An intense hiking adventure from the Aegean to the Ionian Sea. Olympus, Meteora, Vikos Gorge and Corfu

NGR 2A Small GroupsHikingCulture ThessalonikiVerginaMount OlymposMeteoraIoanninaVikos GorgeCorfu
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8 DAYS
LEVEL 5

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Olympus, the mountain of the Gods
  • Meteora, the floating monasteries
  • The Royal Tombs in Vergina
  • The gorge of Vikos in the Pindos National Park
  • Ioannina, the lake city.
  • Corfu, the green island between East and West
Every Saturday, from June to October. An 8-day hiking educational tour, for small groups of 5-8 persons, to the northern part of Greece. We climb Olympus, the highest mountain of Greece; we traverse the spectacular gorge of Vikos; we visit interest points of the first rank, such as the Macedonian royal tombs at Vergina and the floating monasteries of Meteora. We get to Ioannina, a city located on a lake with an inhabited island. Finally, we arrive to the island of Corfu, a popular destination in the Ionian Sea.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome in Greece

Arrival in Thessaloniki. Transfer to the hotel. Depending on the arrival time, short visit of the city. Overnight.

Day 2: The royal tombs of Vergina. Hiking to the Olympus Hut

Today we visit the archeological site of Vergina, one of the main highlights of northern Greece, with the Tomb of Philip, father of Alexander the Great. Transfer to Litochoro, at the foothills of the Olympus, and further to the location Prionia, at 1100m of altitude, where the road ends (approx. 195 km). Hiking through the “Wood of Silence”, in the Gorge of Enippeas, to the hut “Spilios Agapitos”, at 2100 m, for 1 overnight.
- Hiking: 3-4 hrs, +1050m, demanding

Day 3: Climbing the Mountain of Gods

This day we go climbing to the Olympus. We ascent to the peak Skolio, at 2911 m, with a panoramic view to the sea and even the peninsula of Athos. On request and if the participants have the adequate equipment, we may also climb to Mitikas, the highest peak of Greece, at 2918 m. We return to the hut and descent to Prionia. Transfer to Kastraki at the foot of the rocks of Meteora (approx. 170 km) and overnight.
Hiking: 8-9 hrs, +850m, -1870m, very demanding

Day 4: The “floating” monasteries of Meteora. Zagori the “Land behind the Mountains”

The byzantine monasteries are built on the impressive rocks of Meteora, high above the plane, between heaven and earth. Some of them are decorated with precious wall paintings. We are visiting 2 of them and hiking between the rocks to Kalabaka. In the afternoon we drive through the mountain complex of Pindos to Ioannina, a city located by the lake Pamvotis. We continue our journey to the area of Zagori, famous for the traditional architecture of its stone built villages and the wild beauty of its landscape (approx. 140 km). Overnight.
Hiking: 4 hrs, simple to moderate

Day 5: The gorge of Vikos: The deepest canyon of the world in relation to its width

We hike through the magnificent, tree-shadowed gorge of Vikos, in the National Park Vikos-Aoos, to the homonymous village. The gorge of Vikos, with a length of 20km, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest canyon in the world, in proportion to its width. The main part of the gorge stretches from the village of Vikos to Monodendri, and has a depth of about 1000m. Transfer to Igoumenitsa and by ferry to Corfu. 3 nights.
Hiking: about 5 hrs, -550m, +250m, moderate-demanding

Day 6: Pantokrator: Climbing the highest mountain of Corfu

Transfer to Spartilas, at 340m, and stroll through this picturesque village. Hiking on slopes covered with shrubs, passing by a ruined monastery and through a laurel-forest, we climb to the rocky plateau of Pantokrator. Finally we reach the summit, 911m. Panoramic view to Greek and Albanian mountains and coasts. Return to Spartilas, partially on an alternative way. We drive to Kassiopi and via a panoramic road around the north eastern part of the island, we return to our hotel.
- Hiking: 5hrs, ±600m, moderate

Day 7: At leisure. Optional cultural tour in the town of Kerkyra and its surroundings

Today you can either relax by the beach for swimming and sunbathing, either go for a cultural tour to the main town of Corfu, Kerkyra, with about three thousand years of history! Each era has left its traces: The old town, with its two fortresses, has a strong, Venetian character. On the esplanade, the Liston-building with its arcades reminds the period of the French administration. The green cricket-pitch represents the British period. In the archaeological Museum stands the splendid pediment of Gorgo, from the temple of Artemis. From the Medieval-Byzantine period dates the beautiful church of the Saints Jason and Sosipatros. On the hill of the ancient acropolis stands the district of Kanoni, with excellent view to the “Pontikonisi” (“Mouse-island”). In the, like jungle, gardens stands the former king’s palace, “Mon Repos”, and two ancient sanctuaries. In the afternoon, we can visit the Achilleion Palace; summer palace of the empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known as Sissy, with beautiful view to Kerkyra and the east coast.

Day 8: Goodbye or holidays extension in Corfu

Today this beautiful hiking adventure ends. Transfer to the airport or to your holiday resort!

HIKING

  • 5 hikes (2 demanding, 3 average).
  • Not intended for professional athletes but for fairly trained hikers, in good shape.
  • Required equipment: hiking shoes, hiking sticks (very useful), backpack for 1 day hikes, a raincoat (even though weather conditions are generally stable in July), crampons and ice axes, should not be necessary

ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

- 6 Overnights in 2-3 star hotels and 1 in mountain hut.
- Breakfast in the hotel /hut, diners in a tavern, the hut or the hotel, for lunch picnic or light meal in a tavern.

PRICE

From 800€

SERVICES

- Transfers as described in the program
- Minivan with a driver-guide
- 6 nights in rooms with privet WC and shower, 1 night in hut
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Guided tour
- Professional liability insurance
- VAT 24%

NOT INCLUDED

- Flights to/from Greece
- Beverages / Drinks / Snacks / Other meals
- Entry fees in museums and excavations
- Excursions describe as optional
- Travel insurance
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  • Thessaloniki
  • Vergina
  • Mount Olympos
  • Meteora
  • Ioannina
  • Vikos Gorge
  • Corfu
 
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