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Hike Northern Greece Hiking

Zagori, Ioannina

TOUR OVERVIEW

Hike Northern Greece! This country is more than white & blue. 

Famous for its island and exotic beaches,  however clearly a mountainous country with more than 300 mountains, it features a wide diversity, a scenery of rare beauty and unique forests some of which rank among the oldest natural wooded lands in Europe. Peaks and gorges, rivers and untouched forests make northern Greece a paradise for adventure seekers!

Join our Hike Northern Greece tour and become one of the happy few to discover the hidden gem of northern Greece.

Summit Mount Olympus, homeland of the 12 ancient Greek Gods and take in the breathtaking nature and stunning views from the highest peak in Greece. Discover the mountainous paradise of Zagori, with its authentic villages and spectacular views. 44 traditional villages are scattered in this magnificent wild natural environment.

Enjoy the delicious local cuisine and the warmhearted hospitality of the people. Get the feel of centuries old local traditions and customs.

This off the beaten path tour… is a lifetime experience for thinking and active travelers!


TOUR SUMMARY

Duration: 8 days
Period of operation: Mid May – October

Fix departure dates on a semi-guided mode in 2020: 

  • August 02-08
  • September 18-25
  • October 16-23

Price/person for fix departure dates: 960€/pp in simple guesthouses

Price/person for self drive mode:

  • For min 4-5 participants: 800€/pp  in simple guesthouses – 1100€/pp in boutique hotels
  • For min 2-3 participants: 990€/pp  in simple guesthouses – 1285€/pp in boutique hotels

Please contact us for Fully Guided Mode information. 


TOUR DETAILS

Tour inclusions

Fix departure date trip:

  • 6 nights in guesthouse with breakfast in double rooms and one (1) night in a mountain hut.
  • All necessary transport starting from Litochoro and ending in the city of Ioannina.
    • Litochoro to Meteora
    • Meteora to Zagori
    • Zagori to Ioannina
  • Activities as described in the itinerary with English speaking Trekking Hellas guide.
  • Entrance fee in one monastery in Meteora.
  • Meals: 3 picnic lunches during the hikes in Meteora and Zagori and one winery tour with a meal on Mount Olympus.

Self Drive Mode:

  • 6 nights in guesthouses or charming boutique hotels with breakfast and one (1) night in a mountain hut.
  • Activities as described in the itinerary with English speaking Trekking Hellas local guides.
  • Entrance fee in one monastery in Meteora.
  • Meals: 3 picnic lunches during the hikes in Meteora and Zagori and one winery tour with a meal on Mount Olympus.
Tour exclusions

Fix departure date trip:

  • Hotel stay over tax payable on the spot (1,5€/room/day)
  • Arrival to Litochoro and departure from Ioannina to next destination
  • Tips & Gratuities
  • Drinks during meals

Self Drive Mode:

  • Hotel stay over tax payable on the spot (1,5€/ room/day or 3€/room / day)
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Anything not mentioned above
  • Transportation from one place to the other and for the activities
  • Tips & Gratuities

ITINERARY

1) ARRIVAL IN LITOCHORO, IN THE FOOTHILLS OF MT.OLYMPUS
We start our trip from the village of Litochoro, in the foothills of Mt. Olympus. Getting to Litochoro from Thessaloniki  is a 2 hour ride, whereas  from Athens it is a 6 hour drive.
Overnight in Litochoro.

2) LITOCHORO & WALK TO SHELTER A – SPILIOS AGAPITOS, ALT. 2.100 M.
Transfer to Prionia, from where we begin our hike, at an altitude of 1,100 meters. The route from Prionia to Spilios Agapitos Mountain Hut is the most frequented hiking path on Mount Olympus and part of the E4 European Trail.
Prionia is the highest point that can be reached by car. Most of the hike is through a thick forest of pine, beech and fir trees, and the trail is in good condition. We make our way up to an altitude of 2,100 meters and reach the Spilios Agapitos Mountain Hut, where we will spend the night. (Estimated Walking Time: approx. 3-4 hours). Overnight in Mt.Olympus Mountain Hut.

3) PEAK ASCENDS AND BACK TO LITOCHORO
After an early rise and breakfast, we have two options depending on the fitness level of the participants and local weather conditions: We either climb up to the summit of Skala at 2,882 meters and then cross a narrow ridge and climb to the summit of Skolio at 2,911 metres (4-5 hours walking on narrow paths (some scrambling is necessary – altitude gain of 800 meters), or weather  permitting, we ascend the highest summit of Greece – Mytikas (2,917 meters), following a narrow gorge (about 1 km of scrambling). After reaching the summit we descend following the same path and crossing the spectacular precipice under the summit of Stefani – the throne of Zeus, we emerge on the Plateau of Mouses. We return back to Prionia via the same route through Spilios Agapitos mountain hut, from where we transfer back to Litochoro. (Estimated Walking Time: approx. 8-9 hours). Overnight in Litochoro.

4) WINE TOUR IN OLYMPUS FOOTHILLS AND TRAVEL TO METEORA
Our day today will be more relaxed! We will explore the villages in the foothills of Mount Olympus. After our breakfast we will visit the winery of the Kourtis family, in the village of Raches. Our hosts will guide us through their vineyard and wine cellar, and we will have the chance to enjoy some wine tasting and a lovely meal. Our journey will continue towards Meteora, where we will spend the night. Meteora is one of the most spectacular and extraordinary landscapes in Greece. The stunning rocky pinnacles of Meteora with the imposing monasteries atop, listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are an absolute must-see. Overnight in Meteora.

5) METEORA HIKING TOUR AND DRIVE TO ZAGORI
We will walk to the cliff top monasteries following a trail known only by the locals! We will start our hike from the Monastery of St. Nicolas in Kastraki village, following the same old trails the monks used to use, winding their way among the tall rock-towers. We will pass beneath the ruined monastery of Pantocrator on the northern side of the Dupiani rock. This path will take us to the heart of a lush forest reaching the abandoned and restored Monastery of “Ypapanti” and the ruins of St. Dimitrios. Afterwards our trail goes uphill. A short walk will lead us to the cliff top monasteries Varlaam and Great Meteoro. We will have the opportunity to visit one of them. We will then walk downhill towards Kastraki following the ancient path used by the monks, passing next to the cave of St. George Mandila, where climbers hang their scarves every year. Enjoy the unique views from the top the steep rock formations and learn about the history and the geological significance of the area.
After our rewarding walk, we will visit one of the famous monasteries before we depart for our next destination: the aea of Zagori and Pindos Aoos National Park. Overnight in Zagori.

6) BRIDGES AND VILLAGES HIKE
This wonderful circular hike is an ideal way of exploring the hidden gems of Central Zagori! Starting from the village of Vitsa, we will visit the most iconic traditional villages of the area such as the Koukouli, Kipi and Dilofo villages. The hiking tour will give us the opportunity to see, admire and walk on the arched stone bridges, which were very significant to the Zagorian people, as they were the only connection between the villages and its inhabitants before roads were built! Overnight in Zagori.

7) VIKOS GORGE CROSSING
Enjoy a fascinating hike in one of the most beautiful gorges of Europe. The Vikos Gorge is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Greece. The gorge consists of limestone and dolomite formations, dating back to 150 million years and vertical walls extending up to a height of 1700 meters. The gorge is part of the 12,600 hectares Vikos-Aoos National Park and has been listed in the Guinness book of records as the deepest canyon worldwide in proportion to its width. The hike starts from the village of Monodendri, with a 45 minute descent to the river bed. The trail is surrounded by steep mountain tops and dense forests of deciduous trees and 1800 different plant species. Before our final ascend to the village of Vikos, we will visit the springs of Voidomatis, Greece’s cleanest and coldest river, with an average all year temperature of 8,5°C. If you are brave enough, you might want to try taking a plunge in its refreshing, crystal clear waters! The hike finishes in the village of Vikos , after an approximate 1-hour’s ascend. Overnight in Zagori.

8) RAFTING VOIDOMATIS AND TRAVEL TO NEXT DESTINATION.
We will wrap up our discovery tour in Zagori with a relaxing rafting descend in the crystal clear waters of Voidomatis river, in the heart of the National Park of Vikos – Aoos.  The Voidomatis River rises in the Vikos Gorge and follows an impressive waterway wreathed with age-long plane trees that border its bed and traditional stone bridges over the waters. The Voidomatis River debouches its crystal clear waters into the Aoos River, in Konitsa’s plain. After our Rafting, we will be transferred back to Ioannina, where our tour ends.

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