Vicos Gorge (Zagori Villages)
Where natural sites are breathtaking...
Vikos Gorge ("Loud Voice") is one of the most breathtaking natural sites in all of Greece and one of the largest and finest gorges in all of Europe.
Part of the Vikos-Aoos National Park, the gorge is 12 km long, averages 700 m in depth and 200 m in width. It is traversed by Voidomatis River, a tributary of Aoos River, one of the largest in the region of Epirus.
|From the balcony of St. Paraskevi Monastery
The gorge is located in the stunning mountainous area known as the "Zagorohoria" (or "Zagori Villages"), 16 km north of the city of Ioannina. The 46 picturesque Zagori Villages, scattered around the fir- and pine-covered slopes of mount Mitsikeli, are "decorated" by small stone houses built in traditional Epirot architectural style. The area is full of churches, small folklore museums, remarkable bridges and archaeological sites (such as 9th century BC settlement of Vitsa).
One may enter the gorge through Monodendri, the village of Vitsa or the village of Koukouli.
The walk through the gorge along the Voidomatis River takes 6 to 7 hours,
followed by a 30-minute uphill hike at the river source leading to either the village of Vikos or the village of Papigo.
Marvel at the rare and abundant flora, such as the local species of Centaurea pawlovskii. The gorge is a refuge for bear, roe-deer, wild goat, jackal and other rare species.
One of the most dramatic views of the gorge is from the village of Monodendri, located in Central Zagori, at 1000 m above sea level. Enjoy a brief walk from town square to the edge of the gorge and breath the fresh air from the balcony of St. Paraskevi Monastery (1412), suspended in mid-air.
Returning to Monodendri you must taste the famous "pita" (pie with cheese), prepared with the "secret" recipe, guarded by the women for centuries.
Rest and enjoy more traditional Zagori cuisine in the family owned and operated inns in the area and embark on yet another natural and cultural adventure in the region of Epirus.
Visit Zagori Villages
By car from Metsovo (1.5 hours).
From there most of the villages can be reached within 30 minutes.
Arrangements to visit the villages can be made according to the amount of time in your disposal.
For small groups, night stop-overs are possible in beautiful warm lodges.