The Vikos Gorge, Meteora, and the Abode of Zeus


Traditional Greece can still be found in Zagoria, where thousand-year-old villages are perched above the UNESCO-protected Vikos Gorge in the Pindos Mountains. We’ve created wonderful hikes along shepherds’ paths and across arched bridges spanning the gorge and leading to these unique hamlets. To reach the spectacular monasteries of Meteora, we’ll walk the monks’ paths up to these airy medieval sanctuaries. Our grand finale is our hike up Mt. Olympus (9,600'), storied home of the gods, where we gaze over the ancient world from the abode of Zeus, ruler of the sky. Along the way, we’ll fuel our hikes with northern Greece’s delicious culinary treats and sample renowned local wines from ancient vineyards.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Ioánnina / Zagoria

From Ioánnina, we head to Zagoria to hike orchid-lined paths to the villages of the Vikos Gorge, including Pápingo, nestled beneath limestone towers. We descend the famous Vradeto Stairs, a serpentine 17th century stone staircase leading to the tiny village of KapÉsovo, and cross ancient stone bridges of double and even triple arches that span the upper gorge. One hike brings us up to gleaming Dragon Lake (6,800'), below the striking peaks of the Pindos. Between hikes, we swim in sun-warmed springs, relax in ancient village squares shaded by huge plane trees, and enjoy the local wines and herb-infused cuisine of this remarkable region.

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Days 6-8
Dodóna / Meteora Monasteries

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

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Days 9-12
Mt. Olympus

From Thessaloniki, we head to the village of Prionia and start our hike, ascending through the forest and up above treeline to the Spilio Agapitos Refuge (7,200'). The next day we hike 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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Experience the traditional stone-built villages of Zagoria in the Pindos Mountains
Follow monks’ pathways up to the surreal clifftop monasteries of Meteora
Hike to the summit of Mt. Olympus, a fitting abode for the gods


Length: 12 days
Cost From: $3695  
Arrive: Ioannina, Greece
Depart: Thessaloniki, Greece
Lodging: 10 nights hotels and traditional guesthouses, 1 night in mountain refuge
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

7 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 3-8 hours a day, altitudes between 3,500-9,400 feet. This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.

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