Greece is 20% islands, but… 70% mountains !
The framework of the Greek mountain system is the Western Pindos range, the extension of the Dinaric Alps along the Adriatic, themselves a component of the “old” Alps. Together with the Rhodope range, they extend in a crescent from Corfu to Turkey.
This area has 4 national parks (Vikos, Pindos, Olympus, Prespes), 4 water ecosystems (Kerkini, Nestos, Evros, Vistonia), 2 protected forests (Dadia, Fraktos). Needless to say it is a paradise for wild animals, birds, and plants, and a still virgin environment – unknown even to Greeks – for hiking and nature-friendly activities.
On top of this, Byzantine and Ottoman cultures blend particularly well with this nature, be it an old, stone bridge, a rock-clung monastery, a 18th century wood-framed mansion, or a minaret.
We specialize in the following, way out-of-the-beaten path areas, for each of which we prepare la carte programs according to your time and activities preferences.
Have you ever dreamed of walking on the Ancient Gods path, blinking at the mosaic of 1700 plants of which 23 are found exclusively on this mountain, enumerating a dozen over-9000-feet-high peaks, passing by birches and firs and beeches and black pines, smelling the century-old thyme, returning the lammergeiers’ gaze, hearing the goats’ bells, and finally resting your body on a rock, under the ever present sun?This is not a dream, it is a divine moment patiently awaiting you on … Mount Olympus. [4 days recommended].
Where in Europe can you find one of the two places where both the Dalmatian and White Pelicans breed, in harmony with 150 pairs of Pygmy Cormorants, and 100 pairs of Squacco Herons, all in all over 260 species of birds? This wild region hosts also the few remaining brown bears of the old continent, wolves, and occasionally a lynx, walking amidst a wealth of plants among which the Prespa Centaury, found nowhere else in the world. Oops, we leaked it, it’s Megali and Mikri Prespa, twin 5 million year-old lakes across Albania, Macedonia, and Greece, on which we glide to a little islet, to small hermitages, to lakeside 10th century rock drawings, way off the beaten path. [4 days recommended.]
Pindos mountain range, or Greek Alps as we may call it for they are the southernest extension of the Dinaric and Swiss Alps. Home to Europe’s last remaining brown bears, but also to a narrow gorge cut into the rock by one more wild stream, spanned over by an 18th century bridge, to an old water mill and the Nun’s Cell, full of stalagmites and stalactites, to picturesque Spileo village at the very end of the road, where one can be guided by the widow holding the keys to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary monastery (1633) or told the 1932 stone-built school’s history by a French-speaking teacher. [4 days recommended.]
Imagine a lake, with a very rugged form, right by a mountain range so remote it is called Agrafa — unrecorded — on the slopes of which are glued, at 4000 feet high, five stories of small cells of the 15th century Carved Virgin monastery, where the visitor, after having passed through a forest of oak, chestnut, and plane trees, is very traditionally welcomed with coffee, loukoumi (sweet with pistachios), and a glass of tsipouro (white — dry and strong — liquor made from the residue of pressed grapes). Then a few tens of miles across a wild valley, a Swiss like landscape of pines and streams, in the midst of which are nestled old world mansions awaiting to accommodate the smart traveler. Horsebackriding, kayaking, hiking, mountainbiking, all are possible and professionally organized. [4 days recommended.]
Thrace offers a unique combination of outdoors activities with traditional beach sports. Ever present, large Nestos River rules over the region, coming from the Rhodope mountain range which separates Greece from Bulgaria and hosts the Pomaki villages of Greece’s little known minority of Muslims who have kept their century-old traditions, flowing through straits as tortuous as they are majestic (especially under the late afternoon golden sun) while we hike on a cobblestone path down the steep cliffs, a train crawls on the bank through many tunnels, and wild horses gallop on the altiplano, then irrigating a large delta and giving birth to a tropical like forest, before flowing into the sea and creating the sandy beaches which make this region famous for water recreation. [5 days recommended.]
You want adrenaline, rafting (yes! in Greece), kayaking, trekking, gorge crossing or rather canyoning? A day or more, to complement an active program or put some energy in a sightseeing tour. [2 days recommended.]