From the alpine slopes of Elikonas and Giona, to the valley of Karpenisi in Evrytania and from the charming Plastira lake to the rocky pinnacles of Meteora, the central Greek highlands welcome us on a 7 day 4x4 off-road holiday adventure. We'll navigate through densely forested mountain ranges, rivers and lakes and explore remote villages, old churches and the historic monuments of the region. The rich flora and fauna and unique culture, that can be best experienced driving through off-road mountain trails, make the central Greek highlands an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, seeking to see Greek nature at its best, become well acquainted with local culture and enjoy all year round mountain activities.
During the first day of your trip, you get a chance to explore the sights of downtown Athens. The world famous Acropolis hill, with the magnificent Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum, the Roman Agora and the Temple of Zeus are all within walking distance from your hotel.
For those of you who want to get a first culinary taste of Greece, the nearby neighborhoods of Monastiraki and Plaka are bustling with traditional tavernas and are popular year round.
If you feel like immersing yourself further into the history and culture of Athens, there is the option of joining a walking tour that guides you through the main archaeological sites and areas of cultural interest in the center of Athens. Alternatively you could take part in our Historical Athens Treasure Hunt , a three hour walk through history game that includes visiting the most iconic of Athenian landmarks.
In the evening a welcome dinner takes place at a local bistro. As the chefs prepare delicious interpretations of traditional Greek dishes, we introduce you to the detailed schedule of activities and sightseeing opportunities the rest of your trip holds.
Overnight: 3* - 4* Hotel in the historic center of Athens
Meals Included: Welcome Dinner at a local bistro
Today we leave Athens for the great outdoors and our adventure begins. In the morning, we pick up our vehicles and the tour leaders briefly introduce the group to the itinerary and the security regulations of the convoy. Following the national highway, we arrive at the historic town of Thiva and continue driving off-road towards Mt Elikonas.
Crossing the mountain, we head to the beautiful port town of Antikyra, where we have an afternoon break by the beach. From there, the off-road trails of Mt Kirfi lead us to its Kohran peak, at an altitude of 850m, a natural balcony with amazing views of the town of Delphi and the famous winter destination of Arachova in neighbouring Mt Parnassos. We arrive at the town of Delphi late in the evening.
Overnight: 2* Hotel in Delphi
Meals Included: Breakfast , Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast, we take a guided tour at the sanctuary of Delphi, the most important religious and cultural center of ancient times, set within a spectacular landscape. We visit the two sanctuaries, dedicated to Apollo and Athena, learn about the rich history of the site and admire the remains of the settlements that thrived here more than 2000 years ago.
After a short break at the town of Amfissa, located at the foot of Mt Giona, we head for a fascinating mountain driving experience, one of the tour highlights. Crossing Mt Giona and its purely alpine landscape with deep ravines, gullies and limestone cliffs covered by wild flora, is an incredible driving adventure for nature and 4x4 enthusiasts. Passing by the artificial lake of Mornos, we get to the picturesque village of Elatou, at the foot of Mt Omalia, surrounded by a dark green, fir tree, forest.
Overnight: 3* Hotel in Elatou
Meals Included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch
On our way to the region of Evrytania and the valley of Karpenisi, we drive on mountain routes, through beautiful dense forests, crossing steep peaks and flowing river waters. In the afternoon we arrive at the famous 'Panta Vrechi' canyon in Evrytania, one of the most spectacular natural hikes of our trip. 'Panta Vrechi' translates into 'it always rains', because the waterfalls in the canyon never stop flowing into the Krikelopotamos river , creating a spectacular scenery for river trekking fans (May to October). Once there, we get the chance to trek across the canyon, take an afternoon swim in the icy waters of the river and explore the wildlife secrets of Evrytania.
Crossing Mt Kaliakouda, we admire the amazing panoramic view of the Karpenisi valley and head to the picturesque Megalo Horio village for a late afternoon break. We take a walk through its narrow streets to admire the traditional architecture, before we reach our hotel in Karpenisi.
Overnight: Traditional Guesthouse in Karpenisi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner
Karpenisi is the perfect destination for a multitude of activities throughout the year and rightfully so this day is dedicated to outdoor enthusiasts seeking for adventure within the unique landscape of the 'Greek Alps'. Depending on the season and weather conditions, our options are rafting in either the Trikeriotis or Tavropos rivers, a mountain biking ride or a horse ride through the pristine forest and a fascinating hike through stone bridges and cascades to Mavri Spilia (Black Cave). Weather permitting, we may also continue by climbing the unique 'Via Ferrata' trail, over steep rocks, next to impressive waterfalls.
In the afternoon we visit the cliffside monastery of Proussos, drive by the beautiful riverside of Trikeriotis and head to Fidakia, one of the most charming villages of Evrytania. A walk through the cobbled streets and stone-built houses of Fidakia gives the impression that time here stands still.
On our way back to Karpenisi we off-road cross Mount Helidona, where we cherish breathtaking panoramic views of the Kremasta Lake and Bridge, meeting point for 4 rivers of Central Greece.
Overnight: Traditional Guesthouse in Karpenisi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch
Leaving behind us the mountain range of Evrytania, we head to the Plastira Lake in the region of Thessaly. Driving off road over the mountains of Agrafa gives us the chance to enjoy the most spectacular views of our 4x4 driving adventure.
Having the Agrafiotis riverbed next to us we climb to the isolated mountain villages of Agrafa, a real 4x4 driving challenge at the highest-altitude villages of Evrytania. The traditional tavernas, cosy guesthouses and the hospitality of the locals, surrounded by a purely alpine natural scenery creates a uniquely warm and pleasant atmosphere and an authentic cultural experience.
Late afternoon we arrive at the beautiful Plastira Lake, a really romantic landscape that harmoniously combines serenity with adventure. We take a walk by the lakeshore and settle back to experience the magical atmosphere created by the intense colors of the surrounding nature that change according to season.
Overnight: 3* or 4* Hotel in Lake Plastira
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
After breakfast, we have the option to jump on bicycles and cycle through the numerous bike trails around the lake or go lake cycling in its calm, deep light blue waters. There is plenty of time to explore this truly beautiful landscape. Back in the cars, we drive past the towns of Mouzaki and Trikala to get to the famous rocky pinnacles of Meteora in the late afternoon. The name Meteora which means 'suspended in the air' is given to the six surviving monasteries, built here during the 14th and 15th centuries on the cliff tops of the unique rocky cliffs. We take a guided walking tour at one of the monasteries and learn about the history of one of the most striking natural and cultural sites in Greece. We spend the night at the village of Kastraki located at the foothills of the Meteora cliffs.
Overnight: 3* Hotel in Meteora
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
On the last day of our trip we head back to Athens, with an afternoon break by the sea for lunch at a local taverna.
Depending on the season we may also take a swim, before our convoy continues its journey south.
In the evening we are back in Athens, where we drop off the vehicles and our 4x4 adventure ends.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
In order to guarantee a memorable overall experience throughout your adventure with Bearing True South, we have carefully handpicked a mix of family-run, traditional hotels and guesthouses for your accommodation.
In all our trips, accommodation is operated on a twin share basis. This means that travelling as an individual, you will be sharing accommodation and room facilities with another person of the same sex or your partner, spouse, family, friend etc. There is also the option of booking a single room for an additional cost depending on availability at the time of booking. Our usual accommodation as described on the extra info of our tour may alter due to lack of availability. On such an occasion accommodation of similar standard will be arranged.
When travelling with Bearing True south, you will experience a great variety of delicious food, based on traditional Greek cuisine. Emphasizing on the regional cuisine of our destinations, we have carefully selected local, family run, restaurants for our groups.
Generally all breakfasts, picnic lunches as well as some lunches and dinners are included in the standard tour price. This gives our groups the opportunity to enjoy their meals all together and taste a larger variety of local dishes in each destination we visit. When a lunch or dinner on a specific day is not included, you are free to explore at your own expense, the food options in the town or village we are staying. Feel free to ask your tour leader to suggest a local restaurant. On a camping day or when we have a picnic lunch, we usually buy local cheeses, vegetables, meat and bread from local markets so you don't miss out on the specialities of the region.
For the meal plan of the tour please refer to the day to day itinerary and the extra info of the tour. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, have any food allergies or any special requests when it comes to food, please let us know at the time of booking.
The style of travel in our adventures provides a great deal of excitement, however it is dependent on several factors, such as weather, terrain conditions and technical problems of our transportation. This may create unexpected circumstances throughout our tours that we have to deal with by making minor changes to the tour itinerary or the activities included in a particular day. For that reason the described day to day itinerary is used as a guideline which gives us the flexibility to make changes when needed.
Some of the activities listed in the day to day itinerary are included in the standard tour price, while there are also optional activities at your own expense. When a guided tour at a historical/cultural site is mentioned, the cost of a professional guide is included in the standard tour price. In every outdoor activity we work with fully qualified operators whose safety track has been extensively assessed personally by us. The necessary equipment needed for every outdoor activity is always provided by the local activity operators. For your personal gear please refer to prepare for your trip below. Please note that all activities are subject to availability, while due to the time limit in each destination, it may not be possible to do all the optional activities listed in the itinerary. In the following list you can find the tour activities, included or optional as well as the approximate prices of the optional ones:
Activities included in the standard tour price:
Guided Tour at the Sanctuary of Delphi
Guided Tour at the Byzantine Monasteries of Meteora
Optional activities at your own expense:
Historical Athens Treasure Hunt: 35 euros pp
Acropolis Hill and Parthenon: 12 euros pp
Acropolis Museum: 5 euros pp
Half day (4 hours) Athens guided walking tour
Rafting in the Trikeriotis or Tavropos Rivers (October-May): 30 euros pp
Mountain Biking in the valley of Karpenisi: 15 euros pp
Rock Climbing the Via Ferrata trail: 20 euros pp
Horseback Riding: 25 euros pp
Mountain Biking around Lake Plastira: 20 euros pp
Lake Cycling in lake Plastira: 20 euros pp
Canoe / Kayak in lake Plastira: 20 euros pp
'Panta Vrechi' Canyon river hiking (May to October): 30 euros pp
Please refer to the What's included/What's not included section for the services that are included or not in the standard price of your tour. For the optional activities of our tour, outdoor activities and cultural sites entrance fees, take a look at the Tour Activities.
In appreciation to the outstanding quality of services provided throughout your adventure, you may also consider tipping your Tour Leader and Local guides. Although tipping is not compulsory and it may not be customary to you, it works as a kind voluntary gesture to the people who will guide you throughout your adventure.
Each traveller is different when it comes to spending money while travelling. Take your spending habits and requirements into account and prepare your tour budget allowing for food, drinks, souvenirs and participation in activities not included in the tour price.
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in Greece. You can exchange your currency for Euros at the airports or in major towns. Cash may also be drawn for ATMs available in most of our destinations. Credit cards are widely accepted in Greece. However, you should always have some cash on you, as in some remote villages no ATMs may be available.
At Bearing True South, we operate 'Land Only' based adventures. This means that flights to Athens International Airport (ATH) are not included in the tour price. Travellers are responsible to make their own travel arrangements and make sure that they will be able to join the group at the joining point and time announced when booking, as described at the overview of the tour. Please note that the finishing point of the tour is always the same as the joining point
Our 'Land Only' adventures provide you the flexibility to join one of our tours as part of longer holiday in Greece. You may spend a couple of days before or after your tour in Athens or even visit another Greek region, combining adventure, leisure and rest. If you want post tour accommodation for Athens let us know and we can arrange it for you.
In Athens, you may also consider joining one of our day adventures. Take a dive at one of Greece's numerous wreck sites, easily accessible from downtown Athens, or participate in our Historical Athens Treasure Hunt, a 'walk-through-history' game around Athens.
Bearing true South travellers are required to be in good physical health in order to be able to participate in one of our adventures. Please read through the day to day itinerary carefully and take into account the 'Level of Difficulty' icon that appears on each one of our adventures, before booking your place.
If for any reason you are not able to participate in activities included in the tour itinerary, please inform us before booking. For any other important health issue please don't hesitate to contact your tour leader.
Travellers with Bearing True South are required to hold valid travel insurance, covering a minimum medical expenses due to accident or sickness and 3rd party liability. We strongly advise you to ensure that your insurance covers you for all outdoor activities you intend to participate in during your adventure. There might be an additional charge for certain ones. Your travel insurance needs to be evident when you join our tours.
Holding a valid passport and visa in order to visit Greece is your responsibility. Generally EU citizens or citizens of Member-States of the Schengen Agreement do not need to display a visa in order to travel to Greece.
Visas are not required by holders of valid passports from the following non-E.U. countries if they want to visit Greece and remain in the country for up to 3 months (90 days): Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Israel, Monaco, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein
For travellers not coming from the above countries, please contact your local Greek embassy/consulate for visa information. Please also note that most countries expect you to have at least 6 months validity on your passport in order to be issued a visa.
Before you travel, we encourage you to learn about the region you'll explore while on a tour. From local weather conditions to information on geography, local history and culture, all are essential in order to make the most out of you tour, while minimizing the possibility to face unexpected, unpleasant circumstances.
Greece in general has warm and humid summers lasting from May till October while temperatures reach mid thirties Celsius especially between June and August and the possibility of rain is generally low. In May and October weather can be less predictable with some rain and chilly temperatures being possible especially in Greek mainland. Greek winters are generally mild, with temperatures rarely getting lower than 5 degrees Celsius in most of our destinations. In the mountains, weather can be tough to predict all year round. Generally, cool temperatures and occasional rainfalls occur especially at night, a fact that you have to take into account when packing for your adventure.
When touring with us, you are expected to bring with you a backpack or suitcase that you should keep as light as possible, as well as a daypack for your personal items and valuables (for the times when long outdoor activities are part of the tour).
Travel documents: Passport, visa if required, valid travel insurance,valid international driving license (for self-driving tours), diving certificates (for diving tours)
Personal health care items: personal medication, sunscreen, insect repellent, travel sickness tablets, sunglasses, insect bite gel
Clothing/walking/camping gear (depending on the season and tour): fleece/soft-shell jacket, waterproof & windproof jacket, thermal underwear, waterproof trousers, wool hat, gloves, sun hat, long trousers (wearing shorts is not permitted in monasteries), shorts, swimming costume, t-shirts, hooded tops, waterproof hiking shoes/boots, trainers/walking shoes, wool socks, personal mattress and a 3-4 seasons warm sleeping bag (when camping is included in the itinerary), torch, umbrella.
If our dates don't suit your plans, or if you want to experience one of our adventures with your family or group of friends, we can arrange a private tour just for you on the dates that suit you, based on one of our existing itineraries.
Furthermore, with a minimum number of 4 participants, all of our tours can be customised as far as date of departure, activities and itinerary are concerned, according to your group's requirements. For groups of less than 4 travellers, standard tour prices are subject to change. In that case, please contact us in order to get a new quote.
For more information don't hesitate to contact us with your ideas at : firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you shortly with detailed information and pricing.
Duration: 8 days
Level of Difficulty: 2/5
Group Size: Generally 4-24, maximum 4 persons per vehicle, a minimum of 4 persons is required
Ages: 8 years and older, younger kids travel at the parents' discretion and responsibility
Please have a valid EU or International Drivers Licence with you if you intend to drive your 4x4 vehicle
2 nights traditional guesthouse / 4 nights 3* Hotel/ 1 night 2* Hotel
7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches (days 2,6,7,8) / 3 Picnic Lunches (days 3,4,5), 4 Dinners (days 1,2,4,7), welcome snacks
4x4 vehicles rental costs, 4x4 vehicles full insurance (4 drivers per vehicle so you can share driving with your fellow travellers) leading vehicle expenses, fuel costs, toll costs, Airport transfers
Bearing True South Tour Leaders, Outdoor Activities Instructors, Local Guides
For outdoor and cultural activities included please refer to Tour Activities
Optional activities as listed in Tour activities