Mountains & Villages of Evia - Birthday Departure Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Greece
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TVES
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

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

Trip Overview

Join Thanos on the 1st November departure to celebrate 20 years of sharing the Mountains and Villages of Evia with Exodus groups. The delightful island of Evia is a real hidden treasure, close to Athens yet worlds away with old stone paths connecting quaint villages tucked-away in the mountains. This walkers’ paradise offers unique history and an authentic atmosphere as you walk past Roman quarries, aqueducts and Byzantine churches. As part of the celebrations, Thanos has altered the itinerary, you will get a real insight into local life, enjoy an evening of traditional music, sample the local wines and visit the island's capital, Halkis. 

At a Glance

  • 6 nights at Hotel Galaxy and 1 night at a three-star hotel in Athens, all with en suite rooms
  • 4 full days and 2 half day centre-based walking; including sightseeing in Athens
  • Between 4 and 6 hours walking per day
  • Altitude maximum 1000m, average 500m

Trip Highlights

  • Discover an authentic Greek island
  • Walk along dramatic coastline and visit remote villages
  • Savour delicious cuisine in traditional tavernas and learn how Baclava ‎is made
  • Visit Halkis, the capital 

Is This Trip for You?

Level 2 - Leisurely/Moderate walking, 4 full day walks between 4 and 6 hours

This trip offers the chance to experience Evia's magnificent mountain scenery. Routes have been chosen to showcase the best of the natural and historical sites on the island. Terrain will include footpaths and mountain terrain, which can be rocky and loose in places with sloped ascents and descents.

The walks require an average level of fitness and all are optional.

This itinerary is more full-on than the standard itinerary as we have included some additional activities. 

Please note: unlike our standard tour, 6 nights are spent on Evia and the last night is in Athens. 

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; transfer to Rafina; ferry to Evia.

    From Athens airport we transfer by road to Rafina (approximately 35 min), and then take the ferry to Mamari on Evia Island (about 1hr). It is then a short drive to our hotel at Karystos.

    Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Walk through rolling hills and the Gourna villages, passing Roman columns and visiting the Castello Rosso; this evening enjoy traditional music.

    Today takes us up to the villages of Gourna that are scattered high above the bay of Karystos and below the peaks of Mount Ohi. Walking through verdant countryside along stone-worn paths next to springs and streams, we reach the monolithic marble columns in the Imperial Roman Quarries, perfectly completed and abandoned during Rome’s decline.  We continue to Castello Rosso, one of the grandest forts of the 4th crusade, from where we can enjoy beautiful views of the Mediterranean. Using mountain goat-trails and country lanes we walk down to the fertile plain of Aetos, full of citrus, olive and cypress trees, before reaching the coast. This evening before dinner we will enjoy traditional live music and celebratory welcome drinks at the hotel. 

    Walk: Distance 11 km Ascent 450 m Descent 450 m Max Altitude 500 m Time: 6 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6 miles
  • Day 3

    Walk through the ravine from Platanistos to the beach at Potami Bay.

    We drive along the south-eastern tip of the island, over the mountains towards the Cape of Cavo Doro, heading to the beautiful ravine of Platanistos and the first of 20 ancient villages of Albanian descent. Over the arches of stone bridges, we follow the river towards Potami hamlet on the coast, a Hellinistic anchorage since Homeric times. En route we view the site of Hellinikon with the remains of the foundations of Poseidon's temple, dating back to the 8th century B.C. Walking amongst large plane trees we reach the sea and one of the nicest, yet still relatively unknown, beaches in the Aegean. During the warmer months of the year, we have the opportunity to swim and relax on the beach. We return to Karystos by taxi/coach. Today our lunch will be prepared in front of us and we will try Fourtalia Omelette, a traditional local dish, at the seaside taverna. 

    Walk: Distance 9 km Ascent 100 m Descent 400 m Max Altitude 400 m Time: 4.5 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 9 km / 5.5 miles
  • Day 4

    Day trip to Historic‎ Halkis; afternoon visit to local winery.

    This morning we will take a scenic drive through beautiful villages and high mountains to the historic capital of the island, Halkis, located in the middle of Evia. Whilst in the capital we will visit Carababa‎ Castello, the early Christian Cathedral of Agia Paraskevi, the old drawbridge with the famous tidal phenomenon underneath. Every six hours a special tidal phenomenon takes place in the strait, strong tidal currents reverse direction creating strong currents and maelstroms. Later on, we will walk the cosmopolitan promenade.

    On our way back to Karystos we will stop at one of the oldest wineries on the island to enjoy a wine tasting. 

    Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Ascend Mount Kliosi and the Acropolis of Styra; early evening Baclava ‎ preparation.

    We start with an early morning drive along the panoramic mountain road to the north, known as the 'Eagle Route', which takes us above the evergreen valley of Styra. We then climb to Mt Kliosi's dramatic summit where the remains of the ancient Acropolis defy time and the elements on a 'Wuthering Heights' plateau. The eerie ancient gate, the cave of St Nicolas and the ruins of Castro Armeno, often in the mist, make this a visit to remember. The gentle walk down takes us past wild strawberry bushes and the remains of the Roman marble quarries to the quaint villages of Styra Valley, which overlook Marathon, just across the water on the continent. In the afternoon we take the bus back to Karystos. This evening before dinner we will learn how to prepare Baclava, a delicious sweet pastry. 

    Walk: Distance 10 km Ascent 300 m Descent 400 m Max Altitude 700 m Time: 5 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
    Standard Hotel

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

    The Gorge walk

    Today we have a picturesque walk through the gorges to the rugged East Aegean coast. We travel by taxi/coach to Boublia on Mt Ohi, which is the starting point of one of the famous gorge walks to the east coast of Evia. The gorge is a unique habitat for flora and fauna with peonies and orchids, eagles and falcons amongst plane and chestnut trees. The ancient stone path leads us close to the dramatically exposed Aegean coast. 

    Walk: Distance 10 km Ascent 0 m Descent 900 m Max Altitude 1000 m Time: 5 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
  • Day 7

    Athens Circular centre walk; special farewell dinner below the Acropolis.

    This morning we take the ferry to Athens to discover the historic centre of this breathtaking city, the cradle of western civilisation and the birthplace of democracy. We wander around the beautiful Plaka, the impressive Houses of Parliament, Zappion National Gardens and St Paul’s Boulevard, before heading up to the Acropolis Hill.  We end the tour outside the Acropolis giving those who wish to explore the Acropolis, one of the ancient wonders of our world, the option to do so.  We spend this evening further exploring Athens, dinner will be taken below the Acropolis. 

    Walk: Distance 4 km Ascent 0 m Descent 0 m Time: 3 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel in Athens or Rafina 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 4 km / 2.5 miles
  • Day 8

    End Athens (or Rafina)

    The trip ends this morning. Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport for the flight to London.

    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

Galaxy Hotel

Our base for the week is the 2-star superior Galaxy Hotel which overlooks the sea in the small coastal town of Karystos. Friendly and traditionally Greek, it has been run by the same family for over 30 years.

Situated at the west end of the esplanade just 100 metres from the main square and town centre and a stone’s throw from the beach and its cafes, the Galaxy Hotel is in a perfect location for exploring the town and soaking up the fresh sea air.

All rooms face the sparkling sea and have a balcony with a table and chairs to watch the world go by below with a cup of tea in the mornings, with en-suite facilities, fridge, television, telephone, coffee and tea making facilities, air conditioning, toiletries, hairdryer and free Wi-Fi.

There are safe and computer/printer facilities in the reception area, 24hr room service for snacks and drinks, one indoor and one outdoor bar and a dining area where a hearty breakfast is served. 

The tap water is natural spring water from the mountains and is drinkable. 

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, 4 picnic lunches and 5 dinners are included.

The buffet style breakfasts includes fresh bread, butter, jam, fresh juice, milk, local yoghurt, porridge, eggs, ham and cheese, cake and cookies, honey, coffee/tea and lots of fresh seasonal fruit. 

A dining experience in Greece isn’t the same without spending an evening in a taverna – a small, family-run Greek restaurant – and on this trip we include visits to five of them. Dotted along the Karystos coastline in Evia, these cosy tavernas serve typical dishes in an informal setting, and the delicious food is often accompanied by traditional music which livens up the atmosphere as the night goes on.

Dishes to try in the evenings may include homemade filo pastry pies, moussaka, stuffed vegetables as well as a variety of other vegetarian dishes, fresh salads, crunchy breads, salty cheeses and locally caught fish and seafood. Greek meze will usually be on the menu too and consists of a selection of hot and cold dishes to share such as keftedes (Greek-style meatballs) and dolmadakia (stuffed grape vine leaves), local lamb, pork and beef.

Transportation

We will be using a mixture of public transport, bus, ferry and local taxis.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

February to March and November/December daytime temperatures 10-18º, night time 5-9º; rain and chances of snow on high mountains.

April, May and October daytime temperatures 17-27º, night time 8-13º; chances of rain.

June and September: daytime temperatures 20-30º, night time 14-19º; very dry and warm, ideal for swimming.

Weather Charts

Athens, Greece

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

The trip starts at Athens airport at the time of the group flight arrival. A local driver will be waiting for you with an Exodus sign. He will then transfer you to Rafina port (approx. 35min). From here you will take the ferry to Evia Island and then a short transfer to the hotel Galaxy in Karystos. Please check the group flight times two weeks before your 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.

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 1½ hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Location start:
Athens
Location end:
Athens

What to Take

Essential Equipment

2/3 Seasons jacket for April, May and October departures
Warm jacket for February, March, and November, December departures
Light waterproof jacket
Sunhat
Water bottle (please note that water is drinkable almost everywhere on this itinerary, and you can refill your bottles from the tap at restaurants and the hotel)
Lightweight but sturdy boots with ankle support
Rucksack
Swimwear
Sandals or old trainers for swimming
Comfortable shoes or trainers for sightseeing outside of the daywalks
Walking poles

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.

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 several ATM machines that can take Visa/MasterCard or Switch with your normal PIN number. Major credit cards are accepted in most places.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

We suggest you allow approximately €100-€150 for food and drinks not included.

Acropolis - 20EUR.

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. It is also customary to leave a tip for any additional local staff who support your holiday – for example drivers, cooks and hotel staff. This can be handed in to your leader at the end of the week to distribute accordingly. In total for the leader to distribute to all relevant staff, we recommend to budget approx. €10 per person per week.

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. 

Our base for this trip is the family run hotel Galaxy in the small town of Karystos that employs local staff and uses local produce wherever possible. Our small group size allows us to support small hotels like hotel galaxy and local restaurants that do not usually benefit from mass tourism, bringing a positive impact on the overall employment levels and economy in the region.

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 island of Evia.

Water is especially important and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital to not cause too much waste from single use plastic bottles. Tap water on the island of Evia is safe to drink hence, we strongly encourage clients to bring their own reusable water bottles to refill throughout the trip.

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.