meteora greece monasteries

Meteora, Greece

The cliff-perched monasteries at Meteora are one of the most spectacular sights in Greece. Our Zagoria hiking journey includes a hike to these ancient monasteries, following in the footsteps of the monks.

Photo by Mehlig Manfred / Fototeca 9x12

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Greece: Zagoria and Mt. Olympus

The Pindos Mountains, Meteora, and the abode of Zeus

Greece: Zagoria and Mt. Olympus route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $3495  
Length: 11 days
Arrive: Ioannina, Greece
Depart: Thessaloniki, Greece
Lodging: 9 nights hotels and traditional guesthouses, 1 night 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
4p

Highlights

  • Traditional villages of Zagoria, with their stone architecture and classic Greek cuisine
  • Spectacular cliff-top monasteries of Meteora
  • Hike to the summit of Mt. Olympus, abode of the gods


I loved the entire experience! The “Big Greek Kostas” showed us the country he loves—with style!Diane G.—Vista, CA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

A hidden world of the past is found in Zagoria, where thousand-year-old stone villages perch above the dramatic Vikos Gorge in Greece’s Pindos Mountains. In this traditional 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 like 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 an ascent of Mt. Olympus (9,600’), storied home of the Greek gods.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-6
Ioánnina / Zagoria

From lakeside Ioánnina, we 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 us to gleaming Dragon Lake (6,800’), set on the edge of the escarpment of one of the highest peaks of the striking Pindos Mountains.

Days 7-11
Dodóna / Meteora Monasteries / Litochoro / Mt. Olympus

Exploring the sanctuary of Dodóna we enter into the realm of the oldest of Greek oracles, then on to the magnificent World Heritage Site of Meteora, where you’ll hike along the same paths that monks use. Starting in Litochoro, the gateway for Olympus climbs, head to the Spilio Agapitos Refuge (7,200’) to 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 in Delphi and beyond.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 4+, Moderate to Strenuous. It features daily hikes, with accommodations in hotels and simple pensions. Hikes vary from 3-5 hours a day at altitudes of 3,000 to 9,403 feet (the summit of Skala peak on Olympus). Although you carry only a daypack on the hikes, there are many steep ascents and descents and there are some sections that cross rough or rocky trails. For your own enjoyment, we recommend that you make a special effort to be in good physical condition for the trip. Regular hiking or using a stair-climbing machine at your gym are excellent preparatory exercises. You should wear sturdy, well-broken-in hiking boots for maximum comfort on the trail. Please note that in Greece, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 8:00 pm.

All hotels and pensions we stay in are chosen for their history and central location. Since they are often in historic buildings the rooms may not conform to the international standards that you may be accustomed to in more cosmopolitan areas. We hope that you will be able to enjoy them for their charm and local color. Single rooms can be requested, but are not always available, due to the limited space in some of our hotels. If you require a single room, please make the request as early as possible. European single rooms are often smaller than US singles.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2015
May 5-15, 2015

Jun 17-27, 2015
Sep 30-Oct 10, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$3495 (13-16 members)
$3695 (8-12 members)
$3895 (4-7 members)
Single supplement: $390
Forced single supplement: $195
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Archaeological Sites of Classical Greece Extension
   from: $1795

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in hotels and small comfortable inns and pensions with one overnight at a mountain refuge on Mt. Olympus
  • All meals included except 1 lunch
  • Entrance fees to sites

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, hotel transfers to/from airports other than the designated group flights, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expense of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance or passports; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, and so on).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Hotel Gouris

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Tsepelovo, Greece

In the beautiful old village of Tsepelovo, with its slate-roofed houses and stone bridges, we stay in the pleasant Hotel Gouris, a rustic hotel in a quiet location. The hotel is a renovated traditional Zagorian house.

Hotel Selini

Hotel Selini

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Vitsa, Greece

The Hotel Selini is a converted traditional house in the village of Vitsa, with seven comfortable rooms and panoramic views. It has a home-like ...
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Hotel Dias

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Papingo, Greece

Named for Dias (Zeus), the father of Greek Olympian gods, the Dias guesthouse has a stunning setting in the middle of the dramatic stone-built village of Papingo. It was built in 1990 but blends perfectly with the ancient architecture of the village.  From the hotel’s patio, we can see the Vikos Gorge and the rocky towers of Mount Astraka, and it’s a pleasant place to enjoy dinner and sunset over the peaks.

Hotel Kastraki

Hotel Kastraki

Day 7 (1 night), Meteora, Greece

Right at the foot of the spectacular Meteora rocks, the Kastraki has grand  views and comfortable air-conditioned rooms. It is situated near ...
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Hotel Olympus Mediterranean

Hotel Olympus Mediterranean

Day 8 (1 night),
Day 10 (1 night), Litochoro, Greece

This small new hotel is near the main square in Litochoro, the beautiful small town below Mt. Olympus. It is set on a quiet street within walking ...
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Spilios Agapitos Refuge

Spilios Agapitos Refuge

Day 9 (1 night), Mt. Olympus, Greece

Located on a natural flat area at 7,200 feet on Mt. Olympus, surrounded by impressive age-old Bosnian pine trees, this log-cabin-style lodge has ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions option:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Michalis Vasileiou

Departure Dates: May 5-15, 2015

Dr. Michalis ("Michel") Vasileiou was born and raised in Ioannina, Greece and earned his degree in Medicine in Padova, Italy. While practicing medicine as a surgeon, his deep love for the mountains won him over and he also became a professional mountain guide and member of the IFMGA (International ...
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Katerina Vasileiou

Departure Dates: May 5-15, 2015

Katerina Vasileiou, the daughter of WT Trip Leader Kostas Vasileiou, grew up in a family of mountaineers, and has hiked and trekked her entire life. Her love of nature and culture led her decide on a career in travel, and since 2007 she has been an assistant leader on our Hiking in the Greek ...
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Vasili Vasileiou

Departure Dates: May 5-15, 2015, June 17-27, 2015, September 30-October 10, 2015

Vasili Vasileiou was born and raised in Ioannina, Greece, and is a member of the Vasileiou family that leads many of our trips in this captivating country. After attending technical school in Thessaloniki and a stint in the military as a Special Forces Officer, he now assists in guiding our ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Kostas Vasileiou

Departure Dates: June 17-27, 2015, September 30-October 10, 2015

Kostas Vasileiou was born and raised in Ioannina, Greece, and now lives in the historic village of Kipi in the Vikos Gorge. He holds a professional mountain guide's licence from the Alpine Club of Greece and has also led trekking expeditions in Nepal. "Being a Trip Leader puts me in contact with ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

Greece

Archaeological Sites of Classical Greece Extension

Delphi, Olympia & Beyond

Cultural Adventures
5 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

I loved the entire experience! The “Big Greek Kostas” showed us the country he loves—with style! Diane G., Vista, CA This is a very well designed trip. Margaret H., Washington, DC Nothing beats a day of challenging exercise followed by a great dinner surrounded by friends. I’ve taken a number of exceptional trips, but this one will be hard to beat. Candy H., Del Mar, CA Once again, WT comes through with a memorable and unique experience. Susan L., Cobham, Surrey, UK The trip was a wonderful introduction to Greece. We loved everything we saw—the people, the food, the incredible history. Frederick L., Cobham, Surrey, UK The time in Zagoria was especially magical. The food was spectacular and unforgettable. We enjoyed staying in smaller guest houses—all good choices. Tom H., Shoreline, WA
This is a great way to experience Greece. Barbara Kay C., Brighton, CO This was a very unusual experience that we couldn't have had on our own, with Kostas sharing his knowledge of this area that he knows so well. Ollie H., Castle Rock, CO We had a great time, off the beaten path, away from the crowds, the best lodging available in the area. Holly S., Boulder, CO Trip exceeded our expectations and should be on everyone's to-do list. Jim and Carol B., Kensington, MD Every day was an adventure with new sites and challenges. Walter K., Wilton, CT I'd go again, just to be with Kostas, eat the food, and see the vistas! Laura B., Tucson, AZ