Vikos Gorge & Zagori Islands Trek
No Footprint - 8 days
- Vikos Gorge & Zagori Islands Trek
- 8 days / 7 nights
- Max. group: 10 Persons
- Difficulty: Easy
Overview> Wander around the most picturesque and remote villages of Greece, the attractive and mysterious Zagorohoria
> Traverse the Vikos gorge, the deepest canyon in the world in proportion to its width
> Enjoy dreamy sceneries with breathtaking views
> Submerge into the turquoise waters of Lefkada island
> Meet locals and the most original mountainous tribe culture in Europe
> Spot unique wild life and endemic flora!
> Do not forget to try out the famous pies, spoon sweets and the meats of Zagori as well as the local delicacies of Lefkada!
> Accompany your meal with fine red wine produced in the area and try in the evenings the local drink, tsipouro!
Perched on the mountain slopes of Epirus, these 46 stone villages challenge you to explore their mysteries. ‘Zagorohoria’ are considered the most beautiful and well-preserved villages of Greece. They are not only great examples of traditional stone architecture but of a still living tradition, full of myths, customs and cultural expressions of a culture nearing extinction; the culture of the mountainous populations of Greece.
Dramatic Papigo at the foot of the rock “towers” of Astraka… mountainous Vradeto with the outstanding stairs to the Beloi ‘balcony’ offering panoramic views to Vikos gorge… verdant and charming Elafotopos… picturesque Kipi with its wonderful hiking routes and stone-built bridges… tiny Kapesovo with its delicious local products… Tsepelovo with its traditional festivals… sophisticated Aristi… authentic Vista… unexplored Dikorfo… the Zagorian villages’ natural beauty exceeds imagination!
Deep gorges, ravines, streams, and flowing rivers, stone-paved paths, staircases, and bridges, challenging mountain trails… will definitely captivate you!
After wandering around the picturesque Zagorian villages and Vikos gorge for four days, we will continue our walking adventure along the west coast of Greece and the Ionian island of Lefkada, one of the prettiest and more authentic of the seven Ionian Islands.
Lefkada, Ulysses homeland, is a precious green stone in the turquoise blue waters of the Ionian Sea, an island of contrasts characterized by rugged mountains and lush green valleys. If you are a nature lover, Lefkada’s mountains, waterfalls, ravines, natural springs, gorges, lagoon, forests, lush vegetation and rare wildflowers, old network of footpaths and cobblestone donkey tracks as well as its stunning beaches with crystal clear waters… will enchant you.
RouteWhat's the plan?
After having breakfast with a view, you will be transferred to Vradeto, the highest of the Zagori villages at an elevation of 1340m. Vradeto is one of the most excellent examples of traditional stone architecture, dominant in every public building, dwellings, and churches, in the village paths, which still remain unspoiled. This is where we’ll take a captivating path towards the viewpoint of Beloi, a natural stone balcony offering breathtaking panoramic views over the gorge. It is also the ideal spot for wildlife spotting due to its isolated and strategic location, so an encounter with a bold Eagle or one of the few remaining Pindos Black bears should not come as a surprise.
After admiring this wild, untouched scenery and returning to Vradeto for a coffee in its beautiful square, we will zig-zag down an impressive cobble-stone staircase of 1200 steps and 39 turns, that was painstakingly built stone by stone, and was the only connection of isolated Vradeto with Kapesevo and the rest of the world till the road was built in 1973! Completing our descent of this architectural masterpiece, the “Vradetto stairs”, we will have our dinner at Kapesovo, another village of unique architecture and tranquil atmosphere.
(Distance: 10 km. Technical difficulty: easy to medium. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours.)
The park of Vikos Aoos is one of the ten national parks of Greece, part of the ecological network Natura 2000 and the UNESCO Geoparks Network, because of the rich variety of flora and the great variation of biotopes. Our naturalist guide will be glad to spot for you the most important plants and herbs!
After reaching Voidomatis springs – the brave enough can jump into the frozen water! – we will ascent to Papiggo, one of the most popular Zagorian villages. Papiggo is situated in a breathtaking landscape, under the towers of Astraka, some of the most amazing solid rock formations of the area. After a delicious meal at a local tavern and a stroll around the village, you will be transferred back to your guesthouse.
For those seeking some luxury, a visit to Mikro Papiggo 1700 Hotel can be arranged, which has an excellent spa overlooking Astraka’s towers.
(Distance: 18km. Technical difficulty: Medium. Actual walking time: 7-8 hours.)
After a delicious breakfast at our guesthouse, you will start your recovery walk around the picturesque villages of Vitsa, Koukouli, Kipi and Dilofo through traditional stone-built paths and arch bridges. The Zagori area as you have realized by now is full of deep gorges, ravines, streams, and white water rivers. Whereas today those water reservoirs serve as the playground of many outdoor activities, such as kayaking, rafting, river trekking and so on, back in the day they were big burdens for local people, especially in the winter, as some of them were impassable. Local wealthy families and noble governors were building bridges so that villages won’t stay isolated during winter and thus the transport of goods and people was facilitated. The bridges were named after the family or noble who build it. Due to their remarkable architecture, most of these stone bridges are still standing and during this circular walk, you will admire some of the most remarkable centuries-old arch bridges in Greece.
We will stop in Koukouli for a lunch break and a visit to the local museum dedicated to local and endemic herbs and plants. We’ll continue our village-hopping till we reach our base, Elafotopos. Time to rest before enjoying another lovely dinner.
(Distance: 8 km. Technical difficulty: Easy. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours.)
Today you’ll leave behind the mountains of Pindos to explore one of Greece’s most dramatic coastlines, the West coast ending up on the beautiful Ionian island of Lefkada. Lefkada is considered as one of the prettiest and more authentic of the seven Ionian Islands. On our way to Lefkada, we’ll have a break at Ioannina city in order for you to visit Pamvotida lake, the largest lake of Epirus offering majestic views to the surrounding mountains and the Byzantine castles of the city. Your journey will end at our beautiful guesthouse in Agios Nikitas fishing village, situated on the west shore of the island. Swim, relax and enjoy a delightful supper by the sea.
Today you’ll explore the beautiful plateau high above the highest village of Lefkada (730m) and until recently the most populated one, Egluvi village. Traditionally villagers used to grow wheat in sophisticated terraces around the village, and after the end of the harvest, they would make their own mix of flours using the windmills that were strategically situated in the nearby high hills. Our hike follows a circular route where you’ll have the opportunity to explore ruined windmills, abandoned terraces, and threshing floors, as well as remote chapels while enjoying panoramic views of the Ionian sea.
While the village of Egluvi today holds less than 30 inhabitants and no wheat is cultivated, the few remaining local families grow in the fertile grounds one of the most renowned variety of lentils. You’ll have dinner at the village’s main square under the shade of evergreen trees, where you’ll have the opportunity to taste the famous lentils and other delicious local “mezes”.
(Distance: 10 km. Technical difficulty: Easy. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours.)
We will start our walk from the picturesque village of Kolyvata where you will meet one of the most emblematic figures of Lefkada Island, Aris the herbalist. Aris will take you on a walk around the fertile valleys of Kolivata to introduce you to the local endemic medicinal plants and talk to you about their traditional uses through the centuries. After this unique herbal immersion, we will have a small lunch break at the local tavern, where Maria, the owner, serves mouth-watering dishes with the products she grows in her garden.
We’ll continue to Mt Skaros, famous as the place where Ulysses took his sheep to pasture, and as one of the island’s most precious habitats. Located up in the river-crossed mountain, it is made up of centuries’ old moss-draped trees, especially a very rare type of oak which can only be found in Lefkada and in a handful of other forests in Europe. During the Venetian and Ottoman occupation guards were posted throughout the forest to protect it. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding islands and scattered picturesque villages. We’ll end our circular walk back at Kolyvata.
(Distance: 14 km. Technical difficulty: Easy to medium. Actual walking time: 6-7 hours.)
Free morning to enjoy the surrounding beaches of Agios Nikitas, including the famous beach of Milos because of its crystal clear turquoise waters. Our last hike will start in the afternoon from the picturesque village of Exanthia, one of the more dramatically situated villages of Lefkada, overlooking the big blue and the amazing sunset.
The windy path will take you through ancient olive grooves and vineyards to the location of the “old” village and the chapel of Panagia. You’ll continue your descend through a small gorge and farmlands back to the village of Exanthia just in time to admire the pink sunset sky. For our farewell dinner, we chose Rachi restaurant, the most amazing “balcony amidst the clouds of the Ionian Sea”, where you will taste the most delicious dishes!
(Distance: 8 km. Technical difficulty: Easy. Actual walking time: 3-4 hours.)Important: The above itinerary is subject to changes according to the weather conditions or other special events taking place during the week.
On the first day of the trek, we will pick you up at Aktio or Preveza, and we will drive you back there at the end of the trek. At the beginning of each day, we will take you to the starting point of the trek and we will take you to the accommodation for the night once the trekking is over.
We have reserved for you lovely authentic family-run guesthouses and hostels at very picturesque location. The owners are very hospitable and helpful and are known to provide the most delicious breakfasts and meals. Accommodation is based on a double room, shared basis. Single supplement available for EUR 120-.
During the treks at Vikos, Zagori area & Lefkada island you will be accompanied by professional guides who will introduce you to local biodiversity, flora and fauna.
√ Introductory briefing
On the morning of the first day of the trek, we will meet you for an introductory briefing where we will explain all the details of the trek and we will answer all your questions.
Breakfast is included and will be provided at the family-run guesthouses and hostels during the trek.
√ Emergency contact number 24/7
There is an emergency contact number available 24/7 in case of an emergency. We will be available to assist you during the whole trek.
√ Luggage transfer
During the day you only carry your day bag, the rest of the luggage will be transferred from one point to the other in a minivan.
√ Fees and Taxes
VAT and other taxes and fees are included in the price of this trek.
The total amount excludes flights to and from Greece.
× Lunch and dinner
Lunch and dinner are not included in the price of the trek. You will find plenty of cozy restaurants to enjoy along the treks.
× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.
× Personal expenses
All personal expenses such as drinks at the bar, washing and other similar expenses are for your own account.
× Travel Insurance Including Repatriation
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers trekking trips. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Greece.
We have reserved for you lovely authentic family-run guesthouses at very picturesque locations. The owners are very hospitable and helpful and are known to provide the most delicious breakfasts and meals. They are all traditional and have a local character. The owners are friendly and will do everything in their power for you to have a pleasant stay.
Accommodation is based on a double room, shared basis. Single supplement available for EUR 120,-.
We organise our hiking adventure around the Zagorian villages, Vikos gorge and Lefkada island between May and October. Temperatures can get pretty chilly at night, even during the summer months in Northern Greece, while rain is always a possibility.
Tipping in Greece is expected in most places, but it is by no means obligatory. Of course, there is no set standard for how much to tip when you got a good service. As regards tipping your tour guide, tipping between 2 to 5 Euros per person, per day of trek, is a good reference.
How hard are the trails?
The carefully chosen walks during this hiking holiday in Zagori and Lefkada are graded as easy to moderate. We will walk mainly on paths of moderate gradient with ascents of up to 500m in a day. We will walk around 5-6 hours most days including stops to rest and for lunch. Being predominately limestone, some parts of our paths can be quite rough and stony. A good pair of hiking boots and walking poles are essential. Though previous experience is not necessary, a basic fitness level is required.
Being fit for your trek in Greece will not only make the hike safer for you, but also for your team. If you are unsure about being able to complete this trek, we advise you to start training a few weeks in advance, walking a few hours a day, carrying a backpack. Climbing stairs also helps.
Packing ListPacking List
Packing the right clothes and equipment is always one of the most crucial parts of getting ready for a trek. Here is a summary of what you should bring with you for this trekking adventure in Greece:
Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks.
There isn’t a better way to experience Greece and explore its natural beauty than by getting out and about on your own feet! Whether you are an experienced hiker who is interested in challenging treks or a beginner who enjoys short hikes to admire beautiful sceneries, then you’ll find what you’re looking for. All our walking and hiking adventure holidays around the Greek islands and the mainland are organized by people who care and are committed to responsible touristic development.
We are dedicated towards encouraging low-impact tourism and activity holidays, such as walking and minimizing our negative impact on the environment and people. We are committed to building a sustainable future for our community and believe that the best way to protect our natural environment is by educating people about the unique flora, fauna, and culture of our region. Our team of expert local guides is dedicated to introducing you to our unique natural and cultural world and guiding you through the country's untouched paths!
How to Book
How does it work?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case, you can proceed to book. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.
Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.
After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all the necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on email@example.com
The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.
You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.
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