Tours Greece

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Mark Twain

Track wild bears in a pristine mountainous corner of Greece: Northern Pindos. Back to nature with the friendly guides of wildlife charity CALLISTO to hear about bear research methods, walk in the wilderness and witness traces of wild bears.

The beautiful Pindos mountain range in the north west is considered the Amazon of Greece. It contains many peaks of over 2.000m, glacial lakes, pristine alpine meadows, and rare flora and fauna. At least 500 wild bears roam the wilderness of Greece.

Perfect for:  Lovers of the outdoors, keen to get off the beaten path in Greece’s spectacular mountains, getting to know the real Greece through friendly locals.

Arrive at Thessaloniki airport. From here you get a private transfer to the lovely Kastoria region, at the foothills of the Pindos mountain range.  The transfer is via an excellent highway. The distance covers some 190 km (118 miles) and lasts for a duration just under 2  hours.

Arrive at the guesthouse situated near the very scenic Kastoria Lake. Time to rest before you meet your nature guide and CALLISTO expert on Brown bears. Time permitting, there will be a first nature hike in the area near your hotel, which is part of bear habitat. Then you will have dinner and a presentation in your hotel. You get a fascinating information session about the European Brown Bear and the nature conservation efforts of CALLISTO which poses a great introduction for the days ahead.

In the early morning we might go to a place where brown bears may be active, foraging -observation in an attempt to spot bears. After breakfast you head North, to the great outdoors! This is where wildlife charity CALLISTO conducts field research. Walk in the wilderness with your expert guide and learn about: the use of radio telemetry equipmentand methods of radio tracking animals, finding signs for recording bear presence, measuring footprints to determine the size and age of a bear and remote camera traps. A visit to either a beekeeper or a livestock breeder to see how he co-exists with the bears in the area. See how CALLISTO helps these locals by providing them with preventive measures such as special mobile fences and providing a breed of guarding dogs that keep the bears at bay. On the way back you will pay a visit to the bear sanctuary at Nymfaio, of the nature organization Arcturos. It is a shelter where orphan wild bears and rescued bears are kept in a fenced area of some 50.000 m2. The guided tour here lasts around 1 hour.

At the Bear Sanctuary you’ll see bears, guaranteed, up-close and personal!

Opportunity to explore the traditional mountain village of Nymfaio. Drive back to Kastoria. Dinner in your guesthouse.

Overnight in 3* accommodation in Kastoria

Start your day early with another wild bears observation effort in bear habitat. After breakfast you head to the wilderness of the greater Kastoria area. Walk with your expert guide, in an area where wild bears are active. Look for bear tracks and other signs such as bear droppings, bear hairs and scratch marks on trees or poles! Back to rest in your guesthouse.

In the afternoon you discover Kastoria town, one of Greece’s prettiest villages. It’s highlights include many historical mansions of the 18th and 19th century, a folk museum, a costume museum and a Byzantine Museum.With its location at the lake shore, Kastoria – a Natura 2000 site, a wildlife Refuge and an Important Bird Area, is great for watching birds. Pygmy cormorants, Dalmatian and White Pelicans, Ferruginous Duck and Night Herons all live in this area of exceptional beauty. Finally, Kastoria is famous for its numerous Byzantine churchesof the 11th,12th and 13th century! Dinner in Kastoria

Overnight in 3* Accommodation in Kastoria

After breakfast, you head for the Grammos Mountain, near the Albanian border. It is Greece’s 4th highest mountain (2.520m summit)! The transfer will take around an hour. After the drive we will set out on a hike on the mountain trails to Grammos Lodge. You’re invited to take in the wild beauty of this forested area, which is rich in pine and beech forests and vast sub-alpine meadows, and forms one of the most attractive trekking destinations in Europe. Admire impressive mountain ranges, forested slopes and the breath-taking natural landscape unfolding before your eyes. Hit amazing trails in a truly unspoiled paradise, where crystal clear rivers flow through the forested valleys. Drive back to your guesthouse in the afternoon. Later that day you discover more of Kastoria town and its Lake. Dinner in Kastoria town.

Overnight in 3* Accommodation in Kastoria

After breakfast get your transfer to Thessaloniki. Expect to be back at 1 PM. We advice to take a flight back no earlier than 2 PM.

Tour Highlights:

  • Track wild bears and other large mammals in a rarely visited mountainous corner of Greece
  • Learn about and experience the vital conservation work being done for this enigmatic species
  • Join researchers of the wildlife charity CALLISTO, exploring remote bear territory and habitat of other mammals like Wolf, European Otter and Roe Deer
  • Reload your batteries as you walk amazing trails in a truly unspoiled and little known paradise
  • Observe and Conserve; your holiday price includes a donation for a Bear Conservation project by Callisto
  • Enjoy other bountiful wildlife – especially birds, butterflies and plants

Price and Availability

Price and availability can be further discussed through direct enquiry with Animals around the Globe. 

€615 – p.p. for stay in quadruple room

€620 – p.p. for stay in triple room

€650 – p.p. for stay in double room

€715 – p.p. for stay in single room

Dates 2021: 

29 May 2021 (Available)

18 September 2021 (Available)

 24 October 2021 (Available)

Additional dates can be arranged for private small groups too, however direct contact with Animals Around the Globe is required for this.

Additional Info

  • Participants will need to have a minimal level of fitness, as there are walks of approx. 2 hours’ duration in the mountains. This tour has some easy walks, but on occasion, if tracking a bear, walks may become more strenuous and cover rough ground.
  • We can expect a variety of weather conditions ranging from pleasantly warm to cold so layered clothing will be advisable. Expect mostly dry weather (especially June, July, August, September) but there may be an occasional rain shower. Firm walking shoes are indispensable, binoculars, camera optional. Bring along a rucksack, cap or hat, sun glasses, sun cream too for during the walks in nature.
  • Flight advice: arrive no later than 2 PM at Thessaloniki airport on 1st day. Take a flight back home not earlier than 2 PM on last day.

Whats Included?

INCLUDES
  • 4 overnight stays in 3* accommodation Kastoria
  • Meals as indicated in program, half board basis
  • English speaking guiding services by representative(s) of wildlife charity CALLISTO in the Pindos mountain area
  • All land transfers with comfortable vehicle a/c with pick up and drop off Thessaloniki airport.
  • 50 € donation to wildlife charity CALLISTO
EXCLUDES
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks, lunches and personal items.
  •  
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We walked through beautiful countryside, learning about bears, plants, birds, the history and culture of the area, how farmers cope with bears and wolves. After a leisurely lunch (there is no such thing as a short lunch in Greece) off somewhere else – a walk through a village, a sheepfarm, a vineyard, and then a leisurely dinner. If you like walking, learning and eating, this is a fabulous trip. The guides, Maria and Iannis were wonderful – friendly, well organised and very very knowledgeable. I’ve been coming to greece for years, but this is the first time I’ve really felt I was getting to know the place and people. Thank you.
Cathryn Symons
Previous explorer
5/5
Wonderful mountain scenery, enthusiastic guides, delicious Greek food and good mood and lot of fun during the whole trip. A real highlight was to learn about camera traps, to get insight into bear research, radio tracking etc. Guesthouse Vissinokipos is magic place with amazing view on Kastoria Lake and terrific hosts Christina and Christos. Both Marias (our guides) were incredibly passionate about wildlife and conservation. Many thanks to everybody for wonderful holiday! Henriette
Henriette Hadrocka
Previous explorer
5/5
I really enjoyed my first visit to Greece ever and delighted to meet everyone especially Yiannis. He is the best, and communicates well. I felt safe with him and did panic a bit when out of sight. He is in tune and very clever and never met anyone like him before. ***** 5-star: I really enjoyed the whole trip. I would have liked to seen a bear so maybe the random bait drop could work? I would recommend this to friends, in fact have done so already and thank you so much for being around at the end of the phone. I really like this trip and loved Greece !
Soraya Wasemuis
Previous explorer
5/5

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