|Location:||Between the villages Monodéndri and Vikos, Zagoria. About 30 km north of Ioannina.|
|Open:||No restrictions. But path is not usable during winter with high water.|
|Classification:||Losing stream, karst spring.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The mountain area northg of Ioannina is called Zagória. Some valleys with 46 small villages, a national park and a famous gorge are a sort of hidden treasure. Toursitic development already started, several villages have hotels and rooms to rent, but still the amount of tourists is rather low and the few which are coming, enjoy hiking in this remote area.
Many of the villages have houses built of natural stone, slate or marl. Monodéndri is famous for its feudal houses and the nice market place. From here, a walk down through the 10 km long Vikos Gorge starts. This gorge with 600 m high walls is said to be the deepest gorge on Earth.
A special feature, the reason why it is listed on this site, is the Voidomatis river, a loosing stream. In the northern part of the gorge the whole water peters out during summer. The last remaining ponds are full of water snakes feeding on the fish. And along the path you can see sun bathing snakes too. It is definitely a good idea to be carefull, and if you were bitten, try to remember the type of snake and visit a local physician. However, most of the snakes in this area are not poisonous.
The lost stream reappears two hours down the trail, in some karst springs. From here the stream flows to the northwest and through Albania into the Mediterranean Sea.
The walk is much recommended, but you should prepare well. Take enough water with you (2 liters per person is a good guess), wear good shoes and probably long trousers, because of the snake. Wear a hat and beware of the snakes.
Most people do the walk downhill, from Monodéndri to Vikos. A good idea is, to send someone to Vikos with a car, to pick up the wanderers.