Hiking Vikos Gorge

The Vikos Gorge. 

To start, we traveled to the small village of Arista in Northern Greece near the Albanian border. The Town of Arista is located in the Zagori municipal district in or near the National Park of Vikos.  Although Arden and I did not get a chance to hike the gorge our dear frineds Lou and John did (we went biking)

We stayed in the Arista Mountain Resort and is was special due to the fine qualities and amenities of the hotel: indoor pool, sauna, reading rooms and quality or rooms as well as fine dinning in a beautiful setting near the small village as well as  the many activities provided. The hotel is designated by National Geographic as a “Unique Lodge of the World”. The hotel below 

It has an indoor pool and sauna and a nice restaurant (see section on Arista for more hotel information) fine dinning on the patio with John and Lou and John and Lou are ones that hiked the Vikos Gorge from our hotel 

This was an active vacation in which we went: biking, hiking, river rafting, fly fishing and horseback riding and John and Lou our dear friends hiked the Vikos Gorge from this great hotel.  The hotel made all the arrangements for us. You can see the entrance to the gorge from our hotel below

Both shots are going to the Vikos gorge from our hotel and Lou and John one day hiked up to the entrance and then hiked in 

 

The area is filled with alpine meadows, huge mountains, forests, rivers and wildlife (there is a unique goat like mammal that lives there and is a special local attraction and it is called the Chamois)

The area encompasses about 32,000 acres. 

It is an amazing hike as told by them and The gorge is found in the Vikos National Park in the Northern Part of Greece and we could see it from our hotel. Lou hiking below

The gorge collects the waters of a number of small rivers and leads them into the Voidomatis River which forms in the gorge.

 

Vikos National park it is in almost virgin condition, it is a haven for endangered species and contains many and varied ecosystems.  The Vikos Gorge, is about 12 miles long with walls that range from 390–1,600 ft deep, and a their width ranges from 1,312 ft to just a yard or so at its narrowest part.

It is one of the deepest canyons in the world in proportion to its width and the main part of the gorge stretches from the village of Vikos (near the Arista Mountain Resort near our hotel)  to Monodendria.  Steep slopes and precipitous rocky cliffs dominate in the middle and higher zones.

 Along the way near the bottom John and Lou came upon a small church and took some photos inside

The gorge, with a northwest-southeast direction, has been carved over millions of years by the Voidomatis River and this is the river we rafted on as well. 

The Voidomatis is mostly seasonal, with year-round flow occurring only in the lower part of the gorge and again we rafted and it was great fun and Vikos Gorge is must.  

Other hikes we did on the trip follow here below

2. From the Hotel of Arista we also hiked in Vikos National park through the stone bridges.  The typical hike was a day hike of about 3-4 hours and it was hiking on beautiful trials with incredible scenery.  While In Arista we hiked in the Vikos national park using both Bikewise and Hellas companies and both were great.

The start of a great day

getting into the wilderness by crossing stone bridges

hiking through dry river beds

and crossing over small rivers again on stone bridges

for lunch we would stop in some of the small villages along the way

and sipped the local alcohol

our guides provided exception lunches

one day we hiked to a secret waterfalls

and we hiked to a historical village that our guides father lived in way back in the 1920’s

now a historical site. then we hiked home

Some of the gorges we hiked through or up to


Above you can see the trails going up the mountain and this was used by herders for centuries and even recently and was the only way to connect town to town 

Hikes on Syros

3. From here we traveled by boat to Syros to hike. It is  a magnificent island with few tourists. Syros is a Greek Island in the Aegean Sea located about 90 miles south of Athens. The island is about 35 square miles with only about 20,000 inhabitants. We were close to the town of Poseidon and that was great as there were few people here and we had the mansion to ourselves and a few homes had their own private helipad – nice. This is where our dear friend Alexandria and she rented a mansion on a hill over looking the village below.

Not bad to say the least

It was here we met our group of high school and college buddies to party and hike

Upon arrival onto Syros we hiked almost everyday.  One  hike started us from a trail head from a deserted home

This was a 4 mile hike out and back

 

We ended at a cliff.  I climbed partway down the cliff to get this photo of the group above . 

3. Hike from Deserted beach

Another day (Hike number 3) we took a boat to a deserted beach and hiked to the summit on a 4 mile trek and view was stunning. On the way up below 


Hike number (3)  at the summit and view from the top= wow is all I can say what a hike

We concluded with an incredible sunset


Hike to Lighthouse

4. Another day hike we hiked to the lighthouse . The ladies getting pumped

Starting out being led by Alexandria

At the lighthouse party up 

Hike to Cross behind home 

Another hike Our first hike was directly behind our home which took us to a cross on the top of the mountain. Leaving the home below on way to summit with cross

at the summit looking aver the village below

 

Various shots from different days below 

 

 

 

We used both companies for hiking: Hellas Trekking and Bikewise and they both did a great job and Bikewise was incredible with their “E” bikes service and guides with various shots

Various shots along the way