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Archaic Foot Paths

DAZZLING ZAGORIA

Zagoria is a precious community of forty-five traditional villages lying in the northwest of Greece, amidst the mighty Pindos Mountain range. The region has a fairy tale like quality, with double and triple arched stone bridges, cobblestone paths and well-trod trails connecting the villages.  The air is super clean in Zagoria.  The food is fresh and wholesome.  The people are full of kind hospitality.   Zagoria is an ideal place for a hiking adventure.

DESCRIPTION

Many of Zagoria’s  settlements were depopulated through wars, poverty and immigration to Athens. Yet recently, especially with a boon in outdoor adventure activities, Zagoria is experiencing a revival. The stone and slate houses with colorful windows and doors “locked” by a mere stick are popular retreats for those seeking serenity and communion in nature.

DETAILS

Trip Duration 8 days

Start & End Points 
Start:   Ioannina Airport, 45 minute transfer to Monodendri.   There are two daily flights from Athens to Ioannina. You need to take the morning flight.
End: Ioannina.  There are two daily flights from Ioannina to Athens.

CHILDREN  This tour is not recommended for children under 16 years old

RATING  This tour is rated moderate with one challenging day (Day 6).  Hikes average 5 hours a day walking at a moderate pace.  There are some steep ascents, such as hiking out of Vikos Gorge.

HIKING GUIDE VERSUS SELF-GUIDE  The advantages of a hiking guide is you do not have to figure out anything how to get from Point A to Point B.   The guide not only leads you in the right direction but he or she also enlightens your experience by providing information relating to the history and culture and flora and fauna on each day’s hike.   Additionally the guide carries provisions, such as, extra water, binoculars, first aid kit and snacks, although you are expected to carry your own water and picnic lunch.  For self-guided tours you are given a map and GPS device, but otherwise you are on your own carrying your own water and supplies.

HIKING LOGISTICS   The most strategic aspect to hiking in Zagoria is the transfers.  Whether you opt for a guide or self-guided tour we ensure that you are transferred by a driver to the start point of each hike and that the driver is waiting for you at the end point as well.  We provide a mobile phone so that you are in contact with the driver.

BOOKING AGREEMENT  Participants are required to sign our company Booking Agreement as a condition of the tour.

WAIVER  Participants are required to sign our company Waiver as a condition of the tour

ITINERARY

Day 1: Monodendri
Arrive to Ioannina airport and transfer to Monodendri. Smell the clean air, taste the wholesome food, listen to the ding-a-ling of the goat’s bells. You are far from the city!  Follow the delightful stone steps from Vitsa to the 10th century Misiou stone bridge, a work of architectural wonder. 2-4 hours walk

Day 2: Monodendri
Start your hike from Tsepelovo village (3,445 feet, 1,050 m) and head across a magnificent trail towards Vradeto, which at 4,757 feet (1,450 meters) is Zagoria’s highest settlement. It has a remarkable 16th century stone path. Continuing to Beloi you encounter stupendous views of the Vikos Gorge from 5,413 feet high (1,650 meters). 5-6 hours walk

Day 3: Monodendri
According to the 1997 Guinness Book of Records, Vikos Gorge is the world’s deepest canyon at 2950 feet (900m). The hike from Monodendri to Vikos is well shaded and pristine. You pass through mossy trees, stop over a turtle or two and climb the rocks when the riverbed is dry. It is an amazing journey. 5 hours walk

Day 4: Monodendri
Today’s hike goes from Koukouli, a lovely little village, to Kipi, famous for its spectacular three-arched bridge and other charming archaic bridges.  For the finale you hike a hike to reach the village of Dilofo, protected by the State for its historic architecture.  4-5 hours hike.

Day 5: Papingo
Start from the town of Vikos and hike back to Papingo, stopping at the frigid Voidomatis springs near Panagia monastery, said to be the coldest in Europe. Before your ascent to Papingo, swim in the natural spring pools resting on the rocks in the site known as Kolymbithres. 3 hours walk.

Day 6:  Papingo
Today is perhaps your hardest hiking day, walking from Papingo up to Dragolimni 2100 meters, which means Dragon Lake.  It takes four hours to reach the beautiful alpine lake, steep in parts.  The Astraka refuge is halfway up, if you wish to stop there, making a 4 hour hike.  The entire hike is a challenging 8 hours.

Day 7: Ioannina
You leave the rural life for the city with a transfer south to Ioannina, population 100,000 residents, and capital of the region. Ioannina is a proud, old town enlivened by Ottoman era architecture.  It lies on a lake with an island to visit and cobblestone streets to stroll.  Turn a corner and be transferred from a modern commercial center to a Middle Eastern bazaar.

Day 8: Departure

COST & INCLUSIONS

COST PER PERSON

Participants Hiking Guide Self-Guided
1-2 2820 euros per person 2190 euros per person
3-4 2100 euros per person 1785 euros per person
5-6 1870 euros per person 1660 euros per person
7-8 1760 euros per person 1600 euros per person
Single Supplement 500 euros 500 euros

Tour cost is based on double occupancy.

For currency exchange rates, click here.

INCLUSIONS

Hiking Guide Inclusions Self-Guided Inclusions
 7 nights accommodations in 3 star hotels – see Accommodations tab 7 nights accommodations in 3 star hotels – see Accommodations tab
Daily breakfast at each hotel Daily breakfast at each hotel
 Hiking guide – see details below
Ioannina airport transfers Ioannina airport transfers
Transfers to start point  and from end point of each day’s hike  Transfers to start point  and from end point of each day’s hike
maps of the region maps of the region
mobile phone with 10 euros card mobile phone with 10 euros card
  Trip packet with useful information: what to see and do in each region,  recommended tavernas, packing tips, phone numbers, etc.  Trip packet with useful information: what to see and do in each region,  recommended tavernas, packing tips, phone numbers, etc.
 Gratuities, tips, VAT Gratuities, tips, VAT

EXCLUSIONS

Hiking Guide Exclusions Self-Guided Exclusions
 Airfare to/from Greece  Airfare to/from Greece
 Airfare to/from Ioannina Airfare to/from Ioannina
Meals except breakfast Meals except breakfast
Trekking poles Trekking poles
 Travel Insurance -see Extras tab Travel Insurance – see Extras tab

HIKING GUIDE

You have a hiking guide in Monodendri and another hiking guide in Papingo, both local to the region.   The guides lead you on all hikes from beginning to end.  He or she carries provisions such as maps, first aid kit, extra water, snacks.  You are expected to carry your own picnic lunch and water.  Guides finish their duties for the day after dropping you off at your hotel.   You are given a mobile phone for contact with the guides.  The guides handle all logistics with transfer drivers.

EXTRAS

Travel Insurance  For U.S. citizens, we are official agents of Travel Guard travel insurance and can book your trip insurance or provide you a policy quote.

Meteora add-on  From Ioannina it is 104 kilometers, or 90 minutes by car, to Meteora, known for its marvelous medieval monasteries perched atop cliff pinnacles.  How the monks built them in the Byzantine era is a mystery.  Hiking paths between the monasteries.  Inquire for prices.

ACCOMMODATION

PapaevangelouAn indicative hotel for the Dazzling Zagoria tour is Papaevangelou Hotel in Megalo Papingo built in the classic style with wood and stone.

We select the accommodations based on quality, comfort, cleanliness, hospitality, location and charm. Most of the hotels on this tour are family owned and operated.

Hotels are included in the tour cost based on double occupancy. A single room entails an additional cost. Standard double rooms are provided but upgrade options are available.

All hotels are dependent on availability. In the event of no occupancy, we patronize comparable accommodations in the same location.

Request Links to Accommodations for Dazzling Zagoria

MAP

Click map to open in Google Maps

Overnight destinations and points of interest

GROUPS

This tour is also available for groups of more than eight persons. You can take the tour with the itinerary as listed or we can customize the tour’s destinations and activities to suit your party.

A group of eight participants travel in a company vehicle with staff driver who also acts as your guide. A group of 10-16 participants travel in either two company vehicles with staff driver/guides or one mini-coach. Groups larger than 16 participants travel in coaches or mini-coaches, led by a company tour leader who handles all logistics.

We offer innovative tours to large groups attending a congress, conference or corporate event.

See more information on the Groups page.

Contact us directly for price quotes and itineraries for your party’s special stay in Greece.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hiking stone steps and stone arched bridges from bygone eras
  • Eating local homemade foods and drinking fiery tsipouro
  • Traversing the magnificent Vikos Gorge, one of the world’s deepest canyons
  • Filling your water bottle daily with clean mountain springs water
  • Discovering abandoned monasteries in remote locales
DAY TOURS
DAY TOURS
Athens & Attica Region
OUR ECOATHENS DIVISION
Bike Tours
Walks & Hikes
Culinary & Wine
History & Culture
Health & Wellness