FAQ

General

Trips

What kinds of trips are offered?

We have adventures that range from one day tours, weekend getaways to multi-day treks. We explore the world on foot, by kayak, canoe or raft, bicycle, 4-wheel drive, ferries, sailing – motor sailer boats, or a combination of these vehicles! Beginners are more than welcomed. We can teach you to kayak or to safely summit a mountain.

How do I know what each trip is like?

This website provides full details of each trip. If you still have questions, please call us at +30 210 8014382 or e-mail us at info@aegeanoutdoors.com or make use of our amazing live chat.

Who goes on Aegean Outdoors trips?

Our travelers come from all over the world, mostly the US and Canada, love the outdoors and have a desire to experience it in Greece.

What is your maximum group size?

Our minimum is typically four and our maximum most of the times is 16 participants, but it varies from trip to trip.

What if I'm traveling alone?

We have plenty of trips that you can join and make new friends or we can arrange your own private experience!

Do you take children on your trips?

The majority of the Aegean Outdoors trips can accommodate young people who are accompanied and supervised by a legal guardian and who can handle the physical and emotional requirements of the trip. Our Aegean Outdoors trained staff can discuss whether a trip is suitable for your child.

Who are your guides?

Aegean Outdoors has an “arsenal” of knowledgeable guides from all over Greece. People with a solid connection to nature, love for what they do and strong desire to share their knowledge and passion with you!

What do I need to bring?

Usually all you need to bring is your personal gear. We provide a gear list outlining needed clothing and equipment for each trip on our website, here at the FAQ section. We provide the equipment for every activity included in our trips.

What's the food like?

We take you to taverns, restaurants, etc. where the Greeks choose themselves for dining. We avoid “touristy” places and we select for you various dishes from the endless variety of the world famous and healthy Greek cuisine. Simple, nutritious and flavorsome, the food is one of the pleasures of travel through Greece. Rustic Greek Cuisine reflects the history and bounty of its diverse regions and relies in the fresh, seasonal home-grown produce and generally simple, unfussy cooking that brings out the rich flavors of the Mediterranean.

Passport & Visas

Do I need a passport and a visa to enter Greece?

Greece is a Member-State of the European Union and has signed the Schengen Agreement. While traveling within the E.U., you only need your Identity card. However, a passport is necessary for a number of other transactions, such as currency exchange, purchases, etc.

Visas are not required by European citizens from countries that are part of the Schengen Area. Greece as a member of the Schengen Agreement, has abolished controls on common internal lands, at air and sea borders and allows Member-State citizens to travel around without a visa for a short stay period of up to three (3) months. However, keep in mind that airlines and other carriers require a valid passport and/or identity card.

U.S. citizens may enter Greece without a visa for stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. We do recommend to have six months of remaining validity on your passport.

Citizens coming from countries that have not yet joined Schengen Area may require a visa to enter Greece.

Responsible Travel

Responsible Travel with Aegean Outdoors

As tourism is a truly global industry, we recognize our obligation to operate our tours in a responsible and sustainable way.
Every member of the Aegean Outdoors Team sees this not only as an environmental issue, but an economic and social one as well. We are committed and dedicated to the well-being of the communities that host us and the natural environment that we are there to experience. We also believe that by following these policies we can provide a more rewarding and interesting experience to you our guests.

The following are the key points of our philosophy:

– Small groups have less impact on local communities and environments.
– Put money directly into the communities we visit, by using locally owned and run accommodations and eating locally produced food.
– We are careful to ensure that local staff and operators receive a fair rate for their services.
– We encourage our own staff to take an active interest in responsible and sustainable tourism and train them accordingly so that they can put our policies into practice, not only during our trips but in their daily life as well.
– We make sure that our practices help in the environmental conservation of the areas we visit.
– We provide our guests with advice and guidelines on how to respect the social, cultural and religious beliefs of local communities.

Covid-19 Tour Operation

Guidelines / Restrictions

With the pandemic crisis of COVID-19 affecting millions of lives all over the world and this whole unprecedented global situation, we must all do our part, support each other, flatten the curve and think positive.

Aegean Outdoors response to COVID-19 is subject to change in accordance with the recommendations and requirements of the Greek government. Based on the directions and guidelines of the Greek Government, in the interest of your and our staff’s health, we have put into place the following health and sanitation protocols for all of our activities:

We fully comply with the required health protocols put into place by the government and maintain contact details for tracing purposes.
Masks are required during group transfers but not during the actual activity. Travellers are encouraged to bring their own face coverings such as buffs, facemasks or bandanas, as well as personal hand sanitizer to ensure additional levels of protection.
Equipment used during activities will be subject to increased cleaning measures, while hand sanitizer will be provided wherever possible throughout trips.
Rafting boats can be fully loaded and only for private groups (not mixed)
During transfers, we comply with health protocols, i.e. windows are kept open, A/C not used, vehicles are internally disinfected. Increased hygiene protocols are included in vehicles and boats, with the introduction of daily cleaning and disinfecting, compulsory hand sanitizer use before every embarkation, assigned seats for travellers, and facial coverings being recommended while on board or in vehicles.
Changing rooms can be used at the same time only by couples/family or group of friends.
Meals, depending on the specific activity and circumstances, are either individualized or served by a guide in front of the participants in buffet style. All hygiene protocols are strictly followed during preparation.
Our staff is trained and complies with the required health protocols (e.g. contact, physical distance, etc.) and their temperature is monitored and recorded daily.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available on transfer vehicles and during meals.
In case our staff notices that a participant is looking unwell (sneezing, coughing, looking sick), we reserve the right to take their temperature and ask them not to participate in the activity.
In addition, the leading tour operator associations in the US, Canada, and Europe have collaborated on a set of health and sanitization guidelines specifically for their tour operator members called TOURCARE Guidelines for Tour Operators.

Developed by the Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO), the European Tourism Association (ETOA), and the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), the guidelines establish recommended procedures for tour operators to provide protection for travelers against the transmission of COVID-19. The full set of TOURCARE Guidelines for Tour Operators can be found at https://ustoa.com/covid19/tour-care-guidelines

The TOURCARE Guidelines provide direction for tour operators across all touch-points of a trip – staff, suppliers, and passengers – to ensure that health and sanitization protections are in place for each stakeholder and the communities visited. Sanitization procedures recommended are those issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), as well as local governmental health authorities.

The guidelines include measures for training and sanitization for staff in contact with passengers while traveling, such as outfitting each with appropriate personal protection equipment and promoting physical distancing.

Protocol for Arrivals in and Departures from Greece

Please check all the updated information by the Greek Government concerning Arrivals-in and Departures-from Greece, here: https://travel.gov.gr/#/
Please check also your country’s specific regulations before entering and exiting Greece.

Mount Olympus

Climate – Weather – When to Go

What are the best months to visit Mount Olympus? 

The total climbing season is between mid-June and late October. Sometimes, climbing season starts from mid-May, but this depends on last winter’s snow accumulation. Best climbing weeks are early July and early September. Mid-July to late August is also a good period, however may be too warm and there is always a high possibility of afternoon thunderstorms.

What is the climate like during these good months? (Maximum/minimum/average temperature)

The weather conditions on Mt.Olympus are generally unpredictable and temperatures can vary widely. The local variations are the result of the impact of the sea and the rugged relief of the region. In the lower areas, (Litochoro and the foothills) the climate is typically Mediterranean, i.e. hot and dry in the summer, while humid and cold in the winter. Higher it is more humid and severe, with more intense phenomena. The temperature varies in the winter from -10 °C to 10 °C and in the summer from 0 °C to 20 °C, while winds are an almost everyday occurrence. Generally the temperature falls to 1 °C per 200m of altitude. As the altitude rises, the phenomena are more intense and the variations of temperature and humidity are often sudden. The coastal northeast slopes of Olympus, receive more rain than the continental northwest, so, as a result, there is a clear difference in vegetation. In some places the winds gather snow, 8–10 meters thick, (‘anemosouria’ in Greek), while in some deep ravines the snow is maintained all over the year. However, during the climbing season (June to October) these snow patches do not affect hikers. The weather may change several times in the same day. In summer, rainfalls are frequent, commonly as evening thunderstorms, many times accompanied by hail and strong winds. 

Hiking – Safety

How long and what elevation change we experience?

Route Distance Elevation Changes
  Km’s Miles Meters Feet
Prionia – Spilios Agapitos 6,5 Km’s 4 miles Ascend from 1.040m to 2.060 = +1.020m Ascend from 3422 ft to 6742 ft = +3.320 ft
Spilios Agapitos – Mytikas – Kakalos Mountain Hut 6,8 Km’s 4,2 miles Ascend from 2.060m to 2.918m = +858m
Descend from 2.918m to 2.650m = – 268m
Ascend from 6742 ft  to 9460ft= +2.718 ft
Descend from 9460ft to 8700ftm = – 760 ft
Kakalos Mountain Hut – Gortsia 10 Km’s 6,6 miles Descend from 2.650m to 1.120m = -1630m Descend from 8700ft to 3675ft = -5025 ft

Are there many steep sections?

Except for the last 200m of vertical climb, involving the summit of Mytikas (2919m), which is a UIAA level 2 technical scrambling/climbing route, the rest of the route is easy or medium difficulty hiking path. Ropes though not necessary, are being used for extra safety. The second highest summit, Skolio, (2911m) is only 8 meters lower, has an equally amazing summit view, a summit log book, and can be reached by easy/medium difficulty hiking path, without any steep sections. Finally, on the hiking paths accessing the summits there are some sections of impressive drops next to the otherwise easy hiking path that could be scary for people with fear of heights, although they don’t pose any significant danger, as the path is relatively safe.

Do participants need rock climbing or scrambling experience for the climb of Mytikas?

Scrambling experience is required if ascending to Mytikas is a must. It is not a pre requisite (eg we don’t ask people before hand) but experience shows that people who don’t have the experience might not make it. Ropes though not necessary, are being used for added safety.

If a participant is not comfortable climbing Mytikas, is there somewhere safe they can wait for the group before the descent?

Yes

In case of groups, how many people will be roped together for the climb of Mytikas?

Each guide can have 3-5 persons roped together (depending on weather conditions and experience level). But there is the option of climbing it in via-feratta style as well. 

How challenging would you grade the trek out of 5

The trek of the mountain paths would be rated 2. The last part, the climb for Mytikas peak would be rated 4. The alternative climb to Skolio Summit, would be rated 2.

Will participants need to carry all of their own equipment, or are there porters?

Travelers must carry all their equipment. There are no human porters available on the mountain. There is a mule caravan going up & down the refuges for the purpose of resupplying the Mountain Huts, and can load luggage at an additional charge. The caravan has specific times of arrival and departure from the Mountain Hut. It is also possible for mules to accompany the group on our specific timetable, but at a much higher additional charge, as this will involve the mule caravan following an additional, unplanned route. Certain sections of the mountain routes, like Zonaria path and Kofto path, connecting Refuge A’ with Kakkalos refuge, may not be physically accessible to mules.

Is there mobile phone signal anywhere on the mountain?

There is mobile signal on about 60% of the route. In some areas you need to get to a specific location to have signal. There is no phone signal inside Enipeas Canyon, on the Plateau of the Muses nor on sections of the route between Gkortsia and Petrostruga.

Sleep, Eat, Drink

Where do we sleep?

In all mountain huts there are communal rooms with bank beds. You can also camp out of the mountain hut with your tent and use the mountain hut facilities.

What is a typical menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

  • Breakfast: bread, butter, marmalade, honey, cheese, coffee- tea- milk, nutella
  • Lunch: either lunch box – sandwiches, fruits, eggs, energy snack, chocolate or in Mt.Hut see below
  • Dinner in Mt.Hut: sample menus: Soup, Pasta with sauce, Salad, Bread, cheese / Lentils with rice, Beef with pasta, rice or mashed potatoes, salad, bread, cheese / Soup, Sausage with pasta, rice or mashed potatoes, meat plate, salad, bread, cheese.

Is bottled mineral water provided in the tours?

Not in the price – bottled water is on sale in the Mountain Hut, rates 1-2€/bottle depending on size. 

How can clients refill water bottles each day?

There is a mountain spring on Prionia. There is also one mountain spring (with less water supply) 45 minutes hiking over Prionia. There are no other mountain springs close to the hiking routes so buying bottle water is the only option.

Are Mountain Hut heated?

Mountain huts have heating availability, either a fireplace or petrol heaters, but they are activated only when temperature falls below roughly 10 degrees Celsius. There are no clothes/boots drying facilities. Warm blankets are provided in all Mountain huts.

Is there electricity at the Mountain Hut for people to charge cameras and other electric equipment?

Mountain hut electricity is supplied by solar panels and generators, and is available for a few hours daily. Usually, electricity is available from dusk until about 10 or 11pm, and sometimes from dawn and for a few hours. The plugs are limited so it is preferred to have extra chargers with you especially if being part of a big group.

Are there hot showers?

No there are no showers on the mountain huts. On Mountain Hut, depending on water availability, there are showers, but have snow-melt-water supply and temperature.

General Notes for Mt. Olympus trips

Note

  • For all of our Olympus programs the guide reserves the right to make the final decision if we climb the final peak or not.
  • Αll of our itineraries are subject to change at the discretion of the tour leader, according to local and weather conditions.

Cyclades Islands

General Info on Cyclades

What are Cyclades and how did they get their name?

The most famous island group in the Aegean Sea comprises some of the most beautiful islands in the world! Gorgeous sandy beaches, architecture in white and blue, traditional lifestyle, folk music, warm, hospitable people and barren landscapes with isolated chapels turn a trip to the Cyclades into a lifetime experience.

The name “Cyclades” refers to the islands forming a circle (the name in English means: “circular islands”) around the sacred island of Delos. According to the Greek mythology, Poseidon, God of the sea, furious at the Cyclades nymphs turned them into islands.

Millions of Greek and foreign visitors come to the Cyclades every year to enjoy the dazzling light and the crystal blue waters, in the quest of the paradise on earth.

The Cycladic Islands enjoy a Mediterranean climate, with an average temperature for the year of 18-19 C. The winters are mild and the summers – by Greek standards- cool, thanks to the beneficial effects of the seasonal winds known as the “meltemia ”.

Cycladic islands in summer with the naked rocks, the see plants and the total lack of vegetation combined with the deep blue of the Aegean Sea and the typical architectural style of the all-white houses, hide skillfully the wonderful secret of Greek nature: one of the richest floras in Europe and a large number of rare endemic plants, that will be found on the edge of rocks, on the most steep places surviving for centuries, unique, separated, isolated. Campanula laciniata, Muscari cycladicum, Campanula santorii, Centaurea oliveriana, the rare Fibigia lunaroides are only a few of endemic plants that can be found on Cycladic Islands.

Cyclades flora is not only rich in endemic plants but also in aromatic species. It is very easy for someone to find them, since these perfumes together with the blue and white are purely Greece.

It’ s the perfume of thyme, sage, mint, summer savory, lavender, rosemary; it’ s the perfume of Greece.

Climate – Weather – When to Go

When is the best time to visit Cyclades?

Spring, summer and early fall in the Cyclades are sunny and warm with about 50% humidity. Daytime temperatures average 70 to 80°F, though temperatures in the 90s are possible, especially in June, July and August. Nighttime temperatures average in the low 60s. Rain showers are rare. The summer months typically experience “meltemi”, a prevailing north wind that can be quite strong. Wearing a sun hat with a chin strap is advised; good sun protection is very important for this trip.

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