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.
I am so grateful I had this opportunity to see Greece on foot. My highest regards to Kostas and his team; they showed me the difference between a Sunday stroll and a real hike up the mountain.
— Cora L., Gunnison, CO
Ioánnina / Zagoria
From lakeside Ioánnina, head to Zagoria for hikes to hidden villages dotting the Vikos Gorge, including Vitsa, with its lovely tree-shaded square, and Koukouli, where the absence of cars evokes an era of the past. Cross spectacular 10th century stone bridges, traverse cobbled trails, swim in the clear waters of a natural spring, and sample the local wines and herb-infused cuisine including keftedes, meatballs made with mint and cinnamon. A hike above the tree line brings you to gleaming Dragon Lake (6,800'), set on the edge of the escarpment of one of the highest peaks of the striking Pindos Mountains.
Dodóna / Meteora Monasteries / Thessaloniki
Exploring the sanctuary of Dodóna, you’ll enter into the realm of the oldest of Greek oracles, then head to the magnificent World Heritage Site of Meteora. In Greek, Meteora means “suspended in the air,” and here atop towering sandstone rock pinnacles, the monasteries are seemingly inaccessible and truly medieval, and you’ll hike along the same paths that monks use. In Thessaloniki, explore ancient archaeological sites.
From the village of Prionia at 3,600 feet, head through beech forests to the Spilio Agapitos Refuge (7,200'), then follow a hiker’s trail to the rocky summit of Skala (9,403'), one of Olympus’s five main peaks. From the top, you can gaze out over the ancient world from the abode of Zeus, ruler of the sky. Descend and depart on Day 11 via Thessaloniki, or extend your adventure to Delphi and beyond.