Join Dr Yiannis Christofides for a leisurely exploration of the stunning Zagoria region of Greece!
We invite you to come with to one of the least visited and most unspoilt corners of Greece!
Following our trips to northern Greece and the Peloponnese, we continue our exploration with a visit to the Zagoria area of Ipiros, tucked away in a remote corner of north-west Greece. A mountainous area of great natural beauty, two National Parks and a host of charming stone-built villages. Spanning the rivers are a number of beautiful arched stone bridges, crafted to withstand the torrential waters of the Aoos river. The Vikos Gorge is the most impressive natural feature of the region. It is one of the deepest gorges in the world, indeed the deepest in proportion to its width. An area of almost pristine natural condition, it contains many and varied ecosystems.
We will concentrate in a small area, avoiding long journeys in the vehicle so as to best explore and enjoy these rich areas. We will walk to explore the amazing bridges and look at the architecture of the stone-built villages.
The area is forested with many different Quercus species such as Quercus ilex, Q. frainetto, Q. cerris, Q. trojana, Q. pubescens, Q. coccifera and other trees and shrubs such as Philyrea latifolia, Fraximus onus, Juniperus communis and Juniperus oxycedrus, Arbutus adracnhe, Ostrya carpinifolia, Carpinus orientalis, Carpinus betulus, Cornus mass, Fraxinus ornus, Fagus sylvatica, Abies borisii-regis, Pinus nigra, P. heldreichii and Pinus sylvestris.
We shall explore the different habitats found here. We expect to find many orchids, particularly Dactylorhiza species, meadows with Anthemis, Achillea, Dianthus, Onobrychis, Salvia, Scabiosa, Lathyrus, and many others.
We shall visit the foothills of Mount Smolikas, the second largest mountain in Greece composed of serpentine, hosting a large number of endemic plants as well as wide range of Balkan and central european flowers such as Pinguicula, Viola, Silene, and Saxifraga. We shall look for the Balkan endemic Ramonda serbica, a relic plant in the family Gesneriaceae and one of the few European representatives of this family.