Dragon Lake Hike! A fascinating hike to the alpine lake of the iconic Epirus Mountain Range!
Enveloped in myth and local tales about strange creatures, alpine lakes are scattered on some mountain ranges in Greece. One of these blue gems decorates the alpine meadows of the Epirus Range, just below the peak of Mt. Tymphi (2.497 m). The stunning alpine lake called by locals dragon lake (drakolimni in Greek), is believed to be a remnant of the Ice Age. According to Greek mythology however, it was home to two dragons who were caught in an endless fight against each other. Legend says that the rocks they threw against each other are the ones scattered around the lake to this day.
This harsh environment of limited nutrients, wide variations in sunlight during the summer and the winter months and acute fluctuations in temperature have turned the Dragon lake of Mt Tymphi into a truly unique ecosystem. Their waters are home to the Alpine Newt, a striking amphibian that has been around for thousands of years. It is approximately 10-12 cm long with an impressive orange-red color in the lower part of its body. And truly resembles a small dragon!
Enjoy a great Dragon Lake Hike setting off from the village of Mikro Papingo. We will hike on mountainous trails and take in the breathtaking views of the mountains until we reach the alpine lake. This is a truly perfect setting for all mountain lovers!
Duration: 2 days
Period of Operation: May to October
Price per person:
Self Guided Option:
Fully Guided Option:
A good level of fitness is required
MIKRO PAPINGO – ASTRAKA REFUGE – DRAGON LAKE – ASTRAKA REFUGE
Our hike starts from the village of Mikro Papigo at 950 meters, in the most popular pathway up to the mountain. This path is also a part of the long-distance pathway so called 03. The first part is a steep 3,5 hrs uphill climb to the cole at 1950 meters where Astraka’s refuge is. There are 4 water springs on the way up so there is no need to carry water all the way from the beginning.
We rest in the refuge, leave our backpacks for the night and set off for Drakolimni, hiking for about 1,5 hrs from the hut at 2100 meters.
Drakolimni is amongst some of the highest peaks of the mountain offering great views to its north face. It is really worth to climb to the small peak above the lake, to enjoy the best views of this majestic land.
Gamila 1 peak (2497 meters) and Smolikas peak (2637 meters) can be seen amongst tenths of other Pindos’ peaks.
We return hiking for about 1 hour back to the refuge to enjoy our dinner and rest.
Total Hiking Duration: 6 hours
Overnight in Astraka Refuge.
ASTRAKA REFUGE – MIKRO PAPINGO
Early in the morning after our breakfast, we return from the same way back to Mikro Papingo.
Total Hiking Duration: 2.30 – 3 hours
WHAT’S THE MEETING POINT AND TIME?
Meeting Point: At the parking at the entrance of the village Mikro Papingo – google maps here
Meeting Time: 09.00 am
WHEN IS THIS TOUR AVAILABLE?
May to October
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?