Trekking the highest peaks of West Greece

The North Pindos mountain range offers some of Greece’s most unique scenery. Here you can enjoy a magnificent combination of trekking over cobblestone paths and stone bridge and wandering among the traditional stone-built villages of Zagoria. More than 2.000 plants and the clearest and purest water in Europe can be found in Vikos Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world. An overnight stop at the refuge of Astraka (2.000 m) a marvellous view from the top and a visit to Dragon Lake will reward the visitor for many years! North Pindos Crossing is a fascinating point-to-point trekking tour of medium difficulty and recommended for hikers with good condition and some experience.
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Duration: 8 days / 7 nights Price: from 590 EUR
Holiday type: guided / point to point Minimum group size: 4 people
Dates: May - October Arrival: any week day on request
Accommodation: 5 x guesthouses, 2 x refuges Meal base: breakfast, halfboard on request
Nearest airport: Aktio - Preveza, Thessaloniki Contact us with your questions or booking requests
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Aktio Airport - drive to Vitsa After arriving at Aktio Airport you drive to Vitsa and your guest house. You’ll have the possibility of a walk around the village, which is located next to famous Vikos Gorge, or to relax. Day 2: Vitsa – Koukouli – Kipi – Dilofo – Vitsa Leave your guesthouse at Vitsa and hike down the stone steps of Vitsa. You’ll tour the old bridges that years ago connected all the villages. You’ll pass by an old bridge and then on to Koukouli, a beautiful village worth visiting. You’ll head further on to Kipi, a village well-known for its antique stone bridge with three arches. You’ll have the chance to see the most spectacular of the famous old bridges around Zagoria. Finally you’ll end your hike back in Vitsa. Trekking Time: 4 hrs Altitude: 950 – 800 – 880 – 900 – 950 m Day 3: Monodendri – Vikos Gorge – Mikro Papingo First you’ll be transferred to Monodendri and then you’ll cross Vikos Gorge, a very impressive canyon and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the deepest in the world! Starting from Monodendri, you’ll hike downhill, where you’ll come to the small river that flows through the gorge. You can dive into the pure, deep blue waters of the source of the river. You’ll continue next to the stream and walk right into the heart of the National Park. In the gorge, lots of wild animals still find refuge, such as birds of prey, bears and wild boars. As you hike, you’ll have impressive views of caves and huge stonewalls, reaching 800 meters high! The path will take you to the spring of the Voidomatis River, the mother of all waters as the myth says. You’ll turn right in the direction of Papingo and hike uphill for around 30 minutes to Mikro Papingo, your next stop for the night. Overnight in Mikro Papingo. Trekking Time: 7 - 8 hrs Altitude: 950 -550 –770 - 950 m Day 4: Mikro Papingo – Drakolimni - Astraka Refuge You’ll have an early start today, as the Timfi Mountain (2497m) will be your focus for the next 2 days. We start from the village of Mikro Papingo. The most popular pathway up to the mountain starts from here (part of the long distance route O3). This first part is a steep 3.5 hrs uphill until you reach the Astraka Refuge, but the beauty of the mountain landscape is well worth the effort. On the way up you’ll find 4 water springs, so there’s no need to carry lots of water. You’ll get your beds at the hut and continue another 1 ½ hours to the alpine lake of “Drakolimni” or “Dragonlake”. Drakolimni is situated amongst some of the highest peaks of the mountain, offering great views to the North face of the mountain. It is really worth to climb to the small peak above the lake in order to best enjoy the majestic landscape. The Peaks of Gamila (2.497m) and Smolikas (2.637m) can also be seen amongst the other Pindos’ peaks. You’ll return to Astraka refuge where you’ll stay overnight. Trekking Time: 6 hrs Altitude:  950 – 2.100– 1.950 m     Day 5: Astraka Refuge – Konitsa Today you’ll have an early start for a more demanding day, with 6 hrs hiking and a 1.500m altitude difference. You’ll start off on the same path you took to Dragonlake, but after 30 minutes, you’ll veer northwest and head through a valley to the north face of the mountain. For about 1,5 hrs you’ll be on an exhilarating pathway at the base of Gamila’s cliffs. It will then lead you down to Aoos River via the lush forests of this side of the mountain. Once you get near the river, a fire track starts and leads eventually to Konitsa. This is a beautiful town of 4.500 people, located at the western end of Aoos Valley, renown for being an outdoor lover’s paradise. You’ll stay overnight at a hotel in town. Trekking Time: 6 hrs Altitude: 1.950 – 400 m     Day 6: Mt. Trapezitsa – Smolikas Refuge Today you’ll be transferred to Trapezitsa Mountain. Trapezitsa is the mountain just north of Konitsa. It’s covered with large forests of black pine. The day is relatively short, but with some steep parts. The pathway first leads to the long ridge of the mountain where you’ll have the best possible views of Aoos Valley and Gamila’s north face. Then you’ll follow the ridge and turn down to the same pathway you followed on the way up. Your minibus will then transfer you to Smolikas hut, where you’ll overnight. Trekking Time: 6 hrs Altitude: 2.029 – 1.700 m     Day 7: Smolikas Refuge – Dragonlake – Smolikas – Pades Today will be the longest and hardest of all your trekking days on this trip, with an early start as well. Smolikas (2.637 m) is Greece’s second highest mountain and very different from your previous days. The mountain consists of extended forests, lots of streams and hilly ground. The pathway leads you first to the alpine lake of the mountain and then on to the peak. After enjoying the views, you’ll descend back to the lake and take the hiking path that leads you to Pades Village, your stop for tonight. Trekking Time: 9 - 10 hrs Altitude: 1.700 – 2.150 – 2.637 – 1.100 m     Day 8: Departure - drive to Aktio airport

Your Accommodation:


Services included:

  • 7 nights with breakfast (5 nights in guest houses in double rooms and 2 nights in refuges in shared rooms)
  • English-speaking, local and licensed trekking guide
  • local transfers as described
  • luggage transfers – except to the refuges
  • local taxes
   
Not included:
  • additional meals, coffees and drinks
  • airport transfer
  • everything not listed above
   
Extras – can be booked separate:
  • single room – not in refuges
  • airport transfer per taxi, minibus or rental car, also from other airports
  • extension days or week, we offer different accommodation in various areas in Greece, just ask us
  • rental car