Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Beautiful Meteora-Greece-2235806-P

Greece: Zagoria and Mt. Olympus

Wilderness Travel
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
11 days
From: $ 3,795 $ 345 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Traditional villages of Zagoria, with their stone architecture and classic Greek cuisine
  • Spectacular cliff-top monasteries of Meteora
  • Hike to the summit of Mt. Olympus, abode of the gods

Short Description

Traditional Greece can still be found in Zagoria, where stone-built villages are perched along the Vikos Gorge in the rugged Pindos Mountains. We discover this beautiful realm on hikes along shepherds’ paths and across arched stone bridges that span the gorge. Heading to the famed monasteries of Meteora, we’ll walk the monks’ paths up to these airy medieval sanctuaries, built in the 13th century. Our grand finale is an incredible hike up Mt. Olympus (9,600'), storied home of the gods, where from the summit we gaze over the ancient world. Our Trip Leaders make culinary adventures a highlight of the journey, and we’ll fuel our hikes with delicious meals and renowned wines from ancient vineyards.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Ioannina
End City Thessaloniki

Trip Includes

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in hotels and small comfortable inns and pensions with one overnight at a mountain refuge on Mt. Olympus
  • All meals included except 1 lunch
  • A glass of wine or beer with dinner
  • Entrance fees to sites

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Itinerary

Days 1-3: Ioánnina / Dodóna / Zagoria

Accommodation: Mir Boutique Hotel

From Ioánnina, we explore Dodóna, home to the impressive amphitheater of the Oracle of Zeus, the first ancient oracle of Greece, then head to the village of Tsepélovo in Zagoria to begin our hikes. As we follow paths to the hilltop village of Vradeto (4,700'), the highest in Zagoria, we’ll have splendid views of the Vikos Gorge and enjoy a local wine tasting before we descend the famous “Vradeto Steps,” a 17th century stone staircase leading into the gorge.

Days 4-6: Kipi / Vitsa / Koukoúli / Dragon Lake / Zagoria

Accommodation: Hotel Selini; Hotel Dias

Spectacular stone bridges span the Vikos Gorge, and we cross our first one to arrive at the handsome village of Kipi. From Vista, with its cascade of stone houses, we have the option for a hike to the Agia Paraskevi Monastery. At atmospheric Koukoúli, the absence of motor traffic evokes a past era, and when we reach Pápingo, a truly breathtaking place nestled beneath limestone towers, we’ll have views of the entire length of the Vikos Gorge that we have just traversed. A final Zagoria hike brings us up to gleaming Dragon Lake (6,800'), below the striking peaks of the Pindos. Between hikes, we swim in sun-warmed springs, relax in ancient village squares shaded by huge plane trees, and enjoy the local wines and herb-infused cuisine of this remarkable region.

Days 7-8: Meteora Monasteries

Accommodation: Hotel Dias; Hotel Kastraki

At Meteora, which means “suspended in the air,” monks of the Eastern Orthodox church built hermitages atop sheer pinnacles in the 13th and 14th centuries. We follow paths to these seemingly inaccessible sanctuaries, where some 60 monks still reside, then head to the coast at Thessaloniki, a city with fantastic local cuisine, which our Trip Leaders will make sure we sample.

Days 9-12: Thessaloniki / Mt. Olympus

Accommodation: Mediterranean Palace Hotel; Spilios Agapitos Refuge

From Thessaloniki, we head to the village of Prionia, below Mt. Olympus, and start our hike, ascending above treeline to the Spilio Agapitos Refuge (7,200'). The next day we hike to the rocky point of Skala (9,403'), the hiker’s summit of this majestic sacred mountain. Depart on Day 12 via Thessaloniki, or join our Archaeological Sites of Classical Greece Extension.

Availability

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Price From $ 3,795
Price Per Day: $ 345 per day
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Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardAvailability 
Sep-27-2019Oct-08-2019$ 3,795Limited Reserve
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 325

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Wilderness Travel.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Details

Optional Activities

Tour Extension of “Archaeological Sites of Classical Greece “ for 5 Days from $1,795 per person

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

Max 16

Accomodations

Mir Boutique Hotel: Day 1 (1 night), Ioánnina, Greece

With its exquisite location on a hillside near the village of Lyggiades, this stylish 14-room boutique hotel overlooks Lake Pamvotis and the city of Ioánnina. Constructed on several levels, the hotel’s buildings are connected with stone-paved walkways interspersed with lovely gardens and terraces. Individually decorated guestrooms have superb views of the lake and town (the city lights are especially stunning at night). Breakfasts are excellent, featuring traditional dishes including homemade breads and pastries.

Hotel Selini: Days 4 to 5 (2 nights), Vitsa, Greece

The Hotel Selini is a converted traditional house in the village of Vitsa, with seven comfortable rooms and panoramic views. It has a home-like atmosphere and excellent local-style food.

Hotel Dias: Days 6 to 7 (2 nights), Pápingo, Greece

Named for Dias (Zeus), the father of Greek Olympian gods, the Dias guesthouse has a stunning setting in the middle of the dramatic stone-built village of Pápingo. It was built in 1990 but blends perfectly with the ancient architecture of the village. From the hotel’s patio, we can see the Vikos Gorge and the rocky towers of Mount Astraka, and it’s a pleasant place to enjoy dinner and sunset over the peaks.

Hotel Dias: Days 6 to 7 (2 nights), Pápingo, Greece

Named for Dias (Zeus), the father of Greek Olympian gods, the Dias guesthouse has a stunning setting in the middle of the dramatic stone-built village of Pápingo. It was built in 1990 but blends perfectly with the ancient architecture of the village. From the hotel’s patio, we can see the Vikos Gorge and the rocky towers of Mount Astraka, and it’s a pleasant place to enjoy dinner and sunset over the peaks.

Hotel Kastraki: Day 8 (1 night), Meteora, Greece

Right at the foot of the spectacular Meteora rocks, the Kastraki has grand views and comfortable air-conditioned rooms. It is situated near the traditional village of Kastraki on the road leading up to the monasteries—the first Meteora monastery is within walking distance of the hotel. From your balcony, you can gaze up at the amazing Meteora spires.

Mediterranean Palace Hotel: Day 9 (1 night), Day 11 (1 night), Thessaloniki, Greece

Nestled near the waterfront of Thessaloniki port and within a short walk to Aristotelous Square, the Mediterranean Palace Hotel combines the unique atmosphere of a peaceful hotel with the convenient location in a cosmopolitan area. Unwind at the indoor pool after our exhilarating hike to Mt. Olympus, and relax in the comfortable guestrooms with richly colored details and warm lighting. Also be sure to explore the cultural delights in Thessaloniki from a number of nearby shops and scenic walks.

Spilios Agapitos Refuge: Day 10 (1 night), Mt. Olympus, Greece

Located on a natural flat area at 7,200 feet on Mt. Olympus, surrounded by impressive age-old Bosnian pine trees, this log-cabin-style lodge has shared rooms with bunk-style beds, and common bathrooms with several toilets and sinks. There are no showers at this refuge. The lodge offers us hot food and mountain tea made from herbs picked on Olympus. It’s a simple place for hikers to rest up before the dawn ascent of Olympus, mountain of the gods. The refuge accommodates up to 100 hikers and has a fireplace and a well-equipped kitchen. It is operated by the Greek Alpine Club.

Trip ID#:

grezagwil

Trip Excludes

  • International airfare, hotel transfers to/from airports other than the designated group flights
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff
  • Pre-trip expense of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance or passports
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, and so on)

Meals Included:

All meals included except 1 lunch

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