Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaki hiking vacation

“Ten days of guided walking on the Ionian Sea island of Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaca. Following in the footsteps of Homer, an idyllic odyssey for any keen hiker. ”

Highlights

Lefkada Island | Greek Ag. Ioanis Antzousis chapel | Faneromeni monastery | Gira lagoon | Ligia | Katouna | Nydri village | Skaros Mountain | Exanthia village | Mylos beach | Lefkatas Cape | Athani village | Alexandros | Kefalonia

Travel Team

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Check dates

2020: 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 islands of the Ionian Sea, 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 islands of Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaca. We find it to be important to encourage and develop a passion for wildlife and wild places among 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 Ionian 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

5 Reviews of Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaki hiking vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 19 May 2019 by

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


A downpour during a short hike in the Ithaca hills could have been a downer as we were completely soaked. But the combination of our guide, Daphnie's planning and unfailing good cheer, along with our mountain village Taverna's hostess' hospitality, warming welcome (including glasses of psipouro and dry clothes!!) and wonderful and continuously replenished, traditional Greek dishes, turned this into one of our most memorable evenings ever.

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


Give yourself an extra day on the islands at the end to ensure that you are able to stay the full time planned on Ithaca. The boat for Lefkada at this time of year usually leaves early morning, although times can be impacted by weather.

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


Yes... all of the above to a degree, although perhaps less overtly in supporting conservation.

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


Fabulous. Our guide, Daphnie, was superb, being always willing to adjust the itinerary to suit people and/or weather, the walking and scenery is incredible, the hotels ideally located in small seaside towns, and the restaurants recommended for us throughout the vacation gave us a perfect 'taste of Greece'.

Reviewed on 17 May 2018 by

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


The fact that our excellent Greek guide was able to give us so much information about the islands, and also about Greek life in general. Through her we met a number of locals and felt it was altogether a very Greek experience. We were lucky in that, as the only members of our "group", we had Daphne to ourselves, so she could be flexible and adapt walks and activities to our preferences. We had a fascinating mountain walk with a local herbalist who showed us countless plants and explained their medicinal or other uses. Daphne was not only patient, tireless and informative, but she was also very good company! The beauty of the islands was also memorable.

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


If you are interested in wild flowers, include Lefkada in your itinerary - in May they were there in glorious profusion! Pay attention to Nikos's pre-vacation briefings - we had perhaps slightly underestimated the length and number of ascents, though we did acclimatise as the days went on. As we were just two with Daphne we could go at our own pace, though with a group that might be more demanding. (We are in our 70's, fit and keen walkers but perhaps a little more steep uphill training beforehand would have been a good idea!) Take good boots as the paths are rocky and often uneven. Pack a basin plug and plastic sandals for the beaches, which are gorgeous but stony!

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


Yes, We ate (very well indeed) in small local tavernas and stayed in three guest-house/studio apartments owned as small enterprises by local people. We chose local dishes which were often home-made and always used locally grown or reared ingredients.

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


Excellent. The description beforehand was very accurate and our guide, Daphne, could not have been better. Thank you for the recommendation.

Reviewed on 12 Nov 2018 by

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


Visiting the Folklore museum in Lefkada, and enjoyed the variety of Greek food. Meeting the friendly local people and seeing their lifestyle
Enjoyed meeting the cats as we are great animal lovers

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


Wear boots and most tracks can be rugged and not well maintained by the locals. Suggest getting fit by climbing and descending hills / mountains on rocky
terrain before doing the tour

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


Staying in local pensions / guest houses did benefit the local people. Enjoyed dining in local establishments however some places could be closed for the
season

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


It was an enjoyable experience but we were not expecting the walks were going to be on trails rather than rocky paths. In some cases, it was a bit of bush
bashing. There we only the two of us o the tour and we are in our 70's hence we felt the trip was hard going (except in Ithaca)

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Eric and Helen,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed the guesthouses, the food, meeting local people and experiencing the local culture. I'm sorry to hear that you found the terrain hard. Our guide informed us that you wanted to walk for shorter distances and prefer easy walks. Because it was just the two of you, we adapted the walks to suit you.

All the walks we organised for you are considered easy by international standards. The terrain though can be rocky and depending on the season (especially after it rains) there can be weed overgrowing. That's why we recommend people to wear boots and have walking poles. We will strengthen our copy and the information we send our future guests to make sure this is clearer. Thank you once again for joining us.

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2014 by

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


Great walks, perfect weather, beautiful sceneries and nature. Our guide was very friendly and very eager to share with us his knowledge. Also the food was excellent.

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


A reasonable level of fitness is required. Bring a good pair of hiking boots and don't forget your camera!

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


Yes, we were avoiding typical touristic areas and supported small, locally run businesses such as the traditional guesthouse where we stayed. Our guide was well informed on environmental and cultural issues and introduced us to the herbs, plants, bird species etc of the area.

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


I had a fantastic time, enjoyed the wonderful walks, the natural environment and the great company!

Reviewed on 07 Aug 2014 by

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


Hard to pick one thing in particular. Each of the walks was special. The vacation was a lovely mix of beautiful walks, experiencing nature, local culture and relaxing on the beach. The food was wonderful.

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


Good walking shoes and if you have bring walking sticks. It was possible to swim at beautiful beaches at the end of most walks so bring swim gear and sun cream.
Take advantage of the opportunity to meet local people. human contact is always priceless on a trip.

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


Certainly benefited local people. The hotel was family run. Low environmental impact.

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


Excellent. I will be back next year! I would not hesitate to recommend to a friend.

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