370 km Epirus Trail
EPIRUS TRAIL.THE PATH OF THE REGION OF EPIRUS, “ROAD” FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HIKING TOURISM.
Epirus Trail is a great mountain adventure that crosses Epirus, from Mount Grammos to the Tzoumerka mountain range. It was a dream of many people for many years that started to shape in 2015 by the Region of Epirus and the Development Company “EPIRUS SA”. With an initial length of 370 km, Epirus Trail is the largest single hiking trail ever planned in Greece.
It is essentially about the promotion of the old road arteries through which the people from Epirus moved in mainland, in other regions of Greece or abroadfor centuries.
The areas that cross it include places of exceptional natural beauty, unique landscapes, an interesting man-made environment with unique cultural elements.
The broader design of the Epirus Region aims to develop hiking – and, more generally, alternative tourism – as another development tool for the region.
To this end, the creation and certification of Epirus Trail is of great importance, incorporating the concept of the old path into the modern tourist market.
It originally crosses the basic paths of the 4 Regional Units of Epirus which have a diverse and important network (Zagoria, Metsovo, Konitsa, North Tzoumerka), allowing visitors the opportunity to choose between shorter or longer hiking walks.
The trails that go through history and culture,will raise the senses of the hikers and will embellish their souls with the individual knowledge that will be acquired while crossing them.
SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PILOT PATH (4 MUNICIPALITIES).
Some of the special features that would attract a visitor to visit and walk to such places or people and administrative bodies to set out to highlight this tourist product are briefly the following:
1. It passes through the areas of 4 major mountainous municipalities of Epirus (Metsovo, Zagori, Konitsa, North Tzoumerka), and connects them.
2. It follows two parallel axes equally , on the one hand, the Voidomatis river basin (Vikos gorge) and the Aoos river basin and then it moves side by side to the broader basin of river Arachthos.
3. It has 6 significant vertical branches, mainly as follows:
a. “Typhi –Zagori mountains” (Tsepelovo-Vovousa) “,
B. “AnoAoos” (Metsovo-Murgos-Vovousa),
C. “Aoos Gorge” (Vrysochori-Konitsa) “.
4. The main trail is 370 km long and the branches are around 80 km.
5. It will be gradually extended to neighboring Municipalities and neighboring Regions.
6. It passes through all existing mountain shelters (7).
7. It passes through sections of “classic” and other recognized paths, such as: “O3”, “E4”, “UrsaTrai”, “Zagori Mountain Trail”.
8. It passes through the three major towns of Metsovo, Konitsa and Pramanta.
9. It passes through 25 mountainous settlements and close to so many others.
10. It goes through the 2 “old” and transnationally-known National Forests of “Pindos-ValiaCalda” and “Vikos-Aoos”.
11. It passes through the North PindosNational Park and the Vikos-AoosGeopark (Unesco Natural Heritage Site and recorded in the Guinness Book)) as well as the “Tzoumerka, Peristeri and Arachthos GorgeNational Park “.
12. It crosses nine areas of the “Natura 2000” network of protected areas.
13. It passes through more than 12 listed traditional settlements and many monuments, such as holy monasteries (at least 10), stone bridges (at least 15).
14. It mainly passes through old paths and road arteries.
Atthe beginning of the work, the Region of Epirus cooperated with the Hellenic-German Assembly in the field of transfer of know-how and training of executives on the marking of trails and the further development of hiking tourism.