Zagori area is the perfect hiking destination for those who love both nature and picturesque traditional villages. It is part of the Vickos - Aoos National Park which belongs in the Natura 2000 ecological network and is also a UNESCO Geopark. Due to its geographical remoteness, it has unique nature, architecture and traditions. We will trek through dense forests with rich flora and fauna, emblematic stone villages - in total 46 villages known as Zagori villages (or Zagorochoria or Zagorohoria), alongside beautiful rivers with natural pools and will discover masterful stone bridges made entirely with stones, monasteries carved into the mountains and magnificent views to the surrounding area.
1. Easy Light physical activity, usually walking or hiking, that is good for most fitness levels. Also suitable for children and elderly people. Perfect for whose who have never been to the mountains and who want to try it out.
2. Moderate Activity involves daily walking for 3-5 hours a day, usually multi-day treks or long 1-day hikes that require a high level of physical activity. Suitable for people with an average level of physical fitness.
3. Challenging Activity involves daily walking for 3-5 hours a day at various types of terrain (rough trails, partially exposed areas with danger of falling, gravel plains, pathless steep terrain) or high-altitude treks above 2000 meters. Requires an average to above average fitness level.
4. Strenuous Activity involves walking up to 6-7 hours a day in fairly difficult terrain (steep rocky slopes, snow covered glaciers or firn fields with danger of slipping) or high-altitude treks above 3000 meters. Requires an above average fitness level and high level of stamina.
5. Extreme Activity involves walking up to 6-10 hours a day with difficult terrain and conditions (tricky rocky slopes or snow covered glaciers with increased danger of slipping), strenuous high-altitude treks at 4000-5600 meters. Requires very high level of physical fitness and stamina, as well as good practical experience of multi-day trekking on high altitudes.
HIKING/ TREKKING ACTIVITY LEVELS
What intensity you should expect from this activity and what fitness level is required for this activity
0. No requirements/ minimal requirements Easy hiking/ trekking with non-technical elements. No certain knowledge or experience is required for this activity.
1. Beginner Basic navigation skills are required if hiking/ trekking without a guide. Previous hiking/ trekking experience is not required, but desirable. No danger of falling with appropriate behaviour.
2. Intermediate Average navigation skills are required if hiking/ trekking without a guide. Basic alpine experience is needed.
3. Advanced Path not necessarily available. Sometimes need to use hands to keep going. Terrain assessment, good navigation skills and good alpine experience is required.
4. Professional Mostly without a path and unmarked, might involve some climbing sections. Excellent navigation skills are required even if trekking with a guide. Proven alpine experience, mountaineering skills and familiarity with alpine equipment are required.
HIKING/ TREKKING: TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY LEVELS
Some activities might envolve technical elements for which certain practical experience or training is needed.
Day 1: Kipi-Monodendri
Our day starts from the main square of Kipi village where we will meet with the rest hikers of our group. Our guide will first brief you and soon we will start our tour parallelly to the main road until we reach the famous old stone bridge of Plakida.
From there we will follow a beautiful path inside a forest of beech and oak trees. We will walk down into the Vikos gorge and after crossing the "Misiou" stone bridge we will walk onto the old steps of Vitsa to reach this traditional village which is built just at the edge of the gorge. Very soon after that, we will reach the village of Monodendri. It definitely worths it to visit the main square of the village and taste local pies together with homemade wine.
Distance: 9.3 km Estimate Time: 5 h Elevation: Gain 353 m., Loss 654 m. Overnight at Monodendri
Day 2: Monodendri-Vikos
We will start our day from Monodendriand after we pass through the village we will find the entrance of the path (Monodendri steps) that will take us to the core of the gorge (1.5 km downhill elevation difference of 375 m).
For the next 9 km. we will hike to different elevation rates in a wonderful scenery with big laminated stones. We will always have Vikos river at our right hand side. Upon request, we can visit the springs of Voidomatis River that flow underground. Afterwards we will continue in the same path that will lead us to the village of Vikos. We will conclude our route to Megalo Papingo village and rest for the night in a guest room or hotel. In the afternoon, you can walk through the narrow streets of village and enjoy its traditional architecture.
Distance: 12 km. Estimate Time: 6-7 h Elevation: Gain 699 m., Loss 1011 m. Overnight Megalo Papingo
Day 3: Papigo-Natural Pools
Our 3rd day starts by hiking the scenic route to Mikro Papingo, a village very popular for its caves which were inhabited since the Neolithic time.
We will continue our route uphill until we reach the red Lithari which is between the towers of Astraka and the Gorge of Vikos with stunning views of the Albanian mountains. We will use the same path to return but this time we will go through the gorgeous little village of Mikro Papigo, which was built in the 14th century. We will rest and enjoy our lunch there. After exploring the village, we will continue towards the gorge Rogovou with its unique natural pools with cold running water - a great place for a relaxing bath.
At the end of our tour, we will reach the point where we started the first day.
Distance: 8 km. Estimate Time: 4-5 h. Elevation: Gain 677 m.,Loss 660 m
During our trek we will have 2 overnight stays in 3-star hotels or traditional guest houses ( Bed & Breakfast). The rates are per person sharing double / twin
Dinners and lunches are not included in the price of the tour. You can pack your own food, or purchase optional Half-board Supplement (2 Dinners) for €30 or a Full-board supplement (2 Dinners and 2 Lunches) for €50.
All our guides are local professionals. They have been guiding in Zagori area for years and know every nook and crany of the national park. They will make sure that every participant has a great and safe time on the adventure.
How hard it is
You will walk along good paths for approx. 6 hours per day. Basic level of physical fitness is recommended. There will be no techinical elements during the course of the trek.
All transfers during the tour are included, as well as local transfers. To arrange transport from your spot to the beginning spot, please let us know.
What to take with you
Small, comfortable rucksack (30-40 litres) with padded straps and waist belt, internal frame preferred; waterproof liner recommended to keep clothing, etc. dry inside.
Sturdy, worn in trekking shoes
Good waterproof top with hood
Warm clothes, both for windy / cold daytime conditions and for the cool evenings (fleece tops or similar)
Shorts and long trousers for walking, preferably quick-drying material (cotton or polycotton not denim)
Sweatshirts or T-shirts for walking, at least one with long sleeves and collar (against sun-burn)
Sunglasses, towel, sun hat or cap, sun block
Wash bag and simple first aid kit (plasters or blister kit, aspirin or similar, antiseptic)
Photographers: bring your cameras
Torch (head torch if you have one)
Please try to travel as light as possible; remember that you must carry everything you bring on all the days' walk.
Don't let Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact your mountain trip!
We at Mountain Planet prioritize safety and not only in the mountains. Thing are changing every day and there is so much that is still unknown. We want you to keep on planning your next mountain trip and not worry about cancellations. We guarantee 100% refund if your plans have changed due to Coronavirus precaution measures (borders closed, flights cancelled, visa problems, etc).
A perfect opportunity to experience new environment and culture alongside likeminded people from all around the Globe. Meet new friends and have a great time on a once in a lifetime adventure. See guaranteed departure dates below.
If none of the dates fit your schedule - drop us a line, and we will arrange a private tour just for you.
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2 overnight stays in 3-star hotels or guesthouses (B&B);
All transfers according to itinerary;
Local transfers to starting point;
Professional local English speaking guide;
Third party insurance;
Drinks and beverages;
Anything not clearly mentioned above;
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