Leaving the city of Ioannina and driving to the north you will soon come up to the area known as Zagorohoria (or Zagoria).The area of Zagorohoria incorporates more or less 45 traditional villages. Most of the houses in Zagorohoria are built with stone and have colorful windows and doors.
In order to simplify our narration we will classify the Zagoria in two groups, i.e. the central and the northwestern villages. The central group incorporates the villages which we meet if we take the first road to the right after we pass the town of Kalpaki. Some of the most popular villages of the Central Zagori, are for example Elafotopos, Vitsa, Kipoi, Dilofo, Tsepelovo and Monodendri. The most popular villages of the northwestern group are Megalo Papingo, Mikro Papingo, Aristi and Vikos.
Typical in the area of Zagorohoria are the arched packhorse bridges which are among the most memorable skills of the local people. Two fine examples can be seen at either end of the village of Kipoi.
At Monodendri you may have a stunning view of the spectacular Vikos Gorge. This village is the most popular start for the walk through the gorge. The walk ends at the Vikos village and the walking time is about 8 hours. We suggest that you get in touch with agencies that can supply you with a guide. Remember that the weather in that area can change very rapidly, so it is better to have an experienced guide to accompany you though the gorge and generally to most long distanced walks.
It is said that having been in Zagorohoria without walking through the gorge, is like having been to the cinema and stayed in the foyer! To be honest we still have not managed to make this walk (nor many other exciting walks) but we intend to do so in the very close future.
The most beautiful area is according to our opinion the northwestern part of the Zagoria. Aristi is one of the most popular villages. From there you can take either the road to Vikos village or the road to Megalo Papingo. We suggest that you start your visit in Zagorohoria in the northwestern villages and stay in Aristi or Megalo Papingo. Spend a whole day to visit the villages in Central Zagori.
On another day you should make the walk through the Vikos gorge.
On the third day you should visit the Vikos village, Megalo Papingo and Mikro Papingo. You will soon realize that there is plenty to do, especially if you are a keen trekker.
The road from Aristi to Megalo Papingo is crossing the Voidomatis River. The scenery is beautiful especially in the spring. This is a popular start point for rafting and kayak activities.
The road up to Megalo Papingo is quite narrow and with many sharp curves.