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Beginning in iconic Athens and ending in picturesque Santorini, eight days spent hiking blue-domed, white-walled, beautiful Greece makes for a once in a lifetime adventure.
Greek Island Hopper will take you through historic sites, whitewashed villages and hiking views worthy of the mythical gods—Greece! This exciting tour is as much a treat for the senses as it is soul food for the adventure-enthusiasts. This island hopping experience moves from Athens to Santorini, with lesser-known island gems Naxos and Tinos in between, comprising a perfect-designed journey through some of the most remarkable highlights of Greece!
Moderate. Participants should feel comfortable in water and have a good physical condition.
Although the hiking paths are quite well-kept the terrain in Greece tends to be stony and rocky. You will mostly be walking on unsurfaced tracks, footpaths, mountain trails and on some tarmac roads.
A good level of fitness and experience is required. Cycling, walking/running and a daily stretching regimen are all great ways to prepare for this type of adventure. Participants should be comfortable in water and able to swim.
Arrive in glorious Athens and transfer to our accommodation, located near a charming historic district at the foot of the Acropolis. Early this evening we meet in the hotel lobby for introductions, followed by a short walking tour the city’s oldest neighborhood, Plaka. Its narrow lanes and stepped alleys, little squares with small churches, lively shops, cafes and grand neoclassical-style houses are delightful and impressive. Dinner is at a traditional Greek tavern serving family-style meals with fresh Greek produce.
Overnight in Athens (D)
After our mighty Greek breakfast, we will visit the Parthenon, a temple on the Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena, followed by a visit to the New Acropolis Museum, where we will also enjoy our lunch at its beautiful terrace. Transfer to Rafina port and travel by high-speed catamaran to the island of Tinos, beginning our island hopping adventure!
Free afternoon until we meet for dinner.
Transfers: 1+ hour; Ferry: 2 hours; Walking: 3 hours / Overnight in Tinos island (B,L,D)
Private transfer to the village of Falatados in order to start hiking towards an overlook behind a monastery for stunning views of the Aegean Sea. Our next stop is Volax village, famous for its traditional, handmade woven baskets and its uniquely round granite boulders. A footpath winds downhill to the traditional settlement of Agapi, located in a lush valley with dovecotes.
Return to our hotel to freshen up before we head to Tinos town to explore its cobbled streets on our way to the white marble church of Virgin Mary which draws thousands of pilgrims to view its miracle-working icon, discovered in 1823 after Virgin Mary appeared in a series of visions to a local nun. Tonight we dine at a tavern in town, and perhaps try the local handmade cheeses, honeys and sausages (and much more!).
Transfers: 45 minutes; Hiking: 5.1 miles, 4 hours, elevation gain 200’/loss 1400′ / Overnight in Tinos island (B,L,D)
Our Greek Island Hopping adventure takes us from Tinos to Naxos island, the largest and most fertile one of the Cyclades.
This afternoon’s hike begins in the backyard of a local family’s cottage house at the site of the “Kouros of Melanes” statue.
We then follow the footpath to the village of Ano Potamia before we pass Apano Kastro towards the villages of Tsikalario and Halki. We complete our hike with a visit to a small distillery that produces Kitron, the specialty liquor of Naxos.
Rest of the afternoon free for swimming or optional visit of the old part of Naxos town.
Transfers: 1 hour; Ferry: 1.25 – 2.5 hours depending on schedule; Hiking: 4.3 miles, 4 hours; elevation gain 912’/loss 658′ / Overnight in Naxos island (B,L,D)
The little chapel at Santa Marina is the start of today’s hike to the summit of Mount Zas (Mount Zeus). This is the highest point in the Cyclades at 3,290’, and the views are truly worthy of the gods. According to Greek mythology, Zeus was raised in a cave on this particular mountain. The trail starts as a dirt path and becomes a stone walkway with large limestone rocks to step around and over. After raising our water bottles to toast our successful summit and taking in the views, we head back down the trail to the chapel for a picnic lunch with fresh Greek produce. Our hike continues along a road to the charming, whitewashed village of Filoti.
Transfer back to our hotel, free time to swim in the pool and dinner in a very special location in Naxos town!
Transfers: 1+ hour; Hiking: 4.9 miles, 4.5 hours, elevation gain 1100’/loss 2000′ / Overnight in Naxos island (B,L,D)
Following a breakfast that includes some of the best yogurt in the world, our Greek Island Hopper Tour takes us to Santorini, the fairest of the Cycladic islands. Santorini differs from the other islands due to its geology, the result of a now-dormant volcano.
Arriving on Santorini this afternoon, we check into our hotel and eat a light lunch and rest for a while. In the afternoon we hike to the picturesque village of Oia. Set high above the sea, our hike begins on a stone path that turns into a dirt footpath while following the edge of the caldera. The views are spectacular…Arriving in Oia, we explore its narrow passageways and quaint shops. We transfer back to Fira for another dinner at a Greek taverna along with some exquisite wine tasting!
Transfers: 1 hour; Ferry: 1.5 hours; Hiking: 6.5 miles, 4.5 hours, elevation gain 1100’/loss 1795′ / Overnight in Santorini (B,L,D)
After our mighty breakfast we get transferred for our Santorini Sea Kayak tour! Let us enjoy views of spectacular rock formations, paddle, swim and snorkel in crystal clear waters and admire beautiful beaches in the southern part of the island. En route we will also enjoy a delicious picnic meal.
Upon completion of this amazing experience, we visit an exquisite location in Megalochori village for an authentic and fascinating cooking class. What better way to finish the day and our Greek Island Hopper, than tasting the outcome of your own cooking talents with good company and delicious Santorini wine !
Overnight in Santorini (B,L,D)
Breakfast in our hotel and short flight (40′) back to Athens airport (or to any other destination in Greece).*
End of services. (B)
* You can end your trip with the return to Athens or else join us for an extension to any other part of Greece or the nearby island of Crete, a unique and small universe of its own, where you can admire the remnants of a brilliant and ancient civilization.
Price is based on a minimum attendance of 4 people.
Please consider taking along the following items on your trip. This is not a fixed list, but more of a guideline, so feel free to add and remove items as you see fit. Greece has a temperate climate. Base your clothing on the “layering system”, if it is hot you can “peel off” layers quickly, if it is cooler and windy you can quickly “dress up”.