GREECE – East Thessaly – Easter / Spring Adventure

East Thessaly – Easter / Spring Adventure

6 Days / 5 Nights

Period: Easter holiday & any other period within April and May.

Type:

Multi-activity – Adult individuals / Families with children of minimum age 13 years

Level: High – Mainly activity orientated.

Trip profile: This is an adventurous wondering in nature with the intention to break barriers between parents and children or between a group of adults or corporates, by living and being active in nature. The events or activities and the places we move to in the program, form a meaningful pattern, which in few words could be expressed as: “From the river, up the mountain, down to the sea”.

Itinerary:

Day 1 :  Arrival transfer, accommodation check in

Settle in your accommodation, where we meet and have a pre-tour introduction.

Day 2 :  Cultural wondering & Rafting in the River Pinios, the Vernezi route. Full day acivity.

After we have been introduced to the place’s history by visiting the cultural centre and museum, we go off rafting in the Pinios river, which flows deep below the village. Our rafting base is only 20’ drive from Ambelakia. The rafting route – the Vernezi route – is very enjoyable with exciting rapids, rising the adrenaline and the feeling of team work very high! This excitement will last for about 1.30’ hours. We change back in to our dry clothes, enjoy a picnic lunch at our rafting base before transferred back to your accommodation in Ambelakia. Duration of the activity, 1.30’ hours. Overall activity’s duration, 4.00’ to 4.30’ hours, including the gearing up time, briefing, local transfers, stops, picnic etc.

Day 3 :  Hiking to the top of Mt. Kissavos (Ossa) or Via Cordata / Ferrata. Long half day activity.

Today you have a choice between Hiking to the top of Mt. Kissavos (Ossa) to 1978 metres and a ”Via Cordata” route in the historical and beautiful Tempi valley.

Hiking: By road, we move to the village of Spilia and the walk starts from here. The route progresses on the south west slopes of the mountain. It starts at 850 metres and finishes at 1978 metres at the summit. It is a very interesting route with great views all along, not to speak of the view from the summit itself, where you are rewarded with moments of fulfilment and tranquillity while admiring stunning panoramic views. Mt. Olympus – the mountain of the twelve gods – rises impressively before us to the north, Mt. Pelion – the land of the mythical centaurs – to the south, the Aegean Sea and the coast along which Jason and the Argonauts sailed going for the golden fleece, to the east and in clear weather – not very unlikely – the huge pyramid of Mt. Athos emerging out of the sea in the very distance to the east. We are standing atop the land with very strong vibrations of myths, legends and history. Drinks and light lunch on the summit. Altitude covered, 1128 metres.

Then, we descend via the northeast ridge to the Kanalos location at 1604m for another relaxed hour of easy walk. From there, transferred by road to our Mt. Kissavos base where we are to spend the night in a hostel type wood cabin, on the north east forested slopes of the mountain at 370 metres with great views of Mt. Olumpus and the Aegean Sea. Have a hot shower, a well-earned supper and a good rest.

Approximate total net walking time 5 hrs to 5.5hrs moderate / demanding. Overall activity’s duration, 6.5hrs to 7hrs, including the gearing up time, briefing, local transfers, stops, picnic etc.

Via Cordata / Ferrata, up the ”Apollo Ridge”: The ridge is located at the north cliff side of the Tempi valley just opposite and below Ambelakia village, geologically considered to be on Lower Olympus. We are transferred to the starting point of the walk-in (20’ by road from your accommodation in Anbelakia). The walk-in follows the old railway line alongside the river Pinios, with great views all along the hike.

Description of the Via Cordata / Ferrata route: Start at 20 metres above sea level – Finish at 240 metres. Gained altitude 220 metres. Length of route, 290 metres. The route consists mainly of long sections of narrow ridge scrambling and shorter sections and “steps” of actual climbing of III+ to IV- grade on typical limestone rock. The ridge scrambling is a typical Via Cordata with the protection of fixed ropes while the climbing sections are additionally protected with cable, making it a combination of Via Cordata and Via Ferrata for extra safety and ease. The views of the gorge with the river and far down below are just breathtaking. Duration of the Via Cordata route, 3 hrs to 4 hrs. After having enjoyed some time on the top of the ridge and have a picnic lunch, we take the return hiking trail (50 mins to 1 hour) back to the starting point and our vehicle for the return to our Mt. Kissavos base, where we are to spend the night in a hostel type wood cabin, on the north east forested slopes of the mountain at 370 metres with great views of Mt. Olympus and the Aegean Sea. Have a hot shower, a well-earned supper and a good rest.

Duration of the actual activity, 4hrs.20mins to 5hrs 20mins. Overall activity’s duration, 5hrs.30mins to 6hrs.30mins, including the gearing up time, briefing, local transfers, stops, picnic etc.

Day 4 :  Canyoning in the Kalypso Canyon. Long half day activity.

After breakfast we leave the wood cabin and move by forest dirt road through dense forest, along the eastern side of the mountain. The activity today is canyoning and our destination is the Kalypso canyon. This canyon is a nature’s wonder. A completely different world from what we have experienced up to now. Geared up, we walk up the slope for about 20mins and get into the canyon. An amazing environment of waterfalls, crystal clear pools and dense vegetation welcome us. While in the Canyon, we continue walking and scrambling up stream for another 10 mins until we reach the great waterfall, 75 metres high. It is indeed a unique and exceptional spot. After having a drink and cookies at the spot, we make our way down stream to start the real canyoning in the Kalypso II section with a series of jumps, waterslides, dives, fly-foxing over pools and abseiling alongside waterfalls. At the finishing point we have a picnic lunch in the forest before we return to the base and the cabin for the night.

The canyoning session takes about 4hrs – 4hrs .30mins. Overall activity’s duration, 6hrs to 6hrs 30mins, including the gearing up time, briefing, local transfers, stops, picnic etc.

Note that the Via Cordata can be the alternative option to canyoning if the weather conditions (mainly temperatures of the time) advocate towards it.

Day 5 :  Sea kayaking (half day activity) or Sea kayaking & Sea – cave abseiling ( full day activity).

This is a sea kayaking ride along the Mt. Kissavos coast route, exploring a very beautiful coast line in the sea kayaks. Duration of paddling, 2hrs to 2 hrs .30 mins. Overall activity’s duration, 4 hrs. 30 mins to 5 hrs. 30 mins, including the gearing up time, briefing, local transfers, stops, picnic etc.

Sea-kayaking & Sea-cave abseiling. We explore in our kayaks the amazing sea caves of Veneton and swim in marvellous isolated beaches. Along the ride we stop at a small cove, and after the abseiling briefing, a 15 min walk brings us to the top of the big cave and its roof hole. The sight is just breath-taking. You live through a unique experience as you abseil in space 35 metres down to the turquoise water. After swimming and diving in the cave, return to the path and the kayaks to continue our kayak ride and the sea cave exploration. For more about this one – day activity, here. Paddling time 2 hrs 30 mins. Overall activity’s duration, can well exceed the 8.hours, including the gearing up time, briefing, local transfers, stops, picnic etc.

The last night’s accommodation can be in a hotel either in the Mt. Kissavos area if the first choice is taken or a little to the south – Mt. Pelion area – if the second choice is taken. This will also depend on your destination or departure airport of the next day.

Day 6 : Departure

Things you should know

 Meals & Meal Plan: This trip is organised on a half board basis, as breakfast goes with your accommodation and lunch will be a picnic meal with traditional Greek dishes and tastes prepared with great care by our team, usually during or after the activity, being included in the price. Two evening meals, one welcome and one farewell, are included in the price.  The rest of the evening meals are not included in the price and will be taken in local restaurants as this will give you a perfect opportunity to sample real Greek hospitality and delicious food, typical of the region. Water and juices for the children are included with the activity but alcoholic drinks for the adults are not.

Transport: From the airport to your accommodation in Litochoro, in case you do not have your own or hired means of transport (rented vehicle), the best suggested way is the public transport (train or bus), as our area of activities and the accommodation establishments are very close to the main road and rail streams of transport on the eastern side of the country. The nearest airport is the Makedonia airport of Thessaloniki, 1 hour by train or bus to Nei Porior Rapsani train stations, being very close to the activities area and the various accommodation establishments. The “Proastiakos” train runs almost every hour from Thessaloniki to the above destination for €18.00 return. From the airport you take the bus (number 78) to the main train or bus station in Thessaloniki. It takes 20 mins to 30 mins and costs €1.00. The buses also run in the same manner, though a bit more expensive than the train. They run from Thessaloniki central bus station via Katerini where you change bus to Litochoro or to Leptokaria.

If you land at “Eleftherios Venizelos” airport in Athens, the train seems to be again the best option. Only the journey in this case takes 4hrs.15mins to 5hrs, depending up on the train you are using. From the airport you take the metro or the Proastiakos train to the “Stathmos Larisis” (Larisa’s station) in Athens, from where you take the train to Larisa, where you change train (take the ”Proastiakos” train) to Litochoro.

We can organise your transportation upon request and with additional cost.

Note that during the activities / holiday, all local transfers will be provided by us, from your accommodation to the activity’s location starting point and back to your accommodation and this is included in the price. If you have your own means of transport, you come to the prearranged meeting point for the day’s activity.

Please Note: Please note that this itinerary can be subject to slight changes in response to variable local weather conditions concerning mainly the time sequence of the activities

Group size and Staff: Maximum group size is 16 people and minimum 4. This trip is supported by expert local instructors / guides with great knowledge of the local conditions.

Health: No specific requirements on this tour. If you are reasonably fit and in good health, have a sense of adventure and basically swim (for canyoning), any previous experience is not necessary.

Insurance: It is a prerequisite of booking any outdoor activity program that you possess adequate insurance with certain requirements that must be met by your policy.

Responsible Tourism: Tourism has an effect on any area, it is essential to minimize the negative impact that we may cause. We do not allow our clients or staff to damage the physical environment by leaving litter or rubbish lying around. Anything we take in to an area we must take out again.

Included

  • Three nights in traditional hotel accommodation with breakfast.
  • Two nights in hostel type wood cabin accommodation with breakfast.
  • Two meals in traditional local restaurants (welcome and farewell).
  • Full board (breakfast, lunch, supper, while in the outdoors throughout the program).
  • All necessary equipment and guidance for the activities.
  • Road transfers during the program (from the accommodation to the activities and back).

Note that:

  • If on Day 3 you take the Via Cordata instead of the hike, there is an additional     supplement of prices.
  • If on Day 4 you take the Via Cordata instead of the canyoning, there is no change in the prices.
  • If on Day 5 you take the Sea kayaking & the Sea-cave abseiling instead of the Sea kayaking along the Mt. Kissavos coast, there is an additional supplement in the prices.

Not included:

  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa, consular fees or any other formalities.
  • Tips
  • Additional journeys and transfers
  • Alcoholic and soft beverages except from which we provide on tours and at the accommodation
  • Travel insurance

Packing List:

Given the variety of different activities on this trip, we suggest you take with you apart from your seasonal clothing, the following:

  1. Day sack, well worn-in trail or amphibian walking shoes for the approach walk and to be wet in the canyon.
  2. Any kind of light water sea-shoes for the river activities.
  3. Comfortable trousers or shorts as well as hiking shoes or good sports shoes for land based activities.
  4. Bermuda trousers or cycling pants for the mountain biking.
  5. Swimming gear and towel for all water activities.
  6. Sun hat, sun glasses & sun protective cream.
  7. Large water-bottle.

Please Note: All safety equipment for all the activities (helmets, life-jackets, harnesses, wetsuits, walking sticks etc.) is provided by us. If you have your own, please feel free to take it with you.

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