DATE: 3-4-5 May 2019
ACTIVITY: Hiking in Voidomatis – Mountaineering in Drakolimni
Crossing the Canyon of Vikos
AREA: Zagorochoria – Epirus
DURATION OF HIKING: 1st day 2 hours -2nd day 9 hours (8 )- 3rd day 6-7 hours (12 km)
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 1/5, 3/5 and 3/5
COST:160 € (submit your participation request before 15/04)
Meeting point: Will be arranged via phone contact
Join us on a 3-day mountaineering escape in Zagorochoria, Epirus. The villages of Zagori are of excellent beauty and known for the cobbled paths and the traditional villages, all made with local stone. Zagori is part of Pindos mountain range and is defined by Mount Mitsikeli and the Aoos River. Landscapes and nature invites you to explore, discover and eventually – inevitably – fall in love with them, since the beauty you will encounter can charm you with the unparalleled aesthetics and rich natural landscape. Breathtaking gorges, impudent nature in all its magical splendor, rich flora and fauna and intense landscapes in the most beautiful National Park of Greece. Anyone who visits Zagorohoria once, will turn back for more! One visit is never enough to include all of these powerful experiences that the unique nature of the area gives you generously.
Our first day starts early from Athens to ouy destination, Aristi, one of the most beautiful villages in western Zagori. A beautiful head village built on a lush slope, at an altitude of 650 m, Aristi, full of picturesque cobbled streets, that leads us to the traditional neighborhoods of the settlement, will be our base for our stay in Zagorohoria. It is located on the edge of the Vikos – Aoos National Park and is the entrance to the core of the Forest. Our walk will start on the famous Aristis’ bridge, with a hiking route that runs alongside Voidomatis, the cleanest river in Europe, running along the rocky slopes of the gorge and the full of plane trees shores.
The whole route is at the core of Vikos – Aoos National Park and in the middle of the route we meet the monastery of Agioi Anargyroi and we end up at the old bridge of Kleidonia.
Full of enjoyment by the beautiful pictures of the crystal clear waters of the river and the scents from the damp plane trees, we will return to the village for lunch, stroll through the cobblestone streets and finally relax in our lovely hotel.
On the second day we will go to the village of Mikro Papigo to start the impressive climbing of Tyrphis and our destination will be Drakolimni, a unique beauty alpine lake. The first part of the route unfolds between oaks, maples, cedars, and shrubs. Then it continues uphill, and as we leave the forest, we see the striking vertical limestone cliffs, otherwise called ‘Astrakas Towers’. Then we reach the Astraka mountain shelter at an altitude of 1950m., where the view of the Tymfi mountain range, which consists of high peaks and deep valleys with a very rare and particularly impressive geomorphology, is unique. There we will take a break for a rest and have a snack or coffee while enjoying the excellent scenery!
Then, we will follow the uphill path to the magical Drakolimni! Drakolimni is on the same line and altitude (2100 m) with the northeastern ridge of Tyrphis and owes its creation to the last glaciers, 10,000 years ago, who shaped this landscape. Its depth reaches 9 meters while amphibious alpine tritones live in its waters, which the locals used to call “little dragons”. From the north side of the lake we have an excellent view of the Smolyka Mountain and the Aoos river valley, while from the east we have a wonderful view to the northwest side. Full of incredible images depicted forever in our mind, which reward our fatigue, we will start returning having several kilometers to downhill. The experience would not be complete, unless it was accompanied at the end with the authentic food and beverages of the area. The traditional food is great! You will enjoy the famous pies, the spicy delicious sweets on a spoon and the fresh meat of the region, as well as local red wine and tsipouro.
For our last day, we have the best part of the area, the Vikos Canyon with a breathtaking view, as a seal for our wonderful mountaineering weekend. Vikos Canyon is one of the most famous sights in Zagori, a monument of nature! It is one of the largest, deeper and most impressive canyons in the world, with vertical geological formations, a wide variety and alternation of different ecosystems and a feast of flora and fauna. It is located at an altitude of 550-1779m. It is about 24 km long and is included in the Guinness book as the narrowest canyon, only 1100 meters at its narrowest point and at the same time a depth of more than 900 meters. It starts from the bridge of Cocoros, ending at the Voidomati bridge. To the charm of the canyon contributes also the side river of Aoos, the river Voidomatis that runs through it. Nature lovers will immediately see some rare species of shrubs and trees, as well as unique endemic plants in the canyon. The main forests here are composed of broadleaved deciduous species of maples, willows, oaks and other trees such as plane trees. We will cross the canyon through a well-marked path, which starts from the village of Monodendri and ends at the village of Vikos. The journey takes about 6 hours and is unparalleled in natural beauty. It is a scenic path with alternating scenery, ups and downs, enjoyable hiking in places overlooking a lush path and other places alongside the riverbed. The day will end in the village of Vikos, where there are good dining options and tsipouro.
Zagori, with its natural diversity, is one of the most beautiful places in Greece and we will experience it all in a special mountaineering weekend, rich in images, experiences and intense feelings that will accompany us on our return back to Athens.
06:15 Meeting at the point to be arranged
06:30 Departure for Zagorochoria.
12:00 Arrival at the Aristis’ Bridge
12:30 Hiking from Aristis Bridge to Kleidonia Bridge
14:30 End of hiking
15:00 Lunch in Aristi
16:30 Free time – Relaxation
06:30 Departure for Mikro Papigo
07:15 Start of Hiking – Moumtaineering
10:30 Arrival at the Astrakas Refuge
11:00 Start of mountaineering for Drakolimni
12:30 Arrive at the top
13:15 Start of downhill
18:30 End of hiking
19:00 Lunch at tavern in Mikro Papigo
20:30 Departure for Aristi
21:00 Arrival at Aristi – Relaxation
06:00 Departure for Monodendri
07:00 Start of hiking in the Vikos Canyon
14:00 End of hiking in the village of Vikos
14:30 Lunch at the tavern of the Vikos area
16:00 Departure for Athens
22:30 Arrival in Athens
Our company offers:
The guides for the activities
The necessary equipment (batons)
First Aid Pharmacy
Photos of the activities
Video of the activities
You should have with you:
First of all, fun mood to have a wonderful time!
Modest physical condition.
As far as materials are concerned:
- Mountaineering Shoes
- Mountaineering trousers
- Windproof jacket
- Buff/ Scarf, Sunglasses, Sun screen cream
- A fleece
- Mountaineering batons (optional)
- Snacks, water
- Second pack with clothes and shoes for our three-day stay
- Cap or hat
Safety and Health
You need to be healthy and to not have any heart problems.
The cost of participation is 160 €
The price does not include VAT
Means of payment
The transfer will be done by the company’s van or by your own vehicle up to the meeting point.
You can sign up:
By calling 211.11.10795 or 694.9849312 or by clicking the link below
Don’t hesitate to call us for any other question you may have on 211.1110795 or 694.9849312.