North Greece: a mountain paradise with astonishing beautiful villages and magnificent scenery
There is a lot more than the famous white and blue islands, to enjoy in Greece.
Become one of the happy few that are able to discover the hidden beauty of a diverse countryside in north of Greece.
Explore important historic sites and the mythical home of the 12 ancient Greek gods.
Discover the mountain paradise of Zagori, with authentic villages and spectacular scenery.
Enjoy great food and the unique spirit of hospitality of the people.
This anti-classical Greek alternative tour… is going to be your best ever classic tour!
Day 1: Arrival in Litochoro, in the foothills of Mt.Olympus
We start our trip from Litochoro village, in the foothills of Mt. Olympus. Gettign to Litochoro is faster via Thessaloniki (2 hours ride) or a longer drive (6 hours) via Athens.
Overnight in Litochoro.
Day 2: Litochoro & Walk to Shelter A - Spilios Agapitos, alt. 2.100 m - Shelter Ch. Kakkalos, alt. 2,700 m
(Estimated Walking Time: approx. 8-9 hours)
Transfer to Prionia, the highest point which can be reached by car.
We begin our hike from there, at an altitude of 1.100 metres.
The route from Prionia to Spilios Agapitos Shelter is the most frequented hiking path on Mount Olympus, a part of the E4.
Most of the hike is through a thick forest of pine, beech and fir trees, in this beautiful good condition path.
We make our way up to 2.100 m altitude and reach the shelter. From there, we follow a short zig-zagging path leading us just under the mountains main summits; soon we see an alpine plateau at an altitude of 2700 metres where a small and warm shelter will accommodate us.
Day 3: Peak ascents - Gkortsia
(Estimated Walking Time: approx. 8-9 hours)
After an early wake up and breakfast, we have two options according to participants fitness and weather conditions:
We either climb first Skala at 2.882 metres and then cross a narrow ridge climb to the summit of Skolio at 2.911 meters.
Or, if weather permits and there is no snow, we ascent to the main summit - Mytikas (2.917metres), Greece’s highest peak, following a narrow gorge that involves about 1Km of scrambling!
(4-5 hrs walking on narrow paths - some scrambling involved - altitude gain of 800 m).
After reaching the summit we descent by the same way to the main path and cross the spectacular precipice under the summit of Stefani - the throne of Zeus, emerging to the plateau of Mouses.
In about 2 hours we reach the shelter of the Hellenic rescue team (Petrostrougka @ 1.940 m) where we can have lunch and relax.
From this point the end of our tour is near: we continue to our final destination, Gkortsia (2 - 3 hrs walking) from where we get a transfer to Litochoro.
Day 4: Relax and visit Dion
Today we enjoy a relaxing day with swimming on the beach of Platamonas and a visit to the archaeological site of Dion, known for its great ancient Macedonian sanctuary of Zeus. In the evening we transfer to our next destination Meteora.
Day 5: Meteora Hiking Tour
Walk to the cliff top monasteries following a trail known by the locals!
We start from St. Nicolas Monastery in Kastraki village, following the same old paths the monks used to use, which wind their way amongst the tall rock-towers.
We pass beneath the ruined monastery of Pantocrator on the north side of the rock of Dupiani.
Then the path takes us to the heart of the lush forest reaching the abandoned and restored Monastery of “Ypapanti” and the ruins of St. Dimitrios.
Afterwards our trail turns uphill. A short walk leads us to the cliff top monasteries Varlaam and Great Meteoro where we visit one of them.
We then walk downhill to Kastraki through the rocks by the ancient path used by the monks, passing next to the cave of St. George Mandila, where every year climbers to hang their scarves.
Enjoy the unique views from the top of the rocks and learn by our professional mountain guides about the history and the geological significance of the area.
Day 6: From Meteora we drive to Aristi, with a stop in the very important and historic village of Metsovo.
Day 7: Stone bridges of Zagori (Kipi to Vitsa) & the wild mushrooms of Zagori
We start our day with a beautiful hike to the villages of Koukouli, and Vitsa.
We visit the impressive triple Arche bridge of Plakidas, and then enter a well maintained path, crossing a bridge.
After 45mins we enter the beautiful Koukouli village, where we visit the museum of Lazarides, a teacher who devoted his life in collecting and recording the plants of the area.
Visiting his house, we learn a lot about the way of living in those villages long time ago!
The walk continues to Vitsa through Misios Bridge and Vitsa steps, a stone path built 300 years ago.
We make a nice rest and then visit the restaurant of Vasilis.
Discover the secrets of wild mushrooms
Food collected from the wild has always played an important role in the predominantly vegetarian cuisine of Zagori.
Local chef, environmentalist and mushroom expert Vassilis Katsoupas hosts a unique storytelling and dining experience focusing on wild mushrooms. Weaving local lore, family stories and science you will be entertained and discover the role of fungi in human evolution, culture, food and medicine from the Palaeolithic age to modern times. Best of all, the presentation culminates with a 5 course dinner, from starters to main courses and dessert, featuring wild Zagori mushrooms.
Day 8: Vikos Gorge crossing (approximately hiking time: 6 - 7 hours)
Enjoy a fascinating trek in one of the most beautiful gorges of Europe.
We start the trek at the village of Monodendri and after 45 minutes we enter the gorge.
We will need approximately 4 hours until we reach the springs of Voidomatis and another hour until we reach the village of Vikos.
The crossing lasts between 5-7 hours along the riverbanks.
Vikos Gorge, with a length of 20 km, walls that range from 450m to 1,600 m deep, and a width from 400 m to some meters at its narrowest part, is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest canyon in the world in proportion to its width.
This follows a somewhat arbitrary definition of a gorge that excludes deeper features such as Colca Canyon because of their greater width to depth ratio.
The landscape of the 20 km long gorge, 12 km οf which belong to the Vikos - Aoos National Park core, presents a diverse relief and is characterised by abrupt altitudinal changes.
Steep slopes and precipitous rocky cliffs dominate in the middle and higher zones respectively.
The gorge has been carved over millions of years by the Voidomatis River, a tributary of the Aoos.
Day 9: Travel to next destination.