We woke up (having slept beautifully in pitch black room!) to glorious sunshine. Wonderful! We made our way over to the breakfast room, and were greeted nicely by the owner. We then helped ourselves to the most amazing breakfast buffet of all things Greek – cakes, fruits and yogurt, it was magnificent.
We had a little chat with the owner about the area, and she provided us with a nice local map of the sights. As it was such a great day for hiking, we decided it would be great fun to check out the Vikos gorge, and walk down to the valley today.
We started by driving over to the next village, Monodendri where Convent of Agia Paraskevi was located. A really pretty, stone built monastery perched atop the gorge, offering us some incredible panoramic views of the start of the gorge. We pottered around for a while, checking out the very old chapel and walking out over the ledges to take in the views.
From here, we jumped back into Emanuel for a short, winding drive over to Oxya Viewpoint – which offers some incredible views of the canyon. We parked at the end of the road, and walked a few meters towards the viewpoint. Vikos gorge is officially the ‘deepest gorge in the world’ – and standing at this amazing viewpoint, you could take in the sheer size of this place.
We spent a little bit of time here, just taking in the epic views, and had a quick photo-shoot as the sun was shining quite nicely.
From here, we drove over to the village of Vikos, where one of the walks down into the gorge starts. We parked Emanuel, and ventured down into the depths of the canyon.
The walk itself really didn’t take too long going down. The views were just incredible, so I was stopping every 2 minutes to take a few photos – I would confidently say that Vikos gorge is one of the prettiest places I’ve been to so far. Just an amazing views for the whole walk down. Once we got to the bottom, we were greeted by the Voidomatis River, and it’s crystal clear waters – I was once told that this river is the cleanest in Europe, and I could totally believe it – I’ve not seen anything like it.
We spent a good hour or so down on the banks, just relaxing and petting the friendly stray-looking dog that was relaxing there as well. There wasn’t many people here either, so there was a very nice calm feeling. Gina, of course, wanted to go into the water, so off she went when I was down exploring the river banks. She pressured me to take a dip into the icy cold water, and I really did want to [note from Gina: he *really* didn’t! had to be shamed into it.] as I couldn’t give up the chance to dip into the cleanest waters in Europe. I can tell you now, the waters were freezing, but very enjoyable. I went in twice.
We headed back up the trail towards Vikos village, where we grabbed some ice cream, and walked around the local shops.
We then decided to drive over to Papingo to see the end of the gorge, and to get some dinner. The road was long and windy, with some sheep coming down, but Papingo offered some more great views of the gorge for us.
We grabbed dinner at a restaurant called Pantheon – where there was a massive sleeping dog, and an outside terrace for us to enjoy. We filled up on some pie, before retiring for the night at our lovely hotel room back in Dilofo.