Vikos Gorge, Dragonlake & Zagori

Authentic Greek villages in magical surroundings

Summary

Deep canyons, clear rivers, mountain lakes, stone bridges, monasteries & picturesque villages are only some of the highlights of this trekking tour through one of the most remote areas of Greece.

Activity code: GR-TR-VK01 (ZA1)

Difficulty: Moderate / Challenging. [Participants should be in good physical condition with some hiking experience.]

Duration: 8 Days

Deep canyons, rivers, mountain lakes, stone bridges, old monasteries and picturesque villages are only some of the highlights of this trekking tour through one of the most remote areas of Greece. The villages of Zagori, in north west Greece, are extremely beautiful and are well-known for their cobbled paths and traditional villages, all constructed with local stone by the famous stone masons of Epirus, considered the finest in the country. Zagori is a part of the massive Pindos Mountain Range and is defined by Mitsikeli Mountain to the south west and the Aoos River to the east.

The Vikos Gorge is not only the deepest in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, but it also boasts the cleanest water in all of Europe. It is home to over 1800 different plant species.

One of the many rewards you will find on this tour is the overnight stay at the Astraka Mountain Refuge, located almost 2000 metres above sea level. The magnificent views and the Dragon Lake will remain etched in your memory for years to come.

This walking holiday is available as part of a Small Group or Private Journey and is one of our most popular suggestions for an exploration of the remote Zagori region of Epirus in northern Greece. The Zagori region is simply beautiful and peaceful and a true taste of Greece "Off the Beaten Track"; you will experience the incredible Vikos Gorge, the Dragon Lake and the traditional villages and stone bridges. Our official mountain guides know the area and the people very well which adds significantly to the experience, not just during the day's walking but also in the villages and at the accommodation we use. Overall this is a hiking lover's dream and has something for everyone.

Our treks in Greece include all meals, accommodation and comfortable transport, as well as an excellent licensed English-speaking mountain guide. Your guide will make every effort to show you a variety of good quality Greek dishes during your holiday - our team loves their food, too.

Suggested equipment for your trekking holiday

  • Bottle/flask of water (1 litre per day)
  • Rucksack
  • Walking poles
  • Sun protection & sunglasses
  • Bathing suit & towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof coat / windbreaker, comfortable clothing
  • Torch (Headlamp)
  • HIKING BOOTS ARE NECESSARY!

Extra Information

Please note that this tour is subject to change at the discretion of the tour leader, according to weather conditions or circumstances beyond our control.

Services at the Mountain hostels include: bunk beds, pillows / pillow cases and blankets. There is also a restaurant, showers (only cold water) and toilets. Guests are welcome to carry their own bed linen / sheets and towels for personal usage.

  • Minimum age: 14 years.
  • Participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Minimum 2 persons, maximum 8 persons
  • Overnight Stay Tax In January 2018 Greece introduced a new tourist tax of 0.50 to 4 Euros per room or apartment per night, which is payable locally - the amount varies according to the category of the accommodation (e.g. most self catering and 1-2 star hotels = 0.50 Euros,  5 star hotels = 4 Euros).

Why not extend your stay with a relaxing few days (or longer) on one or more of Greece's beautiful islands or on Greece's beautiful and varied mainland- please ask us for further information or suggestions!

Get travel advice from someone who’s been there

Send an enquiry

Gallery

Available as a small group tour on dates below or as a private booking for any date Jun 1st - Oct 15th.

Prices from £841 per person

Departures

  • DepartTrip / Resort
  • Sun 4th Jul 2021 Vikos Gorge, Dragonlake and Zagori 
  • Sun 5th Sep 2021 Vikos Gorge, Dragonlake and Zagori 
  • Sun 3rd Oct 2021 Vikos Gorge, Dragonlake and Zagori 
  • Sat 4th Jun 2022 Vikos Gorge, Dragon Lake & Zagori 
  • Sat 11th Jun 2022 Vikos Gorge, Dragon Lake & Zagori 
  • Sat 18th Jun 2022 Vikos Gorge, Dragon Lake & Zagori 
  • Sat 3rd Sep 2022 Vikos Gorge, Dragon Lake & Zagori 
  • Sat 10th Sep 2022 Vikos Gorge, Dragon Lake & Zagori 

What's included on your hiking holiday:

  • 6 nights accommodation on BB basis
  • 1 night in Astraka Mountain Refuge (dorm).
  • 3 picnic lunches, 3 lunches & 7 dinners.
  • Luggage transfers throughout.
  • Airport transfers
  • Transport throughout the itinerary
  • Experienced & licensed English speaking trekking guide.
  • Most Local taxes **

Highlights

Itinerary

On arrival at Ioannina (airport, bus station or hotel) you will meet your guide and be driven to your guest house in Vitsa, a picturesque village in Central Zagori.

  • Meals: Dinner.

After breakfast you will be driven to Vradeto, the starting point of today’s hike, located at an altitude of 1340m/4396ft - it's the highest village in the area.

Your first stop on today's hike will be Beloi; the best views of the gorge can be enjoyed from this spot. From Vradeto walk down the famous stone staircase and on to the quaint village of Kapesovo for a short break.

After your break continue your journey through Kapesovo with its traditional stone houses and narrow streets and enter an oak forest while walking downhill towards the gorge. A short distance after entering the gorge you will come across a very old stone bridge and then it's a climb up the stone staircase of Vitsa which leads to the village and your hotel.

  • Trekking Time: approx. 8 hours
  • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate / Challenging
  • Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch and Dinner
  • Trekking altitude: 1200m – 1340m – 1450m – 960m – 750m – 945m

According to the Guinness Book of Records the Vikos Gorge is the world's deepest canyon in proportion to its width. Today will be spent exploring this beautiful gorge.

Starting from the village of Monodendri follow the hiking trail into the gorge and after six hours of moderate walking through lush vegetation, you'll reach the village of Vikos. From here there will be a short transfer to the village of Aristi.

  • Trekking Time: 6 hours.
  • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner
  • Trekking altitude: 1050m – 495m – 750m

After breakfast you will be taken back to Vikos, the starting point of your walk through the famous Voidomatis springs to the picturesque village of Papigo.

  • Trekking Time: 3 hours.
  • Trek Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Trekking altitude: 750m – 495m – 960m

After breakfast start hiking from the village of Mikro Papigo through mountainous terrain to reach the mountain hut of Astraka, situated at an altitude of 1950m [6397 ft].

After a lunch break at the hut, continue your hike to the Dragon Lake, set on the edge of a cliff at an altitude of 2000m [6562 ft], enjoying the magnificent view to the peaks of the Pindos Mountains. After a refreshing swim return to your hut.

  • Total trekking time: 6 hours.
  • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
  • Trekking altitude: 960m – 1935m – 2000m - 1935m

From the mountain hut it's a downhill hike to the Monastery of Stomio, built in 1774. Then you'll walk into the gorge of the Aoos River where there will be the opportunity for a refreshing swim.

At the end of your walking tour you'll reach the famous stone bridge of Konitsa. The Arched Bridge, built between 1823 and 1871, with a height of 20 metres and a width of 40 metres is one of the biggest in the Balkan area.

  • Total trekking time: 6 hours.
  • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate/Challenging
  • Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner
  • Trekking altitude: 1935m – 1800m – 650m - 465m

After breakfast you'll walk along a pathway, in the shade of willow and plane trees, beside the Voidomatis River. It is reputed to be the cleanest river in Europe and you can drink any time from it during your walk.

In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner at a local taverna next to the lake in Ioannina.

  • Trekking Time: 2 hours
  • Trek Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Trekking altitude: 600m - 465m

After breakfast, you'll be transfered to Ioannina Airport for your return flight.

  • Meals: Breakfast.

Flexible Tailor-Made Holidays

  • We believe passionately that no two holidays should be the same.
  • With our flexible tailor-made holiday options you can travel at your own pace.
  • Rediscover a city, a resort or an island in a weekend or longer.
  • Take a small group tour or embark upon a more adventurous trip.

Travel Knowledge

  • We have all travelled extensively and will be happy to share our experiences.
  • Personally-chosen hotels, riads, guest houses & apartments in places we know and love.
  • Individual sightseeing recommendations and route planning.
  • Add excursions, activities and food & wine experiences (one of our passions).

Trusted Service

  • ATOL cover for flight inclusive holidays.
  • One of us at Rediscover the World is very likely to have visited the hotels and travelled along the routes on your itinerary.
  • Dynamic, comprehensive travel app with all your documents, maps and much more.
  • Full financial protection for your holiday (TTA).