Rural Life in Northern Greece: A Walking and Cultural Tour
- September 9th through 22nd, 2006
- Registration deadline: May 1st, 2006
- Capacity: 20
- Cost: $3145.00 (plus airfare)
Join college librarian Sam Demas on a 12-day pilgrimage—six days of walking and six days of bus touring—exploring the mountain landscapes, foodways, folklore, flora, music, and village life of Northern Greece.
This tour explores the mountainous heart of Greece—a savagely beautiful region relatively untouched by tourism. It focuses on the province of Epiros, touching also on Macedonia and Thessaly. Trek in the Pindos Mountains, explore the Zagoria’s traditional village architecture and arched bridges, visit the monasteries of Meteora, and climb Mt. Olympus. Learn about the history, mythology, lore, and contemporary socioeconomics of rural Greece.
Walking and Touring
This tour is designed for the very fit and for those who don’t mind roughing it. A Greek guide knowledgeable in the culture and history of Northern Greece will accompany us throughout the trip, while mountain guides will lead the walks.
Walking in the rugged Pindos mountains and on Mt. Olympus requires spending up to eight hours a day on rough and rocky footpaths with considerable elevation change. The extra effort provides a special reward—a Greece virtually unknown to American tourists. Participants may occasionally elect to opt out of hiking and instead pursue more traditional touring options. Activities may include visits to archaeological sites, folk-life museums, vineyards, and village markets. We will also spend a day in Thessaloniki.
Our accommodations, from four-star hotels to traditional inns and rustic mountain refuges, are themselves a study of tourist alternatives developing as part of an effort to revitalize the economy of Northern Greece.
Optional 3-Day Extension
Visit the Acropolis and Agora in Athens, the Temple of Aphea on the island of Aigina, and the Oracle of Apollo in Delphi.
College librarian since 1998, Sam Demas is Greek American and an avid mountain walker. He spent six months in Greece on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1992, walked in northern Greece for six weeks in 2005, and has visited many friends and family over the years. Demas will share his enthusiasm for Greece’s mountains, rural life, and for European-style long-distance walking. Laurel Bradley, Sam’s companion and curator of Carleton's art collection, will also accompany the group.
In the summer of 2005, Sam and Laurel scouted out the perfect route for this alumni adventure. To see more of their photos, click on "Photo Album" in the left margin.
Price per person: $3,145 (double occupancy) Single supplement: $595
Single rooms may not be available in the refuges.
Rate is based on 15-20 participants. Small group surcharge of up to $550 for 10-14 participants.
Currency supplement will be collected if the exchange rate changes significantly.
A deposit of $400 per person is due by January 15, 2006
Second payment of $1000 per person due by March 1, 2006
Balance due by May 1, 2006
Post-tour Extension price per person: $440 (double occupancy) Single supplement: $225
Rate is based on 7 participants.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
Until February 14th, 2005: Full refund
February 15 through May 7: $400 deposit forfeited
May 8 to August 8: 50% of the total land and airfare will be forfeited
Cancellations received after August 8, 2006: No refund.
TRAVELLERS NOTE: Reading List Available on Reserve
The reading list (see link above right) refers to selected chapters from J.K. Campbell's classic ethnography of a Zagoria community "Honor, Family and Patronage". Sam Demas has selected chapters that give an introduction to the two main ethnic groups of the Zagoria, the Vlachs and Sarakatsani, and their transhumic way of life as shepherds. These, combined with a chapter on the family give a good sense of the culture of the peoples of this region two generations ago, just after the wrenching view of the Civil War in this region provided by "Eleni". While much has changed in Greece in the past 40 years, village and family life in Zagoria is still indelibly stamped with the cultural traits and history these readings convey.
The Campbell chapters are available on e-reserves. The course name is ALUM06. The instructor is Demas, and registered travelers have received the password by e-mail.
You can read the material online or print it out. There are several ways to get to the reading with the information above. Here are the instructions for a straightforward approach:
1. Go to the Carleton library e-reserve web site
3. Type in the course name: "Rural Life in Northern Greece" (quotes not needed)
4. This will take you to the password page, where you type in the password previously sent to you by e-mail and click on "accept"
5. This takes you to the course page, where you click on the title "Honor, Family and Patronage".
Please let Sam Demas know if you have any trouble getting to the material.