Walking on the Greek Islands Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Greece
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TEJ
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

The Greek islands have much more to offer than most would think: archaeological treasures, history, culture, dramatic landscapes overlooking an azure coloured sea and, of course, delicious food. Our week starts on the beautiful island of Naxos, before heading to Santorini and Paros. Exploring the irresistible island of Santorini on foot will certainly be the highlight of our week. Hopping from one wonderful island to the other, we enjoy a relaxed week of gentle walks through picturesque villages, lush valleys and sandy beaches.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights in 3-star hotels with en suite rooms
  • 3 full days and 2 half days walking on 3 islands
  • Travel by public transport, boat/ferry and coach
  • Low altitude throughout

Trip Highlights

  • Discover the three islands of Naxos, Santorini and Paros
  • Gentle walks amid idyllic scenery and remote villages
  • Enjoy delicious local Greek cuisine

Is This Trip for You?

Grade: 1 (Leisurely)

This trip offers the chance to discover three wonderful islands and enjoy some gentle walks. Routes have been chosen to showcase the best of the natural and historical sites on each island. Terrain will include footpaths and mountain terrain, which can be rocky and loose in places with some sloped ascents and descents (walking poles can be useful).
There are 3 day walks in our itinerary and 2 half days exploring on foot. Walking time is between 2 and 5 hours including lunch breaks, and an average level of fitness is required. All walks are optional.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Athens; to Rafina and overnight

    The group flight usually arrives into Athens in the early evening and will be met and transferred to the start hotel in Rafina. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon. In the evening our guide will hold a short meeting to discuss the plan for the following day, to give advice on the local area and to answer any questions.

    Accommodation: Avra Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

     

  • Day 2

    Morning ferry to Naxos; afternoon explore the town and visit the Temple of Apollo.

    In the early morning, we catch the ferry to Naxos. The ferry will leave the port at 7.25am and takes about 5.5 hours. On board the ferry there is a selection of restaurants and cafes which will serve food and drinks throughout the journey. After checking in at our hotel, we will take a walk to 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.

    Walk: Distance 2km Ascent 50m Descent 50m Time: 3 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Aeolis or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 2 km / 1 miles
  • Day 3

    Walk through the Tragea Valley in the heart of the island, from Halki to Melanes, visiting the ancient statue of Kouros.

    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 Naxos, where picturesque villages and churches punctuate our walk.  We will wander along the ancient path in the middle of the Naxian marble quarries until we reach Kouros, the gigantic statue from the 5th century B.C. which was damaged during transportation and then abandoned ever since, lying under trees in the Melanes Valley.

    Walk: Distance 8km Ascent 200m Descent 200m Time: 5 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Aeolis or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 8 km / 4 miles
  • Day 4

    Afternoon ferry to Santorini; afternoon explore Fira.

    Today there is a free morning to explore Naxos. In the early afternoon, we take the ferry to Santorini (approximately 2.5 hrs). Santorini (locally known as Thira) 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 1650 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. In the late afternoon, we will have a walk around the town of Fira to enjoy the stunning views of the caldera.

    Walk: Distance 2 km Ascent 100m Descent 100m Time: 2 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Sunrise or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 2 km / 1 miles
  • Day 5

    Walk along the caldera from Fira to Oia.

    The Six mile "Cliff Trail" is a spectacular walk 400 m high above the Volcanic Caldera, a photographer's delight and not too challenging. Views out over the Aegean as far as the eye can see are virtually ever present as we wind gently up and down to the pretty village of Oia, home to many artists, galleries, boutiques and cafes. There is time to explore, relax and soak up the culture before we transfer back to Fira.

    Walk: Distance 10km Ascent 300m Descent 300m Max Time: 5 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Sunrise or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
  • Day 6

    Free time in Santorini. Afternoon ferry to Paros

    This morning have free time in Santorini. Optional extras include a visit by bus to the buried city of Acrotiri, time at the famous black beaches of Kamari and/or a visit to the prehistoric museum of Thero in town. Leaving Santorini in the afternoon, we board the ferry to Paros, the journey is approximately 3 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel Pandrossos or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Walk the ancient paths in the heart of Paros, from Lefkes to Prodromos and the coastal villages of Marpissa and Pisso Livadhi.

    In the morning we visit the cathedral of Paros, built in the 4th century A.D., a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture and a relic of early Christianity.  We take a bus to reach the heart of the island and the village of Lefkes, where we join the Old Byzantine path that runs all the way to the east coast of Paros. The route is believed to be about 1000 years old and used to traverse the entire island. Today’s route will pass through beautiful Cycladic villages as well as mediaeval villages. In the afternoon we take a bus back to Parikia.

    Walk: Distance 7km Ascent 100m Descent 350m Time: 4 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Pandrossos or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 9 km / 5 miles
  • Day 8

    Ferry transfer to Piraeus; end Athens.

    We take the ferry back to Piraeus or Rafina (approx.5hrs) and transfer to Athens airport where the trip ends. Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport for the return flight to London.

    Please note: the ferry port can change depending on the season and you might return to Rafina. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels

7 nights in 3* hotels with en suite rooms. On the islands, we use family-run hotels, thus ensuring that our visit benefits the local communities. The rooms are comfortable, clean and tidy, and have private facilities, however the bathrooms can sometimes be a little small and old fashioned. All of the hotels have a swimming pool (open May to October).

We also have one night in a standard hotel in Rafina.

Single Accommodation is available for a supplement.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts included.

Simple buffet style Greek breakfast consists of bread/toast, butter, jam, fresh juice, milk, local yoghurt, eggs and honey, and coffee/tea. For lunch and dinner, we will generally go to different local tavernas and restaurants (at times picnic lunches using locally sourced food will be suggested for lunch instead), where we can sample some typical Greek meze dishes, olives, fresh fish, vegetables and much more.

Transportation

We will be using a mixture of public transport, bus, ferry and local taxis. Occasionally the ferry schedules in the Cyclades are changed at the last minute and this can affect your itinerary. Whenever this happens, we will try our best to limit the impact this has and find the most suitable alternative.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

The Cyclades enjoy a typical Mediterranean weather with mild winters and hot dry summers.

Weather Information

The Cyclades enjoy a typical Mediterranean weather with mild winters and hot dry summers.

March and November: cooler daytime temperatures 10-15º night time 5-8º, a chance of some rain.

April, May and October: pleasant daytime temperatures 12-22º night time 5-13º, a chance of some rain.

June and September: daytime temperatures 20-35º, night time 15-20º; very dry.

In July and August the temperature can get hot (normally 35-36º) but there is always a sea breeze.

Weather Charts

Athens

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed
until approximately two weeks before departure.


Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Athens

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Athens in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

 

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight - please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Athens
Location end:
Athens

What to Take

Essential Equipment

2/3 Seasons jacket for April and May departures
Light waterproof jacket (just in case)
Sunhat
Water bottle
Lightweight but sturdy boots with ankle support
Rucksack (20‐30L capacity)
Swimwear
Sandals or old trainers for swimming
Comfortable shoes or trainers for sightseeing outside of the day walks

Walking poles
The temperatures can sometimes be very high during the day in the summer (June to September); comfortable light clothing, sunhats, sunglasses and a high factor sun cream are highly recommended at this time of the year.

At time of writing the standard weight limit for hold baggage on the recommended international carrier for this trip is 20kg. We recommend packing only one piece of checked baggage.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure.

Practical Information

Passport

Greece

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Greece

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

Vaccination

Greece

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Greece's Timezone:
Europe/Athens EEST (GMT +03:00)

Electricity

Greece's Electricity:

230 Volts. Plug types C & F; establishments take European, two round pin, plugs.

Money

Greece's Currency

The national currency of Greece is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (September 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP, 0.8 to the USD, 0.7 to the CAD, 0.7 to the AUD and 0.6 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

There are some ATM machines that can take Visa/MasterCard or Switch with your normal PIN number, but it is still recommended to travel with some cash. Major credit cards are accepted in most places.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

We suggest you allow approximately €250-300 for food and drink throughout the week.

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus, however most of our clients wish to give a tip to their guides and in appreciation of their help and friendliness. This, of course, is in no way compulsory and depends on the service received. If you feel you would like to leave a tip, as a guide we would suggest a total of approximately €20 per person for the leader. You may wish to leave a couple of euros in your room for hotel staff at the end of your stay in each hotel. 

Santorini, Greece

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

As much as possible, we try to use accommodations that are locally owned or at least employs local staff and uses local produce. This ensures that our visit benefits the local community by providing job opportunities and a chance for them to generate income. All of the hotels we use have solar panels installed to provide hot water. A high importance is also placed on the separation and recycling of rubbish and waste.

As a walking holiday, it allows easy access and flexibility for clients to interact with the locals, visit local cafes and bars, support local produce and craft to facilitate cultural exploration and experience what life is really like on the Greek Islands.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. Swimming results in more tourists deaths than any other activity. All customers should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim, and are requested to treat the sea with extreme caution if they choose to enter the water. Details on how to keep yourself safe while swimming are shown here.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.