All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
Epirus – a wonderfully unspoilt and little-known region of northern Greece that overflows with an untouched nature
The Zagoriahoria – a scenic joy! Forty-six timeless and exceptionally picturesque traditional stone-built villages
The guide - Jonathan Peat – his joy of the natural environment, his command of the Greek language and his relationships with the locals radiates during the walks
The little-known region of Epirus, situated in northern Greece, is home to the remarkable Zagoria Villages (Zagoirahoria) and the spectacular Pindos National Park, a wonderfully timeless region that is not just a nature reserve but also a cultural monument. It is a serene area of extraordinary natural beauty, and is idyllic to explore on foot.
Level of walking
The walks follow the extensive network of cobbled footpaths through the very beautiful Vikos national park. These paths meander through wooded hills, alongside crystal clear rivers and across some of the wonderfully scenic historic Epirus bridges, all around the area of the Vikos gorge, one of the deepest gorges in Europe and which, although we don't go through, we have the opportunity to enjoy some spectacular views into the gorge on some of our walks. We also walk on dirt roads and through high pasture. The length of walks average between 3 and 4 hours per day, the maximum length of a walk is 12 kilometers with other days averaging between 6 and 9 kms. The maximum asccent on any walk is approximately 500 meters.
Your guide is Jonathan Peat who has been guiding walks in Greece for more than 20 years. He is of British/Greek descent and speaks both languages fluently. He spent many years living in Greece but has now settled in France with his French wife, Myriam but returns to Greece every year. His passion for the country is fully represented in his guiding when he aims to introduce the visitor to the region's unspoilt beautiful nature and a very authentic side of Greek life.
Extend your stay
If you wish, you can extend your stay, either side of the tour dates, and have a few days in Corfu. There are daily flights to Corfu from London, both Gatwick and Heathrow, as well as a choice of regional flights, which provides the flexibility to travel on days outside of the tour dates. Don't hesitate to contact us to discuss if you are interested in extending your stay or travelling on a regional flight instead of the tour flights.
Day 1: Fly from London Heathrow to Corfu.
Transfer by bus and ferry to the typical Zagorian village of Monodendri. (Ferry crossing approximately 90 minutes, transfer by road approximately 90 minutes). Check in to the warm and friendly Philoxenia Hotel.
Day 2: Beloi Balcony and the Vradeto Steps.
We drive to the village of Vradeto where we begin our first walk, which will take us to the ‘Beloi Balcony’ and where we get our first views into the spectacular Vikos gorge. After a relaxing break for coffee, we then descend to the village of Kapesovo via the famous ‘Vradeto steps’, a stairway of about 1000 steps carved into a rock face, an age-old path that used to be the only way to travel between these two villages. Finally, we enjoy a well-deserved lunch in Kapesevo before returning to our hotel.
Day 3: Monodendri to Vitsa.
This circular walk starts and finishes in Monodendri and takes us to the neighbouring village of Vitsa, another picturesque Zagorian style village, where there will be time for a walk in the forest before returning to Monodendri.
Day 4: A Day of Bridges.
We drive to the tiny and exceptionally picturesque village of Dilofo and start our walk, which will take us to the village of Kipi, crossing two very typical, and fantastically scenic, Zagorian bridges as we go. We enjoy lunch in a taverna in the village of Koukouli before an afternoon walk that takes us across another two wonderful bridges that you will discover are a real trademark of the region.
Day 5: Monodendri to Papigo.
We head to the Sarandaporos River and enjoy a stunning walk alongside the river enjoying views of crystal clear water, beautiful flowers, ancient plane trees and a small frescoed chapel, where we take the opportunity to enjoy a picnic. After lunch our bus will collect us and we will transfer and check-in to the Ariston Hotel in Megalo Papigo, which has a tranquil location and easy access to tavernas and facilities in the village. Overnight Ariston Hotel.
Day 6: Around Mikro Papigo.
Today there will be two circular walks, with a break for lunch in between. One is to Kokino Lithari, a two hour walk that once again provides the opportunity to look into the Vikos gorge and has spectacular views of the Albanian mountain Nemertsikas. The second walk take’s us behind Papigo on a walk where, if we are lucky, we may see bear and wolf footprints as well, of course, as some wonderfully wild landscapes. Overnight Ariston Hotel.
Day 7: Papigo to Kleidonia.
Our final walk is a leisurely downhill walk that takes us towards the village of Kleidonia, situated near the beautiful Voidamatis River. As always, we will enjoy beautiful views along the way as well as views of Albania and the northern limits of the Vikos Aoos national Park.
Day 8: Transfer to Corfu Airport for the return flight to London Heathrow
NB: The itinerary may vary according to local conditions and guide's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 15 passengers.
Philoxenia Hotel, Monodendri
The family-run Philoxenia Hotel is a very attractive, traditionally designed, stone-built hotel situated in the upper part of the quiet village of Monodendri. Featuring wooden ceilings and floors, warm colours and dark wood furnishings; the comfortable and pristine ensuite bedrooms, with private bathrooms, are equipped with TV, fridge and hairdryer. A breakfast buffet, with wonderful homemade local specialities, is served daily in a traditionally furnished dining area. The hotel has a small bar and comfortable lounge area. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all public spaces; magazines and board games are also available. Tavernas are within a two-minute walk.
Philoxenia Hotel Website
Ariston Hotel, Megalo Papigo
Ariston Hotel is a composition of three stone built buildings, which fully incorporate the unique and attractive architecture of the Zagori region. The comfortable rooms are spacious with modern ensuite bathrooms and walk-in showers. It is well located in a narrow and quiet street but within very easy walking distance of tavernas and the handful of small shops that can be found in the village.
This was an unforgettable week experiencing the majestic and awe-inspiring scenery around the Vikos Gorge. We listened to nightingales, saw rare orchids and breathtaking bridges and eat some amazing meals. Jonathan and Jane could not do enough and the information and attention to detail was faultless. I loved the week and, amongst much laughter, made some great new friendships.
Review by Dryden who travelled 08-June-2019
We walked around, over and up the majestic mountains and bridges of Epirus amongst the wild flower meadows and springs and down into the gorge and smelt the fresh water flowing along the stoney paths. It was a privilege to be led by Jonathan assisted by Jane and Nicos. As usual on these trips we experienced local fresh food in abundance and great service. I adapted to the short stay in the region and have fond memories of a different environment which was both threatening and endearing given the history and the closeness to Albania. It was all getting a bit "The Razor's Edge" when we transferred to the bright lights of Corfu but the versatile group ignored the sun seekers and enjoyed cocktails in the Central Plaza over looking the cricket ground. Thank you Travel Editions.
Review by Wiles who travelled 08-June-2019
I would only criticise the changes of hotel (twice, in the case of the Corfu hotel) and the impersonal, characterless place at which we ended up. Also, though most of the walking met the description 'moderate' the first day's walking was very demanding, especially in the excessive heat. Our tour leader was inspirational - knowledgeable, and very kind to me when I had a touch of sunstroke that first day. Our extra guide, Jane, was also wonderful.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 08-June-2019
We really enjoyed this holiday. It is a beautiful region. The walks were excellent, the scenery breathtaking and the food delicious. Jonathan organised and adapted the walks well to cater for all abilities and as usual stimulated us with his thoughts for the day! Thank you.
Review by Weir who travelled 08-June-2019
Actually the brochure didn't do justice to the magnificence of the site It was to be transported to a world before and we were left small and humble
Review by Rouhaud who travelled 08-June-2019
I think the brochure description understated the difficulty of some of the walks, though this may have been to do with the unusually hot weather and the physical condition of a couple of the participants. We were lucky to have Jane Freeman on the trip who was able to aid Jonathan with some of the issues that arose. As always Jonathan was an interesting and informative guide. I do wonder about the necessity of moving hotels part way through the week. Staying in Monodendri would have meant slightly longer drives to start and finish a couple of the walks but would have been less disruptive given that we had to spend a night in Corfu as well.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 08-June-2019
A very enjoyable and we'll organised walking holiday. Jonathan our guide Was excellent.
Review by Hutchison who travelled 08-June-2019