Vikos-Aoos Overview

Vikos-Aoos National Park, situated in the rugged and mountainous region of Epirus in northwestern Greece, is a spectacular showcase of natural beauty and geological wonder. Established in 1973, the park spans an area of approximately 126 square kilometers (about 49 square miles) and is named after its two major gorges: Vikos and Aoos. These gorges, along with the surrounding Pindus Mountains, form the core of one of Greece’s most pristine and ecologically diverse areas, offering breathtaking landscapes that attract nature lovers, hikers, and adventurers from around the world.

The Vikos Gorge, often cited as one of the deepest in the world in proportion to its width, boasts sheer cliffs and deep voids carved by the Voidomatis River, creating a dramatic and imposing landscape. The Aoos Gorge, carved by the Aoos River, is equally majestic, with its rugged terrain and lush vegetation. The park’s diverse ecosystems are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species such as the brown bear, wolf, and Balkan chamois, making it an important area for biodiversity conservation.

Vikos-Aoos National Park is also renowned for its unique geological features, including limestone and dolomite formations that give rise to a complex network of caves, springs, and underground rivers. The park’s rich biodiversity is complemented by a variety of plant species, some of which are endemic to the area, thriving in the park’s microclimates.

For visitors, the park offers a wealth of activities, from trekking along well-marked trails that traverse the gorges and exploring traditional stone villages like Papigo and Monodendri, to rafting on the Aoos River. The park’s dramatic scenery and untouched natural environment provide an unparalleled outdoor experience, blending adventure with the tranquility of unspoiled wilderness.

Vikos-Aoos National Park stands as a testament to Greece’s natural heritage, preserving the beauty and ecological importance of the Pindus Mountain range for future generations to explore and enjoy.

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Park Map
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Vikos-Aoos National Park Pictures

Vikos-Aoos National Park Trails

Vikos Gorge Trail

Rating: Moderate to Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 12 miles (20 km) one way, 2,600 feet (800 meters)

Description: This iconic trail traverses the Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest in the world.

Hikers start from Monodendri and finish in Vikos, moving through diverse ecosystems, alongside streams, and under towering cliffs.

The path offers breathtaking views of the gorge’s limestone walls and a chance to discover rare herbs and wildflowers.

Aoos Springs Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 5 miles (8 km) round trip, 1,300 feet (400 meters)

Description: Beginning near Konitsa, this trail follows the Aoos River to its springs.

Hikers can enjoy lush landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and the serene atmosphere of the river valley.

It’s an excellent route for spotting local wildlife and enjoying the tranquility of the park’s northern reaches.

Monodendri to Oxia Viewpoint

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 1 mile (1.6 km) round trip, minimal elevation gain

Description: A short and accessible trail that leads from the village of Monodendri to the Oxia viewpoint, offering stunning panoramic views of the Vikos Gorge.

The path is well-maintained, making it suitable for families and visitors of all ages looking for a quick but memorable experience of the park’s natural beauty.

Dragon Lake (Drakolimni) of Tymfi

Rating: Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 10 miles (16 km) round trip, 3,280 feet (1,000 meters)

Description: This challenging hike takes adventurers to the alpine Dragon Lake, nestled atop the Tymfi mountain range.

The trail, starting from Mikro Papingo, climbs through forests and alpine meadows, offering spectacular views before reaching the mythical lake.

It’s a haven for endemic species and offers unmatched vistas of the Pindus Mountains.

Vradeto Stairs and Beloi Viewpoint

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 4 miles (6.4 km) round trip, 800 feet (244 meters)

Description: This historic trail connects the villages of Vradeto and Kapesovo via the Vradeto Stairs, a stone path built in the 16th century.

The hike includes a detour to the Beloi Viewpoint, which offers one of the most impressive vistas of the Vikos Gorge.

This path provides a unique blend of cultural history and natural beauty.

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  • Naturally Zagori, Vikos-Aoos National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • UNESCO, Vikos-Aoos UNESCO Global Geopark,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Vikos Aoos Geopark, Park Site,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Visit Greece, Vikos Aoos National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Wikipedia, Vikos Gorge,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Wonder Greece, Aoos Gorge,, retrieved April 2024.