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YOGA & HIKING RETREAT

YOGA & HIKING RETREAT

(8-day program)

Nature and Culture

Zagori is one of the most strictly protected areas in Greece due to its wild and unspoiled nature and its distinctive traditional architecture. The area is a National Park. It belongs to the NATURA 2000 network (a network of nature protection areas in the territory of the European Union) due to its richness of flora and fauna and its great variety of endemic species. In 2010, the area of Zagori was included in the Vikos-Aoös Geopark, a member of UNESCO’s Global Geopark Network, rendering it an internationally acknowledged natural monument. Geoparks are well defined territories which include distinctive geological, natural and cultural characteristics. Human activity of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the many stone built traditional villages with their surrounding monuments, along with the prehistoric remnants of human activity (Paleolithic hunting bases, Neolithic settlements, etc.) more than satisfy the requirements for an extraordinary and unique geopark. Zagori is also the area with the most rainfall in Greece; this is clearly visible in its landscape, covered almost entirely by forests, which provide habitats of great ecological value.

This 8-day program combines yoga and outdoor activities – mainly hiking - and evolves in altitudes ranging from 450 to 2,100 meters including the alpine zone. Its structure aims in enjoying nature, exercising your body, relaxing your spirit, but also in learning about nature and humanity.

SUMMARY

Day 1 > Arrival

Arrive at Monopatia Resort Guesthouse in Ano Pedina in Central Zagori. Presentation of the Zagori area and the 6-day program.

Day 2 > Beloi > The Breathtaking View

Hike to the Beloi view point of Vikos Canyon and then hike down the famous Scala Vradetou.

Day 3 – Bridges > The Art of Stone

Hike the bridge-tour trek and visit Vitsa, Koukouli, and Dilofo villages.

Day 4 – Dragonlake > The Greatness of Nature

Hike to the famous Dragonlake and spend the night at the refuge.

Day 5 > Rogovos Pools > Quiet Moments

Hike to the Rogovos pools for a swim!

Day 6 > Voidomatis > The Cleanest River

Rafting in the Voidomatis river.

Day 7 – Ioannina > The Historic City

Sightseeing in Ioannina city, including visits in the old town, the castle, the museum, the lake, the island and the Perama cave (optional).

Day 8 – Dikorfo > The Secret Path

Hike from Dikorfo village to Dovris swimming spot.

Day 9 – Departure

Day 2 > BELOI AND SCALA VRADETOU > The Breathtaking View

Sunrise: Yoga session (Monopatia terrace) / Breakfast

After breakfast will drive up to Vradeto village (1,350 m altitude), from where a mild thematic route on the lower alpine zone will bring us to the most spectacular view of the Vikos Canyon. A stretching session will take place on our way back to Vradeto village. From there and after a coffee break at the traditional café in Vradeto village, a downhill hike - the famous “Scala Vradetou” (cobbled stone footpath) - will lead us to Kapesovo village for a late lunch.

Sunset: Yoga session.

Themes presented: Geology, Architecture, Dry Stone Technique.

Villages: Vradeto, Kapesovo.

Trekking Hours: 3.

Elevation Gain: +100m /-300m.

Difficulty Level: Moderate.

Trekking route : 8 km

Elevation Gain :

Photos:

Day 3 – STONE BRIDGES > The Art of Stone

Sunrise: Yoga session (aloni no 10) / Breakfast.

Presentation (stone bridges).

Starting from Vitsa village a 4-5-hour hike through the forest with uphills and downhills will give us the chance to visit the five most famous stone bridges: Misios, Kontodimos, Plakidas, Arkoudas and Kokkoros. We will also visit four authentic stone-built villages. At Dilofo gardens we will have a short stretching session. This thematic hike will enlarge our knowledge of stone building and also give us a taste of the ‘’road network’’ of the past centuries. Late lunch at Dilofo village.

Afternoon: Free

Sunset: Yoga session

Themes Presented: Geology, Architecture, Bridges.

Villages: Vitsa, Koukouli, Kipi and Dilofo.

Trekking Hours: 4-5

Elevation Gain: -270m/ +180m

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Trekking route : 8 km

Elevation Gain :

Photos

Day 4 – DRAGONLAKE > The Greatness of Nature

Sunrise: Yoga session (indoors) / Breakfast.

We drive to Mikro Papigo from where we the hike to the Astraka refuge starts. After three hours we arrive to the refuge for a short break. We the continue and after an hour we reach the Dragonlake were we may relax and have a yoga session. Upon our return we may enjoy a late light lunch at the refuge.

Afternoon: Free

Themes Presented: Geology, Nature.

Villages: Mikro Papigo.

Trekking Hours: 8-9

Elevation Gain: +1,300m / -250m

Difficulty Level: Streneous

Trekking route : 10 km

Elevation Gain :

Photos

Day 5 – ROGOVOS POOLS > Quiet moments

Sunrise: Yoga session / Breakfast

A quite demanding 3-hour downhill trek with a beautiful view of the Astraka towers, will bring us back to Mikro Papigo and there after the Rogovos pools nearby the village, where we will have the chance for relaxation and possibly a swim! In the evening a yoga session will follow in the forest near by the guesthouse.

Themes Presented: Geology, Nature.

Villages: Mikro Papigo.

Trekking Hours: 5

Elevation Gain: +100 / -1,100m

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Trekking route : 8 km

Elevation Gain :

Photos

Day 6 – VOIDOMATIS RIVER > The Cleanest River

Sunrise: Yoga session / Breakfast

Today we will visit western Zagori. We will drive through Aristi village and end up in Voidomatis river - which is considered one of the cleanest rivers in Europe - for rafting, On our way we will have the chance to visit the monastery of Aghioi Anargyroi where a meditation session may take place. Afterwards we will visit the Boila neolithic settlement and the stone bridge of Kleidonia. We will then drive to Megalo and Mikro Papigo for our late lunch. Afterwards we will visit Spiliotissa monastery where a stretching session will take place by the river. On our way back to the hotel, we may visit the village of Vikos and enjoy the view of the canyon.

Themes Presented: Geology, Nature, History.

Villages: Aristi, Megalo and Mikro Papigo, Vikos.

Rafting time: 2 hrs

Difficulty Level: Easy

Photos:

Day 7 – IOANNINA > The Historic City

Sunrise: Yoga session / Breakfast

Today we go “downtown” to Ioannina for sightseeing in the historic city. We will visit the old town and the castle with the two mosques and the tomb of Ali Pasha. We will then visit the Silversmithing museum in the castle. Afterwards we will visit the island in the lake and the monasteries. A stretching session may take place by the lake on the island. Should we have time we may visit the Perama cave as well. We will have dinner at a nice restaurant in Ioannina which overlooks the city, the lake and the island.

Themes Presented: History, Culture, Geology

Sightseeing Hours: 5

Elevation Gain: ---

Difficulty Level: Easy

Photos

Day 8 – DIKORFO > The Secret Hike

Sunrise: Yoga session / Breakfast

Today is our last day. We will first visit the two villages nearby and then drive to Dikorfo from where a two-hour downhill hike will take us from the village to Dovris bridge through the forest, passing over two “forgotten” old stone bridges and ending at the Dovris bridge where we may have light pick nick and may have a swim as well!

A Yoga session will take place by the river.

Themes Presented: ---

Villages: Vitsa, Monodendri, Dikorfo, Elafotopos.

Trekking Hours: 2

Elevation Gain: -260m/+30m

Difficulty Level: Easy

Trekking route : 6 km

Elevation Gain :

Photos:

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