Self Guided Hiking in Zagori Region

Vikos Gorge & Dragon Lake


Deep canyons, clear rivers, mountain lakes, stone bridges, monasteries & picturesque villages are only some of the highlights of this trekking tour through one of the most remote areas of Greece.

Activity code: GRSGV03

Difficulty: Moderate / Challenging. [Participants should be in good physical condition with some hiking experience.]

Duration: 5 Days

The villages of Zagori, in north west Greece, are extremely beautiful and are well-known for their cobbled paths and traditional villages, all constructed with local stone by the famous stone masons of Epirus, considered the finest in the country. Zagori is a part of the massive Pindos Mountain Range and is defined by Mitsikeli Mountain to the south west and the Aoos River to the east.

The Vikos Gorge is not only the deepest in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, but it also boasts the cleanest water in all of Europe. It is home to over 1800 different plant species.

One of the many rewards you will find on this tour is the overnight stay at the Astraka Mountain Refuge, located almost 2000 metres above sea level. The magnificent views and the Dragon Lake will remain etched in your memory for years to come.

This walking holiday is available as a self-guided private journey and is one of our most popular suggestions for an exploration of the remote Zagori region of Epirus in northern Greece. The Zagori region is simply beautiful and peaceful and a true taste of Greece "Off the Beaten Track"; you will experience the incredible Vikos Gorge, the Dragon Lake and the traditional villages and stone bridges. Overall this is a hiking lover's dream and has something for everyone.

Suggested equipment for your trekking holiday:

  • Bottle/flask of water (1 litre per day)
  • Rucksack
  • Walking poles
  • Sun protection & sunglasses
  • Bathing suit & towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof coat / windbreaker, comfortable clothing
  • Torch (Headlamp)

Extra Information

Services at the Mountain hostels include: bunk beds, pillows / pillow cases and blankets. There is also a restaurant, showers (only cold water) and toilets. Guests are welcome to carry their own bed linen / sheets and towels for personal usage.

  • Minimum 2 persons
  • Overnight Stay Tax: In January 2018 Greece introduced a new tourist tax of 0.50 to 4 Euros per room or apartment per night, which is payable locally - the amount varies according to the category of the accommodation (e.g. most self catering and 1-2 star hotels = 0.50 Euros,  5 star hotels = 4 Euros).

Why not extend your stay with a relaxing few days (or longer) on one or more of Greece's beautiful islands or on Greece's beautiful and varied mainland- please ask us for further information or suggestions!

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What's included on your hiking holiday ?

  • 3 nights accommodation on B&B basis
  • 1 night in Mountain Refuge (dorm).
  • Luggage transfer on day 2.
  • Airport transfers (Ioannina)
  • Hiking map of the area with our local guide's expert journey notes.
  • Most Local taxes **
  • Assistance during your trip if needed
  • Emergency phone no.


A member of our team will meet you in the city (or airport) of Ioannina. We will transfer you to the picturesque village of Monodendri at Vikos Aoos National. After check-in you can take a short walk to the monastery of Agia Paraskevi at the edge of the Vikos gorge.

  • Overnight stay in Monodendri.

*If you land at an airport other than Ioannina Airport, we will provide you with public transport information so that you may safely reach the city of Ioannina.

Recommended places to stay

Today you will hike through the magnificent Vikos gorge that, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the world’s deepest canyon in proportion to its width. Starting from the village of Monodendri you will follow the hiking trail into the gorge and after seven hours of walking through lush vegetation in the shady canyon, you will reach the picturesque village of Papigo. Your luggage will be transferred by a member of our team, so you will need just a small daypack during your hike.

  • Trekking difficulty level: Moderate / Challenging
  • Overnight stay in Mikro Papigo

Recommended places to stay

After breakfast you will start hiking from the village of Mikro Papigo through mountainous terrain to reach the mountain hut of Astraka, situated at an altitude of 1950m. After the lunch break at the mountain hostel you will continue hiking to Drakolimni, the 'Dragon Lake', set on the edge of a cliff at an altitude of 2000m, while enjoying the magnificent view to the peaks of the Pindos mountain range. You will then return to the mountain refuge for your overnight stay. Your luggage will stay at your hotel in Mikro Papigo.

  • Trekking difficulty level: Moderate
  • Overnight stay in Astraka Mountain Refuge

Today you return to the village of Mikro Papigo where you will stay for the rest of the day. You can take a short walk to the nearby natural pools for a swim and a little relaxation, walk to the red stone at the edge of the gorge or to the village of Megalo Papigo.

  • Trekking difficulty level: Easy
  • Overnight stay in Mikro Papigo


Recommended places to stay

After breakfast we will transfer you to the city of Ioannina.

Flexible Tailor-Made Holidays

  • We believe passionately that no two holidays should be the same.
  • With our flexible tailor-made holiday options you can travel at your own pace.
  • Rediscover a city, a resort or an island in a weekend or longer.
  • Take a small group tour or embark upon a more adventurous trip.

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Why book Greece with us ?

  • More than 30 years experience in Greece
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  • Fly-drives & Island hopping holidays
  • Hiking in Crete, Pelion & Zagori
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