Vikos–Aoös National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Epirus: Easy Rafting Experience on the Voidomatis River

1. Epirus: Easy Rafting Experience on the Voidomatis River

Drive to the rafting base in Klidonia, on the main road from Aristi village to Papingo village. There the rafting team will welcome at 10:30 AM and provide you with the necessary safety equipment. When ready, a minibus will transfer you to the starting location, the bridge of Aristi-Papigo. During the transfer you will have impressive views of Mt. Tymphi, Astraka towers and Papigo villages. A safety briefing will follow, some river practice and off you go! During the descent, the group will stop for an optional refreshing dive in Voidomati’s crystal clear waters and visit the deserted 16th-century Agioi Anargyroi monastery. On the final stage of the trip, the boat groups paddle under Klidonia’s stone bridge artificial waterfalls. The descent finishes shortly after Klidonia’s bridge just outside the rafting base. One thing is certain; by the time you reach the end, at approximately 1:30 PM, you’ll wish you could start all over again!

Voidomatis River Rafting Adventure

2. Voidomatis River Rafting Adventure

We start our 2-hour descent at the Aristi Bridge after we get ourselves fully equipped with specialized rafting equipment. No previous rafting experience needed, the river being Class II. We slide and wade through some of the clearest (and coldest) waters in Europe, through pristine nature shone by Oriental plane trees in a place seeped in history. It was the place of a late Ice Age (actually 17.500-9.500 years ago) where hunters’ settlement that dominated the area, the seat of various monasteries and the site of a murder that plunged the area in a deadly blood feud that lasted for years and destroyed a prosperous village in the process. At the end of the ride we pass below the stone Klidonia bridge (last rebuilt in 1853) and then hop over an artificial dam that creates an exciting rapid. Alpine Zone staff will be waiting for you at the Alpine Zone base, offering traditional syrup sweets, water and washing room/changing room facilities.

Zagori: Vikos Gorge full-day guided hike

3. Zagori: Vikos Gorge full-day guided hike

Vikos gorge is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Greece. The gorge consists of limestone and dolomite formations dating back to 150 million years ago and vertical walls extending up to a height of 1700 m. The hike starts from Monodendri village with a 45-minute descent towards the river bed. The trail is ascending and descending surrounded by steep mountain tops and dense forests of deciduous trees and 1800 plant species. Before ascending to Vikos village, visit the Voidomati Springs, Greece's cleanest and coldest river, with an average all year temperature of 8.5°C. If you are brave you might want to try the experience of a very refreshing dive in the crystal clear waters during summer months. The hike finishes at Vikos village, after a 1-hour ascent from the Voidomatis springs.

Vikos Gorge Beloi Viewpoint 3-Hour Hike

4. Vikos Gorge Beloi Viewpoint 3-Hour Hike

Enjoy a light 3-hour hike with a trek leader from the Chapel of Profitis Ilias to the Beloi viewpoint in the Pindus Mountains, offering breathtaking panoramas of the limestone and dolomite rocks and virgin vegetation. Visitors to the Zagori area will often hear about Vradeto, the highest village in the region. But there is more to see than a mountain village. A stunning ride through varied landscapes leads to this small, picturesque place, from where you’ll start your hike of about 3.6 miles (6 kilometers). Suitable for the entire family, this is one of the easiest hiking routes in the Pindus Mountains, home to the world’s deepest gorge. After you’ve taken in views of the entire length of the Vikos Gorge, return to Vradeto for a short coffee break at the traditional kafenion (café), where you can see a photo exhibition. Next, you will walk the famous Vradeto rocksteps, a traditional stone-made path that used to connect Vradeto with the rest of the region’s settlements. End your tour close to the village of Kapesovo, where a transfer will be waiting to take you back to the meeting point.

Vikos Gorge Full-Day Guided Hike

5. Vikos Gorge Full-Day Guided Hike

Experience the varied terrain and vistas of the Vikos Gorge in the Pindus Mountains and see untouched and untamed nature. Vikos Gorge is listed as the deepest gorge in the world by the Guinness Book of Records, and is famous for its unique natural beauty and crystal-clear waters. The full-day hike starts from the village of Monodendri on the southern rim of the gorge. It's a restored stone village of walled courtyards with fortress-like gates. Follow a signposted path near the open-air theater at the top of the trail, from where the path drops steeply to the Voidomatis River. Walk the course of the river through the shade, with sparkling water as your companion. After about 4 hours, you will reach the Voidomatis River springs. Continue through the woods for a while, hiking uphill to exit at Vikos village. The tour covers a distance of about 7.5 miles (12.6 kilometers), passing towering rocks and virgin vegetation. Upon arrival at Vikos, a transfer will be waiting to take you back to Monodendri.

Kipoi: Zagori Villages and Bridges Hike

6. Kipoi: Zagori Villages and Bridges Hike

Meet in the center of Kipoi village and set off on the hiking trail with your guide. Discover a vast network of ancient footpaths of the Zagori region, which were built to connect its 46 villages in previous centuries. Cross several impressive stone bridges of the area, built in the 17th-18th century and which are usually known by the name of the benefactor who paid for their construction. Arrive at the picturesque village of Koukouli. Visit a small museum with a selection of specimens of rare flora from the Vikos gorge. Discover rare plant collections that grow on the canyon’s rocks and learn about the ‘Doctors of Vikos’. Next, walk back towards the village of Kipoi, following the very old stone path of Koukouli, also known as the ‘Koukouli Steps’. Finish the hike back in the center of the village.

Vikos Gorge Aristi to Klidonia Bridge 3-Hour Hike

7. Vikos Gorge Aristi to Klidonia Bridge 3-Hour Hike

This 3-hour walk covers the last, but no less impressive, part of Vikos Gorge, hiking through the shade of trees and alongside the crystal clear waters of the Aoos and Voidomatis Rivers. Aoos River snakes for 154 miles (257 kilometers) through Greece and Albania, but it’s the springs in the Pindus Mountains that form the backdrop to this adventure, where the impressive canyons are breathtaking. Walk from Aristi Bridge, close to the picturesque village of Aristi, following the banks of the Voidomatis River through shaded woods. Continue downstream, enjoying the amazing views of the little gorge formed by the flowing water. See the small stone church of Agioi Anargioi, and look out for rare wild birds and flowers. You will trek just over 4 miles (7 kilometers) to Klidonia Bridge, where you can have lunch in the local trout restaurant, or even swim in the ice-cold waters of the river! Transfers back to Aristi Bridge will be available.

Tandem flight with paramotor from above ioannina zagori

8. Tandem flight with paramotor from above ioannina zagori

Paratriking is an activity aimed at all ages, all people, even people with mobility difficulties, since it is completely safe and no experience is required from them . The equipment needed by each passenger is given by the pilot/instructor. The activity is called paratriking as it involves a three-wheeled vehicle with two comfortable seats for both the passenger and the pilot to have an enjoyable flight. Both wear helmets with intercoms to talk during. With the trike's powerful engine and the right parachute, it only takes a minute to get up in the air and admire the view of the snow-capped mountains while feeling the sun and clouds on your skin. It is definitely a liberating experience that everyone deserves to experience!!

From Monodendri: Vikos Gorge Trekking with River Swimming

9. From Monodendri: Vikos Gorge Trekking with River Swimming

Vikos gorge is the deepest canyon in the world. The Vikos Gorge, with a length of 20 km, walls that range from 120–490 m deep, and a width ranging from 400 m to just a few meters at its narrowest part, is listed by the Guinness Book of records. The Vikos Gorge has been designated as a world geopark by UNESCO. Most of the route has no elevation differences except for the start (downhill) and the end of it (uphill). In the middle of the trail visitors may refill their canteens from a spring. At the end of the trail a tour of the nearby Voidomatis springs and the monastery of Panagia will be provided. Visitors also have the chance to swim in Voidomatis cold blue waters and drink water from the springs. Trekking time is about 6 – 8 hours. Difficulty level: moderate. Equipment needed: mountain sports shoes or hiking boots, waterproof jacket.

Zagori: 7-Day Self-Guided Tour with Transfers

10. Zagori: 7-Day Self-Guided Tour with Transfers

Day 1: Ioannina – Kipi Village Depart from Ioannina and head to Kipi Village. At Kipi Village, you’ll enjoy dinner and an overnight stay. Day 2: Vradeto – Beloi – Vradeto Rocksteps – Koukouli – Kipi Depart for Vradeto Village in the morning. Hike from Vradeto village to the Beloi viewing point. Take in the views of Vikos Gorge before heading to the famous rock steps of Vradeto. Cross the Kontodimou Bridge and return to Kipi Village for dinner and an overnight stay. Day 3: Kipi – Monodendri Begin the day on the same trail as yesterday. Follow the path from Koukouli Village and head uphill to Vitsa. Enjoy some free time to relax and explore the village. Next, head to Monodendri, where you’ll spend the night. Day 4: Monodendri – Vikos Gorge – Vikos – Aristi Start your day with an early morning descent into Vikos Gorge. Follow the river for approximately 4-hours to Voidomatis River Springs. Continue uphill to Vikos Village, where you’ll be picked up and transferred to Aristi Village. Spend the night at Aristi Village. Day 5: Aristi – Mikro Papigo Be transferred back to Vikos Village in the morning. Begin your hike at the gorge and head uphill to Papingo. Admire the views of the surrounding Papigo Towers. After approximately 2-hours, you’ll arrive at Mikro Papigo, where you’ll spend the night. In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to walk to the natural swimming pools between Mikro and Megalo Papigo. Day 6: Mikro Papigo – Dragon Lake – Astraka refuge From Mikro, follow a trail towards Astraka mountain hut. Enjoy a short break for lunch before heading to Dragon Lake. Visit Dragon Lake, located in the Timfi range, it stands at an altitude of 2050 meters. Hike to Astraka refuge, where you’ll spend the night. Day 7: Mikro Papingo – Ioannina Return to Mikro Papigo, where you’ll be transferred back to the city of Ioannina.

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What people are saying about Vikos–Aoös National Park

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 42 reviews

The tour through the gorge was very impressive and Nikos was a great guide. We needed a total of 6 hours including several small breaks. The hike initially goes downhill into the gorge, then through the gorge (flat parts and partly slight hills) and finally out of the gorge via a stepped path. Niko's wife picked us up punctually upon arrival and drove us back to Monodendri. Most of the hike was shaded and on the climb up at the end we were lucky that it was a bit overcast so it wasn't too hot. Nikos shared a lot of knowledge about the environment, plants and animals with us and was always careful that we crossed the paths safely. Highly Recommended!

very cool experience... not rafting for seasoned rafters but with kids aged 11 and 13 this was a cool first experience. Kostas was a good guide who took the time to give some explanation about the area

Great rafting with great instructors! Christos guide us also for our next places to visit and it’s worth it! Although the rafting was calm, the place was marvelous and with icy water.

Very courteous and a very detailed and interesting tour. I would take Nikos again.

המדריך היה מצויין ומקצוען. כל תהליך השייט החל מרישום ועד סיומו היה מושלם