"Wander around the picturesque Zagori villages, traverse the Vikos gorge and submerge into the turquoise waters of Lefkada island..."
Perched on the mountain slopes of Epirus, these 46 stone villages challenge you to explore their mysteries. ‘Zagorohoria’ are considered to be the most beautiful and well-preserved villages of Greece. They are not only great examples of traditional stone architecture, but of a still living tradition, full of myths, customs and cultural expressions of a culture nearing extinction; the culture of the mountainous populations of Greece.
Dramatic Papigo at the foot of the rock “towers” of Astraka… mountainous Vradeto with the outstanding stairs to the Beloi ‘balcony’ offering panoramic views to Vikos gorge… verdant and charming Elafotopos… picturesque Kipi with its wonderful hiking routes and stone built bridges… tiny Kapesovo with its delicious local products… Tsepelovo with its traditional festivals… sophisticated Aristi… authentic Vista… unexploredDikorfo… the Zagorian villages’ natural beauty exceeds imagination!
Deep gorges, ravines, streams and flowing rivers, stone paved paths, staircases and bridges, challenging mountain trails… will definitely captivate you!
After wandering around the picturesque Zagorian villages and Vikos gorge for four days, we will continue our walking adventure along the west coast of Greece and the Ionian island of Lefkada, one of the prettiest and more authentic of the seven Ionian Islands.
Lefkada, Ulysses homeland, is a precious green stone in the turquoise blue waters of the Ionian Sea, an island of contrasts characterised by rugged mountains and lush green valleys. If you are a nature lover, Lefkada’s mountains, waterfalls, ravines, natural springs, gorges, lagoon, forests, lush vegetation and rare wild flowers, old network of footpaths and cobblestone donkey tracks as well as its stunning beaches with crystal clear waters… will enchant you.
Here is an example of what you will experience if you join our Zagori, Vikos Gorge & Lefkada walking holiday:
After admiring this wild, untouched scenery and returning to Vradeto for a coffee in its beautiful square, we will zig-zag down an impressive cobble-stone staircase of 1200 steps and 39 turns, that was painstakingly built stone by stone, and was the only connection of isolated Vradeto with Kapesevo and the rest of the world till the road was built in 1973! Completing our descent of this architectural masterpiece, the “Vradetto stairs”, we will have our dinner at Kapesovo, another village of unique architecture and tranquil atmosphere.
(Distance: 10 km. Technical difficulty: easy to medium. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours.)
The park of Vikos Aoos is one of the ten national parks of Greece, part of the ecological network Natura 2000 and the UNESCO Geoparks Network, because of the rich variety of flora and the great variation of biotopes. Our naturalist guide will be glad to spot for you the most important plants and herbs!
After reaching Voidomatis springs – the brave enough can jump into the frozen water! – we will ascent to Papiggo, one of the most popular Zagorian villages. Papiggo is situated in a breathtaking landscape, under the towers of Astraka, some of the most amazing solid rock formations of the area. After a delicious meal at a local tavern and a stroll around the village, you will be transferred back to your guesthouse.
For those seeking some luxury, a visit to Mikro Papiggo 1700 Hotel can be arranged, which has an excellent spa overlooking Astraka’s towers.
(Distance: 18km. Technical difficulty: Medium. Actual walking time: 7-8 hours.)
We will stop in Koukouli for a lunch break and a visit to the local museum dedicated to local and endemic herbs and plants. We’ll continue our village hopping till we reach our base, Elafotopos. Time to rest before enjoying another lovely dinner.
(Distance: 8 km. Technical difficulty: Easy. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours.)
While the village of Egluvi today holds less than 30 inhabitants and no wheat is cultivated, the few remaining local families grow in the fertile grounds one of the most renowned variety of lentils. You’ll have dinner at the village’s main square under the shade of evergreen trees, where you’ll have the opportunity to taste the famous lentils and other delicious local “mezes”.
(Distance: 10 km. Technical difficulty: Easy. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours.)
We’ll continue to Mt Skaros, famous as the place where Ulysses took his sheep to pasture, and as one of the island’s most precious habitats. Located up in the river-crossed mountain, it is made up of centuries’ old moss-draped trees, especially a very rare type of oak which can only be found in Lefkada and in a handful of other forests in Europe. During the Venetian and Ottoman occupation guards were posted throughout the forest to protect it. At the top you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding islands and scattered picturesque villages. We’ll end our circular walk back at Kolyvata.
(Distance: 14 km. Technical difficulty: Easy to medium. Actual walking time: 6-7 hours.)
The windy path will take you through ancient olive grooves and vineyards to the location of the “old” village and the chapel of Panagia. You’ll continue your descend through a small gorge and farmlands back to the village of Exanthia just in time to admire the pink sunset sky. For our farewell dinner, we chose Rachi restaurant, the most amazing “balcony amidst the clouds of the Ionian Sea”, where you will taste the most delicious dishes!
(Distance: 8 km. Technical difficulty: Easy. Actual walking time: 3-4 hours.)
“The whole Nofootprint part of our holiday was excellent – and again went according to plan. The most memorable part of the holiday was the walk down the Vikos Gorge. The herbalist talk/walk was terrific – a really enjoyable afternoon. Resort on Lefkada was a good choice as it allowed some variety and a swim in the sea. Nice having breakfast in the garden… Accommodation in Elafotopos was great. Loved Lena. What a host! Daphne was great. What an asset to your business.”
Max & Francesca, UK
“Fabulous. Our guide, Daphnie, was superb, being always willing to adjust the itinerary to suit people and/or weather, the walking and scenery is incredible, the hotels ideally located in small seaside towns, and the restaurants recommended for us throughout the holiday gave us a perfect taste of Greece.”
“Climbing to the top of Mount Zas on Naxos – birthplace of Zeus… Walking the ancient marble paved mule tracks passing varied landscapes of olive groves, picturesque villages, deep ravines, rocky outcrops and an ever changing coastline where islands appear and disappear beneath startling blue skies, haze and shifting clouds… The swim in crystal clear sea […]