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Pindus National Park

North Pindus

The Pindus National Park or Valia Calda is the largest in Greece and one of the most important in Europe. The 2000km2 offers a vast hiking playground ideal to isolate and explore this wild and remote area of Europe.

Valia Calda borders the Vikos-Aoos National Park, which was established in 1973. This park includes the Vikos gorge as well as part of the Tymfi mountain range and a series of traditionally preserved settlements. It has also been named “Forest of the high peaks”, due to the steep and high peaks of the area, with the highest being that of Gamila (2,497 m.) in Tymfi. The area includes an extremely rare and sensitive ecosystem.

From easy day hikes to multi-day treks, Pindus offers plenty of choices to discover the beauty of this unique nature. One of the most popular routes is the Pindus Panorama, which takes in some of the best sights in the park, including the staggering Vikos Gorge and the beautiful villages of Zagori. However, there are also plenty of shorter routes that pass by pristine, gushing springs, ancient monasteries, and 18th-century mule trails.

Tymfi guided hiking Greece Zagori Pindus trekking

North Pindus

The Pindus National Park or Valia Calda is the largest in Greece and one of the most important in Europe. The 2000km2 offers a vast hiking playground ideal to isolate and explore this wild and remote area of Europe.

Valia Calda borders the Vikos-Aoos National Park, which was established in 1973. This park includes the Vikos gorge as well as part of the Tymfi mountain range and a series of traditionally preserved settlements. It has also been named “Forest of the high peaks”, due to the steep and high peaks of the area, with the highest being that of Gamila (2,497 m.) in Tymfi. The area includes an extremely rare and sensitive ecosystem.

From easy day hikes to multi-day treks, Pindus offers plenty of choices to discover the beauty of this unique nature. One of the most popular routes is the Pindus Panorama, which takes in some of the best sights in the park, including the staggering Vikos Gorge and the beautiful villages of Zagori. However, there are also plenty of shorter routes that pass by pristine, gushing springs, ancient monasteries, and 18th-century mule trails.

Vikos Gorge

This is the highlight of Pindus National Park being the deepest canyon in the world!

Hiking inside the steep sides of the gorge and through the dense forest offers a great experience for your bucket list. The gorge lies on the southern slopes of Mount Tymfi, and extends for 20km.

Tymfi guided hiking Greece Zagori Pindus trekking

Vikos Gorge

This is the highlight of Pindus National Park being the deepest canyon in the world!

Hiking inside the steep sides of the gorge and through the dense forest offers a great experience for your bucket list. The gorge lies on the southern slopes of Mount Tymfi, and extends for 20km.

Zagorochoria traditional villages and bridges

The traditional building with local stone make all of the 46 villages of Zagori beautifully and harmonically blend with the surrounding scene. Many of the old houses have been transformed to traditional guesthouses offering tranquille holidays away from mass tourism.

The villages connect by kalderimi, the traditionally made stone paths, and arched bridges, which span the rivers and gorges that wind their way through the park. Most of the bridges date from the Ottoman period (particularly the 18th and 19th centuries) and are named after wealthy local patrons and Ottoman commanders. They represent a considerable feat of architectural achievement, with graceful arches and impressive stonework.

Zagorochoria traditional villages and bridges

The traditional building with local stone make all of the 46 villages of Zagori beautifully and harmonically blend with the surrounding scene. Many of the old houses have been transformed to traditional guesthouses offering tranquille holidays away from mass tourism.

The villages connect by kalderimi, the traditionally made stone paths, and arched bridges, which span the rivers and gorges that wind their way through the park. Most of the bridges date from the Ottoman period (particularly the 18th and 19th centuries) and are named after wealthy local patrons and Ottoman commanders. They represent a considerable feat of architectural achievement, with graceful arches and impressive stonework.

Vegitation and fauna

Pindus being isolated and with low number of tourists makes it an untouched ecosystem with large biodiversity for nature lovers to explore. The serpentine soil, which is dominant in the area favors the growing of rare endemic plant species

You’ll find many types of lilies, daffodils, and tulips, in addition to rare and beautiful orchids. Endangered snowbells and irises can be found alongside the hiking singletrack, and in autumn, you’ll have the chance to spot plenty of weird and wonderful mushrooms.

The European black pine and beech dominates at altitudes of 1000 to 1600m, creating a fragrant, magical atmosphere as you walk along the shady paths through the gorges.

Pindus National Park is also an important habitat for several endangered types of mammals and birds. The most important is the Eurasian brown bear, the region itself ia also called “bear park”. Wolves, wild cats, otters, deer and wild boar can all be found throughout the park, although you’ll need to keep a low profile if you hope to spot them!

You may also catch a glimpse of a golden eagle or an Egyptian vulture, circling high above the valleys in search of a quick meal. Other birds of prey include ospreys and hawks and you may also see (or hear) woodpeckers. With lots of endemic species of amphibians and fish, wildlife lovers will have a wonderful time exploring this natural heaven.

Pindus Zagorochoria Tymfi Dragonlake guide hiking Greece trekking

Vegitation and fauna

Pindus being isolated and with low number of tourists makes it an untouched ecosystem with large biodiversity for nature lovers to explore. The serpentine soil, which is dominant in the area favors the growing of rare endemic plant species

You’ll find many types of lilies, daffodils, and tulips, in addition to rare and beautiful orchids. Endangered snowbells and irises can be found alongside the hiking singletrack, and in autumn, you’ll have the chance to spot plenty of weird and wonderful mushrooms.

The European black pine and beech dominates at altitudes of 1000 to 1600m, creating a fragrant, magical atmosphere as you walk along the shady paths through the gorges.

Pindus National Park is also an important habitat for several endangered types of mammals and birds. The most important is the Eurasian brown bear, the region itself ia also called “bear park”. Wolves, wild cats, otters, deer and wild boar can all be found throughout the park, although you’ll need to keep a low profile if you hope to spot them!

You may also catch a glimpse of a golden eagle or an Egyptian vulture, circling high above the valleys in search of a quick meal. Other birds of prey include ospreys and hawks and you may also see (or hear) woodpeckers. With lots of endemic species of amphibians and fish, wildlife lovers will have a wonderful time exploring this natural heaven.

Culture and Heritage

The villages of the Zagorochoria carry a rich history, and a unique and fascinating local culture has developed here over the centuries. Under Ottoman rule, the region had a semi-autonomous status and became an important center for trade, textiles and folk medicine.

Today, local residents are proud of their distinctive culture, which is characterized by certain types of dress, folk songs and music. They are very friendly and ready to welcome you to this beautiful part of Greece.

Culture and Heritage

The villages of the Zagorochoria carry a rich history, and a unique and fascinating local culture has developed here over the centuries. Under Ottoman rule, the region had a semi-autonomous status and became an important center for trade, textiles and folk medicine.

Today, local residents are proud of their distinctive culture, which is characterized by certain types of dress, folk songs and music. They are very friendly and ready to welcome you to this beautiful part of Greece.