Sign up for a magnificent active adventure as we gear up for a leisurely hike across beautiful landscapes of the Greek Isles, experiencing unique cultures and fascinating ways of life en route. Our mainland jump-off point is none other than Athens, one of the world's greatest capital cities and a bustling metropolis that fuses antiquity and modernity to spectacular effect.
Monuments dating from the 4th century BC, Roman buildings built in the 2nd century BC and, of course, the incredible Acropolis and the Parthenon number but a few of the ancient sites in Greece that evoke a cultural ambiance unmatched by any other destination. And having long been a bridge between Europe and the Middle East, the region has enjoyed a constant influx of diverse ranges of traditional craftsmanship, artwork and fashions; today, travellers will be kept busy perusing stalls in outdoor markets or scouring the shelves of modern boutiques.
On Tinos, we find Greece's most important centre for Orthodox pilgrims and learn about the island's roots as mythological home of Aeolus, the God of the Winds. Its history of being under Persian, Venetian and Turkish dominion at various stages in its past before being liberated by the Greeks in 1821 means it has all the right ingredients for a captivating destination.
Our hikes up the mountains of Tinos yield stellar views of the Aegean and the chance to explore fortress ruins and then it's on to Naxos, where we walk through beautiful, undulating countryside and stop off in some of the prettiest villages on the island along the way. On Amorgos, we tread ancient, cobblestone donkey routes past Byzantine monasteries and olive groves and we end our fabulous tour walking the rim of the caldera on Santorini.
Seasonality and Weather
This tour is offered in spring, summer and fall, the most popular of which are spring and fall when temperatures are relatively mild (summers are very hot, though cooled by sea breezes). Spring is popular for green landscapes and wildflowers; fall is popular for warm seas and locally harvested produce. Showers are possible in spring but unlikely in summer and fall.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Local ferries between mainland / islands can range from hydrofoils to large vehicular vessels--all bookings in economy class. Greek ferry schedules tend to change without notice; some itinerary adjustments may be necessary at the discretion of your Tour Leader. Land transport (island touring, port transfers) by private bus, public bus, and taxi. This hiking tour is rated 'moderate': Most weekend hikers should have no trouble with our moderate hikes. Routes are low altitude, undulating, with cobbled, or loose stone surfaces. Although no previous experience is required, being physically fit and steady on one's feet is important.
Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range hotels (3-star) throughout. Island hotels are smaller properties (3-4 story) that will likely not have elevators. All hotels have en suite bath, though most have shower only. Porter service is rarely available on the islands (see 'inclusions'); you MUST be independent with your luggage, especially getting on / off ferries. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins. Many hotels have swimming pools and / or beach access.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader, local guides at some locales.
10-16 (plus Tour Leader)