Vikos Gorge | A Greek autumn dream

by Fabian Jürgens
Published: Last Updated on

There are stories of a place where the leaves dance.

In the shadow of scarps, where the earth did part.

Dance to the melody of the autumn winds. And dance to the rhythm of the waning season.

A joyful farewell to the passing year.

valley floor covered in autumnal trees flanked by high-rising cliffs on both sides

When the days grow shorter and shadows fall upon a decaying world, the leaves prepare for their endmost roundel.

Exalted on their thrones, ever aware of their ephemerality, they linger in anticipation of their grandest spectacle.

By the thousands they wait. Patiently.

And then, lured by a gentle breeze rustling through the canopy, one by one, they leap.

Fearless. And free.

moss-covered rocks and forest floor overgrown by ivy surround trees entirely covered in verdant moss
a hiker wearing a backpack and holding a walking stick walks through an autumnal forest amidst moss-covered trees boasting yellow leaves

As the forest weeps, they journey towards their perennial slumber.

Like whirling dervishes, clothed in the fiery colours of autumn, they twist and twirl, and veer and swirl past limpid springs and earthen paths, by ivy fields and verdant swaths, as they tumble to the biding ground below.   

In glen and dale they float, ever onwards, towards their mutual destiny.

It is a mesmerising ode to the passage of season. An opulent display of natural sublimity.

ancient stone steps covered in fallen leaves lead through an autumnal forest
trees boasting yellow leaves arch over a forest path covered in fallen leaves

On ancient steps and dampened soil, at last they come to rest.

Lost in their extravagant performance, they finally lay down and cloak the forest floor under a flamboyant blanket. A sombre conclusion to this autumnal inferno.

Beneath bare branch and withered strand, a fleeting glimpse of their fading existence.

a white skull of a cow lies on a bed of ivy surrounded by autumnal leaves

When the gales whisper of darkness and frost, before stillness shrouds the land, there is a place where the leaves dance.

Yonder in Vikos, where the earth did part.

Want to visit Vikos Gorge?

Check out this thorough guide to the world’s deepest canyon.

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Jürgens Valentin 2 January 2022 - 11:54 am


Niko Wallenstein 2 January 2022 - 12:31 pm

Hi Fabian!
Nice article!
Can you recomand where to stay overnight and where too eating out… ?

Fabian Jürgens 2 January 2022 - 1:00 pm

Hey Niko!
Really depends whether you are travelling on a budget or not. There is tons of high class accomodation to be found in the villages around the gorge (e.g. Monodendri, Vitsa, Dilofo, etc.), however, they are not catered towards travellers with limited funds. For backpackers, like myself, I recommend staying at the “Backpackers and Travellers” hostel in the centre of Ioannina and visiting Vikos Gorge as a day trip. They offer affordable accomodation (also a private room) and the owners are the nicest I met during my time in Greece!
As for food, there is a couple of restaurants and cafés in Vitsa and Monodendri and a taverna in Vikos at the end of the trail (they should all be good), however, I was being told that the best food in the area can be found in Aristi, 10 min from Vikos by car.


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