The Picturesque mountainous Greece Ioannina, Zagorochoria, Vikos Gorge, Meteora

Overview

Did you know that Greece boasts an impressive array of mountains, with a total of 307 standing at over 1000 meters, including 47 towering over 2000 meters, 105 between 2000 and 1500 meters, and 155 between 1500 and 1000 meters? While the exact number of mountains under 1000 meters has not yet been recorded, one can only imagine the breathtaking, varied landscape that awaits in this beautiful country.

Explore a charming cluster of quaint villages nestled amongst the rolling slopes of Mitsikeli mountain, just a short distance from the bustling city of Ioannina. Immerse yourself in the rustic ambience of these villages as you wander through their quaint cobblestone paths and soak up the local culture. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll along the world-renowned Vikos Gorge, a highlight of this tour.

Let yourself be captivated by the rich history and traditions of Epirus, as you delve into the stories. The Despotate of Epirus (1204-1337) was a Byzantine principality located in the Balkans, serving as a hub of resistance for Byzantine Greeks during the Western European conquest of Constantinople (1204-1361). Established in present-day southern Albania and northwestern Greece by Duke Michael Comnenos, it served as a beacon of hope for the Byzantine people. The golden era in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it thrived thanks to its ties with Istanbul, the thriving capital of the Ottoman Empire. And don’t forget to listen with awe to the tales of the local healers, skilled in the art of using nature’s remedies from the Vikos Gorge to treat any ailment.

Highlights of the picturesque mountainous Greece Ioannina, Zagorochoria, Vikos Gorge, Meteora 5 days tour

  • An interesting road trip from Central to Western Greece
  • Sites of immense archaeological interest, such as the important Byzantine hubs, such us Meteora
  • Visit the picturesque and hospitable villages of Zagorochoria in Epirus
  • Enjoy the gorgeous landscape of Central and Western Greece
  • Micro and Megalo Papingo
  • Aristi and Vitsa
  • The Voidomatis river
  • Visit Ioannina
  • The only lake island in Greece
  • The famous Peramatos cave
  • The lake Pamvotida

Description

Description of the picturesque mountainous Greece Ioannina, Zagorochoria, Vikos Gorge, Meteora 5 days tour

Day 1: Athens, Kalambaka, Meteora

Embark on an unforgettable journey as we kick off your private tour with a visit to the breathtaking Monasteries of Meteora. Perched atop the majestic Meteora Rocks, these awe-inspiring structures seem suspended in midair. Ranking second only to Athos in Northern Greece, this collection of Byzantine Monasteries is a must-see for any European exploration. Don’t miss your chance to witness the UNESCO-protected wonder that is Meteora – an absolute must-see highlight of your tour.

Cruising through the charming countryside and quaint villages of Central Greece is always a delightful and unforgettable journey. So why wait? Rise and shine in the early hours and embark on a scenic adventure! Once you’ve taken in all the sights, treat yourself to a delectable lunch filled with the unique flavors of the region. Then, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your own pace in Kalambaka. Your home for the night will be in the charming town of Kastraki, nestled in the heart of/or Kalambaka.

Day 2: Meteora, Metsovo, Papingo (Zagorochoris)

meteora monasteries, Greece
The Meteora in Greece

The second day of the tour starts from your hotel driving you to important towns of West Greece, such as Metsovo. Calling all village life enthusiasts! Metsovo, situated in northern Greece, offers an array of activities for you to indulge in. From savoring red wine and smoked cheese to feasting your eyes on breathtaking mountain views, this quaint town has it all. The destination has long been a favorite among Greeks, and it’s not hard to see why. With options for hiking, biking, and even snow skiing, you’ll never run out of things to do. Immersing yourself in the Vlach population’s language and customs is also a must, adding a unique dimension to your experience. Trust us, Metsovo will capture your heart and leave you wanting more. Also, Metsovo, known as Amintziou by its Vlach inhabitants of this Latin-influenced region, infused with Greek and Balkan dialects.

Metsovo, is a renowned traditional village in Greece celebrated for its vibrant hand woven textiles. These beautiful works of art are a result of centuries of shepherding by the Vlach population, who continue to reside in the town. With its strategic location on the main routes between northern and southern Greece, Metsovo held great significance during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was a major wool supplier not only to neighboring villages and the nearby town of Ioannina, but also to countries throughout the Balkan region and even as far as North Africa.

Below are some activities that may spark your interest:

  • Experience the beauty of the Averoff Gardens and lose yourself in the majestic Pindos Mountains.
  • Indulge in the flavorful wines of Metsovo at the renowned Katogi Averoff Winery.
  • Let the Averoff Gallery mesmerize you with its impressive collection of Greek artwork.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich history of Metsovo at the Folk Art Museum.
  • Embrace the unique cheese-tasting traditions of Metsovo.
  • Venture to the charming neighboring villages to witness the authentic culture and customs

As our journey comes to a close, we will finally arrive at Papingo, a charming and renowned village nestled within the Zagorochoria region. After a day of exploration, you’ll have an evening to yourself to bask in the peaceful surroundings of this traditional village before spending the night there.

Day 3: Zagorochoria Villages – Papingo

village of Papingo in Epirus, North-Western Greece
The picturesque village of Papingo in Zagorochoria

Welcome to the beautiful region of Zagorochoria, located in the northwest of Ioannina. This charming cluster of 46 villages is nestled on the slopes of Mount Mitsikeli. As we journey through this area, we will have the incredible opportunity to wander along the cobblestone paths that wind through the villages, taking in the picturesque stone houses and historic churches adorned with stunning murals dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. We can also explore the ancient stone bridges that have stood the test of time and taste delicious local homemade recipes. For those seeking adventure, Zagori is the ideal destination, offering activities such as kayaking, hiking, and climbing.

Prepare for a day filled with breathtaking scenery as you travel to some of the most renowned villages in Zagorochoria, including Papingo, small Papingo, Aristi, and the renowned Voidomatis River. Known as the cleanest river in Europe, it boasts crystal-clear drinking water and a consistent temperature of 6 degrees throughout the year.

In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the charming beauty of our small yet enchanting villages, adorned with vibrant greenery, meandering streams, quaint stone paths, and picturesque bridges. Our journey concludes in Papingo, where you can unwind and bask in the revitalizing essence of nature. Let yourself be captivated by these extraordinary surroundings as you spend the night in one of Zagorochoria Villages.

Day 4: Vitsa, Monodendri, Vikos Gorge, Ioannina

The Despotate of Epirus, which existed from 1204 to 1337, was a significant Byzantine principality located in the Balkans. It served as a powerful stronghold for the Byzantine Greeks during the period of western European conquest of Constantinople from 1204 to 1261. Michael Comnenus was responsible for the establishment of this despotate in the southern region of present-day Albania and northwestern Greece.

On the fourth day of our exclusive tour, you will have the opportunity to experience the charm and beauty of two of Zagorochoria’s most renowned villages. After indulging in a delicious breakfast, we will set off to the enchanting village of Vitsa, followed by Monodendri, the largest village in the area. Our destination is the magnificent Vikos Gorge, a natural wonder known as the deepest gorge in the world and a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and

gorge of Vikos
Vikos Gorge

rafting in Greece. Along the route, we will make a stop at the spectacular Agia Marina monastery, where you can admire the expansive views of the gorge from the impressive balcony, aptly named “Balkoni.” Marvel at the breathtaking views of the Voidomatis River carving its way through the Pindos Mountains as we take in the beauty and grandeur of the world-renowned canyon, which holds the title of the world’s deepest based on its remarkable width. The southern slopes of Mount Tymfi have been skillfully etched by the mighty Voidomatis River, resulting in a stunning seven-mile gorge. This natural wonder plunges down a staggering half mile and stretches no wider than 400 yards at any given point.

To experience the breathtaking gorge, a winding and sometimes elusive path runs alongside the tree-lined waterway below, connecting the picturesque village of Monodendri to the quaint village of Vikos. Plan for a minimum of four hours to conquer the strenuous hike, which entails a steep descent from Monodendri, followed by a steep incline towards Vikos. After your triumphant journey, be sure to indulge in a hearty meal, such as a succulent venison stew, and quench your thirst with a cold beer at a pre-arranged taverna.
Experience a carefree evening in Ioannina with a leisurely walk by Greece’s magnificent Pamvotida lake and visit the island in the midle of the lake. Spend the night in Ioannina.

5th Day: Ioannina, Antirio, Rio, Athens

Ioannina,Epirus Greece
Ioannina,Epirus Greece

On the fifth day, take advantage of the free morning to immerse yourself in the charming and historic city of Ioannina. Be sure to visit the Castel and explore the old town, which boasts a rich heritage. Just 4km outside of Ioannina lies the magnificent Perama Cave, stretching over 14,000 square meters. Explore the prehistoric remnants, fossils, and dazzling murals inspired by the myth of Hades and Persephone.

As you journey back to Athens, enjoy a scenic cruise from Antirio to Rio, where you can marvel at the largest and most impressive cable bridge in Europe. The tour will conclude in Athens, arriving in the late afternoon.

 

Details


Important notes

Tour Type

Included in the tour

  • Car and Driver
  • A professional English-speaking driver or escort with good knowledge of the history and culture of Greece, to guide you till you enter archaeological sites and museums. Tour drivers are not licensed to companion you inside the archaeological sites and museums. If you'd like to have a licensed state tour guide to escort you inside the sites and museums, we can arrange it for you at an additional cost. Licensed by the state tour guides are freelance and it is subject to availability on bookings day!
  • Transport by air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz vehicle or similar appropriate for the size of your group
  • Accommodation is based according to availability (for multiple-day tours only)
  • Pick-up from and return to your hotel
  • Pick-up from the Port of Piraeus
  • Private tour, Road tolls and local taxes
  • Our terminal: Leof. Andrea Siggrou 37, 117 43 Athina, Greece.

Excluded from the tour

Additional info

  • Dress: religious and marmoreal sites: shoulders and knee must be covered
  • Terms & Conditions and Frequent Questions
  • Confirmation will be received at the time of booking
  • A voucher will be emailed to you with our contact numbers and all necessary information for your tour.
  • This is your ticket and proof of purchase. On the day of the tour please present a paper voucher in order to redeem your tour/activity.

Persons with Disabilities

  • Due to uneven surfaces, certain sites are not recommended for persons with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair. Such sites are the Acropolis, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, Mycenae, Delphi and Meteora
  • In all cases, we recommend comfortable flat-solid walking shoes, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Restrictions:

  • Please note that on this tour, your tour driver is not licensed to accompany you on your climb. If you want this service you may book a licensed by-state tour guide for an extra cost.
  • In case a group is followed by a licensed tour guide or an English speaking tour-escort the professional driver is not obliged to speak English!

Opening hours & Admission fees

  • Opening Hours:Summer April 1st to October 31st from 08:00 AM to 07:30 PM
  • Winter: November 1st to March 31st from 08:30 AM to 03:00 PM
  • Free admission fees: Children under 18 & Students from E.U.
  • Reduced admission fees: Citizens of the E.U. aged over 65 & Students from countries outside the E.U.

Free admission days

  • March 6: In memory of deceased Minister of Tourism & visionary Melina Mercouri
  • June 5: Environment international day
  • April 18 : International monuments day
  • May 18: International museums day
  • September 27: International tourism day
  • The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
  • National Holidays
  • Sundays in the period between 1 November and 31 March
  • The first Sunday of every month, except for July, August, and September
  • NOTE: If the first Sunday is a holiday then the second is the free admission day

Holidays in Greece

  • January 1: closed
  • January 6: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
  • Shrove Monday: 08:30AM - 03:00 PM
  • March 25: closed
  • Good Friday: 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM
  • Holy Saturday: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
  • Easter Sunday: closed
  • Easter Monday: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
  • May 1: closed
  • Holy Spirit Day: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
  • 15 August 15: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
  • October 28: 08:30 AM- 03:00 PM
  • December 25 & 26: closed


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Tour Details

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