Zagori: The place you’ll come back again and again
Nature lovers from all over Europe come to Zagori. Most of them return again and again, while some of them buy an old stone house so as to restore it and stay permanently in a natural paradise. In older times they would construct stone streets or build stone houses, stairs and bridges. Nowadays this is not necessary. The network connecting the villages is large and time-tested. There are numerous stone bridges, more than everywhere else in Greece.
There you can find 46 villages of incomparable beauty, drowned in vegetation. Stone is everywhere too, either as a part of the scenery or by human creation. You can barely tell one from the other!
Enjoy this truly amazing scenery, forever changing from East to West, alternating from low hills and plush green forests to bare mountains tops, fierce blue rivers and alpine lakes. A place like no other, where stone meets light, primitive meets beauty and ephemeral meets eternity. Man and nature become One.
Made of stone
In Zagorohoria you’ll find more than 60 traditional, picturesque bridges made of stone. Imagine than in the 19th century they were 150-200!
The construction of every each one was great news for all the residents of Epirus villages. When the bridge had been ready, they attended a special celebration. During the celebration they tested the construction. They filled big sacks with stones, loaded them on mules and lead them to the center of the bridge to test if it could stand the weight. It was a huge disgrace for the master builder if the bridge collapsed.
The most important stone bridges nowadays are Plaka Bridge, Papastathis Bridge, Politsa Bridge, Plakida Bridge, Konitsa Bridge, Kokoris Bridge, Kaber Aga Bridge and Paltsi Bridge.
A gorgeous gorge
Welcome to a canyon that holds a World Guinness Record! The 24km length Vikos Gorge is one of the largest, deepest and most spectacular gorges in the world. You will be astonished of the great variety and alternation of different ecosystems, a feast of flora and fauna. The Gorge is one of the few remaining wildlife refuges in Europe in almost pristine condition, hosting 133 species of birds and 24 mammals. Yes, you may see a baby bear climbing the rocks next to you!
The best way to see Vikos Gorge is to follow the well-marked trail in the Gorge. It's a six-hour incredible route, suitable for first-timers. Try it! Calm and peaceful and then frightening and exciting, intense and unexpected. In Vikos Gorge you will cover such a broad range of experiences.
Vikos Gorge is an UNESCO geopark since 2010. In Europe all geoparks are 69.