Cyclades hiking holidays. Explore the Islands of Light

KYK 1T CultureHikingIsland hopping TinosParosDelosSantoriniNaxosAthens
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15 DAYS
LEVEL 2

HIGHLIGHTS

  • On Tinos: The granite landscape around Volax, The artists' village of Pyrgos, The pigeon houses
  • On Paros: Parikia: Capital of the island with the paleochristian church of Panagia Katapoliani, and its traditional settlement on the Kastro hill, Trekking on Byzantine paths, The old fishing port of Naousa.
  • On Santorini: The entrance to the caldera, The medieval villages Pyrgos and Emporio, Fira: Capital of the island, high above the caldera, Promising hike along the caldera rim, Oia, one of the most picturesque places in the world, Ancient Thera, one of the prettiest excavations in Greece, Boat trip to the active volcano
  • On Naxos: The Chora with its Castle Hill, The sunset from the Portara, Hiking towards the village of Apollon, The ancient marble young man in the garden of Flerio
  • On Delos: The excavations of the ancient city, The sanctuary of Apollo.
  • On Mykonos: The traditional settlement
A 15-day cultural and hiking tour: 3 overnights on Tinos, 3 on Paros, 3 on Santorini and 4 on Naxos, with possibility of day excursions to Delos and Mykonos. Last night, accommodation in Athens. Tinos is home of the harsh north wind Boreas and the Shrine of Our Lady; an island with beautiful landscapes, strange geological formations and picturesque villages. Paros a typical Cycladic island in the heart of the Archipelago with golden sandy beaches, ancient marble quarries and pristine landscapes. Naxos, island of Bacchus and Ariadne, is the larger of the Cyclades with a mountainous inland, which includes the higher pick of the Cycladic islands, yet with beautiful vast sandy coasts; beautiful landscapes and hidden treasures; it was one of the most important cities in of Ancient Greece and the center of the Venetian Duchy of the Archipelago in the Middle Ages. Delos was a Bethlehem for the Old Religion, as Apollo (the God of light, music and oracles of the Greeks) was born there, later the international trade and maritime center of the ancient world and today the most significant excavation site in the Aegean. Mykonos with its nice Cycladic settlement is also famous for its sandy beaches and intense nightlife. Santorin, the beautiful island with an active volcano, traditional villages and breathtaiking view; the place where the myth of Atlantis revives. "Island Hopping" on the coasts of light.

ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Welcome! From Rafina to Tinos

Arrival in Athens International Airport and transfer to the port of Rafina. By ferry you travel to the island of Tinos (about 4h). 3 nights in the town of Tinos.

Day 2: Tinos. A monastery, traditional villages and a bizarre granite landscape

After breakfast we visit the Archaeological museum, where finds from the excavation of the sanctuary of Poseidon are exhibited, as Tinos was, during the antiquity, a sailors’ pilgrimage place. Transfer to Kechrovouni and visit of the monastery of Saint Pelagia. We continue to the traditional village of Falatados and stroll through the picturesque streets to the village church. We hike towards the village of Volax, on a plateau of the inland, surrounded by rounded granite rocks [approx. 1 hour, easy]. After a nice walk in Volax we return to Tinos town. Before dinner, we may go for a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Megalochari; it is for the Orthodox Greeks the main pilgrimage site.

Day 3: Tinos. An artists’ village and the marble museum. Walking onto medieval paths

Day tour to the northeast. Tinos is the birthplace of some of the most important artists, sculptors and painters of modern Greece. On our way to Pyrgos, the artists’ village, we pass by picturesque villages with beautiful dovecotes. The old sculptor tradition being still alive, we shall have the occasion to look into the workshops and visit the museum of marble technique. We hike to the nearby bay of Panormos, a picturesque small harbour [about 45 min, easy]. After lunch break by the sea we return to Pyrgos and after a coffee pause, we leave for the village of Tripotamos, at the foot of the rock Xobourgo, crowned by the ruins of a Venetian fortress. We hike on a cobbled medieval path towards the city [about 1 h 30 mins - one way].

Day 4: Trip to Paros. Parikia and the early Christian church of Panagia Katapoliani

In the morning we catch a ferry towards Paros (about 2 hrs). After checking in to the hotel in the island capital of Parikia there will be free time for relaxing, swimming and sunbathing . On our way to supper we visit the early Christian church of Panagia Katapoliani and stroll through the tangled alleys of the traditional settlement, to the Constantin and Helen chapel on the hill of Kastro. 3 nights in Parikia of Paros.

Day 5: Paros. Ancient marble quarries, byzantine paths and the picturesque village of Naousa

Day tour to Paros. Transfer to the ancient marble quarries of Marathi, where the famous Parian marble was extracted from underground galleries. We visit the beautiful village of Lefkes, walk around and have a coffee in the traditional village square. We hike on a Byzantine path towards Prodromos [approx. 1 hr15 min, easy]. Transfer to the East Coast, to Piso Livadi and Logaras. Lunch stop and swimming. In the afternoon we reach the north coast and the picturesque fishing harbor of Naousa. Time for a walk and a coffee break. Return to Parikia.

Day 6: Free day. Optional boat trip to Delos and Mykonos

This is a free day. Or you may choose an optional excursion to the islands of Delos and Mykonos.

Day 7: Leaving Paros. To the volcanic island of Santorini

The morning at Paros is at leisure for strolling, relaxing or visiting museums. Around noon, our ferry departs for Santorini via Naxos (about 3 hours). An overwhelming experience is the approach to the caldera; the enclosed cove, formed during the eruption of the still active volcano. From the port of Athinios transfer to Kamari on the eastern coast (10 km). 3 nights in Kamari of Santorini.

Day 8: Santorini. Medieval villages, the island capital Fira, hiking on the caldera rim, the wonder of Oia

Transfer to the medieval villages Pyrgos and Emporio and walk through their picturesque centre. Short stop at St. Nicholas Marmaras, a converted into church ancient temple. We continue to the island capital Fira. Orientation walk, free time to stroll, visiting museums, lunch. Time for promising hike along the caldera rim, on the mountain of Prophet Elias (320m), from Fira to Oia [3 hr 30 min, easy to moderate]. Time to walk around in one of the most picturesque places in the world. Transfer to Kamari (19 km).

Day 9: Santorini. Ancient Thera. Optional excursion to an active volcano

From Kamari we walk to Ancient Thera on the mountain Mesa Vouno, at 369 m. There we visit the remains of the ancient city. Due to its position, it is consider being one of the prettiest excavations sites in Greece. We walk down a path, passing by the small chapel of Zoodochos Pigi [3 h 30 min, easy to moderate]. The rest of the day is at leisure. Optional excursion to the active volcano on the island of Nea Kameni: Transfer to the pier, short boat trip towards the island of Nea Kameni, where the volcano is still smoldering, and walking forth and back to Georgios crater, at 127 m [1 h, easy]. Around us a natural wonder develops. It's so beautiful and it shudders when considering that one stands in the middle of an active volcano. Return to Kamari.

Day 10: Leaving Santorini. Naxos island and its capital

By ferry we travel to Naxos (about 2 hr 30 min). Walking tour to Chora of Naxos, the island capital. On the castle hill, during the Venetian period, the Dukes had their seat. In the former Jesuit monastery, the Archaeological Museum is housed, with its rich collection of Cycladic idols. One can experience the best sunset from the Portara ("Great Gate") of the Apollo's temple ruins or from a tavern on the harbor promenade. 4 nights in Agios Prokopios, a seaside resort, about 5 km south from the capital of Naxos.

Day 11: Naxos. Rugged mountains, remote villages, Byzantine chapels and an old young man

Day tour on Naxos, to the inland and to the north. Short stop on the Venetian castle of Belonia. Stop in Chalki and stroll to the Byzantine church of St. Georgios Diasoritis. Then transfer, along the slopes of mountain Zas, via Filoti, to Apirathos and sort stop in the amphitheatrically built mountain village. We continue through the emery villages Koronos and Skado to Koronis, at 550 meters (about 42 km). Hikking towards the village of Apollon [2 hr, easy to moderate]. Swimming opportunity. Near the village still rests, laid in the quarry, a 2500 years old marble young man. Scenic journey to the north - northwest coast returning to the Chora of Naxos (35 km).

Day 12: Naxos. Free day or optional excursion to the inland; orchards and a marble young man

The day is at leisur or you may coose to participate to an optional excursion: In the morning transfer to the village of Kourounochori (8 km) for a lovely hike, through the peaceful countryside we hike across the villages of Mili ("Mills") and Flerio, where in a beautiful garden, a different ancient marble young man lies [2 h, easy]. We continue to the valley of Potamia and then back to the city (10 km). Opportunity to go to the beach of Agia Anna.

Day 13: Naxos. Free day

The day is at leisure. You have time for shopping, visiting museums, relax, swim and sunbathing.

Day 14: Return to Athens

In the morning we catch a ferry to Piraeus (about 5 hours). Transfer to our hotel in Athens. In the afternoon there is time for a City tour. Dinner at the foot of the Acropolis. 1 overnight.

Day 15: Goodbye!

Transfer to the airport.

HIKING

8 general easy hikes, with opportunities for further walking

ACCOMMODATION

Overnight stays in well located 3 star hotels, just a few minutes walking from the center.

SERVICES

  • Transport as specified in the program
  • 14 overnight stays in rooms with WC and bath or shower in mid-range hotels
  • 13 dinners in taverns
  • Proficient guided tours
  • Professional liability insurance
  • VAT 24% + all taxes

NOT INCLUDED

  • Excursions indicated as “optional”
  • Admissions to museums and excavations
  • Meals in Athens
  • Flights to/from Greece
  • Drinks/Beverages, tips, other extras
  • Personal travel insurance

EXTRAS

Optional excursions (Prices in Euro): Nea Kameni: 25 + Entrance 2; Delos-Mykonos: 45 + Admission: 5
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  • Tinos
  • Paros
  • Delos
  • Santorini
  • Naxos
  • Athens
 
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