gyps fulvus), the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetus), & several mountain bird species.
The National Park constitutes an enormous outdoor folklore museum and characteristics as much of the natural, as of the human made environment. Stone bridges, cultural monuments, traditional settlements, man work, combine with unique harmony, with beautiful landscapes, steep mountains, gorges, caverns. This perfect sculptured coexistence of the structured by people’s hands and natural environment, lends to the region its uniqueness.
Overall, the National Park encloses:
Three (3) sites, which are part of “NATURA 2000” (a European Network of sites selected to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats), with assigned codes :
– GR2130007 – Oros Lakmos (Peristeri),
– GR2110002 – Ori Athamanon (Neraida) and
– GR2130013 – Evryteri periochi Athamanikon oreon.
Two of these sites, “Oros Lakmos (Peristeri)” and “Ori Athamanon (Neraida)”, are wholly included in the National Park’s area, while the third site “Evryteri periochi Athamanikon oreon” is included at its largest part.
Moreover, the National Park encloses:
- Two (2) important bird areas (IBA) under the following names and codes: “Athamanika Ori (code 079)”and “Oros Peristeri (code 069)”.
- Five (5) Wildlife Refuges, located in: a) “Arachthos Gorge”, with an area of 2,733 hectares; b) Eastern Tzoumerka, with an area of 1,430 hectares; c) Theodoriana, with an area of 413 hectares; d) Vourgareli, with an area of 1,000 hectares; and e) Koutsouro-Tzakouta-Mnimata, with an area of 1,927.8 hectares.
- Five (5) traditional villages, which are: Syrrako, Kalarrytes, Raftanaioi, Chaliki, Anthousa (Official Government Gazette: 594/Δ/13.11.78).
- Two (2) Villages under Special State Protection and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which are: Kalarrytes and Syrrako(Official Government Gazette: 929/Β/ 5.9.75).
- Numerous declared monuments (overall 157): Classical, Byzantine and Modern monuments.
- Two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which are: «Arachthos Gorge» code: AT3011038 and «Chrousias river gorge- Syrrako – Kalarrytes» code: AT3010045.