Valia Kalda – Pindos National Park

Pindos National Park, also known as Valia Kalda, is located in northwestern Greece, near the town of Grevena and is one of the most important National Parks in Greece. It was established in 1966, belongs to the Natura 2000 ecological network and is considered one of the most important protected areas for the maintenance of mountainous biodiversity. Valia Kalda, which means “Warm valley” in the Vlach dialect, is characterized by extensive forests of black pine and beech in the park’s lower and middle altitudes and Balkan pine at higher altitudes. The National Park has several peaks over 2,000 meters, rapid streams and mountain lakes.

Greece … off the beaten track!

In addition, the area hosts a population of Eurasian brown bears which is a conservation priority species. Other mammals that live in the park are wolves, deer, wild cats and the Balkan Chamois. The park further provides shelter for more than 80 species of birds, including 10 types of rare bird species such as the Eastern imperial eagle, the Golden eagle and the Lanner falcon. A large variety of reptiles, amphibians, and insects, complete the picture.

Valia Kalda offers opportunities for hiking with its dirt roads being in a rather good condition (except in winter). The park is best accessed from north, from the village of Perivoli, while there is also a track from the west side, near Milia village. A climbing resort lies near Mavrovouni peak, at a height of 1,950 meters (6,400 ft.), which can be an ideal base for your excursions to the Park’s area. According to the local legislation, it‘s not allowed to collect any organism of any kind , while camping and staying in the park’s area after the sunset is prohibited. Additional restrictions include the lighting of fires, while activities such as kayaking and rafting need a special clearance from the local forestry.

One thing is for sure … visiting Valia Kalda is a once in a lifetime experience!