Story: Vikos Gorge, arguably the deepest in the world, cuts through the Pindus Mountains. Besides being as deep as 1600 m (5200 ft) in some parts, the gorge is also some 20 km (12 miles) long. It provides imposing, soul-nurturing views year-round. From the bottom of the gorge, the scenery all around is beautiful, but the upward view is majestic. And even that seems like a gross understatement.
Vibe: The vibe here is nature. It is calm unless rains cause rushing waters. Depending on the season, the leaves of the trees provide a strong contrast to the rock. The stone here is different from that to the North where it is jagged and harsh. Both inside the gorge and the mountains are smooth and rounded. It gives the untamed scenery a less harsh feel.
Recommendations: Hiking the gorge is a great way to take in a different vantage point. Various routes range in length from 5 to 20 km. The terrain is not just rocky, but most of the way it is rocks–only rocks. Good hiking shoes are important and a walking stick helpful as the rocks shift and some climbing is required. It is important for hikers to have some minimum level of physical fitness prior to starting a day hike on this terrain. For the hard-core hiker / runner, trail running is practiced and races are held here a few times a year.
The area is also ideal for repelling and climbing. Climbers have a range of options in the gorge from climbing rocks the size of a small house down in the gorge to scaling sheer cliffs. One good spot for this is across the gorge from Popingo.
Notes: Temperatures in the gorge drop quickly at night. Also, rains cause waters to flow rapidly in the gorge. Hikers should be prepared to get to higher ground if rainfall begins.
Different vantage points are to be had from surrounding towns and villages including: Monodendri, Popingo (also spelled Popigo), Vikos, and Vradeto. In the quaint towns, a simpler way of life is visible.
In addition to all that nature has on display throughout the gorge and above, there is an 18th century bridge and remnants of a water distribution system from the same era that are interesting.