Treasures of Western Macedonia (Kastoria, Prespa lakes)
Western Macedonia is considered to be the ‘energy heart’ of Greece in which country’s 2/3 of total energy is produced. Aside energy, the land is rich in history, natural reserves, religious sites and architecture. In this journey you will be acquainted with iconic places, including Vergina with the glorious tomb of King Philip the II and the Sun of Vergina, symbol of Macedonia, the romantic city of Kastoria situated on the shores of the lake, its magnificent Ottoman mansions and Byzantine churches, Prespa lakes national park with number of rare species of flora and fauna, unique Roman and Byzantine monuments, and Nymfeo village, sample of traditional architecture. Get on board to experience a fascinating trip across the northwest side of Greece.
Day : 1 - Athens – Vergina - Kastoria
Morning departure to Vergina (UNESCO 1996), first capital of ancient kingdom of Macedonia that has been discovered in 1977. Considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece housing unique exhibits such as the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, and the golden Sun of Vergina, symbol of Macedonia. Arrival to Kastoria in early evening, check-in and overnight.
Day : 2 - Kastoria (Dispilio prehistoric settlement, Dragon cave, Doltso)
After breakfast visit Dispilio, the only Neolithic lakeside settlement excavated in Greece, at which archaeologists confirmed that the site was continuously used from the Early Neolithic (∼6000 BC) to the Late Chalcolithic period (∼1200 BC, Mycenaean period). Then, in Dragon Cave you may see part of the 7 underground lakes, 10 chambers and 5 tunnels, in which bones of bear aged 10.000 years old were discovered. Next visit to the Monastery of Panagia (Virgin) Mavriotissa built in the 11th century, being one of the earliest, among the 72 churches and chapels, located in Kastoria. Back in Kastoria, at Doltso district, you will enjoy the atmosphere of the old town laying magnificent mansions built in Baroque and Rococo style, post Byzantine churches and stone-paved streets and alleys. Day concludes to a fur factory where you get to know on fur techniques used in Kastoria for more than 5 centuries.
Day : 3 - Kastoria (Prespa Lakes)
Today, comes an unforgettable full day experiential trip to the national park of Prespa being among the most beautiful, remote and yet least known landscapes of Greece. Protected by Ramsar Convention, Prespa is a biotope for many rare animal and plant species and home to 1500 plant species, 42 species of mammals, 11 species of amphibians, 21 species of reptiles and 23 species of fish, of which 12 are endogenous. In Psarades, the only Greek settlement in Great Prespa, you will board in small motor boats to see the tri-national borders shared between Greece, Albania and North Macedonia, and visit the ruins of the hermitage of Agia Paraskevi. After lunch visit to the Basilica of Agios Achillios (10 A.C century) in Small Prespa that hosts numerous Pelican species, including White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) and the Dalmatian Pelican (P. crispus). Return to Kastoria in the evening. Time at leisure, overnight.
Day : 4 - Kastoria – Nymfeo - Athens
The last day of our cultural journey we will visit the traditional settlement of Nymfeo which is considered to be one of the best reserved places in Greece. Continue to Athens. Arrival late in the evening.
- Transportation and in-depth visits as per detailed itinerary
- Admission fees as per programme
- 3 nights accommodation with breakfast
- 3 main meals
- Boat ride at Prespa lake
- Geo Routes escort
- Geo Routes material
- Liability Insurance
- *** excluded: personal expenses, tips, gratuities, anything not explicitly stated above
4 days cultural heritage-environmental journey
(Tour code: GR008)
- Daily on request
- Βookings close 14 days prior to departure
- Program does not operate on 6 January, 25 March, 1 May, Orthodox Easter, 28 October, Christmas & New Year periods
- Aigai archaeological site (1996 )
- On request
- Vergina archaeological site (exc.Tuesdays)
- Lake settlement of Dispilio
- Monastery of Mavriotissa
- Dragon cave
- Kastoria, Dolsto
- Lakes of Prespa
- Agia Paraskevi hermitage
- Agios Achillios little island
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