Walking And Talking In Zagori, Greece

A 6-day trekking and culture-learning adventure in the remote northwest of Greece, of outstanding natural beauty and fascinating human history on full display


6 Days (land only)

from Ioannina to Ioannina
nomads+summits

£700

from £650

Activities:  

Activity Level

(moderate)
This adventure will take you deep into the Zagori mountains, to trek across stunning mountain landscapes, explore remote villages and meet the locals to learn their ways in a series of fascinating, illuminating interviews. In the latter half of the trip you’ll ascend to the slopes of the Tymfi massif, stay in a mountain refuge against a dramatic backdrop, and climb the country’s fourth-highest mountain, Gkamila, for an unrivalled view of this stunningly gorgeous corner of Greece.





Welcome to the Zagori! After flying into Ioannina, you’ll transfer to your accommodation in Vitsa, a village in the mountains with a settlement history that goes back over a thousand years. Here you’ll see the first of the area’s stunning master-craftsmen-built bridges (the double-arch span of Missios), get your first taste of Greek hospitality, and learn a little about how generations of people can thrive in such a remote location - all against an incredible mountainous backdrop that will take your breath away.


Arrival & Night: Accommodation in Vitsa.

After an early start, a day of trekking begins as your walking party winds its way into the mountains, fortified by Greek coffee and other delicious local beverages. Your first stop is the village of Difolo (“two hills”), where cars are banned. Its stone fountains, cobbled streets and iconic church and mansions are under protected status. From here we’ll walk through Kipoi, where you’ll learn how the locals cure medical ailments with pharmaceutical plants - and we’ll stop in Kapesovo, former home of the region’s greatest painters, where we’ll visit a folklore museum and learn the role of education in “the places behind the mountains”. (Note: this part of the itinerary may change based on availability.) From here, you’ll walk the Vradeto Steps (a beautiful cobblestone pathway) across the mountainside to Vradeto, the highest village in the whole of the Zagori (1350 metres), surrounded by truly spectacular scenery- and this is where we’ll spend the night.


Night: Accommodation in Vradeto.

Your second full day of walking takes you through high villages and through the Megas Lakkos valley to the lower slopes of Tymfi, a colossal mountain massif with a series of high peaks. You’ll cross the alpine planes of Avgerinos, skirt the Megas Lakkos valley and head up towards the lower slopes of Astraka and Gkamila, two peaks on the towering Tymfi massif. Our home for the night (and the following night) is the Astraka mountain refuge at 1930 metres above sea level, a fully-equipped summer shelter that can hold up to 50 people.


Night: Accommodation at Astraka mountain hut.

Today you climb to the roof of Greece. The primary destination for the day is the summit of Gkamila (2497m), the fourth highest mountain in the whole of Greece, first climbed in 1956. If time and conditions allow, you’ll descend by a route that will take you past the stunning Tymfi Dragon Lake (2050m), an elliptical mirror lake that’s home to a species of alpine newt that may have given it its fearsome name. From this majestic spot, you’ll work your way back down the mountain to the Astraka refuge, where you’ll spend your second night on the slopes of Tymfi.


Night: Accommodation at Astraka mountain hut.

After your final night at the Astraka mountain refuge, you’ll walk through the mountains to the picturesque stone alleyways and remarkable Zagorian architecture of the village of Mikro Papigo. From here it’s a short walk to the edge of the Vikos Gorge, where you’ll make your crossing of this famously stunning natural wonder (and enjoy its relative coolness, even in the deep heat of the Greek summer). You’ll cross to the Voidomatis springs, where this 15-km river (one of the purest in Europe) first emerges from the rocks near the village of Vikos, and from there you’ll head to one of the Zgori’s most beautiful villages, Monodendri - at 1060 metres, it’s a breathtaking viewpoint for the surrounding landscape. The day’s walking ends in Vitsa, bringing this walking adventure full circle!


Night: Accommodation in Vitsa.

After a final breakfast, this walking tour ends, and you’ll say goodbye to your adventure companions and to the Zagori. We’ll arrange for transfers to Ioannina, where you’ll head home. Yia sou, and see you again soon!


Departure from Ioannina.
  • Six days exploring part of the Zagori region of Greece, a thousand km of mountain landscape containing just 46 villages and less than 4,000 fulltime inhabitants.
  • Walk a network of stone-lined mountain roads and cross elegant bridges constructed by 18th and 19th-Century master craftsmen.
  • Stay overnight in the mountain villages of Vista, a settlement dating back to the 8th Century, and Vradeto, the highest village in the whole region, before ascending to the slopes of some of Greece’s highest mountains and spending two days based in a fully-equipped mountain refuge.
  • Scale part of the mighty Tymfi massif and climb to the summit of Gkamila, the fourth highest mountain in Greece (2,436 metres).
  • Learn about mountain life with a series of talks and interviews with welcoming locals, covering topics ranging from natural medicine to education, from artistry to the hard economics of remote mountain life.
  • Break bread and sip coffee (and other delicious beverages) with your hosts - and gain a new appreciation for how life really works in these kinds of landscapes.
  • At every point,you’ll be led by expert climbers and guides who will steer you towards the very best of everything the area has to offer.

What's Included

  • 5 breakfasts, 5 dinners.
  • 2 nights at a traditional countryside guesthouse in Chora Vezitsa
  • 2 nights at the refuge of Astraka.
  • 1 night in a traditional countryside guesthouse in Vradeto.
  • Local English-speaking certified mountain guide for all treks.
  • All transports between destination and from/to activities in a Rug&Rock minibus with air-con.
  • Financial protection in accordance with The Package Travel regulation

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Meals other than stated
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Travel insurance
  • Allow £10-15 for each meal not included.
Date
Price
Status

2018

24 Aug - 29 Aug
£650
 
Available
05 Oct - 10 Oct
£688
 
Available

2019

15 Mar - 20 Mar
£688
 
Available





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