Contact us

I hope this blog encourages more people to explore the Greek mountains. Please let me know if you’d like to know more, or have anything to add from your own experience.

17 Responses to Contact us

  1. Peter Thomas says:

    Wonderful idea. Beautifully written.

  2. Ivo Aceto says:

    hello Jane,
    my name’s Ivo. I am Italian but i spend almost every summer in Greece, and I am a keen hiker. i have been to several places already, including Taigheto, Mt Olimpus, the Pilion peninsula, several areas in southern Peloponnese. Last year I spent one week hiking around the island of Kythira. And i do it alone.

    I am very happy to know there are some other fellow Greece-hikers, and I find your website quite interesting.

    I am now thinking to hike around the Dephi area. But i am also pondering on the idea of walking to delphi from either Corinthos or Athens on ANCIENT PATHWAYS

    Do you have any ideas where i could find information about this?

    If you need some detailed info on Messinia, just contact me. we have a summer house near Marathopolis and i often go on rambles in the area.

    All the best.

    Ivo

    PS I am 61 years old.

  3. Jane Laurie says:

    Hi Peter
    Many thanks for your email and encouragement. We’ve been away walking a bit of the GR7 in Spain so apologies for the slow reply. I’ll look forward to reading your blog over the next few weeks – great idea to contrast how things have changed – or not! We have had a house near Kalamata for 30+ years, so I know the Peloponnese reasonable well.
    Best wishes

    Jane

  4. Jane Laurie says:

    Hi Ivo
    Thanks for your email. It’s always great to get feedback and I’m glad you found the blog interesting.

    There’s some great hiking around Delphi, and we’re planning to go back sometime to do “the Delphi gap” – the stretch between Ano Mousounitsa and Itea on the coast which we didn’t manage because of Alan’s accident and then the start of the winter rain and snow. The E4 either side of Delphi looks good, going down through olives to the coast, and we were planning to follow more or less the route in the Cicerone Mountains of Greece guide by Tim Salmon, though as far as I remember there’s a few bits north of Delphi where possible alternatives were shown on the Anavasi map. I assume you have both the Cicerone book and know about the Anavasi maps – what a difference they have made! Tim is currently updating the Cicerone guide, although I think he is planning to leave out some parts he couldn’t revisit and describe it as a single long distance route. I imagine the new version will be available next year.

    Starting from Athens or Corinth might be tricky though. I looked at how to get from Delphi to the Peloponnese and basically decided to get the bus and start from Diakopto opposite Itea on the opposite side. I don’t think there is any obvious hiking route, and there’s quite a few roads and established agriculture and development. The only option I can think of is via Ano/Kato Tithorea over Parnassos, as described in the Cicerone guide, but I’m not sure if there’d be a good way to walk from Athens to the start. Tim Salmon lived in Athens for years so might be the best person to ask.

    We have had a house near Kalamata for years so I’ve visited the Marathopolis area occasionally, and done quite a bit of walking in Taygetos and elsewhere. It would be good to have a chat sometime about your experience in the Peloponnese. I’m not sure when our next trip to Greece will be, due to unpredictable commitments here. As well as walking the length of Crete, we’d like to complete “the Delphi gap”, so I’ll be interested to hear how you get on around Delphi.

    All the best

    Jane

  5. Isidoros says:

    Dear Jane
    Ι loved your way of telling the story of your hike. Me and a friend of mine are planning to go for a long distance hike in Greece. We have walked the E4 route in Pelopponysos and we really enjoyed it. We are considering walking a bit more of the E4 route. What part of Greece would you sudjest? Between 10-15 days of walking would be ideal.

    Thanks in advance

    Isidoros

  6. Jane Laurie says:

    Hi Isidoros
    I’m glad you enjoyed the blog and good luck with your plans for another long walk in Greece – it’s such a fantastic country for hiking.

    We didn’t follow the E4 for much of the time. In the Peloponnese it’s well-maintained but further north it all too often follows roads or is very overgrown. And it didn’t go to all the places we wanted to visit. I think in Crete it would probably be better, and there’s some useful guides/accounts, but we haven’t walked that bit yet. We did follow the E6 in the North for a while, and then various local paths like the O3. With the Anavasi maps and a GPS, route finding is not really a problem.

    It all depends – how far do you want to walk? do you like camping? how remote are you comfortable with? There is some great walking along the Pindos mountains which run north-south down the spine of Greece. The most popular area is around the Vikos Gorge, and these paths are well-maintained with a good choice of places to stay. The Gorge itself is spectacular. You could perhaps walk from Konitsa to Metsovo. I loved the area between Kastoria and Konitsa – undiscovered, bear prints etc – but it is very remote and can be snowbound till early June. There were also some real highlights between Metsovo and Karpenisi: pretty Kalarites village, the ridge walk above Gardiki, the river walk to Leondito and then the ascent to the Delidhimi pass and the precipitous muletrack to Epiniana.

    Much depends on when you are planning to go – Crete in May, the northern mountains in June, July, September. August is busy everywhere. Provincial towns like Kastoria, Konitsa, Metsovo, Karpenisi make good start and end points, as there are few buses to the villages (except around Vikos). I assume you have the Cicerone Greek Mountains book?

    But you probably know all this! With a name like yours, are you from Greece anyway?

    Let me know if I can help with any more information. I’ll be interested to hear where you decide to go and how you get on.

    Best wishes

    Jane

  7. Peter says:

    On travels through Greece one summer in the 1980s, I hiked through the Vikos gorge near Monodendri. The natural beauty of the gorge surprised me, but so did the poison ivy. Do you know if poison ivy is still a problem in that gorge, and elsewhere on hiking trails in Greece?

    Thanks.

  8. Jane Laurie says:

    Hi Peter
    No, we never came across poison ivy in the Vikos Gorge or elsewhere. I thought it was purely a North American plant. There may have been stinging nettles, but I can’t remember them being a problem – maybe very early in the year when the spring vegetation is lush. The only problem plants we found were the holly oaks because of the prickles on overgrown paths, but that was further south. Did you actually get affected by the plant or did it just look like poison ivy?

    Thanks for reading the blog and I hope you enjoyed it.

    Jane

  9. Iain Cameron says:

    Hi my wife and I are hoping to walk the peloponnese section of the pindos way however having read the section on dogs in Tim Salmonds most recent guide book it has if anything left me feeling more than a little nervous with regard to any possible encounter with these rather frightening sheep guard dogs . I would appreciate any comments you might have on this subject and indeed any information you might have if you yourselves had any encounters with aggressive dogs during your own trek.
    Hope you can be of assistance. Iain Cameron.

  10. Jane Laurie says:

    Hi Iain
    I think the issue re sheep guard dogs is more relevant to the northern Greek mainland rather than the Peloponnese, since there they have wolves and bears to contend with and are trained to be fierce. Dogs are much less of a problem in the Peloponnese, since there are no wolves etc and it’s less remote, without the vast flocks of sheep. You will come across unfortunate guard dogs tied up outside a house or smallholding – they bark a lot but they are usually secured well out of reach. If you come across a loose dog, the owner is usually around and you just need to shout for them to come and help if you are worried. I think the main thing is to be aware that Greek dogs can be fierce, so maintain eye contact, don’t assume they are friendly and tell them firmly to go away. Bending to pick up a stone can help – they will know what that means. I’ve been hiking around the Peloponnese for nearly 40 years, and never had any problems. We did meet some of the large fierce dogs which Tim describes in northern Greece, but just gave them a wide berth or called the shepherd.

    So don’t worry about the dogs, have a great trip and enjoy the walk!
    Best wishes

    Jane

  11. Jeremy Radcliffe says:

    Great blog!
    Do you email updates or have a facebook page?

  12. Jane Laurie says:

    Hi Jeremy,
    Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I have a Facebook page at facebook.com/greekhiking I’m currently posting a few photos of short hikes in the Taygetos in the Peloponnese.
    Jane

  13. Paul Finch says:

    Hi
    My partner and I are planning to trek the Pindos mountain region. We are flying to Prevaze where we will make our way to Ionannina from where we will start our route into the mountains. We want to avoid hiring a car and would like to plan a circular route that will enable us to walk around 8 to 14 miles per day, terrain permitting.

    Is it feasible to do this, we have maps and a guide, but most of the suggested routes are day walks. Please le me know if you have any advice that will make our first visit to Greece successful

  14. Jane Laurie says:

    Hi Paul
    You don’t say how long you have got, and whether you will be camping or need accommodation every night.

    The easiest introduction to the Pindos is the Zagoria area, which has developed a good network of paths and welcomes hikers. There are places to stay in most of the villages. It would be possible to get a bus from Ioannina to Konitsa (good service every few hours), and then walk from Konitsa over to Zagoria via the Stomiou Monastery. Then you could easily spend some days hiking round the Zagoria, down the Vikos gorge, round to Skamneli, and up to the Dragon Lake, perhaps back to Konitsa via the alternative route.There are buses from Monodendri in the Zagoria, but these are not as frequent or easy to get information about – check in Ioannina bus station. KTEL is the main Greek bus provider – you can google their website, which is available in English, though not all that easy to navigate. If you wanted to do a one way walk, I’d advise starting in the Zagoria with the less reliable bus service and finish in Konitsa, so you’re sure of getting back for your plane. Also, the hike from Konitsa to Astrakas is quite demanding, so maybe best not to start with that one. Other towns with a good bus service include Karpenisi and Metsovo , and it would be possible to work out starting in one and ending in another.

    Do you have the Cicerone Zagoria guide (I haven’t seen it yet) as well as the Pindos Way? I imagine bus details will be in the Zagoria one. Even if the Zagoria guide has mostly day walks, it’s quite possible with the excellent Anavasi maps to plot out your own long distance route. A GPS is useful on more remote stretches – make sure it can take custom maps like the Anavasi ones.

    You probably only need to book accommodation in July/August or peak times like Whitsun, so my advice would be to be as flexible as possible – and take plenty of water, rehydration salts, and a hiking pole. People are always friendly and ready to help, so make sure you ask for updates on the state of the paths, even if they’re in the guide. So long as you’re a reasonably experienced hiker, and OK with maps, you should have no trouble planning your own route.

    Hope you have a great time
    Jane

  15. David Neckar says:

    I have just returned from hiking the Vikos Gorge with a couple of friends. The whole Zagoria area we visited was a revelation to us: its dramatic beauty, its rich vegetation and the impressively substantial houses. We went from Kapesovo, to Monodendri then up the Gorge to Papingo, over 5 Days in all.
    I would like to organise a similar trip again and wondered if you could suggest some ideas for other areas in Greece – for example, what about the Lousios Gorge? Ideally capable of fitting into a similar 5 day project, building up to the long main hike on the 4th day. Suitable for three 60+ chaps…!

  16. Jane Laurie says:

    Hi David
    Yes, the mountains of Greece are really spectacular, and I’m amazed they’re so little known. Where to go next depends partly on the time of year, as well as whether you’re happy to camp. There’s plenty of accommodation around the Vikos Gorge area, and the footpaths are usually well marked. The rest of northern Greece is usually not so well supplied with places to stay, and you definitely need a GPS and good map reading skills to find the route. The hiking season is also fairly short, with snow still lying until June. Two areas worth considering: around Konitsa – perhaps Kefalohori to Aghia Paraskevi, the Smolikas Dragon Lake and Palioseli – then occasional bus or taxi back to Konitsa. From Konitsa, you can also walk over to the Vikos Gorge, via the Stomio Monastery. Secondly,perhaps the walk from Petroto to Leondito (village guest house), up the Koubourianitiko river (summer only), then over the Delidhimi pass and down the Asprorema valley to Epiniana (good guest house).

    The Peloponnese offers mostly easier walking, with more choice of places to stay. The Lousios valley area is good, and the small towns there are pretty with a fascinating history, though quite touristy. The Taygetos is another excellent area, perhaps walking along the Sparti side from the Byzantine site of Mistras first, then crossing over and down to the coast around Kardamili, which is well-known for walking, with well-marked routes. I would get the Cicerone Trekking in Greece book if you don’t have it (new revised edition published last year), which has good descriptions of most options, including accommodation.

    Have a great trip,
    Jane

  17. David Neckar says:

    Dear Jane,
    Thanks so much for your prompt and informative response which provides lots of ideas to be working on. I think the Peloponnese looks best for us – easier walking and more places to stay. Not keen on camping!
    Kind regards,
    David

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