Trails of Gods

Southern Greece
October 26th – November 4th 2020
October 25th – November 3rd 2021

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 tracks 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 southern part of Pindos, all the way to the Mediterranean coastline, where the climate is mild, almost summerly, deep into autumn.

What? How long? How hard? How much?

Duration – 10 days
Wild camping + hotel (5 nights camping / 5 nights hotel BB)
Covering approximately 1.200 km
Difficulty – easy / moderate
Payment instructions will be mailed to you upon registration

Price per vehicle with driver – 1.390 €
(passengers pay 300 € each)

Where?

Approximate area of the tour

The Meteora monasteries

We start the tour from Kastraki, the small town in central Greece under the Meteora rocks, the site of the most famous Greek monasteries. These monasteries are a wonder of this world, built on top of the rocky formations. On the meeting day you have a chance to make a roundrip of the monasteries, before we head into the mountains next morning. Our itinerary takes us further over the Koziakas mountain southwards, over rocky mountain passes known to few. Through picturesque mountain trails we descend towards Plastiras lake, to make our first hotel stay in the tour, before we continue further south.

Typical Greek forest road

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, 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.

Accomodation

A typical wild camp

Half of the nights during the tour we’ll be sleeping on nice natural campsites in total wilderness, often near rivers, streams or lakes, while the other half we will spend in cozy small mountain hotels, to get a break from possible unstable weather and cold evenings. Our average time of arrival to campsite will be between 15:30 and 16:00 (to still give us some time to prepare everything for the long evening), and morning departure time will be around 9:00. On the nights when sleeping in hotels we may arrive to the hotel around dusk, as we need no time to setup the camp.

A typical mountain hotel

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, you’re advised to have warm clothing and warm, good quality sleeping bags, because in the high mountains temeperatures can drop to single digits during the night (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. Twice during the tour we will sleep in some discrete, out of the way hotels, and once in official camp. 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, but on nights when we sleep in hotels there will be an opportunity to eat in restaurants.

Tour requirements

Minimum requirements for Trails of Gods offroad tour

  • AT tyres recommended
  • a shovel
  • 1 or more kinnetic ropes for recovery, and (at least) 1 shackle
  • camping gear (a rooftop or classic tent, or conditions to sleep inside the vehicle)
  • basic tools for car repair and maintenance
  • CB radio

Vehicles with low gear are preferred (there are some steep and rocky climbs that my be difficult without 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
  • appropriate GPS maps and data, that can be made available to the participants, if they have compatible hardware
  • technical assistance in tricky situations by the guides
  • accomodation costs for the 5 hotel nights

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)
  • dinner when sleeping in hotels
  • 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.

Plastiras lake

Although trails in Greece are mostly wide and open and the chance for serious paint damage due to vegetation contact is 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.

Although end of October is considered as late autumn elsewhere, in the mediterranean climate of southern Greece you should expect weather similar to that experienced in mid September elsewhere in the Balkans. However, waves of heavy rain are possible at this time of year, so you should be hoping for the best, and prepared for the worst. In case the weather forecast proves to be very unfavourable, we might slightly modify the itinerary to include some extra nights in hotels that were not initially planned (in agreement with members of the group).

Image gallery from the tour area

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