Hiking Zagori and Meteora
Unknown to most of the world, yet so beautiful and unspoiled, Zagori area is the ultimate hiking destination in Greece! Traditional stone made villages, arch stone bridges, alpine mountains, beech forests and lush nature will offer you an unforgettable week long hiking adventure in North Western Greece! Plus, do not miss the chance to visit the UNESCO Worldwide Heritage Site of Meteora and follow the hiking trails of the ancient monks!
If you are an outdoor enthusiast and you love hiking, join us and explore on foot the secret paths of Northern Pindos National Park (also a UNESCO Geopark) and Meteora, learn more about the history of the area, observe the unique flora and fauna, enjoy spectacular natural landscapes and views, taste the delicious local cuisine and indulge yourself in the hospitality of the locals.
Whether you are an experienced hiker or you simply love nature and mountains and you have a basic fitness level, this hiking holiday is ideal if you wish to discover a lesser known side of Greece and you won’t believe how mountainous our country is!
- Hike through Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world
- Explore the picturesque, untouched by time, stone – made villages of Zagori, wonder around their narrow cobbled streets and admire the traditional architecture
- Cross historical arch stone bridges
- Hike to the mythical alpine Dragon Lake at 2.050m!
- Admire the panoramic views over Vikos Gorge and take beautiful photos from Beloe viewpoint (1.400m altitude)
- Observe the rich flora and fauna of North Pindos National Park
- Follow the paths of the ancient monks and hike to the cliff-top Meteora monasteries
- Taste delicious local food and experience the hospitality and warmth of the local people
|Tour pace||Active/ Vigorous|
|Suitable for||Active travelers|
|Min. number of participants||4|
Day 1: Arrival in Athens
Welcome to Athens!
Upon arrival in Athens international airport, you will make your way to your hotel (or we can arrange a private transfer from you) and, since your fellow travel companions arrive at different times, you will have the day free to explore Athens, one of the most important cities of Europe!
Your hotel is located down town, so grab the chance to walk around the picturesque neighborhoods of Plaka, Monastiraki and Thisio, visit the UNESCO site of Acropolis with the Parthenon, the Acropolis museum, the Parliament House and the National Gardens, Philopappou Hill from where you can enjoy superb views of the Acropolis and the city or just stroll around, look for souvenirs and enjoy the vibrant town with its numerous bars & restaurants.
Optional activities can be arranged for today, such as a guided walking tour of the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum, an e-bike tour to explore the city’s major highlights, perhaps a food tour etc., depending on your preferences.
A welcome briefing early in the evening is planned for today, when everyone has arrived, so you get to know your guide and your fellow travel companions. Optional group dinner.
Day 2: Athens - Kapesovo - Vradeto steps - Beloe - Vitsa
Early in the morning of day 2 (around 8:00 – 8:30am) your tour guide will pick you up and you will board our private minivan with destination the gorgeous region of Zagori (approx. 5.5 hrs drive from Athens)*.
Upon arrival, we will enjoy a quick snack lunch outdoors, before we set off for our first hike! Starting from the village of Kapesovo, we will hike down to Mezaria stream and then upwards, through the beautiful Vradeto steps (stone path built in the 16th century at the cliff of the gorge) towards the highest village of Zagori, Vradeto (1340m). From there, following a beautiful path through the meadows, we arrive at Beloe viewpoint (1400m), where we can enjoy panoramic views over the gorge. We return to Vradeto village and from there back to Kapesovo.
- Kapesovo – Vradeto steps – Vradeto village – Beloe viewpoint (return trail)
|waypoint||altitude||elapsed time||total distance|
|Kapesovo village||1.150 m||0’||0 m|
|Vradeto steps||1.060 m||20′||1.100 m|
|Vradeto village||1.340 m||1:15′||3.300 m|
|Beloe viewpoint||1.400 m||2:00′||5.300 m|
|return reverse (r/f)||3:50′||10.600 m|
(Hike duration: 3.5-4 hours / Level of difficulty: easy to moderate)
Depending on the time of the year the tour takes place, in case it gets dark earlier than 18:30pm, we will offer alternative activities/walks this afternoon and do this hike the day after (day 3).
Once the hike is over, we will transfer to Vitsa village to a family run guesthouse, where we will spend the next 2 days and enjoy homemade dinners!
* if you wish to avoid the long drive from Athens to Zagori, you can fly from Athens to Ioannina national airport (1hr flight), from where our team will pick you up and head to Zagori villages by car (around 45 min driving distance). In case you wish to fly to another Greek airport, please contact us, so we can arrange your transfer to the Zagori villages.
Day 3: Zagori stone bridges & stone-made villages
After a good homemade breakfast, today we will explore hiking some of the most beautiful historic arch stone bridges of the area, passing by traditional stone-made villages along the way.
- Arch stone Bridges tour (o/w or r/w)
Starting right from the Village of Vitsa (980m altitude), we will follow the nice stone paved trail of Vitsa steps that will take us all the way down to the first arch stone bridge, Misios bridge (740m). We will then follow the Koukouli steps and reach the quaint village of Koukouli for a short visit (890m elevation). Descending from another trail, next stop will be the spectacular arch stone bridge of Kokoris, one of the most famous and photographed in the area.
If there is no seasonal water in the stream, we can walk through Vikakis stream to find next the arch stone bridges of Plakidas, Myli, Pitsioni and onwards Lazarides bridge near Kipi village.
This hike is very flexible and can be done in many different ways, so your tour guide will adjust the hike accordingly that day.
Hike duration: 4 – 5 hours / Distance: 12 – 15km / Elavation: +/- 300-500m / Level of difficulty: easy to moderate
Breakfast, Snack lunch, Dinner Traditional guesthouse in Vitsa
Day 4: Crossing Vikos Gorge
Today we will hike in one of the most beautiful, impressive and rewarding hiking paths in the area! We will transfer to Monodendri village, from where we will descend to Vikos gorge, said to be one of the deepest gorges in the world. Walking parallel to the river (with several ascents and descents on uneven terrain), it will take us about 6 hours to cross the canyon. Traversing the ravine, we can admire the rare varieties of wild birds and flowers that have found their habitat in Northern Pindos National park. We will make a stop at the river springs to relax and eat our snacks. Depending on the season, you can also swim in the river!
Early in the afternoon we arrive at Vikos village where we are picked up by our minibus and transferred to Papigo village for dinner and overnight stay.
- Monodendri – Vikos Gorge – Vikos (o/w)
|waypoint||altitude||elapsed time||total distance|
|Monodendri village||1.050 m||0 m|
|Vikos Gorge||700 m||45′||2.000 m|
|Klima fountain||610 m||2:45′||5.300 m|
|Voidomatis river springs||600 m||5:15′||10.400 m|
|Vikos village||750 m||6:00′||12.500 m|
(Total Hike duration: 6 – 6.5 hours / Level of difficulty: moderate to challenging)
Day 5: Hike to the Alpine Dragon lake - Astraka mountain refuge
Our hiking exploration for today is quite demanding, yet truly fulfilling!
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we start from Papigo village our ascending hike towards the Astraka refuge (approx. 3hrs hike, 1.000m ascent). The surrounding alpine scenery will captivate you for sure! After a short break for lunch and relaxation, we continue until the beautiful “Dragon Lake”, situated at 2050m altitude. The views over the dragon lake and the surrounding mountains & peaks of Greece will definitely reward you after a long hiking day.
Tonight we will stay overnight at the mountain refuge of Astraka, where we will also enjoy a homemade dinner.
- Mikro Papigo – Astrafa refuge – Dragon Lake – Astraka refuge (r/w)
|waypoint||altitude||elapsed time||total distance|
|Mikro Papigo village||980 m||0 m|
|Astraka refuge||1.950 m||3:00’||6.000 m|
|Dragon Lake||2.050 m||4:20′||8.800 m|
|return to Astraka refuge (f/r)||1.950 m||5:40′||11.600 m|
(Hike duration: 6 – 6.5 hours / Level of difficulty: moderate to challenging)
Day 6: Astraka mountain hut descent - Papigo - Meteora
Wake up early enough to watch the sunrise and you won’t regret it! After breakfast at the mountain hut, we will start our descending way back to Papigo village (approx. 2.5 hrs, 6km, – 1.000m). This is our last day in the Zagori area, so we cannot leave without making a stop at the natural pools in Ovires. During the summer months, you can also enjoy swimming in the cold waters of the river!
You can enjoy lunch in one of the family run restaurants/cafes, before we depart with destination the UNESCO Worldwide Heritage site of Meteora. Upon arrival in Meteora, we will enjoy a short tour (by car) to a couple of nice viewpoints so you can enjoy the striking views and take postcard-like photos, before we check in to our hotel.
- Astrafa refuge – Mikro Papigo (o/w)
|waypoint||altitude||elapsed time||total distance|
|Astraka refuge||1.950m||0’||0 m|
|Mikro Papigo village||980m||3:00’||6.000 m|
(Total Hike duration: 2.5 hours / Level of difficulty: moderate)
Day 7: Hiking Meteora & monasteries - Athens
What a better way to start your day than admiring the spectacular rock pillars of Meteora stone forest? After breakfast, we will explore this unique landscape on foot, following the hiking paths of the ancient monks and we’ll visit some of the cliff-top monasteries of the area.
In the afternoon, we will return to Athens (estimated time of arrival around 18:00pm). Depending on your holiday plan, we can either drop you off at the airport, if you wish to catch your flight or in Athens city center, in case you are staying longer.
(Total Hike duration: 3 – 3.5 hours / Level of difficulty: easy to moderate/ Total Distance: 5-6km / Altitude difference: 280m)
What is included:
Trails Beyond tour leader/ trekking guide
5 days of accommodation in 3* hotels and traditional guesthouses, based on double occupancy and 1 night in mountain hut (bunk beds in dorms)
All meals as indicated on the trip notes (6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners)
Pick up from your hotel on day 1 or a common meeting point in Athens city center
Transportation with private vehicle for the whole trip, fuel and tolls
Entrance fees to Rizarios Photo Exhibition & to 1 Meteora monastery
What is not included :
Transfers to/from Athens airport
Air ticket from Athens to Ioannina
Any meals not included in the trip notes
Any beverages or alcoholic drinks during meals
Optional activities that are not included in the day-to-day itinerary
Other expenses of personal nature and tips
Scheduled departures 2023:
|01 April ’23||1,050 €|
|20 May ’23||1,050 €|
|03 June ’23||1,050 €|
|01 July ’23||1,100 €|
|02 September ‘ 23||1,100 €|
|16 September ‘ 23||1,050 €|
|07 October ‘23||1,050 €|
|21 October ‘23||1,050 €|
*Min. number of participants to depart: 4 pax
*10% discount on the above prices for groups of 10 & more travelers
Prices per person 2023 (private groups):
|Number of travelers||Price per person|
|2-3 guests||1,620 €|
|4-5 guests||1,140 €|
|6 – 11 guests||1,040 €|
|12 – 18 guests||910 €|
|Single supplement||170.0 €|
*For departures (private groups) between June 15th – September 15th, there is an extra cost of 60€ pp for groups of 2 – 7 travelers.
**10% Discount for children up to 11 years old
Please read carefully our Updated Flexible Terms & Conditions.
Travel safe – Learn more about our enhanced safety measures.
This is a really very nice trek, and we have been very lucky with the professional and kindly guides. Greek people is very friendly, and we have been fortunate to share with them home, food, landscape and such nice things. The trip is very rich because is very variate, the impressive Vikos gorg, the nice small towns of Vradeto or Beloki, the refugee in Astraka and the blue Dragonlimmi and at the end the astonishing landscape sharped by mounts and monasteries in Meteora. Great value !! Don’t miss it !!!
It was great: the country, the people,the food …everything!!! The guides were marvelous; they did our trip especial and we enjoyed a lot.
Ha sido un trekking espectacular. Me han gustado mucho la montaña y sus paisajes, los puentes de piedra y los monasterios tanto en Zagoria como en Meteora. Hemos tenido muy buenos guias que han sabido adecuar los itinerarios en función de la climatología, ya que dos días nos llovió mucho. La comida también me ha gustado. En general me llevo muy buen recuerdo de este viaje.
En la zona de Zagori hemos visto bellisimos paisajes y remotos lugares poco frecuentados. Hemos estado en hoteles familiares muy tranquilos y muy acogedores. La comida griega buenisima y abundante, pero lo mejor de todo nuestros guías por su profesionalidad, amabilidad y entusiasmo. Volveré.
Nos ha encantado todo, tanto los paisajes, los hoteles, la comida y los guías, muy preocupados en todo momento porque estuviéramos bien.
Es un trekking muy agradable, con unos paisajes preciosos y muy cómodo.
Nos hemos quedado con ganas de volver
What s fantastic trek with very experienced and highly capable guides who made every effort to maximise our experiences of all the geographical wonders of the region by adjusting the itinerary when rain was likely. Danae and Stavros, our guide were brilliant, the food and inns we stayed at were delicious and charming and the views were spectacular. Great value for money and a tour company I would definitely travel with again and recommend to others. The group I travelled with were fantastic, easy going and wonderful people- an added bonus!!!!
Si quieres hacer trekking, descubrir paisajes y pueblos preciosos, conocer gente maravillosa, y disfrutar de la comida…sin duda Zagoria y Meteora es el lugar ideal. La organización excelente gracias a Danae y Stavros.
Subscribo la descripción hecha por Marcos: precisa, ponderada y real.
Poco más puedo decir.
El grupito encantador, todo fue fácil y agradable. La pareja de mallorquines super amables y qué decir de Danae, hiperactiva, lista, buena profesional, simpática, ágil, … y Kostas conductor incansable con muchas ganas de aprender nuestra lengua, para lo que se esforzaba cada día más.
En fin, agradecer a los cuatro la amabilidad, cordialidad y simpatía que me hicieron pasar unos días muy agradables.
Hasta la próxima
Rosa M. Udina Abelló
Una semana estupenda,conociendo la región de Zagoria al norte de grecia. Preciosos senderos junto a las torres de Astraka que culminan con la llegada al cómodo refugio donde pasamos la noche y al día siguiente otra cómoda subida hasta el lago dragolini. Los siguientes días caminamos por bosques preciosos con un increíble colorido otoñal, ocre, verdes, amarillo, rojos una fantasía de color, puentes increíbles con cientos de años y formas caprichosas y una magestuosa garganta, Vikos.
Dormimos en casas rurales de unos preciosos pueblos rehabilitados, todo en piedra, casas, tejados, pavimento y sus plazas con gigantescos árboles centenarios. Comidas caseras y picnics muy currados.
Asistidos, dirigidos y coordinados por Danae, la creadora de Trails Beyond, simpática, afectuosa y conocedora de la región y la inestimable colaboración de Kosta que se encargo de llevarnos de un sitio a otro. Finalmente pateamos por Meteora un lugar muy especial aunque ya algo más turístico.
En fin, caminatas asequibles a todo aquel que guste andar y muy recomendable.
This tour (in April 2019) exceeded my expectations in every respect: the scenery at both Zagori and Meteora was spectacular, our two guides Danae and Ippo capable, accommodating and attentive, the guest house/hotel accommodation clean and comfortable. Nearly all meals were included and lunches were organised in advance to minimise loss of time. All the walks seemed to include interesting things to see such as small villages, wildflowers, old stone bridges, wildflowers and an enormous spring of clear water at the bottom of the Vicos Gorge. One needs to be fit enough to walk about 18 km in a day with a day pack over sometimes steep and rocky terrain. However I always felt I had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and take photos. I feel that this tour is extremely good value for money and can thoroughly recommend it.
thank you very much for the arrangement of our hiking trip, We Had A Wonderful time 😀
Especially Thank You to Stavros and Ippokratis for the patience and expertise –
the planning, the pace, the hotel arrangement and with deep apology for the inconvenience caused by my food allergy and diet restriction.
1) We found the whole hiking trip to be well organized, every day there are wonderful and beautiful sights
2) the hotels arranged are unique and cozy and the owners are friendly and warm, Food is excellent too although it is too much food and huge portion, it’s more like a banquet (we learnt it is greek hospitality to have bonding over dinner and wide spread of food, haha )
3) the patience of Stavros and Ippokratis are excellent, they never tell us to Hurry hurry hurry, instead they always said, Relax, take your time, thus it’s a pace we can follow and had enjoyed all the wonderful scenery all the way 😀
4) although we are sad we couldnot hike to dragon lake, we really appreciate Ippokratis’s effort to show us the photographs and explained how the hike trail was like on this area, so we have a chance understand Dragon lake and its surrounding better
5) all villages, bridges, greek culture, national parks, vikos gorge,voidomatis river, meteora monasteries and food are explained and shared with us at every opportunity which make this hiking more interesting and informative
A BIG BIG BIG Thank You, wishing you a blessed, safe and fruitful year2019 and beyond…
till we meet again 😀
Choy and Anna
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Seeing the setting sun reflected in the Adriatic about 80km away through a gap in the mountains from the ridge near the Astraka refuge above Papingo
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Take sleeping bag and warm clothing for a night in the refuge in spring and autumn.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, visited small village bars and restaurants., opportunity to buy unique handicrafts
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Stavros was a fantastic leader of the small group. Kept the programme interesting despite the need for changes to accommodate heavy rain and thunder
Hi Bob! Thank you for choosing Trails Beyond for your hiking holidays in Greece! We are glad to read you enjoyed your walking holidays and thank you for your wonderful words! Hope to see you back in Greece Regards, Danae & Stavros
It was the first group tour I participated in and worth repeating!
The trip was super well organized and a great way to get to know the Zagoria. Danae guided our international group of 6 people. It was a very nice group. And Danae is a cheerful enthusiastic supervisor. Danae paid attention to everyone. For those for whom a stage was too difficult, she had an alternative.
The area is very attractive and rugged! The villages are very charming. Meteora is a wonderful addition. We had good places to stay and the food was delicious. There has been abundant late snowfall in the mountains. As a result, the 2 days in the high mountains unfortunately expired. But we had a good alternative.
Fantastic. Gorgeous Greece is an excellent place for a hiking adventure.
Through the mountains and beautiful villages: this trip exceeded my expectations in every way. Great organization, a fun guide, Danae, who is an advocate for the outdoors and for Greece in general. With our knowledgeable guide, our group explored and adventured our way through the itinerary.
The food and accommodation on the trip was also excellent.
The hiking was varied and will show you some of the beauty and history of Greece’s interior. I would highly recommend this trip.
What a fantastic tour with Danae, our wonderful organised and guide. I’m still talking about it as so many tourists head for the Greek Islands and forget that there are stunning places to visit in the mountains. The Zagori region is one such region and with the help of Trails Beyond we saw the best of this area. Food and accommodation were great. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who is seeking an adventurous walking holiday.
This was such a wonderful trip! I can’t say enough positive things abour Danae, our leader. Her enthusiasm for the land, her connection to the people, her flexiblity and her fun…she made this trip so special. There was a lot of variety in the hiking, the food was amazing and fresh, and it was a great group of six people so the size was right. If you want to get away from the touristy crowds and see the mountains of Greece this was the way to do it. Danae also worked with a few of us in adding extra days, making suggestions for other areas and generally being a good resource.
Go on this trip!! You will be amazed at the extraordinary scenery, the history and the variety of experiences. Danae and Voula our guides were excellent. Highly experienced, thoughtful, friendly and knowledgable. Trek the deepest gorge in the world, stay in a mountain hut and see wild horses, visit monasteries perched on top of mountain pillars like you’ve never seen. This is an area of the world that will be missed by many but should be on your bucket list.
A great weeks walking in an unknown, beautiful, rugged part of Greece. Sheer limestone cliffs, strange towering boulders, a night on a 2000 metre mountain, a walk through the deepest gorge in the world, a maze of ancient Ottoman, crescent shaped bridges and the monasteries of Meteora – they’re all there. Within a landscape of rural, welcoming, slow paced villages and towns run by Greeks for Greeks.
This is a well put together, nicely balanced trip, led by experienced, fun, informative, guide Danae and her team. You’ll hear about flowers, butterflies, bears, the Ottoman Empire, the Greek Orthodox Church, karst scenery, Byzantine churches and much more. Our drivers name was Socrates – what more can you say.
This trip went far beyond our expectations.
Hiking allowed us to experience the beauty of the landscape and learn about the flora, fauna, geology and history of the unspoiled and uncrowded Northern Pindos National Park from our very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, Danae.
A highlight was hiking to the mountain hut and stepping off the rocky trail enroute to Dragon Lake to allow 40+ wild horses to pass our group, then seeing them frolic in the grassy meadows below.
Staying in local guesthouses and visiting the monasteries at Meteora were also highlights.
We came away with a real feel for the land, culture and history of this beautiful, unspoiled area. We hope to return someday!
Very nice tour. The weather was not great, but they still managed to organize a nice trip.
Its was perfect! What made this experience so great was our tourguide – Dimitris. He had lots of stories from all the places we went and hiked. He recommended the best places to eat and have a hot drink or pie. Dimitris alone made our trip a 10/10 alone 😀 The landscapes and the hike was excellent aswell, easy to low-intermediate difficulty. Anybody could make them 🙂 Great views and nature wonders 🙂 I recommend all who’re reading this review 🙂 You won’t regret it. Ask for Dimitris as a tourguide. You Won’t be dissapointed 🙂
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