“Traces of the Gods”
Greece is the most underrated country in Europe when it comes to overland travel. The Pindos Mountains, stretching from Albania to the Peloponnese, are not called the Greek Alps for nothing. They are strikingly similar to the well-known and extremely popular hiking trails in the Western Alps, but with one important difference: unlike the crowded Western Alps, these trails are practically empty, so you can enjoy them undisturbed! Numerous mountain passes over 2000 meters high, breathtakingly beautiful lakes, exciting riverbeds to navigate, ancient forests – a diverse landscape that stretches almost endlessly to capture your adventurer’s heart forever.
In the footsteps of the gods through the Greek Pindos Mountains
On this tour we will take you over the entire backbone of Pindos, from the Albanian border to the Mediterranean coast, including all the prominent areas, mountain lakes, gorges and ridges. These include the mountains Grammos, Peristeri and Tsoumerka, Zagori, Portitsa Gorge, lakes Aoos, Mournou, Prespa and Plastiras, several national parks, Mount Giona with the highest stone wall in the Balkans and much, much more. After 10 days you will be so overwhelmed by the impressions of the places visited that you will need a whole year to sort all your memories through photos and video footage!
We start the tour in Igoumentisa, the port in the northwest of Greece, which you can reach most easily by ferry from Italy (Ancona, Bari or Venice). There, the guide will be waiting for you in the large parking lot of the port to take you to the nearby Drepanos Camp for the night (it is recommended to take one of the ferries that arrive in Igoumenitsa in the late afternoon, but you can arrive earlier if you want to enjoy the hot summer day by the sea). From there, our journey takes us first to the enchanting area of Zagori and then continues along a winding clockwise route that first heads north to the border with Albania and northern Macedonia before embarking on the long journey south towards the southern coast of mainland Greece. We will also visit the Meteora rocks, where the most famous Greek monasteries are located. These monasteries are a true wonder of the world, built on the rocks. Our route continues south across the Koziakas Mountains, over rocky mountain passes known only to a few.
The tour continues through numerous 2000+ m high mountain ranges of southern Pindos, such as Tymfristos and Oti National Park, before reaching the beautiful Mount Giona, whose 2,509 m high peak is the highest mountain in southern Greece. During the 10 days we will also see the strikingly beautiful Lake Mournou, as well as pass through numerous picturesque villages with the typical Greek stone houses. Lush pastures where thousands of goats, sheep and cows graze will give way to majestic pine forests, only to take our breath away in front of the rocky formations of the mighty peaks. We end the tour in Delphi, the seat of the ancient Greek oracle, on a plateau overlooking Corynthos Bay.
Greek mountain roads are among the best preserved mountain roads in the Balkans, which means that for most of the tour we will be riding on very good roads that do not present any technical challenges. However, from time to time we will travel some narrow, steep trails over open grasslands or rocky passes that require suitable low gear off-road vehicles to safely negotiate the obstacles. Most of the tour will be a very relaxed ride, making it one of the most technically easy of our Balkan tours (but still one of the most scenically stunning). A winch and snorkel are not required for this tour.
Most nights during the tour we will sleep at beautiful nature campsites in the wilderness, often near rivers, streams or lakes, but we will also check into official camps in some locations where they are available and close to our itinerary. Our average arrival time at the campground will be between 5:00 and 6:00 pm (summer days in the south are long, but we still want to give participants some time to get everything ready for an enjoyable evening), and the morning departure time will be around 9:00 am.
Although these are wild and remote areas, the danger from wildlife is only theoretical, so you can relax while camping and do not need additional protection. However, don’t underestimate the high mountains when it comes to temperatures – it can still be quite chilly at night, even dropping below 10 degrees in some places (our average altitude when camping is between 1400 and 1800 meters). To make camping more convenient, you should have folding tables and chairs, as well as food cooking equipment, portable refrigerator (12V), etc. We will stop every 2-4 days of the tour to stock up on food and fuel (whenever our route passes a town). Usually the participants prepare their own food during the camping.
We are looking forward to a breathtakingly beautiful tour with fantastic nature highlights with you!
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“Traces of the Gods”
* Tours only take place if the corona regulations in force at the time of the tour permit!