Zagorohoria in detail


Most of the Zagorohoria's attractions are purely natural: the great gorge, which looks more wondrous at every viewpoint, and the seemingly endless mountain ranges. But the region's relative wealth has supported human-built wonders as well, such as numerous stone bridges and staircases.

Feature: Explore the Zagorohoria

From Papingo in the west to Leptokarya in the east, all of the Zagorohoria are scenic, but each village has a slightly different character. The most visited, with the most services, are on the region's western side, around the Vikos Gorge.

In the relative lowlands, romantic Dilofo has a handful of inhabitants and an uncanny quiet; it's close enough to Ioannina that you could easily day-trip to the city. Very near the gorge's edge, Monodendri is a hub on hiking routes and draws the most road-trippers; nearby Vitsa is a calmer alternative. Over a ridge from the gorge, Elafotopos, Kato Pedina and Ano Pedina are less visited, and set in what feels like their own private valley. Active travellers flock to Aristi for rafting. Many visit Megalo Papingo and its tinier sibling, Mikro Papingo, at the end of the road, for an overnight hike to pristine glacial Drakolimni (Dragon Lake) on Tymfi Massif. Papingo also has the most guesthouses and restaurants.

East of the gorge, Kipi, split by a wide road, is less scenic, but good hikes start from here, and it's a short drive from Ioannina. Tiny Kapesovo is the starting point for several good day hikes, including the landmark Vradeto Steps. Tsepelovo is the largest village, with a year-round population of approximately 250; from here there's another approach to the Tymfi Drakolimni.

The eastern Zagori villages, many damaged in WWII, are far less populated, with few services. But if you like mountain driving, pack a paper map (phone service is weak) and head for lost-in-time villages like Dipotamos.