Walking holiday in Naxos and the Small Cyclades

 Walking holiday in Naxos and the Small Cyclades

 

Highlights of this walking holiday in Naxos and the Small Cyclades

Walk and explore Naxos, the most fertile and multifaceted island of the Cyclades…

Discover the unspoilt islands of the Small Cyclades, a small heaven of peace, Greek hospitality and traditional culture…

Key Information:

Tour Duration: 7, 10 or 14 day(s)
Group Size: Small groups
Season: March – November
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Low season Per Person Price: 7-day package: 682 Euro, 10-day package: 974 Euro (check our offers)
High season Per Person Price: 7-day package: 737 Euro, 10-day package: 1,052 Euro (check our offers)

Picture this!

Our walking holiday in Naxos and the Small Cyclades will start from the island of Naxos and will continue with island hopping around the islands of the Small Cyclades. Naxos is the largest, richest and most multifaceted island of the Cyclades. You will experience lofty mountains, fertile valleys, plateaus, springs, rivers, caves, picturesque villages, Byzantine chapels, Venetian towers, kouros statues, ancient sites, endemic wildlife, unique customs and cultural happenings… as well the longest sandy beaches in the Aegean…

South of Naxos there is a group of small islands called the Small Cyclades; Amorgos, Iraklia, Schinoussa, Pano & Kato Koufonissi and Donoussa. Until recently, these islands were very isolated so they still remain unspoilt… a small heaven of peace, Greek hospitality and traditional culture.

HIGHLIGHTS

green_bullet Explore an infinite network of traditional marble-paved mule-tracks and hidden valley paths,
green_bullet Experience traditional Greek countryside, orchards, gardens, dramatic coastlines,
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Visit monasteries, Byzantine chapels with rare frescoes, ancient monuments
green_bullet Reach and swim at remote solitary beaches and coves with crystal clear waters,
green_bullet Walk to the highest mountain of the Cyclades, Mount Zas, where Olympian god Zeus grew to manhood,
green_bullet Walk to magical parts of the islands that you would never discover on your own,
green_bullet Learn about the local herbs and plants, birds and other members of the animal kingdom, above and under the water!
green_bullet Sample organic, home-made food locally produced wherever you eat,
green_bullet Experience customs and traditions, cultural happenings, local feasts with Cycladic music and dance,
green_bullet Stay at traditional family run guesthouses,
green_bullet 7-day, 10-day or 14 day walking holiday adapted to fit your schedule… possibility to combine this walking holiday with visiting other islands such as Santorini, Paros, Syros, Tinos.

Here is an example of what you will experience during our walking holiday in Naxos and the Small Cyclades:

OUR ITINeRARY

DAY 1: Welcome and exploration of the old town of Naxos
Arrival. You are met at the port or airport and taken to your guesthouse. Briefing on our itinerary, history and culture of the island. Relax on the beach, walk the narrow alleys of the old town and the castle reservation. Supper at our favourite local tavern.
DAY 2: Circular walk around Naxos' most traditional villages
This hike starts from the beautiful village of Apiranthos built at the foot of Mt. Fanari, with its venetian towers, pretty old two-story houses, marble paved alleys with arches and picturesque squares. While we have a drink we’ll introduce you to the unique biodiversity of the Aegean and the islands of the Cyclades that will definitely make your walks more interesting! We’ll then take the trail to the summit of Fanari and admire the panoramic view of the Cycladic islands.

The path continues through impressive landscapes and rock formations towards the villages of Kaloxylos and Chalki. Kaloxylos is one of Naxos’ most picturesque villages, situated in an area lush with olive, plane and oak trees, well-known for its pretty houses and especially for the rare flowers in their courtyards. We’ll finally continue towards another beautiful village, Chalki, where we’ll end the day with a delicious supper that the owners prepare with their own organic ingredients.

DAY 3: Walk to the top of Zas, the highest peak of the Cyclades
Today we’ll start our walk from the village of Filoti and we’ll walk at the highest peak of the Cyclades, Mount Zas, which stands at an impressive 1,004m. The magnificent Zas mountain takes its name from the ancient Greek God Zeus, the father of all the other Gods, who supposedly spent his early life on Naxos. You will enjoy stunning, panoramic views of the surrounding land and the deep blue of the Aegean sea. On clear days, you can see all the Cycladic islands that surround Naxos. Zas is an important hideout and nesting place for many migratory and resident birds such as the Griffon vultures which we hope to spot for you!

On the way back we’ll explore the biggest cave on the island which will impress you with its stalagmite structures. We’ll then continue to a shady spot by the famous water source of Argion, which is an ideal spot for a picnic and enjoying the peace and quiet of nature.

Day 4: Ancient path crossing inland towards a solitary beach
Today we’ll walk from the tranquil village of Koronos through a very remote area of the island, with stunning nature and mountain views. The smell of local herbs will accompany us and depending on the season you’ll be able to gather thyme, oregano, lavender, sage to name a few. Around April and May wild flowers including rare species and orchids are abound. The path will lead us to the beautiful beach of Lionas with its multicoloured pebbles. We’ll reward ourselves with a refreshing swim at its crystal clear waters followed by a delicious supper at one of our favourite fish taverns of the island.
Day 5: Circular ancient path connecting unspoilt villages in Amorgos
We’ll take the ferry to the pirate island of Amorgos also known from Luc Besson’s movie “Big Blue”. We’ll stay at the stunning bay of Aegiali known for its long sandy beaches, picturesque fishing port and by the four traditional villages built at the top of the hills surrounding the bay. Today we’ll walk the circular ancient path, covered with various endemic and local herbs and flowers, around the villages of Tholaria, Stroumbos and Langada. We’ll have supper at the local kafenio and if we are lucky we’ll have the chance to admire the local musical instruments, violin and laouto.
Day 6: Walk along the spine of Amorgos
We’ll start the day with breakfast at one of the most scenic “horas” in the Aegean. You’ll walk its narrow streets and admire its numerous chapels, windmills, castle, picturesque white washed houses. We’ll take the trail towards the famous monastery of Hozoviotissa, built to protect a virgin Mary icon believed to have arrived from Palestine. Built into the face of a cliff, it provides a breathtaking view of the sparkling deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea. It is, with no doubt, the pride of Amorgos.

We’ll walk along the spine of the island, pass medieval hotels, deserted villages, breathtaking landscapes till we reach the bay of Aegiali… our favourite walk in the island. You will be rewarded with a delicious supper at one of the oldest taverns of the island.

Day 7: Relax at the crystal clear waters of Koufonisi
Time to cross to the island of Koufonisi known for its turquoise crystal clear waters. Today you’ll have the chance to relax and explore that coastal sceneries, magnificent bays and beaches of the island.
Day 8: Walk and explore the unspoilt island of Iraklia
Today we’ll reach the most unspoilt island of the Small Cyclades; Iraklia and the fishing port of Ag. Georgios with its colorful fishing boats. Iraklia has a population of 80 people who are known for their hospitality. We’ll walk towards the highest peak of the island, one of the few places that the Griffon vulture lives and breeds. We’ll descend towards the main village where we’ll enjoy home made food at Maria’s place. You’ll be surprised by the quality of the food and ingredients from Maria’s garden.
Day 9: Hike to the largest unspoilt cave of the Cyclades
We’ll take the ancient path that crosses the island inland, passes the deserted village of Ag. Athanasios till we reach the largest cave in the Cyclades, Ag. Ioannis cave. You’ll be surprised by the stalactite formations inside.

After exploring the cave we’ll continue towards a solitary bay with a wonderful beach that you can only reach by boat or on foot. We’ll have a swim, relax by the beach and enjoy a picnic. In the evening we’ll continue around the island towards the fishing port. Supper at our favourite fish tavern of the island where you’ll enjoy fresh fish caught by the owner.

Day 10: Transfer to Naxos and relax on the beach
Ferry to Naxos. Relax by the beach, walk around the narrow, picturesque streets of the old part of town and farewell supper.

 

The carefully chosen walks during our walking holiday in Naxos and the Small Cyclades are graded as moderate. We will walk mainly on paths of moderate gradient with ascents of up to 500m in a day. We will walk up to 5-6 hours in the day including stops to rest and for lunch. Being predominately limestone some parts of our paths can be quite rough and stoney.

Flexible itineraries are available based on the needs of our guests. We can organise a more challenging or a more relaxed-pace itinerary offering you more time to relax and enjoy the sea and sun of the Cyclades. 7, 10 and 14 day itineraries are offered as well as a self-guided option.

Solo travellers are welcome. It’s always more fun to walk with a group of like-minded travellers.

BeST TIMe TO VISIT

We organise our walking holiday in Naxos and the Small Cyclades all year round apart from mid July to the end of August when it’s too hot.

green_bullet  March: blossom is out.
green_bullet  April to mid June: for wild flowers, sunshine and moderate temperatures. The Easter period is recommended as it’s one of the most important celebrations in Greece and you’ll have the chance to experience traditional feasts and gatherings.
green_bullet  September to– end of November: for warm seas, gentle weather and autumn flowers. Grapes and olive harvests are in September-November.

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

The combination of natural beauty and culture but also the hospitality of her residents will make this holiday unforgettable for you.

green_bullet Check our fees!

green_bullet How we walk towards nofootprint…

green_bullet Check photos from  our walking holiday in Naxos and the Small Cyclades!