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Vikos National Park

The national park lies north of the city of Ioannina, in the region of Zagori. It was designated a National Park in 1973. Its core area consists of the Gorge of Vikos, the length of approximately 10 km. At the lower part of the gorge a rushing river flows, which becomes a permanent river (Voidomatis) at its end. The peripheral area is larger and includes the Aoos Gorge, the area of villages of Mikro Papigo and Megalo Papigo as well as a narrow area around the Gorge of Vikos.

 In the area, also of interest, is the small valley Laka of Tsoumani and Lake Drakolimni. Riverside forests of willow, poplar and plane trees, hard-leaved bushes and forests either deciduous and coniferous or of a heterogeneous variety occupy the area. The variety of the deciduous trees in the area of the heterogeneous forest is amazing. In the narrow, warm, wet and shady ravines and the steep slopes of the beech tree zone exist formations of Aesculus hippocastanum, Juglans regia and Fraxinus excelsior.

 

The area comprises one of the most significant ecosystems due to its rare flora and fauna. The geographical isolation of the area, the relative small human impact and the large variety of kinds of natural habitats and microclimatic conditions favor the growth of various plant species. Therefore, the area is a place where many rare plants are gathered and sustained. Many of these are considered endangered species.

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