Tour overview

Experience the beauty of the mountainous side of Greece in a challenging Mountain Bike Tour!

A surprising exploration of the rugged beauty of Pindos mountain range, the so called “spine of Greece”.

  • Enjoy an unforgettable once in a life time experience, biking through the vast complex of mountains, peaks, plateaus, valleys and gorges.
  • Feel the bliss of the cool breeze, even during summer time 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.

The trip starts in Samarina village and ends in Ioannina Airport.

Activities

Tour Summary

Duration

8 days

Period of Operation: April to October

Price:

  • 1275€/pp for 4-7 participants
  • 1950€/pp for 2-3 participants

 


Participation requirements

Good physical condition. Previous experience on mountain biking.

Tour Details

Tour inclusions
  • 7 overnights with breakfast sharing a double room in traditional guesthouses.
  • Meal Plan Full Board: 6 x lunches & 7 x dinners.
  • English speaking Trekking Hellas guide.
  • 5 days of biking + 1 hike in Vikos Gorge.
  • Support vehicle throughout the tour.
  • Mountain Bike Rental for 5 days.
Tour exclusions
  • Arrival and departure transfers to Samarina and from Vitsa.
  • Drinks during meals.

Itinerary

Samarina is located at an elevation of 1400 metres, on the foot of Mt. Smolikas (Pindos‘ highest peak). It is a unique nomadic village, built only for summer when the shepherds bring their flocks on the mountain.

We stay at a small guesthouse in the village and enjoy dinner at the busy square.

Overnight in Samarina in guesthouse http://www.lanoi.gr/

 

We start from the main square of the popular village of Samarina. We cross the water wood saw. The road leads to the old Monastery of Agia Paraskevi protector of the blind. After visiting the monastery, we enter the forest road toward Valia Krna, which is the vlach name for devils valley.

Riding on a scenic road for about 10 Km under the peaks of Smolikas (2nd highest of Greece), we reach the stream of the valley. A deviation of about 3 Km to the beautiful waterfalls is worth it! We continue back to the main road towards Distrato. The road is very pleasant and beautiful as we cycle high through meadows with great views! Soon we downhill to the asphalt road, seeing Distrato village in front of us.

Before entering the village, there is an optional stop for a swim in the river. After 1 Km we arrive at the guesthouse where we overnight.

  • Total Distance: 27 Km
  • Dirt road: 19 km / Asphalt road: 8 Km
  • Altitude: 1440 m. – 948 m.

Overnight in Distrato http://www.web-greece.gr/apartments/fratelia/index_en.htm /

 

 

We are cycling in the foothills of Mt. Vasilitsa, an amazing ride mostly through forest. These areas have a lot of stories to tell, especially from the 2nd World War! Fallen airplanes, alpine brigades and partisans were fighting on those mountains!

We start going uphill for some kilometers, and after the ride becomes joyful, downhill on a very well paved forest road, enjoying the unspoiled nature and the mountains of Aoos Valley! Through thick forest we reach the banks of Aoos River and the village of Vovousa, entering the most remote village of  Zagori area and the entrance of the National park of Valia Calda.

  • Total Distance: 41 Km
  • Dirt road: 41 Km
  • Altitude: 948 m. – 1466 m. – 985 m.

Overnight in Vovousa http://www.kerasies.gr/guesthouse.htm

 

 

Today we start cycling directly from our hotel crossing through the Morfa pass, one of the most impressive and challenging routes of the area. We climb almost 600m and reach the pass. The route rewards us with beautiful views of all the surrounding mountains, impressive Timfi, and Smolikas, as well as the rest of the Zagori area. The fun starts as we begin our downhill ride, the forest road towards Laista, one of the most beautiful Zagori villages. We overnight at a guesthouse directly at the village square. Overnight in Laista.

  • Total Distance: 27km
  • Dirt road: 27 Km
  • Altitude: – 1534m. – 950m.

 

 

After a nice breakfast we start the tour in the most beautiful mountain landscapes of Greece, on the tarmac until Giftokampos area, where we visit the houses of the nomadic folk “Sarakatsani”.

Then we enter a beautiful forest road and drive to another plateau called “Templitses”, an area where a lot of shepherds bring their flocks for the summer season.

An easy and scenic road takes us through thick forest, to the beautiful village of Negades, where we overnight.

  • Total Distance:  48,2km
  • Tarmac: 19,9 Km  / Forest road: 28,3 Km
  • Altitude: 950 m. – 1075 m. – 1285 m. – 1000 m.

Overnight Negades http://www.adrasteia.gr/index.php

 

 

Today we do a “sightseeing” tour, at central Zagori, where we have a lot of interesting things to see. Old arched bridges, monuments, monasteries and lots of nature!

We start form Negades towards Kipi village where we see a lot of arched stone bridges, the only connection with the world not long ago… We continue to Monodentri to see views of the Vikos Gorge from Oxia view point.We downhill back to the village and visit Agia Paraskevi monastery.

  • Distance: (until Monodendri) 27.7 Km
  • Altitude: 1000 m. – 750 m. -1100 m. – 1376 m.

Overnight and farewell dinner in Vitsa  http://www.vezitsa-zagori.com

 

Early in the morning we transfer to Monodendri (10’ driving) where we start our hiking day.

Vikos gorge is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Greece. The gorge consists of limestone and dolomite formations dating back to 150 million years ago and vertical walls extending up to a height of 1700 metres.

The gorge is part of the 12,600 hectare Vikos-Aoos National Park and has been listed in the Guinness book of records as the deepest canyon worldwide in proportion to its width.

The trail is ascending and descending, surrounded by steep mountain tops and dense forests, which consist mostly of deciduous trees, with about 1700 plant species and subspecies. The so-called Vikos herbal practitioners used the gorge’s herbs to heal all sorts of aliments and were famous throughout Greece.

Transfer back to Vitsa where we enjoy our goodbye dinner in famous “kanela & garifalo”.

  • Approximate hiking time: 6 – 7 hours
  • Level of difficulty: moderate

 

Transfer from Vitsa to the airport.

 

FAQ

The trip starts in Samarina village and ends in Ioannina Airport.

Distances from the airports:

  • Thessaloniki – Samarina, 249 Km (approximately 3 hours driving)
  • Athens (Eleftherios Venizelos) – Samarina, 478 Km (approximately 6.30 hours driving)
  • Ioannina – Samarina 108 Km (approximately 2 hours driving)

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