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Walking in Zagoria
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Zagori: Vikos gorge walking
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7 days
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period:
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Code:
GRSW044
Family Walking
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Zagori: Vikos gorge walking

Zagori: Vikos gorge walking

  • The Vikos Gorge
  • Arch stone bridges and historic cobbled paths
  • Ancient settlements and friendly hospitality
  • Spectacular views from cliff tops and high passes
  • Stone forest of Monodendri 
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Map walking routes Viko Gorge
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Route

Start: Kipi              Departure: Megalo Papingo

Day 1: Arrival in Kipi
Day 2: Walk Kipi-Monodendri (9 Km)
Day 3: View points and Stone Forest Monodendri (7,7km /1,6km / 2,1km)
Day 4: Through the Vikos gorge (12,5 km)
Day 5: From Vikos to Papingo (5,3km or 6,3km)
Day 6: Round walk Papingo (8,6 km)
Day 7: Departure or continuing the trip ‘Zagori: Astrakas’

Day 1:    Arrival in Kipi

After your arrival in Ioannina airport or bus station you will take a taxi to Kipi.  Kipi is a very picturesque village known for its impressive stone built arch bridges. Bridges were built centuries ago to connect the villages, especially during winter times when the rivers became impassable. The bridges are named after the wealthy family or noble who built it.

TIP: book an additional night in this village allowing a fabulous walk from Vradeto (1450m) to the great viewpoint at Beloi from where you can look right over the Vikos gorge in all its resplendence.

Back in Vradeto village you follow the famous steps of Vradeto downhill to Kapesovo; a magnificent cobbled path zigzagging down the slope. 

Day 2:    Walk Kipi-Monodendri (9 Km)

From Kipi you descend and cross the Voidomatis river via the old Mylos bridge. You walk along the Voidomatis river and cross the river again via the beautiful Kokkorou bridgeThere you enter the upper end of the Vikos gorge, just a taster here of what is to come. You go across the old Misiou bridge and ascend a beautiful path up to the village Vitsa, uilt at the edge of the gorge. You continue to Monodendri where you will rest for the night. 

Challenge:  9 km, 3 hours, 450m ascent, 150m descent

Day 3:    View points and Stone Forest Monodendri (7,7km /1,6km / 2,1km)

From Monodendri you have the option to make 3 different walks all to different view points over the magnificent Vikos gorge. Recommended is to go at least to the nearby abandoned monastery of Agia Paraskevi from where you have stunning views over the Vikos canyon. Most famous is the Oxya view point that you reach via a path through a bizar wood of eroded rock pillars.

And why not visit the unknown view point at the chapel of Agioi Apostoloi? 

Challenge (3 options)

Option 1:  7,7 km, 2,5 hours, 325m ascent, 325m descent
Option 2:  1,6 km, 30 min, 60m ascent, 60m descent
Option 3:  2,1 km, 50 min, 50 m ascent, 50 m descent

Day 4:    Through the Vikos gorge (12,5 km)

This is the real high light of this trip! Descend 400 elevation meters from Monodendri to the bottom of the gorge and then move up along the river bed until the Voidomatis springs. Mostly you walk close to the river bed and sometimes a bit higher. Lots of opportunities to swim or just cool your feet in the fresh water. From the Voidomatis springs you ascend via a beautiful cobbled path up to the village Vikos, a tiny village overlooking the impressive Vikos gorge, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as deepest canyon in the world in proportion to its width. 

Challenge:  12,5 km, 4,5 hours, 475m ascent, 760m descent

Day 5:    From Vikos to Papingo (5,3km or 6,3km)

You can first admire once more the views over the Vikos gorge before descending to the Voidomatis springs. On the way you have the option to make a small detour to the church of the once bigger monastery of Panagia tou Vikou. At the icy springs of Voidomatis you go across the river. Until June there is a chance that you have to take off your boots to go across. You follow the zigzagging  path uphill to Megalo Papingo, one of the most popular Zagorian villages and located under the socalled Towers of Astraka: great limestone buttresses. You will stay in a beautiful mansion in the village. 

Challenge (2 options):

Option 1:  5,3 km, 2 hours, 450 m ascent, 530 m descent
Option 2:  6,3 km, 2,5 hours, 550m ascent, 630m descent

Day 6:    Round walk Papingo (8,6 km)

Today you make a round walk from Megalo Papingo. First you walk towards Mikro Papingo and just before this smaller twin village of Megalo Papingo, you have the option to make a loop to the ‘Kokkino Lithari’, meaning the ‘Red Rock’. From this point you have a superb view over the Papingo villages and surroundings. Back in Mikro Papingo you continue towards the Rock Pools, called ‘Kolymbithres’ in Greek.

These are pools created by nature and great to spend some time especially during summer. After a relaxing afternoon at the pools, you return to nearby Megalo Papingo for your last overnight. 

Challenge:  8,6 km, 3 hours, 600 m ascent, 600 m descent

Day 7:    Departure or continuing the trip ‘Zagori: Astrakas’

After breakfast your arrangement comes to an end.You travel to Ioannina bus station or airport foroutbound or onward travel.You can optionally prebook your departure transfer.

TIP 1: book an extra night in Megalo Papingo andmake an additional walk via Ano Klidonia through theVoidomatis valley to Papingo bridge.

TIP 2: book our trip GRSW045 Zagori: Astrakas and make a hike via the Astrakas Refuge to Tsepelovo and back to Kipi, the starting point of this trip. The trip becomes then 12 days. 

'standard' hotels

The accommodations in the Zagori area are all in traditional mansions, built from limestone and usually with the characteristic slated roofs. Some hotels are housed in buildings dating back to the 17th century. In those times the area was under Turkish occupation, but despite that was flourishing thanks to expatriate merchants who sent remittances to their families from other countries in the Balkan. Because the villages are protected, even new buildings are built in the traditional style; usually you find nice carvings and a fire place. 

All rooms have private facilities. Usually there is no balcony, but the accommodation mostly offers a nice shaded terrace to enjoy your afternoon pre-dinner drinks. 

Melinas Boutique Hotel (Kipi)
Melinas Boutique Hotel (Kipi)

Very friendly and welcoming guesthouse in Kipi. The owner Dimitris had a career as a teacher and knows the surroundings very well.  

www.melinas-boutique-hotel.business.site

Zarkadas Archontiko (Monodendri)
Zarkadas Archontiko (Monodendri)

This family hotel is run for many years by the Zarkadas family. Leftheris & Dina are excellent hosts and are very helpful. The hotel has a swimming pool.

www.monodendri.gr

Foris House (Vikos)
Foris House (Vikos)

Cozy pension with simple rooms, run by father Tasos and his Bulgarian wife Bettie and their son Christoforos. A few minutes from the rooms is their tavern on the village square where you can have your evening meal. 

Saxonis Houses (Megalo Papingo)
Saxonis Houses (Megalo Papingo)

Traditional hotel built in the typical Zagorian style. Owner Vassilis is outdoor instructor himself and knows the area very well. Excellent breakfast.

www.saxonis-papigo.gr

practical info

You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between march 29th until May 28th and from July 20th until august 16th.

The best time to travel to this area in Greece, the Pindos mountains, is from April to October. In July and August it might be hot and more difficult to make the walks. Leaving early in the morning makes it possible to even accomplish the walks in mid summer. Considerable sections are in shaded forest.  

You can opt for a flight to Thessaloniki, Athens, Preveza (charter) or Ioannina (by domestic flight  from Athens). 

Arrival in Kipi

Flight to Preveza

From the airport you can take a taxi to the bus station (KTEL) in Preveza city. There are direct long distance buses from Preveza to Ioannina, app. 8 busses per day on weekdays and 4 in the weekends. Duration of the trip is 1,5 hrs.

Flight to Thessaloniki 

From Thessaloniki airport you have to take a taxi or public bus (app. 45 mins) to the bus station of Thessaloniki. There are app. 6 busses per day from Thessaloniki bus station (KTEL) to Ioannina. Duration of the trip is app. 4 hrs. 

You can prebook the airport taxi in combination with the bus ticket along with your booking.

Flight to Athens 

If you arrive early afternoon at Athens airport, you can travel by taxi or public bus to the bus station (KTEL) of Athens. There is a public bus app .6 times daily with last bus around 18:00 hrs. Duration of the trip app. 5 hrs.

You can prebook the airport taxi in combination with the bus ticket along with your booking. 

From Ioaninna-Kipi. You have to take a local taxi or prebook a taxi from Ioannina bus station or airport to Kipi. Public transport is hardly available.

Departure from Papingo

There is no public transport from Papingo. You have to take a taxi or prebook a taxi to Ioannina airport (domestic flights to Athens) or bus station. You can travel to Preveza airport, Athens bus station or Thessaloniki bus station by public bus. 

More information about the connections Ioannina-Athens and Ioannina-Thessaloniki is available on www.ktelioannina.gr. It is possible to book tickets online, but the site is only available in Greek. Therefore we offer the possibility to provide you with the bus tickets in combination with the airport transfer. 

We supply copies of maps in the route note book with drawn-in routes. The routes are also available in our ActiveNav App.

included

Included 

  • 6 nights’ accommodation
  • 6 breakfast
  • Luggage transfer on days 2, 4 and 5
  • Detailed route notes and maps in english
  • 24-hour telephone assistance
  • Routes in digital format (.gpx) for GPS or mobile devices 

Not included

  • Lunches and dinners
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Tourist Tax
  • Transfers by public transportation
  • Transfer to first/ from last accommodation
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, tips, extra transfers, etc.
  • Any items that have not been specifically mentioned in the program

Extras

  • Transfer Athens Airport-Athens bus station in combination with KTEL bus ticket to Ioannina 
  • Bus ticket Ioannina-Athens  
  • Transfer Athens bus station-Athens airport 
  • Transfer Thessaloniki Airport-Thessaloniki bus station in combination with KTEL bus ticket to Ioannina 
  • Bus ticket Ioannina- Thessaloniki 
  • Transfer Thessaloniki bus station- Thessaloniki airport 
  • Transfer Ioannina airport or bus station-first hotel in Kipi 
  • Transfer last hotel in M. Papingo- Ioannina airport or bus station 
  • Additional night/s at any of the accommodations along the way, Thessaloniki, Athens or Preveza 
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