SPORADES ISLANDS, PELION, TRIKALA & PLASTIRA LAKE

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aiace greece

11-21 SEPTEMBER 2017

PROGRAMME

 

Get to know “MAMA MIA” islands and Pelion, the place that became the scenery of the famous Hollywood Musical!

AIACE HELLAS is delighted to welcome you to a memorable programme in Thessaly, the land of Centaurs!

Dear Friends and Colleagues, join us and enjoy bright sun, beautiful Greek beaches, natural sceneries, monuments and the famous traditional Greek cuisine & hospitality!

 

11 September 2017, Monday: ARRIVAL AT THESSALONIKI

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Arrivals at Thessaloniki International Airport Macedonia (SKG) and organised transfers from the airport to the Porto Palace hotel.

Check in and free time to enjoy the city and welcome night reception.

 

 

 

 

 

12 September 2017, Tuesday: Skiathos Island

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Breakfast and departure to Volos port to board for the island of Skiathos (we may depart also from Thessaloniki port, upon availability of the route – expected to open in April/May). Check in to Skiathos Palace. We will have a small tour to explore the town of Skiathos and its amphitheatrically built houses. We will visit the house of Alexandros Papadiamantis, one of the internationally renowned literally figures of Greece, where we may see traditional elements of typical Greek architecture in the 18th century. Afterwards, we will continue with a visit to Bourtzi, the small peninsula with pine trees and magnificent view which separates the naturally shaped port of Skiathos in two parts.

We may enjoy a fish dinner by the port.

Overnight at Skiathos Palace hotel.

 

13 September 2017, Wednesday: Daily cruise to Skopelos Island

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Breakfast & departure for a cruise. We board and sail to Skopelos’s main town “Hora”. Eye-catching landscapes, azure waters, traditional Pelion architecture, rugged natural monuments and a pure island atmosphere are all essential elements of the greenest island in Greece, covered with a virgin pine forest. The medieval castle with its sweeping views of the Aegean, the stone houses with picturesque courtyards, narrow paved streets and a number of Byzantine churches, embraces ’’Hora”. We will continue with a visit to the Folklore Museum, located in a renovated mansion built in the previous century, where we can enjoy a trip through history of the island and the rich collection of folklore-related exhibits. We may have a light lunch and an opportunity to taste local Mediterranean products like plums and the famous cheese pie (Skopelitiki tyropita).

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After lunchtime, we shall visit “Saint Ioannis Chapel”. The amazing landscapes of Skopelos and this picturesque chapel became the scenery of the famous film “Mama Mia”.

Summer in Greece is synonymous with swimming and sunbathing on golden beaches. Skopelos offers a variety of wonderful sun-drenched beaches, stretching uninterrupted along the island’s pine covered coastline. Milia, a beach covered with shiny white pebbles and surrounded by a pine forest, is suggested for a visit.

We sail back to Skiathos Palace hotel.

Free evening.

 

14 September 2017, Thursday: Daily cruise to Alonissos Island

 

Breakfast and departure to our daily cruise to Alonissos Island.

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Approximately after two hours of sailing at the crystal Aegean waters, we will reach the Alonissos Island, which hosts the National Marine Park of Northern Sporades, a refuge for rare seabirds, dolphins and the Mediterranean monk seal, monachus monachus. Sea lovers will find the opportunity to explore beautiful beaches as Stení Vála, which offers unforgettable moments of peace and serenity, used as a shelter for seals monachus monachus, one of the rarest and most endangered mammals in the Mediterranean. We will enjoy a full-day boat trip to explore the uninhabited islet around the National Park and visit places as Yioúra, Kyrá-Panayiá (or Pelayoníssi) and Patitíri, tour7the picturesque harbour and capital of the island with the beautiful stone paved waterfront that took its name from the wine presses used by the locals. In the medieval castle in Hora (or Old Village), the capital of the island, we will enjoy the breath-taking sea view, stone houses, narrow paved streets, threshing floors and a number of churches. A path from Hóra leads to the church of Agioi Anargiroi, where we can enjoy a lovely walk in the dense pine forest.

We will have lunch with local specialties: cheese pie, grilled figs with honey, kakavia (fish soup), walnut pie and buy some “fouskakia” (traditional donuts), “hamalia” (triangle shaped sweets with delicious staffing sprinkled with castor sugar) and mouth-watering almond delicatessen, the so-called “amigdalota” to offer to your beloved ones back home.

Sail back and overnight at Skiathos Palace hotel.

Free evening.

 

15 September 2017, Friday: Tour in Skiathos, Departure to Volos

 tour8Breakfast and departure to our excursion. Before leaving the island we will have a bus tour, visiting the Castle, which is located at the northern end of the island and was the natural fortress where in the 14th century locals found refuge to avoid the attacks of pirates. Afterwards we will visit the Monastery of Evagelistria, one of the oldest monasteries, which is definitely worth visiting.

Among the 60 superb beaches in the island, the most famous is Koukounaries beach, where we will enjoy the lush pine forest- whose needles “touch” the water offering unique natural shade. Next we will visit Hydrobiotopen of Strofilia lagoon, located in southwest of Skiathos, just back from the beach at Koukounaries. It is an enchanting landscape where we can feel the beauty and serenity of the nature.

After our tour at Skiathos we depart to Volos. Check-in at Valis Resort Hotel (located in Agria).

Free evening.

 

16 September 2017, Saturday: Volos City Tour

 

tour9Breakfast at Hotel & departure for a city tour in Volos.

We will visit the Archaeological Museum of Volos. Beside the numerous and various exhibits, special interest in the Museum of Volos is the halls with the Neolithic artefacts and the halls with the representation of the graves. They allow the visitor to have a more direct contact with the antiquities and comprehend their function easier.tour10

Afterwards, we will follow a city tour including Volos Castle, in Palaia, the church of Agioi Konstantinos & Eleni, a reference point in the city, towering over the waterfront in Volos and The Verdant Goritsa Hill, to the east of Volos, which is located in about 200 metres above sea level and gives a grandstand view over the surrounding area. At the top of the hill stands the church of Zoodochos Pigis, whilst at the foot lies the so-called ‘Panagia Tripa of Goritsa’, a little church dedicated to the birth of Virgin Mary, built inside a natural cave that may have been a sacred place since deep antiquity.

We will follow the paved Argonauts Avenue on the seafront and go all the way to the port on its western side, just as the locals love doing when in the mood for a romantic stroll with a stunning view to the open sea the most impressive corner of the city, embellished not only by fishing boats and yachts, but also by an exact imitation of ancient ship Argo, constructed by faithfully following reports and ancient texts. We will end our tour at the famous seaside “tsipouradika” of Volos.

17 September 2017, Sunday: Pelion Mountain

 

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Breakfast and departure for the Mountain Pelion excursion, the “Mountain of the Centaurs”.

We will visit several beautiful and renowned villages in the Pelion mountain. Starting from Vizitsa, located at an altitude of 500 m. a village, living museum of traditional architecture impresses from the first moment guests. The large paved square with plane trees, ideal to enjoy our coffee or to taste good traditional desert.

Then we meet Milies, the point of the legendary steam train of Pelion, the so-called “Moutzouris” (i.e. smudgy). Its rail track runs along a route of natural beauty connecting the center of Volos to the fertile district of Western Pelion. We may also visit the Church of “Pamegiston Taxiarchon”, typical of the Pelian architecture with post-Byzantine icons of artistic and historical significance.tour12

Following our tour, we visit Tsagarada, one of the most beautiful and famous villages of the mountain, offers a magnificent view over the Aegean Sea. A village full of nobility offers simple, coolness, serenity and beauty. Apart from the dense vegetation that extends from the beginning of the sea to the top of the mountain, the hospitality and the traditional foods.

We may visit one of the three best known and most recognized beaches, both within Greece and abroad, Mylopotamos. We may have lunch by the sea.

tour13As we return to the hotel, we will visit Makrynitsa the “balcony of Pelion”, stopping by the main square, where we will enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Volos and the silver waters of Pagasitikos and then depart for Portaria, a beautiful village built on the mountainside with great views. Old mansions, lovely houses, springs with crystal waters, the Church of St. Nicholas, compose the image of this beautiful landscape. Overnight at Valis Resort Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 September 2017, Monday: South Pelion, by the sea.

 

Breakfast and departure for our daily excursion.

tour14During this route, we will visit several beautiful villages in South Pelion, the perfect combination of sea and mountains, where the purest elements of nature blend together perfectly, creating a landscape unlike any other. Starting point is Agria, Kala Nera, Afissos and Argalasti. We take a walk around the village Argalasti to enjoy the traditional atmosphere, the old houses and mansions that bear in their architecture, elements from the ancient and Byzantine period. Following our tour we will visit Millina, a beautiful coastal village on the Pagasitic Gulf. It is considered one of the most beautiful tourist resorts in Pelion along the Pagasitic gulf and offers all the modern comforts to its visitors. On the village’s coastline we will find picturesque bays and beautiful sandy beaches and we can “taste” exceptionally clean waters.

tour15Last destination is Trikeri, a beautiful and traditional village situated at the southern tip of the Pelion peninsula, 81 km from Volos. Its instant appearance is that of the village climbing upwards on a hill and appearing as if a balcony. It has preserved its traditional and picturesque character, and is a village with a great nautical past and history.

Overnight at Valis Resort Hotel.

 

 

 

19 September 2017, Tuesday: Trikala- Plastira Lake.

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Breakfast and departure to Trikala. The Prefecture’s capital is a beautiful city built on the location of ancient Trikki (according to mythology the nymph Trikki was the daughter of Pinios), the place of birth also of Asklipios. We will start our tour visiting the neighbourhood of Varoussi, known for its beautiful narrow alleys and the multi-coloured houses of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. We will enjoy a romantic walk along the banks of the Lithaios River, which flows through the city. Ten bridges cross the river, the central one made of metal having been constructed by the French in 1886. We will walk up to the renowned Justinian fortress, towering above the hill north of the city, where is located the 17th century Clock, the emblem of the city.

tour17During our walk we will see the most famous attractions in the city, such as:

  • The ruins of the most ancient and most eminent “Asklipion of Trikki”
  • The Archaeological Collection, displayed in a building under the fortress
  • The Koursoum Mosque (16th century)
  • The central, pedestrian Asklipiou Street with commercial stores, coffee shops and the impressive City Railway Station (constructed in 1886).
  • The Matsopoulos Mills, located in a densely wooded area, which was built in 1884 and is now a cultural center with cinema, theatre & coffee shops.

We will have a lunch at Trikala and continue our trip to Plastira Lake. Check-in to the hotel at Plastira lake area.

Overnight at Naiades Hotel and Kazarma Hotel.

20 September 2017, Wednesday: Plastira Lake -Thessaloniki

 

Breakfast at the hotels & check out.

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Lake Plastiras, also known as “Little Switzerland”, located in the wider area of Agrafa, is surrounded by an idyllic landscape of incomparable natural beauty that captivates the mind at first sight. It is one of the largest artificial  lakes in Greece created in a location where in antiquity we could find the confluence of the rivers Tavropos and Achelous.

tour19Following the lakeside route, we will visit Neohori and the Botanical Garden which offer an idyllic view of the lake. Beside the settlement of Zigogianneika, we will find the most staggering view of the lake from an elevated position. This famous lookout, at an elevation of 1350 meters, offers a beautiful view of the successive fjords, of the islet Niaga and of the panoramic splendor of the lake with the high mountain summits painted at the horizon’s edge. Some of the mountainous villages, stand out, like Karitsa with the famous monastery of “Panagia Pelekiti”, carved in a huge rock and the “Cave of Gakis”. The village of Neraida (fairy) is a well-known tourist attraction and at the village of Filakti we will enjoy the picturesque cobblestone square and its beautiful stone-built fountains. Our trip ends with transfer back to Thessaloniki. Overnight at  Porto Palace Hotel.

 

21 September 2017, Thursday: Thessaloniki, Airport departure

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Breakfast at the hotel & check out. Transfers to Macedonia International Airport (SKG).

 

 

THESSALY TOUR: SPORADES, PELION, TRIKALA & PLASTIRA LAKE

11-21 SEPTEMBER 2017

 

Package Prices

1 Person in single room BB:    1.970,00 €

2 Persons in Twin/Double room BB: 2.890,00 €

Prices include all duties, taxes and VAT and correspond to the services provided by ARTION, as analysed above.

 

The Package includes:

  • Welcome service at the Thessaloniki International Airport and private group transfers from and to the Thessaloniki Airport on arrival and departure
  • Accommodation in 4* & 5* hotels in Thessaloniki: Porto Palace, Volos: Valis, Skiathos: Skiathos Palace, Plastiras Lake: Naiades & Kazarma with a rich buffet breakfast.
  • Lunch or Dinner (depending on the day programme), 12-20/9
  • Experienced Official Guides throughout the programme French and English speaking
  • All excursion programmes as analysed in the programme
  • Museum entrances
  • Luxurious coach transfers throughout the programme
  • Tips for the coach & the guide
  • ARTION services & taxes
  • ARTION team group leader

 

The Package does not include:

Personal expenses

To register for the Thessaly Tour, Please click here.