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Epirus and Corfu Wine Country (8 days)


DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ATHENS
Arrival in Athens airport and transfer to our downtown hotel. In the evening we’ll have our dinner at a famous Athenian restaurant. Overnight in 5* hotel.
 
Day 2: ATHENS - IOANNINA
Free day in Athens. At noon, we’ll drive to a restaurant to enjoy our lunch. In the evening, transfer to Athens airport and connection for our short flight to Ioannina, a historic town built on the shore of a lake. Arrival in Ioannina and transfer to our hotel. Overnight in 5* hotel.
 
DAY 3: IOANNINA – METSOVO - IOANNINA
In the morning we’ll be drive to Metsovo, a little town famous for its unique wine production, nestled on the slopes of impressive Pindos mountains in a heavy forested scenery. We’ll visit the famous Averof winery, where we’ll have our lunch. Wines here are dry reds such as Syrah-Traminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noire and local varieties such as Vlachiko and Xinomavro. In the afternoon we’ll drive back to Ioannina. Overnight in 5* hotel.
 
DAY 4: IOANNINA – ZAGORIA 
Morning visit of the old town and the historic Ottoman mosque of Ioannina, today operating as a museum. Continue to Zagoria villages (2 hours). Arrival in Aristi, a small village in the heart of Vikos National Park. The whole area is of exceptional natural beauty and once a region of wealthy and cultured traders and artisans. There are many villages in Zagoria, including  Monodendri, Aristi, and Papingo with local houses shadowed by buttes reminiscent of the American West. The routes are spectacular, as the roads climb the thickly forested slopes, pass through valleys, and across streams with medieval bridges. First we’ll visit the villages of Papingo, declared as national monuments due to their unique architecture, set in a dramatic scenery. Both villages have narrow stone streets and pathways and grey stone houses, and the whole area offers breath-taking vistas of the nearby mountains and rock towers. Lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to Voidomatis river, reportedly with the cleanest water in Europe and famous for its trouts. Overnight in small luxury hotel in Zagoria.
 
DAY 5: ZAGORIA (VIKOS NATIONAL PARK)
Full day tour of Zagoria villages and the Vikos national park: Traditional architecture, stone bridges, medieval churches, canyons, forests and local folklore form a fascinating picture. Among others, we’ll visit the famous Vikos Gorge, home of the European brown bear, the lynx, the wolf and many other endangered species, not found in the rest of the continent. This is the deepest canyon in Europe. Parts of the road are surrounded by unique rocky slabs layered like hundreds of huge marble tabletops. At noon, we’ll have lunch in a small local restaurant where we’ll try local delicacies and local wine. In the afternoon we’ll  visit at least one more Zagoria village, such as Dilofo or Pedina, all with traditional centuries-old mansions and stone made little chapels. One the way, we’ll visit some of the most impressive stone bridges in Southern Europe. Overnight in small luxury hotel in Zagoria.
 
DAY 6: ZAGORIA - CORFU
In the morning we’ll drive to Igoumenitsa (total 3 hours), the main port of the area on the west coast of Greece.     On the way,  we’ll visit  one winery  in Zitsa, to taste  the  excellent  local  wine.   It is here  that  the indigenous   grape varieties   Vlahiko,  Bekari  and the   white Debina grow.  Debina  gives the area,   the rare privilege to produce wines of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). The local vineyards are not lacking of many Greek and international grape varieties such as Malagouzia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot of Epirus, Traminer and Sauvignon Blanc. After Zitsa, we continue to Igoumenitsa and catch the ferry ride to Corfu island (approx. 1 hour), one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. Transfer to our seaside hotel. Overnight in 5* hotel in Corfu.
 
DAY 7: CORFU
After our buffet breakfast, we’ll start our morning tour of the old Corfu town, one of the most beautiful towns in Greece showing Renaissance, Baroque and Classical architecture.    Palaces,   old fortresses,  austere historic public buildings of the Venetian rule uniquely blend with tiny alleyways and small secluded squares. Strolling through the narrow cobbled streets, stairways and vaulted passages, will make you feel as if you’ve travelled to Genoa or Naples. During our tour, we’ll visit the beautiful Spianada Square and the Liston archway. Continue to Achillion, the palace of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, with beautiful gardens and the world-famous statue of Achilles. Drive to Kanoni with the famous view of Pontikonisi. Lunch in one of the most famous restaurants in Greece. Afternoon free at leisure for strolling in the narrow alleys of Venetian Corfu, or enjoy the beach of our hotel. Overnight in 5* hotel in Corfu.
 
DAY 8: CORFU – DEPARTURE
Morning transfer to the airport and flight back home, or other destinations. There is also a choice of extension of your holiday stay in Corfu.

Departure

From March to November


What's included
Hotel 5* in Athens, in Ioannina & in Corfu
Small luxury hotel in Zagoria
Full board (Breakfasts, lunches & dinners)
All transfers
Domestic flights
English speaking guide
Sites & museums entrance fees 
Wine tasting 
Insurance
V.A.T.

What's not included
International airfare & tax
Tips
Personal expenses & wine purchase
Anything optional
 
     
 
 
         
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