The Greek islands have much to offer: archeological treasures, history, culture, dramatic landscapes, azure seas, 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.
We gather at our hotel in the port town of Rafina. When the time’s right, we’ll also have our first meeting as a group – a good chance to get to know your leader and fellow group members. Rest well tonight; tomorrow we wake early to catch a ferry. 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 5hr 30min. There’s a selection of restaurants and cafes on board, serving food and drinks throughout the journey. After checking in at our hotel, we 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, an ancient marble gateway and the entrance to the remains of the Temple of Apollo. Ascent: 164ft (50m); descent: 164ft (50m); time: two hours Accommodation: Hotel Aeolis (or similar)
Today we trek the lush valley of Tragea, best known 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, a gigantic statue from the fifth century BCE, which was damaged during transportation and then abandoned ever since, lying under trees in the Melanes Valley. Ascent: 656ft (200m); descent: 656ft (200m); time: five 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 2hr 30min). Santorini ( known locally 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 BCE) 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 walk around the town of Fira to enjoy the stunning views of the caldera. Ascent: 328ft (100m); descent: 328ft (100m); time: two hours Accommodation: Hotel Golden Star (or similar)
The 6mi (10km) Cliff Trail is a spectacular walk 1,310ft (400m) high above the volcanic caldera, a photographer's delight and not too challenging. Views of the Aegean are virtually ever present as we wind gently up and down to the pretty village of Oia, home to artists, galleries, boutiques and cafes. There’s time to explore, relax and soak up the culture before we transfer back to Fira. Ascent: 984ft (300m); descent: 984ft (300m); time: five hours Accommodation: Hotel Golden Star (or similar)
This morning we have free time in Santorini. Optional extras include a visit by bus to the buried city of Acrotiri, time at the 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 three hours. Accommodation: Hotel Pandrossos (or similar)
In the morning, we visit the fourth-century cathedral of Paros, 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 an Old Byzantine path that runs all the way to the east coast of Paros. The route is believed to be about 1,000 years old and used to traverse the entire island. Today’s route will pass through beautiful Cycladic villages and mediaeval villages. In the afternoon, we take a bus back to Parikia. Ascent: 492ft (150m); descent: 492ft (150m); time: four 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.
The trip to the Cycladic islands of Naxos, Paros & Santorini was lovely! We had a great group and our guide was the Lovely Cecile. Although it was very, very cold and windy, the plus point was that the islands were very quiet from the overload of usual tourists. The walks were beautiful and the views were stunning. I'd much rather walk in Santorini during the quiet season than what I have seen (in pictures) during peak season. Eating out every evening with the group was fun. My only complaint was the accommodation in Paros. Frankly, it was shocking! I think I didn't expect this from Exodus. The room was freezing as the heating wouldn't work and the shower was leaky and broken. I think Exodus needs to rethink the accommodation in Paros. If you fancy the islands all to yourself, even though it may be freezing, then give this holiday a try in March.
I had never been to Greece before and decided that this trip might be a good place to start. I wasn’t disappointed. It was well organised with walks of just the right distance and variety for me and in good company. All hotels were comfortable although plumbing a little variable! Thanos was an excellent guide and insured that we got the most out of the trip. Nothing was too much trouble. He was particularly good at organising mealtimes; choosing excellent restaurants and swiftly calculating everybody’s individual bill at the end. I thought all three islands were beautiful but particularly Paros . Santorini is definitely worth a trip for sensational views and a great walk but not somewhere I would return as just too busy in the main centres -a forest of selfie sticks! My only regret is not spending a few days in Athens at the beginning or end but all round a superb trip. Thank you Exodus. I’ve already booked the next one!
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
A well balanced trip that gives a taste of 3 contrasting islands. Travelling in April proved to be an ideal opportunity to see a different side to Greece - quieter, greener and a comfortable temperature for walking.
This was a trip that stimulated all the senses, from the wonderful colours of the wildflowers on the walks and the blues and whites of the pristine villages we passed through, to the tastes and smells of freshly cooked seafood at harbour restaurants. Apart from all the experiences described in the trip notes we were lucky enough to have some added bonuses. These included a fantastic bazouki recital and Greek dancing in the old town hall at Naxos which included unlimited drinks, a trip to the astonishing excavations at Akritiri on Santorini and, as the ferry arrived early at Piraeus on the last day, a visit to the Acropolis in Athens. Our last night's meal turned into a celebration when we were surrounded by a wedding party! This was definitely a good time of the year to do this trip, a pleasant walking temperature of 19 to 25 degrees Celsius, everything looking fresh and generally not to busy (except for the main town in Santorini when the cruise ships were in). A wonderful Spring break with great company!
I've been on several Exodus trips and this was definitely up there as one of my favourites. All three islands were beautiful and very different from each other, the walks were really enjoyable and there was just the right amount of free time to enjoy some sightseeing, shopping or even relax on the beach! I was concerned that the number of ferry transfers would eat into our holiday time but we spent most of those journeys out on deck in the sunshine and it all added to the experience. I'd recommend this trip to anyone.
Walking was lovely and easy with enough challenges to enjoy. Group was nice. Food was amazing. Thano our leader was brilliant. So knowledgeable and helpful. He knew his history, culture, flora, fauna and all the people we met around and about!! He cared for the environment.
A fabulous way to see the islands, largely unspoilt fortunately despite their popularity. We were transported outside of the “tourist” area to ancient walking paths and walked through mediaeval villages. Our excellent Greek guide was able to fill us in with very interesting historical/local information to really get a picture of life in these islands.
Really enjoyable vacation. Cecile was a wonderful tour guide and all the three islands that we visited on the trip were lovely. I liked Paros the most but only by a hair. Naxos and Santorini were beautiful and was happy that we got to visit Akrotiri in Santorini. All very scenic and relaxed.
A very enjoyable week visiting Naxos, Santorini and Paros with a great group of people. Leisurely walking amongst stunning scenery, refreshment stops at pretty villages and excellent meals at local tavernas. Accommodation was generally better than I expected and as always with Exodus the whole week was well organised
This was my first Exodus holiday and was a marvelous experience. I found the balance between organized walks, free time and traveling to be perfect. The group was friendly and diverse so I enjoyed the whole week. Our guide - Cécile- was good. She really knows the islands and how to beat the crowds. I especially enjoyed using local busses and ferries and staying in small individual hotels.
I loved this trip! I have taken hiking/walking trips with other travel companies, but this was by far the best one yet. It was so well organized - everything went smoothly. The trip leader was well versed in the history of each island - and his enthusiasm for the country was contagious. We got to see parts of the islands that most tourists would never see. If you love the outdoors and love to hike, this trip is for you.
Excellent choice of islands. Very friendly group and leader
Overall a very enjoyable trip. Visiting 3 islands made the week seem longer and more varied. The walks were generally leisurely but there were a couple of hills which we climbed in the hottest part of the day, but that could not be avoided. Thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend.
A great Introduction to activity holidays as the walking was not hard and the scenery was stunning. Lots of travel but a great way to get a feel for 3 different islands. Will treasure the memory of glorious sunsets whilst sipping cocktails beachside for a long time.
If you want a lovely, leisurely, sunny trip with a great mixture of scenery, culture and gentle walks this is great. There were only 9 people which was perfect. Plenty of flexibility for free time and eating with the group or choosing to wander off on your own or in smaller groups. In June the weather was lovely, it started to get too warm for walking at the end of the week, so I skipped the last day to enjoy on the beach in Naxos. Hotels were good standard, with pools. The ferries can be slightly tedious, but an experience. Great mix of 3 islands, of course whilst Santorini is touristy it is absolutely stunning.
My first group walking experience and I thoroughly enjoyed joining a group of like-minded people for a very well organised holiday. The islands were beautiful, the weather kind and the balance of walking, sight-seeing and relaxing just about right.
The holiday started in Athens as we established our group and departed for Paros. The hotel was perfect on the edge of the coast with stunning views, the gentle walking helped to break us in for what was to come later. Then on to Santorini, a beautiful island with narrow alley-ways full of shops and café/bars. The coastal walk was exquisite meandering up and down the coastal path away from the tourist elements. Followed by a trip to the Centre of the volcano the following morning (lots of steps down!). On to Naxos and a feel for the real Greece as the walks inland showed much of the normal way of life. The walking was leisurely, but you needed to be comfortable with your balance. A beautiful countryside village was the destination. Absolutely fantastic holiday which was made all the better by an excellent guide and friendly group of travellers.
Altogether a very enjoyable and varied holiday. The walks were excellent and not too challenging. Scenery was out of this world and so was the weather. Ferry journeys very enjoyable and the length did not bother me. Very friendly group of travellers. All in all a very successful holiday.
The holiday includes one night in Athens, one night on Paros, two on Santorini and three nights on Naxos. The walks are relaxed and although rugged in places the description of leisurely is appropriate. The ferry trips between the Islands could be a down side of the trip, the first one seemed quite long. However, the group learnt the best area for sitting, up at the top of the ferry, under cover but with plenty of air and the best views and the trips became enjoyable as we were well prepared and appreciated time to chat with the group. The trip was extremely well organised and we had many wonderful experiences packed into one week.
This was a wonderful holiday with just the right amount of hiking. Some was a bit strenuous, but very doable. The accommodations were good-commensurate with the cost of the trip. The best part was our guide, Thanos. He was knowledgeable, accommodating and went out of his way to make the trip wonderful.
An excellent week of walking interspersed with sightseeing and gastronomy. Well led and organised, Leisurely pace. A good holiday.
A great trip, beautiful walks, stunning scenary, good culture, simple-small-friendly hotels in perfect locations, knowledgeable leader - couldn't have asked for more from my first Exodus walking holiday.
A really enjoyable week, The walks are easy/intermediate. Food was good. Hotels were satisfactory & the people were great company.
A wonderful way to explore 3 very different islands. Our guide Thanos was extremely knowledgeable and brought the history of each island alive for us and his enthusiasm was infectious. Definitely a leisurely trip with a ferry ride every other day (look out for dolphins) and time to explore the towns and laze on a few beaches - very welcome after our walk in the heat on Paros. Great food and lots of it- Thanos was very helpful with recommendations for local dishes/drinks.
Awesome, a wonderful expierence captured in my memory to last for a lifetime. The wildflowers, the scent of citrus, lovely catus and just the overall panoramic views of the islands. I felt inspiredd and energized after walking the most scenic places on earth.
After the cold UK weather an ideal break at this time of year, warm and mostly sunny, a mix of pleasant walks, fine food, a touch of sightseeing and not too crowded this early in the season.
A well organised trip with an outstanding guide and very nice fellow walkers. The walks were just right for our age and fitness.
A very enjoyable week; a welcome mix of walking and relaxation, glorious weather, delicious food, good company and three idyllic islands each with their own distinct character.
Wonderful hoilday, great group and the right balance between sightseeing, walking and time for ourselves. Note, however, that you do not see Athens on this trip - you need to add this on yourself at the beginning or end of the holiday.
Really enjoyed this trip, a nice mix of walking (not too tough), sight-seeing, and relaxing. A good balance of group time and time to yourself. The group I was with were all very friendly and welcoming, and we have good fun over meals (....we done quite a bit of eating ;-) )
Good company. A good balance of group time and time to do your own things. Fantastic caring group leader. Thanos.
Very good trip, but the walks are definitely not moderate. I would suggest that the trip in future be reduced to 2 islands - Santorini and Paros, which would allow either more walks /longer walks
Fantastically well organised trip with a great variety of walking, sightseeing, travel and cuisine. Good group size, interesting itinerary and clever use of local transport. Our guide was entertaining, informed and helpful throughout. Highly recommended (Be aware the walking is not challenging if that's what you're after)
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
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:
For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the 'check availability' links below to complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).
To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the 'Check availability' links below to complete our holiday enquiry form.
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This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
7 nights in 3-star hotels
3 full days and 2 half days walking on 3 islands
Travel by public transport, boat/ferry, and coach
Low altitude throughout