8 Day Panorama of Pindos
About The Place
Zagori, a region in the northwestern part of Greece, is a captivating and rugged landscape celebrated for its traditional stone villages, pristine nature, and rich cultural heritage. The Zagori area, officially known as the Zagori National Park, encompasses the Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world, and the Pindus mountain range, creating a unique tapestry of landscapes and experiences.
Geography and Landscape: Nestled in the Pindus mountain range, Zagori is a mountainous region with elevations ranging from 500 to 2,497 meters. The landscape is characterized by dense forests, alpine meadows, and an intricate network of rivers and streams. The Vikos Gorge, a central feature of Zagori, is renowned for its dramatic limestone cliffs and the Vikos River, which has carved its way through the rugged terrain.
Traditional Stone Villages: What sets Zagori apart is its collection of stone-built villages, known as Zagorochoria, each with its unique character and architectural charm. Villages like Papigo, Monodendri, and Vitsa are characterized by well-preserved stone houses, cobbled streets, and arched bridges. These settlements are not only aesthetically pleasing but also offer a glimpse into the region’s historical and cultural identity.
Vikos Gorge: The Vikos Gorge, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Greece, is a natural wonder that attracts hikers, nature enthusiasts, and adventure seekers. The gorge is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare species such as the wild goat. Numerous hiking trails provide opportunities to explore the depths of the gorge, with the Vikos-Aoös National Park offering a well-maintained network of paths.
Bridges of Zagori: Zagori is renowned for its stone bridges, known as “kokkorades,” that span the region’s rivers and ravines. These architectural marvels, often dating back to the 18th century, showcase the craftsmanship of the local builders. The most famous among them is the Kokkoros Bridge, a three-arched bridge near the village of Koukouli.
Cultural Heritage: Zagori’s cultural heritage is reflected in its local traditions, festivals, and religious celebrations. The area is dotted with monasteries and churches, such as the Monastery of Agia Paraskevi, which add to the cultural and spiritual richness of the region. The villages host various events throughout the year, offering visitors an opportunity to engage with the local community and experience traditional customs.
Outdoor Activities: Zagori is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking trails crisscross the landscape, leading to panoramic viewpoints, waterfalls, and traditional settlements. Rafting and kayaking are popular activities on the Voidomatis River, providing a thrilling experience amidst the pristine nature.
Culinary Delights: The local cuisine of Zagori reflects the region’s agricultural abundance and traditional recipes. Locally sourced ingredients are used to create dishes like “kontosouvli” (spit-roasted meat) and “pites” (pies), showcasing the flavors of the Zagori mountains.
In conclusion, Zagori is more than a destination; it’s an immersive journey into the heart of nature, culture, and history. The region’s unique blend of mountain landscapes, stone villages, and cultural traditions offers a one-of-a-kind experience for those seeking an authentic and enriching escape.
See the alpine newts in the alpine lake
Hike the world’s deepest canyon
Discover the beauty of Voidomatis springs
Hike through traditional villages and iconic stone bridges
Observe the impresive dolomites rock formations
- 8 Days
Embark on a remarkable 8-day adventure, the Panorama of Pindos tour, where you’ll discover the breathtaking beauty of the Epirus Mountain Range in Greece. With its iconic peaks and unspoiled landscapes, this region offers an exceptional terrain for unforgettable hiking experiences. Nestled within the Vikos-Aoos National Park, the Zagori area is the perfect destination for avid travelers seeking authenticity and a deep connection with nature.
Home to 44 traditional stone villages, Zagori is a window to Greece’s rich cultural heritage. During our Pindos Horse Shoe Trail tour, we’ll explore the region’s most stunning hiking routes. From traversing the lush forests of Pindos to venturing into the legendary Vikos Gorge and conquering the majestic peaks of Mt. Gamila and Astraka, every step will immerse you in the natural wonders of the area. Marvel at the “dragon lakes,” alpine lakes shrouded in local tales and legends, and witness the untouched beauty of the Vikos Gorge, the world’s deepest canyon according to the Guinness Book of Records.
Activities / Schedule:
Day 1: Arrival in Ioannina & Transfer to Vitsa
Upon arrival at Ioannina airport, you’ll be transferred to the charming village of Vitsa in Zagori. Take some time to settle into your traditional guesthouse and explore the village.
Overnight in Vitsa.
Day 2: Vitsa – Koukouli/Kipi – Monodendri
Embark on a captivating hike from Vitsa to Koukouli and Kipi, where you’ll encounter the ancient stone bridges that once connected the villages. The trail begins with a descent through the Vitsa Steps into the heart of the Vikos Gorge, leading you uphill towards Koukouli. Take a refreshing break in the village square before continuing to Kipi, where you’ll marvel at the stunning bridges, true works of art. Trek through dense forests to reach Dilofo, a village protected as a local architectural monument, and finally, hike towards Monodendri.
Distance: 13 km / 8 miles Ascent: 645 m / 2,116 ft – Descent: 645 m / 2,116 ft
Overnight in Monodendri.
Day 3: Vikos Gorge Hike
Embark on a mesmerizing hike through the awe-inspiring Vikos Gorge, one of the world’s deepest canyons. Descend into the gorge, following the path alongside the small river that flows through its depths. Immerse yourself in the heart of the National Park, where an abundance of wildlife finds refuge, including birds of prey, wild boars, and even bears. The hike concludes with a short ascent to Vikos village, where you’ll rest and rejuvenate.
Distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles Ascent: 791 m / 2,595 ft – Descent: 1,091 m / 3,579 ft
Overnight in Vikos village.
Day 4: Papingo Hike
Embark on a captivating hike towards Mikro Papingo village. Begin the tour by descending to the Voidomatis springs, followed by an uphill hike along the north-west face of the Vikos Gorge, offering increasingly breathtaking views. Traverse forests and pass under the impressive towers of Astraka until you reach the village. Enjoy a free evening to swim in the natural pools of Rogovos near the village.
Distance: 5.7 km / 3.5 miles Ascent: 811 m / 2,660 ft – Descent: 599 m / 1,965 ft
Overnight in Mikro Papigo.
Day 5: Mt. Timfi / Dragonlake Hike
Embark on a thrilling hike from Papingo to the high plateaus of Mt. Timfi, reaching the enchanting alpine lake at 2,050m. The journey begins in Mikro Papingo, a beautifully preserved village, and continues through tranquil alpine scenery towards Astraka’s mountain refuge. Along the way, you’ll encounter numerous water springs, eliminating the need to carry excessive amounts of water. After a short stop at the refuge, continue for another 1.5 hours to the “Drakolimni” (Dragonlake), an alpine gem boasting magnificent views of the Pindos mountain range. Return to the refuge for an overnight stay.
Distance: 12 km / 7.45 miles Ascent: 1,368 m / 4,488 ft – Descent: 425 m / 1,394 ft
Overnight in a mountain hut.
Day 6: Astraka Mt. Hut to Tsepelovo
Embark on a long yet beautiful hike across the Timfi mountain range. Begin the day by descending from the refuge, immersing yourself in the vast plains of the mountain. Admire the imposing cliffs of Astraka as you make your way towards the small water reservoir, Loutsa Robozi, used by shepherds to water their animals during the summer months. Continue the trek through the impressive Megas Lakos canyon, which culminates at Vikos. Cross a water spring and reach the lands of Tsepelovo village, your final destination.
Distance: 12.5 km / 7.7 miles Ascent: 383 m / 1,256 ft – Descent: 1,222 m / 4,009 ft
Overnight in Tsepelovo.
Day 7: Tsepelovo to Kipi
Embark on your final day of hiking, starting from Tsepelovo and heading towards Vradeto, the highest village in Zagori. Walk along cobblestone paths (kalderimia) and marvel at stunning views of the Vikos Gorge. Visit Beloi, a natural balcony overlooking the gorge, as you continue along the gorge’s edges in Vradeto’s plateaus. Descend the historic Vradeto steps, an old path that takes you to Kapesovo village. Trek towards Kipi village, where you’ll spend thenight.
Distance: 14.7 km / 9.13 miles Ascent: 816 m / 2,677 ft – Descent: 744 m / 2,440 ft
Overnight in Kipi.
Day 8: Departure from Kipi
After breakfast, transfer back to Ioannina, where the tour concludes.
- Anything not mentioned below
Suitable Seasons: May – October
- 8+ participants 1099€ Per Person
- 6-8 participants 1186€ Per Person
- 4-5 participants 1412€ Per Person
What to Bring
Large, comfortable rucksack (40 – 50 liters) with padded straps and waist belt, internal frame preferred; waterproof liner recommended keeping clothing, etc. dry inside.
Sturdy, worn in trekking shoes.
Good waterproof top with hood.
Warm clothes, both for windy / cold daytime conditions and for the cool evenings (fleece tops or similar).
Shorts and long trousers for walking, preferably quick-drying material (cotton or poly-cotton not denim).
Sweatshirts or T-shirts for walking, at least one with long sleeves and collar (against sunburn).
Sheet sleeping bag or similar (e.g. duvet cover), for the overnights in the refuge, although blankets will be available.
Sunglasses, towel, sun hat or cap, sun block.
Your own personal water bottle. As part of our environmental policy and actions, we are committed to eliminating the use of plastic water bottles.
Wash bag and simple first aid kit (plasters or blister kit, aspirin or similar, antiseptic).
Photographers: bring your cameras.
Accommodation in double rooms on B/B basis in guesthouses (6 nights) and in berths while on mountain huts (1 nights).
Experienced Local Guide
Meals as mentioned in the program (Breakfast at guesthouses or shelter / Picnic Lunches / Dinners in local taverns or shelter).
Transfer from Ioannina to Monodendri.
Transfer from Tsepelovo to Ioannina.
Trekking activities as mentioned in the program.
Luggage transfers both in guided and self-guided mode
- Day1 : Arrival in Ioannina & Transfer to Vitsa
- Day2 : Vitsa - Koukouli/Kipi - Monodendri
- Day3 : Vikos gorge hike
- Day4 : Papingo hike
- Day5 : Mt. Timfi / Dragonlake hike
- Day6 : Astraka Mt. hut to Tsepelovo
- Day7 : Tsepelovo to Kipi
- Day8 : Departure from Kipi
Cancellation Policy - Moderate
- If you cancel 10 days or earlier before the booked activity start date, you'll get a full refund.
- If you cancel within 4 and 10 days before the booked activity starting date, you'll get 50% back.
- Cancellations made 4 days or beyond, before the booked activity starting date, are treated as last-minute cancellations. There will be no refunds.