Trip Ref #10591
You'll need to be comfortable hiking for up to 6 hours a day, and the hike to Vikos Gorge involves a decent amount of elevation gain/loss
Explore ancient paths around the phenomenal rock formations and gravity-defying monasteries of Meteora
Hike through Vikos Gorge – the world’s deepest – and along hidden trails to iconic stone bridges and the Zagori villages
Raft your way down the startlingly turquoise waters of the Voidomatis River, flanked by evergreen forest
Journey to Meteora
Meet up with your host in Athens and hop in the van, settling in for the road trip north. Tuck into lunch on a scenic stretch of the coastal road before continuing on to Meteora, where you'll catch your first glimpse of the iconic rock formations as they come into view. Check into your guesthouse and head out to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site – your guide will lead you to some lesser-known viewpoints over this incredible landscape, before finding the best sunset spot. Head to a Greek taverna for dinner before a well-earned night's sleep.
Hiking through Meteora
Hit the trails straight after breakfast, starting in the foothills of Doupiani Rock, beneath the old ruins of the abandoned Pantokrator Monastery. The trail takes you to the northern slopes of Meteora, the hidden monastery of Ypapanti and the ruins of St Demetrius. Descend along an ancient trail that was used for centuries by monks. In the afternoon you'll hit the road again, stopping for a late lunch in Kalambaka before continuing west towards Zagori and the Vikos Aoos National Park. Reach your next base at the mountain village of Monodendri, settle in and head out for a walk around the village, before diving into a Greek taverna for dinner.
Zagori villages and bridges
Explore the beautiful trails of the Vikos Aoos National Park after breakfast, setting off from the village of Vradeto. You'll hike all the way to the Beloi lookout, where there are panoramic views of the Vikos Gorge. Hike on to the village of Kapesovo via the famous Vradeto steps. Head to the bridge of Kokkoris near the village of Kipoi and continue on to the bridge of Misios along an amazing trail. In the late afternoon, you’ll have some downtime to unwind in the village of Monodendri before dinner.
Hike the Vikos Gorge
Today's the big one. A six-hour hike will take you through the world's deepest gorge – Vikos Gorge, in the heart of the Pindos Mountains, an area of high biodiversity. Hit the trailhead and hike all the way down to the canyon’s base, following one of the Voidomatis River's tributaries, flanked by the huge walls of the gorge. Stop for a riverside lunch and enjoy a (cold) swim before tackling the big uphill section, to reach the gorge’s exit. Tuck into a well-earned feast back in Monodendri and toast to your efforts.
Raft and hike the Voidomatis River
Time to see this spectacular part of Greece from a different vantage point. Hop in the van for a ride to the bridge of Kleidonia, on the banks of the Voidomatis River. Set off on foot along a trail which heads uphill through the thick, evergreen forest towards the bridge of Aristi. Reach your host's rafting base and get kitted out to hit the water. The Voidomatis is a relatively calm flowing river rated Class I-II, known as one of the cleanest in Europe, with perfectly clear waters. You'll stop along the way for dreamy swims in the river before tackling some of the bigger rapids for an adrenaline hit. Head back to Monodendri for another Greek feast for dinner and perhaps a shot of tsipouro.
Road trip back to Athens
Bid Monodendri farewell with one last breakfast at your rustic base before packing up and hitting the road for the drive back to Athens. Stop en route at the city of Ioannina on the shores of Lake Pamvotis for a walk around the old town, a visit to the 15th-century castle and a spot of lunch. Continue back to Athens in the afternoon, where your adventure comes to an end.
Expert, English-speaking local guides
5 nights in authentic, boutique Greek guesthouses
5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner
All transfers throughout the trip
Pillows and blankets are provided at the mountain huts
Flights to and from the meeting point
Tips for your guides
Some meals as described
Visas where required
Day 2 – Day 5
What is the food like?
Breakfast at the guesthouses will offer a wide selection of breads, fruits, yoghurt, muesli, plus Greek pies and cakes, tea, coffee and juice. Lunches will be picnics provided by your host on each day of hiking and rafting, which will include sandwiches with a variety of fillings, Greek salads, various snacks and some traditional Greek touches, such as Zagori pie. You'll tuck into a welcome dinner after sunset on Day 1 at a restaurant in Meteora, with various traditional Greek options to choose from. The remaining dinners in the trip are not included: eating out in Greece is a delight, and Monodendri (your base for most of the trip) has some lovely tavernas, cafes and restaurants for you to explore each evening at your own pace. You should budget €20-25 euros per dinner, not including drinks.
Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request this on your passenger info form. Please note that vegan options can be limited in this part of Greece.
What is the accommodation like?
In Meteora you'll stay at Hotel Kastraki, a well regarded boutique hotel with views of the Meteora rock formations and a cosy bar to relax in on your first evening. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Depending on availability, you may also stay at Hotel Meteoritis in a very similar location, right in the heart of Meteora.
In the Zagori village of Monodendri you'll stay at Archontiko Zarkada, located just off the central square of this beautiful traditional northern Greek village. There is a restaurant serving traditional food if you don't fancy venturing out to a nearby taverna. After long days hiking you can relax late afternoon at the pool or garden terrace with views over to Vikos Gorge. You'll stay in twin share rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Depending on availability, you may stay at a similar guesthouse in Monodendri, such as Zagori Philoxenia Hotel.
For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).
Melina Mercouri Monument, central Athens
11:00 on Day 1
Athens Airport or Melina Mercouri Monument, central Athens
18:00 on Day 6
Your host will meet you at their meeting point – the Melina Mercouri Monument in Athens. This is a very central location, right next to the old town (is a popular part of the city to stay in before or after the trip). On Day 6 you can choose to be dropped off at Athens Airport at around 17:00 or at the Melina Mercouri Monument in central Athens at around 18:00.
Airport transfers are not included in the trip cost. Your host can arrange these on request – please see Optional Extras for the price. The meeting point is accessible by the subway from Athens Airport, which costs €9 and takes around 45 minutes.
Athens International Airport is a major international hub, with daily direct flights from airports across the UK, Europe and North America.
If you are unable to get to the start point in time for the meet on day 1, you may wish to spend a night (or more) in Athens before your trip begins. While your host is unable to book pre or post trip accommodation for you, they would be happy to provide you with some suggestions.
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- All your rafting gear
What do I need to bring?
- Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
- Daypack (20-30 litres)
- Small drybag if you want to take a camera or phone on the raft with you
- Light waterproof jacket
- Fleece jacket or similar for evenings
- Warm synthetic jacket (nights are chilly in Northern Greece)
- Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
- Underwear and socks
- Hiking boots or trail shoes (worn-in)
- Sandals or water shoes for river crossings
- Universal travel plug adapter
- Power bank or solar charger
- Passports (and visas)
- Travel insurance documents
- Ear plugs
- Insect repellent
- Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
- Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
- Quick-dry towel
- Alcohol hand-gel
- Reusable water bottle x1 litre
- Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
Optional Private Room Upgrade
Payable Before Departure
Optional Private Room Upgrade
Private airport transfer - Athens Airport to meeting point (each way)
Payable Before Departure
Private airport transfer - Athens Airport to meeting point (each way)
We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.
We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.
What's the number?
It works out on average at 270kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.
The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.
But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:
- Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
- A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
- 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.
What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.
Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.
This adventure involves up to six hours of hiking per day, so you'll need to be happy with full days on your feet. This will sometimes mean uneven trails with a decent chunk of elevation gain to manage. Trekking around the Voidomatis River involves some river crossings, so bring waterproof hiking shoes and/or a pair of sandals with ankle straps. The rafting is easygoing, rated Class I-II depending on water levels, and you won't need any experience.
Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:
€5 EUR per day
Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
The drinking water in Greece is perfectly safe, so you'll be able to fill up at your guesthouse and at refill points during the hikes. Make sure to bring a reusable water bottle or bladder with you.
The months of May, June, September and October are by far the most pleasant to visit most parts of Greece. In Zagori and Meteora in these months, daytime temperatures average between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F and most days are clear and sunny with low chances of rainfall. In the early and late season months of May and October it can get chilly at night in this mountainous part of Northern Greece, so bring adequate layers. The hottest months are July and August when temperature can reach 40°C/104°F. These months are also the busiest months in terms of visitors, so we do not run trips during July and August.
You'll be able to leave your luggage at your bases in Meteora and Monodendri while you venture out each day with just a daypack.
No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.
Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.
Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.
We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!
We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.
If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.
All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.
You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.
Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.
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