The Natural Wonders
Meteora-Zagori

GENERAL INFO

The North-West corner of Greece is known for its dramatic terrain of mountains, gorges, rivers and remote settlements. It is the most mountainous region in the country which is blessed with a lush and soaring landscape, and mountain villages that preserve their traditional architecture. One would hardly recall many places in Europe that feel so untainted by tourism.
Our trip starts from Athens, with the first stop in Meteora, literally meaning “suspended in the air”. Meteora are the world-famous stunning rock pillars that rise impressively above the plain of Thessaly. The monasteries built by monks six hundred years ago on the top of these rocks, create a unique synthesis of nature and man. Moving further North, entering the “Epirus” region, you’ll discover the magnificent 12-km-long Vikos Gorge, one of the world’s deepest. Α national park filled with forests, waterfalls and ice-cold mountain lakes, surrounded by the Zagorohoria, immaculate stone villages. They constitute an entity of 46 villages with clear geographic boundaries and definite historic and cultural characteristics. It’s easy to see why the Zagorians have been keeping Zagori a secret from the world for so long.

DAILY ITINERARY

Often referred to as the cradle of Western civilization, Athens has been continually occupied by people for the last 7,000 years. You can't move without bumping into an ancient ruin or building, which evokes imagery of the Greek gods or the thoughts of their philosophers.
In the afternoon we meet at our hotel for an introductory talk and afterwards we have our first dinner together. Of course Greek cuisine plays a starring role and we have spent many hours digesting countless delicacies during the research of this important aspect.

Overnight in Athens in a 4* hotel
Dinner included

In the morning you will depart from Athens in the direction of Meteora and you are not likely to forget the first moment the rock pinnacles come into view. The rock formations of Meteora are an extraordinary unique phenomenon and the best way to appreciate the power of the natural forces that shaped this breathtaking landscape is walking right into it. Fantastic manifestations of geological history and current processes of nature await you around every bend or rise in the trail.
Start from the village of Kastraki, which lies at the bottom of the rocks and hike up towards the monasteries. They represent a unique artistic achievement and are one of the most powerful examples of the architectural transformation of a site into a place of retreat, meditation and prayer. A testament to the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.

Overnight in Kastraki in a boutique hotel
Breakfast lunch and dinner included
Hiking distance:
 8 km / Hiking Duration: 3 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 580 m & 580 m
Driving distance:

Athens to Meteora 350 km / 4 hr 30 min

We leave the escarpments and rock towers of Meteora to transfer to the Zagori, a region of pristine rivers, wild mountains, and isolated stone villages. On the way we stop in the picturesque town of Ioannina which sits on the shores of Lake Pamvotis. Originally Hellenistic, the town flourished in the late Byzantine period (13th–15th centuries) and finally surrendered to the Ottomans in 1430. Ioannina was ceded to Greece in 1913 following the Balkan Wars. The result is an intriguing mix of Ottoman and Greek Enlightenment architecture.
After Ioannina, we will transfer into the mountains to the charming Dilofo, one of the most beautiful and best-preserved villages of Zagori. We check into our lovely boutique hotel which is a restored mansion house and in the afternoon, we will drive to the village of Kipi from where we are going to hike to the neighboring village of Tsepelovo to have dinner in the main square beneath a centuries’ old plane tree.

Overnight in Dilofo in a boutique hotel
Breakfast,lunch and dinner included
Hiking distance: 8,4 km / Hiking Duration: 3 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 595 m & 292 m
Driving distance:
Meteora to Ioannina 105 km / 1 hr 45 min
Ioannina to Dilofo 34 km / 45 min
Dilofo to Kipi 6 km / 15 min
Tsepelovo to Dilofo 18 km / 30 min

Located in the heart of Central Zagori, Koukouli has been throughout time one of most significant villages of the area. Five amazing stone bridges connect it with the surrounding villages. The bridges are strategically located in the area ensuring their continuous usage, as the rivers of Zagori are quite often impassable during the winter and the road network is quite recent. Built centuries ago, by the craftsmen of their time, the bridges are preserved in an excellent condition, reminders of the capabilities and imagination of those people. In a 4-hour-round trip you’ll have the opportunity to admire each one of them from all perspectives.
In the afternoon, we will drive towards the village of Elafotopos where we are going to visit a traditional mansion and we will learn about the local cuisine during a hands-on cooking lesson. The Zagorian cuisine reflects the agricultural production of our small and yet blessed country and gives us even today indirect information about the land's economy, history, social life and customs.

Overnight in Dilofo in a boutique hotel
Breakfast,lunch and dinner included

Hiking distance: 9,4 km / Hiking Duration: 4 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 604 m & 602 m
Driving distance:
Dilofo to Koukouli 7 km / 10 min
Koukouli to Dilofo 7 km / 10 min
Dilofo to Elafotopos 15 km / 25 min
Elafotopos to Dilofo 15 km / 25 min

This morning we have a scenic 20 minute drive to the start of our walk that takes us up to the village of Tsepevolo. From there we will hike towards towards Beloi, a viewpoint with breathtaking views of the gorge of Vikos. On the way we will have the chance to walk the stairs of Vradeto. They are made of stones, carved by exceptional and highly experienced craftsmen, who created 1,120 large steps, covering thus 250 meters of height with a path of more than 1.5 kilometers which connects the villages of Kapesovo and Vradeto. Lunch today, is prepared by our friend Lambros in his tiny kitchen, at the village of Vradeto which lies at 1340m and is the highest in the region.

Overnight in Dilofo in a boutique hotel
Breakfast,lunch and dinner included

Hiking distance: 12 km / Hiking Duration: 4 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 783 m & 515 m
Driving distance:
Dilofo to Tsepelovo 18 km / 30 min
Vradeto to Dilofo 20 km / 30 min
Vitsa to Dilofo 12 km / 15 min

Today you will raft Voidomatis, which characterized as one of Europe’s cleanest rivers. We float through an impressive waterway surrounded by age-long plane trees and encounter few easy rapids, which have just enough white-water to give a little thrill without any danger, before ending at the arched stone bridge of Kleidonia.
After lunch we will transfer to the village of Megalo Papigo, which due to its preserved original state is declared as traditional settlement. The village is densely built, with numerous stone houses and enclosed courtyards typical for Zagori villages and has with great views towards the Astraka towers. In the afternoon, we leave on foot from Megalo Papigo along ancient cobbled lanes that take us to the “sister village” of Mikro Papigo. The path leads us along the flank of the mountain to several breathtaking look-out points over the Vikos gorge and the whole of eastern Zagori.

Overnight in Megalo Papigo in a boutique hotel
Breakfast,lunch and dinner included

Rafting duration: 1 hr 30 min
Hiking distance: 4,7 km / Hiking Duration: 2 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 164 m & 332 m
Driving distance:
Dilofo to Aristi bridge 27km / 40min
Kleidonia to Megalo Papigo 16km / 30 min

There is a timeless quality to Zagori, which may be due to its inaccessibility for so many years. Whichever country has claimed this territory as its own over the centuries, Zagorians have held on to their identity and traditions. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the villages were prosperous staging posts for Ottoman traders, and the paths they travelled are now ideal for hiking: routes between villages range from under two hours to all-day treks. Today grab the opportunity to realize one of them. From Megalo Papigo hike towards the springs of Voidomatis river. The rewarding hike ends at the village of Vikos where you can regain your strength with a hearty lunch.
In the afternoon slow down and use your free time to rid yourself of any remaining traces of stress after a therapeutic week in the mountains. Nature after all is the best physician.

Overnight in Megalo Papigo in a boutique hotel
Breakfast,lunch and dinner included

Hiking distance: 5,2 km / Hiking Duration: 3 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 370 m & 542 m
Driving distance:
Vikos to Megalo Papigo 16km / 30 min

Today there will be a morning transfer to the airport of Ioannina where you can catch a morning flight to the international airport of Athens for return flights home or continue exploring one of Europe’s oldest cities.

Breakfast included
Driving distance:
Megalo Papigo to Ioannina 57 km / 1 hr

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

PRICE INCLUDES

  • All accommodations based on double occupancy
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • All transportation during the trip
  • All activities mentioned in the program
  • Entrance fee to one monastery in Meteora
  • Services of a guide throughout the tour
  • Transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic and/or international air fare
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel or emergency evacuation insurance
  • Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
  • Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
  • Visas if needed
  • Transfer to and from the airport/port
  • Other items of a personal nature
  • Anything not mentioned in above program

INCLUDED MEALS

  • Breakfast
  • Lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES

We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Tripin Adventures. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants, anything not mentioned in above program.

TRIP NOTES

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