Like any of its neighborly villages, Ippios is part of a site of immense botanical and zoological interest. The surrounding landscape is home to a broad range of animals, insects and plants, and many a birdwatcher or botanist can be seen roaming the land on the lookout for rare bird and plant species. The village itself is highly traditional, with numerous small cafes, cobblestone alleys and a variety of beautiful buildings.
The valley of Evergetoulas is a haven of olive groves, planes, chestnuts and pines, cherry trees, ivy-clad elms, wild orchids and cyclamens lurking inside the foliage on the ever-fertile ‘kambos’. A seemingly infinite number of chapels, a variety of disused mills, bridges, oases of shade and vistas of breathtaking views characterize the seven villages that composed the Municipality of Evergetoulas before the government reform of 2011 and the administration of Lesvos as a single Municipal unit.
Asomatos, Mychou, Kato Tritos, Lambou Mili, Sykounda, Ippios and Keramia benefit from the natural splendor of the Evergetoulas landscape and the deep affection nurtured by locals for their area and turning their ever-dwindling villages into a treasure-trove of traditional sights, tastes and sounds that continue into the present. Whether you visit here to taste local recipes, chance upon a ‘panigiri’ (fête) of traditional music-and-dance or admire one of the many impressive religious, archaeological or cultural sites in the region, you are bound to feel enthralled at the verdant setting and the ever-presence of tradition and faith into every realm of life in the Evergetoulas region.
The largest village in the former Municipality of Evergeoulas, Ippios is home to some 818 residents and dates from the year 1567. A variety of fruit trees and vegetables are cultivated in the village, having preplaced the plantations of cereals, cotton, tobacco and fig trees that once made Ippios a famous exporter of figs.
The village name is attributed to the many horses (‘ippi’) once bred in the Ippios plain or, as another theory suggests, to the low elevation of the village (‘iptios’ translating as ‘lowland’).
The upper village district affords wonderful all-reaching views to the Ippios plain and is home to a variety of more recent buildings, constructed by the refugees from Asia Minor who came to live here in 1922. In the lower village quarter, a variety of traditional buildings give Ippios its old-fashioned appeal.
The church of Saint Procopios is located in the heart of the village. Built in 1741, the church becomes a pole of attraction for locals on the eve of the feast of the village’s patron Saint.
The two-day celebration of Saint Procopios commences on July 7th and continues into the early hours of the following day. Like any traditional ‘panygiri’ it is defined by deep religious sentiment and an evening of lively music and dancing.
In early February, Ippios becomes host to the celebration of the ‘zevgades’ (ploughmen), an occupation that was once prominent in the cultivation of land but no longer alive since the earth is currently prepared and planted using mechanical means.
Ippios is renowned for a variety of local dishes such as mushroom pie, ‘skafoudia’ (aubergines stuffed with minced meat), cuttlefish pilaf and snails in aromatic sauce.
If you are keen to taste a variety of local products, do visit the location of Mylelia, a short distance away from Ippios. It is a beautiful spot where visitors can see a renovated water-mill and purchase a variety of traditional handmade products such as pasta, pickles, jams, ready meals and a variety of fruit preserves.