Explore both the culture and the natural beauty of the Greek islands by foot. We will hike along ancient footpaths, sample Greek delicacies at local taverns, sit back to watch the street life, and swim in the azure seas. The Cycladic complex of islands is the most representative of the archetypal Greek style: fishing villages with whitewashed flat roofed houses and narrow streets, hundreds of chapels, rocky landscape contrasting with the deep blue sea, and bays with powdery white sandy beaches. On this trip we will visit the best spots as well as journey to the interior of the islands where we can experience firsthand the culture and habits of the islanders. Maximum group size: 14
What's not included: Travel to and from Athens, beverages (aside from bottled water at meals), 2 lunches and 1 dinner, arrival transfers outside of 1 group transfer (2019), guide gratuities, travel insurance.
This trip is a great choice for women in good physical condition who enjoy walking on a mixture of rocky paths, dirt tracks, occasional paved roads and mule paths, with occasional steep places. Suitable for both adventurous novice and experienced hikers, most days the hiking is 3 to 4 hours. The hike with the most elevation gain is climbing Mt Zeus, which is about a 1.5-hour ascent; however you can always opt out for a delightful day in town. This trip is rated both 2 and 3 because there are options. If you want to participate in the longer options, you should train for a level 3 trip: engaging in aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. Rating: 1   4 5.
While this is primarily a hiking trip, there are also opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, learning about Greek culture and how to cook Greek food, wandering in small towns, and eating excellent Greek food.
We will be staying in a 3-star hotel in Athens and 3 local guesthouses on the islands, as specified in the itinerary
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
For me, highlight of the trip was the local guide, Sylvia. She was incredibly knowledgeable, a great hiker, and willing to adjust as needed. I particularly enjoyed the Lefke and Santorini hikes. The cooking class was unique, and also enjoyed the addition of the Akrotiri site with guide. I did not enjoy the late start times, especially given the heat that we encountered (though we gradually started earlier) and wish we had approx. 1/2 day to 1 day in each island to explore the towns (from original itinerary, seemed we would have more time-- think this was result of group hike speed).
Island Hopping in the Greek Islands 5/13/2018-5/21/2018