Canyon of Vikos and Villages of Zagori
Did you know that Greece is not only about beaches, but also about incredible mountain reserves? Discover the Pindus National Park! Here you will find Vikos Gorge, which has entered the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest in relation to its width. Vikos is breathtaking in its beauty and special atmosphere. Along the gorge there are traditional villages with colourful stone houses that complete the picture. For a long time this region was very difficult to reach. Its beauty has been revealed to the world only recently, with the development of roads. That's why these villages are fully preserved and there one feels as if one has gone back in time a couple of centuries! Another trademark of the region are the stone bridges. They are situated in amazingly picturesque places. Along the Vicos there are many viewing platforms with incredible views. Of course, I included the most impressive ones in my programme of the trip. However, the Vikos Gorge is not just something to look at; there are numerous hiking trails along its bottom. Back in the days when there were no roads, people used to take these paths and bridges to get between villages. You can therefore get down there from any village. There are signposts everywhere. If you are keen on hiking, you can stretch the route over more days and move between villages that way. The main thing is to time it well so that you can make it in the daylight hours, and take water and something to eat with you. Zagori is a nice place to relax without the crowds and the hustle and bustle. It's nice to walk leisurely, feel the harmony of nature and listen to the silence. Helpful hints Be prepared for active walking: take sporty non-slip shoes or trekking boots. If you go to Zagori in March/April or October/November, evenings can get quite chilly. Take warm and comfortable clothes. I wouldn't recommend going in winter, as there is snow and all travel can be problematic. The optimal time is from April till October. No petrol stations in Zagori! Get petrol in Metsovo or somewhere near the entrance to the region. There is also a lot of serpentine mountain roads. You can save time and not have lunch in the tavernas, but take a snack beforehand. The sites are so beautiful that sometimes you want to sit down somewhere along the way and enjoy the view instead of sitting in an establishment. In the evening, shortly after sunset, the villages fall silent. That's the way of life here. Itineraries are therefore planned to visit the most important sites while it's still light. In the evening you can have a leisurely dinner in a tavern. The food in Zagori is predominantly meat. There is no point in ordering fish, as it is not a traditional product for this region.
- Dizzying Vikos Canyon.
- Stone villages from the past.
- Fabulous Bridges.
- Fantastic Views.
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Day 1285 km3 km
Metsovo and Kipi - stone bridges
To make the journey from Thessaloniki more pleasant and easier, I suggest stopping in Metsovo. It is a large village, very popular among Greeks. People often come here for the weekend. Metsovo, as well as the villages of Zagori, are built entirely in traditional style. In about an hour you can walk around the village and then I highly recommend a visit to the Laografia museum. Then have lunch in one of the popular meat taverns. Metsovo is also famous for its cheeses, so it will be a great idea to buy a couple of kinds to take with you on the road.
Day 254 km7 km
Vradeto bridges and stairs
Today you will visit the incredible Vradeto Stairs! The route will start from the village of Kipi, where the overnight stay was. On the way you have 2 bridges marked - be sure to see them, especially the Misiou bridge. After that transfer to Vradeto. You will love the road, it's amazingly scenic with panoramic views and a forest of slender pine trees. Once in the village of Vradeto, prepare for the descent. From the edge of the village begins a serpentine stone staircase that seems to lead to an abyss. But in fact it leads to the neighboring village. Take your time to get down and enjoy the infinite view. Reserve some energy for the ascent. After that, it's on to Monodendri, where you'll stay at a hotel. If you have more energy, you should go to the church of Agia Paraskevi
Day 370 km176 m
A day of stunning views
Today you will visit 2 viewpoints overlooking Vicos Canyon. Both are fantastic! Take a walk along the canyon. If you go in spring or early summer, you will also see the river at the bottom of the canyon. And then water treatments - "pools" near the Papingo settlements. At the end of the day, have dinner overlooking the Towers and celebrate a successful trip! :)
Day 4335 km
Ioannina - Thessaloniki
Today is the day of departure for Thessaloniki. I suggest stopping by the capital of the region, Ioannina. The town is located on a lake, so it has interesting views. And there is also a beautiful cave here. After lunch safely go to Thessaloniki.