Just beyond the doors of the Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas, Vikos-Aoos National Park protects a rugged wonderland of leafy forests, cerulean rivers, and alpine lakes, as well as the region’s spectacular focal point—the Vikos Gorge. The landscapes here transform with the changing seasons, each enticing in its own unique way. The wildflower-blanketed meadows in spring and the verdant summertime valleys gradually give way to autumn forests tinted crimson and amber, and, eventually, snow-dappled slopes in winter. No matter what time of year you visit, hiking is always in season. More than a hundred trails run through the reserve, including a series of historic stone trails connecting the charming Zagori villages. Upon arrival at the lodge, sit down with a member of the Aristi staff, who will help you select the activities that best suit your interests, from river rafting and horseback riding to village visits and jeep safaris.
See our sample itinerary describing how you would experience this lodge during a 4-day stay.
The following activities are included in the cost of your stay.
Home to the majestic Vikos Gorge, Vikos-Aoos National Park boasts more than 100 hiking trails for exploring the canyon and surrounding mountains, with options to suit every ability level. Some routes were converted from old mule tracks—stone paths that wind through the foothills of the Pindus Mountains and over charming Ottoman-era bridges, linking the towns of the Zagori, and tracing cliff tops and ridgelines.
Recognized as one of the most pristine rivers in Europe, the Voidomatis shimmers aqua and emerald, its waters beckoning swimmers and waders. During the summer months, cool off with a refreshing dip after a leisurely stroll or challenging hike.
Just steps from the lodge is the charming town center of Aristi, one of 46 traditional Zagori villages. Wander the cobbled alleyways and the main square, losing yourself in this town out of time, and pop into the coffee house or taverna for an afternoon coffee with the locals.
Set out on a drive through the Pindus peaks to discover some of the nearby Zagori villages. Explore the picturesque lanes of Dilofo, gaze at intriguing frescoes adorning the walls of the Agios Georgios church in Negades, or navigate hairpin turns to reach Megalo and Mikro Papigo—two enchanting villages separated by a walking trail with natural swimming holes.
The following experiences are offered at an additional cost.
Borrow the lodge equipment and cast a line into calm waters of the Voidomatis, or seek out patches of rapids for a more challenging catch. Experts are on hand at the lodge to teach beginners the basics and to help more advanced fishers find the perfect spot along the river.
Go on a guided hike across the floor of the Vikos Gorge—considered by some standards to be the deepest canyon in the world. A knowledgeable local expert will lead guests along the path that crosses this spectacular canyon during an all-day hike, sharing information on the geology of this natural wonder. The excursion ends with a tour of the Agia Paraskevi Monastery, which dramatically clings to a cliff face overlooking the gorge. Transportation, snacks, and gear are provided.
The lodge can arrange transportation for drop-offs and pick-ups so that guests can access more far-flung trails in Vikos-Aoos National Park, such as a trek up to the stunning high-alpine Drakolimni lakes.
Enjoy a half-day guided rafting excursion on the calm waters of the Voidomatis River. For a more challenging experience, opt to tackle the rushing waters of the Aoos or paddle through the dramatic gorges of the Arachthos. Guided kayaking excursions are also available.
Saddle up for a horseback ride in the foothills of the Pindus Mountains, following paths that wind through forests and tranquil meadows. Upon request, routes can be tailored to the rider’s preference.
Take a guided tour of the greater Zagori region and learn about the area’s architecture, culture, and history. Visit romantic Dilofo, enjoy prime views of the Vikos Gorge from Monodendri, see the triple-arch Kalogeriko Bridge outside of Kipi, and walk the winding lanes of Kapesovo. The tour will also take guests to the 15th-century Agia Paraskevi Monastery, which is built into the cliff face of the gorge.
Ride through the remote parts of Zagori for a chance to spot some of the area's wildlife, including brown bears, wolves, jackals, and a myriad of birds. This full-day excursion includes a picnic lunch at a scenic overlook.
Soar over the peaks and canyons of the Pindus on a tandem hang-gliding excursion.
Join a yoga session on the banks of the Voidomatis River, connecting with the serene mountain surroundings as you practice your poses.
Aristi is home to Salvia, a restaurant serving up typical northern Greek fare with a gourmet twist. The chef’s creations are based on traditional regional recipes and almost exclusively incorporate locally sourced, organic ingredients. Mushrooms and greens are foraged from the slopes of the Pindus Mountains, trout is freshly caught from the surrounding rivers, and meats and cheeses come from free-range farms in the area. In contrast to the Mediterranean cuisine for which the country is known, dishes from the north draw on seasonal ingredients, meaning that guests can look forward to an evolving menu of diverse dishes inspired by the prevailing natural bounty. The restaurant’s selection of fine wines is also predominantly local, bottled at nearby mountain vineyards.
The spa complex houses the indoor pool and hot tub, as well as rejuvenating sauna and steam rooms. Guests can also receive a relaxing massage in the onsite treatment room. Fresh juices and other beverages are available for guests to enjoy during their time in the spa.
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