Patrick Leigh Fermor was asked “If you wanted to go somewhere – somewhere right off the map, with no tourists or modern developments – where would you go?” He replied “Epirus.” Zagori, in a remote corner of the Epirus region in north-west Greece, is home to an astonishingly unique and charming collection of 46 villages that surround the Vikos Gorge – the world’s deepest – and whose history can be traced back to antiquity. Its smooth and deserted roads, crystal clear rivers, ancient mule tracks, remote monasteries, wonderful food and the slow pace of life adopted by the few locals who call it home, make it a cycling and walking dream.
EXPERIENCE A LAND LOST IN TIME
MAY TO OCTOBER
We invite our guests to join us on journeys that take us through some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Greece, and to experience some of the warmest village hospitality we’ve come across anywhere. Cycle on smooth, deserted tarmac roads, walk up mule tracks to table picnics set in a remote wilderness and swim in crystal clear rivers before settling in for the night in local homes and charming guest houses. In 2020 we are hosting a small number of private groups and we have also scheduled dates for you to join us on.
“ Our third amazing adventure with The Slow Cyclist: Rwanda, Tuscany and now Zagori. As always, incredible locations, accommodation, local hosts, food and endless wine. ”
WHAT WE OFFER
You can experience Zagori with us in a couple of ways so please take a look at the options below. When you’re ready, drop us a line and we will happily answer any questions or send you sample itineraries.
JOIN A TRIP
In 2020 we invite you to join our scheduled journeys through Zagori in July and September, cycling and walking in a group of no more than 12 like-minded travellers. As with all our adventures, flexibility is built in so that those feeling more – or less – energetic get precisely the holiday they want.
We are specialists in the creation of unique, flexible, expertly guided cycling and walking journeys for small groups of friends. As with all our journeys, expect wonderful gourmet picnics in hilltop meadows, a series of experts to guide you through the various stories of the region and plenty of surprises as you meander your way through this surprising, untouched corner of northern Greece. Our customary attention to detail and high quality service has been winning us rave reviews since the very first private group we welcomed in 2015.
ZAGORI: A HISTORY
Although the region’s history can be traced back to antiquity, most of the buildings date from the 17th and 18th centuries, when Zagori became an important staging point for Ottoman traders. During the mid-18th century many local merchants began moving to more prosperous cities such as Constantinople, Venice and Rome, leaving the villages with greatly diminished populations. After the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) the area was almost completely deserted, and today some of the villages are practically ghost towns, with others populated by older residents intent on preserving traditional village life.
With state assistance, a system of smooth narrow roads has been built that connects the villages. Yet time seems to have forgotten this special mountain region, making it the perfect place to get away from the rush of modernity.
“ Out of this world, truly. As a person of detail, I was astonished by the level of attention. ”
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