Macedonia-Epirus

The land of Alexander The Great, the places where lived the ancient Greeks
on a trip in the nature and its history

7 DAYS IN THE AREA OF GREVENA, THE NATIONAL PARK OF PINDOS, THE CITIES OF IOANNINA & KASTORIA, THE GORGE OF VIKOS AND THE PAPIGKO VILLAGES

4x4 Off-Road excursion to the mountains and the waters of Northern Greece

Route through the most beautiful areas of West Macedonia and the National forest of Valia Kalda and Vikos and marvel at the natural beauty of Pindos and the lakes of Aoos, Ioannina and Prespes.
Explore the traditional villages of Metsovo and Zagorochoria with the graphic stone bridges and stone houses.

Estimated budget

1.718 €

Price per person, based on 2 persons sharing a room and a SUV rental vehicle

Trip Type

Exploration trip
5-10 Vehicles

Duration

7-8 days |
6 overnights

Dates

May Day
28th April - 2nd May 2019

Off Road routes to the rivers, the mountains, the forests, the peaks and the lakes of northern Greece with the authentic traditional villages of Metsovo and Zagorohoria, the stone bridges, the picturesque towns of Ioannina and Kastoria and we get known the hospitable inhabitants and the special local gastronomy of Pindos and Macedonia.

Tour through scenic routes and forest roads in Macedonia and Epirus, with the towering fir tree-covered mountains, plenty of waters and gorges of unique beauty for a 7-day crossing of North-Western Greece.

Routes to the rivers, the lakes and the stone bridges invite you on a journey of images and senses.
The cold waters of the springs and the rushing waters of the torrents unite and create shallow and rushing rivers, wetlands and lakes to create the rivers of Aliakmonas and Aoos that give life to the Pindos National Park along with the tributary of Voidomatis with the clean, cold and crystal clear waters crossing the Vikos Gorge.
We visit the unique artefacts of traditional folk architecture, the villages and the stone arched bridges, built in wild landscapes.
We admire the lakes of Ioannina and Kastoria reflecting the city's lights and the impressive landscape of Lake Prespa with 1,500 species of plants and 260 species of birds.

Starting from Salonika, we explore the protected area of Epirus with its significant ecological and cultural characteristics.
Acquaintance with the unique architecture, history, folklore and gastronomy of the area. Acquaintance with people living in the preserved and traditional settlements, following inaccessible Off Road routes to North Pindos National Park, and Western Macedonia to Grevena, Kastoria and Prespa


The Northern Pindos National Park and the traditional village of Metsovo

Exploration trip to the protected area of Epirus with its significant ecological and cultural characteristics.
Getting to know the unique architecture, the bridges, the history, the folklore and the gastronomy of the Metsovo area, following forest paths in the North Pindos National Park with the Valia Kalda National Park.

Day 1 | The Pindos National Park and the traditional mansions of Metsovo

Meeting point: Thessaloniki | Accommodation: Metsovo

From Thessaloniki we head towards Grevena starting with the off road routes through the National forest of Pindos.

Next to the river we drive from the valley area of Grevena towards the mountainous range of Hepirus, crossing small rivers and rich flora. Visit the famous stone bridge of Aziz Aga that was built in 1727, near the village Trikorfo and then head to the Gorge of Portitsa with the stone bridge sharing its name.
Finally our route will guide us towards the village Spilaio and then to the Metsovo Village where we can explore traditional small roads, hike, enjoy dinner and the local traditional cuisine.


  • Thessaloniki - Metsovo
    170 km Highway & 60 km National Road
    25 klm Dirt-Road & Off-Road
  • Pindos National Park
  • Aziz Aga stone Bridge
    Spilaio (Portitsa) Bridge
  • Traditional settlement of Metsovo
  • Τhe local traditional flavors

Day 2 | the National Forests core of Valia Kalda

The lake of Aoos, Valia Kalda forest , East Zagori region | Accommodation: Metsovo

Our First stop is in the lake of Aoos with altitude of 1.340meters flowing towards the river that shares its name. It is from here we will begin our off road route to cross the National forest of Valia Kalda.

Driving through one of the most well protected and preserved forests of Greece through abies cephalonica trees and then arriving in Valia Calda and then stop near the river where the bears drink water. Afterwards, we continue our journey through the forest towards the traditional Village of Vovousa where we will dine in its traditional square and reserve some free time to hike, walk around, and enjoy a Greek night dinner and the local cuisine before we rest the night.


  • Pindos (Valia Calda) National Forests
    40 km Paved road
    35 km Dirt-Road και Off-Road
  • The National forest of Valia Kalda and the Arkoudorema river
    The lake of Aoos
  • The traditional Village of Vovousa
    The Stone Bridges of Epirus

Day 3 | The city, the lake, and the cave of Ioannina

Ioannina - Zagori | Accommodation: Zagorohoria

Moving onwards from Metsovo towards the city of Ioannina.
En route we take a small stop to visit the Cave of Perama comprised of several halls with stalagmites and stalagtites and then visit the nearby museum.

Our route goes through the forests of Monodendri village and we stay the night in Zagorochoria Village.


  • Ioannina
    100 km National Road
    30 km Dirt-Road και Off-Road
  • The Cave of Perama, the Lake Pamvotida and the old, walled town of Ioannina

Day 4 | Tour of the Vikos-Aoos National Forest and the villages of Zagori

Vikos Gorge, Zagori villages | Accommodation: Zagorohoria

The Day begins with our visit to the extraordinary Vikos Gorge, also holding the guiness record form narrowest canyon in the world and the wooden forest, with impressive rocky natural designs and layers of stone. We follow unique off-road routes through the dense forest, discover the stone bridges and rivers through the 46 villages of Zagorochoria.
Taste all the local traditional cuisine has to offer with the amazing ampitheatric view of the Gorge of Mesaria in 1.110 meters altitude and enjoy a tour in the Local Cheese Factory before we rest the night in Zagorochoria village.


  • Vikos-Aoos National Forest
    30 km Paved Road
    40 km Minor Dirt-Road και Off-Road
  • The Vikos Gorge
  • The traditional architecture of Stone-built Villages and Bridges
  • The flavors and the pure products of Epirus

Day 5 | The villages and the rivers in the shade of the stone towers of Astraka peak

The villages of Papigo and the rivers Voidomatis & Aoos | Accommodation: Kastoria

Tour of the West Zagori region near Papigo village.
We begin by visiting the naturally formed lake-pools and marvel at the geological designs.
Following a graphic route towards the villages of Mastrochoria and Mount Grammos to end up in the lake of Kastoria where we will enjoy a greek night, dine and rest the night.


  • Papigo - Mastrochoria - Kastoria
    120 km Paved Road
    45 km Dirt-Road και Off-Road
  • Papigo - Mastrochoria - Mount Grammos
  • The traditional preserved settlements of Papigo
  • The bridges of Konitsa and Kleidonia

Day 6 | Discovering the Prespes, the Lakes "without frontiers"

The Area of the Prespes Lakes | Accommodation: Kastoria

Two lakes at high altitude, three states that meet in the water. The entire area around the lakes, regardless of the borders and in all languages, is called "Prespa". It is a unique ark of life and civilization.

Once we reach the village of Psarades, we board the traditional boats of the area. We enjoy the trip to the lake, observing the waterflow and the many impressive caves in which there are isolated fascinating monasteries. After the boating experience, Grivada and Chiron (local fish) in various versions, cumin, beans and pepper, and many more are served by the lake and remain unforgettable.
Then heading back to Kastoria crossing the beautiful ridge at Piskodendri on Mount.


  • Prespes
    80 km National Road
    35 km Minor Dirt-Road και Off-Road
  • Prespes (Prespa) National Park
  • Grivada and Chiron (local fish)

Day 7 | Kastoria - Thessaloniki

After Breakfast and enjoyment of the morning view from above, we begin on our way of return (depending on remaining time available and flight times of participants) where we will visit the Cave of Kastoria and the Limneos prehistoric village and the Nimfeo village, a place in the mountain where injured bears are being taken care of.

  • Limneos prehistoric village
  • Dragon Cave of Kastoria
  • Nimfeo village – injured bears are being taken care of


We design & provide route and tour guiding on an experiential journey of 4x4 off-road exploration.

Including

Off-road escort vehicle and activity support equipment

Fully prepared and specially recovery equipped 4WD escort vehicles, driven by experienced off-road drivers.

Tour-guide/interpreter

2Way VHF & CB intercom for all cars.
During our excursions we have manage to establish a continuous two-way communication and tour guidance through all passengers of traveling group in all of vehicles.

First Aid kit

Provision for technical support

Technician for on-route support.
For damage requiring a workshop, we will have been informed locals to support.

Traditional Guesthouses & Flavors

ACCOMMODATION

On our tours, we choose to host our guest travelers in 3/4* hotels or traditional guesthouses, with the approach of authenticity and the spirit of traditional Greek home hospitality, usually in small villages not widely known to tourist. Of course all the conveniences for a pleasant stay are there for your satisfaction.

FOOD

The variety of flavors offered by each area gives the pleasure of our guests to visit Greek traditional cafes and taverns in the villages we visit all the local products and even to participate in the production of some of them. An unforgettable experience of taste and pleasure.
Full breakfast at the hotel.
Picnic or Light Lunch at chosen locations along routes.
Traditional food picnic, snacks, water, coffee.
Light lunch including traditional Greek delicacies, luncheon meats, cheeses, pies etc., dessert, water, coffee.
Dinner: Full meal, wine.

Our Route

We offer real travel experiences in Greece

You will join us as traveling companions and not as a tourist group and together we will explore and discover the wonders of Greece of present and past which you cannot find in any tourist guides.

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στην πιο όμορφη περιοχή της Ελλάδος.
Ταξίδι στην ιστορία των Βαλκανικών Πολέμων. Επικεντρωμένοι σε μια πλευρά της Ελλάδος ,αυτή της δυτικής Ελλάδος όπου στα βουνά πραγματοποιήθηκαν μάχες ηρωικές και πολύνεκρες.

Καστανόδασος Στενή Εύβοιας

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