This Year, We’re Exploring Zagori – The Other Greece.
When we decided to expand our tour lineup in Greece, we had a decision to make. More beaches? More islands? More glowing white beaches and glittering blue-green sea?
Nah. We’ve got our windsurfing trip to Naxos, and our sailing adventure through the Dodecanese. We felt we had that side of Greece well covered (and yes, there’s so much more to Greece than its coastline).
So, we went north – as far as we could go.
Zagori is a region in the extreme northwest of Greece.
It’s a thousand square kilometres of mountains, canyons and ancient villages – and some of the best trekking you’ll find in Europe.
It’s the home of the Tymfi massif, a colossal range of soaring peaks that include some of the highest spots in the whole of Greece.
We figured we’d have to go up at least one of them.
The Zagori region is also home to beautiful stone-built villages hugging the mountainsides – and less than 4,000 people, or an average of just four folk per square kilometre.
We figured we’d have to meet some of them.
It’s the home of a style of architecture that was pioneered by 18th-Century master craftsmen, operating locally their entire lives, and leaving behind some magnificently beautiful bridges spanning gorges and canyons.
We figured we really should cross a few of them.
It’s a landscape colossal enough to swallow up the mighty Vikos Gorge, a 20-km long rift that’s up to 500 metres deep in places – and always a jaw-dropping sight, from any angle.
We figured we’d better check that out too.
There was so much to see that we were spoilt for choice – and it was clear this wasn’t a tour for rushing round, trying to squeeze everything into a few days.
Plus, it’s Greece. You’re supposed to have enough time to sit and enjoy the view. It’s a requirement.
The result is our brand new tour, Walking & Talking In Zagori, Greece.
The “walking” bit needs no explanation – it’s the only way you can get around this landscape, after all. But the “talking”? That’s all about learning what mountain life is really like up here, in a corner of Greece hardly touched by the tourism circuit.
So we included 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.
We figured that sounded kinda fun.
We’re almost ready to go. All we need is the right team.
Does this sound like a really great way to spend late summer? And is this a side to Greece that you’d love to throw yourself at?
We’re currently filling places for late August – with a second tour planned for early October.
– The Rug & Rock Team