I love holidays in the mountains: mountain landscapes, villages, traditional guesthouses with breathtaking views, delicious food, and friendly locals. Epirus has been on my list for several years, but I had to put this trip off every time for various reasons. What a pleasant surprise was when I found out that the TRAVEL BLOGGERS GREECE 5 years anniversary trip (of which I am a member) are heading to Epiros and will explore this unique and fantastically beautiful region with the local company Epirus Travel. So, if you are planning to spend your best Epirus Greece Holidays, I’ve prepared for you the Ultimate 4-day itinerary, developed by local professionals and approved by me 🙂
Let our adventure begin…
Epirus Greece Holidays: the ultimate travel guide for a 4-day itinerary
How to get to Epirus Greece
The ideal way to explore Epirus is by car. You can rent a car either from Athens or Thessaloniki.
As you know I live in Athens, therefore our journey to Vourgareli village (our first stop) in Tzoumerka started from Athens and the trip lasted about six hours with shortstops along the way. From the northern capital of Greece, Thessaloniki, you can get to Vourgareli village faster – in about four and a half hours.
Another option is to get to the city of Arta, by public bus. The buses depart every day from Athens and Thessaloniki. Furthermore, use the services of Epirus Travel. The travel company provides transfers to any corner of Epiros, offers exciting jeep tours, organizes hiking in the mountains, and, in general, can develop any detailed and individual program for your unforgettable Epirus Greece holidays.
It’s up to you, to explore Epirus by yourself or rely on professionals. From my side, I have developed for you a detailed 4-day itinerary that will show you the remarkably beautiful Epiros.
When to visit Epirus Greece
Epirus is a 4 season destination!
In summer, you have the opportunity to hiking in the mountains and enjoy the coolness of waterfalls or visit the coastal areas (Parga, Preveza, Igoumenitsa), which are famous for their beautiful sandy beaches and the cleanest Ionian Sea.
Autumn is a magical time when everything around is painted in yellow, red and gold colors. The region is famous for its wine, so you can participate in the grape harvest and taste young wine.
In winter, you can feel the real spirit of Epirus, wild and untouched region, solitude with nature. If you prefer a calm and measured vacation, this is exactly what you need. During the winter, you can enjoy traditional guesthouses in the mountain villages by sitting near the fireplace and admiring the panoramic scenery or go to the ski center Enalio, and then have dinner in one of the local taverns, which are really good at preparing grilled meat and puff pastries.
In spring, Epirus is truly beautiful. The whole region turns green, brooks and rivers murmur around, and on the fields, you can meet shepherds and their herds. And also divine smells, they fly everywhere from mountain herbs to blooming trees.
What to try in Epirus
Greece is so diverse that each region has its own cuisine, special and very tasty. Epirus’s cuisine is mainly “mountain” and hearty consists of animal products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, sheep, and goat meat. Cheese is one of the most famous traditional products. I really liked two cheese varieties: one soaked in wine and another one a little bit spicy with pepper. Such cheese you will not find anywhere, only in Epirus.
Also, be sure to try “galotyri” – an incredibly creamy cheese, “kefalotyri” – spicy hard cheese from sheep and goat milk, smoked sheep cheese, as well as sweet “manuri” cheese from sheep and goat milk.
The main dish of Epirus cuisine is puff pie with all kinds of ingredients: cheese, meat, herbs, vegetables, mushrooms, fish, and even pasta. You can try all these delicious food in one of the traditional taverns or bakery.
During winter, you can taste a traditional fresh salad from cabbage and carrot, and in summer you will enjoy a juicy Greek salad flavored with homemade olive oil.
In the Molos area of Ioannina, near Pamvotida Lake, there are many good restaurants where you can enjoy local dishes such as frog legs, smoked trout or smoked eel. Restaurants, in addition to delicious food, have magnificent views of the lake, castle, and island.
In mountain villages, grilled lamb, baked lamb ribs, fried homemade sausages, and a pot-roasted rabbit are just yummy.
Epirus is famous for its sweets and pastries. Try syrup or baking sweets, such as saragli, pecan pie, almond pie, Metsovian flutes, traditional baklava with walnuts and, of course, delicious mountain honey.
During your stay in Epirus, do not forget to enjoy the freshness and aroma of Zitsa white wines and the mountainous strength of Metsovo red wines. By the way, in Metsovo, there is one of the best wineries in Greece, which we also visited. Well, if you prefer something stronger, you will find here traditional tsipouro.
Where to stay in Epirus
During our 4-day trip, we stayed in three different places. The first two nights were in central Tzoumerka, the main village of which is Vourgareli. Then one night in Zagori and our last two nights in the heart of Ioannina.
At Vourgareli village we stayed in a traditional hotel – Rouista Tzoumerka Resort. This is a luxury eco-resort in the heart of Tzoumerka with incredible views. The hotel consists of stone bungalows, therefore peace and quiet for your stay are guaranteed. The Rouista Tzoumerka Resort has been operating for three years now and has gained great popularity.
I had a maisonette room with a balcony, a fireplace, a work desk, a kettle (coffee, tea, water complimentary), and a private balcony with a breathtaking mountain view. The bathroom was quite large, which is very convenient if you are several people (couple or family) who stay in the same room. Shampoo, shower gel, soap – all products are the natural Greek cosmetics Apivita (my favorite one).
Breakfast is served at the hotel and consists of only natural products grown in Epiros. The variety of treats was simply amazing, I did not even know what to try first. Indeed it was breakfast for gourmets and of course with the same breathtaking view. By the way, in the hotel, at the reception, you can buy some biological local products such as jams, teas, seasonings, honey.
The hotel has a small conference hall, so it is perfect for corporate events, especially since in this area they have a lot of outdoor activities. Did I mention the friendly hotel owners and staff? From the first seconds, I felt like at home, therefore, a special thanks to Andreas for such a warm welcome.
On our third night, we stayed in Zagori – the Zarkadas Hotel in Monodendri Village. Unfortunately, we arrived at the hotel late in the evening, therefore we didn’t enjoy the hotel fully.
The hotel is built in an old stone style with rustic furniture in the rooms. Each room has its own style, I got the Superior room on the second floor with a rather large bed, a fireplace and a hydromassage shower.
In the morning, a home-cooked breakfast was waiting for us with incredibly delicious yogurt and local eggs, vegetables, and fruits.
The last two nights we spent in the capital of Epirus – the city of Ioannina in the aristocratic hotel Kamares Boutique Hotel & Spa. This hotel completely captivated me, it was just as I love.
Each room has its own name, with its own style and soul. I have always been a fan of the aristocratic style – antique elements of decoration, massive furniture, gilding, beautiful lamps, original stucco molding on the ceiling, luxurious curtains, it’s all about my room – Zwsimades. In addition to all this glamour, a shower cabin with hydromassage and natural Greek cosmetics. Well, you understand that I did not want to leave my room at all.
Breakfast is a separate delight. The breakfast room itself is decorated in a stunningly beautiful style with a massive chandelier in the middle. The variety of the breakfast buffet was simply amazing. According to your preference, you will be treated with a delicious omelet only with natural indigents, and for sweet-tooths, there is a sweet corner with an incredibly tasty cheesecake.
After a busy day, you can relax at the hotel’s SPA. First, go to the sauna, then head for the jacuzzi and, in the end, treat yourself to a massage. What could be better!
Epirus Greece Holidays – Day 1
Rema Marks – Souda Waterfalls – Glistra Hanging Bridge – Voulgareli Walking Tour
The first day we started with an acquaintance with Tzoumerka and its wild nature. This part of Epirus is famous for its waterfalls, which can be reached only on foot and in most cases, only with the help of professionals, such as the team of Epiros Travel.
The first waterfall that we explored was Rema Marks in Theodorina Village. From our hotel Rouista Tzoumerka Resort, it took us approximately 45 minutes by car to get to the start point (where we left our cars), and further, we had another 45 minutes to get to the waterfall on foot. Be sure to follow the signs, because getting lost in the mountains is very easy. The trail is not the easiest one, but, it’s worth it! The waterfall is really incredibly beautiful, and in the summer you can even swim here.
The next stop was Souda Waterfalls, only 20 minutes drive from Rema Marks near the same Theodorina village. Here you will find a sign which way to go. Although the path to the waterfall is much shorter, many streams along the track were frozen and we had to cross the ice very carefully. Souda waterfalls are striking in their beauty, and even snow and ice lay at the bottom of the waterfalls.
Returning to our cars, we had a bite of delicious pies and went on. Our next stop was the Acheloos River, through which the Glistra Hanging Bridge is thrown. I have to say that the bridge looked rather shaky and dilapidated, but I still decided to go through it. By the way, there is, also, a small beach near the bridge, where in summer you can swim and sunbathe.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped in the village of Vourgareli to visit Agios Georgios Monastery. This Monastery played an important role during the revolution in Epirus and has a great history. Now no one lives there, but you can still visit it. After that, we went to the central square of the village, which was totally empty and looked into the local museum, where we have learned the history of the region.
In the evening, a gala dinner was waiting for us at the hotel, and the next day we went on a new adventure.
Epirus Holidays Greece – Day 2
Katarraktis Village – Plaka Bridge – Horse Riding Club – Kipina Monastery – Napoleon tavern
This time we left the hotel with our luggage since the next hotel Zarkadas was in Zagori, but still, we had a whole day ahead to explore more amazing Tzoumerka.
First, we visited the village of Katarraktis, which is well-known in Central Tzoumerka for its panoramic views and magnificent twin waterfalls. By the way, the name of the village itself is translated from Greek as “waterfalls”. Unfortunately, the mountains were covered by heavy fog that day, so we were not able to enjoy the views, and it didn’t rain for a long time in the region, that’s why the waterfalls were almost dry. But despite this, Katarraktis village must be on your list for sure.
It took us about 30 minutes by car to get to the famous Plaka Bridge, next to which there is the Arachthos Horse Riding Club. Unfortunately, the Plaka Bridge was under reconstruction, so we admired it from afar. The historic Plaka bridge connecting the villages of Tzoumerka and Kastanochoria over the River Arachthos. If you a big fan of extreme sports, rafting on the Arachtos river will please you.
But the biggest surprise was waiting for us in the Arachthos Horse Riding Club. Horseback riding! What an experience! It was my second time and I enjoyed it a lot! My horse, Pegasus, was very calm and gentle with me. The place itself is perfect for horseback riding – the river, mountains, nature. Amazing! Don’t worry, a club employee was always near me, so it’s safe even for children.
After the Arachtos Horse Riding club, we visited a very unique place – Kipina Monastery. Can you only imagine, this monastery is located in the rock! Since the monks don’t live in the monastery anymore, to get inside, you need to take the key from a cafe in the village of Kipina. The monastery keeps a lot of secrets and mysteries. One of them is the secret underground path inside the rock, along which leads into a cave. It was a little creepy without light but pretty exciting. Along with the chapel in the monastery, you can visit one of the cells. There was even a coffee shop once, but only a few tables and the “Kitchen” plate on one of the doors remained from it.
By the time we left the monastery, we were very hungry and immediately went to the famous tavern in Epirus – “Napoleon“. This family tavern is located in the village of Kalarites and it’s also a local attraction. If you are an admirer of simple but tasty cuisine, then this mountain tavern will surely please you. Inside, the tavern is quite picturesque, but its owner, Mr. Napoleon, is a special highlight. He will not only tell you the story of the whole region and his tavern but also sings a touching song in an Epirus dialect. It was amazing!
Tired but happy, we headed for overnight at the next hotel Zarkadas, and tomorrow we were waiting for new adventures in Zagori…
Epirus Holidays Greece – Day 3
Voidomatis River – Papingo Rock Pools – Papingo Village – Vikos Gorge – Kokkoris Bridge – Tritoxo Bridge – Ioaninna
Our acquaintance with Zagori began with a visit to one of the coldest and cleanest rivers in the world – the Voidomatis river. First of all, the color of the river is striking – green-azure, which seems from a fairytale. The name Voidomatis comes from the Slavic language and means “good water¨, and really, it tastes very good (Yes, you can even drink it!). This river crosses one of the most beautiful mountain areas in Greece, which has been declared a national park since 1973, as well as the Vikos Gorge – a monument of natural beauty. One of the most beautiful and photographed arch bridges of continental Greece is the Klidonia Bridge, located above the Voidomatis River at the exit of the Vikos Gorge.
After about half an hour, we arrived at Papingo Rock Pools, an incredibly beautiful place. Τhese natural pools in the canyon create light or dark blue swimming holes, and it’s a pleasure to walk here. After numerous photos, we set off further.
Our next stop was one of the most picturesque villages in Zagori – Papingo. We walked along the narrow streets with tiny houses on the background of huge mountains. It’s hard to believe that in summer this village is full of tourists and you can find here a wide variety of traditional guesthouses to stay. We decided to make a short stop for a cup of coffee in a cozy cafe Koukounari. Good-natured owners treated us to traditional Greek coffee, the famous mountain tea, and delicious homemade carrot cake. So, yummy! On the second floor, you can find a small shop with local goods and products that you can bring home with you as souvenirs.
The next place that we visited was Vikos Village. Here, from the observation deck, you can admire the most breathtaking view of the deepest gorge in the world – Vikos Gorge. For hikers, the Vikos Gorge comes first because of its beautiful walking paths that connect many stone villages. After we enjoyed the views, we moved on.
One of Epirus’s most famous and impressive bridges is the Kokkori Bridge. The single-arch bridge located on the Voidomatis River has a length of about 24 meters and a height of 13 meters. Usually in winter, there is no water in the river, so you can go downstairs for the most unforgettable photos.
Not far from the Kokkori Bridge there is not less magnificent the Tritoxo Bridge. This is a three-arch stone bridge with a length of about 55 meters and a width of more than 3 meters, and on the sides, it has rare arcades.
This is one of the most famous stone bridges of Zagori, a wonderful example of high folk technique and aesthetics of that time.
The third day of our trip to Epirus turned out to be quite busy, so the next stop we had was a traditional tavern and after a delicious dinner, returning to the capital of this region – the city of Ioannina.
Epirus Holidays Greece – Day 4
Metsovo – the Fortress of Ioannina – the Island of Ioannina – Perama Cave
After a delicious breakfast at Kamares Boutique Hotel & Spa, we went to explore the traditional village of Metsovo.
Metsovo is a pretty village located 1,160 meters above sea level and considered one of the most picturesque places in Greece. The symbol of the village is a bear whose statue you will find in the main square. There are many historical monuments in Metsovo. Protected monuments include the Monastery of the Virgin, the monastery of St. Nicholas, located in the south of the settlement, as well as the Zoodohos Pigi Monastery. The city also has the Folklore Museum, which we visited and I really liked it. In winter you can visit the local Ski Center, which, combined with the picturesque nature, is a great destination for relaxation.
Metsovo is famous for its cheeses and wine. We visited one of the most famous wineries in Greece – Katogi Averoff Winery, where we had a fascinating tour, got acquainted with the technology of wine production, and tasted several varieties of wines. Also, here, you can get your favorite wine at purchase prices.
Metsovo is, also, famous for its taverns, that offer perfectly cooked grilled meat and traditional pies. In Tzaki taverna we had lunch and even a cooking lesson on how to make a traditional xortopita pie.
After that, we went back to Ioannina to visit its famous fortress. The fortress of Ioannina is a symbol of the city. The castle owes its present appearance to Ali Pasha, who in 1615 restored it from scratch. It is one of the oldest Byzantine castles in Greece, preserved to this day. Here you will see the old town of Ioannina, with museums, mosques, and dungeons. It seems that here the history and traditions of centuries come to life. There are many historical buildings on the territory of the fortress that you can admire, but we, unfortunately, only had time to visit the Silver Museum.
After that, we rushed to the ferry, which was supposed to take us to the next attraction of Ioannina – the island of Ioannina. Here you will find the famous monastery of St. Panteleimon, where the legendary Ali Pasha was hiding and killed in 1822.
On the island, currently, about 100 families are involved in tourism and fishing. Once on the island, you will find traditional houses with beautiful gardens, narrow streets, and alleys with many shops that are offering traditional goods and folk art items. Friendly sellers will treat you to local sweets and drinks. The island’s restaurants and taverns offer local dishes from eel and frogs. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any time left, so we had to catch a ferry and return back to visit the cave of Perama.
Perama Cave, located four kilometers from the city of Ioannina, is one of the most interesting of caves, due to the wide variety of stalactites and stalagmites. The cave was accidentally discovered in 1940 during the Second World War, and after research became the first cave in Greece visited by tourists. In the cave, you can even get an interesting tour in English.
But all good things must come to an end, the same as our unforgettable adventure in Epirus. Since there is still so much to visit in Epirus, I’m sure that I’ll be back here more than once…
LIKE IT? PIN IT!
This is not a sponsored post. All the websites and companies I have included here are based on my personal travel experiences. Please note that some of these links contain my personal affiliate links, and with no extra cost to you. I may earn a small commission that helps me run this website and helps me share my adventures and travel tips which can help you.