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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights hotels
Meals
  • 1 Dinner
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$990USD

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Overview

Trip Code: UGF

Trip highlights


  • Exploring the ancient sites of Athens and Delphi on foot
  • Gaining an appreciation of Meteora from numerous angles
  • Discovering the culinary delights of Athens and beyond
  • Appreciating the hospitality of well located comfortable hotels

Viewing the spectacular monasteries of Meteora, perched high on precipitous rock formations in central Greece, has to be one of the great travel experiences in Europe. The monasteries appear to be suspended in the air due to hermit monks choosing to build on such a remote site atop of ancient rock pinnacles that have weathered away over time. At sunrise and sunset, the light intensifies the dramatic landscape, whilst walking beneath the soaring heights offers a true appreciation of the scale of the monasteries and the dexterity of the builders who risked their life to produce the magnificent structures. On this self guided walking itinerary a few days are set aside to explore this centre of Greek orthodox spirituality, following in the footsteps of centuries of monks along winding paths between the rock towers. Another highlight of this walking tour includes a visit to the ancient site of Delphi on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, home to the Sanctuary of Apollo and the site of the ancient Oracle. With time to explore this fascinating site at your leisure we combine the visit with a walk along the ancient 'Skala of Delphi' footpath which provides incredible views to the Gulf of Corinth. We round off this exciting Greek walking holiday with a walk through Athens to experience the capitals ancient sites and culinary delights.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

On arrival in Athens, make your way to your centrally located hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore the city.

Meals:  Nil

Athens has so many interesting sites to visit including the Acropolis Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the markets on Athinas street. We recommend you take in these sites before starting your dinner walk 'Hike and Dine' at 3pm. Beginning in Syntagma Square (also good to visit on a Sunday morning at 11 for the changing of the guards at the Parliament building located at the top of the square), you will receive maps and instructions (see info pack received on check in) to follow a walking tour of Athens taking in such sites as the National Gardens, the Panathinaic Stadium and the Temple of Zeus before you reach the first restaurant for a cold starter - a roof top with a view to the Acropolis. The walk continues alongside the Acropolis to the Plaka where you have a hot starter in a typical tavern, and on past the Roman and Greek Agora and Monastiraki to Kuzina near Thission where you have your main dish. The final stage is past Karameikos for dessert in Gazi College. Return to your hotel on foot or by taxi.

Meals:  B,D

A pre booked taxi will collect you in the morning and transfer you to the bus station where you take the 10:30am bus to Delphi (2hrs 15 min). On arrival, drop your luggage at the hotel before continuing to the site and museum in Delphi. There is a small cafe at the Delphi museum where you can purchase lunch (or purchase before you leave Athens). The sanctuary of Apollo extends over a series of terraces built in to the slopes of Mount Parnassos. Being the centre of religious and spiritual ancient Greece has cemented it as one of the most important ancient sites in the world. It was considered the navel of the world and the temple of Apollo and the stadium where the Pythian games took place are the most important monuments. The afternoon is free to visit Delphi and the museum at your leisure, before returning to your hotel in Delphi.

Meals:  B

To access the starting point of the walk you will need to organise a taxi transfer (the hotel can assist). The walk begins from Kalivia and follows at first a wide dirt road to the cave of Korycion Andros, located at an altitude of 1350m. The cave was used during ancient times in winter and there are many legends surrounding the importance of the cave. Following a visit of the cave the trail descends along a rocky path through forest before the serious descent begins to Delphi. Pass by villages where goats are roaming and follow the ancient path as it zig zags down with impressive views of the Gulf of Corinth and the Peloponnese mountains - considered one of the most stunning locations in Greece that few people experience. The trail comes out at the Ancient Stadium of Delphi which is fenced off, and therefore you continue down to the village of Delphi. The rocky trails today require good footwear (boots essential) and plenty of water must be carried. Also consider walking sticks to support your knees on the descent. Return to your hotel in Delphi. 16km/10mi, +300m, -900m/+984ft, -2953ft

Meals:  B

Today is a travel day as you take a public bus to Kalambaka. The bus leaves in the morning and arrives about 4 hours and 15 minutes later, getting you there just after lunch. On arrival at Kalambaka, take a taxi to your hotel in Kastraki (10 mins). Walk 15 minutes into town from your atmospheric hotel right in the heart of this fascinating region, with spectacular views over the stunning monasteries of Meteora while the sun is setting.

Meals:  B

The 'floating' monasteries of Meteora are one of the great sites of Greece and whilst many visit the monasteries each year, few take the time to walk the trails beneath the monasteries to gain a unique perspective in an incredible landscape. There are six main monasteries in Meteora and each is closed one day a week. Therefore which monastery you visit will depend on the opening schedule. Today's planned walk takes you on a scenic loop to Megalo Meteora, or The Great Meteoron, the largest monastery which was established by a monk from Mount Athos around 1340. With its impressive frescoes and large refrectory, the monastery is one of the most visited in Meteora and for good reason. Return to your hotel on another trail with a changing perspective. 7km/4.3mi, +500m, -500m/+1640ft, -1640ft

Meals:  B

Made famous by James Bond, Agia Triada (or "Holy Trinity") is the least visited yet most dramatically positioned monastery high above the town of Kalambaka. The 140 steps to reach the monastery from the road is the likely reason it is the least visited because the actual monastery is peaceful with rich decorations in the chapel and one of the most stunning views from its position atop a slender pinnacle. The loop walk to reach the monastery from your hotel is through the base of the meteora massif with opportunities to view the rock faces at all angles along quiet trails that are mostly shaded. The route is very steep at times. The return loop takes you through the old section of Kalambaka where you can stop for lunch before returning around the front of the massif to your hotel in Kastraki. 9km/5.6mi, +500m, -500m/+1640ft, -1640ft

Meals:  B

After breakfast at the hotel, take a taxi to the train station in Kalambaka for your return train to Athens centre or Athens airport. A range of options are available. Trip concludes on arrival in Athens. NOTE: The train to Athens takes around 5 hours so we recommend booking an extra night in Athens or not making onwards travel plans until at least late-afternoon or evening.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts - usually buffet style with local specialties included, 1 dinner (hike and dine in Athens - self guided)
  • 7 nights in 3-4 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes not included)
  • Transfer Athens hotel to bus station, bus tickets Athens to Delphi and Delphi to Kalambaka and train ticket Kalambaka to Athens Airport (A-Class)
  • Road book with maps, route directions and local information
  • Emergency hotline

  • Transport to and from athens
  • Transfer to the first hotel in Athens, taxi to Kalivia (allow EUR12), taxi from Kalambaka station to hotel in Kastraki and return (allow EUR10)
  • Lunches and 6 dinners
  • All beverages except those provided for breakfast
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Tour guide - this is a self guided trip
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, wifi and phone calls
  • Site entrance fees
  • Hotel taxes (to be paid locally)

Grading

introductory to moderate  

The walking is graded introductory to moderate (grade 2) with walks of 2.5 to 5 hours on 5 days. The terrain ranges from quite mountainous around Delphi, urban in Athens and steep ascents around Meteora. There is plenty of time during the day to complete the walking. Surefootedness is required as the trails can be uneven and rocky at times. We recommend you always carry enough water during the day to ensure you are well hydrated as reduced hydration will affect your walking. Also carry snacks, wet weather gear and your mobile phone. On days where you are not walking, you will be taking public transport, often over long distances. It is important that you are able to lift your bag up stairs in train stations and hotels and onto trains and busses. Whilst guidance is provided on bus and train timetables, an ability to read departure information at train stations (or ask for help) is required. If you are not comfortable taking public transport over long distances, you may consider hiring a car in Athens on Day 3 until you return to Athens on Day 8 - a small discount is available should you choose to hire a car. Take into consideration your ability to drive on the other side of the road (if applicable) in a foreign country when considering this option.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Jan to 31 Dec

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$990USD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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