Hiking vacation in the West Cyclades, Greece

“A ten day, small group walking vacation taking in glorious western islands such as Milos, Sifnos and Serifos. Cyclades at their most secluded. ”

Highlights

Serifos | Sifnos | Ancient site of Agios Andreas | Milos

Travel Team

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Check dates

2020: 11 Apr, 18 Apr, 25 Apr, 2 May, 9 May, 16 May, 23 May, 30 May, 5 Sep, 12 Sep, 19 Sep, 26 Sep, 3 Oct, 10 Oct, 17 Oct, 24 Oct, 31 Oct
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
This walking trail vacation in the island of Serifos & Milos, has a primary eco-focus. We are dedicated to encouraging low-impact activity vacations, such as walking, and minimising our negative impact on the environment and people. This is mainly done by respecting the natural environment of the places we visit and by concentrating on an alternative way of traveling, mostly out of the heavy burdened touristic summer season.

We try to support the No Footprint idea by exploring in small group numbers and as much as possible getting around on foot or by public transport. Our walking vacations after all, leave nothing but footprints behind! We walk on designated paths and make sure no litter is left behind, while we also gather up any that we see on our way. We often arrange clean ups of paths and beaches during the week, or tree planting initiatives in these dry and arid Greek islands. We report on paths that are falling out of use and help to clear or shape them back.

Most of our paths are part of larger protected areas or National parks and Natural reserves, such as the vast Natura 2000 network. This way, we encourage our guests to behave in an environmentally responsible manner. We inform our guests about the unique flora and endemic and common species they will encounter while walking or swimming around the waters of the Aegean. We find it to be important to encourage and develop a passion for wildlife and wild places amongst our customers. We give guidelines on where to look for them, how to observe them or even capture a unique picture showing to the rest of the world their magic. Of course, it is important to emphasize that all wildlife sightings are a bonus; none are guaranteed! We practice Responsible Wildlife Viewing principles by not disturbing or threatening the behaviour of any wild animal by no means. We ask our guests to never remove a specimen – whether plant, seed or animal – from its natural environment. Guests leave aware of the environmental dangers faced and what they can do themselves to minimise 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 to 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 communication is done electronically where possible, saving on paper
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

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. Your guides are all local, sharing with you their ideas and love for their land. 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 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 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 the high touristic summer months. In many villages, we visit local craftswomen who make their own handmade traditional products and by selling them, support their families.

All the products used in our picnics are bought locally, by small family-owned shops, supporting a low carbon diet and respecting the seasonal produces, thus supporting the local agricultural community. Evening meals are taken in typical Greek restaurants serving local, Greek and Mediterranean dishes, usually with products from their own personal gardens.

We opt for local, family owned guesthouses, staffed by locals. 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.

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

Climate

6 Reviews of Hiking vacation in the West Cyclades, Greece

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 05 Nov 2018 by

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


Sharing the delicious meals with new friends after a days walking.

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


Travel light, use walking poles

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?


It was wonderful thanks to Anna's local knowledge of geology, places to stay & eat.

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2018 by

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


There were a few. Hiking up to Plaka, Milos after seeing an ancient Greek theatre as the sun set over the Aegean listening to the sound of the goat bells. Eating home made olives and local cheese brought by our guide Anna for lunch on a small isolated beach in Sifnos. Having tea and cookies in the kitchen of
the mountain top Prophet Elias monastery after Anna found the hidden key. Dinner with our guide and fellow travelers at a restaurant in Milos that serves
lamb from their own flock and local cheese and produce.

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


Take advantage of the local knowledge of the local operator to book a tour that suits your tastes. Also spend 5 nights in Sifnos at the Nymfes hotel.

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


Yes, we ate at local restaurants and stayed at small family run hotels.

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


The vacation was excellent It was wonderful to spend our days exploring the varied landscape, villages and beaches of the small lesser known islands of Milos
and Sifnos. The pace was perfect 3-5 hours of hiking with a stop each day at a different beach. A wonderful combination of history, landscape, exercise an food.
Our guide Anna was fantastic, she watched over us like a local shepherd and made sure we got to see the varied landscapes, secluded beaches and taste the
food. Everywhere we went on Sifnos people knew her and she used her local knowledge, guiding experience and easy comfortable way with people to make it
a fantastic trip.

Reviewed on 02 May 2017 by

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


Reaching some amazing views by walking and then having a delicious dinner at a small Taverna serving local specialities.

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


Get some walking practice in before you come and bring walking poles if you need them for uneven paths.

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


The various restaurants, hotels etc had some out-of-season income from our stay. Flying always has environmental impact but once we arrived we took buses if we could and walked to visit the islands.

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


This was a lovely vacation and our guide Annie was very well organised and friendly whilst being flexible and relaxed which made the trip very enjoyable.

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2017 by

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


Beautiful views. Very relaxed. Times were respected.

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


Don't pack as if you were trekking but as if you were going to walk in the park

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


Yes, just a little.

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


Excellent

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Keri,

Thank you for your comments and kind words. We are delighted that overall you enjoyed our walking vacation. We really enjoyed your company and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Cyclades islands.

If you have any feedback on how we can improve, please do write to us directly we’d really like to know how we can improve the way we operate. We realise it is a continuous process.

As you joined a small group during the out of season months it was really beneficial for the local community. Both accommodations you stayed are owned by local families who live permanently at the islands. As you experienced they only had a few other guests. All the taverns that were selected by our guide are also run by local families and are open throughout the year and not seasonally as is the case with most. Our guide introduced you to the local culture, easter celebrations and food. You were introduced to locals and you were invited to locals' easter feast and house.

Regarding the environmental impact of our business we do all we can to reduce our impacts throughout the year. We do try to introduce our guests to the local biodiversity and uniqueness of the Aegean ecosystems and we believe our guides offer interesting information. We do try to walk in designated paths, collect garbage, arrange clean ups on our own or in collaboration with other local firms several times. Finally we’d like to think that we create awareness of the main environmental issues. We do report on sightings of mammals and birds and members of our team take part in NGO events and seminars every year. Creating awareness is a step but it is not enough of course.

These are just a few thoughts for further discussion. We look forward to hearing from you and work on ensuring our trips are as responsible as possible.

We hope to welcome you back to the Cyclades soon.

Reviewed on 24 Jun 2014 by

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


For me it was the opportunity to walk and see amazing landscapes, villages, remote beaches, meet unique local characters, eat delicious food, get to know the Greek culture. I wouldn't be able to experience all that on my own!

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


There are many options for hikes all over the island. Get some good footwear to protect your ankles, a hat, a swimsuit and enjoy!

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


Yes we stayed at a family run guesthouse, ate at local taverns, tried local products, used public transport and walked to get to places. We cleaned up a beach after having a picnic. Our guide in general provided useful information about the local flora and fauna, the culture, economy and environmental issues

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


Excellent

Reviewed on 20 Apr 2014 by

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


Hiking all over the hillsides of Sifnos on ancient trails was a terrific way to see the beauty of the countryside, enjoy the wildflowers and get a strong sense of the island’s history.
The hiking was great exercise. However, I think the most memorable part will be the good company we had in Annie Antonatou, our guide and host. We learned so much from her during casual conversations about moden day Greece and traditional Greek culture as well. Because of her friendly companionship we felt relaxed and comfortable everywhere we went.

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


Moderate fitness level is recommended for the level of hiking. Wear good hiking boots. Bring a raincoat in springtime.
Accommodation is good but basic, so bring your own hair dryer if desired, as well as toiletries .

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?


Very interesting and enjoyable. We're very pleased with the experience.

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