Dates & Prices


Dates: 1st – 9th June 2024 Confirmed departure

Price: £1,395  2 places left

Single Room Supplement: £150

Deposit: £150 per person

Price Includes: Accommodation, all meals, ground transport, services of guides & holiday report

Not Included: International flights, Hotel & transport on 1st for airport overnight stay, travel insurance, entry to archaeological areas, drinks & other personal items

Leader(s): Dr Yiannis Christofides

Language(s): First English, plus German & Greek

Group Size: Minimum 3 & maximum 6 guests + 1 leader

Grade: Generally easy walking at a very gentle pace

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the Zagoria in northwest Greece, an area rich in deep gorges & picturesque stone villages
  • One centre holiday 
  • Small group tour
  • Led by naturalist, author of ‘Orchids of Cyprus’ & very experienced guide Yiannis Christofides
  • Slow pace, with plenty of time for photography or to simply enjoy the stunning scenery & nature
  • Focus on plants, butterflies, plus all other wildlife of interest
  • Contribute towards conservation via a donation to BSBI

Join Yiannis Christofides for a leisurely exploration of the stunning Zagoria region of Greece!


Join Yiannis Christofides for a leisurely exploration of the stunning Zagoria region of Greece!

We invite you to join us for a 9 day holiday in one of the least visited and most unspoilt corners of Greece!

Following our trips to northern Greece and the Peloponnese, we continue our exploration with a visit to the Zagoria area of Ipiros, tucked away in a remote corner of north-west Greece. A mountainous area of great natural beauty, two National Parks and a host of charming stone-built villages.  Spanning the rivers are a number of beautiful arched stone bridges, crafted to withstand the torrential waters of the Aoos river. The  Vikos Gorge is the most impressive natural feature of the region.  It is one of the deepest gorges in the world, indeed the deepest in proportion to its width. An area of  almost pristine natural condition, it  contains many and varied ecosystems.

We will concentrate in a small area, avoiding long journeys in the vehicle so as to best explore and enjoy these rich areas. We will walk to explore the amazing bridges  and look at the architecture of the stone-built villages.

The area is forested with many different Quercus species such as  Quercus ilex, Q. frainetto, Q. cerris, Q. trojana, Q. pubescens, Q. coccifera and other trees and shrubs such as Philyrea latifolia, Fraximus onus, Juniperus communis and Juniperus oxycedrus, Arbutus adracnhe, Ostrya carpinifolia, Carpinus orientalis, Carpinus betulus, Cornus mass, Fraxinus ornus, Fagus sylvatica, Abies borisii-regis, Pinus nigra, P. heldreichii and Pinus sylvestris.

We shall explore the different habitats found here. We expect to find many orchids, particularly Dactylorhiza species, meadows with Anthemis, Achillea, Dianthus, Onobrychis, Salvia, Scabiosa, Lathyrus, and many others.

We shall visit the foothills of Mount Smolikas, the second largest mountain in Greece composed of serpentine, hosting a large number of endemic plants as well as wide range of Balkan and central european flowers such as Pinguicula, Viola, Silene, and Saxifraga. We shall look for the Balkan endemic Ramonda serbica, a relic plant in the family Gesneriaceae and one of the few European representatives of this family.


Day 1: Arrive and overnight in Thessaloniki.

Days 2: Drive to our base in Zagoria, stopping on the way.

Day 3: Monodendri. We visit one of the most spectacular viewing points of the Vikos gorge, the Grounia viewpoint. We shall then explore two areas.  We shall walk towards the river bed to look for Ramonda serbica. We shall also follow the road above the gorge to look for Saxifraga, Alyssum, Sedum, Arabis alpina, Hesperis laciniata and others.

Day 4: Explore the lower reaches of Smolikas around Padhes.

Day 5: Explore one of the most impressive stone bridges at Kipi. From the village we visit the restored watermill and then follow the track to Mylos bridge. This is a good area for orchids as well. We end up at the momuntal triple arched bridge of Plakidas.

Depending on time we shall explore some of the other bridges in the immediate area such as those of   Missios, Kokoros and Kontodimos and also visit the Lazaridis botanical collection.

Day 6: We follow the route to Lake of Aoos, visited on a previous trip. Visit to Dilopho, one of the most beautiful village in the area.

Day 7: The Agios Ioannis Rogovos Monastery in Zagori, Epirus, is one of the most stunning religious sites in the area. Dedicated to St. John the Baptist, this monastery sits atop a wooded hill near Rogovo, only 2 kilometers prior to Tsepelovo.

Days 8: Iliochori waterfalls or Voidomatis springs and Theotokos monastery.

Day 9: Return to Thessaloniki for departure.

Note: you may arrive on the 1st on any suitable flight. The hotel we shall be using is a short taxi ride from the airport. You must book this hotel (Iris hotel at Thermi) yourself. The shuttle service is only to the airport, not the other way round. Costs involved on the 1st are not included in the price of the holiday

To follow later

To follow later