Hidden Trails and Golden Beaches of the Cyclades

Overview

Greece casts a spell, with its honey-colored isles surrounded by azure seas. In the archipelago of the Cyclades, named for the circle it forms around the sacred island of Delos, we hike on Tinos, Naxos, and rugged Amorgos, each island its own distinctive realm of bougainvillea-draped villages and cobbled pathways above the Aegean. As we hike past blue-domed churches, up to cliff-perched monasteries, and to tiny whitewashed villages, the good life of sunny Greece envelops us, and we’ll have time for delightful post-hike swims in the sea. Our Greek Trip Leaders are famously passionate about food, and along the way, they introduce us to a mouth-watering array of seasonal and local treats, savored on the verandas of tavernas.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Athens / Tinos

From Athens, we ferry to Tinos, an island with a breathtaking landscape and a renowned pilgrimage church. We hike cobbled paths past small villages, and up an old Roman road to the great Venetian fortress of Exomvourgo. One of our hikes brings us to lovely Pyrgos, where a walk through the lanes reveals artisan marble carvers continuing a village tradition that dates to ancient Greece. From the mountain village of Falatados, we hike down to the beach at Livada, with a stop to swim in the clear waters.

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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 on Mount Zas (3,284'), the highest point in the Cyclades. A sacred cave on Zas is thought to be the birthplace of Zeus. 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 explore this open-air archaeological museum and World Heritage Site, then ferry back to Naxos. We’ll stop en route for lunch on glamorous Mykonos Island, whose perfect beaches 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 hidden coves and dramatic mountains. 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 along island pathways of Tinos, Naxos, and Amorgos
Visit sacred Delos, holy island of the ancient Greeks, and chic Mykonos Island
Enjoy charming hotels, incredible cuisine unique to the islands, and delicious wines
Exuberant Trip Leaders who share their passion for their country

Details

Length: 13 days
Cost From: $4695  
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:

7 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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