August 21 – 30th 2023
Duration – 10 days
Wild camping + official camps (8 wild / 2 official)
Covering approximately 1.000 km
Technical difficulty – 1-4/10
Scratching rate – 0-2/10 (just occasional, light scratching)
Price per vehicle – 1.490 €
Greece is the most underrated country of Europe when it comes to overland travel. The Pindos mountains, stretching from Albania to Peloponese, are not called the Greek Alps without a reason. There is a striking resemblence to the well known and overwhelmingly popular western Alps tracks, but with one important difference – unlike the crowded western Alps, these trails are virtually empty for you to enjoy them without distractions! Numerous mountain passes that reach higher than 2000 m of altitude, breathtakingly beautiful lakes, exciting riverbeds to drive on, ancient forests – a diverse landscape that stretches virtually forever, aimed to capture your adventurer’s heart forever.
In this tour we’re taking you over the entire backbone of Pindos, from the Albanian border to the Mediterranean coastline, including all of the most striking areas, mountain lakes, canyons and ridges. Such as Grammos, Peristeri and Tsoumerka mountains, Zagori, Portitsa gorge, Aoos, Mournou, Prespa and Plastiras lakes, several national parks, Giona mountain with the highest stone wall in the Balkans, and much, much more. After 10 days you will be so overwhelmed with impressions of places you’ve visited, that you will need an entire year to sort out all your memories through photos and video material!
Approximate area of the tour
We start the tour from Igoumentisa, the port in the northwest of Greece, which you can most easily reach by taking a ferry from Italy (Ancona, Bari or Venice), where the guide will be waiting for you in the large parking lot of the port, ready to take you to the nearby Drepanos camp for the night (you are advised to take one of the ferries arriving in Igoumenitsa late in the afternoon, but you can also arrive earlier if you want to enjoy the hot summer day by the seaside). From there our journey will first take us to the enchanting area of Zagori, as it continues on a clockwise, winding route which first goes north, to the very border with Albania and North Macedonia, before it starts the long, southwards journey towards the southern coast of mainland Greece. We will also visit the Meteora rocks, the site of the most famous Greek monasteries. These monasteries are a real wonder of this world, built on top of the rocky formations. Our itinerary takes us further over the Koziakas mountain southwards, over rocky mountain passes known to few.
The tour continues through numerous 2000+ m high mountain ranges of the southern Pindos, such as Tymfristos and Oti national park, before reaching gorgeous mount Giona, with the 2.509 m high peak being the highest mountain of southern Greece. During the 10 days we will also see the strikingly beautiful Mournou lake, as well as drive through numerous picturesque villages with the typical greek stone houses. Rich pastures with thousands of goats, sheep and cows grazing on them will give way to majestic pinetree forests, only to render us breathless before the rocky formations of the mighty peaks. We shall end the tour in Delphi, home of the ancient Greek oracle, on a plateau overlooking the Corynthos bay.
Greek mountain roads are among the best preserved mountain roads in the Balkans, meaning that, on most of the trails during the tour, we will drive on very good quality road, that will present no technical challenges, However, from time to time, we will use some narrow steep trails over open grasslands or rocky passes, which do require proper offroad vehicles with low gear in order to tackle the obstacles safely. For most of the tour this will be a very relaxed drive, making it one of the technically easiest of our Balkans tours (but still one of the most impressive in terms of scenery). Having a winch and a snorkel is not required for this tour.
Most of the nights during the tour we’ll be sleeping on nice natural campsites in total wilderness, often near rivers, streams or lakes, but we will also check into official camps in a few places where they are available, and close to our itinerary. Our average time of arrival to campsite will be between 17:00 and 18:00 ( summer days in the south are long, but we still want to give the participants some time to prepare everything for a pleasent evening), and morning departure time will be around 9:00.
Athough these are wild and remote areas, risk from wildlife is only theoretical, so you can be relaxed during camping, requiring no extra protection. However, do not underestimate the high mountains regarding temperatures – at night it can still be quite cool, in some places even falling under 10 degrees (our average campsite altitude will be in the range 1400-1800 m). To make camping more comfortable, you should have folding tables and chairs, as well as cooking equipment for food, mobile refrigerator (12 V), etc. We’ll stop for resupplying food and fuel every 2-4 days of the tour (whenever our trail passes by a town). The participants normally prepare their own food during camping.
Minimum requirements for Trails of Gods offroad tour
- AT tyres recommended
- camping gear (a rooftop or classic tent, or vehicle equipped for sleeping inside)
- items needed for food storage and preparation, folding chairs and tables
- basic tools for car repair and maintenance
Vehicles with low gear are preferred (there are some steep and rocky climbs that would be easier to master with low gear)
We expect you to…
Be flexible and relaxed – it can be helpful in handling unexpected events, such as route changes due to weather conditions or damaged trails, vehicle breakdowns or other event beyond our control. We will be thankful for your help in the daily preparation of the campsite (gathering firewood, building the fire, setting up stuff, etc.), as well as your readiness to help fellow overlanders in solving problems on the trail.
Understanding and tollerance is the key to building a good mood on the tour!
Tour price covers
Included in the tour price
- dual GPS navigation systems in the guiding vehicle(s)
- all fuel and other expenses for the guiding vehicles
- personal counceling before and during the tour
- GPS tracks, that will be made available to the participants in GPX format upon request
- technical assistance in tricky situations by the guides
- accomodation costs for the two official camps
- handheld dual-band radios
NOT included in the tour price
- individual fuel and toll costs
- individual food and drink expenses
- servicing expenses by third parties
- individual accomodation expenses before and after the tour (on your way to Igoumenitsa)
- ferry transfers, if used to arrive to the tour
- other individual expenses
What else you should know about the tour?
As the tour time approaches, we’ll supply you with detailed access instructions to our meeting point, including necessary coordinates and GPX/KML tracks. If you are arriving from western or central Europe, the fastest and easiest way to reach Greece is by taking a ferry to Igoumenitsa from Ancona or some other Italian port on the Adriatic. Please secure that you have your travel insurance before starting the tour. We expect you to arrive with a vehicle in good technical conditon, which can endure ten days of offroad travel. During the tour a chance to refuel will be available each 250-300 km (either petrol or diesel). All major credit cards (Visa, Master, Maestro, etc.) work in Greece (both on ATM machines and for paying goods), and the local currency is Euro.
In case you can’t continue the tour due to a serious defect on your vehicle, we will do our best to connect you with skilled mechanics who may be able to repair the vehicle quickly on the spot or in nearby workshops (at your expense). In case you have to be delayed for some days due to a lack of parts, we will supply you with a new meeting point along our route, so that you can rejoin the tour when your vehicle is functional again.
Although trails in Greece are mostly wide and open and the chance for serious paint damage due to vegetation contact is much lower than in most other parts of the Balkans, we cannot guarantee that you will not get scratched during the tour. If you are taking this issue seriously, please protect the paint of your vehicle with silicone foil before coming to the tour to avoid major disappointment.
Tour booking form
If you have any more questions,
ask your guide!
Invoice and payment instructions will be e-mailed to you upon filling out and sending this registration form