Santorini and Naxos Self-Guided walking holiday

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our Santorini and Naxos Self-Guided walking holiday

 

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Our week long Santorini and Naxos Self-Guided walking holiday gives you the chance to explore the two most fascinating islands of the Cyclades.  Our self-guided walks have been carefully designed so that you make the most of your stay at Volcanic Santorini. You’ll observe the deep blue submerged caldera from different viewpoints while you walk along the rim of the caldera. You’ll explore hidden villages, fortified villages with Venetian castles and ruins of ancient towns buried under volcanic ash. You will taste the ‘anhydrous’ agricultural products and world renowned wines and bathe at black and red sandy beaches…

You’ll then continue to the largest island of the Cyclades, Naxos, known for its varied natural beauties, island culture and unique Greek hospitality! Naxos combines imposing mountain massifs with fertile valleys, springs and the longest sandy coastline in the Aegean. So many beautiful paths connect quaint villages, venetian towers, olive groves and farms, ancient temples and solitary bays. Finish with a walk at the top of Mt. Zas, the highest peak of the Cyclades, where Zeus was given the thunder to conquer Mt. Olympus.

HIGHLIGHTS

images Absorb the breathtaking panoramic views to the sunken Caldera,
images Walk on volcanic islands,
images Explore a preserved ancient town burried for years under volcanic ash,
images Visit 100 years old vineyards and taste amazing volcanic wines,
images Walk the ancient paths of the largest, richest and most diverse Cycladic island,
images Experience traditional island life and unique customs and cultural happenings,
images Stroll through picturesque mountainous villages,
images Explore the Venetian castles and towers scattered around the island,
images Hike to the highest peak of the Cyclades to enjoy spectacular views to the Aegean sea…

KEY INFORMATION

Tour Duration: 7 days
Season: All year. Recommended: spring & autumn
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Low season Per Person Price: 7-day package: from 535 Euro
High season Per Person Price: 7-day package: from 643 Euro

ITINERARY

Day 1: Walk along the rim of the Caldera with incredible views
Welcome to Santorini and transfer to your guesthouse at Fira, the main town based on the caldera cliffs opposite the volcano. Starting from Fira, you walk along the rim of the caldera towards the picturesque villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli till you reach Oia to watch Santorini’s famous sunset! You will enjoy astonishing views of the caldera, the volcanic islands Nea & Old Kameni from different perspectives.

Distance: 10 km, Time: 4-5 hours (including stops to rest and admire the view)

Day 2: HIKE TO MT. PROFITIS ILIAS' PEAK, ANCIENT THERA & REACH PERISSA BEACH
Start from the beautiful village of Emborio, once a fortified Venetian settlement. As you admire the beautiful nature and vineyards you will reach the 567m summit of Profitis Ilias, the highest point on the island offering stunning views. Descend through a magnificent mountainous path towards Ancient Thera! Walk through time as you explore the excavation of the ancient city. Take the short path which leads to the ‘black’ beach of Perissa where you can plunge into its crystal clear waters and enjoy a delicious supper!

Distance: 9.4 km, Time: 5-6 hours (with stops and a visit to Ancient Thera)

Day 3: HIKE COLOURFUL CALDERA CLIFFS TO EXCAVATED CITY & RED BEACH
Today we’ll guide you through a special path that runs parallel to the steep cliffs of the caldera towards Palos beach where you’ll appreciate the contrast of the landscape with the deep blue sea. Continue to the fortified Venetian settlement of Akrotiri and take the old path to the Akrotiri excavation which has uncovered one of the most important Aegean prehistoric settlements. The three-storey sophisticated buildings, the elaborate drainage system, magnificent wall paintings, furniture and vessels of this ancient city buried under volcanic ash will fascinate you. End the day with a short walk to the famous Red beach.

Ferry to Naxos and transfer to your accommodation at the Old Town below the Venetian Castle.

Distance: 4.3 km, Time: 3.30-4 hours (with stops and visit to Akrotiri excavation)

Day 4: CIRCULAR WALK AROUND NAXOS MOST TRADITIONAL VILLAGES
Start your hike from the picturesque Apiranthos village with its Venetian towers, pretty houses, marble paved alleys and picturesque squares. Take the trail to the summit of Fanari and admire the panoramic view. The path continues through impressive landscapes and rock formations towards the remote, rustic village of Moni. We recommend to stop at the village’s kafenio for a drink and lunch to experience the slow pace of traditional island life as well as the delicious dishes prepared with local ingredients.

You will take the beautiful ‘Byzantine’ path, as it is often called due to the number of Byzantine churches on the way, towards Chalki, one of the most picturesque villages, situated in an area lush with olive, plane and oak trees. End the day with a visit to the local distillery and get a taste of the local liquers!

Distance: 10 km, Time: 5-6 hours (including stops to rest and have lunch)

Day 5: WALK TO THE HIGHEST PEAK OF THE CYCLADES
Start your walk from the village of Filoti towards the highest peak of the Cyclades, Mt. Zas, which stands at an impressive 1,004m. The magnificent Zas mountain takes its name from the ancient Greek God Zeus, who according to myth spent his early life on Naxos. You’ll first reach the fountain of Arion, an ideal spot to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature and rest before beginning to ascend. Next stop will be the cave of Zas, the biggest cave on the island which will impress you with its stalagmite structures.

When you reach the peak, you will enjoy stunning, panoramic views of the surrounding land and the deep blue of the Aegean sea. Zas is an important hideout and nesting place for many migratory and resident birds such as the Griffon vulture which you will have the chance to observe! Take the downhill path at the other side of the mountain to reach the village of Filoti where you can have lunch at its picturesque square…

Distance: 12 km, Time: 5-6 hours (with stops to rest and admire the view)

Day 6: WALK THROUGH VERDANT VILLAGES WITH SPRINGS & RUINED WATERMILLS
Take the short path towards to the Byzantine church of Agios Mamas, patron saint of shepherds and one of the oldest on the island. Walk through the quaint villages of Potamia, which constitute a verdant oasis throughout the year due to the springs and old watermills. Stop at Flerio, an area of great archaeological significance because of the old aqueduct, the abandoned ancient Kouros male statues and the ancient marble quarries. This is the ideal place to stop for a rest and a snack. Take the path towards Kouronohori, one of the most picturesque villages whose main attraction is the Tower of Fragopoulos and the colourful courtyards.

Distance: 9 km, Time: 4-5 hours (including stops to rest and explore)

Day 7: WALK the OLD 'EMERY' trail TOWARDS a SOLITARY BEACH
Our recommended hike today starts from the remote ’emery’ village of Koronos. As you stroll in the village, you’ll feel as if time has stopped and locals live quietly, undisturbed by modern way of life. You’ll follow a trail through a very solitary area with stunning nature and mountain landscapes. The smell of local herbs and wild flowers (especially in spring) will accompany you till you reach the beautiful pebble beach of Lionas. Reward yourself with a refreshing swim at its crystal clear waters followed by a delicious supper at one of the most authentic taverns of the island.

Distance: 7.5 km, Time: 4-5 hours (including stops & a swim)

 

The recommended walks during our Santorini and Naxos Self-Guided walking holiday are graded as easy to moderate. Flexible itineraries and options for longer or shorter walks are available based on the needs and wishes of our guests. You will walk mainly on paths of moderate gradient with ascents of up to 500m in a day. Being predominately limestone some parts of our paths can be quite rough and stoney.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Our Santorini and Naxos Self-Guided walking holiday is available throughout the year but the best time for walking is spring and autumn as the weather is cooler. Please contact our team for clarification and advice on the period you wish to travel.

We have chosen for you lovely authentic family-run guesthouses at very central locations. The owners are very hospitable and helpful and are known to provide the most delicious breakfasts. We’ll send you full details.

Contact us to help you organise the ideal walking holiday for you!

green_bullet  What is included in the fee…

green_bullet  Check our Naxos gallery of photos… and our Santorini gallery of photos…

green_bullet Our unique mobile SelfGuide application for independent walkers!