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Vikos Gorge and surroundings

N 3955.012', E 2044.912'
2018-04-02
Our rating: 7.40
Overall rating:
Vikos gorge is located on the territory of the national park Vikos-Aoos. It is known primarily because it is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest gorge. In one place its depth reaches 900 meters, with a width of 1100 meters. There are much deeper canyons in the world, but the “gorge” is not the same as a canyon. There is no exact definition of the term, but it is something like a canyon with very steep walls.

We decided to visit this place after seeing such a photo on the Internet. The rock massif simply amazes with its size.

View of the Papingo village and the Vikos-Aoos park
View of the Papingo village and the Vikos-Aoos park Yuriy Buriak

This area is called Zagorohoria or Zagori. You need to come here by car, as there are many interesting places around the gorge and it will be difficult to see them without a car.

Map of Vikos Gorge and bridges
Map of Vikos Gorge and bridges @

Bridges of Zagorohoria

There are about a dozen old bridges between the villages of Kipoi, Dilofo and Kokori (see map above). Until 1950, when the road was built, the bridges were the only link with the outside world. We visited few of them:

Lazaridis Bridge (N 39 51.924 E 20 47.366)

Lazaridis Bridge
Lazaridis Bridge Yuriy Buriak

Plakidas Bridge (N 39 51.702 E 20 47.178)

Plakidas Bridge
Plakidas Bridge Yuriy Buriak


Plakidas Bridge
Plakidas Bridge Yuriy Buriak

Kokkori or Noutsos Bridge (N 39 51.726 E 20 46.530)

Bridge of Kokkori or Noutsos
Bridge of Kokkori or Noutsos Yuriy Buriak

Captain Bear Bridge (N 39 51.296 E 20 46.447)

Bridge Captain Bear
Bridge Captain Bear Yuriy Buriak

In the village of Kipoi we had lunch in a restaurant Ο Μιχάλης (N 39 51.847 E 20 47.514).

Kipoi village
Kipoi village Yuriy Buriak

Vikos

A small village with a restaurant, a couple of guest houses and an excellent viewpoint of the gorge (N 39 57.076 E 20 42.492). From the village of Monodendri you can reach Vikos by walking along the river in the gorge (11 km).

Vikos Gorge
Vikos Gorge Yuriy Buriak

Oxya viewpoint

An easily accessible and impressive lookout. Almost to the very end there is an excellent asphalt road, parking here N 39 54.397 E 20 45.101.

Vikos Gorge
Vikos Gorge Yuriy Buriak

On the way, you will pass through the village of Monodendri. There is a cave monastery Agia Paraskevi with one more lookout. Parking here N 39 52.894 E 20 44.941, then 850 meters to the monastery.

Monodendri
Monodendri Yuriy Buriak


Monodendri
Monodendri Yuriy Buriak

We also stopped near the Stone Forest. You will pass it, stop anywhere.

Stone forest
Stone forest Yuriy Buriak

Beloi viewpoint

Another great viewpoint, although we did not visit it. The road leads to this point N 39 54.101 E 20 46.606, then 1200 meters on foot. Use maps.me application not to get lost.

Papingo Village (N 39 58.077 E 20 43.057)

Around dozen of authentic villages located around Vikos gorge. They are under the state protection and construction is limited. All houses are built only from local stone and other local traditional materials and in accordance with local architectural traditions.

You can stay overnight in Monodendri, Papingo or Kipoi. We chose the most distant and most interesting - Papingo.

Papingo Village
Papingo Village Yuriy Buriak

Road to Papingo with 19 turns.

Papingo Road
Papingo Road Yuriy Buriak

We stayed at the Archontiko Geki 1876 hotel (booking.com). Like the whole village, it looks very authentic. A lot of stone, almost all made of stone, it is a quite unusual. Some rooms have fireplaces, we started ours.

Papingo Village
Papingo Village Yuriy Buriak

Had a dinner at Guesthouse Restaurant Nick & Julia (N 39 58.145 E 20 43.148), but there are many other restaurants in the village, you can choose.

At sunset we climbed a little up the mountain to look at the rocks above the village. Here is the place N 39 58.387 E 20 43.030. The rocks are really impressive.

View of the Papingo village and the Vikos-Aoos park
View of the Papingo village and the Vikos-Aoos park Yuriy Buriak

On the slope to the left you can see the most distant village of Mikro Papigo. You can also go there by car and take a walk. If you are traveling on a hot day in the summer, then stop here N 39 58.374 E 20 43.562 and find natural pools Papingo Rock Pools.

Dragon Lake (Drakolimni)

The walking route starts from Mikro Papigo (N 39 58.131 E 20 43.676), the end point is here N 39 59.628 E 20 47.163. The distance is 9 km and journey time to the lake is about 4 hours.

Dragon lake (Drakolimni)
Dragon lake (Drakolimni) http://blog.tresorhotels.com

Hiking in the Vikos Gorge

On the next map you can see the scheme of the most complete pedestrian route through the gorge (the author of the route). Its total length is about 50 kilometers.

Walking tour through the Vikos gorge
Walking tour through the Vikos gorge https://www.onfootholidays.co.uk

Getting there: Only by car! Correct road is through Ioanina. Be careful, the GPS will take you a shorter route through the mountains and the village of Anthrakitis. On the bus you can get from Ioanina to Monodendri, but there are only a few buses per day. In general there is problem with public transport in this region, we do not recommend to go there by bus.
Tags, Greece: bridge, height, mountains, observation deck

Tags, all countries: bridge, height, mountains, observation deck
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