Epirus Traveller: Visit Epirus with Locals
Planning to visit Epirus? Want some in-the-area adventures? Looking for authentic experiences? Lost in the confusing vortex of a research rabbithole?
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back—with the help of a local expert.
Let us introduce you to our from-the-region friend, the always-smiling Ioannis Smiris.
Ioannis was born in Epirus back in 1966…
… so he’s (of course!) spent loads of his life adventuring around the place. He’s swam in local rivers. Hiked up local mountains. Eaten with local families. Munched on local food. Married a local woman.
And a few years back, he founded Epirus Traveller—for visitors who want non-commercialised travel experiences in the region.
He calls himself a localist, he hates the word “tourist,” and he likes turning travelers into friends. He runs the company with his wife and his buddies… and that’s exactly how a trip with them feels.
In short, you’ve found your Epirus travel guide. Or, rather, we’ve found him for you.
Which Epirus Attractions Can I See With Ioannis?
Before we get to all the juicy details, let’s walk you through how an experience with Ioannis works…
(cos it’s a bit different to what you might be used to)
Firstly, you have two choices:
You can either A) choose a pre-planned experience; or B) chat with Ioannis about what you like, what you don’t like, and what you’re capable of. If you choose that second option, he and his team will build an experience bespoke to you.
From there, you get started with your activity. You leave your watches in your hotel room (that’s not a joke; the slightly-leftfield Ioannis doesn’t like sticking to set timelines or structured itineraries), and you let those loveable local legends lead the way.
No matter which experiences or adventures you choose, the emphasis is ALWAYS placed firmly on (and here’s what many other travel companies miss) having fun. You’ll laugh, you’ll smile, you’ll make friends, and you’ll get time to ask as many questions as you want.
(and in true eccentric Ioannis fashion, the tours aren’t over until each question is answered)
With all tours, you get a big focus on underrated local spots—Ioannis likes to avoid the most commercial Epirus attractions (unless, for whatever reason, you really want to see them). You’ll eat real food, you’ll meet real people, and you’ll get a big fat slice of authentic local life.
… and after each experience is done, you get photos and videos of the day, along with an itinerary of what you did. So whatever you got up to, you’ll always be able to remember it—and these sweet little extra perks come completely free.
Okay, But What Can I See When I Visit Epirus?
Because there’s an emphasis on going big-time bespoke, you pretty much have endless options. With Ioannis, you get more Epirus attractions and adventures than we could ever list here.
But since you’ve asked (twice), some of the major highlights include:
- Over 370 kilometers (230 miles) of both long and short Epirus hiking trails (to lakes, springs, waterfalls, natural swimming pools, and more—and along historical routes and pilgrimage routes). Popular trekking destinations include the so-called Dragon Lakes, Tzoumerka National Park, and the deepest canyon on the planet.
- Visits to authentic cheese farms and yogurt farms. You’ll only ever see small local places—and many of these businesses don’t ever sell their goods outside of Ioannina.
- Sightseeing both inside and outside of the city, including historical places, heritage sites, archaeological spots, monasteries, museums, and the region’s iconic stone bridges. Wherever you go, Ioannis and his team will give you loads of local stories and cultural insights.
- Around 110 kilometers (68 miles) of coastline, and endless activities in and around those shores (including swimming, hiking, boat trips, and visits to Ionian Sea islands).
- Eating and drinking experiences, where you munch on only the most authentic local recipes (and never in touristy restaurants). Ioannis and his friends will tell you what to eat, how to eat it, and what the local specialities are. No stale souvlakis or days-old dolmades here.
- Visits to traditional villages: including sipping and slurping at local wineries, meeting local business owners, and learning about big history in small places.
- Iconic sites like the UNESCO-listed clifftop monasteries of Meteora, and places mentioned in Greek myths.
- … and bespoke combos of all that stuff (and more!).
Wherever you go and whatever you do, you’ll have immersive adventures with a big focus on real people, real life, and real authentic experiences.
The Epirus Traveller team also make sure every trip is an experience-packed combo for the brain and the body. Even if you’re hitting one of the strenuous Epirus hiking trails, you’ll be hitting that hike in an historic place. So while you’re busting your lungs, you’ll also be learning about the region.
For now at least, Epirus is a pretty underrated place. Unlike some of Greece’s big names, not many people come here.
So if you visit Epirus without some local help, you’ll always feel like a tourist. But with Ioannis, you’ll feel like a welcome visitor. And by the time you leave, you’ll feel like a friend.
Yeah, you might have seen Greece before. But you’ve never seen it like this.
Hike with him, eat with him, chat with him, swim with him, whatever. Just make sure Ioannis is part of your plans.
All Epirus Traveller tours are offered in English, Italian, German, and (of course!) Greek—and some experiences are also available in other European languages. If you’re looking for Epirus travel guides, you’ve found them.
Efcharistó, and thanks for reading!