Pindos Peaks Trek

National Park of Valia Calda - the wild forests and peaks.

About Pindos Peaks Trek

Summary

Pindus National Park, located in north west Greece, is probably the least known and least visited of any National Park in Europe. Hiking in this remote area is a fascinating experience.

Activity code: GR-TR-PINDUS (VK1)

Difficulty: Moderate. [Participants should be in good mental and physical condition with some relevant hiking experience and have no fear of heights].

Duration: 8 Days

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

Pindus National Park, also known as Valia Kalda, is located in north west Greece; it was established in 1966 and considered one of the most important protected areas for the maintenance of mountainous biodiversity. The National Park is characterized by extensive forests of black pine and beech in the park's lower and middle altitudes and Balkan pine at higher altitudes. The area hosts a population of Eurasian brown bears which is a conservation priority species. Other mammals that live in the park are wolves, deer, wild cats and the Balkan Chamois.

The park further provides shelter for more than 80 species of birds, including 10 types of rare bird species such as the Eastern imperial eagle, the Golden eagle and the Lanner falcon. A large variety of reptiles, amphibians, and insects, complete the picture. Discover a diverse mosaic of forest types, breath taking landscapes, over 1000 species of plants, some of them endemic to the area, the largest alpine animal zone community including the brown bear, the wolf and jackal to name a few, crystal clear alpine lakes and some of the most beautiful traditional villages of Greece located in Zagori. If you love mountains then this is a tour you shouldn't miss.

Why Book with Rediscover Greece?

This walking holiday is available as part of a Small Group or Private Journey. The itinerary includes Pindus National Park, Flega Lakes, the picturesque villages and stone bridges of Zagori, the traditional town of Metsovo and the possibility to extend your stay in Thessaloniki or at the coast. Overall it is hiking off the beaten track in some of the most beautiful and unspoilt scenery in Europe.

Rediscover treks in Greece include all meals, accommodation and comfortable transport; we offer opportunities for sightseeing [Ioannina, Metsovo, 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: 2020

  • Small Group* Guaranteed Dates

- June 2nd (full); August 2nd

  • For private bookings from 4 to 12 persons - any date upon request between June 1st and October 15th.

* Minimum 2 persons, maximum 8 persons

What's included in this Greece Hiking Holiday:

  • 7 nights on BB basis in village rooms, Mountain Huts and refuge 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
  • 7 Breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 2 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Luggage transfers.
  • Transfer from and to the airport and transport throughout the itinerary
  • Experienced and licensed English speaking trekking guide.
  • Most Local taxes
  • Sightseeing visits [subject to time available and flight details]

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • Airfare (we can include this if you prefer)
  • A single room (It is possible on request)
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Travel and Personal accident insurance
  • Anything which is not mentioned in the programme
  • Overnight Stay Tax In January 2018 Greece introduced an Overnight Stay Tax of 0.50 to 4 Euros per room or apartment per night, which is payable locally - the amount varies according to the category of the accommodation (i.e. most self catering and 1-2 star hotels = 0.50 Euros,  5 star hotels = 4 Euros).

Suggested equipment for your trekking holiday :

  • Bottle/flask of water (1 litre per day)
  • Rucksack
  • Walking poles
  • Sun protection & sunglasses
  • Bathing suit & towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof coat / windbreaker, comfortable clothing
  • Torch (Headlamp)
  • HIKING BOOTS ARE NECESSARY!

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.

Services at the Mountain hostels include: bunk beds, pillows / pillow cases and blankets. There is also a restaurant, showers (only cold water) and toilets. Guests are welcome to carry their own bed linen / sheets and towels for personal usage.

  • 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 - Pindus National Park

    On arrival at Thessaloniki Airport you will be met by your guide who will transfer you to Vovousa - a beautiful village in the National Park (duration approx. 3.5 hours). After checking in to the refuge, a welcome drink will be served while your guide informs you about the following day’s itinerary in the National Park. During the evening you will have the chance to dine at the refuge, tasting traditional Greek dishes.

    • Overnight stay in Valia Calda Refuge.
    • Meals: Welcome cocktail and Dinner.

  • Day 2: Arkoudorema - European walking route E6

    Start your first day with a hiking tour following the European walking route E6. Cross the National Park, along the river Arkoudorema until you reach its awesome waterfall. After a break, you will have time to dive into the clear waterfall and later you'll return to the refuge. This area is one of the most important habitats of the brown bear with a lush vegetation of beech trees, black and Bosnian pines.

    • Overnight stay in Refuge Valia Calda.
    • Trekking Time: approx. 6 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate
    • Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 3: Flega lakes

    Your hike starts from the core of the National Park to the mountain lakes of Flega. The lakes are situated at an altitude of 1950 m hosting rare amphibians such as the yellow-bellied toad and the alpine newt. You'll continue hiking to the Flega peak at 2159 m enjoying an incredible view before returning to the refuge for your dinner.

    • Overnight stay at the refuge.
    • Trekking Time: 6 - 7 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Challenging
    • Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 4: Vovousa - Avgo peak

    Today start your trek up to the highest peak of the National Park, Avgo at 2177 m. Start your hike from the village of Vovousa at 970 meters through beech and black pine forests continuing as the altitude rises at alpine terrain. The view to the peaks of the Pindus mountain range is breathtaking.

    • Overnight stay in Valia Calda Refuge.
    • TrekkingTime: approx. 7 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate
    • Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 5: The Zagori villages and the stone arched bridges

    After breakfast you'll drive to Zagori visiting an open-air museum, which is a reconstruction of an old settlement. Also, time to visit the local villages, admire the typical stone arched bridges of the area and have lunch at a traditional taverna.

    • Overnight stay in Valia Calda Refuge.
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 6: Flambourari - Tsuka Rossa

    From the refuge you'll be driven to Flambourari village (1000 meters) where your hike starts (25 mins). You'll hike to the peak Tsuka Rossa at 1987 meters from which you will enjoy a magnificent view of Aoos Lake. Follow the path through the forest, which is one of the most beautiful places of the whole area and an important habitat of the brown bear; the path is maintained through WWF volunteers. On the way back to the refuge you'll walk along the banks of the Aoos river.

    • Overnight stay in Valia Calda Refuge.
    • Trekking Time: approx. 7 hours.
    • Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate
    • Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 7: Metsovo

    After breakfast you will visit the monastery of "Theotokou Voutsas", built in 672 AD and recently restored. You will continue your trip visiting the town of Metsovo, which is a traditional settlement, commercial and culture centre of the area. The area is famous for its dairy products. After lunch in a traditional local taverna you'll return to the refuge, where in the late afternoon, there will be a farewell BBQ.

    • Overnight in Refuge Valia Calda.
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 8: Thessalonik Airport

    After breakfast, you will be transferred to Thessaloniki Airport for your return flight.

    • Meals: Breakfast.

Prices

Northern Pindus TREK

This guided walking holiday takes you off the beaten track to the Valia Kalda National Park and the Zagori region.

It is available as a small group tour on the dates below or as a private booking for any reasonable date from June 1st to Oct 15th.

Small Group Departures - 2020 - available on 02/06/2020

1 to 8 people
£ 949

Small Group Departures - 2020 - available on 02/08/2020

2 to 8 people
£ 958

All prices are per person

Gallery

Independent Holidays for all budgets since 1998