Cyclades hiking vacation, Greece

“Walk for hours without spotting a single sole and discover the rare plants, coastal birds and neoclassical architecture of Syros, one of the Greek islands hidden gems.”

Highlights

Syros Island | UNESCO site of Ermoupolis | Katri acropolis | Birdwatching | Snorkelling | Medieval town of Ano Syros | Varvaroussa Beach | Chroussa village | Eating in local tavernas | Scenic inland and coastal walks

Check dates

2017: 1 Apr, 8 Apr, 15 Apr, 22 Apr, 29 Apr, 6 May, 13 May, 20 May, 27 May, 1 Sep, 8 Sep, 15 Sep, 22 Sep, 29 Sep, 6 Oct, 13 Oct, 20 Oct, 27 Oct
Our top tip:
Although tours take place outside 'peak season' they still experience daytime heat and, conversely, evening chills. Pack layers for peeling off or putting on.
Trip type:
Small group and tailor made tours. Max 6 people.
Activity level:
Moderate. Daily walks taking 5 hours or more with ascents up to 500 metres.
Accomm:
Family-run 18th century guest house in Ermoupolis.
Included:
Local tour guides: Annie and Dimitris, and accommodation.
Meals:
All breakfasts, daily picnics using local produce and evening meals at local restaurants.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cyclades hiking vacation, Greece

Environment

We are dedicated to encouraging low-impact activity vacations, such as walking, and minimising our negative impact on the environment and people.

This walking trail vacation in the island of Syros, Greece, has an eco focus. We will inform our guests about the unique flora and endemic and common species they will encounter while walking or swimming around the island of Syros. We give guidelines on where to look for them, how to approach them in order not to scare them and disrupt their life, how to observe their behaviours or even capture a unique picture showing to the rest of the world their magic. Guests leave aware of the environmental dangers faced and what they can do to minimise them.

We encourage our guests to behave in an environmentally responsible manner. We walk on designated paths and make sure no litter is left behind. We often arrange clean ups of paths and beaches during the week. We report on paths that are falling out of use and help to clear them.

We encourage our guests and the owners of the accommodations we use to be aware of the threats to the environment (i.e. water waste, plastic bags and bottles) and suggest ways in which they can minimise their negative footprint. We explain our guests the need for water conservation in the Greek islands and advise them on how to minimise their water waste. We encourage our guests to bring refillable water bottles and/or recycle them in designated areas. All our business waste is recycled. All communication is done electronically where possible, saving on paper.

We organise our walking vacations in Greece only for small groups of up to 6 people, outside the high season months of July-August. We thus try as much as we can to reduce negative impacts to the environment and its people and to benefit the local community.

Community

We have the greatest respect for the local people and their customs and are anxious to share our knowledge of Cycladic island lifestyle with our guests. In order to limit the social impact of tourism all are guests are introduced to the local customs, religion, politics and history during our walks. We take our clients to local festivals, artists' workshops, and other locals celebrations trying to get them to experience the local way of life. We encourage our guests to mix and interact with the local people which are particularly friendly and hospitable.

Through our walking trail vacations in Greece we support small businesses by supporting locally owned shops, guesthouses, mini-markets, bakeries and taverns. As our vacations take place in spring, early summer and autumn, we bring customers and income to establishments which would otherwise only have visitors in high summer. Guests are advised to visit the local market and purchase locally-produced and home-made products such olive oil, wine, honey, capers and herbs, sun dried fruits and tomatoes, “louza” the local proscuito and other goods.

We buy food for our picnics from the local markets and prefer items locally grown according to the season, thus supporting the local agricultural community. Evening meals are taken in typical Greek restaurants serving local dishes.

Our guests stay at local, family owned guesthouses, staffed by locals with their food being sourced locally. These accommodations have been restored by local workers and retained their unique local character whilst providing all necessary comforts. The guesthouses recently installed solar panels which provide hot water for all rooms all year round.

Syros has a unique network of traditional walking paths and Annie and Dimitris who will be your guides know them very well. They live and work in Syros. They are passionate about promoting Syros as a walking vacation destination, about the survival and conservation of the paths and local wildlife and sustainable tourism in general.

In general, with all walking vacations in Greece, we’re trying through our activities to encourage travelers to approach places they visits with greater understanding and respect.

Reviews of Cyclades hiking vacation, 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 21 May 2016 by

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


Climbing to the top of Mount Zas (Zeus) on a beautifully warm sunny day.

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


Book early so that you can get a direct flight to Naxos itself, rather than having to fly to Mykonos or Santorini and then use the ferry.

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


Local people were very friendly and hospitable. I should like to think they benefitted from our presence. Certainly the hotel and restaurants all seemed to be owned by local people, rather than global brands. Some of the tavernas in remote villages were glad to welcome half a dozen hungry and thirsty walkers

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


A marvellous and memorable week, with a nice mix of walking, relaxation and (my weakness) eating.

Reviewed on 11 May 2016 by

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


The cliff walks with wild flowers and herbs along the way. Stunning.

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


Be prepared to buy your own breakfast every day. Be flexible as the itinerary may change.

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


Yes I'm sure it did. Local people - hotels and restaurants used. An emphasis on respecting the environment and not creating litter.

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


This vacation fulfilled my expectations in providing amazing walks off the beaten track and the opportunity to see rural places not visited by most tourists. Annie is a knowledgeable guide.

Reviewed on 24 May 2015 by

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


The generosity of the Greek people throughout the trip. Annie our guide was able to speak to everyone and we were welcomed and given fruit, honey, drinks, desserts, and wine. Our a accommodation owner gave us a tour of his orange farm and marmalade. The island, villages, and ocean were beautiful.

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


Pay attention to predicted temperatures. Our week had perfect temperatures for walking. I went April 23 for seven days. The next week temperature was 90 degrees on Santorini.

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


Yes - we ate in local taverns-often breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We stayed in town in beautiful accommodations - Venitika apartments in the old part of Chora(nice indoor and outdoor space in the beautiful old part of town). We also used local taxis and buses when needed. Loved every minute!

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


Totally enjoyable walking tour. Annie is a wonderful guide. Beautiful island with mixed vegetation and beautiful beaches. People very hospitable and delicious food and good company. Thanks for the recommendation and thank you Annie and Evaggalus for a wonderful experience.

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2015 by

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


Walking in Syros & seeing the beautiful scenery & wealth of wild herbs & flowers. Also Annie was a great guide and very attentive to us, and helped the group in many ways.

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


Go for it! It's a very relaxing way of getting to know the islands & meeting the local people. It was great to have a local guide who helped with communication, travel & chose some excellent resturants.

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


Probably mainly financially, I think. While we were careful of the environment & hopefully did no damage, we did not add to it as such. Our guide Annie noted that her company regularly organise or take part in cleanups.

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


Very good. The island was really beautiful & we saw most of it, & both guide & local people were friendly and helpful.

Reviewed on 14 Apr 2015 by

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


The scenery, food, culture and company were all fantastic

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


Make sure you have good walking boots ad poles for the uneven terrain. If you go in the spring take some warm things for the evenings, it can get very cold at night. Bedrooms can be very cold.

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


Yes most definitely.

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


A fantastic introduction to Greece. I will be going back to explore some of the other 1000 islands!

Reviewed on 04 May 2015 by

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


Walking along tracks and hidden footpaths over rugged hills filled with wild flowers and fragrant herbs, down to secluded beaches.

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


Pack a good pair of walking shoes and perhaps a walking pole to protect your knees.

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


Yes

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


Excellent.

Reviewed on 08 May 2014 by

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


There were a few, being out in the wonderful fresh air, beautiful scenery, small plants and scents, and nobody around. We felt very peaceful, and relaxed.

Annie prepared us some lovely picnics that we ate on the beach, and once in a small chapel.

We enjoyed delicious food in a mixture of places, once in a small fisherman's café, delicious fresh fish, and a few times at the end of our hikes we ended up in family run places, where the food was their own produce. What could be better.

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


Annie walks are well prepared, all you need is good hiking shoes !

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


Yes, we stayed in a wonderful family run B&B, and ate in local restaurants, and walked

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


Very enjoyable, it’s the first hiking vacation we have done, mainly we opt for cycling vacations. We have recommended this vacation to our friends and would certainly try more hiking vacations.

Our guide Annie is great, she will adapt the walks to you and is very informative on the plants and flowers, you will see many.

I recommend this vacation to all.-

Reviewed on 23 Oct 2013 by

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


Arriving at a sunny beach with a great blue sea after a walk across barren land.

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


Sun cream is needed!The Django ice-cream parlour is great.

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


Definitely impacted local people - every place we stayed or had food was owned and managed by local people.

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


Very relaxing and enjoyable. People were very friendly and nice. Great food.

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