Greece your next destination
ATHENS – DELPHI – METEORA – IOANNINA – ZAGORI – NAFPLIO
9 DAYS – 8 NIGHTS
Note: The proposed itineraries are by no means binding. On the contrary, you may adjust your program according to your needs and preferences and according to the arrival and departure flights and airports. We have tried to draft a plan that best encompasses various activities so as to have a full experience in Epirus and Greece. All proposed activities were carefully selected so as to respond to your interests while focusing on Epirus’ various aspects, i.e. history, natural environment, architecture, folklore art, local cuisine, UNESCO sites and geoparks.
Our long experience in organising such tours in Epirus will guarantee the best travel experience for all. Our fleet consists of luxury minibuses while all sports and outdoor activities (hiking, diving, rafting etc) meet all safety standards and requirements so they can be practiced even by less experienced visitors.
Arrival || Athens – Acropolis – Monastiraki – Plaka
Athens is fast-becoming the destination of choice for a wave of savvy millennial travellers looking for a sun-drenched city break with a difference. Athens is indeed a must see city; a place where ancient monuments stand beside hipster coffee joints and rooftop bars. Athens is drenched in sun for the majority of the year, and even if you travel in January you can expect highs of 15 degrees. Most of the time the skies will be blue and the breeze will be balmy. So, whatever time of year you travel, you’re likely to see skies as blue as the Greek flag. The rugged and iconic citadel of the Acropolis towers dramatically over Athens, ensuring part of the city remains perfectly frozen in time. One thing that remains also timeless about Athens is the food. Feast on succulent souvlaki, fresh seafood, mouth-watering mezzes, moussakka and many other delicacies.
Upon your arrival at Athens airport you will be transferred to the hotel to settle in and take some rest. Afterwards you will be transferred and guided to the Acropolis where apart from the astonishing monuments you will enjoy a spectacular view towards the city of Athens. Of course you will visit the Acropolis Museum. A professional guide will inform you about the historical significance of the monuments, and their development through time. In the evening you can enjoy a nice walk in Monastiraki and your dinner in the picturesque Plaka area, one of the most historical neighborhoods of Athens. Late in the evening you will be transferred to your hotel to get some rest and prepare for the next day’s departure.
Athens – Delphi – Arachova
Delphi: The navel of the world
At the foothills of Mount Parnassos, perched between the twin rocks of the Phaedriades, lies the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, which had the most famous oracle of ancient Greece. Delphi was regarded as the centre of the world. According to mythology, it is here that the two eagles sent out by Zeus from the ends of the universe to find the navel of the world met. The sanctuary of Delphi, set within a most spectacular landscape, was for many centuries the cultural and religious centre and symbol of unity for the Hellenic world.
Departure from Athens early in the morning. After a two-hour drive you will reach Delphi. A professional guide will provide the most valuable information about this particular site of huge historical value. Afterwards, you will depart for the picturesque village of Arachova. In Arachova you will have a delicious dinner and you will stay at a beautiful hotel. Free time.
Arachova – Meteora – Metsovo
Meteora: Mountains hanging from the sky
Serene, spiritual, magical, mystical, extraordinary, breathtaking, immense, inspiring, impressive. These are only some of the words people very often use in an effort to describe the Meteora phenomenon. A trip to Meteora offers the unique experience of nature’s grandeur in conjunction with history, architecture and man’s everlasting desire to connect with the Divine. From the early Christian times, the Meteora vertical cliffs were regarded as the perfect place to achieve absolute isolation, to discover peace and harmony and, thus, to support man’s eternal struggle for spiritual elevation. The gigantic rocks of Meteora are perched above the town of Kalambaka, at a maximum height of 400 m (1200 ft). The most interesting summits are decorated with historical monasteries, included in the World Heritage List of Unesco. Only 6 of them have made it through the centuries, from an initial estimated number of 24. Mostly dating to the 14th and until the 16th century, these monasteries were built by monks who were previously hermits in the area, living in individual caves. Once united, these monks took months and years to carry the construction material to the top of rocks, using ropes, folding ladders, nets and baskets, and with much determination.
Day 3 will be dedicated to the unique location of Meteora. We will have the opportunity to visit many different monasteries (Great Meteoron Monastery, Varlaam Monastery, Roussanou Monastery) on top of these astonishing formations and enjoy the spectacular winter view of the wider area. Late in the afternoon you will enjoy your lunch at a traditional local restaurant before departing for your hotel in the village of Metsovo.
Metsovo – Ioannina
Metsovo: the most picturesque traditional village in Greece
Nested in the nature of Ioannina and embraced by the peaks of the Pindos mountains, Metsovo is one of the most picturesque traditional settlements in Greece, introducing visitors to the slow, soothing pace and unpretentious, rustic beauty. At an altitude of 1,200 m., where the north part of Pindos separates itself from the south, the mountain serenity of Epirus meets authenticity in the faces of the elder locals who sit under the trees of the central square. Here, the unrivaled beauty of nature, which stretches from the mountains of Pindos, the fir-covered forests and the running waters of the Metsovitikos River, the lordly traditional stone houses with their wooden verandas, the smell of the fireplace, the frozen fresh air in the face, the taste of metsovone cheese and the red wine from Katogi Averof in one of the restaurants in the square, will all revive your senses, as if wanting to wake you up from the lethargy of the city. After our visit to the village we then go the city of Ioannina. Free time. Accommodation.
Metsovo, one of the most interesting mountain towns will be our destination. The town is famous for its unique architecture and culture, its local cheeses and winemaking industries, including the Katogi vineyard of the Averoff family. The Averof winery is a must see in Metsovo as you will have the opportunity to be informed about the local winery tradition and taste some of the best local bottles. Also, you will visist the church of Agia Paraskevi – a unique monument from the 15th century. Dinner will be served at a Metsovo’s local restaurants. For sports enthusiasts, Metsovo area offers a well-equipped ski resort, where you can enjoy the snow and test your ski skills or just admire the scenery having a cup of local tea or wine at the beautiful chalet.
Ioannina – Dodoni
Ioannina: the city of myths and legends
Ioannina, the capital of Epirus, spreads out around beautiful Lake Pamvotida. The natural environment, the climate and character of the town are defined by this stretch of water – the area’s trademark. The lake, with its still waters and its small island, is a natural monument, around which the entire area lives and breathes. The strong cultural traditions of the town, home to a number of great novelists and poets, and the artistic and intellectual events which are organized throughout the year, give visitors the opportunity to get to know the roots of the intellectual life of Epirus. A walk through the city has the feel of a bygone era, full of secret places and legends still living. Wonderful buildings like the House Matei Hussein, the Ottoman mosque of Veli Pasha and the entire historic centre of the town are unique attractions. Ioannina was always multicultural, dominated mainly by Christian, Islamic and Jewish influences. This coexistence of cultural influences is clearly evident in the historic city centre.
Your first day in Ioannina will be dedicated to the city’s top cultural sites. Your first destination will be the Pavlos Vrellis Wax museum with exhibits from Greek history. Afterwards you can visit the archaeological site of Dodoni which is famous for its ancient Oracle and theatre. In the evening you can enjoy your dinner at a nice restaurant in the city and return to your hotel.
Ioannina – Zagori – Ioannina
Epirus-Zagorochoria: The land behind the mountains
The villages of Zagori are a cluster of 48 traditional picturesque villages, built amphitheatrically in the wider area of Timfi, Pindos and Mitiskeli (Zagori region). Zagori’s natural environment is exquisite and perfect for many outdoor activities. The local architecture is defined by stone, wood and slate rock. The villages are nested between these mountains which along with gorges, forests and rivers form one of the most pristine and radiant natural areas left in Europe. They are part of the greater mountain range of Pindus which starts from south Albania and crosses the border, running down the Greek mainland like a spine; Zagori provokes nostalgia like a magical kingdom in the middle of this ancient country. Robbers, elves, fairies and dragons used to roam the land according to local legends. It is such the magnetism of the place that can really stir one’s imagination.
Departure from the hotel early in the morning. Destination : Central Zagori. You will have the opportunity to visit the magnificent stone villages that are a popular tourist destination. Among the sights that are worth visiting are the information center and Monodendri village, one of the most typical villages of central Zagori. There you can visit the beautiful stone-paved central square and enjoy a coffee as well as the old Agia Paraskevi monastery which offers a spectacular view towards the Vikos gorge. From Oxia lookout point you will have the opportunity to admired and be astonished by the breathtaking winter scenery of the Vikos gorge, the deepest gorge in Europe. You can also visit the so-called stone forest, an area of impressively developed karstic field at an altitude of 1,500 metres.
Ioannina – Perama Cave – Island of Ioannina – Castle
Ioannina: The Lake City
The sound of Greece alone is enough to cheer the minds of any Westerner, Asian, or even African tourist; not just because it’s a country of lovable people and amazing history, but because of its great scenery and wonderful getaway spots. The Greek city of Ioannina is even more spectacular to behold compared to other cities. It is indeed the perfect blend between history of the old and a modern city infrastructure built to accommodate tourists and sightseers of all nations. Ioannina has cultural, historical, and modern places that would certainly catch the fancy of any visitor. And with a 100,000 strong population of which about 20,000 of them are students of the university there, there is simply not a dull moment.
The seventh day will be dedicated to the magnificent to the city of Ioannina. You will have the opportunity to wander the city castle first built in 528 BC. as part of Emperor Justinian’s huge project of fortifications in the Byzantine empire and learn about the different periods and the changes this castle underwent. You can also visit the Silversmithing museum and learn all about the most popular occupation of Ioannina residents. Also, one of the best attractions of Ioannina, is of course its little island in Lake Pamvotis, which is perhaps the only inhabited lake island in Europe. The city’s picturesque old town is ideal for romantic winter walks and hot coffees in traditional and cozy coffee shops. You can also visit Perama cave, the largest cave in Greece with the most beautiful stalactites and stalagmites formations.
Ioannina – Nafplio – Palamidi Castle – Mycenae
Nafplion: endless romance
On the Saronic Gulf is the beautiful town of Nafplio, often dubbed the most romantic destination in Greece. The original capital of the modern State of Greece (1823–1834), it boasts stunning Venetian architecture and Ottoman structures and offers a perfect getaway from Athens. Walking around the narrow paved streets of the Old Town is like a trip to the past. On top of a hill above Nafplio, there is the strong fortress of Palamidi with amazing view to the sea. At the entrance of the port, there is a small islet with a fortress that used to protect the town from naval attacks. Nafplio is a popular weekend destination all year round, while its lovely beach resorts make it a great place for holidays, too.
The 8th day of your travel will be dedicated to the beautiful city of Nafplio. You will have the chance to stroll through the most romantic city in Greece. You will visit the Palamidi castle, one of the finest examples of Venetian architecture. You will have you lunch at a fine local restaurant. Afterwards you can visit the archaeological site of Mycenae, one of the most representative examples of ancient Greek history.
Nafplio || Departure ||
Departure from Nafplio in the morning and transfer to the airport for the return flight.
LEFKADA – CEPHALONIA – ITHACA
4 DAYS – 3 NIGHTS
A short getaway to the most beautiful parts of the Ionian Sea – considered by many to be the most beautiful islands of Greece. Their beauty will enchant you, and their beaches will leave you speechless…
LEFKADA – KATHISMA – AGIOS NIKITAS
Arrival at Aktion airport and transfer to hotel on Lefkada. After settling into our rooms, we will go for a drive around the beautiful island, discovering some of its many secrets. Our first stop is cosmopolitan Nydri. We will continue down to Vassiliki and then continue along the famous coast line with its white cliffs, looking down at the turquoise waters and marvelling at the famous Kathisma beach. Via Agios Nikitas, we end up back at the picturesque town of Lefkada, for free time before bed.
LEFKADA – CEPHALONIA – MYRTOS – MELISSANI LAKE – AGIA EFFIMIA
Aafter breakfast we depart by ferry for Cephalonia, disembarking at the beautiful, cosmopolitan town of Fiskardo. Driving on from there, we meet villages whose past has shaped the local history. It is a route full of oppositions, with the highlight being the unique beach of Myrtos. Then, winding through enchanting natural scenery, we reach the Drogarati cave. Its acoustics and iridescent colours will leave a unique impression on the visitor. From there we will visit the underground Melissani Lake for a lovely boat trip. The colours on the waters and rock walls are truly enchanting. After enjoying the cave and lake, we will stop in the picturesque harbour of Agia Effimia for an optional meal and a rest. The old houses, the street lights on the shore and the traditional food are unforgettable. Finally we will settle into our hotel for the night.
CEPHALONIA – ITHACA – PORTO GIDAKI – VATHI – KIONI – CEPHALONIA
After breakfast we set off for our cruise to Ithaca. You will enjoy a day full of myths and wonders, travelling to the legendary island of Ithaca and marvelling at the beautiful landscape and history of Odysseus’ home. You will enjoy a reinvigorating swim at the stunning beach of Porto Gidaki and have time for shopping and coffee in Vathi, the capital of the island. Continuing our journey, we reach the village of Kioni for lunch, with its many traditional tavernas. Later we will have another swim before beginning our journey back to Agia Effimia, where we will spend the night.
After breakfast at the hotel we will depart for Aktion airport for your journey home.
Discover real, authentic Greece!
A short ferry ride to the mainland will reveal more treasures, from the charming Venetian-style town of Parga to the region’s beautiful capital Ioannina, perched on the banks of a lake. In the mountains behind Ioannina you will encounter stunning landscapes of sheer mountains, green forests and crystal-clear rivers, as well as traditional stone-built villages. The cobbled streets and mansions of this region (Zagori) is home to a traditional, rural way of life that has remained unchanged for centuries. There is no better place to discover real, authentic Greece than here!
THESSALONIKI – METEORA – IOANNINA – ZAGORI
7 DAYS – 6 NIGHTS
On this trip, the visitor will alternate between entirely different landscapes and excursions over the 7 days. They will visit Greece’s second largest city – full of history, beauty and life – followed by the unique (in the world!) monasteries of Meteora, and finally the beautiful, hidden stone-built villages of Epirus. Small and isolated destinations, full of history, tradition and delicious food, make this an unforgettable trip in a country whose mountains ultimately surpass its beaches and seas!
ARRIVAL || THESSALONIKI – WHITE TOWER – ROTUNDA – ARCH OF GALERIUS
Arrival in Thessaloniki and orientation in the city. We will have a tour of the main historical monuments of the ‘Lady of the North’, such as the White Tower, the Rotunda, Kamara (Arch of Galerius), the Byzantine walls, the church of the city’s patron saint, Agios Demetrios, with its crypt. Then we will settle into the hotel, before leaving for a stroll, dinner and entertainment in the picturesque city centre.
THESSALONIKI – UPPER CITY
After breakfast we will visit the city’s archaeological museum, where we will see, amongst other things, the priceless finds from the excavations of the tombs at Vergina. Then there will be free time in the city centre, and we of course recommend a walk along the new sea-side promenade, enjoying the view of the sun diving into the waters of the Thermaic Gulf. As well as the regeneration of the promenade, the people of Thessaloniki are proud of their theme parks, fountains and sculptures, such as the famous ‘Umbrellas’ of George Zongolopoulos. We continue with a trip to the castle in the Upper City, which survived the large fire of 1917, to enjoy the panoramic views of the city with the sea behind. In the evening we will have dinner in a local taverna with live music.
THESSALONIKI – METEORA – IOANNINA
We leave Thessaloniki to visit Meteora. Huge rocks, ‘hanging’ monasteries and beautiful footpaths compose an enchanting landscape that deserves to be seen by everyone! The almost otherworldly monastic civilisation with its monasteries clinging to precipitous cliff-faces, invites you to discover the majesty of nature. Earth meets sky, human meets divine, and the visitor finds the spiritual peace that streams eternally from the atmosphere there. Millions of visitors from around the world discover Meteora every year to marvel at the unique phenomenon. In 1988 Meteora was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will visit two monasteries – the ‘Balcony of Meteora’ – Agios Stefanos (half an hour visit), and of course the biggest of the monasteries, the Great Meteoron (half an hour visit). We continue in the coach for 2 hours to the city of Ioannina, built on the banks of Lake Pamvotida, whose beauty and warm atmosphere will enchant you. Ioannina is a lively city of 100,000 inhabitants, with a long and fascinating history. Every street and square, every point in the city rings with tradition. We will settle into the hotel before walking to dinner and entertainment.
IOANNINA – ZAGORI – VIKOS GORGE – PAPIGKO – CASTLE OF IOANNINA
After breakfast we will set off for the villages of Zagori, passing through the village of Vitsa, with its characteristic stone architecture, on our way to our destination, Monodendri. There we will see the Vikos Gorge, the deepest in the world (Guinness World Records 1997) from the monastery of Agia Paraskevi above. Walking along the stone streets of the village, you will see old mansions, a school of traditional crafts and beautiful traditional stone buildings. We then continue on a breathtaking drive to Papingo, one of Zagori’s most beautiful villages, whose history dates back to the 14th century. Built at an altitude of 980m, on the lower spurs of Mount Astraka, it is made up of two parts – Megalo (large) and Mikro (small) Papingo, 4 km apart from each other. A walk along the cobbled streets will reveal stone fountains and courtyards with old wooden gates. Everything is built in the traditional style of Epirus. We return to Ioannina in the afternoon for another stroll around the historic city centre. We will visit the Castle of Ioannina, with its Ottoman fortress called Its Kale. We return to the hotel for a rest before the evening’s entertainment.
IOANNINA – PARGA – IOANNINA
This day takes us to the sea. After a short drive we will stop at a small, picturesque town, built amphitheatrically around a bay, with beaches, islands and forested hills. We are in Parga, with its Venetian Castle and church of Agii Apostoli, with its many relics – the most popular spot on the shores of the Ionian Sea. We will have a tour of the town, with free time for shopping, coffee and food. We return to the hotel in Ioannina late in the afternoon for more free time and the evening’s entertainment.
IOANNINA – ISLAND OF IOANNINA – METSOVO – THESSALONIKI
After breakfast we will take the boat across the lake to the island of ‘Kyra Frosyini’, with its many monasteries. We will visit the monastery of Agios Panteleimon, where the legendary tyrant Ali Pasha was killed in 1822. We will stroll around the narrow streets of the island, admiring the great variety of silverware, which Ioannina is famous for. Our walk will finish with a visit to the famous Filanthropinon Monastery with its rare frescoes. We then depart by coach for the village of Metsovo. Built spectacularly at an altitude of 1200m on the deep-green slopes of the Pindos mountains, above the Metsovitiko river, the old Vlach village of Metsovo has left its mark on the traveller’s map of the Greek mountains. It is no coincidence that many people describe it as ‘Greece’s Switzerland’. There will be time for food and shopping before we depart for Thessaloniki. We will settle into the hotel and go out in the evening.
THESSALONIKI || DEPARTURE
Breakfast, a walk around the city’s commercial centre and transfer to the airport.
CORFU – PARGA – PAXI – SYVOTA
6 DAYS – 5 NIGHTS
For those who love holidays by the sea, this six-day trip has it all – wild nature, crystal-clear blue waters, a beautiful Old Town, picturesque villages, many lovely beaches, wonderful food, authentic, local products, and of course the shining green-blue Ionian Sea.
CORFU – ACHILLEIO – KANONI – MON REPOS
Arrival at Corfu airport and transfer to the hotel. We begin with a visit to the pedestrianised old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, walking along its paved streets – the famous cantounia, with their red roofs and narrow balconies. The city is renowned for its elegant Italian architecture, a relic of the Venetian rule that lasted almost four centuries. We continue our acquaintance with majestic Corfu town by visiting Achilleio, Kanoni and Mon Repos. We then return to the hotel for a rest. In the evening you will have free time for a walk around the large central square. Then back to the hotel for the night.
CORFU – CASTLE – ST. SPYRIDON – PALAIOKASTRITSA
Breakfast in the hotel and visit to the Castle and the Church of St. Spyridon, the patron saint of the island. The rest of the day will be free for you to enjoy the comforts of the hotel and the sea. In the late afternoon we will go to Palaiokastritsa for a coffee looking out over the stunning landscape of this enchanting bay. We then return to the hotel for the night.
CORFU – IGOUMENITSA – PARGA
After breakfast we depart by ferry to Igoumenitsa and then drive to Parga. You will be astounded by this beautiful little town, which looks out at the wooded island dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We will settle into the hotel and then walk up to the old town with its unique architecture, cobbled streets, picturesque arches and neighborhoods blooming with flowers, well-kept houses and old, colorful mansions. Free time for the rest of the day.
PARGA – PAXI – ANTIPAXI
Breakfast at the hotel and departure for our cruise from Parga at 10am. In the boat we will pass the village of Longos (the smallest, most picturesque village on the island of Paxi), before reaching the famous and beautiful village of Lakka after 1.5 hours, in time for a swim at Lakka beach. After Lakka, sailing along the wild western coast of the island, we will visit 3 sea caves (Ypapanti, Galazio, Ortholithos), entering the largest of them. Then we will go to the small, lovely island of Antipaxi, which only has sandy beaches. We stop at Blue Lagoon for 45 minutes, swimming off the boat, before making a final stop at the capital of Paxi, Gaios, for around 1.5 hours. Then at 7pm we return to Parga for the night.
PARGA – SYVOTA – BELLA VRAKA BEACH
After breakfast we depart for Syvota. We arrive from above, around a picturesque harbor with a paved pier. The green hills and houses with their red tiled roofs soothe you merely from looking at them. A little further out of the village, you will be met with sights that look just like the Caribbean. The little islands of Mavro Oros, Agios Nikolaos and Mourtemeno hover just off shore, along with a string of smaller rocky islands. We will visit the beach of Bela Vraka – the great highlight of the region, being connected to the mainland by a narrow spit of golden sand. There will then be free time for food, coffee and shopping before bed. Then, we return to Parga for the night.
PARGA – IGOUMENITSA – CORFU
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for the port of Igoumenitsa, where we will take the ferry for Corfu airport.
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