Vikos: The Deepest Gorge
Megalo Papingo to Skamneli
I sat dangling my feet in the Voidomatis springs, wondering if it was warm enough to jump in. It had been a hot walk down from Papingo, I hadn’t filled up with enough water and I was feeling the first signs of heat exhaustion. The Voidomatis River runs mostly underground down the Vikos Gorge, bubbling up in lusciously cool pools in just two places. A water snake appeared, cleaving the water towards us. I decided against a swim.
The Gorge lies at the heart of the Zagoria region, a cluster of 46 mountain villages, connected by old cobbled mule paths and beautiful stone bridges. It’s the deepest in the world, or so says the Guinness Book of Records. For centuries, the villages have suffered from emigration, but they have now reinvented themselves as a haven for hikers. The paths and bridges are well-maintained, and there are plenty of places to stay, many renovated in traditional style.
Route: Megalo Papingo, Vikos, Monodendri, Koukouli, Kapesovo, Tsepelovo, Skamneli.