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PLUS €100 off for March departures… Top five must try foods… 

Go solo or join a group;

Dear friend

We’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a 2016 packed full of adventure! We are busy working on our new activity holidays involving walking, conservation and sailing with our sister company Mystic Blue… as well as the best deals we can offer our loyal guests for 1016 and we would like to share them with you below.

First of all, let us introduce you to the most non-touristic and “unfrequented” island of the Cyclades and explain why ‘in the know’ travellers choose Andros for their holiday…

ANDROS: THE GREENEST AND MOST DIVERSE YET UNDISCOVERED ISLAND OF THE CYCLADES!

DSC_0182We cannot think of a better island than Andros for nature lovers and for those seeking a walking adventure. Andros is mountainous and it is intersected with a number of mountain ridges which create numerous fertile valleys, steep ravines and deep gorges. In comparison to the rest of the Cyclades it rains a lot and there are numerous rivers, streams, springs and waterfalls. As a result the island is remarkably green and characterised by a rich flora and diverse landscape which are waiting for you to be explored.

Areas covering almost half of the island are Natura, IBA sites (important sites for birds) or wildlife sanctuaries where many rare or endemic species of flora and fauna find refuge. Oak trees, cypresses, plane trees, chestnut trees & walnut trees, weeping willows, poplar and olive trees, fields of thyme, oregano & sage, crocus, unique wild flowers in spring… can be observed along the ancient paved paths (300km in length) that connect the 60 picturesque villages, castles, churches, watermills, farms, byzantine monasteries, solitary golden beaches…DSC_0185

Andros received the European Certification Hiking Trail «Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe» and is the first island in Europe which has been nominated this certification.

You will have the opportunity not only to get introduced by a local naturalist to a side of the Aegean that few people know about but also to participate in our efforts to sustain this natural and cultural environment.

Check our new walking adventure and our 10-day itinerary around the island of Andros & Tinos

€100 OFF FOR MARCH DEPARTURES

cad6bbea-15f4-4368-a859-0107fe25dee3With two Bank Holidays over the Easter period, what better way to maximise those holiday days and take a break in March 2016? Would you like to go island hopping holiday around Naxos, the Small Cyclades and Santorini…? Or explore the hidden West Cyclades? Or maybe sailing from island to island is on your bucket list… With a variety of holidays involving walking, exploring, sailing, wildlife conservation departing in March there really is something for everyone. You can also create a trip to suit you with our tailormade holidays.

Receive a 100 euro discount per person with every departure booked for March.

Choose from our whole selection of unforgettable walking & sailing adventures

For questions and advice, speak to ur holiday advice team by calling 0030 6976761492 or emailing at info@nofootprint.gr

Book by the 4th of January 2016 to receive your 100€ off discount.

WALKING WHILE ISLAND HOPPING FROM ISLAND TO ISLAND

aaf27705-07d4-4832-9024-3441041cf4feNaxos & the Small Cyclades was our most popular holiday last season. Our guests had the chance to travel from island to island and explore the islands on foot. Please check below their comments to get an idea of what they experienced…

“Climbing Mount Zas, the birthplace of Zeus on Naxos, and watching a big flock of ravens flying almost out of sight and descending was very special. Also eating island food, including greens picked from the wild and boiled hyacinth bulbs (the place was alive with tasselled hyacinths in bloom) and of course lots of raki on Amorgos in a rustic restaurant that was really our hosts’ home was something I will never forget.

Finally for the first time eating about 50 of the snails I had seen feasting on mandragora (mandrake) throughout our holiday. I hope to climb Mount Olympus with you when I have learned enough Greek!” Steve, UK

“We toured Santorini, Naxos and the small Cyclades with Annie and Daphne. We had two marvellous weeks hiking. The walking was hard at first but got easier. The views, the food and drink and the flora were amazing. We found the people on the islands very hospitable, generous and friendly.

Annie and Daphne were very helpful, knowledgeable and considerate in adjusting the walks to our pace. Being in a small group made the atmosphere very happy and convivial. We will certainly consider another holiday in Greece with Mystic Blue/nofootprint.” Alicia, Mexico

“The scenery, food, culture and company were all fantastic. A fantastic introduction to Greece. I will be going back to explore some of the other 1,000 islands!” Sarah, UK

Read more feedback from our guests last year here

10 REASONS WHY ‘IN THE KNOW’ TRAVELLERS CHOOSE ANDROS FOR THEIR HOLIDAY

green_bullet 1. Andros is irresistible to nature aficionados

379ce2d2-915a-4c00-81f0-7fce9c8a49d7Blessed with verdant vegetation and flowing streams Andros is the greenest and most fertile island in the Cyclades. In comparison to the rest of the Cyclades it rains a lot and there are numerous rivers, streams, springs and waterfalls. You can stop at the springs and sample the waters, which are believed to have healing properties. Areas covering almost half of the island are Natura, IBA sites (important sites for birds) or wildlife sanctuaries where many rare or endemic species of flora and fauna find refuge. All these can be seen while you explore the island, giving you the opportunity to “get in touch” with nature.

green_bullet 2. Beaches with crystal clear waters and golden sand, ideal for relaxing, swimming and water sports

0d39b208-11da-4151-ada8-260a0d6c3f27Imagine yourself lying on a soft sandy beach, soaking up the warm rays of the sun, listening to the waves hitting on the beach. It’s not a dream, it can be real if you chose to travel to Andros next summer. There are so many beaches to choose from such as the pristine sandy beaches of Vori and Achla, “to Pidima tis Grias”, Gialia, and Piso Gialia, Mikri Peza, Zorkos, Vitali and Ateni…

green_bullet 3. A mixture of medieval, neoclassical and cycladic architecture that will enchant you

Classic Cycladic houses co-exist with neoclassical buildings, Venetian tower-houses and traditional stone houses. The Chora, the capital of the island, is home to famous Greek captains and ship owners and is a mixture of medieval, neoclassical and cycladic architecture. We recommend this as a base for excursions around the island.

While you explore the picturesque Chora and the numerous picturesque villages and settlements you will come across the traditional houses called “makrynari”, various types of towers and tower houses, farmhouses and typical mansions of navy captains and merchants. You’ll also discover springs with the characteristic “bousounari”, watermills and pigeon houses as well as the typical slate stonework in stone-walls. Many stone footbridges are also intact all around the island that you can use to cross springs or rivers and stop to admire the stunning natural environment.

green_bullet 4. Exciting sites to visit for the archaeology enthusiasts

d94fb0c8-1e6a-451b-a7dc-1a07e7e27825Andros offers several wonderful ancient sites. In Paleopoli, you can visit two of the most interesting sites on the island: the Ancient City of Andros and the Geometric Settlement of Zagora, where visitors can see the remains of various structures, including houses, walls, and gates. Paleopoli also has an archaeological museum which displays various artifacts, rock paintings of animals, ships and linear designs which have been unearthed. The Tower of Agios Petros in Gavrio, is one of the best-preserved ancient towers in Greece. Its indoor area contains a spiral staircase that connects 5 levels. Ancient Ispili is located on a hill near the town of Batsi, and includes a number of structures.

green_bullet 5. A cultural tourist destination

The globally acknowledged Museum of Modern Art, managed by the Goulandris Foundation, houses unique collections of the finest painters and sculptors from Greece and abroad, including Fassianos, Tsarouchis, Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, Chagall to name a few. The archaeological museums in the Chora and Paleopolis represent the ancient history of the island with their exhibits. The Cyclades Olive Museum is a fine example of a small pre-industrial, animal powered, olive oil producing unit that is worth visiting.

green_bullet 6. Close proximity of Andros to Athens & rest of the Cyclades

The close proximity of Andros to Athens, has established it as one of the best holiday spots for short and long vacations. The island’s connection with other islands in the Cyclades such as Tinos, Mykonos, Syros and so on also make it the perfect stop on an island-hopping adventure.

green_bullet 7. Delicious food & wine to satisfy any palate

foodTo get a real “taste” of Andros, you should sample the local dishes and products, which are delicious. You should try the island’s specialty is “froutalia” which includes omelet with sausage and potatoes, the local sausages, fried zucchini blossoms, the locally produced cheese xerotyri and, of course, a glass of the famous Andros wine. Don’t forget to try kaltsounia, the pastries with the sweet cheese.

green_bullet 8. Visitors can experience the irresistible charm of the island’s tradition

In the Chora, August 15 is celebrated with a big festival that involves music, dancing, eating and drinking, while during the summer months several cultural events happen. “Gavriotika” festival cultural performances occur at the port of Gavrio, while in Batsi visitors can participate in the festival of the Monastery of Zoodochou Pigis on July 27. Finally don’t miss the “Korthiana” fair and the festival of Agios Fanourios on August 27 at the beautiful bay of Korthi.

green_bullet 9. An impressive network of hiking paths to explore on Andros which is estimated to exceed 300km in length

tinos1-thumb-largeThere are numerous ancient foot paths that lead through villages, across stone bridges and along lush hillsides and connect the 60 picturesque villages, castles, churches, watermills, farms, byzantine monasteries, solitary golden beaches of Andros. Andros received the European Certification Hiking Trail «Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe» and is the first island in Europe which has been nominated this certification.

All you have to do is to secure a reliable map of Andros Greece and make your walking tour a reality… or join our walking adventure for 10 days in Andros & Tinos

green_bullet 10.  Amazing weather throughout the year

77a4ed96-767d-43ee-b908-07ea23f7a3c0Andros has mild weather throughout the year, with a bit more rainfall than other Cyclades Islands, which is the reason for the island’s lush vegetation. In general, the weather in Andros is sunny and bright, apart from some showers in the winter months.

We organise our walking trail holidays all year round apart (in the rest of the Cyclades) from mid July to the end of August when it’s too hot. In Andros you can walk pleasantly even in August!

We recommend spring, from April till mid June, especially if you enjoy wild flowers, sunshine and moderate temperatures. The Easter period is also recommended as it’s one of the most important celebrations in Greece and you’ll have the chance to experience traditional feasts and gatherings. The period between September and November is characterized by warm seas, gentle weather and autumn flowers.

Check our new walking adventure and our 10-day itinerary around the island of Andros & Tinos

A TASTE OF GREECE

Our top five must try foods (and drink!) while you travel around the Cyclades islands:

  • 3a6cace7-3dec-424c-afdb-479fc1b0ba66Taramosalata  – a must try anywhere in Greece and our favourite dip, tasty, simple and gorgeous. Goes very well with squid and other fish dishes.
  • Goat – roasted or as a stew, the goat falls off the bone, is tender and really tasty. Plus it’s organic and the best meat to have while at the islands.
  • Octopus stew – when cooked well is delicious!
  • Greek yoghurt – Creamy and rich… the fresh local honey adds that extra bit to a wonderful breakfast dish.
  • Baclava – honey, nuts and filo pastry – no more to say!
  • Wash it all down with a Metaxa, raki or a Fix (local beer) and set yourself up for an unforgettable experience.

GO SOLO OR JOIN A GROUP;

Advantages of joining a group & a guided holiday:

9568d1e2-2c61-42fb-8d15-f348e5a22c93green_bullet 1. A guided tour company handles all the organization. You may be too busy to plan your own holiday and conduct research on your preferred destination. Your guide will have planned everything for you so you make the most of your holiday. Transportation is also handled for you. You simply sign up for the preferred tour and show up at the designated time.

green_bullet 2. You feel safe and comfortable exploring a foreign area as you have a local guide, someone who speaks the language and understands the culture. In some destinations safety is an issue and your tour guide helps you avoid potentially dangerous areas.

green_bullet 3. You benefit from inside knowledge of a local person that you couldn’t or need lots of time to acquire. Insider knowledge means that you’ll experience situations that you may not have been able to if you were travelling on your own. For example, during our walking holiday in Naxos & the Small Cyclades in October, there was a wedding at the small island of Iraklia and the guide along with his guests were invited… Guides often share stories they have gained from personal experience and bits of history about places to give more depth to your experience. The company uses its knowledge of the area to schedule activities and visits during times when they aren’t as busy.

2015-09-20-10.45.48green_bullet 4. If you join a group of fellow like minded travellers you will have the chance to get to know people from other cultures and add a social aspect to your holiday. You also have the chance to share the experience with other people and you usually end up connecting with them and gaining good friends which last longer after the tour ends.

Advantages of self-guided tours: 

green_bullet 1. Savings is the main advantage of self-guided tours. Guided holidays can cost extra as there are more costs ie the guide’s expenses and salary. Sometimes you can save on the food as they know where to take you or transportation… but in general it costs more, how much depends usually on the type of accommodation. There are more luxurious options as well as budget options.

green_bullet 2. Freedom to make your own decisions and eat and sleep wherever you want to. During a self-guided tour you are more flexible and can proceed based on your mood and pace. You can decide what to do everyday and you can just change your mind and follow a different course each day.

There is no right or wrong! What is important is what suits you!

We hope that you have found the above information helpful. If you wish to discuss the above or any other matter please don’t hesitate to contact us either by phone at +30 6976 761492 or email at info@nofootprint.gr

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

The nofootprint team.

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