Pindus National Park also known as Valia Calda (meaning the Warm Valley in Aromanian), is a national park in mainland Greece, situated in an isolated mountainous area at the periphery of West Macedonia and Epirus, in the northeastern part of the Pindus mountain range. It was established in 1966 and covers an area of 6,927 hectares (17,120 acres). The park's core zone, 3,360 hectares (8,300 acres), covers the greatest part of the Valia Calda valley and the slopes of the surrounding peaks.
The national park has an elevation range from 1,076 to 2,177 metres (3,530 to 7,142 ft) and is characterized by dense forests of European black pine and common beech, rocky ridges, several peaks over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), rapid streams and mountain lakes. The area belong to the wider Pindus Mountains mixed forests ecoregion and is a representative part of Pindus mountain range. Moreover, it belongs to the Natura 2000 ecological network of protected areas and is one of the three places in Greece that hosts a population of brown bears.
The closest airport is in the city of Ioannina. It's 25 km away from the national park. The closest major airport is in Thessaloniki.
When to visit
The best time to go walking in the Pindus Mountains is between May and October. Most of the mountains are covered in snow during winter.
Map of Pindus National Park
Image gallery of Pindus National Park
Sights in Pindus National Park
Some national parks contain more than just natural wonders. This list shows you some of the sights that are located in the national park. This includes museums, cathedrals, bridges, dams and much more.
Visitor/Information centres in Pindus National Park
Most national parks have an associated visitor centre to help visitors. They are usually open most of the year but some close in the off-season. You will often be able to find information on all the activities in the national park. A visit to the visitor centre is often recommended before venturing into the park.
Hiking trails in Pindus National Park
Almost all national parks have some opportunities for hiking. You can see some of the more popular trails here. You should get local information for detailed information on all trails of the national park.
Most national parks have there own trademarks. This goes for both natural sights and man-made. This section will list any popular sights in nature.