Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Naxos and Santorini Hiking Vacation, Greece
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Highlights

  • The amazing views from the high cliffs of Santorini’s caldera
  • Walking to the summit of Mount Zas
  • Wandering through scented olive groves which date back 1000 years or more
  • Enjoying a chilled glass of local wine as the sea turns from blue to gold
  • Exploring Fira, the iconic whitewashed town perched high on the cliffs of Santorini

Island hop between two of the most beautiful Greek Islands, Naxos and Santorini and discover the best of these island paradises on foot.

After arriving in Santorini, catch the ferry to Naxos, where the walking is sublime. Wander through ancient olive groves, along cobbled paths, past a venetian fortress, and climb the mythical Mount Zas.

Tearing yourself away from Naxos a two hour ferry journey brings you to beautiful Santorini. This sun kissed island conjures up images of whitewashed villages clinging to the cliff top, blue roofed churches in improbably beautiful settings and amazing sun sets. Enjoy a last couple of wonderful days of relaxed island walking before heading home.

DAY 1: Arrive Santorini & Ferry to Naxos

Arrival at Santorini Airport, where a private transfer will take you to the port of Santorini. The ferry for Naxos leaves at 15:30 and takes two hours. You will arrive in Naxos at 17:30 and the hotel shuttle will take you to your hotel.


If your flight arrives too late for the ferry to Naxos we can book you an extra night in Santorini and you catch the ferry to Naxos the next day.


Overnight: Naxos Resort Beach Hotel


The Naxos Resort Beach Hotel is a two minute walk from the golden sandy beach of Ag. Georgios on the edge of Naxos town. The hotel has 88 comfortable and well equipped rooms, all with air conditioning, a huge pool, excellent poolside restaurant and a friendly staff dedicated to ensuring you have a wonderful time on Naxos.


DAY 2: Naxos: Walk from Chalki to Melanes

After breakfast take a bus or taxi to Chalki, located in the center of the Tragea plain. Today you walk through the olive groves and rich vegetation of this fertile hinterland of Naxos. Some of the olive trees are over a thousand years old!


Historical sites also feature as you walk on cobbled paths via the Venetian Fortress Ano Kastro to an ancient marble quarry. Here you will find a 10m high statue of an unfinished Kouros from the 6th century BC!


Walk: 10-19km, 150-450m Ascent, 15-400m Descent


Overnight: Naxos Resort Beach Hotel


DAY 3: Naxos: Walk from Kynidaros to Eggares

After a short transfer to Kynidaros, enjoy a gentle walk to the small village of Eggares. Explore it’s picturesque churches and two restored olive presses one of which dates back to 1885. Enjoy lunch in one of the tavernas on the stone-built main square before returning to your hotel.


Overnight: Naxos Resort Beach Hotel


Day 4: Naxos: Walk to Mt. Zas

Today’s walk is an absolute cracker! Your walk starts from Filoti at the foot of Mount Zas, which is reached by local bus or taxi. From Filoti you begin your ascent to the summit of the legendary Mount Zas. You will pass the cave in which, according to the legend, Zeus, the father of all the gods, was nursed by an eagle. The climb to the summit is rewarded with exceptional views in every direction.


Following your descent there are several options to extend your walk via Apiranthos and Mt. Fanari to Filoti.


Walk: 13-19km, 500-900 Ascent 500-900 Descent


Overnight: Naxos Resort Beach Hotel



Day 5: Ferry from Naxos to Santorini

After a relaxing morning perhaps by the pool, on the beach or visiting the castle in Naxos town you catch the ferry to Santorini at about noon.
A two-hour ferry brings you to the most famous of the Cyclades, Santorini. Entering the flooded caldera of Santorini on the ferry is an unforgettable experience. The steep coloured cliffs crowned by whitewashed villages surround you and you will be filled with anticipation of the delights that lie ahead.
The archipelago of Santorini is essentially all that remains of a giant volcanic eruption that occurred 3600 years ago and is thought to have ended the Minoan Civilization. Or could it be the source of the legend of Atlantis?


Overnight: Hotel Goulielmos



Day 6:
Santorini: Walk from Perissa to Akrotiri


A short transfer after breakfast will take you to Perissa. From here you climb via an old path to an exposed saddle. This is one of the very few points that predates the devastating volcanic eruption in Ancient and Roman times. It enjoys the most fantastic location.


If you suffer from vertigo it may be worth starting the walk slightly further on to avoid some exposed sections—you will find details of how to do this in your route notes.


You then descend via an old path to the quiet interior of the island walking through vineyards (Santorini produces top-class wines!) and picture-perfect villages until you reach Akrotiri village and a refreshing plunge in the pool.


Walk: 13km, 580m ascent, 550m descent, 5.5 Hours


Overnight: Hotel Goulielmos


Day 7: Santorini: Walk from Fira to Oia


Start your day with a short bus to Fira (30m), the iconic whitewashed town perched high on the cliffs, which is the capital of Santorini, taking in views of the Caldera on the way. Take your time to wander through the narrow alleys, hidden squares and quiet corners of this beautiful town, which teases you with glimpses of the blue blue sea at almost every turn.
History buffs will enjoy the Museum of Prehistoric Thira and the Archaeological Museum, whilst others may prefer to just take a little longer over lunch. After lunch, you are in for a treat as you tackle the famous walk from Fira to Oia. This walk will blow you away with fabulous views of the lagoon and the spectacular cliffs with their massive drops. From Oia, you will be picked up and transferred back to your hotel.


Walk: 10km, 300m Ascent, 400m Descent, 3 Hours.


Overnight: Hotel Goulielmos



Day 8:
Depart Santorini


We will transfer you to the airport in plenty of time for your flight home.

Alternate accommodation

During high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodation if our standard accommodation is fully booked. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described in the itinerary.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included but available at your hotel or nearby restaurants.


Time of Year

This walk is available to start any day of the week between April and October. April to June and September and October are the best time for walking as July and August are very hot. Please note that at the very beginning and end of the season (early April and end of October) any swimming pools at accommodations may be closed and restaurant offerings may be more limited during this time.


Grade & Fitness

This walking holiday is graded moderate overall. Daily walks range between 2 and 7 hours but average 3-5 hours. Most days have an option of an easier or tougher walk. The walk to the summit of Mount Zas would be graded more as moderate-strenuous. The walk on Santorini from Perissa to Akrotiri does have a couple of quite exposed sections and therefore would not be suitable for vertigo sufferers. However it is possible to skip the first section of this day to avoid the worst parts. The walks follow a mixture of gravel roads, footpaths and minor roads. A few ascents and descents are steep.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The walks are mostly waymarked but we provide detailed route notes and maps so you will have no problem following the route.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This holiday is available for solo walkers but we would recommend that you are experienced in walking and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the holiday there is an additional supplement as some costs are not shared.


Transfers

Most transfers are included in your trip including; roundtrip transfers on Naxos and Santorini, taxi transfer Akrotiri-Perissa and Oia-Akrotiri on Santorini and Santorini-Naxos-Santorini ferry tickets in tourist class. The bus and taxi transfers to and from the start/end of the walks not mentioned above are not included and will be paid locally.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to and from Santorini

Direct flights to Santorini Airport from the UK are available from easyJet, flythomascook, Thomson Flights and Meridian Flights. Direct flights from other European destinations are also available.


Once you arrive a private transfer will take you to the port of Santorini to catch your onward ferry to Naxos. It takes approximately two hours and upon arrival in Naxos you will be transferred from the port to the accommodation by a taxi or a minibus (owned by the accommodation).


Upon departure a transfer is included from your last night’s accommodation to Santorini Aiport for your onward journeys.


It is also possible to travel by ferry between Athens and Naxos or there are some flights with Olympic Airlines from Athens to Naxos too. If you wish to travel this way please let us know so that we can co-ordinate your transfers accordingly.


As transfers at the beginning and the end of the tour are included please provide us withy your flight arrival and departure information as soon as possible.


Included

  • 4 Nights in a 3* hotel in Naxos and 3 Nights in a 4* hotel in Santorini in garden-view rooms
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Transfers from Santorini Airport to the port and from Naxos port to the first nights accommodation on Day 1
  • A transfer from the last nights accommodation to Santorini Airport on Day 8
  • Taxi transfers Akrotiri-Perissa and Oia-Akrotiri on Santorini
  • Santorini-Naxos-Santorini ferry tickets in tourist class
  • 24-hour telephone assistance from our local representative
  • Detailed pre departure information pack, route description and maps

Excluded

  • Flights to/from Santorini
  • Dinners
  • Lunches
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable
  • Solo walker supplement if applicable
  • Additional nights during the holiday and extensions.
  • Upgrade to sea view rooms

How fit do I need to be?

This walking holiday is graded moderate overall. Daily walks range between 2 and 7 hours but average 3-5 hours. Most days have an option of an easier or tougher walk. The walk to the summit of Mount Zas would be graded more as moderate-strenuous. The walk on Santorini from Perissa to Akrotiri does have a couple of quite exposed sections and therefore would not be suitable for vertigo sufferers. However it is possible to skip the first section of this day to avoid the worst parts. The walks follow a mixture of gravel roads, footpaths and minor roads. A few ascents and descents are steep.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as both Naxos and Santorini are very popular.  

What equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.  

When is the best time of year?

April to June and September and October are the best time to walk in the Greek Islands as July and August are too hot for most people. 

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

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