This is just a rough start to the presentation of a huge Greek region, Pindos, which extends from Northern Greece down to Attiki. To this region belong many of the high mountains of the Greek mainland, such as Smolikas.
The reason for this introduction is that Pindos was my first mountaineering-trekking experience, some 10 years ago - and a revelation, since I have always been a "person of the sea-side". It is needless to mention the beauty of Pindos. No-one can understand this beauty, except if one gets there - which we wish to everyone.
All the photoes refer to the region Grevena - Ziakas - Krania - Perivoli - Avdela - Panorama - Grevena. We followed agricultural paths, then mule paths.
Click to enlarge
Flora - Fauna - Climate
The landscape is on a grand scale with peaks of limestone and serpentine rock rising to 8200 ft from an extensive region of natural beech and pine forest at the headwaters of the Vikos and Aoos rivers. Although the climate is warm in summer, the Pindos mountains remain green long after the winter snows have thawed. In spring and early summer meadows are ablaze with alpine and other wild flowers, including an amazing abundance and variety of orchids. Towards autumn as the leaves begin to turn, just as colorful are the forests of beech and hornbeam. Overall, perhaps the greatest attraction of the Pindos mountains is that one can find a greater solitude here than in many other mountainous areas of Europe. Our route on this part of the trek followed shepherds' and muleteers' footpaths, ancient tracks and some newer Forestry Service access roads.
The Pindos region is thinly populated and much of the lower ground is still covered by dense forest within which live wolves, bears and lynx. Griffon vultures soar above the peaks, while Egyptian vultures haunt the gorges.
The high alpine pastures are grazed in summer by flocks of sheep, which are milked to produce the many excellent local cheeses such as kefalotiri.
Level of difficulty:
This trek is designed for those who are in good physical condition, take regular exercise and enjoy hill-walking. It will be necessary to carry usual day-sack contents, minimum overnight requirements and some food.
Equipment and clothing:
If you are already a hillwalker you will probably have all the clothing and equipment you need. The climate is warm at low altitude and light clothing should be brought, as well as warm, and stormproof clothing for high-level walking. A sheet liner is needed for the nights in huts and a sleeping bag of about 3 season warmth is needed for camping on Smolikas.