Have you even been to a place, unknown to most of the world, but so beautiful and magical, that you have had mixed feelings about it? On one hand you would want to keep it secret for yourself, and on the other one, you want to scream it out to the world! This will be exactly the case!
Bet you have you never thought of Greece as a place with wild and steep mountains, perfect for adventure holidays! Yet, Greece’s weather and geography attracts adventurers who want to take part of another kind of tourism.
Joining Trails Beyond during their “Wild Mountains & rivers” adventure, you will discover the secret beauty of the Greek mainland! Traditional stone-made villages untouched by time, lush forests, alpine landscapes, magical lakes and rivers, arch stone bridges, delicious local food and the hospitality of the local people are waiting for you!
Take advantage of Greece’s mild weather and enjoy a week adventure beyond the beaten path.
The activities you will be part of:
– Explore on foot Athens, the city where democracy was born
– Visit some of the most beautiful and unspoiled traditional Greek villages
– Explore the magical lake Plastira on a kayak or hydro-bike
– Enjoy horseback riding in the lush meadows of Pertouli, surrounded by dense forests
– Climb the Vradeto steps and enjoy the stunning views over Vikos gorge from Beloi viewpoint
– Hike through Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world
– Go rafting in one of Europe’s cleanest rivers
– Taste delicious local food and wines
– Follow the ancient paths of the monks and visit the cliff – top monasteries of Meteora
Upon arrival in Athens International Airport, you are met and welcomed by the team. You will be transfer to your hotel and, you have the day free to explore the city of Athens and its numerous cultural and historical places of interest, such as the Acropolis, the temple of Zeus, the unique Acropolis museum, the Ancient and Roman Agora. You can also walk around Filoppapou hill, visit the flea market in Monastiraki and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in one of the beautiful cafes in Thisio.
Early in the morning, you’ll depart with direction to the dreamy Lake Plastira, a destination that combines harmonically serenity with adventure. You will first visit the Dam of the artificial lake and enjoy the stunning views it offers!
After lunch in one of the traditional taverns around the lake, you will explore the endless natural beauty of the area on a hydro-bike or canoe/kayak! For those of you that prefer mountain biking, there are numerous trails around the lake.
Later in the afternoon, you’ll depart for the beautiful mountainous traditional village of Elati. On your way there, you will make a stop at the beautiful arch stone bridge of Saint Vissarion, built in 1527. You are free to enjoy a walk by the riverside, a refreshing tea or coffee by the bridge or buy herbs, honey and traditional drinks by local vendors. Once in Elati, you can explore the village, admire the traditional architecture of stone-made houses and enjoy the delicious local cuisine in one of the village’s family run tavernas.
After breakfast, you will drive to Pertouli meadows, a beautiful plateau, surrounded by mountains with dense forests, rivers and enormous fir trees, which you will explore while riding their horses! You can have a coffee break, before you board the car with destination the stunning area of Zagori (approx. 2:50 hr driving).
In the afternoon, you will reach Monodendri village and you’ll first visit the Rizarios School of Handicrafts to find out how local women make traditional handmade carpets and textiles. You will then take a short hiking path to Agia Paraskevi church and the impressive cliff-hanging trail that follows! (Hike duration: 1 hour, level of difficulty: easy) Visit to Oxya viewpoint and the stone forest come next.
In the evening, you will check in at our traditional guesthouse in Vitsa village and enjoy homemade dinner.
After breakfast, you will drive towards Kapesovo village. From there, following the beautiful stone trail of Vradeto steps, you’ll reach the highest village of Zagori, Vradeto (1450m) and 2km later the Beloi viewpoint (1650m), where you can enjoy striking panoramic views over the gorge! (Hike duration: 3-4 hrs, level of difficulty: moderate)
After lunch in one of the local small restaurants, you will explore hiking 6 of the most important and beautiful arch stone bridges of the area (Hike duration: 2 – 4 hrs, level of difficulty: easy to moderate).
That morning, you will take one of the best and most impressive hiking trails in all the Zagori area! Starting from the village of Monodendri, you’ll hike all the way down into Vikos ravine, one of the deepest canyons in the world. You will hike parallel to the stream, and you’ll walk right into the heart of the National Park. The surrounding environment is a paradise for nature lovers, you can observe the rich flora and fauna. The gorge is a shelter for a lot of wild animals, such as birds, bears and wild boars. You will have a nice break for snacks at the river’s springs, before the small steep ascend to Vikos village (Hike duration: 5.30 – 6 hrs, level of difficulty: moderate).
From Vikos village, you’ll be transfered to Papigo village, for dinner and overnight.
*If you are on a family holiday with young children (less than 12 years old) or you are not keen in long hikes, we can do shorter hikes in Vikos gorge.
Prepare yourselves for rafting in one of the clearest rivers in Europe! Starting from the beautiful stone bridge of Aristi, you will cross the National Park of Vikos – Aoos, while rafting across Voidomatis river. This is an easy route, ideal for everyone, yet very impressive because of the river’s crystal clear waters and the surrounding natural landscape.
In the afternoon, you will depart with destination to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Meteora, also called the “stone forest”. Upon arrival in Meteora, you’ll enjoy a short, yet fun, hiking trail to the “Holly Spirit” pillar, before you check in at your hotel.
*Alternative activity: horse riding tour in the Zagoria with our professional guide, Daphne
What a better way to wake up rather than admiring the spectacular sandstone rocks of Meteora, rising over 400 m above the ground!
After breakfast, you will explore this unique landscape and the impressive top-cliff monasteries beyond the ordinary way! You will follow the ancient paths that the monks used to follow, through the steep rocks, visit some of the monasteries and admire the breathtaking views.
In the afternoon, you will depart back to Athens.