Sheer cliffs of Vikos gorge, below the Timfi range

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.

Traditional Zagoria high arched stone bridge
Just one of the beautiful stone bridges for which the Zagoria is known.
Sheer cliffs above contrast with the grassy green path down to the Vikos Gorge
From Megalo Papingo down to the Gorge
Cool springs among trees after the hot climb down into the Vikos Gorge
Voidomatis Springs
Steep cliffs of the Vikos Gorge with the footpath down
Path down to the Vikos Gorge
Brightly painted traditional wooden ceiling and fireplace at Monodendri guest house, Zagoria
Monodendri guest house
Traditional cobbled path Zagoria
How good to see well-maintained and even new cobbled paths.
Ancient plane tree with vast trunk in the village square. Typical of villages throughout Greece.
Ancient plane trees provide shade in most village squares
Traditional Zagori stone house
Traditional Zagoria house
Traditional Zagori stone bridge with three arches
The picture postcard bridge – stunnning.
The owner sitting on the couch in his traditional home, Kapesovo
Traditional house, beautifully renovated, for rent. Kapesovo
Traditional Zagoria salon with carved wooden ceiling and brightly coloured couches and rug, Kapesovo
Traditional two arched Zagori stone bridge
Another beautiful old stone bridge
Zagoria village well-hidden among the wooded mountains
Villages well-hidden from the Turks among the mountain folds.

Travelling Slow

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