Zagori is a region in the Pindos mountain range, Epirus, northwest Greece, 30 kilometers from the city of Ioannina. It has an area of 1,053 sq. Km and includes Mount Mitsikeli (1,810 m), the Aoos River, Mount Tymphi with the smallest peak of Gamila at 2,500 m. In the area there are 46 stories of special architectural interest.
Zagori is an area of great natural beauty, with impressive geology and geomorphology. In October 2010, it was designated as Geopark of Vikos – Aoos and joined the European Geopark Network of UNESCO. It includes two national forests, one of which includes the Aoos River and the Vikos Gorge, and another area around Valia Calda, east of the imposing snow-covered Typhis.
The Gorge of Vikos-Aoos National Park, Vikos Gorge is the largest and most picturesque of the gorges of Zagori. The gorge is water-like and stretches over a length of 12 kilometers and is recorded in the Guinness Book as the gorge with the smallest opening in the world, with a depth of more than 1,000 meters is the deepest gorge of the planet.
There are about 2,100 plant species in the area. Also, the herbs with medicinal properties of the National Park, which the famous Victorians (wandering practical therapists) used to treat any pain, are also very popular. 60 mammalian species. 180 species of birds 14 species of amphibians (including the exceptionally rare alpine third – Triturus alpestris – in Drakolimni), 17 species of fish, 30 species of reptiles.
The particular soil morphology, the climate with frequent rainfall and snowfall, as well as the many rushing streams and rivers, required the construction of galactic and stone arched bridges, thus serving the communication between the settlements. All of them were built during the 18th and 19th centuries with the financing of wealthy residents or Turkish commanders, who also gave their name to the bridge.
Today, about 60 stone bridges are preserved in the whole area of North Pindos, which depending on the width of the river is mostly monotocks, ditoxas or tridots. From the village of Vitsa, the staircase of Vitsa begins with the entrance to the Vikos creek . In the heart of the Gorge there is the two-axle bridge of Misiou.
Zagorochoria is a network of 46 villages on the slopes of the Pindos mountain range, about 40 km north of Ioannina. The area, most of which was declared a National Park in 1973, is sourranded by the mountains Timfi, Smolikas, Vasilitsa and Mitsikeli, the peaks of which rise from 1,800 meters to 2.600 meters. The word Zagori means “behind the mountains” Its one of the many names of Epirus. The Zagori region has one of the richest ecosystems in Greece and hosts the second canyon ih the word. The wonderful atmosphere of the landscape and the traditional architecture is still maintained in most villages and the local cuisine asa well as various activities such as hiking and rafting attracks visitors from all over the word. Forested and bare mountains, cliffs and gorges, alpine altitutes lakes, rare vegetarion. The area shelters endanghered and elaborate traditional houses, mansions, churches, monasteries, fountains, water mills, bridges charactarizing the natural and human environment which has made Zagorochoria an ideal place to visit for natural lovers, walkers, and lovers of mountains adventure, at any time of year.