Rafting in Voidomatis River, Zagorochoria, Epirus Region Greece

I – II
Skill level :
Beginners and advanced
Best season:
October to late May
Route length:
Zagorochoria is a network of 46 beautiful mountainous villages, located in the county of Ioannina in northwestern Greece and is a place of outstanding natural beauty. The villages are scattered at the foothills of Pindos mountain range and the whole area is extremely rugged with steep canyons, dense forests, incredible biodiversity, fresh water streams and rivers and alpine lakes.

Home to the spectacular Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world, listed at the Guinness Book of Records, which is carved by Voidomatis River, one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, the area is part of the Vikos-Aoos National Park and one of the UNESCO Geoparks. It is a wonderland for nature enthusiasts that arrive from all over the world to discover the unspoiled beauty of the area with a wide variety of outdoor activities.

One of the favorite activities and a great way to explore Voidomatis river and the nature around, is participating in a white water rafting adventure. The starting point is located at the bridge of Aristi, right into the heart of the national park and ends at another beautiful, old arch bridge close to the road for Konitsa village.

The impressive waterway offers rapids of moderate difficulty with clear passages and no serious obstacles, thus making rafting perfect for both beginner and advanced paddlers. The length of the route is 3.1 mi/5 km long, about one and a half hour duration and takes you through lush landscapes, where you can admire rare birds nesting on trees and rocks, wild horses and numerous fish. The icy drinkable waters of the river have a temperature of 5 °C/41 °F all year round and for those who dare, a refreshing dive into the water will rejuvenate them. As you raft further down the river, you will come across the Agioi Anargyroi, a deserted monastery that boasts caves and vertical cliffs that will take your breath away.

Just before the end of the route, there is a small artificial waterfall you must cross in order to enter the final stage of your adventure. The best season for rafting in Voidomatis River is from October to late May, when the river is high in water. Note that the weather conditions, due to the high altitude of the area (from 1800 ft/550 m to 8192 ft/2497 m), are unpredictable with cold and snowy winters and warm summers with frequent rainfalls, so be prepared in regards of gear and clothing. Good non slippery boots is a must. This might not be the most extreme white water rafting activity in Greece, but it is definitely one of the most scenic ones, as practitioners have the opportunity to witness the true wonders of nature in a still untouched paradise.