Fables of Zagoria

Take the road less travelled to the stone villages of Zagoria, endowed with extraordinary natural beauty, a vast temperate forest ecosystem, distinctive architecture, cultural wealth and the sheer romance of an ancient way of life, best known for its traditional villages that has stood the test of time. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Experience the magical charm of the Zagoria stone villages

Stay at the Aristi Mountain Resort - a National Geographic Unique Lodge

Marvel at the spectacular landscapes and nature of Northern Greece

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE IOANNINA / ZAGORIA

Arrive at Ioannina Airport from Athens where we start our exploration of Ioannina, the biggest city of Epirus. Built on the bank of Lake Pamvotis 500m above sea level, Ioannina fascinates with its beauty and warm atmosphere. We visit the Old Town of Ioannina to admire the beautiful architecture and life of the city and thereafter, visit the Ioannina Castle, built in 528AD in the frames of Emperor Justinian I’s plans for the fortification of the Byzantine state. Thereafter, a short and scenic drive arrives us at the incredible environments of Aristi Mountain Resort - a National Geographic Unique Lodge where you will spend the next few nights. 

Overnight: Aristi Mountain Resort, Zagoria

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: ZAGORIA

Today, an exciting day beckons as we visit the Vikos Gorge, the deepest in Europe that slices through the heart of Zagoria, once a region of wealthy and cultured traders and artisans. We will head to the village of Monodendri and continue to the breathtaking views from the balcony of Agia Paraskevi Monastery, and then back to Aristi for an included lunch in a local house. Thereafter, we head to the Byzantine Spiliotissa Monastery on the left bank of the Voidomatis River – reportedly the cleanest waters in Europe and renowned for its population of fresh river trouts. Thereafter, marvel or dip in the Rogovo stream, formed with a series of about twenty natural pools into the rock, each spilling crystal clear waters into the next one. ,

Overnight: Aristi Mountain Resort, Zagoria

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 3: ZAGORIA

We spend another day in Zagoria where today, we will visit some of the most mesmerizing villages. Drive to the village of Vradeto at 1,350m as we then begin a 1 hour hike on the memorable Vradeto cobbled stone steps built in the 16th Century at the slopes of the Vikos Gorge offering another perspective of the canyon. The stone trail is 1.5km long, has 250m of altitude difference and consists of 39 turns and 1,140 steps where we will be greeted by the Church of Agios Athanasios with its small shed. After some rest, we then take second part of the hike from Vradeto to the Beloi viewpoint (40mins hike) at 1,450m over a 2km distance. Enjoy enviable views from the stone-made balcony. Later, we ascend down and enjoy a deserved lunch in a local restaurant in Vradeto before continuing the second half of the day marveling at the remarkable stone arch bridges like the Kokoris Bridge, built since 1750 and the Bridge of Kalogeriko (Plakidas), built in 1814 with its amazing 3 arches.

Overnight: Aristi Mountain Resort, Zagoria

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: ZAGORIA

Early this morning, an experiential day of epic proportions as we first make a drive to the village of Mikro Papigo, one of the most beautiful villages in Zagoria where we begin a beautiful 3.5hrs hike towards the high plateaus of Mount Tymfi, reaching an alpine lake at 2,050m. Marvel at the spectacular scenery towards the Astraka hut and on our way, we will witness a lot of water springs where water is amazingly pure, clean and drinkable. After that, we continue our hike to the Drakolimni alpine lake where we ponder over the jawdropping and surreal views, enjoying our picnic-styled lunch and spend time to enjoy the experience! Thereafter, we return to Mikro Papigo village where we return again to Aristi. 

Duration: 8 hours (estimated)

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest elevation: 2,500m 

Overnight: Aristi Mountain Resort, Zagoria

Meals: Breakfast & Picnic Lunch

DAY 5: DEPARTURE ZAGORIA

We leave Zagoria today where we have options aplenty to continue your adventures in Greece and beyond. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Built at the upper part of Aristi, one of the most beautiful traditional villages in Greece, Aristi Mountain Resort is not just a hotel, but a refuge for those seeking beauty in nature. A proud member of the "National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World", the resort was created with the ambition to offer a unique vacation experience to visitors and the possibility to discover the beautiful northwest region of Greece. 

Aristi Mountain Resort, Zagoria

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