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Τετάρτη Νοέμβριος 22 , 2017
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The centaurs' mountain

Trip reference: “The centaurs’ mountains”

Trip profile: An 8 day trekking program graded easy to moderate.  A very historical, interesting crossing, taking you along three mountains of unique beauty! It has it all! Summits, forests, sea trails and picturesque villages, overlooking the Aegean Sea. After all, this is the land of the mythical centaurs and its coastline saw the Argonauts sailing off to the land of the golden - fleece.

Trip dossier:

Country: Greece.

Region: Mt. Kissavos (Ossa), Mt. Mavrovouni & Mt. Pelion, in the region of eastern Thessaly.

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights.

Period: May to October.

Type: Adult Individuals, groups, walking clubs & corporate. It is a typical mountain crossing, offering a great variety of terrain, altitude and cultural / historical interest.

Day 1. Transfer from the airport to your hotel. You meet with your local guides over the welcome meal. Time to relax before your program starts.

Day 2. Visit the historic traditional village of Ambelakia, situated on the northern slopes of Mt. Kissavos, overlooking the Tempi valley and be introduced to the reach history of the place by a local professional guide. Transfer on forest road to Kanalos location (1600m)  on higher Mt. Kissavos (Ossa) from where we commence our trek, in the area dominated in ancient times by king Philoctites. We head for the summit at 1978m from where we will enjoy unrivalled views of the plain of Thessaly to the west, the Aegean sea to the east, lower and higher Mt. Olympus to the north and Mt. Pelion to the south. From here we desend to the beautiful valley of Belmas (1300m), where we will find our prepared camp. Approximate time of walk 3.30’ to 4.00’ hours, moderate to strenuous.

Day 3. Trek to Anatoli village on the southern slopes of Kissavos where we will stop to appreciate the picturesque nature of the village’s square over a drink or snack. From Anatoli, we head for Metaxochori, another traditional and historic village on the southern slopes of the mountain this time. We spend the night in a splendid stone built pension with superb facilities and great sensitivity and respect for the local architectural tradition. Another option is to move by road from Metaxochori to Skiti village (20’) on the northern slopes of Mt. Mavrovouni with great views to the Agean not far below and spend the night there at an equally superb traditional pension. Approximate time of walk 5.00’ hours, moderate.

Day 4. We transfer by road from Metaxochori or Skiti to Elafos village, from where we trek to the village of Keramidi in northern Pelion, which although a typical mountain village, has a strong seafaring tradition and is famous for its fishing boats. Here, we have a good rest and a light meal, under enormous platan trees at the Village’s square. From here we continue on foot or by road if you wish, to the small village of Veneton a little further to the south, where we spent the night at the village’s pension. Approximate time of walk 3.00’ to keramidi and 500’ total to Veneton, easy.

Day 5. From Veneton, a very nice path on the north eastern slopes of Mt. Pelion takes us to the very old monastery of Flamouri, where we stop, rest and talk about the monastery’s history over a light meal in an amazing setting.

From Flamouri, we continue through a deeply forested mountain landscape to the ruined Monastery of Sourvias , with its very old restored main church building. The setting is beyond words.  We set up camp for the night. Approximate time of walk 5.00’, moderate.

Day 6. From Sourvias we move to Panagia Letsiani location on foot or by dirt broad, and from there we cross the south east Pelion to reach the well known village of Makrinitsa which overlooks Volos and the Pagasitikos gulf. The views we enjoy from Makrinitsa are just amazing! Here we have completed our crossing! We spend the night in Makrinitsa, in a traditional pension, or hotel.

Day 7. Today is a free day to explore Makrinitsa and the neighboring village of Portaria and do this last minute shopping. There is so much to see in this place! In the evening you are transferred back to where we started from (Ambelakia or Stomion), to spend the last night before your departure.

Day 8. Transfer to the airport for your return flight.

General information about the program

Accommodation: Great care is taken in selecting appropriate accommodation for your holiday. Nights 1, 3, 4, 6 & 7 are spent in hotel or pension in the area along the trek as described in the itinerary. Nights 2 & 5 are spent in organized by the Olympos Trek support team outdoor camps.

Meals and meal plan: This trip is organized on a half board basis on days 3, 4 & 6. On days 2 & 5 we cook supper at the camp, so in this case we have full board days. On arrival day 1 as well as day 7, we all seat around the table for the welcome and farewell evening meals, which are included in the price too. The rest (3) of the evening meals (days 3, 4 & 6), can be taken in local restaurants or traditional Greek tavernas and this will give you the perfect opportunity to sample real Greek hospitality, delicious food and very fine wine, typical of the region. Breakfast is included at your accommodation and on the camping out days it is provided by us (included in the price). The lunch pack for the day’s walk is also provided by us, taking of course under consideration your nutrition preferences, along with coffee or tea and cookies.

Transport: Transfers will be in minibus, taking you from your accommodation to the starting point of the day’s walk when it is needed, according to the itinerary. The travelling time for these transfers ranges from 15’ to 30’. The minibus or the jeep will be waiting for you at the end of every walk at camp sites or your accommodation with your luggage (the one you do not carry on the walk, but you need for the evening and night). Some of your luggage (only what you need for your last night and your return home day) will stay at your first day’s accommodation to wait for you to return on day 7 prior to your departure.

As for the transfers from / to the airport, the public transport seems to be the cheapest and why not the best way. The nearest airport is the Makedonia airport of Thessaloniki, 1.30’ hours by train or bus to Rapsani station being very close to your accommodation. The “Proastiakos” train runs from Thessaloniki to Rapsani and Larisa stations almost every hour for less than €10.00 return. From the airport you take the bus to the main train station in Thessaloniki. It takes 20’ to 30’ and costs €01.00. The buses also run in the same manner, although a bit more expensive than the train. They stop at Rapsani train station too. At Rapsani, we pick you up and take you to your accommodation at Ambelakia or Stomion, 20’ away by road.  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 3.30’ to 4.30’ hours 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. Your destination is Larisa. We pick you up from the station. Taxi or mini bus transport can be arranged if you wish, at an extra cost.

Essential equipment: Apart from your seasonal clothing for the walks, you should bring with you the following:

  • A day back pack (30 to 50 lt.).
  • A pair of good walking boots.
  • Fleecy jacket and pullover.
  • Wind proof / water repellent breathable jacket.
  • Extra tee shirts, under wear and good socks for walking.
  • Three seasons sleeping bag, if sleeping outdoors.
  • Water flask or simply a plastic water bottle.
  • Sun glasses.
  • Sun and head worming hat.
  • Sun protective cream.
  • Telescopic poles.
  • Head lamp. (Not absolutely necessary, but it helps a lot).

Group size and staff: Maximum group size is 16 people and minimum 6. This trip is led by Olympos Trek and supported by expert local guides. Guides are not provided for clients not taking part in the group’s walking program.

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 and staff to damage the physical environment, living litter or rubbish lying around. Anything we take in to an area, we must take out again.

First aid: Our guides are qualified in first aid and curry a complete first aid kit at all times. We are also connected with the Greek mountain rescue and the National Center for Immediate Medical Help.

Price: (VAT included)