WALKING AND TREKKING IN ZAGORI: NORTHERN PINDOS MOUNTAINS (CICERONE)
Most of Greece is mountains – beautiful, rugged, undeveloped, remote and yet accessible. Alpine pastures soften the harshness of the crags, forests fill the ravines and springs and rivers abound and many are over 2000m in altitude. They are hillwalkers’ rather than climbers’ mountains, but you do need to be in good physical shape to explore them. Routes – though not technical – are physically demanding because of the variations in altitude, the distances involved and the absence both of organised facilities for the walker and of the restorative creature comforts.
The routes described in this guidebook are arranged in three groups: the Píndhos Range, Athens and the East Coast, and the Peloponnese. The Píndhos Range accounts for the vast majority of them. They can be put together to form continuous multi-day hikes – including going the whole hog from Delphi to Albania – or treated as straightforward ascent of a single peak. Similarly, the routes described under the other two groups can be used as day walks or as building blocks for something longer. This guidebook contains 23 route descriptions for the Píndhos Range, 7 for the Athens region and 11 for the Peloponnese area.
Walks are graded on a scale of 1 to 3. You will find that nearly all are graded 3, not because they require a high degree of technical expertise or involve any serious danger – with rare exceptions they do not. But they do demand a considerable degree of commitment because of their remoteness and inaccessibility, and the absence of organised facilities. Routes are often long, with nowhere to stop between start and finish. The terrain is unremittingly difficult and navigation often far from easy. Most of them are definitely not for the fainthearted or inexperienced.
June–Sept is the most settled period for weather, and not too hot in the mountains. Snow Nov–April in the mountains.
Athens, Yánina, Delphi, Ámfisa, Areópolis
Demanding rather than technically difficult. Suitable for fit and experienced walkers. Remote: navigation skills essential.
Traverse of the Pindhos, Mt Olympus, Mt Athos, Mt Parnasos, the Mani; the Greek people
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