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!
It's in our nature!
You are just a 1-2h drive from Ioannina and it seems hard to find the limit of your choices. Metsovo, Papigo, Aristi, Tsepelovo, Pyrsogianni, Konitsa, Kalarrytes, Syrrako, Bourazani are among the villages where your camera has to be fully charged.
Discover estuaries teeming with wildlife, cross dense woodlands and brave deep gorges in off-the-beaten-track adventures; marvel at the stone-built bridges, churches (check Moni Kipinas, you'll be astonished) and cottages, taste good wine and delicious roasted casseroles in age old village squares, camp for the night stargazing over towering rock formations before the next morning’s punishing push for the alpine lakes; go skiing or 4X4 riding, take the trails up to the rugged Pindos and Tzoumerka mountain ranges or down to the rivers Aoos, Viodomatis, Arachthos and Kalamas for canoe-kayak, rafting and horse-back riding, then relax in a mountain resort for a bit of glitz...
Your page will definitely sport some great selfies with friends or family, on or under one of the amazing arched stone bridges. For your experience of Vicos Gorge, one of the largest, deepest and most impressive canyons in the world (in the Vicos-Aoos National Park, one of UNESCO’s global geoparks), you’ll have to write a book!
Villages in the Mist
The vast mountains surrounding Ioannina are filled with surprises. One of the most beautiful is "the villages behind the mountains". It's not a wordplay! "Zagori" in Slavic means "behind the mountains". There you can find nearly 50 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 a truly amazing scenery, forever changing, alternating from plush green forests and bare mountains tops to blue rivers and alpine lakes. A place like no other, where stone meets light, primitive meets beauty and ephemeral meets eternity.
Kipinas Monastery is one of the most impressive monasteries in Greece. For sure the small church made of wood and stone, built inside a rock will leave you speechless.
The monastery was built about 1212 AD. The road reaches the base of the cliff and then, if you want to go to the monastery, you must follow a path carved into the rock and a wooden bridge.
During Ottoman Empire, the monks raised the wooden bridge to be protected from the raids.
Delvinaki, Zitsa and the Ionian Sea.
The tour takes you through a slight mountain area in the North-West of Greece. On the fourth day you go by transfer to the highest point of the tour in an attitude of 1.060 m. The tour encounters mostly slight and only a few short and strong ascents and descents on quite side roads. The finishing circle at the coast of the Ioanina Sea is very easy cycling in the salt-breeze combined with beach fun and relaxing.
Some Highlights of the tour:
There are not a few options you have to escape from Ioannina. One of the most popular destinations is Zagori. Dozens of traditional, stone villages that maintain their cultural identity. They are divided by rivers, stone bridges, geological shapes, the Vikos Gorge. Hiking in the innumerable paths of Zagoria, climbing on Smolikas and Drakolimni but also activities such as parapente, and excursions for wild mushrooms. Of course rafting on rivers not only in Zagoria but also north of Konitsa and Tzoumerka.
Greece without the sea and the sun is not Greece. Ioannina combines sea and sun with other experiences that are not found in the rest of the country, that's why Ioannina is a unique destination.
Just one hour away from Ioannina, through the brand new Egnatia Odos Highway, there is one of the best coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, a coast that offers numerous leisure and relaxation options, the Ionian Coast.
In Zagorohoria you’ll find more than 60 traditional, picturesque bridges made of stone. More than anywhere else in Greece. Imagine than in the 19th century they were 150-200!
On the northwestern edge of Pamvotida Lake, just 5 km away from Ioannina, in the settlement of Perama (19, Spilaiou street), rises the limestone hill Goritsa (peak height 555 m). In its bowels about two million years ago, a labyrinthine cave was formed through complex natural processes. In its chambers and corridors, various stalagmite and stalactite cave themes develop. Bones and teeth from archaic cave bear species indicate that such large, extinct mammals found shelter there 200,000 years ago.
There are several rafting ans kayaking schools in Ioannina that will make you love the rivers of Epirus. Aoos and Voidomatis are ideal for rafting and kayaking, with 27km of easy and difficult routes. km. A route in Aoos is suitable only for the experienced athletes.
The most popular route starts at Aoos Bridge and ends at Konitsa Bridge. It is a demanding 15km route that lasts 4-8 hours.
It is housed in a traditional preserved stone building, which was granted to the Management Body by the Holy Diocese of Ioannina. It is a modern information pole concerning the environment of Pamvotida Lake and contributes to the protection and promotion of the Protected Area.
The vast mountains surrounding Ioannina are filled with surprises. One of the most beautiful is "the villages behind the mountains”. 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!