Off the grid
There isn’t a better way to experience Greece and explore its natural beauty than by getting out and about on your own feet.This tour is an opportunity to discover and admire all about Greek nature focusing on wildlife by joining researchers of the wildlife charity and exploring remote bear territory.
* There are many wetlands and parks inhabited by wild species in Greece.
This tour is an opportunity to discover and admire all about Greek nature focusing on wildlife . This tour combines different destinations in the north Greece where the traveler can be in touch with nature. Departure from Thessaloniki which is an open-air museum, yet you will see all the major points of interest. Pindos is a great destination to try out different activities such as rafting, trekking and admire the beautiful nature. Florina where the Arctouros Wild Animals Wolf Team will give you a lot of information. Finally Prespes and Kastoria two meaningful destinations with their own lakes and pelicans.
Points of Interest
Pindos National Park
The protected area of Northern Pindos is one of the most important areas at both national and European levels. It uniquely combines natural and man-made environments and geographically unifies the pre-existing National Forests of Pindos (Valia Kalda) and Vikos-Aoos. Rich in natural resources, numerous religious and cultural monuments, the region brought about the development of traditional villages into centers of touristic attraction. The Northern Pindos National Park is the largest terrestrial National Park in our country, with an area of 2.000 km2, constituting unique ecologic and environmental values at national, European and global levels.
The Vikos-Aoos and Pindos (Valia Calda) National Forests, are two out of the 11 areas of the EU-wide network of NATURA 2000 protected areas. In addition, 11 wildlife refuges are included within the boundaries of the Northern Pindos Park, and Vikos-Aoos Geopark as well as a Biogenetic Reserve at the Valia Calda core. Since 2002, the mission of the Northern Pindos National Park Management Agency is the vigilant protection and management of the area and its peripheral zones with the goal of promoting ecologic, aesthetic, cultural and local values in a sustainable development model in harmony with the human presence in this area of unparalleled beauty. At the present website of the Northern Pindos National Park, one can find information and background material, for the unique characteristics of the region as well as for the work and multi-dimensional actions of the Management Agency.
Florina & Prespes
The National Park of Prespa encompasses the lakes of Mikri and Megali Prespa- in part-, which are separated by a sandy islet of alluvial sediment and are encompassed by tall mountains. Extensive reed beds of Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia, and Scrirpus lacustris, Carex spp. occupy the shores of the lake. There are also characteristic formations of aquatic plants which are rooted in the depths, with large floating leaves, often with a layer of underwater species (Ceratophyllum sp., Myriophyllum sp. , Potamogeton sp.).
The area has rich fauna as a result of the great variety of natural habitats and its topography. The lakes are important for the breeding of aquatic birds. In total more than 200 species have been observed at the lakes and the surrounding forest. Particularly notable are the colonies of Pelecanus crispus (wild pelicans) and of Pelecanus onocrotalus (red pelicans). The marine fauna of the lake is of importance due to the large rate of endemism. At the sub-species level, 80% of the fish are endemic. Finally, the area is rich in historic and religious monuments.
An outstanding natural landscape dotted with six magnificent lakes (Vegorítida, Petrón Lake, Zázari, Ximarítida, Mikrí and Megáli Préspa), picture-perfect lakeside villages, stone-built villages and a beautiful capital traversed by a river: this is the prominent director’s Theo Angelopoulos favourite filmmaking spot, the place that inspired him deeply to praise beauty and life…
Kastoria is a city in northern Greece in the region of West Macedonia. It is the capital of Kastoria regional unit. It is situated on a promontory on the western shore of Lake Orestiada, in a valley surrounded by limestone mountains. It is so romantic, so modeslty pretty and you can do so many things there. This charming furrier city, whose beauty will most certainly seduce you, is built amphitheatrically on a narrow peninsula, mirrored in Orestiada Lake and nestled in between Grammo and Vitsi Mountains. The best way to explore the city is taking a little tour around the lake starting from the southernmost side up to the northernmost. Take a stroll on the narrow pathway along the lake’s coast, you will be overwhelmed by its idyllic beauty and tranquility.
The promenade shaded by beech and plane trees as well as the neighbouring forests exude a mystical atmosphere and make an excellent shelter for all kinds of bird species. Orestiada Lake is home to a 200 different species, among them, some rare and some endangered. On your way, plan to stop at least twice: once to venture into the Dragon’s Cave and marvel at its stalactites and stalagmites, and then to view the superb paintings on the facade and interior of the Panagia Mavriotissa monastery. It’s considered the oldest such complex in western Macedonia. The name means The Dark-skinned Virgin.
ARCTUROS is a non profit, non governmental, environmental organization (NGO) founded in 1992, focusing on the protection of wildlife fauna and natural habitat, in Greece and abroad.
The foundation of ARCTUROS was driven by constant need to solve the problem of bear and wolf imprisonment; a common occurence at the time. It was that need, which led to the creation of a complete action framework, under the umbrella of ARCTUROS.
Among other activities of ARCTUROS, priority has been given to scientific research as well as to providing environmental education and raising public awareness on matters such as biodiversity and viability, while practicing political pressure based on complete programs and solutions. Today however, bears are only found in northwestern North America, Europe and most of North Asia. In Greece there are an estimated 450 bears living in two independent populations, which are not geographically linked. The largest population lives in the Pindos Mountains, and the other in the Rhodope Mountains. In Greece, wolves distribution covers to almost all of the country’s mainland, north of Boeotia. It is estimated that there are 700 wolves in many small packs with no contact with one another, their presence being the strongest in areas with nomadic stock raising or areas with big mountain ranges without intense human activity.
At a Glance
Departure TimeA new accommodation (city) tax will be imposed as of January 01, 2018. This tax will vary from EURO 1,00 to EURO 5,00 per room, per overnight (depending on hotel's category) and will be paid DIRECTLY by the guests to each hotel, on check out time.
Include3* AccommodationPersonal GuideAirport TransfersBreakfast
Not Included4* AccommodationDeparture TaxesEntry Fees
Thessaloniki, Pindos, Florina, Prespes & Kastoria