Legend

Trip Categories

trip duration
4x4 Guided Self Drive Adventures
trip cultural rating
Multi-Activity Adventures
trip cultural rating
Scuba-Diving
trip cultural rating
Sailing
trip cultural rating
Treasure Hunt

Trip Activities

trip duration
4x4 Driving
trip duration
Hiking
trip duration
Rafting
trip duration
Horseback Riding
trip duration
Scuba-Diving
trip duration
River Trekking
trip duration
Canyoning
trip duration
Rock-Climbing
trip duration
Mountain Biking
trip duration
Cave Walking
trip duration
Cave Walking
trip duration
Camping
trip duration
Swimming
trip duration
Snorkelling
trip duration
Journey by Van
trip duration
Journey by Train
trip duration
Cultural Activity
trip duration
Picnic
trip duration
Restaurant Meal

Trip Info

trip duration
Adventure Duration, 5 days in the example
trip duration
Which months the adventure is available.
From January to April in the example
trip duration
The Level of Difficulty for the Adventure;
1 being Easy 5 being Challenging

Levels of Fitness

Easy : Expect a relaxed pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include visiting archaeological sites, short walks or hikes, all at a leisurely pace. No previous experience or level of fitness is required.

Easy to Moderate : Expect a relaxed pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include off road driving, visiting archaeological sites, short walks or hikes, river rafting, horseback riding, cycling and trekking. No previous experience or level of fitness is required.

Moderate: Expect a rather active pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include off- road driving, visiting archaeological sites, long walks and hikes, river rafting, canyoning, river trekking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding and mountain biking. No previous experience is needed, but a reasonable level of fitness is required.

Moderate to Challenging : Expect an active pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include off-road driving, visiting archaeological sites, long walks and hikes, river rafting, canyoning, river trekking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding and mountain biking. No previous experience is needed (though it could come handy), but a reasonable level of fitness and an adventurous attitude are required. Participants need to be over 18 years old.

Challenging : Expect an intensely active pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include off road driving, visiting archaeological sites, long walks and hikes, river rafting, canyoning, river trekking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountaineering and mountain biking. Some previous experience may be needed, as well as a higher level of fitness and an adventurous attitude. Participants need to be over 18 years old.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
ZAGORI HIKING ADVENTURE
Easy : Expect a relaxed pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include visiting archaeological sites, short walks or hikes, all at a leisurely pace. No previous experience or level of fitness is required.
Easy to Moderate : Expect a relaxed pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include off road driving, visiting archaeological sites, short walks or hikes, river rafting, horseback riding, cycling and trekking. No previous experience or level of fitness is required.
Moderate: Expect a rather active pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include off- road driving, visiting archaeological sites, long walks and hikes, river rafting, canyoning, river trekking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding and mountain biking. No previous experience is needed, but a reasonable level of fitness is required.
Moderate to Challenging : Expect an active pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include off-road driving, visiting archaeological sites, long walks and hikes, river rafting, canyoning, river trekking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding and mountain biking. No previous experience is needed (though it could come handy), but a reasonable level of fitness and an adventurous attitude are required. Participants need to be over 18 years old.
Challenging : Expect an intensely active pace throughout the whole trip. Activities may include off road driving, visiting archaeological sites, long walks and hikes, river rafting, canyoning, river trekking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountaineering and mountain biking. Some previous experience may be needed, as well as a higher level of fitness and an adventurous attitude. Participants need to be over 18 years old.
OVERVIEW DAY TO DAY ITINERARY TOUR INFORMATION DATES & PRICES PRIVATE GROUPS
OVERVIEW

Boasting the deepest gorge in the world, home to an ecosystem unique to Greece and renowned for its hospitable mountain villages of incredible architecture, the Vikos - Aoos National Park is the ultimate hiker's destination in the country.
On this 8 day Multi-Activity Adventure we use the scenic village of Megalo Papingo as our base. From there, we set out to go hiking and horseback riding through beautiful mountain trails, river trekking and rafting down the impressive Voidomatis river, all while exploring the picturesque mountain villages of Zagoria.
Tailored towards outdoor enthusiasts and mountaineers with a reasonable level of fitness, this adventure can be challenging, yet rewarding in cultural experiences and panoramic views.
Spend a week in one of the most impressive mountain destinations of Southern Europe, a true hiker's paradise and the perfect place to lay back and unwind in an amazing natural setting after a long day of exploration.


 Trip Highlights



  • Experience the rich culture, delicious cuisine and millenia spanning history of Thessaloniki

  • Do a two day hike to Drakolimni (Lake of Dragons), an alpine lake at an altitude of 2050 m

  • Spend a night at an exceptionally run mountain refuge

  • Have an amazing trekking experience, crossing the World's deepest gorge, Vikos

  • Paddle down the crystal clear waters of the Voidomatis river

  • Explore the alpine valleys around Papingo on horseback

  • Unwind in one of the National Park's natural swimming pools

  • Hike along numerous mountain trails around the peak of Mt Tymfi

  • Walk around a 15th century castle in the city of Ioannina

DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
01
THESSALONIKI

During the first day of your trip, you get a chance to explore the sights of downtown Thessaloniki. The impressive White Tower, the city's most iconic landmark, along with the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the Archaeological Museum are all located conveniently within a minute's walk from one another.
For those of you who want to get a first culinary taste of Northern Greece, the nearby neighborhood of Ladadika is bustling with traditional tavernas and is popular year round.
If you feel like immersing yourself further into the history and culture of Thessaloniki, there is the option of joining a walking tour that guides you through the main archaeological sites and areas of cultural interest.
In the evening a welcome dinner takes place at a local taverna. 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: 4* Hotel in the center of Thessaloniki
Meals included: Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant

02
THESSALONIKI - PAPINGO

Today we leave Thessaloniki for the great outdoors and our adventure begins. In the morning, we board our minibus, while our tour leaders briefly introduce the tour itinerary.


Driving along the national highway, we head towards the historic city of Ioannina, where we have a short break in the city center, by the Pamvotis lake. From there it is an hour drive to the mountain village of Megalo Papingo, which is going to be our base for the rest of the week.


Overnight: Traditional Guesthouse in Megalo Papingo
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

03
HIKING ON MOUNT TYMFI

We leave at sunrise and hike uphill, along trails that lead above the tree line. Our first destination for the day is the Astraka peak, at an altitude of around 2400m. It takes 3 to 4 hours to arrive at the renewable energy powered, mountain refuge of Astraka, where we have plenty of time to relax and enjoy amazing views of the surrounding peaks and alpine valleys.


Using the mountain refuge as our base, we set out to explore Mt Tymfi, hiking to various peaks and visiting the famous Drakolimni. The "Lake of Dragons" is an opal blue alpine lake that looks almost tropical in strong sunlight. The valley around the lake and the superlative mountain backdrop provide us with incredible photo opportunities.


Depending on the season and the weather conditions, we have the option of climbing to the Gamila peak (2497m). Trekking over the peak, we can reach the 16th century Monastery of Panayia Stomiou, built on the steep cliffs, with magnificent views of the Aoos river gorge.


At the end of the second day, we return to our Guesthouse in Papingo, using an alternate trail that passes through Agia Kyriaki and the Lapato peak.


Total hiking time: Generally 5-8 hours per day depending on the hiking route we take


Overnight: Mountain refuge (day 3) / Traditional Guesthouse in Papingo (day 4)
Meals included: 2 Breakfasts, 1 Picnic Lunch / 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner (day 3)

04
HIKING ON MOUNT TYMFI

We leave at sunrise and hike uphill, along trails that lead above the tree line. Our first destination for the day is the Astraka peak, at an altitude of around 2400m. It takes 3 to 4 hours to arrive at the renewable energy powered, mountain refuge of Astraka, where we have plenty of time to relax and enjoy amazing views of the surrounding peaks and alpine valleys.


Using the mountain refuge as our base, we set out to explore Mt Tymfi, hiking to various peaks and visiting the famous Drakolimni. The "Lake of Dragons" is an opal blue alpine lake that looks almost tropical in strong sunlight. The valley around the lake and the superlative mountain backdrop provide us with incredible photo opportunities.


Depending on the season and the weather conditions, we have the option of climbing to the Gamila peak (2497m). Trekking over the peak, we can reach the 16th century Monastery of Panayia Stomiou, built on the steep cliffs, with magnificent views of the Aoos river gorge.


At the end of the second day, we return to our Guesthouse in Papingo, using an alternate trail that passes through Agia Kyriaki and the Lapato peak.


Total hiking time: Generally 5-8 hours per day depending on the hiking route we take


Overnight: Mountain refuge (day 3) / Traditional Guesthouse in Papingo (day 4)
Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts, 1 Picnic Lunch / 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner (day 3)

05
CENTRAL ZAGORI VILLAGES

This day is dedicated to getting to know the scenic traditional mountain settlements that have survived for centuries in this part of the country. Villages full of history, unique architecture and distinct, yet delicious, local cuisine, abound on both sides of the gorge.


An hour drive through the National Park takes us to the eastern mouth of the Vikos gorge and the village of Monodendri, where we enjoy magnificent morning views of the gorge from the Oxia lookout point.


From there, we head towards the village of Kipi, where we have a chance to admire and walk across stone arch bridges, built centuries ago by exceptionally skilled local stonemasons. Our next destination is the village of Vradeto, where a short hike to the top of the gorge brings us to a natural balcony overlooking the valley within the gorge. There, we have plenty of time to unwind at an altitude of over 1000m, before we head back to our Guesthouse.


Total hiking time: 1.5-2 hours


Overnight: Traditional Guesthouse in Megalo Papingo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

06
CROSSING VIKOS GORGE

This day presents you with a chance to trek through the World's deepest gorge. The trek through the Vikos canyon is a highlight of any trip to this part of Greece and an amazing experience for nature enthusiasts.


Early in the morning we head to the village of Monodendri and walk down the path to the canyon's base. From there it is a 6 to 7 hour trek, walking along the banks of one of the Voidomatis tributaries.


Under the shadow of the gorges' steep cliffs we have a short break for an energy snack, before we continue trekking towards the springs of the Voidomatis river. From there we head up, towards the village of Vikos or Megalo Papingo, depending on the route we choose to take.


Total hiking time: 6-8 hours


Overnight: Traditional Guesthouse in Megalo Papingo
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch

07
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES AT VOIDOMATIS RIVER

This day is dedicated to river rafting, horseback riding and hiking.


After breakfast, we gear up, grab our paddles and board the boats. We spend the next 2-3 hours going down the turquoise waters of the Voidomatis river, passing through an amazing landscape of diverse tree species. About halfway through, we leave our boats for a while to do a short hike to the small Byzantine church of Agioi Anargyroi.


The Kleidonia stone bridge marks the end of our river adventure. Once there, we have a midday break by the river banks and head back to Megalo Papingo. Depending on the water levels, we have the opportunity to river trek back to the rafting starting point.


Early evening, we saddle up and explore the green valleys and slopes around our base on horseback. For the next few hours we gallop through stunningly beautiful landscapes, guiding our horses through mountain trails.


Total hiking time: 2 hours / Total river rafting time : 2-3 hours / Total horseback riding time: 1-2 hours


Overnight: Traditional Guesthouse in Megalo Papingo
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch

08
PAPINGO - IOANNINA - THESSALONIKI

Leaving Papingo behind us early in the morning, we drive through stunningly beautiful landscapes, towards Ioannina, Western Greece's largest city.


A place with rich history and an important trade hub in Byzantine times, the city is built on the hills around lake Pamvotis. We stretch our legs by the lake and visit the 15th century castle near the town center.


After lunch, we take the national highway and head towards Thessaloniki, where our adventure ends.


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

TOUR INFORMATION
1.
Accommodation/Meals
more

Accommodation/Single Room Booking

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.

Meals

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.

 

less
2.
Tour Activities
more

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. These 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:

All outdoor activities, the relevant necessary equipment as described in the day to day itinerary as well as fully qualified activity instructors are included in the standard tour price.

2 day mountaineering on Mount Tymfi

Day tour to the Central Zagori village

Trekking crossing the Vikos Gorge

Rafting and river trekking in the Voidomatis River

Horseback riding in Papingo

Optional activities:

Half day Thessaloniki guided walking tour

less
3.
Tour Budgeting
more

Please refer to 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.

Tipping Your Tour Leader/Local Guides

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.

Spending Money

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.

less
4.
Joining Your Tour
more

At Bearing True South, we operate 'Land Only' based adventures. This means that flights to the Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG) 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. If you want post tour accommodation for Thessaloniki let us know and we can arrange it for you.

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 Thessaloniki or even visit another Greek region, combining adventure, leisure and rest.

less
5.
Visa/Travel Insurance Information
more

Health Information/ Travel Insurance

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.

 Visa Information

 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.

less
6.
Preparing for your Trip
more

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.

Weather Information

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.

Packing for your tour

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.

less
DATES & PRICES

 

PRIVATE GROUPS

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 : sales@bearingtruesouth.com and we'll get back to you shortly with detailed information and pricing.

CONTACT
If you want to arrange a private group tour based on this itinerary, please contact us with your ideas and we'll get back to you shortly with detailed information and pricing.

sales@bearingtruesouth.com

MAP
TRIP ACTIVITIES
River Trekking Rafting Horseback riding Hiking Cultural activity Picnic Restaurant Meal
EXTRA INFO

Duration: 8 days

Level of Difficulty: 4/5

Group Size: Generally 4-16, for larger groups please contact us, a minimum of 4 persons is required

Ages:  18 years and older

You need to have a sleeping bag with you for the night you spend at the mountain refuge

INCLUDED IN THE STANDARD TOUR PRICE

Accommodation: 1 night 4* Hotel (Thessaloniki), 5 nights traditional guesthouse, 1 night mountain refuge

Meals/Drinks: 7 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches (days 4,5,8) / 3 Picnic Lunches (days 3,6,7), 3 Dinners (Days 1,2,3)

Transport: Minibus rental costs, professional driver, fuel costs, toll costs, Airport transfers

Tour Staff: Bearing True South Tour Leaders, Outdoor Activities Instructors, Local Guides

Tour Activities:
All outdoor activities and day trips as listed in Tour Activities

NOT INCLUDED IN THE STANDARD TOUR PRICE

Airline tickets
Personal expenses
Travel insurance
Optional activities as listed in Tour activities

 

From 1260 euros per person

 

Book your place through

our website by April 30th 2015

and get a 15% discount!