Today let’s forget about the islands and travel all the way to the North of Greece to meet Zagorohoria, the villages of Ioannina.
Zagorohoria are located in the Pindus mountain in Epirus. The name “Zagori” is Slavic and means “beyond the mountains”, and the second part “horia” means villages. The name refers to a cluster of 46 traditional picturesque villages between towering stones, wonderful Vikos Gorge and a national park.
Zagori has an amazing geology, filled with traditional arched stone bridges, rivers and interconnecting paths that create an ideal scenery for the hiking lovers.
Vikos Gorge is a unique geological phenomenon: a schism in the earth that could have only been created by a divine hand. It lies on the southern slopes of Mount Tymfi. Having a length of 12 km, walls from 20 to 490 m deep and a width from 400 m to some metres at its narrowest part, is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest canyon in the world in proportion to its width.
Although these canyons seem prohibitive, it is an excellent getaway for hikers and climbers. Here you can find interesting hiking trails to explore, because every different route will bring you a different surprise.
Monodendri is a restored stone village, whose name came from a very large tree, whose remains still existed in 1910. Stroll down its narrow streets past the village’s stone courtyards; take the rocky trail starting from the central square that leads you to Vickos gorge, whose depth is really awe-inspiring!
In this renovated stone village there is a patchwork of stone houses, cobblestone lanes and a stone bridge across the river, creating a magnificent view.
Papigo – Mikro Papigo
These are two of the most popular villages of the Zagori region and are located within the national park of Vikos-Aoos (altitude 960 m). Between the two villages which are the starting point for excursions in a wonderful natural scenery, you will meet an unexpected surprise, Kolibithres or Rogovo Ovires.
These beautiful, natural pools are formed when the metallic doors that have been put there, hold the water between the nicely shaped rocks.
Vikos-Aoos national park
It is named after the two major gorges of the area. The area comprises one of the most significant ecosystems due to its rare flora and fauna. The geographical isolation of the area, the relative small human impact and the large variety of kinds of natural habitats and microclimatic conditions favor the growth of various plant species. Therefore, the area is a place where many rare plants are gathered and sustained.
Away from human contamination, the place retains its natural pure side: sparkling lakes, grassland pastures studded with flowers, as well as a variety of rare plants and animals among them. Here you can enjoy an unforgettable day in a fresh and unique paradise.
If you love hiking, you should definitely visit Zagorohoria in northern Greece. Different from the sunny island and yet offering spectacular sceneries, this place will let you discover the other side of Greece.
If you are interested in Zagorohoria, please contact our travel consultants that will meet your specific requirements and offer you the best itinerary, tailor made for you!