Zagori - Vikos gorge – Drakolimni

Hike across the magical Vikos Gorge, ascent to Drakolimni of Tymfis, experience rafting at the Voidomatis river and wander through the magnificent picturesque Zagorochoria. Are you ready?

Come and meet one of the most wonderful areas of Greece with the most striking natural beauty, a place where you can experience great history and tradition. "Zagorochoria" refers to 46 villages that are interconnected by mountain roads, where each visitor can explore and discover his own favorite. One can enjoy peace and quiet, or extreme sports, breathtaking views and villages literally located in the wild forests. Imposing mountain peaks, crystal clear rivers, like Voidomatis river and alpine lakes, such as Drakolimni.

At Zagorochoria you will admire the traditional architecture characterized by the main materials used to build houses: stone and wood. The same materials are still used today (most of the villages at Zagori are characterized as traditional housing estates, according to a specific Zagori decree). The hostels where we will stay are examples of this architecture and they offer an authentic experience, while providing all necessary comforts.

We have planned a series of activities for this visit, in order to enjoy every minute. Anyone in good physical condition can participate. Children at least 12 years old can participate if accompanied by their parent or guardian. No one can participate in only a segment of the scheduled trip.
And of course, any visit to Zagori is a culinary experience as well! Here you will have the chance to taste the authentic food and drinks of the area. Traditional recipes ranging from popular pies, delicious sweets, fresh local meat, pure red wine produced in the area and the very famous "tsipouro"!

Adventure trip schedule:

Day one: Arrival at Zagorochoria

Arrival at the beautiful village of Monodendri in the afternoon, check-in at the traditional guest house and dinner at a tavern in the area. Monodendri, built at an altitude of 1060 meters is situated in the heart of Central Zagori and is located 41 kilometers from the city of Ioannina. For those travelling from abroad or would like to travel to Monodendri with our bus, meeting at Macedonia Airport in Thesaloniki at 13:30. Departure at14:00.

Day two: Crossing the renown Vikos Gorge

Vikos Gorge is one of the most popular attractions in Zagori and a natural wonder! This is one of the biggest, deepest and most impressive gorges of the world, with abrupt altitudinal changes, steep slopes and the most rare and beautiful flora and fauna. It varies in altitude between 550 and 1779m. It stretches for about 24km in length, with approximately 900m in depth. The Vikos Gorge is listed by the Guiness Book of Records as the deepest canyon in the world in proportion to its width: 1100m at its narrowest part, with a depth of over 900m. Voidomatis river rises in the gorge, near Vikos village.

The team will cross the gorge through a very well marked hiking trail, starting from Monodentri village towards Vikos village. The hike lasts for about 6 hours and the view is simply breathtaking!
In the evening, we will enjoy our dinner at a traditional restaurant in the area.

Day three: Rafting at Voidomatis river

Day three: Rafting at Voidomatis riverDescending a river with an inflatable boat is what we call "rafting". The crew of each boat is guided by a professional river guide. The numbers of rowers on each boat depends on the size of the boat, that is determined by the degree of difficulty of each river and its water level. Experienced and trained escorts will guide us and be responsible for everyone's safety on the boat. The difficulty is grade 1-2 which means the waters are just right for someone who is trying the sport for the very first time but also challenging enough for someone who tried rafting in the past. Everyone can participate and have fun!
After rafting, we rest at the guest house. In the evening we will have dinner at a traditional restaurant in a nearby village.

Day four: Hike to the famous Drakolimni through Astraka refuge

We will take a 3-hour hiking route. The route starts from the square outside Mikro Papingo village, then we will go through the village and hike up to the Astraka refuge passing gradually by the four springs: Avragonios which is just outside the village, Andalki whose waters, as local legend holds, rises from Provatina's gulch, Trafos just before the crossing for Astraka and finally, Krouna just before the final uphill hike to the recently renovated Astraka refuge. The refuge is situated at an altitude of 1,930 meters at the shoulder formed by Astraka and Lapatos peaks. Another approximately 90 minutes of hiking and we will see the famous Drakolimni from a distance. From the refuge we hike down towards Xeroloutsa. Once we cross it and pass a spring, the route becomes uphill. After hiking northwest on a smooth ridge we finally reach Drakolimni, situated on the saddle between Ploskos and the Ploskos peak. From here the view of Gamila and Aoos valley is breathtaking!

The famous Drakolimni of Tymfis is a small alpine lake situated at an altitude of 2100 meters and was created 10,000 years ago by the last glaciers that formed the landscape as it is today. In the mountain area of North Pindos there are a number of "dragon lakes" named in Greek mythology as the home of dragons. Drakolimni is situated in an area of rare natural beauty with outstanding panoramic views of surrounding peaks, creating the illusion of a unique pool on a roof that touches the sky. Its waters are home to alpine newts, a rare species of amphibious lizards. Although its depth has been exaggerated, actual measuring has proved that it's no more than 3 meters deep.

Zagori - Vikos gorge – Drakolimni

Day five: "Skala Vradetou" (impressive stone hiking trail) - Vradeto

We will hike from Kapesovo towards Vradeto village, through an impressive stone trail. Until 1973, this was the only route that connected Vradeto village to the outside world!
We will then continue towards Beloi, where we will rest at a natural viewing platform, the best viewpoint in Zagori. 
Check out from guest house and departure.

Day five: "Skala Vradetou" (impressive stone hiking trail) - Vradeto

Next scheduled trip:

28 September - 2 October 2013

Required documents:

Passport & VISA (for residents outside EU), ID (for EU residents), medical confirmation

Cost: €580 per person

This price includes:

  • Proposal for physical preparation program if necessary
  • Two instructive hikes before departure (for residents of Cyprus)
  • Group leader by One Step Further and local mountain guides and activity instructors
  • Designing - Planning – Execution – Supervision
  • Transportation via bus from Thessaloniki/Macedonia Airport to Monodendri and vice versa
  • Inland transports via bus
  • Overnight stay with breakfast in traditional guest houses and dinner in traditional taverns as mentioned in the program
  • Personal equipment list and assistance for purchase and use
  • Equipment for rafting

Price does not include:

  • Airfare tickets
  • Personal hiking equipment
  • Medical examination before departure
  • Travel Insurance
  • Rescue costs
  • Personal expenses (drinks, etc.)

Reservations:

Secure your participation in the trip by providing a deposit of €180. This is non-refundable. The remaining €400 must be paid at least 14 days before departure.

Payments:

All payments can be settled in euro with a bank deposit at the following Bank of Cyprus account:

One Step Further Ltd

IBAN: CY33 0020 0111 0000 0011 0259 9300

Swift BIC: BCYPCY2N

Alternatively, you can pay the deposit with a credit card (VISA, Mastercard, AMEX). All payments can be made in cash or cheque.

Terms and conditions

  • Proposed activities are but physically demanding. Adults over 18 years old who are in good physical condition, with determination and serious attitude towards outdoor activities can participate. Children aged at least 12 can participate if accompanied by their parents. Instructions by group leader and instructors must be followed strictly.
  • Departure times will be strictly followed in order to ensure the smooth execution of the program.
  • All participants must sign a personal registration form where they will be asked to list any health problems, so that organizers are aware.
  • In the case of bad weather conditions that will prevent participation in a programmed activity, the program will be altered accordingly. This will happen only in the case of severe bad weather conditions that will create safety issues. For example, if there is only light rainfall, activities will take place as planned.
  • An equipment list will be provided, followed by an explanatory presentation of the equipment list in time for participants to prepare accordingly.
  • One cannot participate in part of the trip.

Cancellation policy:

  • The deposit is non refundable, in case of a cancellation 30 days later.
  • In case of cancellation 30 days later and up to 10 days before the departure date, you will be charged 50% of the whole amount.
  • In case of cancellation 10 days later and up to 0 days before the departure date, you will be charged with the whole amount (100%).
  • In case of no show the whole amount will be charged (100%).

How to reserve:

If you wish to join the team, contact us for more details.

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