Vikos Gorge & Zagori Trek (with Meteora)

Off the beaten track in remote northern Greece.

About Vikos Gorge & Zagori Trek (with Meteora)

Summary

The Zagori region offers deep canyons, rivers, mountain lakes, old stone bridges, Byzantine monasteries and picturesque villages- only some of the highlights of this trekking tour.

START / FINISH - Thessaloniki [Athens, Volos, Ioannina and Corfu - on request].

Activity code: GR-TR-VK01 (ZA1)

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

Duration: 8 Days

Vikos - Aoos National Park in northwestern Greece, was founded in 1973. It is named after the two main gorges in the area and covers 12,600 hectares of mountainous terrain, with numerous rivers, lakes, caves, deep canyons and dense coniferous and deciduous forests. The centerpiece is the spectacular Vikos Gorge with a depth of 1000 meters [3280 ft], one of the largest and finest gorges in the world, carved by the Voidomatis River. Aoos Gorge, Mount Tymfi with its highest peak Gamila 2,497m [8192 ft] and a number of traditionally preserved settlements form the park's peripheral zone. The rich variety of fauna and flora, natural habitats and ecosystems rank it among the most valuable parks for nature conservation in Greece.

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 holiday itinerary also includes a visit to the world-famous UNESCO site of Meteora. 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 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; we offer opportunities for sightseeing [Meteora Monasteries, Ioannina, Thessaloniki, Vergina] as well as an excellent English-speaking guide/tour escort throughout. Your guide will make every effort to show you a variety of good quality Greek dishes during your holiday - our team love 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 hotels and guesthouses are comfortable and fully equipped with heating, en-suite bathroom/shower, air-conditioning, telephone, and television. Services at the mountain huts include: bunk beds, pillows and blankets.

Departures: 2018

  • Small Group Guaranteed Dates - June 2nd, 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 double rooms in selected hotels and guesthouses with en-suite shower/WC, a/c, TV, telephone and internet.
  • 1 night in the Mountain Hostel, in dormitory room.
  • 7 Breakfasts, 3 picnic lunches, 3 taverna lunches and 7 dinners .
  • Luggage transfers.
  • Transfer from and to the airport and transport throughout the itinerary
  • Sightseeing visits [subject to time available and flight details]
  • English-speaking tour guide.
  • All hiking tours as per itinerary.

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: Thessaloniki Airport - Meteora

    On arrival at Thessaloniki Int. Airport (SKG) you will be met by your guide who will transfer you to Kastraki, a village situated among the spectacular rocks known as Meteora.

    Check into your guesthouse and dinner in a local taverna will follow.

    • Overnight stay in Kastraki.
    • Meals: Dinner.

  • Day 2: Meteora - Tsepelovo

    On this first hike you'll walk between the rocky pinnacles of the famous monasteries of Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best way to explore the beauty of this unique area far from the madding crowd is on foot. So you'll walk on the same old trails which were used by the monks in centuries past and come across the sanctuaries built on these sandstone rock pillars.

    After lunch you'll visit one of the six operating monasteries which are open to the public and continue your way having short breaks for photos prior to being driven to the picturesque village of Tsepelovo at the National park of Vikos-Aoos.

    • Overnight stay in Tsepelovo.
    • Trekking time: 4 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Easy / Moderate
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

  • Day 3: Panoramic walking tour.

    Today's hike starts from Tsepelovo. First stop is Beloi, the best observation point of the Vikos gorge; then continue hiking to the village of Vradeto located at an altitude of 1340m [4396 ft], the highest among the villages of the area. Time to hike down its famous stone staircase and continue to the village of Kapesovo for a short break.

    After lunch continue your hike to the village of Vitsa and to your guesthouse.

    • Overnight stay in Vitsa
    • Trekking Time: approx. 8 hours
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate / Challenging
    • Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and Dinner

  • Day 4: 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. 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 springs of the river Voidomatis where you may wish to cool your feet. From here the trail heads up the other side of the gorge until you reach the height of Vikos village on the opposite side and then, after a pleasant hike along the side of the valley to the traditional stone village of Mikro Papigo and your small hotel for the night.

    • Overnight stay in Mikro Papigo.
    • Trekking Time: 7 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate
    • Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner.

  • 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.

  • Day 6: Aoos Gorge

    From the Mountain Hut you will hike downwards until 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 water 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: 7 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate/Challenging
    • Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 7: Voidomatis River - Thessaloniki

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

    On your way to Thessaloniki you'll visit the traditional settlement of Metsovo, famous for its winery and dairy products. In the evening it will be time to enjoy all together a farewell dinner at a local taverna.

    • Overnight stay in Thessaloniki.
    • Trekking Time: 2 hours
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Easy
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 8: Departure from Thessaloniki

    After breakfast, you'll be transfered to Thessaloniki 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 & Meteora.

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

  • Single supplement: £ 112 per person

Small Group Departure - 2018 - available on 02/06/2018

1 to 12 people
£ 874

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

1 to 12 people
£ 884

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

1 to 12 people
£ 893

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

1 to 12 people
£ 907

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

1 to 12 people
£ 907

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

1 to 12 people
£ 893

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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