Katara Pass is an epic road trip, dangerous in winters
Katara Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.705m (5,594ft) above the sea level, located on the border of Ioannina and Trikala regional units, in northern Greece. On November 2011, the road to the summit was officially closed. It's one of the highest roads of the country.
Set high in the Pindus mountain range, the road to the summit, also known as Metsovo Pass, is totally paved. It’s called Road 6 (old road E92). The road can become extremely dangerous in winter when there is snow so drivers should be way too careful and alert. At some points the road is quite narrow so overpassing is quite difficult and if travelling by truck it is even harder.
The traffic was at its peak between the 1960s and the 1980s, notably the early 2000s. With the opening of Metsovo Tunnel in the 1980s and since 2004 and 2005 connected with the rest of the Egnatia Odos, traffic sharply declined. On November 2011, the road to the summit was permanently closed. On the east side of the pass a concrete road block blocks one of the two lanes and the other is marked with a label “Only for local residents allowed”. The road is still paved and wide but not under maintenance so as time goes by the condition becomes worse.
Excellent parts of pavement alternate with parts which are only hard to pass, probably due to earthquakes, which made the asphalt to slide down at minimum for 15 centimeters. So if you do not have enough ground clearance it seems to be extremely difficult (or impossible) to cross this pass. At some points the asphalt has dropped more than 30 centimeters across the whole width of the road. It seems to be quite improbable that this will be repaired because there are grass, bushes and trees growing on the surface. The road is surrounded with pine and spruce trees. It is one of several passes that has lamp posts along the highway and offers great views of the Aoos and the Pineios valleys as well as the surrounding mountains.
Road suggested by: Michael Spannlang