The Southern Ridge of Vardousia crosses the entire southern side of Vardousia. It starts from the highest peak, Korakas (2,495 meters) and gradually fades into the lake of Mornos. The southern ridge is famous for its steep slopes, gullies and cliffs. The highest peaks of the ridge are Neraidokoula (2,414 meters), Kokkinias (2,404 meters), Neraidotsoumba (2,383 meters), Ornio (2,287 meters) and finally an unnamed peak with 2,148 meters. From the sinkholes in Koniakitiko Karkanos, the ridge begins to fade towards Lake Mornos. Despite the difficulty of this route, the view is impressive, giving the riders beautiful images.
This is a difficult route recommended exclusively for experienced riders. To cross the South Ridge you need to have the right equipment and supplies.
Hiking from Koniakos
The route starts from the last houses of Koniakos village where there is a parking lot. The path - damaged dirt road leads us to a small bridge over the stream. We continue diagonally across the slope cutting the dirt road and head into the stream which we follow between the holly trees and the cedars by a cluster of footpaths
Thus reaching an altitude of 1,520 meters, with nice meadows and the last source of the route. The dirt road that comes from Koniakos also reaches this point. We continue on the opposite amphitheater slope in a southerly direction, gaining enough height until we meet on our right an open gully that leads us to a hidden meadow and stables. We are now on the South Ridge. Its first section is wider with a combination of hills and dips. It passes by Koniatiko Karkanos between the stables before starting to climb towards the unnamed peak at 2,148 meters where the ridge now narrows. From the top there is a rappel and an interesting section up to Ornio with small technical passages.
Descending from Ornio, we reach a plateau with huts, an ideal spot for an overnight stay. The ridge gradually narrows again reaching Kokkinias 2,404 meters where here too there is another rappel and then some technical exposed pieces.
In front of us now is Neraidotsoumba 2,383 meters, the last peak before Mega Kampo. The route ends with the final climb to Korakas 2,495 meters. From the top we can admire the imposing view that unfolds around us from the Northern part of Vardousia, Giona and Oxya.
There is an escape option before and after Neraidotsoumpa towards Asanser.
Photo: The Southern Ridge as seen from Gkiona