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8 Day Mountain Bike Epirus Tour

8 Day Mountain Bike Epirus Tour

Product Code : 9706

About The Place

Zagori, a region in the northwestern part of Greece, is a captivating and rugged landscape celebrated for its traditional stone villages, pristine nature, and rich cultural heritage. The Zagori area, officially known as the Zagori National Park, encompasses the Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world, and the Pindus mountain range, creating a unique tapestry of landscapes and experiences.

Geography and Landscape: Nestled in the Pindus mountain range, Zagori is a mountainous region with elevations ranging from 500 to 2,497 meters. The landscape is characterized by dense forests, alpine meadows, and an intricate network of rivers and streams. The Vikos Gorge, a central feature of Zagori, is renowned for its dramatic limestone cliffs and the Vikos River, which has carved its way through the rugged terrain.

Traditional Stone Villages: What sets Zagori apart is its collection of stone-built villages, known as Zagorochoria, each with its unique character and architectural charm. Villages like Papigo, Monodendri, and Vitsa are characterized by well-preserved stone houses, cobbled streets, and arched bridges. These settlements are not only aesthetically pleasing but also offer a glimpse into the region’s historical and cultural identity.

Vikos Gorge: The Vikos Gorge, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Greece, is a natural wonder that attracts hikers, nature enthusiasts, and adventure seekers. The gorge is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare species such as the wild goat. Numerous hiking trails provide opportunities to explore the depths of the gorge, with the Vikos-Aoös National Park offering a well-maintained network of paths.

Bridges of Zagori: Zagori is renowned for its stone bridges, known as “kokkorades,” that span the region’s rivers and ravines. These architectural marvels, often dating back to the 18th century, showcase the craftsmanship of the local builders. The most famous among them is the Kokkoros Bridge, a three-arched bridge near the village of Koukouli.

Cultural Heritage: Zagori’s cultural heritage is reflected in its local traditions, festivals, and religious celebrations. The area is dotted with monasteries and churches, such as the Monastery of Agia Paraskevi, which add to the cultural and spiritual richness of the region. The villages host various events throughout the year, offering visitors an opportunity to engage with the local community and experience traditional customs.

Outdoor Activities: Zagori is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking trails crisscross the landscape, leading to panoramic viewpoints, waterfalls, and traditional settlements. Rafting and kayaking are popular activities on the Voidomatis River, providing a thrilling experience amidst the pristine nature.

Culinary Delights: The local cuisine of Zagori reflects the region’s agricultural abundance and traditional recipes. Locally sourced ingredients are used to create dishes like “kontosouvli” (spit-roasted meat) and “pites” (pies), showcasing the flavors of the Zagori mountains.

In conclusion, Zagori is more than a destination; it’s an immersive journey into the heart of nature, culture, and history. The region’s unique blend of mountain landscapes, stone villages, and cultural traditions offers a one-of-a-kind experience for those seeking an authentic and enriching escape.

Highlights

  • Enjoy an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience, biking through the vast complex of mountains, peaks, plateaus, valleys and gorges

  • Cross the imposing Vikos Gorge, one of the most stunning gorges in Greece

  • Feel the bliss of the cool breeze, even during summertime under the majestic Greek blue sky and in full sunshine

  • Discover picturesque small villages, enjoy delicious homemade meals and meet the locals, revealing another unknown yet unique side of Greece

Total Duration

  • 8 Days

Full description

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of mountainous Greece with our 8-day Mountain Bike Tour. Prepare to explore the legendary Zagorochoria, a hidden gem tucked away in the rich mountains of the Epirus Range. This untouched region is a surprising revelation, showcasing the rugged beauty of the Pindos mountain range, often referred to as the “spine of Greece.”

Embark on an unforgettable adventure as you traverse a vast complex of mountains, peaks, plateaus, valleys, and gorges. Experience the thrill of crossing the imposing Vikos Gorge, one of Greece’s most remarkable natural wonders. Enjoy the blissful sensation of a cool breeze, even during the summertime, beneath the majestic Greek blue sky. Discover picturesque small villages, indulge in delicious homemade meals, and engage with the friendly locals, revealing the lesser-known yet unique side of Greece. Our Mountain Bike Tour, starting from the village of Samarina and concluding at Ioannina Airport, is tailor-made for active travelers seeking an authentic and exhilarating experience.

Activities / Schedule:

Day 1: Arrival in Samarina

Arrive in Samarina, a unique nomadic village situated at an elevation of 1,400 meters, nestled beneath the highest peak of Mt. Smolikas. Settle into a cozy guesthouse in the village and savor a delightful dinner at the bustling square.

Overnight in Samarina.

Day 2: Samarina to Distrato

Begin your journey from the main square of Samarina, crossing the water wood saw and making your way to the ancient Monastery of Agia Paraskevi, the protector of the blind. Explore the forest road that leads to Valia Krna, known as the “Devil’s Valley” in Vlach. Enjoy a scenic ride of approximately 10 km, surrounded by the peaks of Smolikas, until you reach the stream of the valley. A short detour of 3 km will reward you with a visit to beautiful waterfalls. Continue along the main road to Distrato, cycling through meadows with awe-inspiring views. Before entering the village, take an optional swim in the river. Complete the day’s ride and arrive at the guesthouse for an overnight stay.

Total Distance: 27 km Dirt road: 19 km / Asphalt road: 8 km Altitude: 1,440 m – 948 m

Overnight in Distrato.

Day 3: Distrato to Vovousa (East Zagori)

Embark on a captivating cycling journey through the foothills of Mt. Vasilitsa, immersing yourself in an amazing forested landscape. These areas hold tales from the Second World War, where fallen airplanes, alpine brigades, and partisans once fought. Begin with an uphill ride, followed by a joyful downhill stretch on a well-paved forest road. Revel in the untouched beauty of nature and the breathtaking mountains of Aoos Valley as you reach the banks of the Aoos River and the village of Vovousa, an entrance to the remote Zagori area and the Valia Calda National Park.

Total Distance: 41 km Dirt road: 41 km Altitude: 948 m – 1,466 m – 985 m

Overnight in Vovousa.

Day 4: Vovousa to Laista (East Zagori)

Embark on an exhilarating cycling adventure, starting directly from your hotel and crossing the Morfa pass, one of the most impressive and challenging routes in the area. Ascend nearly 600m to reach the pass and be rewarded with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains, including Timfi and Smolikas, as well as the rest of the Zagori area. Begin the thrilling downhill ride along the forest road towards Laista, one of the most beautiful villages in Zagori. Relax and unwind at a guesthouse located directly in the village square.

Total Distance: 27 km Dirt road: 27 km Altitude: 1,534 m – 950 m

Overnight in Laista.

Day 5: Laista to Negades

After a delightful breakfast, set off on a cycling adventure through the most beautiful mountain landscapes in Greece. Ride on paved roads until you reach the Giftokampos area, where you’ll have the opportunity to visit the houses of the nomadic folk known as the “Sarakatsani.” Continue on a scenic forest road to the “Templitses” plateau, a summer grazing area for shepherds. Traverse thick forests and enjoy the picturesque route to the village of Negades, where you’ll spend the night.

Total Distance: 48.2 km Tarmac: 19.9 km / Forest road: 28.3 km Altitude: 950 m – 1,075 m – 1,285 m – 1,000 m

Overnight in Negades.

Day 6: Negades to Vitsa (Central Zagori)

Embark on a sightseeing tour of central Zagori, where numerous fascinating attractions await. Discover old arched bridges, monuments, monasteries, and the region’s natural wonders. Begin your journey from Negades towards Kipi village, where you’ll encounter several arched stone bridges, once the only connection between these villages and the outside world. Continue to Monodentri to enjoy stunningviews of the Vikos Gorge from the Oxia viewpoint. Descend back to the village and visit the Agia Paraskevi monastery.

Distance: 27.7 km (until Monodendri) Altitude: 1,000 m – 750 m – 1,100 m – 1,376 m

Overnight and farewell dinner in Vitsa.

Day 7: Vikos Gorge Crossing

Early in the morning, transfer to Monodendri (a 10-minute drive) to begin your hiking adventure. The Vikos Gorge is one of Greece’s most popular hiking destinations, featuring limestone and dolomite formations dating back 150 million years. With walls reaching heights of up to 1,700 meters, it is the world’s deepest canyon in proportion to its width. Embark on an ascending and descending trail surrounded by steep mountain peaks, dense forests, and a rich variety of plant species. Transfer back to Vitsa for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Overnight in Vitsa.

Day 8: Departure

Transfer from Vitsa to the airport.

Not Included:

  • Arrival and departure transfers to Samarina and from Vitsa
  • Drinks during meals
  • Anything not mentioned below

Suitable Seasons: April – October

4-7 participants  1310€/pp
2-3 participants 1950€/pp

What to Bring

  • Large, comfortable rucksack (40 – 50 liters) with padded straps and waist belt, internal frame preferred; waterproof liner recommended keeping clothing, etc. dry inside

  • Good waterproof top with hood

  • Warm clothes, both for windy / cold daytime conditions and for the cool evenings (fleece tops or similar)

  • Shorts and long trousers for walking, preferably quick-drying material (cotton or poly-cotton not denim)

  • Sweatshirts or T-shirts for walking, at least one with long sleeves and collar (against sunburn)

  • Sheet sleeping bag or similar (e.g. duvet cover), for the overnights in the refuge, although blankets will be available

  • Sunglasses, towel, sun hat or cap, sun block

  • Your own personal water bottle. As part of our environmental policy and actions, we are committed to eliminating the use of plastic water bottles.

  • Wash bag and simple first aid kit (plasters or blister kit, aspirin or similar, antiseptic)

Includes

  • 7 overnights with breakfast sharing a double room in traditional guesthouses

  • Meal Plan Full Board: 6 x lunches & 7 x dinners

  • English speaking Guide

  • 5 days of biking + 1 hike in Vikos Gorge

  • Support vehicle throughout the tour

  • Mountain Bike Rental for 5 days

Itinerary

  • Day1 : Arrival in Samarina
  • Day2 : Samarina to Distrato
  • Day3 : Distrato to Vovousa (East Zagori)
  • Day4 : Vovousa to Laista (East Zagori)
  • Day5 : Laista to Negades
  • Day6 : Negades to Vitsa (Central Zagori)
  • Day7 : Vikos gorge crossing
  • Day8 : Departure

Meeting point

Samarina

Cancellation Policy - Moderate

  • If you cancel 10 days or earlier before the booked activity start date, you'll get a full refund.
  • If you cancel within 4 and 10 days before the booked activity starting date, you'll get 50% back.
  • Cancellations made 4 days or beyond, before the booked activity starting date, are treated as last-minute cancellations. There will be no refunds.

Select participants and date

Sold By: Trekking Hellas Ioannina

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