Walking vacation in Greece

“A few steep ascents over stone paths and goat tracks in search of ancient ruins and Aegean views make this active walking vacation on the Greek island of Evia a really healthy option ”

Highlights

Athens | Rafina | Evia | Mount Kliosi | Acropolis of Styra | Styra Valley | east Aegean coastline | Karystos | Mount Ohi | cave of Saint Nicholas| wild flower meadows | castles and hamlets | chestnut forests and sandy beaches | Porfyra Gorge | old Albanian villages | Montofoli Winery Estate | Optional activities include day trips to Athens or further walks in or around Karystos |

Travel Team

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22 Dec 2019
US $1479
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22 Mar 2020
US $1549
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Our top tip:
A stout pair of walking boots will never be considered excess baggage nor will a sun hat, sun block and reading material for afternoons spent on the beach.
Trip type:
Small group. Group size maximum 18. Minimum age 16.
Activity level:
Moderate. Centre based walking between 5 - 6hrs per day.
Accomm:
Local hotel with en-suite facilities and ocean views.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, listed activities and tour leader.
Meals:
All breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches and 5 dinners.
Solos:
Solo walkers welcome. Single room supps apply.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Walking vacation in Greece

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

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 a hotel which has been run by a local family for over 30 years. So we can ensure that our visit benefits local people by generating income and employment for them. The hotel uses 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 hotel 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 Evian region has 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 Karystos and villages of Gourna, where there are whitewashed houses, castles, and architectural ruins. We also visit the Montofoli Winery Estate, which has been producing wine there for 2000 years, where we can try the exquisite Vin De Liqueur. On the free day, clients can explore the thriving market town of Karystos or take a day trip into Athens. Popular locally crafted items include ceramics, engravings on Evian slate and woven tablecloths. 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.

5 Reviews of Walking vacation in Greece

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019 by

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


(Vacation was in Greece not Madeira). Most memorable was walk from Mt Ohi through the gorge. Most exciting was the walk up to the Acropolis of Styra. Early morning ferry to Athens was breath taking. Views from the hotel at sunrise and sunset were really memorable

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


Remember warm clothing for the start of Mountain hikes even when the daytime temp is 26 degrees. Go to Evia now before the hideous wind farms change the scenery and mountain way of life forever. There are plans for many thousands in the next hew years.

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


Only the hotel staff and taxi drivers. The local tavernas were in reality nothing more than seaside waterfront restaurants. This was disappointing as there appeared to be much more truly local choice in the side streets. The impact of the building of wind farms was ghastly. Ancient tracks being replaced by roads to take heavy traffic.

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


Very enjoyable - chilled, glorious weather - hotel comfortable though sometimes very noisy at night due to traffic noise.The day in Athens was exhausting and the impact of mass tourism there was very sobering .

Read the operator's response here:

We would like to thank Gill for her review; whilst we are pleased to read that she enjoyed the vacation overall, we were sorry to read that she left concerned with the impact of mass tourism and building of wind farms, as well as being disappointed with the local tavernas. We would like to take this opportunity to recognise the impact that mass tourism practices can have on local communities and the environment and highlight that we endeavor to design and operate our small-group trips in a way to avoid the practices which can be damaging to destinations. We work with local operators and incorporate visits to lesser known and travelled parts of countries we visit. Whilst the tavernas are locally owned we appreciate that Gill would have preferred to visit smaller eateries in side streets and so we have passed this feedback on to our local manager to discuss with our local tour leaders.

Reviewed on 27 Nov 2017 by

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


Some of the history lessons and views of the island

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


Book it you'll love it

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?



Reviewed on 16 Nov 2017 by

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


Meeting the other people in the group

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


Leave you worries at home and pack your bag

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 30 Jun 2015 by

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


The walk in which we ascended Mount Kliosi and the Acropolis of Styra - visiting
the 'ancient gate' the cave of ST.Nicholas and the ruins of Castri Armeno -
fantastic views of the coast!

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


Not a good destination unless planning to do walks from the area or spend much of the time on the beach and in the bars (not a lot of interesting things to do in Karystos)

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?


Ok - one or two nice walks but they were a little short- leaving more free time
than you needed afterwards and there is little of interest in Karystos itself

Reviewed on 07 Dec 2012 by

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


Visiting the Temple of the Dragons on the top of Mount Oci, Evia.

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


Make sure you have stout walking boots.

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. Will book again.

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