Self guided hiking vacation in Santorini and Naxos, Greece

“A week long self-guided walking vacation on Cyclades’ most stunning islands of Santorini & Naxos. A dormant volcanic island that is an explosion of natural and cultural wonders”

Highlights

Santorini | Fira | Oia | Profitis Ilias | Emborio | Perissa beach | Akrotiri village | Pyrgos | Red beach | Naxos

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Self guided hiking vacation in Santorini and Naxos, Greece

Environment

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

Our guided & self-guided trail vacations at the island of Santorini & Naxos in Greece, have 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. 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 ask our guests to report on paths that are falling out of use.

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 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 recommend to our clients to local festivals, artists' workshops, and other local 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 guided and self-guided walking trail vacations in Greece we support small businesses by supporting locally owned shops, guesthouses and taverns. As our vacations take place throughout the year, especially during the out of season months, 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 and other goods.

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.

Santorini & Naxos have a unique network of traditional walking paths and our local guides who will be supporting you locally know them very well. They live and work in the area. They are passionate about promoting Santorini and Naxos as walking vacation destinations, 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 Self guided hiking vacation in Santorini and Naxos, 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 06 Nov 2016 by

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


The personal challenge of completing the hikes myself, the isolated walks in a rugged yet serene environment, arriving at key sites all tired, hot and sweaty whilst other tourists were in pristine condition (must be those air conditioned vehicles), the locals friendliness and hospitality, the local cuisine (the wines are must-have) and of course picturesque Santorini itself with its churches and caldera. Ooops, I just couldn't choose one!

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


A few things to consider:
1. As well as the weather, do check the tides/swell of the sea especially when planning the 'Caldera to Akrotiri and Vlychada trail'. There are two parts on this trail which are on the rocky beach (the beach is narrow) and if the tide is in then your path is blocked.
2. Expect many of the remote churches to be closed...it's just how it is!
3. The app provided by nofootprint was great but make sure you keep a battery charger with you in case your mobile decides to give up. To use the app you need to have your location enabled and in my case this used up my phone battery quite quickly.

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


Absolutely. Walking through local towns/villages was great as you get to meet the locals and eat/drink in local establishments thus contributing to the local economy. The trails were a mix of well-trodden paths and 'figure-it-out yourself' paths but no flora was damaged in the process. The bus system on the island is excellent, frequent and cheap...really good local infrastructure.

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


Ah just amazing and the perfect trip...a different way to see such a beautiful island and all it has to offer! Loved it!

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