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Kokoris' bridge - Monodendri - Vikos Gorge

Trip Details

Trips inside Epirus
Date: Sun, 04/03/2007
Distance: 35 km
Motorcyclists: Manolis, Dimitris, Giorgos
Photographers: Manolis, Dimitris
Authors: Manolis
Translators: Sakis
Map: Trip map
Photographs: Link

Sightseeing map

A journey to the city of Ioannina is always –except others- a good chance to visit "Zagorochoria" (translation: Zagori's villages). With this trip, it was given to us the opportunity to travel with Giorgos (a old member of the club), but also to enjoy, for one more time, his great hospitality!
We began with the destination, the village of Monodendri. It is a pictorial village of the central Zagori. In many of us is famous, as it constitutes the staring point of the impressive Vikos' Gorge.
As we followed the national road to Kakavia and Kozani, we reached the node that leads to the Central Zagori. This crossroad is 10km away from the city of Ioannina and you find it after the village of Metamorfosi. Also you realize the impressive change of the landscape!
As we ride in higher altitude through a comfortable and pleasant route, we cross an area with endless plane trees. A natural scene that was really astonishing! With the guidance of the signs to Monodendri, we reached the crossroad to Kipi. Tsepelovo, Koukouli. There, George suggested to visit a stone bridge that was interesting.
After 5-6km, we found that unique sight. As we learnt the bridge was called “Kokoris' bridge”. Also you can find it in many commercial on TV and magazines. Fairly, as it is very graphic and well-maintained. It represents a characteristic sample of the exceptional local architect and style. It is an adornment that is standing there between the two huge rocks many years now. It worth visit…
As we enjoyed its fabulous view, we left after a while. We returned at the crossroad to Vitsa and Monodendri. Riding at the narrow road the altitude was rising. Passing by the village Vitsa, we met the downhill road (shorter) that leads to Monodendri. If we went straight, we could after 19km reach the village Aristi, through a new route.
After a while we arrived at the parking lot of the village, where we parked our bikes. We walked for some meters at the pavement alley and reached the age-old plane tree of the central square. That point constitutes the staring point for many walking:
- To Kipi, crossing a part of the gorge (duration 2hours - 5km)
- To Vikos, crossing a part of the gorge (duration 4.5hours - 9km)
- To Papigo, crossing a part of the gorge (duration 9hours), and
- To Monastery of Santa Paraskevi, the "Cave" and the “Spitakia” (translation: little houses) that are 600-700m away.
We chose the last destination, as the rest demanded the appropriate outfit, preparation and a guide. The destination that leads to the gorge is very easy to be found. As you follow the alley, soon you find the sign referring that in the year 1997 the gorge got in the “Guiness” book, as the deepest in all over the world! Its depth reaches 900m.
We walked and very soon we found the entrance of the Monastery of Santa Paraskevi. The impressive is that, it is literally hanging at the edge of the gorge! Simultaneously its visitors have the chance to enjoy the astonishing view that offers its balcony. It worth referring that there is a small hagiography exhibition of the monks.
From that point there is a path perimetric the gorge. At some points it is narrow at other is wide. It is not suggested to our friends with heights-phobia. Still I believe that it is easy to reach. We continued and found the cavity of the rocks that looks like the entrances of caves. Due to that are called “Caves”. There we found out that the path continued, although three years ago something like that wasn’t possible. We followed the path and reached “Spitakia”. Those are from stone wrecks that were used probably from shepherds.
From that point the visitor has the opportunity to enjoy the view of the gorge from another angle! The best part with the most impressive view that will satisfy the most demanding visitor is the last part of the path… At a small natural balcony you can enjoy for many hours the view that remind tableau!!! That’s what we did…
We returned from the same pathway full fabulous pictures. The village of Monodendri has restaurants and cafe that are famous for their local pies. The most important thing is that is near the city of Ioannina and constitutes the base for astonishing trips by foot or bike.