Vikos Gorge Facts
- This marvel of geological processes and time remains best known by the relatively short english language term of Vikos Gorge. Yet, it does have at least one other broadly accepted general name. That’s the extremely similar term of Vikos Canyon.
- It stands out from similar features around the world in dramatic fashion. That’s due to a unique attribute of its physical dimensions. This natural wonder’s officially ranked as the deepest on earth, relative to its average width. That’s truly a claim to fame!
- This majestic site’s long been known to natives of the region. In fact, archaeological evidence indicates that man knew of and made use of the location as far back as the middle of the Stone Age. This fantastic formation has a rich history, indeed.
- A number of mysteries continue to surround the name of the remarkable Vikos Gorge, however. That’s due to the simple fact that historians remain undecided about its origins. Currently, at least 4 competing theories concerning this exist, sparking debate.
- Today, this marvel plays a role in the recreational activities of tourists and locals alike. It also forms the central component of the aptly-named Vikos Gorge Nature Reserve. This provides it with at least limited protection against the depredations of man.
Vikos Gorge Physical Description
The amazing Vikos Gorge fully merits attention and admiration from those lucky enough to explore and encounter it. The breathtaking feature does so for several reasons, though. That’s because it boasts impressive physical statistics to accompany its sheer beauty.
The startling natural treasure takes a winding, somewhat circuitous path through the surrounding terrain. In doing so, though, it cuts a course that extends for 19.9 mi (32 km). Though this doesn’t compare to some sites, like the Grand Canyon, it’s still impressive.
Yet, it’s marvels don’t stop there. That’s true since this wondrous gorge varies in width along its course. In fact, it does so to an extreme degree. At its widest point, it measures a remarkable 8,202ft (2,500 m). But, at some locations, it only measures about 656 ft (200 m).
The mesmerizing Vikos Gorge additionally varies greatly along the entirety of its length in terms of total depth. At its shallowest site, the mighty ravine only measures roughly 394 ft (120 m). The maximum depth, however, equates to an incredible 4,429 ft (1,350 m).
Nature provided this beauty with yet one more astounding attribute. That’s the walls of the chasm themselves. In most locations throughout the extent of the formation, these present as extremely steep in nature. Many, in fact, appear almost completely vertical.
Vikos Gorge Location, Formation, and Ecology
The visually captivating Vikos Gorge formed in a region of the globe well known for its abundance of natural wonders of all kinds. As this feature itself demonstrates, that includes marvels of geology. Nature created it in a rather remote section of the continent of Europe.
It further resides within the confines of the beautiful Pindus Mountains. More specifically, it’s situated on the southern slopes of Mount Tymphe. That place it inside the borders of what now constitutes the country of Greece, in the approximate northwestern area.
This marvel formed over vast spans of time, primarily due to the erosive actions of glaciers. As these formed and receded, it gouged out the landscape in this region. The final phase of this creation appears to have occurred between 22,000 – 20,000 years ago.
Subsequent to this activity, however, another ongoing factor contributed to its carving. Continuing runoff from the massive glaciers flowed through the newly-formed canyon. This action naturally carved it even deeper and wider through a slow yet inexorable process.
Today, the amazing Vikos Gorge contains an abundant ecosystem. Numerous plant species call the site home. This includes a wide array of herbs. In fact, more than 2,500 species of flora of various types have been identified. That’s a truly astounding numer for one site.
Many species of animal also live here, for obvious reasons. Mammals present include such creatures as foxes, deer, and bears. Multiple avian species also call the location home. It also boasts a thriving population of the magnificent Chamois, among countless others.