A short transfer takes us to our hotel in Old Athens, not far from the Acropolis. There will be free time in the evening to explore the city and sample some delicious Greek food.
After a short transfer to the Piraeus harbour, we embark on our five hour ferry journey to Naxos. After settling in our hotel, we explore the main town, Hora, a Venetian Castello town. The market area is a delight to wander through, with its craft shops, chapels and quaint restaurants. On the islet of Palatia stands the impressive Portara, ancient marble gateway, the entrance to the remains of the temple of Apollo.
Today we trek the lush valley of Tragea, famous for its ancient olive and citrus groves. It is a great opportunity to discover the most authentic part of the island, where picturesque villages and churches punctuate our walk. Approx. 4 to 5 hours walking.
We enjoy a free morning in Hora, before our midday ferry to Santorini (3hrs). Santorini is one of the most famous islands in the world. Known mainly for its beautiful beaches, it is a remnant of a volcanic cone whose top was blown off. A huge eruption (estimated 1450 BC) gave it its crescent shape and many speculate that it was the location of the legendary lost Atlantis. This beautiful island has a lot to offer to walkers, including magnificent views of the Mediterranean. There will be some time today to explore the cosmopolitan town of Thira.
Leaving Thira behind we trek along the 'Cliff Trail' to Oia. The six mile trail is well marked, not too challenging but well worth the effort. Views out over the Aegean as far as the eye can see are virtually ever present as we wind gently up to the edge of the volcanic caldera. Reaching Oia, a pretty village of narrow winding streets, whitewashed houses, boutiques, galleries and cafes there is time to explore, relax and soak up the culture. Approx. 4 hours walking.
This morning we are free to enjoy our own time in Santorini. Some optional excursions are available such as a visit to the Volcano and the hot springs, or the excavations in Acrotiri and the local museums. Leaving Santorini in the afternoon, we board the ferry to Paros (3hrs). Following the three hour journey we check in at our hotel before enjoying dinner in the town of Parikia.
We start the day exploring the town of Parikia. The medieval centre has the authentic atmosphere of the Greek islands, with the narrow alleyways and piazzas, small shops and tavernas. We visit the famous Cathedral of Ekatontapiliani, one of the earliest Christian churches in Europe. By lunch time, we reach the heart of the island, the village of Lefkes, where we join the Old Byzantine road all the way to the East coast of Paros. Believed to be about 1000 years old, the route it was part of a central road traversing the entire island, joining Parikia to Pisso Livadi. Approx. 4 to 5hrs walking.
A ferry takes us to Pireus (4hrs), where we get a bus to the airport.