Zagoria villages – Vikos Gorge
The Zagori region where stone-tiled paths and humpbacked bridges link isolated mountain villages filled unexpectedly with archontikons (“mansions”) built in the 19th century during the region’s heyday. Zagori (whose name comes from the Slavic words meaning “behind the mountain”) is one of the least densely populated regions of Greece and boasts a “showstopper” landscape whose centerpiece is the Vikos Gorge, the jewel of Greece’s Vikos-Aoos National Park and one of the deepest gorges in the world!
The Zagoria villages are small villages in Pindos Mountains which is a distant jewel in here as an undiscovered corner of northwest Greece. Sleepy villages nestle beneath pine-clad towering peaks, valley floors are covered in prolific wild flowers and the heat of the summer is tempered with cool mountain air and dips in natural pools. Hiking in Zagoria is strenuous. Most trails up the Gamila Massif are steep and lengthy. Using the Gamila refuge as a base, day hikes can be made to Drakolimni of Gamila, the peaks of Gamila and Astraka and explore the Mega Lakko Ravine.
Vikos the deepest gorge in the world
In mountains of Zagoria villages you can hike through the deepest gorge in the world in Vikos-Aoos National Park, wander the cobbled streets of tiny rural communities with their preserved old mansions in the unique Zagorian style.
If you follow ancient tracks you can discover elegant stone bridges and refresh the clear rivers of Zagoria. From the beautiful village of Papingo you climb towards the high plateau of Mount Timfi (2497 metres) and up to Drakolimni – ‘Dragon Lake’ – offering breathtaking views out over the mountains and gorges.
The region has a greater variety of flora and fauna than anywhere else in Greeceand the water is so fresh you can drink liberally straight from the source. The Pindos Mountains remain wild and untouched by modern day tourism – follow in the footsteps of Byzantines and Ottomans and experience it sooner rather than later. There are numerous small but very beautiful and interesting settlements in Zagoria, all built in a unique traditional way.
Hiking through the Vikos Gorge
Athens Tours Greece will drive you to Vradeto, the highest village of the region and hike along the edge of the spectacular Vikos Gorge offering breathtaking views of the depths below your feet. Hiking through Vikos Gorge is at least one day trip. So you have to take enough of time to spent walking through the gorge itself.
The gorge averages 700 meters in depth and is the second longest in Europe after the much busier Samaria Gorge on Crete. Here, however, you will only have the swooping eagles above for company. You will walk right into the heart of the National Park where the sight of the deserted monastery of Agia Paraskevi, balanced in an ‘eagle’s nest’ position over the Vikos Canyon causes many a heart to miss a beat! The gorge is still refuge to many wild animals such as bears, boars and birds of prey.
Weather in Vikos Gorge and Zagoria villages
As you may already know, Greece in general is well known for its long, dry, hot summers and its mild winters. However, up in the mountains things can be more unpredictable. If you plan your holidays in this region of Greece, you have to be ready for quick changes of weather. You can expect pleasant weather in May, June and September and it can be hot at lower altitudes. As the Pindos are fairly close to the coast, thundery storms can be expected some of which can be very heavy. According to my experience the climate in Vikos Gorge is hot (in June) and I suggest that you bring with you enough of water.
Tour in Central Zagori – Vikos Gorge
*Group from minimum 6 people
– Departure from Aristi at 10.30 a.m.
– Visit the village of Vikos and watch και παρατήρηση the Vikos Gorge
– Visit the village Dilofo, the only anaunced as preserved village of Zagoria
– Short stop on the bridge of Kokori
– Visit the 3 bow bridge of Kipi, the “Kalogeriko”, and the bridge of Kontodimou. Short stop for coffee in Kipi village and visit the water mile next to the village.
– Visit Koukouli village and the museum of physics history of Lazaridis.
– Deaparture for Monodendri and και πεζοπορία 10 Minuit walking to the famous monastery of Ag. Paraskevi, hanging at the edge of the gorge. You will taste here the traditional Zagorian Pie (pita).
– Visit the Oxia point and watch the Vikos gorge from the most picturesque point.
– Return to Aristi and visit the monastery of “Spiliotisas”, on the slops of Voidomatis rever.
Duration: 5 – 6 hours
Price: 55€ / person approx.
Inclusion: 7 seat Minibus with the driver, guide, coffee and pie (pita).