Hidden Trails and Golden Beaches of the Cyclades

Overview

Greece casts a spell, with its honey-colored isles encircled by azure seas. In the Cyclades, named for the circular archipelago formed around the sacred island of Delos, we set out for hikes on Tinos, Naxos, and rugged Amorgos, each island its own distinctive realm of bougainvillea-draped villages above the sparkling Aegean. As we hike past blue-domed churches, up to cliff-perched monasteries, and through tiny whitewashed villages, the good life of sunny Greece envelops us, with picnics on wildflower-covered hills and swims in the sea. Along the way, our Trip Leaders delight in introducing us to a mouth-watering array of seasonal Greek food and drink savored on the verandas of friendly tavernas. At trip’s end, extend your journey to legendary Santorini.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Athens / Tinos

From Athens, we ferry to Tinos, an island of sandy beaches and whitewashed hamlets. We hike cobbled paths to picturesque villages and up an old Roman road to the great Venetian fortress of Exombourgo for superb views. From the charming town of Falatados, we hike to the beach at Livada, a perfect place for a refreshing post-hike swim. One of our hikes brings us to lovely Pyrgos, renowned since ancient times for marble carving. The art still thrives here today and a walk through the lanes of this village gives the sense of walking through a museum.

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Days 6-8
Naxos / Delos / Mykonos

Crossing the blue Aegean to Naxos, Lord Byron’s favorite Greek island, we explore the twisting lanes of Chora, the main town, and hike up Mount Zas (3,000'), the highest point in the Cyclades and site of a sacred cave. Delos, holy island of the ancient Greeks, was the birthplace of the sun god Apollo and his twin, Artemis, goddess of the moon and the hunt. We’ll explore this island, an open-air archaeological museum and stunning World Heritage Site. On our ferry ride back to Naxos, we stop for lunch at glamorous Mykonos Island, whose perfect beaches, ancient windmills, and Cubist architecture have long drawn jet-setters.

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Days 9-13
Amorgos

Easternmost of the Cyclades, Amorgos is a gorgeous island of dramatic mountain scenery. Traditional stone-paved paths lead us between villages, past frescoed churches, and along the spectacular coast. One ramble is up to Hozoviotissa, an 11th century monastery set high above the Aegean. Depart on Day 13 via Athens or join one of our extensions.

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Highlights

Highlights

Hike village to village on island pathways of Tinos, Naxos, and Amorgos
Visit sacred Delos, holy island of the ancient Greeks, and cosmopolitan Mykonos Island
Enjoy charming hotels, incredible cuisine unique to the islands, and delicious wines
Exuberant Trip Leaders who share their passion for the country with grace and style

Details

Length: 13 days
Cost From: $4795  
Arrive: Athens, Greece
Depart: Athens, Greece
Lodging: 12 nights hotels and country inns
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

8 hiking days on moderate to strenuous trails, some steep sections, 3-6 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike)

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