Self drive vacation in Northern Greece, hike & tour
Drive and hike amongst the rugged Zagori region of northwest Greece on a flexible eight day itinerary that features Thessaloniki, Meteora and plenty of choice in between.
Meteora Thessaloniki Kastraki Monastery of St Nicholas Vergina Zagori Region Vikos-Aoos National Park Dragon Mountain Lake Konitsa Ioannina and Metsovo Dodoni and Vergina
£425To£550 excluding flights
WHAT'S INCLUDED: * 7 nights accommodation * 7 days inclusive car rental * detailed routes & suggestions for sightseeing & hiking * departure transfer * all local taxes * 24hr assistance & Emergency contact * Fully protected for your peace of mind.
Description of Self drive vacation in Northern Greece, hike & tour
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our partners behind this vacation promote inclusivity on all their trips and across their business and we are all committed to ensuring travelers face no discrimination on any part of the trip they control.
4 Reviews of Self drive vacation in Northern Greece, hike & tour
4.5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 26 Sep 2019 by Eileen McCarthyThe most memorable part of the vacation was the ancient sites and the mountain walks. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Sep 2017 by Charles FoxWhilst in Corfu we booked a day trip to Albania which was very interesting and the couriers were excellent. We loved the mountain areas of NW Greece. Read full review
Reviewed on 13 Sep 2016 by Richard TookeyAbsolutely excellent. I would very highly recommend to anyone looking for superb walking , beautiful food , unbelievable scenery and very friendly and helpful hosts. A brilliant vacation thank you. Read full review
Reviewed on 29 Aug 2016 by Penny ThomsonExcellent vacation, we enjoyed it all - highlights were Meteora, where we did a hike to view the monasteries and walking in the Vikos Gorge, stunning, our photos don't capture the majesty of it all. Read full review
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetOur local agency specialises in sustainable adventure and wildlife vacations in Greece. They offer diverse travel packages that allow for flexibility, affordability and variety. Our customers can choose from a small group trip or a completely tailor made option for minimum two persons.
Our aim is to promote ecotourism and sustainable adventure vacations at the same time as providing a unique travel experience and allowing you to enjoy the fantastic nature and scenery of this part of Greece, a world away from busy tourist resorts.
Our treks and vacations throughout Greece, encompassing National Parks, Protected Environmental Areas, Archaeological Sites, Caves & Hot Springs - places that have great natural, geological, cultural, and historical value, and the local guides provide further information about the environment and the benefits of sustainable adventure vacations. All staff have a wide knowledge of local areas that you visit during the trips and, most importantly, they know how to protect them.
The most sensitive animal species in our visited areas are two amphibian species, the Fire Salamander (mainly to be seen in the gorge of Enipeas Ė upper part) and the Alpine Newt (to be seen in the Dragon Lake of Astraka). We always inform our visitors to watch their steps as these animals can be found on our walking paths. Some endangered species of Birds of Prey like the Golden Eagle and the Egyptian Vulture and also rare mammals like the Brown Bear and the Balkan Chamois are present in the visited areas. Visitors get information about these species as well. Especially during the spring time, we see a lot of orchids in the Vikos Gorge. Although for all of our visitors it is obvious, we inform them that orchids are rare and protected. More interested visitors get details about the Greek Flora and Fauna which is one of the richest in Europe.
We strongly believe in the need to protect and enhance the places we travel to, and in the potential of responsible tourism, to be a positive force in environmental and cultural conservation. Our vacation pack provide lots of information to our clients and encourages them to research and support the two specific NGOs:
1. Archelon - The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
2. Arcturos - The Society for the Protection of Wildlife in Greece (with current emphasis on the Brown Bear and Wolf).
Since 2015 a percentage of the tour price is donated to maintain ancient paths in the Zagoria area (Vikos National Park) and Pelion.
We ask all our customers to respect the fragile mountain environment by, for example, taking their litter away with them. All our trips are either in very small groups or tailor made for individuals to minimise the impact of large groups on this mountain region.
In Zagoria area, near the Dragon lake, the Mountain Hut Astraka is operated by Giorgos and his wife. Since 2013 the hut uses renewable energy sources (photovoltaic panels).
We strongly believe in the need to protect and enhance the places we travel to, and in the potential of responsible tourism, to be a positive force in environmental and cultural conservation.
People100% of our guides and drivers in Greece are local people. We firmly believe that a local licensed guide can offer more insight into the countryside and region as a whole as well as enhancing the local economy. Their expertise and local knowledge will enhance your experience and understanding of the historical context and the environmental impact of your visit. This is preferable, in our opinion, than sending a guide from another country or even from elsewhere in Greece. All food on the included trek is bought locally, which provides employment for local shops.
The accommodation used on the tour is in small, family run establishments which have been in business for many years. Many of these hotels are traditionally built, respecting the local architecture and surroundings. Of course at the same time, these enterprises have to offer high standard of quality in dining and accommodation. Last but not least we have a personal relationship / friendship with all of our providers. Food in the hotels is primarily sourced locally.
In Meteora we stay in Hotel Dellas, which is owned by the family Dellas; they have 5 more employees, all locals from Kastraki and Kalambaka. We have our lunches and dinners at the Restaurant Paradisos, a family run (couple serving and mother is the cook) with 2 more employees. In Tsepelovo village we support Hotel Gouris. It is run by an old lady (Mrs. Anthoula) who has no other income except this little guest house. In Vitsa village we stay at Selini Hotel. It is also a family run little hotel run by a couple (Takis and Maria); the homemade food that Maria prepares is excellent. In Mikro Papigo we stay at Hotel Dias and we also dine there. Itís a family run Hotel and restaurant run by Kostas and his brother; 5 other local people are working there. In the town of Konitsa we stay in Hotel Dendro, eating at the restaurant of the hotel, a few meters away. It is a small family run hotel, run by a couple (Yiannis and Katerina) and their son Christos; 3 more locals are working both in hotel and restaurant.
Generally it is a big help when people visit Greece, especially in these hard times. Doing it with some environmental education, supporting the local economy and small enterprises is even better. Also tourism in small scale is helping the people in these areas to protect their environment as they understand that this is why tourists are coming.
In all of these villages, the main income of the locals is tourism. Since the economic crisis in Greece, the number of the Greeks visiting this area reduced dramatically. There are no official reports to support this statement yet, but we know it. Greeks used to be the majority of the tourists in the area (our estimation is around 80%), now only a few Greeks can afford a trip there. The area of Zagori is already considered to be one of the poorest of Greece.