• Mountain
  • Location
  • Peak
  • Township
  • Pindos Mt.
  • Ioannina Prefecture, Epirus, Greece
  • Flega, 2,078m altitude @ N 39°52.734' E021°07.701'
  • Milia, Krania and Metsovo

"Valia Kalda" warm valley

This is the real forest you was looking for...

Here, in the poorest corner of the Grevena land that the Vlachs call Valia Kalda (Warm Valley), don't let the silence scare you. Nothing is silent. Kneel down and listen to the stone, the wild dash and the unearthly roar of the Arkoudorema Stream that moves swiftly to merge into the Aoos River and the wind that whispers to the pine trees and beech. Here, the seasons, each in its time, throw colours that relax the mind and the soul from the city routine and the worn-out images of life.

Spreading over 6,9 acres, it is the biggest and most important national park of Greece. Its official name is the National Park of southern Pindos. It is situated at the mountain range of Pindos, around 25km north of Metsovo, at the borders of Ioannina and Grevena.

The tour of the valley, which was named "warm", as its temperature is 10-15 degrees lower than the mountains around it, is a unique experience. A real pleasure of wonderful scenery. The river of Arkoudorema, which states the type of fauna living in the area, passes through the national park. There, brown bears, wolves, wild boars and eagles live. The flora of the national park is just as impressive, with hundreds of types of trees, herbs, flowers and other plants which can only be found in Valia Kalda. The geology and the flora of the national park are remnants of the ice age, as are twin lakes Flega at the centre of the park.

There are no paved roads in the national park. Visitors can walk at the marked paths, the most famous of which is E6, which passes through rivers and lakes before ending up at the springs lake of Aoos Rivers.

Info Sheet

The Pindus National Park at Valia Kalda, established in 1966, is a remote area of 69,000 acres in total with a central area of 33400 acres. It is one of the most important National Parks in Greece. This inaccessible area is encompassed by the summits of the Lyngos mountain (Avgo, 2177m.) and the Mavrovouni mountain (Flegga, 2157m, Tria Sinora, 2049m.), as well as by the Milia Mountains (2159m.) and Pirostia (1966m.). The landscape is breathtaking.

Thick forests cover the Park, from black and white pine, high beech, perennial robolla and forest pine, a valuable species for this area as it is the southernmost extremity of its propagation in the Balkans. There is also a great variety of turf plants, many of which are rare.

The fauna in the National Park of the Warm Valley is particularly rich, not only in the number of different species but also in the rare species that have become extinct elsewhere such as wild goat, roe deer, wolf and wild boar etc. The whole area is perhaps the most important habitat of the brown bear in Greece. Out of the 27 different bird species, one can distinguish between the Golden Eagle, the vulture and the woodpecker. There are also many insects, amphibians and reptiles, among which are the newt salamander and the horned adder.

The Arkoudorema Stream dominates this wild landscape and its waters offer shelter to otters and to two kinds of trout. Breathtaking crevices, high peaks and cliffs alternate in a wild setting that reach a point of glorification over the small lakes of Flegga.

There are three paths leading to the lakes: the first one starts at Arkoudorema, the second one at the Saliatoura Stream and the third one at the pass between Saliatoura and Milia.