Paloma and team ‘our leap of faith’ are way off the beaten tourist path, isolated by the Pindos Mountains, the Epirus region of northwestern Greece we are in one of the least populated places in Europe.
Ecosystems of exceptional diversity include thick old-growth forests, pure lakes and rivers and a number of endangered species, some found nowhere else, also the promises of bears and wolves highten the sense of anticipation …
The road leading to a lookout had a sign saying “Forest of Stone, and as we reached near to the top we could see why as the landscape changed to interesting rock formations and trees growing amongst them.
What also amazed and excited me was the lack of real barriers on the edge of steep cliffs, they had built a small stone wall along part of it, but in other places the path was very close to a drop off that would have given you little chance of survival.
Monodentri as a village has been around since 1753. Before then it used to be a community consisting of three neighborhoods: Vitsa, Ano Machalas and Agios Georgios.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, some local benefactors took charge of some important constructions that remain today.
These buildings included churches, schools and manors, which contributed to the village decoration and provide the current visitors with some special attractions, such as the monastery of Prophet Elias and the churches of Agios Athanasios, Agios Georgios and Agios Minas.
Up with first light, we took the craggy path down into the basin of the gorge, minding our step on the crumbling cliffs.
The Vikos Gorge cuts a deep swath through this pristine wilderness, offering magnificent views and, for the fit and experienced, exhilarating hiking. The gorge stretches about 12 miles between the villages of Monodendri and Vikos.