Trekking: Meet the Cycladic Lights

Day 1: Welcome in Cyclades!

 Flight to Santorini and transfer to your booked hotel. According to your arrival time, you will have the free time for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear blue waters of the island. Hotel stay in Santorini for 1 night. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 2: Santorini, the Greek Pompeii

If you are history fans, then this will be your favourite day in the whole journey. Except for its astonishing beauty, Santorini is also a “must” for anybody interested in archaeology. First stop: the ancient Akrotiri. Like other Pompeii, it was totally buried in volcanic ashes due to the Theran eruption in about 1627 BC. The settlement was remarkably well-preserved because of the lava and it will surely impress you with its architecture and the advanced sewage system the inhabitants had about 3,000 years ago.
Next on the list are Fira and its Prehistoric Museum. You will temporarily say goodbye to the wonderful island of Santorini, but do not worry! You will come back soon…
Transfer to the port of Santorini, where you will take the ferry to Paros. Hotel stay for 4 nights in Paros. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3: Walking Tour Parikia & Island Antiparos

Your day will begin with a pleasant and interesting walking tour in Parikia, the capital of the island. You can visit the Church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani, also known as the Church of 100 Doors. The church complex contains a main chapel surrounded by two more chapels and a baptistery dating back to the early Christian times. The tour continues with a walk in the old part of the city. During your walk you will be able to visit also the Frankish Castle, which is located at the highest point of Parikia and guarantees an amazing view from its surrounding areas.
Afterwards, you will drive to Pounta and take the ferry to Antiparos, the “small brother” of Paros. The main site Kastro stands under the protection of the medieval, decayed castle. Antiparos is worldwide known for its quaint landscape and in the last few years it has managed to be an inspiring place for artists, film directors, architects and actors. If you are lucky enough, you could maybe see Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks around, as they own private villas on the island! After a walking tour, you will approach the wonderful sea cave of Mastichari on foot and make a short photo stop. Return with the ferry to Pounta where the bus is waiting for you to take you back to your hotel in Paros. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4: Wandering in Paros

 Visit Marathi and its marble quarries, the source of the famous Parian marble in the old times. Ancient sculptors praised Parian marble (also known as “lichnitis” because of the lamps the workers used to find it) for its translucency and fine, soft texture, appropriate for sculptures and other constructions. Take a walk through the mountain village of Lefkes, the capital of Paros in the medieval times and one of the most beautiful island villages. Follow the Byzantine pathways (walking tour of medium difficulty; 3 ½ hours, 350 m) and you will reach the famous Golden Beach, where you will take a refreshing break in the clear blue waters. In the afternoon you will visit the most beautiful side of Parikia: white narrow streets and the church of Katapoliani. Finally, take a walk through the village of Naoussa and satisfy your hunger and senses at a traditional fishing tavern at the port.

Day 5: One-Day-Cruise to Delos – Mykonos

 Visit the gems of Cyclades. Firstly Delos, the sacred island of the ancient Greeks with its unique archaeological monuments and one of the most important archaeological museums in Greece.

Alternatively, if you are not such a history fan, you can take a trekking tour on to the island’s mountain, Kynthos (walking tour easy to medium; 1 to 1 ½ hours, 200 m).
Secondly Mykonos, a beautiful cosmopolitan island with wonderful traditional style Cycladic architecture, a style which is maintained even with the presence of the new buildings. There are many things to do in Mykonos: take a walk around the attractive alleyways and windmills, visit the museums of interest (which include the archaeological, nautical, folk and agricultural museums) and the churches (like the church of Panagia Paraportiani) or just have a cool drink and swim.

Day 6: To Naxos

 In the morning you have free time for sleeping, relaxation or swimming. Later on you will take the ferry to Naxos, the next beautiful Cycladic island of your tour. This island has really so many things to offer: wonderful landscapes, mountain villages, golden beaches, typical picturesque bays and of course delicious local wine. In the afternoon you will take a walk through the narrow streets of the island, admire the view along the seaside promenade and visit the famous “Portara” (The Great Door), the landmark of the island. Hotel stay for 5 nights in Naxos. Dinner at a local tavern and overnight stay.

Day 7: Island Tour Naxos

 Today you will learn all about the everyday life and history of Naxos. Naxos is an island depending mainly on agriculture and that is obvious as the island is famous for its wine, citrus fruits, olives and figs. Drive to the village of Apiranthos. This is known as the “marble village” and boasts about its three museums: the archeological, the geological and the folk museum. Take a walk through the narrow streets of the village and enjoy the fresh breeze of the altitude. Your walking tour today will begin from the village of Komiaki through the idyllic landscape down to the village of Apollonas (walking tour of medium difficulty; 2 ½ to 3 hours, 550 m), where you will visit the ancient marble quarries of the island. The evening is free for you to enjoy the lively rhythm of the island.

Day 8: Culture in Naxos

In the morning you will visit the Venetian fortress, the archaeological museum and the Catholic cathedral of the island. You will taste citrus liquor in one of the local distilleries in Chalki and later on there will be a trekking tour of about 2 hours (walking tour of medium difficulty; 300 m.) to the marble statue in Melanes and from there on to Potamia. After enjoying your picnic, the bus can take you if you want to the site of Plaka with the endless sand dune beach. After your return to the hotel, you can take a relaxing walk along the coast. Dinner in the evening at a traditional fish tavern.If you still have energy during the day, you can rent a bike to explore the green sites of the island and find your own personal paradise at the small isolated beaches.

Day 9: Mythology & Relaxation

 In the morning you will discover the Temple of Demeter in Sangri and visit the museum of the site. Afterwards, you will take an easy walking tour (walking tour of low difficulty; 3 hours, 250 m) to the sand dune beach of Kastraki and then you can relax in the refreshing, crystal clear waters of the sea. You are free to spend your evening the way you like; the wide variety of taverns gives you the chance to choose the one which fits better to your taste.

Day 10: Trekking to the Top

Follow us to a more demanding wandering (walking tour medium to difficult; 4 hours, 1100 m.) to Mount Zas, the highest mountain in Cyclades (1,004 m). Stoned streets and narrow paths will lead you from wells and windmills to the top of the mountain, where the breathtaking view of Naxos and the surrounding islands will totally impress you. At the end of your tour, you will have free time for a swim and later a traditional tavern will be waiting for you.

Day 11: Back to the Volcano Island

After enjoying a morning stroll at the beach of Agios Georgios, the ferry will take you back to Santorini, the volcano island with the 300-metre-high craters and the whitewashed houses. After a walk at the waterside promenade of Kamari, a dinner at a traditional tavern will be the perfect ending of the day. Hotel stay in Santorini for 4 nights.

Day 12: Visiting the Volcano

It is time to visit the real highlight of the island. Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni (known as "the volcano" among the locals) are the two small islands formed in the middle of Caldera, due to the eruption of Santorini’s volcano. The first stop of the boat will be in Palea Kameni with the hot springs. As you approach the little island of Palea Kameni, the water turns red and hot. Next stop is Nea Kameni, where you will have the opportunity to approach the craters of the volcano and feel the high temperatures on the ground (walking tour easy to medium; 1 ½ hour, 200 m) The feelings of such an experience are unique! Therasia is the next destination of the boat excursion. After 1 hour (walking tour of medium difficulty; 300 m) and some stairs, you will reach the site of Manolas. There you will have free time to enjoy the landscape as you wish. Dinner at a traditional tavern. If you are not in the mood for a boat excursion and trekking tour, then you can just take the local bus to Fira and stroll through the streets, buy souvenirs, have a coffee and become for a little bit part of the island’s everyday life.

Day 13: Panorama & Sunset in Oia

 Highlight wandering to Oia, a small town covering the whole island of Therasia and the northwestern biggest part of Santorini (walking tour of medium difficulty; 3 ½ to 4 hours, 600 m). Oia is the most famous and one of the most picturesque villages of the island. A visitor of Oia should not miss for any reason its magnificent view at the sunset time and a walk through its narrow streets with the white, little houses. The village also has a Maritime Museum and many art galleries of artists who came once in Santorini and fell in love with its beauty. You will have the chance to visit the Santo Winery and also taste some of the finest Santorini wines, widely famous all over the world Afterwards, visit to Fira, one of the most famous and beautiful sites in Santorini.

Day 14: Trekking to Ancient Thera

Today you will take a tour from the highest mountain of Santorini, Profitis Ilias, along a panorama path to the excavations of Ancient Thera (walking tour of medium difficulty; 2 ½ to 3 hours, 700 m – surefootedness necessary). Ancient Thera, the Classical city of the island is located on Mesa Vouno, 396 m above sea level. It was founded in the 9th century B.C. by Dorian colonists (their leader was called Theras) and continued to be inhabited until the early Byzantine period. The preserved ruins date back to the Hellenistic and Roman times. The residential area and the larger part of the cemeteries were excavated by German archaeologists between 1895 and 1902, while the cemeteries on the NE and NW slopes of Sellada were excavated by N. Zapheiropoulos between 1961 and 1982. Afterwards, you will return to the coast and your hotel. In the afternoon, you can enjoy a swim in one of the beaches with the black from lava sand. A tavern for dinner will be your last destination for the day.

Day 15: Departure or Extended Stay

 Transfer to the Airport of Santorini and flight back home via Athens or extended stay in Cyclades for much more experiences in the Greek islands.

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