ACTIVITIES

PINDOS MTBIKE CROSS

A very adventurus mountain bike tour, unique in Greece. We ride through remote forests, under the shadows of Mt. Smolikas (2nd highest of Greece), through the pine forests of Valia Calda, ending the tour at the picturesque area of Zagori. A cross country tour where we mostly ride on forest roads, in an average of 35-40km per day. Beautifull montain scenary, unusual Greece, as we meet the mountain people who live in these mountains, the Vlachs. Check out the tour details below and please don’t hesitate to contact for further questions!

DAY 1: Arrival in Ioannina and direct transportation in Samarina village.  It is located on an eastern spur of Mount Smolikas, the highest of the Pindos mountain range and the second-highest mountain in all of Greece. At an altitude of 1.380–1.515 meters, it is considered one of the highest villages in Greece and also one of the highest in the Balkan area. It attracts many tourists due to its scenic location and beautiful pine and beech forests. After settling in the guesthouse, the guide will inform you about the program of the following days. Dinner and overnight in Samarina.

DAY 2: Samarina – Distrato

dsc01225First day of our tour, starts from the main square of the popular village of Samarina. At the beginning, we cross the water wood saw, the road will take us to the old Monastery of Agia Paraskevi protector of the blind. After the monastery we enter the forest road toward Valia Krna, which is the vlach name for devils valley. After scenic road about 10km under the peaks of Smolikas 2nd highest of Greece, we reach the stream of the valley. A drive of about 3km to the beautiful waterfalls is worth it! We drive back to the main road and continue towards Distrato. The road is very pleasant and beautiful as we drive high through meadows and great views! Soon we downhill to the asphalt road and we can see Distrato village in front of us! Before entering the village, there is an optional stop for a swim in the river. After 1km we arrive at the guesthouse where we overnight.

Length of route 27km, Alt. 1440m – 948m

DAY 3: Distrato – Vovousa

dsc01255This day we are driving basically at the foot of Mt. Vasilitsa! It is an amazing ride mostly through forest. These areas have a lot of stories to tell especially during 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, down hilling on a very well paved forest road we have the chance to enjoy the unspoiled nature and the mountains of Aoos Valley!. Through thick forest we reach the banks of Aoos River and the village of Vovousa, we have entered the most remote village of Zagori area, and the entrance of the Noational part of Valia Calda. We overnight at Valia calda refuge a bit outside the village.

Length 41km Alt. 948m – 1466m – 985m.

DAY 4: Crossing Valia Calda Protected Area

We start our day by car!! A small transfer to starting point and off we go to bike in one of the most amazing forests of Greece! In Vlach, Valia Calda means warm valley! We start down hilling in a well maintained forest road, crossing a spring and the houses of the forest service! After we enter the “core” of the protected forest, at the valley we can see the southest point where the European spruce grows (picea abies). The road crosses the whole valley under the peaks of Mt. Flegga (2077m), will take as to the Milia cole. From there we drive the tarmac road towards the lake of the Aoos springs. We end the tour at the dam. From there we are again transferred back to Vovousa for the night.

Length 54km, 35Km forest road, 19Km tarmac Alt. 1600m – 1296m – 1420m- 1340m.

DAY 5: Entering Zagori area

Today we start our route directly from the refuge and we are crossing through 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, the impressive Timfi, and Smolikas, as well as the rest of the Zagori area. The fun starts as we begin our down hilling, the forest road towards Laista, one of the most beautiful Zagori villages. We overnight at a guesthouse directly at the village square.

Length 27km Alt 985m – 1534m – 950m

DAY 6: Laista to Negades village

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 representation of 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 shepards bring their flocks for the summer season. An easy and scenic road takes us through thick forest sometimes, to a beautiful village of Negades, where we overnight.

Length 48,2km, tarmac 19,9km, forest road 28,3km Alt. 950m – 1075m – 1285m – 1000m

DAY 7: Central Zagori

Today we mostly do a “sightseeing” tour. We are 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 and we downhill back to the village and visit Agia Paraskevi monastery. Overnight at a guesthouse in Vitsa and farewell dinner.

Length (until Monod.) 27.7 km Alt. 1000m – 750m – 1100m – 1376m