Greece: Zagori & Meteora

Resort: Greece: Zagori & Meteora
Operator: Exodus
Destination:
Price From: £1549.00

Overview


Explore the secret paths of VikosAoos National Park and Meteora on foot

Unknown to most of the world, both beautiful and unspoiled, the Zagori area
is one of the best walking regions in Greece. Learn more about the myths and
stories and history of the area, observe the unique flora and fauna and taste
the delicious local cuisine. Walk amongst traditional stone made villages,
arch stone bridges, gorges, mountains and pristine natural landscapes in
Vikos-Aoos National Park, recognised as a UNESCO Geopark Network. Follow this
with the chance to visit the UNESCO Worldwide Heritage Site of Meteora,
exploring the trails of the ancient monks and clifftop monasteries.

Highlights

* Vikos Gorge and the Zagori arch stone bridges
* Hike to the stunning alpine Dragon Lake

* Spectacular Meteora- ‘columns in the sky’

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Thessaloniki

The group flights usually arrive into Thessaloniki in the early afternoon and
the group will be met and transferred to the start hotel. Land Only clients
should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon. In the evening our guide
will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice on the
local area and answer any questions.
Accommodation:Egnatia Hotel or similar
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2
To Monodendri, walk to the byzantine church of Agia Paraskevi and then to the
Oxya viewpoint

We depart from Thessaloniki after breakfast and transfer to Zagori area
(around 4 hrs). Upon arrival in Monodendri, we will have a picnic lunch. Our
first stop is the Rizarios Photography museum which hosts temporary photo
exhibitions of Greek photographers as well as the stereoscopic cameras
brought by English journalists to Greece to capture the first modern Olympic
Games in 1896! In the late afternoon we will take a short walk (approx. 1.5
hr) to the to Agia Paraskevi byzantine church (built in the 14th century),
which offers our first panoramic view of Vikos gorge.After that, well
head to Oxya viewpoint with its breath-taking view of the Gorge. From there
we will stop at the stone forest before arriving at our guesthouse for the
next two nights.
Accommodation: Selini Guesthouse or similar
*Guesthouse*

Day 3
Morning walk through the Vradeto steps up to Vradeto and the Beloi
viewpoint. Afternoon walk the beautiful stone arch bridges of Zagoria

After breakfast we start our hike from the village of Kapesovo down to a
small canyon and then upwards, through the beautiful Vradeto steps (stone
path built in the 16th century) towards the highest village of Zagori,
Vradeto (1340m). From there, following a beautiful path we arrive at Beloi
viewpoint (1450m), where we can enjoy panoramic views over Vikos gorge. We
return to Vradeto village and from there back to Kapesovo village. After a
picnic lunch, we will visit some of the most important and beautiful stone
arch bridges of Zagoria, such as Kokoris, Plakidas, Milou, Pitsioni and
Kontodima bridges. Most of the stone bridges were built during the 17th and
18th centuries as a means of moving in between the villages and are
masterpieces of the local architecture. There are several different trails
connecting the bridges we can choose from today, depending on the interest of
the group.
Please note: the distance of the walk may vary depending on the route chosen
for the stone bridges walk.

Accommodation: Selini Guesthouse or similar
*Guesthouse*

Day 4
Walk through Vikos-Aoos N.P. and the Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest in the
world.

Today we will hike along one of the most beautiful, impressive and rewarding
hiking paths in the area. We transfer to Monodendri village, and from here we
descend down to Vikos Gorge, said to be one of the deepest gorges in the
world. Walking parallel to the river, it will take us about 6.5-7.5 hours to
walk this part of the canyon. Traversing the ravine, we can admire the rare
varieties of wild birds and flowers that have found their habitat in
Vikos-Aoos National Park. We will stop at the river springs to relax and eat
our picnic lunch. Depending on the season, you can also swim in the river! In
the afternoon, we arrive at Vikos village where we will be picked up and
transferred to the delightful Papingo village for dinner and overnight stay.
Accommodation:Nikos & Ioulia guesthouse or similar
*Guesthouse*

Day 5
Hike to the stunning alpine Dragon Lake at 2050m.

After an early breakfast, we start our trek today from Papingo village up
through captivating alpine scenery towards the Dragon Lake and our
mountain refuge. We will arrive at the refuge in the early afternoon, and
after a short break for our picnic lunch, will then continue to the beautiful
Dragon Lake, situated at 2050m. Towardsthe end of
spring/beginningof summer, theremight still be some snow present. The
view of this magical landscape will definitely reward you after a long day!
Well return to our mountain refuge where we spend the night. It can feel
cold here at night so it is important to bring layers.
Accommodation: Astraka Refuge
*Mountain Refuge*

Day 6
Final day in the Zagori area, walk to Papingo village; visit Ovires natural
swimming pools. To Meteora.

After breakfast at the mountain refuge, we will descend back to Papingo
village. This is our last day in the Zagori area, and we cannot leave without
making a stop at the natural swimming pools in Ovires. During the summer
months, you can also enjoy swimming in the crystal clear waters of the
river! Before leaving Papingo village there will be time for a lovely lunch
in one of the family run restaurants before we depart for the UNESCO
Worldwide Heritage site of Meteora (2.5 hrs driving distance). We aim to
arrive in Meteora at sunset, going to several viewpoints where we can enjoy
panoramic views over Kalampaka plain and the stone forest of Meteora.

Max Altitude 1950m

Please note: The exact order of activities upon arrival in Meteora will be
modified for the optimization of the itinerary, depending on the season
(sunset).

Accommodation: Meteoritis hotel or similar
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 7
Walk through the spectacular rock pillars of Meteora stone forest; visit
cliff-top monastery. To Thessaloniki

What a better way to start your day than admiring the spectacular rock
pillars of Meteora stone forest? After breakfast, we will explore this unique
landscape on foot, following the hiking paths of the ancient monks followed
by a visit to one of the top-cliff monasteries of the area.
The area of Meteora was initially inhabited by monks who lived in caves
within the rocks during the 11th century. In the late 12th century, a small
church called the Panaghia Doupiani was built at the foot of one of the
rocks, but during the Turkish occupation it became less secure so the monks
climbed higher and higher up the rocks to protect themselves from different
conquerors. Numerous monasteries were systematically built on top of the
rocks so by the end of the 15th century there were 24 constructed in total;
today only 6 of them are still active. The monks had to climb up ladders or
use baskets and ropes to transfer the material for the construction of these
monasteries and until 1920 this was the only means for getting supplies. In
the afternoon, we will return back to Thessaloniki. In the evening we will
have a final meal together at one of the local restaurants (at own expense).
Accommodation: El Greco hotelor similar
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 8
Fly to London.

Our adventure ends after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be
transferred to the airport in time for their flight to London.

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