The Greek islands have much more to offer than most would think: archaeological treasures, history, culture, dramatic landscapes overlooking an azure coloured sea and, of course, delicious food. Our week starts on the beautiful island of Naxos, before heading to Santorini and Paros. Exploring the irresistible island of Santorini on foot will certainly be the highlight of our week. Hopping from one wonderful island to the other, we enjoy a relaxed week of gentle walks through picturesque villages, lush valleys and sandy beaches.
The group flight usually arrives into Athens in the early evening and will be met and transferred to the start hotel in Rafina. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon. In the evening our guide will hold a short meeting to discuss the plan for the following day, to give advice on the local area and to answer any questions.
Accommodation: Avra Hotel or similar
In the early morning, we catch the ferry to Naxos. The ferry will leave the port at 7.25am and takes about 5.5 hours. On board the ferry there is a selection of restaurants and cafes which will serve food and drinks throughout the journey. After checking in at our hotel, we will take a walk to explore the main town, Hora, a Venetian Castello town. The market area is a delight to wander through, with its craft shops, chapels and quaint restaurants. On the islet of Palatia stands the impressive Portara, ancient marble gateway, the entrance to the remains of the temple of Apollo.
Walk: Distance 2km Ascent 50m Descent 50m Time: 3 hours
Accommodation: Hotel Aeolis or similar
Today we trek the lush valley of Tragea, famous for its ancient olive and citrus groves. It is a great opportunity to discover the most authentic part of Naxos, where picturesque villages and churches punctuate our walk. We will wander along the ancient path in the middle of the Naxian marble quarries until we reach Kouros, the gigantic statue from the 5th century B.C. which was damaged during transportation and then abandoned ever since, lying under trees in the Melanes Valley.
Walk: Distance 8km Ascent 200m Descent 200m Time: 5 hours
Accommodation: Hotel Aeolis or similar
Today there is a free morning to explore Naxos. In the early afternoon, we take the ferry to Santorini (approximately 2.5 hrs). Santorini (locally known as Thira) is one of the most famous islands in the world. Known mainly for its beautiful beaches, it is a remnant of a volcanic cone whose top was blown off. A huge eruption (estimated 1650 BC) gave it its crescent shape and many speculate that it was the location of the legendary lost Atlantis. This beautiful island has a lot to offer to walkers, including magnificent views of the Mediterranean. In the late afternoon, we will have a walk around the town of Fira to enjoy the stunning views of the caldera.
Walk: Distance 2 km Ascent 100m Descent 100m Time: 2 hours
Accommodation: Hotel Sunrise or similar
The Six mile 'Cliff Trail' is a spectacular walk 400 m high above the Volcanic Caldera, a photographer's delight and not too challenging. Views out over the Aegean as far as the eye can see are virtually ever present as we wind gently up and down to the pretty village of Oia, home to many artists, galleries, boutiques and cafes. There is time to explore, relax and soak up the culture before we transfer back to Fira.
Walk: Distance 10km Ascent 300m Descent 300m Max Time: 5 hours
Accommodation: Hotel Sunrise or similar
This morning have free time in Santorini. Optional extras include a visit by bus to the buried city of Acrotiri, time at the famous black beaches of Kamari and/or a visit to the prehistoric museum of Thero in town. Leaving Santorini in the afternoon, we board the ferry to Paros, the journey is approximately 3 hours.
Accommodation: Hotel Pandrossos or similar
In the morning we visit the cathedral of Paros, built in the 4th century A.D., a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture and a relic of early Christianity. We take a bus to reach the heart of the island and the village of Lefkes, where we join the Old Byzantine path that runs all the way to the east coast of Paros. The route is believed to be about 1000 years old and used to traverse the entire island. Today’s route will pass through beautiful Cycladic villages as well as mediaeval villages. In the afternoon we take a bus back to Parikia.
Walk: Distance 7km Ascent 100m Descent 350m Time: 4 hours
Accommodation: Hotel Pandrossos or similar
We take the ferry back to Piraeus or Rafina (approx.5hrs) and transfer to Athens airport where the trip ends. Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport for the return flight to London.
Please note: the ferry port can change depending on the season and you might return to Rafina.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.
A really enjoyable, relaxing trip. Accommodation was excellent in all places, our guide Cecile was fantastic, Greek food is wonderful, and the walks were brilliant. Everything was well organized. I hadn't been to the Greek Islands before, and this tour was the perfect introduction to this beautiful corner of the world. Santorini was overflowing with tourists (there were three cruise ships there when we arrived, and the chaos at the ferry terminal--which is not where the cruise ships go--was truly something to experience) but everyone should visit this stunning and unique island once in their lifetime. The walk on Santorini was incredibly beautiful (although hot--very little shade). Naxos and Paros were more laid back, also stunningly beautiful, and exactly what I dreamed the Greek islands might be like--I took SO many photos! You have some time to explore on your own. The walks are not difficult, and the pace matches the group--steady but no rush. You need sturdy walking shoes for sure, but not boots. If you often walk with a pole, bring it as paths are rocky and uneven in many places. You do spend a fair few hours on ferries but that's part of getting around between islands, so bring a book and enjoy the experience. I'm sure all groups are different, but ours was a really nice mix of people from the UK, NZ, Australia, and the US, with a median age in the 50-65 range. If you're even thinking about this trip, don't hesitate--just book it.
I really enjoyed the holiday. Our guide Cecile was excellent and really made for a lovely trip in terms of looking after us and recommending and arranging meals at local restaurants. The accommodation was very good. My only disappointment was that most of the journeys were on Catamarans rather than ferries. Not what I expected from the brochure which said the journeys between Athens and the islands would be on ferries. I did not now catamarans would be regarded as ferries. I made my own arrangements from Rafina to Naxos when I found out the journey was not on a ferry. I really would have preferred to have traveled from Paros to Athens on the last day by ferry instead of 5 hours inside a catamaran on which we could not move around or go outside apart from a few minutes at each port. That is my only complaint. Overall it was a great trip.
Had an amazing holiday island hopping with Thanos as our inspiring leader. The three islands were so different in character to each other (Naxos = relaxed/laidback / Santorini = busy/picture postcardish / Paros = picturesque mountain villages and pathways). Loved the holiday!
Despite a last minute itinerary alteration due to ferry timetable changes, thus was a well-planned, wonderfully lead week mixing somewhat challenging walks with sightseeing and wonderful fellow travellers. We sampled many local dishes in lovely tavernas and village eateries and enjoyed some very amusing moments. A great week.
This is an ideal trip to get a flavour of three Greek Islands, Paros, Santorini & Naxos. Also it is a good way of experiencing the culinary delights of the islands. I would question the classification of the trip, which is Leisurely. While there is plenty of time to relax on the ferry crossings betwen each island, all the walks while, relative short have ascents and decents on rough country paths. The path on Naxos is graded Difficult on the local trail board. However our mixed aged group (50 to 70+) coped with only a few minor difficulties.
This was a trip comprised of 15 Canadian women all of whom I knew. Hiking was what appealed to me the most. Second was supplementing the knowledge I'd gained from sailing in the Cyclades (2013) as well as hiking in Corfu last May. Moving beds every three days on average and catching ferries on five occasions. although spelled out in the tour's monograph, didn't seem so onerous until one actually lived it.
Very good in spite of unseasonable weather for September. High winds cancelled ferries for several days. As a consequence we stayed only one night on Paros and missed Santorini entirely. But we got to know Naxos very well, and it is an island with plenty to do. it might have been frustrating, but leader Cecile Deltreil made superhuman efforts to keep us well occupied. Although we saw her frequently glued to her cell phone, she never seemed stressed out and explained changing arrangements in a way that kept us calm and happy. She was also an excellent guide on walks and in the towns we visited. If Cecile is typical of Exodus quality of service, it is an excellent company. In general accommodation was good and food excellent. Cecile has friendly relations with lots of good restaurants. I would certainly recommend this trip, and will be investigating other Exodus trips in future.
A chance to see the parts of Naxos, Santorini and Paros that maybe most don't see. The trip ran smoothly, expertly organised by Cecile, and the weather was beautiful, late 20's. I travelled on my own and joined a lovely and friendly group of 15 (3 couples, and the rest of us single, aged between 40 and 70). We chose to have most meals together. All hotels had a swimming pool, all 3 star and air conditioned. My favourite hotel was on Naxos and it definitely had the best breakfast. A lovely traditional island with lots going on, a good beach, excellent restaurants and beautiful countryside. I would definitely go back to Naxos. Santorini was beautiful with fantastic views, but very steep, noisy, expensive and busy, especially when a cruise ship arrived! My knees struggled a bit on the uphill parts of this, the longest, walk. I cheated and left early for a bus back to the hotel. Definitely glad I went by cable car both ways to the boat trip too! Most walked down and got the cable car back up, which wasn't scary by the way, and avoided using the few little donkeys still having to walk up and down the hundreds of steps. Paros was delightful and relaxing, a sleepy traditional island with beautiful beaches and countryside, lovely shops and restaurants. If you want to shop wait until you get to Paros, especially for clothes, in the lovely and cool sheltered streets. I arrived home from this holiday pleasantly tired and very happy, definitely one of my favourite trips.
Excellent Guide, Scenery and organisation. Some of hotels were not of a reasonable standard.
I rarely give ten out of ten, but this came close. The sun shone every day, I slepped well and didn't put on weight. The walks were just right, leisurely as it said, I didn't want a route march, I do enough of that. The group was assorted, what more can I say ! J
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This 7 night guided walking holiday includes:
All accommodation (see below)
All transport and listed activities
Tour leader throughout
Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Arrival & departure transfers
How to book:
|29th Mar||US$1549||Check availability|
|5th Apr||US$1749||Check availability|
|26th Apr||US$1749||Check availability|
|10th May||US$1749||Check availability|
|17th May||US$1679||Check availability|
|24th May||US$1679||Check availability|
|7th Jun||US$1779||Check availability|
|21st Jun||US$1679||Check availability|
|6th Sep||US$1779||Check availability|
|20th Sep||US$1779||Check availability|
|4th Oct||US$1779||Check availability|
|11th Oct||US$1779||Check availability|
|18th Oct||US$1749||Check availability|
|25th Oct||US$1749||Check availability|
|1st Nov||US$1749||Check availability|
This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
7 nights in 3-star hotels with en suite rooms
3 full days and 2 half days walking on 3 islands
Travel by public transport, boat/ferry and coach
Low altitude throughout
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Walking on the Greek Islands. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.