Viros Gorge is a deep gorge, starting from the peak of Profitis Ilias (Taygetus summit) and ending into the sea of Kardamili bay. According to Mythology Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles traversed the gorge to reach ancient Sparta to marry Hermione, the daughter of Menelaus and Helen of Troy. Vikos gorge and the surrounding villages are an excellent choice for the friends of hiking since there are plenty of tempting hiking routes.
The paths are often difficult to follow due to the thick undergrowth, thus it’s better to set off from the old quarter of Kardamili village from the bottom of the gorge and go up inside the old river. The hiking route in the gorge is full of large rocks and boulders. During the hiking route, you will find numerous caves, steep-sided cliffs, rocky outcrops, remote monasteries and buildings and a variety of flora.
As you hike into the gorge, the first monastery that you come across is Moni Lykaki. You will find it through a signposted path on the left of the gorge. This chapel was built in 1570 but the frescoes dated from 1783. You continue through the gorge and reach the deserted Monastery Sotiros. Perfect place for a short rest in the yard. From Monastery Sotiros the gorge continues deeper into the Taygetus, which gets progressively more difficult to cross. From this point, on the right of the gorge, there is also a visible pathway which goes upwards. In the middle of the upward hike you will find a junction. Follow the path on the left that leads to a deserted building. From this point a breathtaking panoramic view is revealed. You can see the Vikos gorge, the kardamili bay as well as the Taygetus summit. If you continue to this path you will reach Exohori village. You can go back to the junction and follow the path towards Agia Sophia. Agia Sophia is a byzantine church, dated on 1614 A.D., one of the oldest churches in the region. From Agia Sophia there is a marked hiking route descended through olive groves and cobbled streets that leads back to the 18th century church of Aghios Spiridon, in Kardamili. The landscape is extraordinary beautiful.
This hike takes almost 5 hours. The gorge is 20km long, so you can choose to hike further. As you see Vikos gorge is an ideal choice for hiking.