Byzantine treasures and whispering oracles will emanate from the dramatic landscapes and uninhibited history on your 14-day off the beaten path Greece tour focused on exploring Northern Greece. Preserved traditions will meet the relaxed ambiance shaped by ancient cultures, Ottoman occupation, and enchanting fairytale villages known as the Zagorohoria. Your custom-tailored tour of Greece will immerse you in adventure and discovery uncovering heritage, wonder, and beauty.
Thessaloniki – Stepping Into 3,000 Years of History
Colors spiral through a historical flower market, and traders still call out beside the Roman meeting place. Tavernas entice with their scents, while Byzantine churches entice you into a realm of artistic detail. Welcome to Thessaloniki, the gateway to northern Greece and an easy introduction to what the region is all about. Meet your guide, and after a short airport transfer, you go on an orientation walk, listening to how the city has evolved through Hellenistic, Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine eras. You can really feel that this is a city shaped by a myriad of cultures, not least the laid-back style that influences most places on the Mediterranean. Ease into the vacation this evening as you dine on the seafront promenade, with dusk coming gracefully over the Aegean.
Thessaloniki – Byzantine Churches, Roman Agora and Seaside Tavernas
Kalabaka – Ancient Macedonian History and Alexander the Great
Kalambaka – Discovering the Mountaintop Monasteries of Meteora
Ioannina – Enlightenment Along the Lakeside
Ioannina – Oracles and Temples in Dodona
Zagori – Zagorian Cooking Workshop and Village Exploration
Day 8 - 9
Zagori – Unwinding and Exploring the Zagorichoria
Corfu – Mythological History in Old Town Corfu
Corfu – Reliving Homer’s Odyssey on a Private Tour
Corfu – Jeep Adventure Across the Island
Corfu – Best of Local Corfu Food Tour
Corfu – Departure
- Immerse yourself in the history of Thessaloniki, a living UNESCO World Heritage Site from which to start your journey
- Hike and drive to the Zagori villages, enjoying intimate local experiences in fairytale settings
- Take two adventures across Corfu island, one to see the sights and the other to relive Homer’s Odyssey
- Feast on new flavors during a Zagorian cooking class and an Old Town Corfu food tour
- Ascend to the mountaintop monasteries of Meteora, which are as dramatic as they are serene
- Explore ancient Macedonian history with a day in Vergina and Pella
- Uncover the center of enlightenment in Ioannina, then travel forward into its Ottoman and Byzantine heritage
Almost everyone visiting Greece goes south, usually to Athens and then to the Cycladic islands. Hardly anyone goes north, so will be finding a real treat if you are crowd-weary or merely believe that exploring should not be stressful. Northern Greece and Corfu offer breathtaking landscapes that hum with the sound of silence. There is grand history here, although not always of the Corinthian columns variety. Instead, this region is a melting pot of Byzantine remains, Ottoman architecture, Macedonian styles, old-world monastic communities, and villages that keep tradition as commonplace. Include the Temple of Zeus of course, just without the crowds that gather around the country’s major archaeological sites.
This 14-day tour to Northern Greece and Corfu is one for the connoisseurs who like to feel the history rather than just see the sights and those who want to understand a country rather than simply snap a few photos. You will be immersed in local culture and food, wowed by 3,000 years of civilizations and histories, alone on both mountain and island landscapes, and then pampered on old town promenades and tightly-packed cobbled streets. Spread across five overnight destinations, it will be a journey into authentic Greece for an experience that will bring much more than whitewashed island villages and a famous Acropolis.
Start in Thessaloniki, a living UNESCO World Heritage Site and gateway to the north. Here the storyline traverses the centuries, giving you an indication of how the region changed hands many times over the millennia. Explore the birthplace of ancient Macedonia and Alexander the Great on route to Meteora, where mystical monasteries stand atop dramatic mountain pinnacles. Ioannina was once the center of the Enlightenment and continues a journey through the eras, this time going all the way back to a Temple of Zeus and perhaps the greatest oracle of them all. All of that fills six days, and the pace is relaxed throughout with leisurely evenings in pedestrianized old towns.
Spend days seven to nine in the Zagorichoria, Zagori hillside villages of stone houses, ancient bridges, walking trails and snow-capped vistas. This is a place to unwind, hopping from village to village in a very remote European corner. Enjoy a cooking workshop, spend time with the locals, and choose from the countless mountain trails. End your 14-day vacation on Corfu, an island that is somewhat mysteriously less crowded than it should be. The island is rich in tradition and charm, its towns distinct from the crowded, souvenir-shop-laden streets of the Cyclades. Spend a day reliving Homer’s Odyssey, another day on a private jeep tour, and then your final day tasting the history of Kerkiran (Corfiot) food. Each evening you are in Corfu’s Old Town, where a sea breeze cascades past al fresco terraces.
$4,545 per person (excluding international flights)
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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