Athens-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 to rival the best of Provence. 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 up to 500 meters height. 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. Towards the south, where the mountains cease giving place to lowland, lies the capital of Epirus, Ioannina. At the banks of the lake Pamvotida, this city with great character and history will invite you for a visit and a last stop on your trip before returning to Athens.

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 after a walk around Plaka, the oldest neighborhood of Athens, have our first dinner together in a traditional restaurant. 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, Athenian Callirhoe (D)

Yes, you’ll pass only tourists on the slow, steep and hot ascent up the Acropolis but it is the most important ancient site in the Western world and must-see in Athens. As you wind up the dusty path, remember to pause at one of the Acropolis’ many lookout points to catch your breath, have a sip of water and take advantage of its unique vantage point of the city. A view equally breathtaking as the majestic marble Parthenon, the Propylaia gateway and Temple of Athena Nike that await you at the top. After visiting the Acropolis, you will expand your knowledge in the long-awaited new Acropolis museum. It’s an incongruous sight: a super-modern, glass-walled building set at the foot of the ancient Acropolis.
Early in the afternoon you will depart from Athens in the direction of Meteora. You are not likely to forget the first moment the rock pinnacles come into view.

Overnight  in Kastraki, Dupiani House  (B,L,D)
Driving distance:

Athens to Meteora 350km / 4h 30min

The rock formations of Meteora are an extraordinary unique phenomena 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 for a visit in 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, Dupiani House  (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 11,5km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours

The 46 villages of Zagori are home to stone-built mansions topped off with smart slate roofs, built by wealthy merchants in the 18th and 19th centuries. Among the loveliest is Dilofo, located at the foot of two hills, with its cobbled narrow streets, delightfully sleepy atmosphere and glorious views from its church.
In the afternoon hike up the Skala (stairs) of Vradeto. The stairs of Vradeto 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. From there we continue towards Beloi, a viewpoint with breathtaking views of the gorge of Vikos.

Overnight in Dilofo, Archontiko Dilofo (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 8km / Hiking Duration: 3h 30min
Driving distance:
Meteora to Dilofo 125km / 3 hours

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.

Overnight in Dilofo, Archontiko Dilofo (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 8,5km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Driving distance:
Dilofo to Koukouli 7km / 10min

The Vikos-Aoos national park bursts with pristine rivers and forests, flowering meadows and shimmering lakes reflecting jagged mountains and endless blue sky.
Today you will raft the Voidomatis river, characterized as one of the cleanest rivers in Europe as it does not face any acute environmental threats. The river is panned by a number of stone bridges, the most famous being the Kledonas Bridge, whereby the rafting ends. Escape the vessels, get rid of the paddles and following the river bank, hike back to the starting point.
In the afternoon ascend the ribboning northern road to Megalo Papigo. The village is densely built, with numerous stone houses and enclosed courtyards typical for Zagori villages. Before dinner we will stroll around on the cobblestone alleys of the village, Megalo Papigo which due to its preserved original state is declared as traditional settlement.

Overnight in Megalo Papigo, Xenonas Papaevaggelou (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 5km / Hiking Duration: 2 hours
Rafting duration: 1h 30min
Driving distance:
Dilofo to Aristi bridge 27km / 40min
Aristi Bridge to Megalo Papigo 8km / 20 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 its little brother, Mikro Papigo, and from there 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, Xenonas Papaevaggelou (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 7km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Driving distance:
Vikos to Megalo Papigo 16km / 2 min

At Ioannina experience a world where Jewish, Muslims and Christians have been meeting, trading and mixing over the centuries against the breathtaking backdrop of a castle town that evokes the spirit of a distant past. With its narrow lanes and byzantine and Ottoman architecture, it is dominated by its two citadels with amazing views to the town. The city itself is famous throughout Greece for its silverwork, with a plethora of small traditional stores selling silver jewelry, bronzeware and decorative items.
After lunch it is time to depart for Athens. From Ioannina though, there is also the option of taking the plane to Athens.

Overnight in Athens, Athenian Callirhoe (B,L,D)
Driving distnace:
Megalo Papigo to Ioannina 57km / 1h 30min
Ioannina to Athens 422 km / 4h 30min

Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel and following that, your Tripin Adventures trip in Greece concludes. Transfer independently from our accommodation in Athens to the international airport for return flights home or continue exploring one of Europe’s oldest cities.

(B)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PRICE INCLUDES

  • All accommodations as listed (or similar) based on double occupancy
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • All transportation during the trip
  • All activities mentioned in the program
  • Entrance fees to the Acropolis archaeological site and Acropolis museum
  • Entrance fee to one monastery in Meteora
  • Tourist guide for the archaeological site of Acropolis and for the Acropolis museum
  • 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
  • Αnything not mentioned in above program

INCLUDED MEALS

  • Breakfast
  • Lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary
  • Snacks during activities

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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Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included
- pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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