Remote and adorned with secluded beaches, azure waters, whitewashed houses, and windmills!
Greece’s Cyclades Islands (pronounced “kih-kla-dez”) are the stuff of legends. Remote and adorned with secluded beaches, azure waters, ancient ruins, white cubist houses, pine forests, and olive groves, you’ll enjoy island life at a relaxed pace far from the crowds! MTS gets you into the heart of the small Cyclades. Our itinerary is relaxed but full of options. Boating from island to island, you’ll kayak, hike, swim, go horseback riding on a beach, sample wines, learn traditional Greek cuisine, and take in guided visits of Athens and Delos. After slow-paced days taking in the spectacular scenery, ancient history and regional delicacies, you can toast to a fabulous sunset over a glass of ouzo. Fantastikós!
2 Days easy kayaking, 2 days easy hiking, 5 days touring on foot, and 1 day of optional horseback riding.
- Join the only North American adventure travel company to offer active trips deep into the secluded Small Cyclades!
- Kayak and swim between hidden beaches, explore ancient ruins, and enjoy delicious regional specialties
- In the cradle of civilization, take in custom guided visits of Athens and the sacred and mythical Delos
Duration: 11 days Start Location: Athens End Location: AthensDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrival in Athens
Upon arrival in to Athens, Greece, settle to our hotel. In the evening, we'll meet with our guide for a short walking tour of Athens followed by a welcome dinner at a traditional Greek tavern in the old part of Athens, the Plaka, overlooking the Acropolis.
Day 2 : Athens – Naxos – Iraklia island
We'll start with an early breakfast today, as our boat departs from the port of Pireaus around 7:30 a.m. We'll arrive at our first destination, the island of Naxos, at approximately 12:40 p.m. We'll visit the great door (Portara) at port and take a refreshing walk in old Naxos town with and a quick lunch along the way before we board a smaller boat that will take us into to heart of the Small Cyclades, and our first island for discovery, Iraklia. Iraklia is the most untouched of the Cyclades. Here you will find very few people, and a simple life. The island is famous for a WWII aircraft that sunk at 26-feet below its surface. Upon arrival in Iraklia, we'll check into our hotel, relax, and then reunite with our group to get familiarized with our kayak equipment and stroll a bit to stretch from a full day ferry experience, before dinner.
Day 3 : Kayak to Schinoussa
We'll have our first kayak crossing today, leaving behind the most mountainous of the Small Cyclades, Iraklia, and heading to Schoinousa. Schoinousa is gaining more and more “fans” annually, but still maintains its small, local character. Still peaceful, but with a variety of attractive cafes and restaurants, Schoinousa is a “must stop” for luxurious boats who want a taste of Greek seafood, and is home to 15 beautiful beaches. (7-8 miles paddling approximately.)
Day 4 : Kayak to Koufonissi
Today we'll kayak to the most popular of the Small Cycladic islands, Koufonissi. Koufonissia was once a popular destination Greek people seeking a remote and quiet vacation. Now the “Mykonos” of the Small Cyclades, Koufonissia is flooded with vacationers in the hottest month of August, but sleepy and unspoiled at other times. An island of unique beauty, Koufonissia is a cosmopolitan paradise with local charm. We'll have numerous opportunities to relax or swim on our way. Upon arrival in Koufonissi, we'll settle into our hotel, rest, and then enjoy a wonderful dinner of local seafood. (7-8 miles paddling approximately.)
Day 5 : Koufonissi – Naxos – Tinos
Today we leave the Small Cyclades, and venture back to the larger Cyclades Islands – the Greek Islands of everybody's dreams! We'll enjoy a scenic ferry ride back to Naxos, from where we will stop for lunch before boarding a second ferry to Tinos. Tinos Island is a place of worship for Greek Orthodox pilgrims, but is also known to the few travelers who go off the beaten path for its beautiful villages, lovely beaches and delicious, local cuisine.
Day 6 : Hiking in Tinos – Cooking Class – Pyrgos
Today’s hike starts from Tinos town. We'll visit Our Lady Church, one of the most important Churches of Greece, to view the "miracle-working icon," and then continue upwards to the picturesque village of Tripotamos where we'll join Mrs. Nikoleta for a very special cooking class. Mrs. Nikoleta will teach us the secrets of Greek cuisine. After enjoying our lunch, we'll walk down to Kionia Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, for a swim. In the afternoon, we'll go our hotel for some downtime, and then head to the village of Pyrgos in the early evening. We'll wonder along picturesque paths, discover the art of Pyrgos'marble sculptures, visit the museum of Marble Crafts, and then follow another lovely path down to Panormos Bay for dinner.
Day 7 : Hiking Tinos Village to Village (Falatados – Volax – Agapi)
After breakfast, we'll depart by private motor coach or taxi (depending upon group size) to the village of Falatados where our hike begins. From here, we'll hike up to an overlook behind a monastery, with stunning views of the Aegean Sea. We'll then continue hiking on trails through small villages where we can stop for a Greek coffee along the way, to the village of Volax, almost hidden in the middle of rounded, granite boulders. Volax is noted for its traditional handmade woven baskets. From here, a footpath winds down into the valley to Agapi. We'll return to our hotel in the late afternoon, with free time to enjoy another swim in the crystal clear waters of Aegean Sea.
Day 8 : Tinos to Mykonos – Wine Tasting
Today we'll take the short ferry ride (30-50 minutes) to the iconic island of Mykonos. Mykonos is the cosmopolitan, world-known island, has the most vibrant nightlife in Cyclades, and maybe in the whole of the Mediterranean. Mykonos is one of the most picturesque and typical postcard perfect towns you will find in Greece, with many hidden secrets to discover. Upon arrival in Mykonos, we'll settle in our hotel, and then enjoy a nice lunch. After lunch, we'll visit a local winery, and enjoy some lovely wines and local 'tastes' exclusive to Mykonos. You will not hear about these special, local treats in the popular articles. Local delicacies of fresh vegetables, cheese and wine are a welcome alternative to this side of Mykonos.
Day 9 : Ruins of Delos and (Optional) Horseback Riding on Mykonos
We'll take a ferry to Island of Delos with our private local guide, and explore the antiquities for which Delos is famous. Delos is a small island situated in the center of the Cyclades, a few miles southwest of Mykonos. During ancient times, Delos was considered to be the most important Pan-Hellenic sanctuary. Between 900 BC and AD 100, sacred Delos was a major cult center. According to Greek mythology, Delos was the birth place of Apollo, the God of light, and Artemis, the Goddess of hunting (both children of Leto and Zeus). Myth says that Leto was pregnant by Zeus and the jealous Hera, Zeus’s legitimate wife, chased her husband’s mistress away and forbade her all places on Earth so that she could not find where to give birth to her children. Leto finally found a small island to give birth. The island was called Delos, which means “revealed” because it was revealed from the waves. Delos is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece, and is part of UNESCO World Heritage List. At the mythical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, we'll see the famous Lion Avenue, the Three Temples of Poseidon, the stadium, and the old gymnasium; and we'll view artifacts from the 6th century BC in the museum. In the evening, we'll transfer inland to Ano Mera, and after a short introduction, take our horses (optional) to the beach of Fokos. Upon arrival, we'll relax on the beach, and enjoy local cheese and wine.
Day 10 : Mykonos – Athens
Today we'll take a ferry back to Athens, and after settling in hotel, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the ancient city. We'll visit Acropolis, the greatest monument in the Western world, the Parthenon, and the Panathinaikon Stadium – the stadium where the first Olympic games were held in 1896. We'll also visit the impressive New Acropolis museum, before a festive farewell dinner.
Day 11 : Farewell
Bid “antío” to your fellow travelers and Greece and transfer to the airport for flights home.
DATES: Best time to go: May - June, September - October Departures: May 16 - 26, 2015 Jun 13 - 23, 2015 Sep 5 - 15, 2015 Sep 26, 2015 - Oct 6, 2015
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
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