Hiking in Valia Kalda

Hiking in Valia Kalda

Text and photos: T. Adamakopoulos

Valia Kalda offers an extensive but somewhat stiff hiking field. First of all, {b}villages lie away from the valley{/b} and the peaks, and in fact Valia Kalda is accessed by road. The only course that may start from a village is {b}Milia-Salatoura Milias{/b} route (marked as E6 trail and Ultra Ursa Trail). From Salatoura Milias one can continue on the routes {b}Salatoura Milia-Kaniza summit{/b} or {b}Salatoura Milias-Flega summit{/b} and reach the summits of Milia Mountain or Flega, respectively. These two courses, as well as the ascent {b}Salatoura Stavrou-Baltses{/b}, even though they do not have either marking or clear path, are very interesting in aesthetic terms and give generously the feeling of wandering in the montane steppe of Pindhos.

Valia Kalda topoGuide
Valia Kalda topoGuide: Passing Arkoudorema

The second “fractious” feature of hiking in Valia Kalda is that only few courses start from the center of the valley, the meadows where all tend to reach and camp. The most important route related to the core of the valley is {b}Arkoudorema crossing{/b}, that is the connection with Vovousa, a fabulous route offering increased adventure – river crossings, screes, wild scenery – on a well trodden and marked path (E6 signs an in a large part with Epirus Trail και Ultra Ursa Trail signs).

Valia Kalda topoGuide
Valia Kalda topoGuide: Ango summit and the fire lookout tower

As regards the ascent to Avgo, most courses start from Perivoli col (Stani Tiza-Avgo), largely utilizing the dirt road, but with nice view (here, only the last section benefits from Ultra Ursa Trail marking).

Valia Kalda topoGuide
Valia Kalda topoGuide: Marking in Arkoudolakkos-Arkoudorema junction

All in all, the most complete ascent to the summits starts outside of Valia Kalda: it is the route Politses-Mavrovouni refuge-Flega summit, starting from the perimetric road of Aoos Springs reservoir and with relatively limited development leading to the most interesting top of the complex, Flega (the entire route is perfectly marked with Ultra Ursa Trail signs).

Valia Kalda topoGuide
Valia Kalda topoGuide: Abundance of waymarking on the common course of E6, Epirus Trail and Ultra Ursa Trail

Ε6 European Trail crosses Valia Kalda area. We have divided the distance between Vovousa and Metsovo in three routes, which can be considered as three daily sections: from Vovousa to the core of Valia Kalda, from Valia Kalda to Milia and from Milia to Metsovo.

All the routes mentioned above, together with 6 routes of "Pichtio Diktyo" hiking network are included in the most complete hiking guide for Valia Kalda, Valia Kalda topoguide application. App is available for bothAndroid devices and iOS devices.
It is a digital touring guide including pictures and information and focuses in hiking and mountain bike routes and includes 18 hiking routes.