Luxury Holidays in Zagoria
We are pleased to launch our 2016 Zagoria programme. Please use the search boxes for a more detailed search.
To find out more about our holidays to Zagoria or to book, please contact us on 020 8392 5858.
Virtually unknown outside of Greece, Zagoria is well off any beaten tourist track yet warmly welcoming to visitors in the way that only the Greeks know how. Old ties to the area mean it’s long been a favourite of ours, but we have had to wait years for the right standard of accommodation to be able to offer it to Simpson guests. For 2015 we are delighted to feature two small, cosy yet elegant hotels in the heart of Zagoria, making us one of only a handful of companies to bring its imposing architecture, rugged beauty and myriad outdoor activities to British travellers.
Why Visit Zagoria
Part national park, part conservation area, Zagoria is a wildly beautiful and culturally important region made up of 45 traditional villages in the Pindus Mountains, and it is one of Europe’s few remaining untouched corners. The high mountains, grassy plateaux and deep ravines are more Alpine than Mediterranean, creating a spectacular backdrop to explore. The Vikos Gorge – Greece’s Grand Canyon – is an iconic and strenuous walking route, but there are plenty of places to peer into its record-breaking depths from above, and many other easier hikes to tackle. The other great defining feature of Zagoria is its highly distinctive architecture. Centuries-old footpaths and graceful stone bridges link the villages, the triple arches of Kalogeriko being one of the most impressive. The grandeur of the slate-roofed houses and Byzantine churches comes as quite a surprise in this seemingly remote outpost, yet it is this very isolation which allowed Zagoria to prosper during Ottoman occupation and retain its important cultural heritage. The villages of Papingo and Monodendri have been declared national monuments, and it is possible to peep inside some of the rather austere grey buildings to discover bright frescoes and ornate painted furniture that lend each house its own character. You can get a tasty home-cooked meal here too, knowing that pretty much everything on your plate has been reared or grown within a 5km radius of your plate!
When to Visit
Spring and autumn are the most impressive seasons, when the mountains are a photographer’s dream of stunning natural colour and dazzlingly pure light. Exploring by car is easy as the roads are relatively good, and for those more actively inclined there are reputable local companies offering organised hikes, horse-riding and river rafting.
Twin Centres – Mountains and Beaches
For all that it feels remote, Zagoria is well connected by a rather impressive new road to the coast, meaning that you can easily combine your mountain exploration with a leisurely beach break. Just 1.5 hour’s drive away is Sivota – a sleepy little mainland resort with pretty beaches, crystalline seas and our own serenely beautiful Simpson Hotel, White Orchid. On the tiny island of Paxos, about 45 minutes away, you’ll find another Simpson Hotel, Purple Apricot, plus a wide choice of villas. Corfu - luxury villa capital of the Ionian – can reached in around two hours, a delightfully sophisticated contrast to the untamed and authentic landscapes of Zagoria. Twin centre options can be tailor-made to suit, depending on the season: please contact us for advice and availability.