The Vikos–Aoös National Park, in north-western Greece was founded in 1973. The park is one of UNESCO Geoparks and part of the Natura 2000 ecological network. Its elevation range spans from 550 to 2,497 meters (1,800 to 8,192 ft) and more than 100,000 people visit the park each year to take part in activities including rafting, canoe-kayaking, hiking and mountain biking.
Central features of the National Park and where its name originates are the spectacular Vikos Gorge, carved by the River Voidomatis and the Aoös Gorge in Mount Tymfi (2,497 meters (8,192 ft) at Gamila peak). There are a number of traditionally preserved settlements that form the Park's peripheral zone.
Vikos Gorge is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest canyon in the world in proportion to its width. The gorge's main stretch is 12 km (7 m) long and reaches a depth of 1,000 meters (3,300 ft).
It starts among the villages Monodendri and Koukouli and ends near the village of Vikos (or Vitsiko). The gorge collects the waters of a number of small rivers and leads them into the Voidomatis River , a tributary of the River Aoos. Voidomatis has a seasonal flow to its major part, being permanent only at the lowest part of the gorge.
Vikos is also a site of major scientific interest as it is a haven for endangered species and contains many and varied ecosystems. The habitat is very important to the existence of a vast variety of species from both the animal, bird and the plant kingdom. Black – white pine and beech are refuge for many species of birds, among which are some rare prey (vulture, the Mediterranean Golden Eagle) and large mammals (the brown bear, wild goat, deer)