Cyclades walking vacations in Greece

“The Greek islands of Paros, Naxos and Santorini provide relaxed walking on good paths against an Aegean backdrop fringed with sandy beaches and white washed villages.”

Highlights

Athens | Paros | Lefkes | Prodromos | Marpissa | Pisso Livadhi | Ekatontapiliani Cathedral | Santorini | Thira | Oia | Naxos | Tragea Valley | Acrotiri | Filoti | Apiranthos | volcanic calderas | picturesque seaside villages | olive and citrus groves | sandy beaches |

Map

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Date
Price
Basis
19 Mar 2017
US $ 1335
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02 Apr 2017
US $ 1335
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16 Apr 2017
US $ 1365
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30 Apr 2017
US $ 1335
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14 May 2017
US $ 1365
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21 May 2017
US $ 1365
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28 May 2017
US $ 1365
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11 Jun 2017
US $ 1365
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25 Jun 2017
US $ 1365
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10 Sep 2017
US $ 1365
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24 Sep 2017
US $ 1365
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08 Oct 2017
US $ 1365
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15 Oct 2017
US $ 1335
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22 Oct 2017
US $ 1365
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12 Nov 2017
US $ 1365
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18 Mar 2018
US $ 1395
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01 Apr 2018
US $ 1395
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15 Apr 2018
US $ 1395
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29 Apr 2018
US $ 1395
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13 May 2018
US $ 1395
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20 May 2018
US $ 1395
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27 May 2018
US $ 1395
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10 Jun 2018
US $ 1395
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24 Jun 2018
US $ 1395
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09 Sep 2018
US $ 1395
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23 Sep 2018
US $ 1395
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07 Oct 2018
US $ 1395
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14 Oct 2018
US $ 1395
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21 Oct 2018
US $ 1395
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11 Nov 2018
US $ 1395
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Our top tip:
Temperatures can rise, especially in the summer months, with little or no shade or breeze. Pack accordingly with sun block, floppy hats and day sacks for carrying plenty of water.
Trip type:
Small group. Maximum size 18. Minimum age 16.
Activity level:
Leisurely. Island hopping and 3-4hrs walking per day.
Accomm:
Small family-run hotels with en-suite facilities.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, listed activities and tour leader.
Meals:
All breakfasts. Lunch and dinner at different local venues.
Solos:
Independent walkers welcome. Single room supps apply.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cyclades walking vacations in Greece

Environment

Activity:
As a walking vacation, this trip has very limited detrimental impact upon the environment, residents and communities in the regions we visit. Adverse effects like pollution and threatening wildlife are not an issue and although erosion on popular paths can be problematic, guides can advise pre-planned routes to avoid this. Trekking also allows for flexibility and allows for easy access to the local population, shops and restaurants, which facilitates cultural exploration. We use local transport and taxis throughout the trip, having a positive effect on infrastructure and small transfer companies. By operating consciously with a ‘leave no trace’ policy, we are able to raise local awareness for a kind of tourism which refuses to sacrifice the environment and real connections with local people.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend the week in local hotels, using family-run accommodation on the islands and therefore ensuring that our visit benefits local communities. The hotels use a range of environmental regulations to minimise impact on their surroundings e.g. solar panels provide clean energy and separation and recycling of rubbish is thorough. Produce used at the hotels is locally sourced wherever possible as there is so much on offer and this is a way to support local suppliers. Different tavernas and restaurants are also frequented throughout the trip, where clients can sample authentic Greek specialties like Evian gnocchi, rabbit stew, bean soup, olives, fresh grilled fish or meat, seasonal vegetables and regional cheeses.

Local Craft and Culture:
The Greek Islands have a rich history and culture as well as dramatic landscapes and beautiful coastlines. The week starts in the ancient city of Athens, before heading towards the beautiful islands of Naxos, Santorini and Paros. We pass through a number of coastal villages, Cathedrals, and architectural ruins. At Naxos, clients may wish to explore the market area with its small restaurants, chapels and crafts shops selling handmade ceramics and traditional woven textiles. Money spent at these various locations on souvenirs, entry fees and donations goes towards preserving local crafts, culture and heritage sites.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Reviews of Cyclades walking vacations in Greece

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Sea kayaking. Wanted to do it but was apprehensive. Our guide gave us all good instruction and confidence and we had a fantastic time paddling over a sunken city and seeing turtles. The coastline is stunning and colours are amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take some reef shoes for kayaking and you will need walking trainers or boots. A pole is very useful too.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Certainly. We had lunch prepared by local people and ate produce from their garden and cheese and yoghurt from their goats. The
husband and wife who took us for the evening boat ride also prepared food themselves on board.
I really liked the fact that we could fill our water bottles at the large wAter cooler in the hotel. Please encourage others hotels to do
the same.
Our guide was environmentally aware and had a love of nature and animals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very enjoyable. A good programme and a pleasant group of people.
Excellent guide.
All food v good.
Hotel could be better.
Definitely a vacation to recommend

Reviewed on 03 Nov 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


That walks amazing a must do

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?




3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I think so as ate in different local places and met many nice locals

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent

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