The Zagori region of the Pindus Mountains sees far fewer visitors than other parts of Greece and its 46 traditional villages, known as Zagorohoria, follow a traditional way of life. Joined by precipitous mountain roads flanked by deep valleys and arresting folds of rock, it makes an engaging area for a 4x4 safari.
You’ll be accompanied by a private guide on this full-day tour, so you’ll get an insight into local culture and geology, informative commentary on everything you see, and an introduction to the way of life in the villages you visit.
Your driver-guide will pick you up at your hotel in Kalambaka or Kastraki from where you’ll set off along the main road, before starting your ascent into the mountains and Pindus National Park.
The first stop of the day is near the village of Krania, where the five arches of the Ottoman-style stone Spanou Bridge traverse the rocky riverbed. From here you’ll head up into the wilds of the Pindus National Park, also known as Valia Calda.
This remote, unspoiled part of Greece is home to rugged peaks, dense pine and oak forests, placid lakes and large open plains where shepherds tend to their flocks of sheep.
Climbing on narrow, winding roads you’ll make your way to Vovousa, one of the 46 Zagorohoria, the small, traditional villages of the Pindus. Most have a sleepy, old-world charm but Vovousa is a little larger and livelier with a few small churches and restaurants, a cluster of traditional stone houses and a laid-back pace of life.
The village stretches out on either side of the Aoos River with a fine Ottoman stone bridge linking the two halves of the town. You’ll have some free time to explore and a chance to eat lunch in a local café or restaurant, although the cost of this is not included in the tour.
After your stop here, you’ll continue your journey, switching between mountain roads and off-road trails as you make your way through the national park to Aoos Lake, an artificial lake surrounded by mountains. After a brief stop to admire the scenery, you’ll continue on to the last stop of the day, Metsovo.
A traditional alpine town full of wooden houses, Metsovo acts as a ski resort during winter, while in summer it’s a good place for hiking and leisurely lunches. The town is renowned for its local cheese and wines which you’ll find in the little shops around the town square and in the narrow streets leading off it.
You’ll have time to wander around the town and do some shopping before meeting with your driver and returning to your hotel.