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Greece: Zagoria & Mt Olympus

Greece, Europe

from $3,495* per person 11 Days May, June, September, October
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Wilderness Travel 16 people max
  • Ioannina, greece
  • Active & Adventure trips
A hidden world of traditional Greece is found in Zagoria, where thousand-year-old stone villages perch above the dramatic Vikos Gorge in the craggy Pindos Mountains. In this quiet realm where the 21st century does not yet intrude, we hike trails along and into the gorge, with its silvery olive groves, soaring arched bridges, crystal-clear springs, and 17th century stone staircases. We then head to the spectacular monasteries of Meteora for a hike up to these airy sanctuaries, built atop towering rock peaks. Our grand finale is a climb of Mt. Olympus (9,600'), storied home of the gods, where we can gaze out over the ancient world from the abode of Zeus, ruler of the sky.

Locations visited/nearby

Greece, Europe

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Special information

  • May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.

Itinerary

Days 1-2
Ioannina / Zagoria

From Ioannina, we head into the mountains to picturesque Tsepelovo, the largest of the 45 Zagorian villages. The next day, we begin our journey with a hike to hilltop Vradeto (4,700'), the highest in the region, then to Beloi, with splendid views of the Vikos Gorge. A descent on the amazing Vradeto Stairs, a 17th century stone staircase, takes us down to lovely Kapesovo, a great place to taste the local herb-infused cuisine and regional wine.

Days 3-4
Vitsa / Kipi

Spectacular stone bridges of double and even triple arches span the upper reaches of the sheer Vikos Gorge, and we cross our first one, the Paliogefiro, constructed in 980 AD, to arrive at the handsome village of Kipi. After lunch in a taverna, we descend cobbled trails to the floor of the gorge and then ascend to delightful Vitsa, with its cascade of stone houses and lovely village square shaded by a huge plane tree. The next day we continue on stone steps to atmospheric Koukouli, where the absence of motor traffic evokes a past era.
Days 5-6
Voidhomatis Springs / Papingo

Hiking along the river, we can stop for a swim in a gorgeous natural spring before we ascend to Papingo, a truly spectacular village overlooking the entire length of the gorge. The trail to Astraka takes us past gleaming Dragon Lake (6,800'), set on the edge of a cliff on one of the high peaks of the Pindos.

Days 7-8
Dodona / Meteora / Litochoro

After we explore the sanctuary of Dodona, the oldest of the Greek oracles, we head for magnificent Meteora, where medieval monasteries are perched atop towering rock pinnacles. We hike in this surreal landscape, then continue on to Litochoro, gateway for Olympus climbs.

Days 9-11
Spilio Agapitos Refuge / Mt. Olympus

We climb soaring Mount Olympus, ascending trails through the forest then above the treeline to the Spilio Agapitos Refuge (7,200'). The next morning, we rise early to hike to the rocky summit at 9,600 feet, a fitting abode for the gods. After enjoying this peak where Zeus once hurled his thunderbolts, we descend and depart on Day 11 via Thessaloniki.

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