Explore both the culture and the natural beauty of the Greek islands by foot. We will hike along ancient footpaths, sample Greek delicacies at local taverns, sit back to watch the street life, and swim in the azure seas. The Cycladic complex of islands is the most representative of the archetypal Greek style: fishing villages with whitewashed flat roofed houses and narrow streets, hundreds of chapels, rocky landscape contrasting with the deep blue sea, and bays with powdery white sandy beaches. On this trip we will visit the best spots as well as journey to the interior of the islands where we can experience firsthand the culture and habits of the islanders. Maximum group size: 14
What's not included: Travel to and from Athens, beverages (aside from bottled water at meals), 1 lunch and 1 dinner, guide gratuities, optional activities, travel insurance.
This trip is a great choice for women in good physical condition who enjoy walking on a mixture of rocky paths, dirt tracks, occasional paved roads and mule paths, with occasional steep places. Suitable for both adventurous novice and experienced hikers, most days the hiking is 3 to 4 hours. The hike with the most elevation gain is climbing Mount Zeus, which is about a 1.5-hour ascent; however you can always opt out for a delightful day in town. This trip is rated both 2 and 3 because there are options. If you want to participate in the longer options, you should train for a level 3 trip: engaging in aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. Rating: 1   4 5.
While this is primarily a hiking trip, there are also opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, learning about Greek culture and how to cook Greek food, wandering in small towns, and eating excellent Greek food.
We will be staying in a 3-star hotel in Athens and 3 local guesthouses on the islands, as specified in the itinerary.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
I loved kayaking in the Aegean Sea. The sunset in Santorini was spectacular. The hikes were a bit challenging but very doable.
For a level 3 hiking trip, I expected more hiking and less time for shopping.
Greece was even dreamier than I expected. The beauty of the Islands, the turquoise seas, the fresh delicious food, and the welcoming people. What more could you ask for? I loved hiking the Byzantine Path on Paros, and both archeological sites we visited. The special sunset yoga on the beach was very memorable as well. I appreciate being invited into the homes of a few locals to see their weaving and how their families lived for generations. I feel like I soaked in the entire experience. I liked the combination of activity and culture, especially in a place with so much antiquity.
I enjoyed the food and the places we visited. The trip was pretty jam packed with very little downtime. I also felt the time in Athens for the ladies who didn't come a few days early was very hurried.
The trip was what I expected with a mix of hiking and cultural excursions. Seeing archeological sites that are still being uncovered was interesting.
Loved the trip, thought the hotels were average, didn't like that I couldn't stay with room mate who I got on well with.
The food was out of this world, the hikes were tough but doable, the visit to AKROTIRI was breathtaking.
I thought both the group leaders were excellent, thoughtful people, easy to be with, communicative and full of information.
I know it's a hiking trip and I did really enjoy the hikes, especially to the summit of Mt. Zeus, but I thought the food was beyond awesome. I loved that Sylvia ordered family style and we all got to try everything. The women on every trip are amazing, but I felt that there was a camaraderie that developed almost immediately.
So much to see!
AGC Guide was very thorough and helpful! Sylvia and Sirimali; the Greek guides were excellent! The women on the trip were so very enjoyable and we worked well as a team. I could not have asked for a better trip.
Cooking class, summiting Mt.Zeus, delicious food I like family style dinner.
Had a great time. Loved the cooking class
Great group, guides, food, hikes.
The ease of the trip itself, not having to think about anything other than immersing myself in the experience is what surprised me the most. After that the highlights were the food, the beauty of the locations, the knowledge of the guides, and meeting my fellow hikers.
Outstanding local guides (Sylvia and Syrmali), the ability to see a range of places in Greece, well organized logistics, wonderful food, great group of participants and Agc guide
This trip was a wonderful way to explore Greece differently than most people see. Great hikes, amazing food and overall a fabulous trip.
For me, highlight of the trip was the local guide, Sylvia. She was incredibly knowledgeable, a great hiker, and willing to adjust as needed. I particularly enjoyed the Lefke and Santorini hikes. The cooking class was unique, and also enjoyed the addition of the Akrotiri site with guide. I did not enjoy the late start times, especially given the heat that we encountered (though we gradually started earlier) and wish we had approx. 1/2 day to 1 day in each island to explore the towns (from original itinerary, seemed we would have more time-- think this was result of group hike speed).
Beautiful scenery and the food.
Greece was beautiful. The food was superb. The people and culture were wonderful. The weather was just too hot, and there was very little shade. I checked the average temperatures for May...expected it to be in the 70s. It was, but it felt like in the 100s due to the dry climate and lack of shade. I will never travel to Greece again during the months of May to September. The best part of the trip was the extension to Crete. It was my favorite island. I especially enjoyed the boat trip to Balos with 3 hours of swim time.
This was my first AGC trip and I did not really know what to expect. This trip exceeded everything I may have expected EXCEPT for having more down time to roam in the places we stayed. I loved hiking from a trailhead, over a mountain to a charming village and having dinner or lunch in a street cafe. As well, I really LOVED the cooking class with Maria as well as kayaking in Santorini.
Highlights Guided tour of the Acropolis with Katherine. Local food. Added bonus of Akrotiri on the island of Naxos. This was my first AGC trip that left me feeling a little disappointed. Maybe because it came on the heels of Croatia - fabulous trip and a great pair of guides. Extremely well organized and very interesting and educational.
Liked all the hikes: herbs, flowers along the Paros Byzantine trail, the challenge of Mt. Zeus hike, the beauty of the Santorini caldera coast. Always love kayaking. Loved the food and the selections of restaurants and food arrangements made by Sylvia, out in-country guide Loved the cooking class and Maria our teacher Loved the Acropolis and the museum Appreciated the knowledge of the official, trained guides for the Acropolis and the added tour of the excavation museum on Santorini (glad Sylvia offered it to us for the extra cost and would be well worth being a part of the AGC trip). Kalypso Hotel on the water in Paros.
Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to do water activities. It would have been nice to have alternative day to replace the kayaking.
I would have to say I loved all the places we went. As so often is the case, I think from my perspective, I would enjoy fewer places with longer stays.
The hikes were great, as were the cultural experiences. The local guides were a wonderful addition. My only critique would be the mini-van we traveled in for a full, rainy day while in Crete. It was a tight fit, and at times pretty uncomfortable. Everyone was a good sport, but I would have opted for a slightly larger vehicle.
Loved Paros (wanted more time there) and loves the hiking on Naxos - felt like I was out in nature. Did not like Santorini at all - would have liked another less touristy island with better hiking. So glad we flew from Athens to Paros - 5 hr ferry ride would not be appreciated
A 'no worry' trip for participants. Guides were well-trained and talented as well as genuinely nice people.