Vikos Gorge

Top choice canyon in Zagorohoria

The Voïdomatis River, a tributary of the Aoös, carved the 12km-long, 900m-deep Vikos Gorge over millions of years, leaving stark cliffs and yawning depths. According to Guinness, it’s the world’s deepest canyon in proportion to its width. It begins south of Monodendri, running north until the Papingo villages. Trail maps and signs for hikes can be found in most major villages. Check routes and get guidance on hikes suitable for your experience level at EOS in Ioannina.

From Monodendri, you can survey the gorge from Moni Agia Paraskevi. A steep, marked path into the gorge begins a challenging four-hour walk; at canyon's end a right-hand trail leads to Mikro Papingo (2½ hours). Megalo Papingo is a further 2km west, but the track splits at the hike's base. The only water is at Klima Spring, halfway along the gorge.

Oxya Lookout, 5km beyond Monodendri on a dirt road, has fantastic gorge views, as does Beloi Lookout opposite. To get there, drive 9km along a winding road from Kapesovo to Vradeto, and hike 1.5km along a marked trail after the dirt road (it's a bumpy drive). Vradeto is set along striated limestone cliffs. For the Beloi Lookout, climb the rock stairway, Skala Vradetou, signposted outside Tsepelovo, another relaxing base for hiking northern Zagorohoria sites such as the Drakolimni (Dragon Lake).

Check the weather forecast and kit yourself out with sturdy hiking boots and drinking water. Always let someone local (such as your guesthouse) know your departure time and planned route, so they can raise the alarm if necessary.