Vikos Gorge

Vikos Gorge, Epirus: Address, Vikos Gorge Reviews: 5/5

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5.0
361 reviews
Excellent
315
Very good
40
Average
5
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Eli
Istanbul, Turkey406 contributions
Worth the out of the way drive to see the gorge and surrounding areas. Count on spending a day or two here, at least 4 to 6 hours. We were there in mid July where we were wonderfully refreshed by cooler days and even cooler evenings. The gorge is crisscrossed with small winding roads, and the drive to the pools
Written August 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Doc_Coq
Brussels, Belgium147 contributions
Stunning hikes and wonderful walks, all around the gorge.

The views are superb and all round, the local villages are friendly and the local restaurants great price to quality.

I would strongly recommend the walk down to the lakes at the bottom, not too steep and about 1.5 hrs round trip.
Otherwise, the hike along the Aristi bridge, which is 2+2 hours (out/return) is wonderful and steady walking, no steep trajectories.

Relax after in one of the nice restaurants in Aristi and stay at the fabulous Aristi Mountain lodge, which is just top notch
Written September 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

deangrant
Albury10 contributions
The Vikos Gorge is incredible. Words and Photo's don't do it justice. I have hiked all over the world and rate this in my top 3.
The part that lets it down is the Greek transport and organisation to allow you to easily get to the hike. I researched a lot before I left but couldn't find much information.
Here is what I did for those wanting to hike this and don't have their own car (even having your own car is difficult as you end up 45 mins drive from the start).
I wanted to hike the entire Vikos Gorge from Monodendri to Papingo and I was staying in Ioannina.
I took a bus at 6:15am to Monodendri from Ioannina main bus station (6euro and check times as they might change). It arrived at 7:10am and it was still pitch black dark. When i got off the bus there was a sign to vikos gorge down a footpath/road so I started walking. I then reached the square on Monodendri. From here you can either start the hike down to the gorge floor, or you can go to the Monestery which is 800m away. I chose to wait for the sunrise and walked in dawn to the monestery and sat and watched the sunrise come up over the valley which was one of the most amazing things i have seen.
I then walked back to the village square and then proceeded down the Vikos Gorge path. There are signs and it is signposted at the start. Its a steep decline with loose rocks and slippery so be careful. Once down the bottom you follow the path that is signposted "03" in red. Just keep following these all the way.
At the 5.5km mark, there is a fresh/drinking water fountain so fill up as this is the only one.
Along the way you walk along and next to the stream. you can detour in and out of the stream when you want a rest.
The gorge is roughly 9-10km long. So at about the 12km mark (from the start).
There is then a sign in greek (not english)- One way points towards the village of vikos, the other way towards the water pools.
Take the path to the water pools and the trail to papingo is further down the river bed on the other side.
Also take the time to walk along the river bed as there are amazing blue water pools and little waterfalls that are amazing.
From the stream/bottom of the gorge, you then start hiking up the other side. Its about 1.5 hours from this point to reach papingo.
The problem is when you reach papingo there is no transport (buses or taxi's) to take you back. I had to wait 2 hours and hitch hike when a lovely greek couple picked me up.
The bus to Papingo runs only on Tuesdays??? I have no idea how else you are suppose to get back to Ioannina without hitching or trying to organise before.
I used my gps tracker to calculate my total distance (17km) form the start of monodendri to papingo.
Hope this info helps.
The views along the way are incredible. The trial is so peaceful and the freshair makes you feel cured.

Written October 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amir R
Tel Aviv, Israel25 contributions
Friends
I hiked 3 days in the Vikos gorge area in June 2012.
the first day form Monodendry to Mikro Papingo, in side the Vikos gorge it was a beautiful 8 hour hike, we started at Monodendry bought a 1:50000 scale map and started our way down for about an hour into the gorge, it a 4 hour in side the gorge, most of the gorge is dry in June but there are a lot of pools you can swim in (bring a swimsuit) at the end of the gorge is the spring from which the zagori river starts, it a great place to stop and rest (the water is cold). from there its a 2 hour amazing views and 800 meters climb to Mikro Papingo. we stayed at the 1700 hotel i recommend.
on the second day we climb 3 hours to the Astraka refuge in the mountain pass, rested for an hour enjoyed the view. and hiked 1 hour to the frozen lake (which wasn't frozen in june) which was one of the best moments of the entire hike. the view is spectacular from the top of the hill above the lake. and walked back for an hour (in a flash hale storm (it was painful...)) and stayed the night at the lodge.
on the third day we hiked hours from the Astraka refuge to Tepelovo after getting a helpful brief from the mountain guide at the refuge (his tips and experience were very helpful). it was an amazing 10 hour hike all do navigation skills are required for this part, the path gets dodgy from time to time, we had to backtrack 2 times which made the hike 2 km longer but arrived safely at Tepelovo.
Written October 11, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dorianne G
Johannesburg, South Africa642 contributions
Couples
We have a rental car and it took about 2 hours each direction, but was worth it!
Beautiful scenery on the way there! Some crazy hairpin bend roads, goats, sheep,
cows and a tortoise in the road! So don’t drive too fast!
We drove to Vradeto first, to the Beloi viewpoint. On the way we passed 3 of the famous stone bridges.
Just after Kapesovo village, you take a left onto the road to Vradeto. Look out for the Vradeto Steps on the mountain side on your left, easily seen. There is a viewpoint here.
The Beloi viewpoint is about ?2km walk from the village, we managed it easily, but you should have moderate fitness and be sure footed. The reward at the end is worth it!! Fantastic views!
We also went to the Oxia Viewpoint via Monodendri, but it was not nearly as impressive in our opinion. It’s plus point though is the easy 100m walk from the parking.
In summary, if you enjoy walking, do Beloi viewpoint with the stairs and bridges on the way and give Oxia a miss.
Written May 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

387megann
Belleville11 contributions
Friends
My husband and I recently spent several days in Greece with two good friends of ours. As a part of our trip we wanted to hike the Vikos Gorge. We had heard that you could hike to the bottom on the gorge in Monodendri, follow the trail along the bottom of the gorge, and then hike back out of the gorge in Vikos. We tried very hard to find information about how long this hike would take so we would know if we could make it to Vikos and back in one day or not. Unfortunately, the responses we found online were so varied that we were not able to come to a solid conclusion. We decided to hike the gorge anyway.

In the end, the 12.7 mile trip took us 5 hours - one way. All four of us are adults in good physical condition. It was an excellent trail full of fantastic views. There were a couple of spots where loose rock required you to be a little extra cautious, but for the most part it was an easy trail that made for a very pleasant day hike. However, by the time we climbed back out of the gorge on the Vikos end (that part is quite strenuous) , we were very tired and the temperature had reached 95 degrees fahrenheit. Luckily, we had read on trip advisor that we might be able to ask a local for a ride back to Monodendri. Thankfully, this advice was correct. Vikos is a small town - I was told only 25-40 people actually live there. Kostas owns a small shop at the trail head in Vikos were he sells cold drinks, olive oil, herbs, and various other souvenirs. For 40 euros, he was willing to drive us the 25 kilometers back to Monodendri.

If you are not up for 5 hours one way (or possibly 10 hours round trip if you cannot find a ride), then you may want to consider day hiking from Vikos. The views were much better from that end of the gorge. You could start at Vikos, hike as far as you'd like, and then turn around and head back. I do recommend hiking, here, though - it really is a fantastic view of a part of Greece not everyone gets to see!
Written July 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Matyas L
Ekali, Greece807 contributions
Family
Forget Grand Canyon in CO. The Vikos Gorge is the broadest and deepest worldwide. At least as impressive, as the famous American, but certainly very much greener and surrounded by monasteries, small villages, rivers and past history.

There are three great view points: first Belkoi incl. a nice walk through the mountain with the most spectacular view. The other two are nearby each other, one from the monastery Agio Paraskevi (incl chapel from 14th century with ancient icons) and from Oxoi, after the village of Monodendri.

One of Europe' (if not the world's) great natural spectacles and be preapared for some great walking.
Written June 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sunnycy
Nicosia, Cyprus209 contributions
Couples
Apart from doing the various treks, there are four main viewpoints of the Vikos Gorge. The view of from these points is literally breath-taking, providing a unique opportunity to admire the beauty of the Epirus region.
1. Drive to Monodendri to either walk through the village to the little monastery (Ay. Paraskevi) from where there are good views (roughly 600m of a stone paved pathway, approximately 10-15 mins walk, moderately easy), or drive beyond the village to the Oxia lookout. The lookout is a 5 minute walk from a parking area and although the views are breath-taking, it is a dangerous and slippery path and not recommended for children.
2. Drive up to Vradeto and walk from there to Beloi lookout. If you have a 4x4 or a small car (we had a Hyundai i10) you can risk driving past the point where everyone else parks to the end of the path (sparing you quite a long walk!) and then walk for about 15-20 mins to Beloi lookout, following the red signs. You will reach a small balcony and then you realise that the trek is definitely worth it! The walk is not difficult.
3. Drive to Vikos village and follow the signs to the lookout. The views are impressive.

Whatever you do, equip yourselves with water and good maps and be wary of the weather.
Written March 27, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

johnnyinhiscar
84 contributions
I don't like to criticise others' opinions as they are what makes this website so useful, but all I will say that it you go to Vikos Gorge you are likely to be so stunned that you really won't fret about what you might have for a picnic.
I would rate Vikos in my top few sights I've seen so far worldwide. Indeed, the whole Zagori region is beautiful and unspoilt, with surprises around every corner, from the lovely old stone bridges to other deep gorges that have probably never been properly explored. Plus charming people and rustic accommodation. Yes, there are no supermarkets and little nightlife (or even day life!), but once these arrive you know the area will never be the same again.
If you go, make sure you see Vikos from both ends (or preferably walk all the way through it); from Monodendri and from Vikos village and, if you have transport, from the Oxia viewpoint.
Meteora is fantastic too but VERY touristy - even in May there were hoards of coaches from all over Europe.
Written September 9, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

IZK18
Tel Aviv, Israel31 contributions
Family
Our family (parents + 2 teen-aged children) hiked the Vikos Gorge from Monodendri to Vikos village. Took our time with numerous stops along the way, and completed the hike in 6 hours, vs. the "official" estimate of 4 hours (which is realistic with no stops). At this pace, this was not very strenuous and the final ascent, taken at a leisurely pace, was fine.

Hikers should note that you must turn left once once you get down to the gorge from Monodendri -- and that the left turn, shortly BEFORE you reach the river bed, is poorly marked; if you reached the river bed (as we did) retrace your steps up for 2-3 minuets and find the turn. Other than that, the trek runs consistently to the left of the river until you reach a clearly marked turn left up to Vikos village (or you could turn right for an additional trek of 2 hours to reach Papigo village).

The gorge is very impressive, and we kept admiring the view along the way, in between portions of walking in shaded wooded areas. Overall, a great experience, enjoyed by all in our family.
Written August 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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