Vikos Gorge & Zagori Trek

Off the beaten track in remote northern Greece.

About Vikos Gorge & Zagori Trek

Summary

Deep canyons, blue water rivers, mountain lakes, stone bridges, old monasteries and picturesque villages are only some of the highlights of this trekking tour through one of the most remote areas of Greece.

START / FINISH - Ioannina [Athens, Thessaloniki, Preveza & Corfu - on request & at a supplement].

Activity code: GR-TR-VK01 (ZA1)

Difficulty: Moderate / Challenging. [Participants should be in good physical condition with some hiking experience.]

Duration: 8 Days

Deep canyons, rivers, mountain lakes, stone bridges, old monasteries and picturesque villages are only some of the highlights of this trekking tour through one of the most remote areas of Greece. The villages of Zagori, in north west Greece, are of an extraordinary beauty and well-known for their cobbled paths and traditional villages, all constructed with local stone by the famous stone masons of Epirus, considered the finest in all of Greece. Zagori is a part of the massive Pindos Mountain Range and is defined by Mitsikeli Mountain to the south west and the Aoos River to the East.

The Vikos Gorge is not only the deepest in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, but it also boasts the cleanest water in all of Europe. It is home to over 1800 different plant species.

One of the many rewards you will find on this tour is the overnight stay at the Astraka Mountain Refuge, located almost 2000 meters above sea level. The magnificent views and the Dragon Lake will remain etched in your memory for years to come.

 

This walking holiday is available as part of a Small Group or Private Journey and is one of our most popular suggestions for an exploration of the remote Zagori region of Epirus in northern Greece. The Zagori region is simply beautiful and peaceful and a true taste of Greece "Off the Beaten Track"; you will experience the incredible Vikos Gorge, the Dragon Lake and the traditional villages and stone bridges. Our official mountain guides know the area and the people very well which adds significantly to the experience, not just during the day's walking but also in the villages and at the accommodation we use. Overall this is a hiking lover's dream and has something for everyone.

Rediscover treks in Greece include all meals, accommodation and comfortable transport, as well as an excellent licensed English-speaking mountain guide. Your guide will make every effort to show you a variety of good quality Greek dishes during your holiday - our team loves their food, too.

Accommodation: The guest houses and hotels in this itinerary are generally small, independent or family-run, properties which add significantly to your travel experience in this fascinating country. We select accommodation which has been personally inspected and experienced by our team - all guesthouses are comfortable and have en-suite bathroom/shower. Services at the mountain huts include: bunk beds, pillows and blankets.

Departures: 2018

  • Small Group Guaranteed Dates - June 2nd (FULLY BOOKED), 10th, 17th; July 1st & 8th, September 2nd.
  • For private bookings from 2 to 12 persons - any date upon request between June 1st and October 15th.

Dates for 2019 - on request.

What's included in this Greece Hiking Holiday:

  • 6 nights on BB basis in local guest houses, based on double/twin rooms with en-suite shower/WC. *Please note that although most accommodation facilities will have en-suite air conditioning, TV, telephone and internet access, some will only have some or all of these facilities in the lobby only
  • 1 night in the Mountain Hostel, in dormitory-style rooms.
  • 7 Breakfasts, 3 picnic lunches, 3 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Luggage transfers.
  • Transfer from and to the airport and transport throughout the itinerary
  • Experienced and licensed English speaking trekking guide.
  • Local taxes

Extra Information:

Please note that this tour is subject to change at the discretion of the tour leader, according to weather conditions or circumstances beyond our control.

  • Minimum age requirement: 14 years.
  • Participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Why not extend your stay with a relaxing few days (or longer) on one or more of Greece's beautiful islands or on Greece's beautiful and varied mainland- please ask us for further information or suggestions!

Contact us to enquire or to request a quote.

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Ioannina Airport - Vitsa

    On arrival at Ioannina (airport, bus station or hotel) you will meet your guide and be transferred to Vitsa, a picturesque village in Central Zagori, where you will check into your guest house for the evening.

    • Overnight stay in Vitsa.
    • Meals: Dinner.

     

  • Day 2: Panoramic walking tour

    After breakfast you will drive to Vradeto, from where today’s hike starts. First stop is Beloi, the best observation point of the gorge. Continue hiking back to Vradeto located at an altitude of 1340m/ 4396ft the highest among the villages of the area. You'll hike down the famous stone staircase and continue to the village of Kapesovo for a short break. After your break you'll continue hiking through the small, quaint village of Kapesovo and enter an oak forest while walking downhill towards the gorge. Once inside the gorge, after a short distance you will come upon a very old stone bridge and then ascend the stone staircase of Vitsa that leads to the homonymous village and your hotel.

    • Overnight stay in Vitsa
    • Trekking Time: approx. 8 hours
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate / Challenging
    • Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and Dinner
    • Trekking altitude: 1200m – 1340m – 1450m – 960m – 750m – 945m

     

     

  • Day 3: Vikos Gorge.

    Today you'll walk through Vikos Gorge; according to the Guinness Book of Records the Vikos Gorge is the World's deepest canyon in proportion to its width. Starting from the village of Monodendri follow the hiking trail into the gorge and after six or seven hours of moderate walking through lush vegetation in the shady canyon, you reach the village of Vikos. From there you will have a transfer (5 minutes) to the village of Aristi.

    • Overnight stay in Aristi
    • Trekking Time: 6 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate
    • Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner
    • Trekking altitude: 1050m – 495m – 750m

  • Day 4: Voidomatis springs

    After breakfast you will be taken back to Vikos from where you will start your walk through the famous Voidomatis springs until you reach the picturesque village of Papigo.

    • Overnight stay in Mikro Papigo
    • Trekking Time: 3 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Easy
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Trekking altitude: 750m – 495m – 960m

  • Day 5: Mikro Papigo - Astraka Mountain Hut - Dragon Lake.

    After breakfast start hiking from the village of Mikro Papigo and through mountainous terrain to reach the mountain hut of Astraka, situated at an altitude of 1950m [6397 ft].

    After a lunch break at the hut, continue your hike to the Dragon Lake, set on the edge of a cliff at an altitude of 2000m [6562 ft], enjoying the magnificent view to the peaks of the Pindos mountain range. After a nice refreshing swim return to your hut.

    • Overnight stay in Astraka Mountain Hut.
    • Total trekking time: 6 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
    • Trekking altitude: 960m – 1935m – 2000m - 1935m

  • Day 6: Aoos Gorge

    From the Mountain Hut you will hike downwards to the Monastery of Stomio, built in 1774, enjoying magnificent views. Then you'll walk into the gorge of the river Aoos and have the opportunity for a nice swim in the clear waters of the river.

    At the end of your walking tour you will reach the famous stone bridge of Konitsa. The Arched Bridge, built between 1823 and 1871, with a height of 20 metres and a width of 40 meters is one of the biggest in the Balkan area.

    • Overnight stay in Konitsa.
    • Total trekking time: 6 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate/Challenging
    • Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner
    • Trekking altitude: 1935m – 1800m – 650m - 465m

  • Day 7: Voidomatis River - Ioannina

    After breakfast you'll walk inside a shaded pathway, under willows and plane trees along the blue waters of the Voidomatis River. It is reputed to be the cleanest river in Europe and you can drink any time from it during your walk.

    In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner at a local taverna next to the lake in Ioannina.

    • Overnight stay in Ioannina.
    • Trekking Time: 2 hours
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Easy
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Trekking altitude: 600m - 465m

  • Day 8: Departure from Ioannina

    After breakfast, you'll be transfered to Ioannina Airport for your return flight.

    • Meals: Breakfast.

Prices

Vikos Gorge & Zagori TREK

This walking itinerary explores the remote Zagori region, includes Vikos Gorge & Drakolimni Lake .

Available as a small group tour on dates below or as a private booking for any date Jun 1st - Oct 15th.

  • Single supplement: £ 111 per person

Small Group Departure - 2018 - available on 10/06/2018

1 to 12 people
£ 880

Small Group Departure - 2018 - available on 17/06/2018

1 to 12 people
£ 889

Small Group Departures - 2018 - available on 01/07/2018

1 to 12 people
£ 903

Small Group Departures - 2018 - available on 08/07/2018

1 to 12 people
£ 903

Small Group Departures - 2018 - available on 02/09/2018

1 to 12 people
£ 889

All prices are per person

Reviews

"We just wanted to thank you both very much indeed for organising a truly fantastic walking holiday in Greece for us. Our self-guided walking holiday in Zagori National Park & Mt. Olympus was absolutely superb in every respect. The organisation, accommodation, food, walking & our local guide Alex were all excellent. I seem to remember asking when we first made contact if you could organise some walking for us in remote areas of Greece, away from the normal tourist haunts & having the “wow” factor. Well you certainly achieved those aims for us. The small hotels/guest houses you organised for us were all excellent & the food & welcome we received was second to none. I would thoroughly recommend the holiday as a brilliant means of seeing spectacular parts of Greece & staying in marvellous small hotels . The food was exceptional everywhere. The local people very friendly & welcoming.  Thanks again for all your efforts to ensure that we both had a wonderful walking holiday & witnessed magnificent parts of Greece that we didn’t know existed."

R Tookey, Sept 2016

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