Corfu Epirus Albania 15 days trekking
This is a journey in one of the most beautiful parts of Greek nature, and it is a tour of discovering a new country, that has been totally closed to visitors until 1990 – Albania !
Arriving at the wonderful green Island of Lord Byron and the writer Lawrence Durell, Corfu, we will start our trip by visiting the old venetian style town of the Island with its arcades and tiny alleys, we will cross the sea
to arrive at Igoumenitsa and Ioannina with its famous lake and explore the high moutain-range of Pindos, while resting in the famous traditional stone-houses of the " Zagorochoria". Spending three days
in the very south of Albania gives us the oppurtunity to visit Argyrokastro (Silvercastle), the small town, where both the late dictator Enver Hoxha and the famous Albanian writer Ismail Kadare were born
and - last but not least - Agioi Saranda, the port of the « 40 saints ».
1st day: Corfu
Arrival at the airport of Corfu ; Overnight in the Hotel « Astron » at the seaside overlooking the harbour with all the ferry boats sailing in and out of it.
2nd day: Corfu
This day we dedicate to the town of Corfu ;we walk through the old part of the town admiring the citadel and the esplanade with its arcades,we visit the town's churches and the Acchilion palace, summer retreat of the austrian empress Elisabeth « Sissi » as well as the archeological museum. The night we spend again in the hotel Astron.
3rd day: Corfu-Igoumenitsa-Ioannina
By boat to Igoumenitsa (1 hour) and from there the local bus will take us to Ioannina (2 hours). Our accommodation here is on the small Island « Nissaki » in the middle of the Ioannina Lake. Before we can enjoy our meal at the small restaurant of our hotel, we have time to walk around the island with its beautiful churches and the byzantine monasteries.
4th day: Ioannina
We spend this day exploring the beauties of the old town of Ioannina ; we walk up to the old residence of the turkish governor Ali Pasha that houses nowdays the byzantine museum with famous icons and we carry on the old Aslan mosque, which is the museum of the town's history. Overnight once again on « Nissaki .
5th day: Ioannina-Voidomatis-Megalo Papingo
By bus to the green-blue river of Voidomatis. First hiking tour, beginning at the banks of the river and climbing up to the beautiful village of Megalo Papingo.We get acquainted with Ipiros' hard, mountainous but incredibly captivating landscape.The following two nights we spend in this village. Walking time 6 hours.
6th day: Aoos river
Today we walk up from the village of Papingo to the top of the mountains in our vicinity (300 meters of altitude difference) ; from up there we have a fantastic view over to the albanian mountains and the vally of the river Aoos. Walking time 4 hours.
7th day: Astraka mountains-Drakolimni
The walk takes us up to the refuge of the Astraka mountains.There we are rewarded by the amazing landscape that spreads around us. Leaving our bags and feeling much lighter we can continue to the « Drakolimni », the « dragon’s lake ».Coming back to the refuge we spend the night there, where we can also relax enjoying a nice meal. Walking time 7 hours, + 900 meters / -200 meters.
8th day: Gamila mountain-Tsepelovo
Crossing the Gamila (Tymfi) mountain we arrive at the wonderful village of Tsepelovo after a 6 hours' walk (500 meters difference). In this beautiful village with the traditional architecture we spend the night at Marys' pension, an old « archondiko » - a house that once belonged to one of the former aristocrats of the village. Our dinner is served in our little pension.
9th day: Stairs of Vitsa
Leaving Tsepelovo we will follow the traces of the local bears and wolves while crossing the colored forrests of the region. At the end we walk up the famous « stairs of Vitsa », a 200 years old paved stairway, which will bring us to the lovely pension of Takis and his wife in Vitsa. Walking time 6 hours. Meals in the pension that bears the name"selini"-the moon!
10th day: Vikos gorge
We cross one of the biggest european canyons ( about 20km.long ) the gorge of Vikos. Steep rock walls, up to 1000 meters high and a wild river with its great nature – turtles, butterflies, and, sometimes, a snake… Walking time 6 hours, -700meters / +200 meters. Overnight in Vitsa.
11th day: Albania-Argirokastro
We cross over to Albania by bus into this beautiful country of Europe yet so unkown to the public! Our first accomodation here is in one of the old stone-houses of Argirokastro. In the afternoon we have the oppurtunity to visit the town with its narrow stonepaved streets,that is inscribed on the Unesco Heritage List.From its castle that dominates the whole town,we have a wonderful view over to the albanian mountains. Dinner in one of the local restaurants with all albanian specialities…
12th day: Agioi Saranda
After a 4 hours' walk in a beautiful landscape, full of flowers and incredible views, we visit the ancient archeological site of « Antigonea » with its impressive city walls and from there we continue in the afternoon toward Agioi Saranda, this lovely albanian harbour,where we spend the night.
13th day: Butrint
Our last day in Albania we dedicate to another Unesco World Heritage site « Butrint », one of the most remarkable archeological places in the adriatic region, situated in the middle of a marvellous river delta. In the afternoon : Back to Corfu by boat. Overnight in the « Astron » hotel. In the evening : traditional meal with local musicians.
14th day: Corfu
Time for some relaxation at one of the lovely beaches in the south of the Island which we reach by bus. In the afternoon : Possibility for some shopping in the old town of Corfu. The last night we spend again in the hotel « Astron ».
15th day :
Transfer to the airport…
Insurance: Participants should be covered by their own personal travel-health insurance prior to the trip. The personal insurance must at least cover medical expenses as well as air rescue and the cost of repatriation.
Alpine Travel is not responsible for any accidents or mishaps directly or indirectly related to the tour.
(See Terms & Conditions)
Period: From May to October 2013.
Transportation: All transfers during the trip are included.
Accommodation: 14 nights on FB basis.The trip prices are based on double occupancy.
Food: Every morning we have breakfast in the hotels, picnic lunch en route and a dinner at local tavern. (Vegetarians are welcome on the trips)
Group Size: 6-16 participants.
Difficulty Level: (3)
The hikes offer a moderate trek with a maximum of 7 hours. Participants should be in good physical condition.