The village of Ilias is home to the only waterfall in the region of Himara, the waterfall of Petasma. It flows only during winter and only when are heavy rains.
Situated between Drymades and Vuno, the village of Ilias (or Liates in Greek) is the smallest in size and in population in the region of Himara.
Ilias is located 4 kilometres north of Vuno and is part of the municipality of Himara. It has a population of less than 100 inhabitants. The main occupation of the people, apart from a very few guesthouses, is growing livestock animals and agriculture.
Evidence of a historic settlement can be found here. Pirgos or Katafiqi is located on a hill with a height of about 200m above sea level in the west of Ilias village. The top of the hill was completely surrounded by a 25m diameter wall, where ancient fortification existed. The antique wall track is distinguished, where the eastern wall is better preserved and thought of as a reconstruction of the same period. The fortification dates back to the XII-X century. The walls are crushed and visited with difficulty through a pedestrian street in a rough rocky terrain.
As story goes, somewhere on the 19th century the Orthodox saint Kosmas the Aetolian passed from this village and ask them for help on its mission, the people of the village refused to help him. Disappointed by the villagers, saint Kosmas cursed them saying “may this village never get more than 21 houses” and still today people that pass, by curiosity count the houses.
Continues further down the page...
On the way to Gjipe beach, a former Albanian military outpost, is home to the Monastery of Saint Theodore. The monastery was originally built in the 14th century, but was not finished until nearly 500 years later in 1860, with construction funded by contributions from other neighboring monasteries.
An unpaved road just before the village leads to the Monastery of Stavridhi. This monastery is devoted to Saint Mary Giver of Life and is built on the ancient shrine of god Zeus and Artemis (goddess of hunting). This monastery is thought to be very old, perhaps 700 years old. The present church today is built in royal style, has a length of 11 meters, 5 meters wide, 4 meters high. At the door of the church, which is rebuilt, is inscribed an inscription dating back to 1916.
The canyon of Gjipe lies between Vuno and Ilias. Is starts at the waterfall of Petasma and ends at the famous beach with the same name. It is one of the many virgin bays of the region of Himara that is distinguished for the fine and clean sand, small caves and rocky coast. Formed about 200 million years ago the canyon has a length of 600m, width 40-60m and depth 80-120m.
"The village of Ilias is surrounded by amazing nature, a great canyon and a beautiful waterfall, join one of our tours and explore the beauty and wilderness."