The Vikos Gorge, Meteora, and the Abode of Zeus


A hidden world of traditional Greece is found in Zagoria, where thousand-year-old stone villages perch above the dramatic Vikos Gorge in the craggy Pindos Mountains. In this secluded realm, little touched by the 21st century, you’ll hike village-to-village following trails along soaring arched bridges, crystal-clear springs, and ancient stone staircases, all the while savoring delicious Greek cuisine including tzatziki and fresh-baked breads. Heading to the spectacular medieval monasteries of Meteora, our trails lead to these airy sanctuaries built atop towering sandstone rock pinnacles. The grand finale of our adventure is a hike up Skala (9,403'), one of the five main peaks of Mt. Olympus, storied home of the Greek gods.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Ioánnina / Zagoria

From Ioánnina, we head to Zagoria to hike amid the villages of the Vikos Gorge, including Pápingo, nestled beneath limestone towers, and the leafy mountain hamlet of Koukouli. One hike brings us up to gleaming Dragon Lake (6,800'), below the striking peaks of the Pindos Mountains. Between hikes, we’ll swim in natural springs, relax in ancient village squares, and enjoy the local wines and herb-infused cuisine of these remarkable hamlets.

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Days 6-8
Dodóna / Meteora Monasteries

We explore Dodóna, home to the impressive amphitheater of the Oracle of Zeus, Greece’s first oracle, then head to the magnificent World Heritage Site of Meteora. In Greek, Meteora means “suspended in the air,” and monks of the Eastern Orthodox church built these hermitages atop sheer sandstone pinnacles in the 13th and 14th centuries. We follow the paths to the top of these seemingly inaccessible sanctuaries, where some 60 monks still reside.

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Days 9-12
Mt. Olympus

From the village of Prionia at 3,600 feet, we hike through beech forests to the Spilio Agapitos Refuge (7,200') for an overnight, then ascend to the rocky summit of Skala (9,403'), the main peak of this majestic sacred mountain. Depart on Day 12 via Thessaloniki.

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Hike to the traditional stone-built villages of Zagoria in the Pindos Mountains
Explore the surreal clifftop monasteries of Meteora
Climb to the summit of one of Mt. Olympus’s main peaks


Length: 12 days
Cost From: $3495  
Arrive: Ioannina, Greece
Depart: Thessaloniki, Greece
Lodging: 10 nights hotels and traditional guesthouses, 1 night in mountain refuge
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

9 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 2-8 hours a day, altitudes between 3,000-9,400 feet. This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.

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