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Greece Meteora & Zagori Hiking Tour

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Greece Meteora & Zagori Hiking Tour Write a review

  • Location: Greece
  • Duration: 8 Days/ 7 Nights
  • Departing from: Athens, Day 1
  • Tour finishes: Ioannina, Day 8
  • Departures 2024: June 9 & 30, September 8 plus private departures.
  • Price 2024: Euro €3,400 per person in double occupancy. Single supplement Euro €480. One guide accompanies departures of 2 - 8 people. Two guides accompany departures of 9 or more people.
  • Departures 2025: June 8 & 29, September 7 plus private departures.
  • Price 2025: Euro €3,600 per person in double occupancy. Single supplement Euro €490. One guide accompanies departures of 2 - 8 people. Two guides accompany departures of 9 or more people.

Authentic Greece awaits you in the rugged north, starting with Meteora. This dramatic destination boasts softly molded cliffs and rock pinnacles crowned by breathtaking medieval monasteries. As evening descends, you'll hike through this incredible landscape, immersing yourself in its beauty. From Meteora, our journey takes us to the remote Zagori region, nestled in Greece's mountainous north within the Balkans. Here, you'll discover 46 picturesque villages adorned with stone-built homes, churches, and schools, all topped with charming slate roofs. These villages were once the pride of wealthy merchants in the 18th and 19th centuries but were abandoned following World War II. However, recent years have seen families returning to their ancestral homes, lovingly restoring them to their former glory. What sets Zagori apart is that it remains largely untouched by the intrusive "progress" and construction that has unfortunately affected many other areas of Europe in the last 70 years. The authenticity of Zagori is truly captivating, offering a glimpse into a bygone era.

In addition to the fantastic hikes, you will have a half-day of rafting down a gorgeous turquoise river (easy rafting). Zagori is truly a wonderful and unknown part of Europe. However, this won't last forever, so we recommend you visit this lovely, peaceful, unspoiled part of the Balkans before the word gets out!

Meteora & Zagori Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation: 7 nights in 3- and 4-star boutique hotels (1 night each Athens & Meteora, 3 nights Dilofo & 2 nights Megalo Papigo)
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Luggage: Bags are transferred starting from pick-up at the Athens hotel to the final drop-off at Ioannina airport
  • Special events: Entrance to Meteora monastery, cooking experience/family dinner, half-day rafting
  • Transport: All private van/bus transfers as noted in the itinerary
  • Active days: 6 days of guided hiking
  • Guides: At least 1 bilingual Customwalks guide on departures of 2 - 8 people; 2 guides accompany departures of 9 or more people
  • Max group size: Tours are capped at 14 people

Booking: Please e-mail us at info@customwalks.com to receive a booking contract or simply click on the BOOK NOW button or the 'Contact Us' tab. Thanks!

Greece Meteora & Zagori Hiking Tour itinerary Request full itinerary

Day 1:

Independent arrival in Athens and check-in at our pre-booked hotel, the wonderful 4-star Herodion or 5-start Coco Mat Athens BC. Meet your guides at 6:30 p.m. at the hotel reception. We have a welcome drink and then move on to dinner at a super restaurant around the corner. Athens. Hotel and dinner included.

Day 2:

After breakfast we transfer by van to Meteora, the surreal and mystical land where nature’s grandeur and man’s quest for spiritual understanding come together. Centuries ago, medieval monks built impressive monasteries and humble hermitages atop steep limestone pinnacles and even within natural caves. From early Christian times the vertical cliffs of Meteora provided both protection and isolation for the men and women who came here for quiet reflection and spiritual enlightenment. We take you to visit one of the smaller monasteries that features impressive views as well as ancient frescoes. Later that afternoon, follow your guide on a memorable evening hike as the limestone spires are lit by the soft rays of the setting sun. Just as dusk falls we arrive back in the village and sit down for dinner in our hiking clothes at a lively taverna for the first of many excellent meals to come. Travel time to Meteora: 4.5 to 5.5 hours. The Hike: 8km/5 miles. Ascent 580m/1850 ft, Descent 580m/1850 ft. Duration: about 3 hours. Overnight Meteora. Hotel, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 3:

We leave the escarpments and rock towers of Meteora to transfer to Zagori, a region of pristine rivers, wild mountains, and isolated stone villages. We stop along the way in the picturesque town of Ioannina, which sits on the shores of Lake Pamvotis. Originally founded in Ancient Greek times, the town flourished in the late Byzantine period (13th–15th centuries), surrendered to the Ottomans in 1430, and finally was ceded to Greece in 1913. We stop here for a break and lunch before taking you into the Pindus mountains. We check into our charming boutique hotel in Dilofo and depart for our first hike in Zagori later in the afternoon to enjoy the cool air and the longer shadows. The track takes us up through the stone village of Kipi to the woods and then on to the neighbouring village of Tspelevo. Along the way we enjoy vast views over the folded landscape and discover a long-forgotten trading route. We arrive in Tsepelovo at dusk, to have dinner in the main square beneath a centuries’ old plane tree. A short transfer takes us back to Dilofo, our home for the next three nights. The Hike: 8.4km/5.5mi, Ascend 595m/1900 ft. Descent 292m/900 ft. Duration: about 3 hours. Travel time: 2 hours to Ioannina. 45 minutes to Dilofo. Overnight Dilofo. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and hotel included.

Day 4:

After an abundant breakfast we transfer to the neighbouring village of Koukouli. From here we start a beautiful hike which features five amazing stone bridges that arch elegantly over the rivers of Zagori. Built centuries ago, by local craftsmen, the bridges are a testament to the once vibrant commerce that flowed through this former Ottoman province. After a 4-hour loop hike, sit down to lunch in the taverna in Koukouli in the shade of the ubiquitous ancient plane tree which adorns every village square. This afternoon you have some down time back at the hotel to relax then we transfer to another village to meet Elena, who welcomes us into her home and teaches the art of making filo pastry and traditional savory pies. Elena has spent years talking to the elders of the Zagori villages, collecting the oral history, culture, and recipes that are slowly disappearing. She shares her passion for and knowledge of the region with us over dinner. The Hike: 9,4 km Ascent 603m/1900 ft. Descent 602m/1900 ft. Duration: about 4 hours. Overnight Dilofo. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and hotel included.

Day 5:

Today’s hike features one highlight more impressive than the next. From sepelovo village we hike to the start of the Vradeto Staircase: 1,200 steps that were carved from the living rock by master craftsmen 200 years ago. The switchbacks hang above the valley floor and climb 250 vertical meters over a distance of more than 1.5 kms. Our trail continues to Vikos Gorge: a wild and unexpected gorge that is the world’s deepest in proportion to its width. From Beloi lookout we take in the fantastic vista that plunges 500 m/1,600 ft straight down. Your lunch is prepared by Labros, a local shepherd-turned-cook who produces a delicious meal for you from his tiny kitchen in the village square. After lunch, we return to Dilofo for some well-deserved down time. Dinner in Vitsa or Dilofo village. The Hike: 11,8 km/7 miles Ascent 783m/2505 ft Descent 515m/1600 ft. Duration: about 4 hours.  Overnight Dilofo. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and hotel included.

Day 6:

Today features a little "soft adventure" on the pristine Voidomatis River, whose emerald green waters meander through the southern section of the Vikos Gorge. The water is crystal clear and so clean that you can drink straight from the river. We float through the canyon and encounter a few easy rapids, which have just enough white-water to give a little thrill without any danger. After this refreshing break on the water, we return to land for a delicious lunch. In the afternoon we have a short but very steep drive up out of the gorge to the start of our hike to Megalo Papigo. We leave on foot from Megalo Papigo to do a pleasant loop hike along ancient cobbled lanes via some exquisitely sculpted rock ponds. You will see what I mean.  The Hike: 4.7 km/3 miles, Ascent/Descent 164 m/524ft, Duration: about 2 hours. Overnight Megalo Papigo in another beautiful hotel in a restored mansion house. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and hotel included.

Day 7:

Begin with a gradual descent this morning down to the river towards Voidomatis springs, while taking in enormous views of the rocky ramparts of the surrounding mountains. Stop for a break by the river where you can cool your feet in the inviting cold water before a gradual hike out of the gorge. Once again, magnificent views open up as we proceed to the village of Vikos. We gratefully sit down in the local tavern for yet another delicious meal of local delicacies. Return to Megalo Papigo this afternoon to explore its streets and alleyways or relax on the hotel terrace and take in the soft rays of the setting sun as they shed their golden light onto the impressive rock face of the “Astraka Towers.” Dinner is yet another feast of delicious local specialties. The Hike: 5.2 km (3.3 mi), Ascend 370m/1,184 ft, Descend 542m/1,734 ft. Duration: about 2.5 hours. Overnight Megalo Papigo. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and hotel included.

Day 8:

A 1.5-hour transfer takes us to the airport at Ioannina for the 50-minute flight back to Athens (exact time depends on the season). There are usually several flights daily from the Ioannina airport to Athens, and it only takes an hour. In 2024, there is a scheduled flight at 11:30. There are also direct flights to European hubs with low-cost airlines during the high season (when our tours will run), so don’t forget to check carriers like RyanAir and EasyJet. Or, you can pick up a rental car here and continue to explore Greece on your own. Also, the famous island of Corfu is just a short bus ride and ferry hop away! Breakfast and transfer to Ioannina included. Onward travel is not included.

Please note: Some details of the itinerary may change according to the departure date of your tour. Whenever we run a tour we make new discoveries. Sometimes they are good discoveries, like a wonderful new trattoria, and sometimes they are bad, like a trail has been washed away. The result is that we sometimes change our itinerary to improve it by adding new wonderful elements to the tour or by removing something that does not work anymore. Rest assured, our goal is to always provide you with the best possible experience. We will advise you of any changes to the original itinerary prior to departure.  

 

 

Activity Level 3+ out of 5 = Moderate Plus:
In general: This is a Moderate tour for fit hikers who will find the hikes a satisfying workout, while less-fit hikers will find them challenging but do-able and have a great sense of achievement at the end of the week.
Terrain: Rolling to hilly terrain with frequent steep ascents and descents. The "+" indicates that they also involve more rugged, rocky, or steep terrain than the standard 3-rated tours.
Actual hiking time: Between 3-5 hours per day, mostly in the morning but also in the afternoon.
Distances: Usually 8 - 12 kms (5 - 7 mi) per day. Max distance 16 kms (9 mi).
Surfaces: Trails are a mix of compact earth or dirt track, gravel roads, and rocky, uneven wooded trails. You will also encounter centuries' old stone stairways and rocky steps.
Footing: Good, but you have to pay attention to where and how you place your feet. Proper hiking shoes with thick soles with good treads are required. Sport sandals, running shoes and tennis shoes are not adequate.
Specifics: The terrain is often rugged but not technically difficult. Most of the trails are rocky and some involve short sections of scree (loose rock), with some steep ups and downs on uneven terrain. Trails are often in the sun, and we hike between 6 - 16 km (4 - 10 mi.) every day.
Hiking Poles: Highly recommended but not required, and if you habitually use hiking pole you will regret it if you don’t have them.
Compared to the Cinque Terre: The Cinque Terre is the perfect example of a 3+ rated tour. Our most common comment about the Cinque Terre hike and other tours rated 3+ is “More challenging than I expected but I am glad I did it”.
Other: This tour is appropriate for “sporty and fit” first-time hikers who enjoy hiking and have good balance. People with hip and knee issues might find a 3+ tour challenging because of the terrain and the duration of the hikes.
Moderate Plus Tours: Amalfi is the easiest of this group, then Dolomites Lite, followed by the Cinque Terre, Sardinia, Northern Greece Meteora & Zagori, and Andalusia.
As a point of reference, what is a 1 out of 5 Activity rating? A 1 out of 5 rated tour is a tour without any hiking. Walks would be in towns, cities, and villages, and the countryside walks would be on paved, or gravel/dirt roads, and occasionally on some packed earth trails. Elevation gain and loss would be negligible.
As a point of reference, what is a 5 out of 5 Activity rating? A 5 out of 5 rated tour is a tour that would be physically challenging and technically difficult even for very fit and experienced hikers. The hikes would have steep ascents and descents on narrow, exposed trails with challenging footing, such as on scree fields, or through rock falls and boulders. Distances would be up to 25 km/16 miles per day and feature ascents of over 1,000 m/3,200 feet in a day. A 5 out of 5 tour would also mean that you would be carrying a heavier-than-normal pack. None of our tours are rated 5 out 5. Our most challenging tours are 4.5 out of 5, and they are the Dolomites Alta Via (because of some exposed trail that requires some technical expertise) and our Republic of Georgia tour which has some long hikes with over 1,000 meters of elevation gain.

Getting There: the trip starts in Athens, which is easily accessible via international flights.

Air: Athens airport receives both domestic and international flights, through European hubs such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich and Brussels.

Getting Away at the End of the Trip: the trip ends after breakfast on the morning of Day 8 in the city of Ioannina, which has flight connections to Athens or other European hubs via the major carriers (Aegean, Olympic) as well as low-cost airlines like Ryan Air and Easy Jet. We can also arrange transport back to Athens at the end of the trip.

If you book a trip with us, you will receive detailed information about how to get to and from the trip, and of course you can e-mail us with any questions.

5/5
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5 out of 5
Ratings based on 13 Verified Reviews



Average ratings
5.0
Guides
5.0
Quality of itinerary
5.0
Food quality & variety
5.0
Value for money
4.8
Right amount of activity
5.0
Overall satisfaction

Reviews
5
by Nora T.
Posted Oct 18, 2023

This was our second trip with CustomWalks and we are already planning our next one. What we loved: Our experienced and warm guides Nefeli and Alex, our driver Spiros who got us safely from place to place, the hikes, the food, the lodgings, the cooking class, the rafting day, and our hiking companions. Basically, everything! Meteora and Zagori are beautiful, unspoiled places, and we feel so lucky that we got to visit this beautiful part of the world. Thanks again to Customwalks for an unforgettable week.

5
by Robin K.
Posted Sep 28, 2023

My husband & I had such a great time despite the fact that we were “out of our league”. Our guides, Nefali & Alex were just “the best” and customized each day to accommodate our level! Our bus driver, Spiros knew just where to pick us up to shorten our hike and just where to take us to wander “off the beaten path”villages to experience & photograph. Two highlights for us were the rafting trip and cooking class. Last but not least, our group of 14 was so perfect. We made wonderful connections to each and every person. Customwalks attracts down to earth, no drama folks!!!

5
by Jim G
Posted Sep 27, 2023

As we have traveled with Customwalks before we had high expectations for this tour. This trip exceeded them, it was fantastic ! The hikes were great, the accommodations were very nice, interesting and comfortable and the food was really excellent. Best of all were the two guides Nefeli and Alex who were knowledgeable, friendly and fun to be around and sought constantly to make our experiences the best they could be. Both Meteora, and especially Zagori ,had stunning beauty. Zagori still seems to be undiscovered as it was not crowded but this cannot last for long given the natural beauty and picturesque stone villages. This is a truly wonderful tour in all respects and I really highly recommend it.

5
by Steve R.
Posted Oct 12, 2022

My wife and I offer nothing but kudos for our just-completed Zagori Hiking Tour, our 3rd Custom Walks experience and perhaps our favorite. This "undiscovered" northern mountainous region of Greece is a special place not even many Greeks have experienced. Our guides, Nefeli and Alex, were terrific--both were highly knowledgable about the cultural and natural history of the region, and as usual, our travel mates were all wonderful and interesting people. The mountain scenery is dramatic, including the spire-top settings of the Meteora monasteries. The occasional jingling of sheep's bells was pure music as we approached beautiful historic villages constructed from locally quarried stone. We heartily recommend this tour without reservation!

5
by Clark S
Posted Sep 24, 2022

Zagori and Meteora was our second Customwalks tour this year and it won't be our last. An amazing adventure into an unspoiled, remote and mountainous part of Greece. We thoroughly enjoyed hiking through the forests, crossing arched stone bridges, staying in beautiful locations and great food. Ancient monasteries perched high on natural pillars of stone, and the picturesque hillside villages never failed to impress us each day. We felt immersed into a unique part of Greek culture. Another highlight was visiting a farm where we helped to prepare various dishes for our dinner. A big thanks to our guides, Alex and Nefeli who were so helpful, informative and fun to be around. They are the best! Don't hesitate to enjoy this trip.

5
by Sherry L
Posted Sep 17, 2022

We had a fabulous time on this trip, we had never visited this part of Greece before, we are very glad to have experienced it with our wonderful guides Nefeli and Alex. The scenery was breathtaking, the accommodation was unique and the food was delicious. We enjoyed all the walks, as well as the opportunity to learn how to cook some authentic Zagorian cuisine, and the rafting experience was great fun despite us never having done it before. This trip exceeded all our expectations- we loved it!

4.6
by Faye
Posted Jul 23, 2022

I was amazed by the hiking trails in Pindus Mountains of northwestern Greece. It is one of the hiking world's best kept secrets. I loved jagged limestone mountains combine with centuries old stone villages and historical elements. Meteora is an awe-inspiring collection of sandstone monoliths with centuries- old monasteries perched on top of them. Dimitri was a very knowledge and helpful guide. The hikes are not difficult. The tour was well organized, lodging was 5 star starting from Athens to the last day in Papigo. I highly recommend Customwalks and loved Meteora & Zagori trip.

5
by Claudine B.
Posted Jul 20, 2022

Beautiful hiking trails still largely undiscovered by tourists, not too difficult, most of the time, so that you can let yourself be enveloped by the scenery, the fragrance of the herbs, the colors of the wild flowers, the songs of the birds. When not on the trails, healthy home cooked meals made with local food are served always in generous quantities, sometimes by an unusual cook, like a man who is also a healer. All the inns were restored traditional houses. At Megalo Papigo, the windows of my room opened on incredible rock formations. Our guide, Dimitris, has a deep knowledge of the area besides being a skilled guide who always "has your back."

5
by Pam P
Posted Jul 20, 2022

I travel a lot on hiking tours and have to say that my trip with Customwalks to Meteora and Zagori was one of the best I've ever taken. Very well organized, with marvelous, unique lodging and excellent Greek food. And the hikes were amazing. Zagori, in the north of Greece, is a little known wonderland - the most incredible scenery, a well established trail system, and not overrun with tourists (like way too many hiking locations.) Our guide, Dimitrious, was so knowledgeable, experienced, and just absolutely a compete gem. Highly recommend Customwalks, and this tour!

5
by Gwen B
Posted Jun 25, 2021

Fabulous Custom Walks tour AGAIN!! My third trip with you all and this time I brought a friend. It was simply wonderful. Dimitris was a great leader/organizer working with owner Brett. Food was amazing. Two words -- DO IT!



If you have any questions or specific requests about any of our tours, we’re here to help. You can fill in the form below, send us an email, or call us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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This was our second trip with CustomWalks and we are already planning our next one. What we loved: Our experienced and warm guides Nefeli and Alex, our driver Spiros who got us safely from place to place, the hikes, the food, the lodgings, the cooking class, the rafting day, and our hiking companions. Basically, everything! Meteora and Zagori are beautiful, unspoiled places, and we feel so lucky that we got to visit this beautiful part of the world. Thanks again to Customwalks for an unforgettable week.
by Nora T.


My husband & I had such a great time despite the fact that we were “out of our league”. Our guides, Nefali & Alex were just “the best” and customized each day to accommodate our level! Our bus driver, Spiros knew just where to pick us up to shorten our hike and just where to take us to wander “off the beaten path”villages to experience & photograph. Two highlights for us were the rafting trip and cooking class. Last but not least, our group of 14 was so perfect. We made wonderful connections to each and every person. Customwalks attracts down to earth, no drama folks!!!
by Robin K.


Pax with view zagori x website
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Greek chapel x zagori site
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