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Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

Chester
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Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

I have just discovered this area in the sunvil brouchure, and would like to explore the stunning landscape.

Would you recommend a coastal apartment/hotel and then days driving inland or a sort of touring fly-drive option.

Sunvil fly drive seems a bit steep in price, is it possible to fly independently,hire a car and set off on an adventure?

Would you recommend booking b&b in advance or can we just find places as we go (which is what i've done in the past on the islands).

Any advice on this would be great, it really looks a undiscovered gem! Thanks

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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1. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

Perfectly possible to go it alone & have a proper adventure. If you fly to Preveza & arrange a hire car you can then go as you please. Time of year will influence avalability of rooms on the wing (June should be fine) - but with a car you can easily drive to the next village if you cannot find a room available of course.

Are you planning one week or two? There is so much to see & do you could fill months & still go back for more!

Edited: 11 January 2012, 09:47
Chester
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2. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

Thanks for your reply, and advice.

It's my partners 40th birthday on 8th June so we want to be away then, and I think an adventure (however small) will make him feel younger!

Would love to do 2 weeks but depends on funds and work, for a first time visitor would you have any suggestions?

Once again thanks for the help.

uk
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3. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

When we've done this we've based ourselves in Parga but hired our car from Preveza airport. Had a couple of days in the Vikos Gorge/Zagoria area then back to Parga for a few days before heading off again into the mountainous countryside. It is perhaps an expensive way of doing things but we wanted to combine coastal resort and countryside areas, we neither wanted to be driving every day.

There are plenty of rooms available in the Epirus region but we did use a local travel agent in Parga to book ahead for us so we knew where we were going, what it would cost and then could take our time without worrying about finding suitable accommodation.

We also like to visit the lovely beaches in the area for a relaxing day. As Tsipouro says, there is so much to see in this beautiful and unspoilt area and you can make it as busy or relaxing as you choose. Just make sure you get a good map and set yourselves a loose itinerary - it can always be changed if you fancy going off in another direction.

Best Regards

South Pole
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4. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

It does make sense from a mileage/fuel costs angle to work out a circular route. But do stay a few days in each place that appeals & get a real feel for local life. With 2 weeks you could spend a say 3 nights in Parga, drive up to Zagoria & stay 4 or 5 nights, then take a trip over to Meteora monasteries (2 nights/1 full day will suffice as there is nothing else of major interest here). Still plenty of days left for whatever takes your fancy along the way! It is a good idea to be back in Parga/Preveza area for last night so there is no panic getting to your homeward flight.

I wrote extensive trip reports on a 2 week circular trip in 2009. If you go to the sticky "Memories of Greece" at the top of the the Greece Forum you will find links to my reports under post 1. This was not my first trip to Zagoria & I had been to Meteora before so did not go there this time. But most of the rest was a voyage of discovery. It might give you an overview & a few ideas of places to see. The trip to Edessa is a long way & I would not do it again from the west. The Prespa Lakes are stunning! We are not beach people BTW - but Parga can provide that for you if it is a requirement!

I will be back in the Zagoria area in May - but this time approaching from Athens via Delphi & Olympus area.

Chester
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5. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

Thank you for the detailed itinerary, i'm not that beachy (!) but may have to spend a few days on the coast so my partner can play in the sea. but then we will go exploring.

Would you have any ideas on budget, say for b&b accommodation, daily needs etc?

I feel that £1480 each for 14 days fly-drive is excessive, which is what I was quoted by a package company this morning.

The whole area looks great,hope i can sell it to Andy :)

South Pole
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6. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

Difficult to say what daily budget you need as it depends on so many variations. However we travel in May & usually have no problem finding rooms on a budget of €30 to €45 per night, but we do look for village rooms not smart hotels. An evening meal with a couple of drinks can be anything from €20 - €30 for two. Fuel is of course quite expensive now - an economy or compact car with 1.1 or 1.2 engine car will be suited to travelling distances in comfort & be most economical both for rental & fuel. Everyone's spending is different - but I would expect to do a 2 week trip of this type for two for much less than the quoted figure of almost £3000. Perhaps around £2000? But we spend our days walking & exploring & do not frequent bars at night so the living is cheap!

Also depends on what flights you manage to source. A cheap package deal including a transfer to Parga, where you then "abandon" the included accomodation for several days & head off in a rental car from resort, might be more economical than a flight only! As Taisy said you could get local advice in Parga about where to go & help with rooms. Or you throw caution to the wind & make it up as you go. Either way if you have the willingness to get out there you will indeed discover what a wonderful area it is.

East Sussex, United...
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7. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

An excellent and informative thread which I trust no one will mind me hijacking this far down the line.

We (the wife and I) have 9 days in September/October for a mini Ionian island hop - 2 nights Kefalonia, 2 nights Lefkas, and 2/3 nights Paxos/Corfu town. That of course leaves 2 days to get from Lefkas to Paxos. Gazing over the sea from Paxos, I've always wondered what secrets those mountains on the mainland hold. I reckon we have a couple of nights to find out...

My plan is to hire a small car in Lefkas Town and drop it off in Igoumenitsa 2 days later. Europcar quote £120 for this 2 day, one way rental which seems ok'ish to me. Any thoughts ? And if you had to choose somewhere in the Zagori to spend 2 nights, where would you choose ? We like a bit of walking, faded grandeur (!) in terms of a place to stay and somewhere half-decent to eat nearby.

Thanks again.

Mike

South Pole
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8. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

We always base ourselves in Vitsa. Less commercial than Monodendri & very central for local walks. Wth only 2 days it is better to concentrate on a smallish area than try to rush around eveywhere. This year we stayed at "Selini"guesthouse - for which I wrote a review on here. Excellent place, friendly owners & good prices. You can eat in house, or walk up to the village where there is a taverna that specialises in mushrooms (both wild & cultivated) which is superb, plus other tavernas/hotels around the village square.

The best trip by car from Vitsa is to drive up through Monodendri & out to the viewpoint over the Vikos Gorge at Oxia. About 20 minutes drive & a 5 minute walk & you will be gobsmacked by the view!!

East Sussex, United...
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9. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

I was thinking you'd say Vitsa ! Excellent, that makes it easy then. Will be back for more advice nearer the time...

Many thanks

Mike

Parga, Greece
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10. Re: Epirus area this June,maybe fly-drive or independently?

Totally agree with tsipouro about the view from Oxia.

Over the last three years we have taken five lots of Vikos Gorge virgins up to the view point and the response has been the same from all - wow!!! One of these was my son who is heavily into hill walking and over the last twelve months has done Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro but still rates the view from Oxia as one of the best. Anyone with a head for heights can take the 'goat track' running alongside the precipice - great for a spot of photography.

Regarding the accommodation, some Greek friends from Athens are raving about a place called the Zagori Philoxenia Hotel where they stayed during the winter. Normally I wouldn't mention anywhere I haven't stayed but our friends have put us onto some gems in the past. I would like to try it but when we are out in Parga with our own car it is only an hour and a half to get up to Vitsa/Monodendri and staying over night would be a bit indulgent - apparently it is cheap accommodation.

A positive point is that the cost of fuel has decreased considerably since April and May with unleaded 95 currently between €1.63 and €1.70 which is not a lot more than the UK. Fortunately, my car is a diesel which is much cheaper to run in Greece.

Edited: 05 July 2012, 12:39
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