Experience Cyclades Tinos-Naxos-Santorini

GENERAL INFO

The Cycladic islands are the prototypical “Greek islands”. White washed houses, turquoise blue seas, olive groves and sun parched landscapes. It is here where man lived in harmony with the environment for thousands of years. We believe that island hopping is the best way to connect with this past and get to know the islands, each of them stamped with its own unique character.
The trip starts in Athens, and after visiting the Acropolis and the new Acropolis museum, we will hop in our ferry to Tinos, a wonderland of natural beauty, dotted with more than forty marble-ornamented villages found in hidden bays, on terraced hillsides and atop misty mountains. Next stop is Naxos, the biggest and one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades, if one can be in position to choose. It is an island with incredible landscape interchanges, Venetian castles and traditional villages perched on the cliffs of its mountains. From Naxos we will sail for the day to the Little Cyclades, a group of tiny islands that lie between Naxos and Amorgos like miniature outposts of calm.
Final stop is Santorini and probably you know how it looks like. Photos of vibrant blue waters overlooked by whitewashed stone homes nestled above multicolored cliffs are constantly fueling wanderlust around the world.

DAILY ITINERARY

Often referred to as the cradle of Western civilization, Athens has been continually occupied by people for the last 7,000 years. You can't move without bumping into an ancient ruin or building, which evokes imagery of the Greek gods or the thoughts of their philosophers.
In the afternoon we will meet at our hotel for an introductory talk and after a walk around Plaka, the oldest neighborhood of Athens, we will have our first dinner together in a traditional restaurant. Of course, Greek cuisine plays a starring role and we have spent many hours digesting countless delicacies during the research of this important aspect.

Overnight in Athens, Herodion hotel (D)

No matter how many photographs you’ve seen, nothing can prepare you for watching in person the Acropolis standing after thousands of years. Alongside with a specialized guide you will explore the site and afterwards we will head towards the long-waited Acropolis museum.
In the afternoon we will drive to the port of Rafina and from there we will take the ferry to Tinos.
In Tinos, all the fascination is hiding in the more than forty extraordinarily well preserved villages, in the stone huts, in the architectural details of the unique dovecotes, in the “handmade” terraces that cover the whole island.

Overnight in Tinos, Onar Hotel (B,L,D)
Ferry:
Rafina to Tinos 17:30-21:20
Driving distance:
Athens to Rafina port 30km / 40min

We start in Falatados and from there we hike around the valley of Volax until we reach the village itself which is like a habitat for hobbits. Cottages crouch among smooth round boulders which tumble down the mountain like giant bowling balls. Nobody knows how these peculiar rock formations evolved. Some say there was a volcanic eruption; others claim that meteorites rained down from the sky. The 20th-century Greek philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis simply concluded that Tinos was "not made by human hand".
From Volax we will hike to the imposing rock of Exombourgo, with its medieval castle on top of it and before we descend towards the town we will visit a local house where are we going to learn how to make traditional Cycladic dishes during a cooking lesson.

Overnight in Tinos, Onar Hotel (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 9,5km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Driving distance:
Town of Tinos to Falatados 9km / 20min

Next destination is Naxos. As the ferry arcs toward the island you catch the first glimpse of the Portara, a marble gateway on the headland, all that remains of an ancient temple to Apollo. Of course, this is just the beginning of your adventure here.
After settling in our hotel and having a light lunch we will head towards the start of our hike, right next to the place where the two “small” Kouroi (male statues) of Naxos lay down, for 2600 years now. We will continue onwards the Upper Castle, the former Venetian stronghold, passing olive groves interspersed with elements of the phrygana and maquis, and we will end up in one of the most beautiful villages of the island, Chalki.

Overnight in Litochoro, To Palio Litochoro (B,L,D)
Hiking distance:
11km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Driving distance:
Prionia to Litochoro 18km / 25min

Don’t you just love it when you stumble across a local’s secret spot when travelling. Well, here’s one more to add to the list: Little Cyclades. Hidden away between the larger Cycladic islands of Naxos and Amorgos, they consist of a group of islands that combine to form a place of sheer, tranquil beauty. Life is slow here, a microcosm right in the middle of the Cyclades. Different sense of time, different behaviors, different dimensions.  Locals live mainly from fishing – it is claimed that there are more boats than residents – and there are no real roads and hardly any cars, so everyone either walks or cycles.

Overnight in Naxos, Hotel Grotta (B,L,D)
Sailing experience:
9 hours

The island is home to the highest mountain in the Cyclades, Mount Zeus and the hike to the top of it, is probably the most epic one in the region. Mount Zeus has important historical significance because in ancient times, the local Greeks believed that the cave on the northwest flanks of the mountain was the birthplace of the god Zeus. When climbing it you'll get the distinct feeling that Greek mythology is actually rooted in reality. After the hike we will go for lunch in one of the most beautiful villages of the island, Apiranthos which seems to grow out of the stony flanks of the mountains.
Afternoon is free, and the best way to spent it is to swim in the gorgeous sandy beach in front of our hotel. Swimming in the Aegean after a hike, helps the body to feel refreshed again.

Overnight in Naxos, Hotel Grotta (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 5km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours
Driving distance:
Naxos town to Agia Marina 23km / 45min
Agia Marina to Apiranthos 5km / 15min
Apiranthos to Naxos town 26km / 50min

The town of Naxos is regarded to be one of the most beautiful towns in the Cyclades, particularly popular for its fine architecture that is composed of Venetian and Cycladic elements. In the morning we will explore the impressive Venetian castle that stands on top of it.
Later on in the day we will catch the ferry to Santorini and after settling in our hotel we will hike the picturesque trail between Fira and Oia which is one of the must-do things when visiting Santorini. With breathtaking views and stunning vistas at every turn, the trail is guaranteed to be one of the prettiest you’ve ever hiked.

Overnight in Santorini, Aperanto suites (B,L,D)
Hiking distance:
10km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Driving distance:
Santorini Port to Oia 15km / 40min
Oia to Fira 11km / 20min
Ferry:
Naxos to Santorini 11:00-12:20

Medieval Santorini comes to life in the lovely village of Pyrgos, which used to be the capital of the island. Here Cycladic houses blend harmoniously with the Venetian manors and the few remaining old stores. This will be the start of our hike, which takes us to the highest point of Santorini, and from there to the ruins of Ancient Thira, located on a headland between the two popular beaches of Kamari and Perissa with dramatic cliffs plunging into the blue waters of the Mediterranean. The change of scenery will make you feel like you are on a mountain, and you will fully experience the diversity and beauty of this amazing island.
In the afternoon we will visit one of the best wineries in the island and during a winery tasting you will be introduced in many different award winning wines.

Overnight in Santorini, Aperanto suites (B,L,D)
Hiking distance:
7 km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours
Driving distance:
Oia to Pyrgos 16km / 30min
Kamari to Oia 18km / 35min
Oia to Winery 5km / 15min
Winery to Oia 5 km / 15min

Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel and following that, your Tripin Adventures trip in Greece concludes with independent departures to the airport or other areas of Greece. You can end your trip here or else join us for an extension to the nearby island of Crete, a unique world where civilization is counted by the millennia.

Driving distance:
Oia to Santorini Airport 15km / 25min
(B)

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

PRICE INCLUDES

  • All accommodations as listed (or similar) based on double occupancy
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • All transportation during the trip
  • All activities mentioned in the program
  • Ferry tickets
  • Entrance fees to the Acropolis archaeological site and Acropolis museum
  • Tourist guide for the archaeological site of Acropolis and for the Acropolis museum
  • Services of a guide throughout the tour
  • Transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic and/or international air fare
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel or emergency evacuation insurance
  • Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
  • Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
  • Visas if needed
  • Transfer to and from the airport/port
  • Other items of a personal nature
  • Anything not mentioned in above program

INCLUDED MEALS

  • Breakfast
  • Lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary
  • Snacks during activities

ITINERARY CHANGES

We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Tripin Adventures. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants, anything not mentioned in above program.

TRIP NOTES

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