Tent on the edge of a precipice looking out to the Timfi crags beyond. No flat options.

Timfi: camping among the crags

Konitsa to Vikos

It was a dangerously precipitous spot on the steep trail up through the Timfi crags, with barely enough room to pitch the tent. And there was no water. Yet although we were exhausted and starting to stumble, we could see no possible route up through the high cliffs above.

Yet dawn high among the peaks, next day, was magic, one of those memories to be treasured for a lifetime. Irises and wild cranesbills tumbled down the mountainside, and in the distance we could see two deer grazing.

We carried doggedly on, cliffs above, precipices below, until the waymarks led us up a little rocky stream to sunshine and the Sound of Music meadows above.

And so we reached the Astrakas refuge, the only refuge we ever found open, and found our way down to the villages of the Zagoria, and a luxury cappuccino at Megalo Papingo.

Route: Konitsa, Stomiou Monastery, Astrakas refuge, Papingo, Vikos.

Narrow path to monastery alongside the Aoos river
Path to Stomiou Monastery along the Aoos river
Sheer cliffs with Aoos river below
Aoos River, below the monastery
Wild lily with large white flowers by the Vikos Gorge path
Wild lily
Green lizard on rocks
Tricky patch of scree on the precipitous Timfi path
Steep route under the Timfi cliffs to the Astrakas refuge
Steep cliffs on path up to Timfi plateau with no obvious way up
Hard to see a way up
Wild cranesbills Timfi range
Wild cranesbills
Steep and precipitous path alongside a stream with cliffs above, leading to the Timfi plateau
Up the stream to the alpine meadows
Lovely path through alpine meadows by stream, with the Astrakas peak above. Timfi range.
Alpine meadows below the Astrakas refuge
03 national trail through meadows below the Astrakas peak with snow patches
Towards the Astrakas refuge up on the ridge
View from the Astrakas refuge showing the remote Timfi range with mountain lakes
Looking down from the refuge
Astrakas mountain refuge showing ancient and modern with mules and solar panels
The Astrakas refuge: new ways and old. All supplies are brought in by mule.
View of Papingo village from above in the remote landscape of scattered villages and mountains
From the refuge down to Papingo
Grey stone houses with slate roofs at Papingo, traditional Zagori village
Papingo village at the head of the Vikos Gorge
Roughly cut slate roofs at Papingo village, typical of Zagori houses
Love the old slate roofs

Travelling Slow

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