Southern Ioannina

 Serviana – Samoniva Difficulty: Average Altitude variation: 200 – 600 m Duration: 3 hours
This picturesque and leisurely trail begins in the small village of Serviana and heads southward until it reaches the “Gates of Hades” along the Aherontas River. In ancient times, this was believed to be the place where Charon rowed the dead across the river to the entrance of the underworld. While it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see souls being ferried over the water, rare and endangered birds and other wildlife are commonly spotted along the river banks. The path continues along the river and takes hikers through the “Straits of Acherontas” where the passage becomes extremely narrow. The area is a Natura 2000 site, ensuring that there will be plenty for nature lovers to admire.

Pardalitsa – Zotiko Difficulty: Average Altitude variation: 500 – 1000 m Duration: 4 hours
This route of medium difficulty snakes through Mt. Souli and passes the small villages of Alogorachi, Alissos, and Vritzacha before ending in Zotiko. Though the path doesn’t cover a particularly large area, the changes in elevation lengthen its duration. Along the way, you’ll pass several vantage points which offer fantastic views over the valleys to the east. You may also encounter some wild horses which are some of the last throughout Europe.

Agios Konstantinos – Dihouni Monastery Difficulty: Average Altitude variation: 500 – 800 m Duration: 3.5 hours
Winding its way through the valley between Mt. Derveni and Mt. Kourenta, this path takes walkers through the enchanting Oak Forest of Agia Marina, the picuresque village of Agios Nikolaos, over the Livadakia Stream Bridge and finally ends at impressive 16th century Monastery of Dihouni. This old church dedicated to Agios Dimitrios is famous due to the fact that a famous martyr once served as monk in the church. Dionysius II later on became a bishop in the city of Larissa, but returned to help in a series of revolts against the Turks during the early 17th century. Eventually the revolts were put down and Dionysius was tortured and skinned alive in the dungeons of Ioannina’s Castle.

Dramesi – Olytsika Peak Difficulty: Hard Altitude variation: 700 – 1820 m Duration: 3.5 hours
History enthusiasts and thrill seekers will enjoy this short yet challenging route that begins in the village of Dramesi and passes both the monastery of Dramesi and impressive archaeological site of Dodona. The trail continues southward through the Mt. Tomaros Range and finishes at the Olytsika Peak Refuge. Hikers will more than likely catch a glimpse of some impressive raptors such as various species of eagles and falcons along the wooded ascent to the refuge.

Lipa – Olytsika Peak Difficulty: Hard Altitude variation – 600 – 1980 m Duration: 5 hours
Arguably one of the most challenging routes within the area, walkers will begin their hike through Mt. Tomaros from the village of Lipa. The majority of the trail is uphill walking but your efforts will be rewarded with breathtaking views over the Tomaros Mt. Range and a likely spotting of several types of large birds of prey. The trail finishes at the Olytsika Peak Refuge. From there hikers can decide to continue northward for another two hours towards the ancient site of Dodona.

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