Epirus, northern Greece
Sun 12 May – Sun 19 May
Epirus includes some of Greece's finest mountain scenery and is dominated by the remarkable Vikos Gorge, reputedly the deepest in the world. This whole limestone region holds wolves and bears and has recently undergone massive afforestation as the human population has declined and agriculture withdrawn. It is in many ways an example of the 'rewilding' which is presently such a hot political potato among British environmnetalists. Yet the old traditional pastoralism, practised here for thousands of years by the nomadic Sarakatsani and Vlachs, was far from unsympathetic to nature. On the contrary, it led to a remarkable flora, especially on the higher slopes, as well as a profusion of butterflies and striking insects - owl-flies, bush crickets, praying-mantises.
We are destined to see much of this wonderful wildlife but it is a great cultural landscape as well, with a fascinating late-Ottoman history that resulted in some of Greece's most distinctive and beautiful rural architecture. Our hotel in the car-free village of Dilofo is a perfect example. It is a lovingly restored 400-year-old farmhouse. One important part of the holidays is a combined visit to the former Albanian Muslim city of Ioannina and now the regional capital (which holds some of the beautiful Byzantine art that Maria and I have ever seen) but also to the ancient Greek oracle of Gaia at Dodona.
There is a small number of places left on this holiday. If you are interested there is a blog post here and I can provide a more detailed breakdown of the trip in a pdf. Email me with any questions by clicking here.
Prices and Arrangements
Single £1395 Shared: £1295 Dates: Sun 12- Sun 19 May 2019