Walking on the Greek Islands
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. Your 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 your week. Hopping from one wonderful island to the other, you’ll enjoy a relaxed week of gentle walks through picturesque villages, lush valleys and sandy beaches.
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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.
Day 2: Naxos
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.
Day 3: Halki to Melanes
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.
Day 4: Santorini
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.
Day 5: 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.
Day 6: Santorini
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.
Day 7: Paros to Prodromos
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.
Day 8: Ferry transfer to Piraeus; end Athens.
We take the ferry back to Piraeus or Rafina 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.
Operated by Exodus Travels. *Valid on active tours only and applicable only to new bookings. Discount applies to land only price. Must be booked from April 30 to June 1, 2018 with date of first travel no later than December 31, 2020. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offer. Prices may vary based on departure date. Trip prices will be quoted in CAD. Regular booking conditions apply. Other conditions may apply. Please contact us for further details. Trip style: Self-Guided Walking with Leisurely Activity Level.
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