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Explore Evia on this walking and cruise trip joining Captain Thanos on board his traditional Greek sailing boat. Cruise to beautiful bays and small harbours, with walks to hillside villages, through olive groves and to ancient sites.
Explore Tour Leader
6 nights simple boat
1 nights simple hotel
Leisurely and Moderate
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our trip begins at Athens International Airport (ATH) at 6.00pm. The latest your flight can arrive is therefore 5.30pm. We will travel together as a group by bus to the port of Rafina or Marathon where we catch a ferry to the island of Evia. On arrival it is a short taxi or minibus ride to Karystos where our caique is moored. Before settling into our cabins we meet our friendly boat crew and enjoy a welcome drink.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you may have time to wait ahead of our group transfer to Evia this evening. You can make the most of this time by taking the opportunity to explore the nearby city of Athens, which is easily accessible from the airport on regular metro trains - the signage is in English and no changes of train are required. There are also luggage storage facilities available at the airport.
The MV Isidoros II is a traditional family-owned wooden caique with just eight guest cabins that we exclusively charter. The caique built in 1982 is listed as a historic vessel and there are fewer than 80 of this iconic Greek designed boat left in existence, so being able to stay aboard is a real treat.
Our boat has a large sundeck and a comfortable galley for meals. There is a bar where you can purchase a range of local wine and beer, spirits and soft drinks. There is also a boat ladder and snorkelling equipment available on board to make the most of the many swimming opportunities. All of the cosy cabins are en suite with windows and large fans and there is complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Our boat has a real home from home feel and you are free to move around as you please. You can even choose to sleep on deck under the stars if you wish to enjoy the clear night sky and cool night breeze.
Evia is one of the largest Greek islands, but still remains off of the main tourist trail. In summer and on the weekends you'll find the main visitors are the Greek's leaving the city of Athens to enjoy the waterfront tavernas and uncrowded beaches. Visiting Evia is therefore a very authentic local experience. The rugged coastline is dotted with market towns, fishing villages, secluded coves and wide sandy beaches. The sea is clear and warm, making it a wonderful spot to swim and snorkel. The pine covered hills provide the perfect backdrop and also help to keep the evenings temperatures cooler.
Please note that the order of the itinerary and inclusions may vary due to weather and cruising conditions.
M/S Isidoros II (or similar)
Today we travel towards the Archipelagos of Petali, where seven private and exclusive islands offer the best of the 'Jet Set' in the Aegean. Once the summer residence of the Greek Royal family, today it is the playground of the Picasso family, the Embiricos family and other shipping tycoons. Maria Calas spent many summers here. We will have opportunities to swim from the boat throughout the day before arriving in Panagia, via the Fjord of Almyropotamos. Here we will visit the beautifully frescoed church and take a look at some of the 2500 year old olive trees.
Food and drink is a major part of our journey and you certainly won't go hungry! Our boat crew will go out to local markets to buy fresh ingredients, so what we eat will depend on what's in season. Our hearty breakfast will normally include fresh bread, cheese, ham, eggs, cereals, Greek yogurt, honey, marmalade and fruit. Washed down with orange juice, coffee or tea. You will also be served complimentary tea and coffee with tasty biscuits and cake every day at around 11am and 5pm. Lunch is normally a freshly prepared hot meal such as oven baked fish accompanied by seasonal salads and traditional appetisers and followed by a platter of fresh fruit (vegetarians can be catered for on board).
Each night of this trip our leader Thanos is keen to show us Greek hospitality and great food in one of the waterfront tavernas. There are excellent choices of evening dinners on every night of our trip which include barbecued seafood and various meats alongside traditional vegetable dishes.
Panagia is a small, traditional fishing village lying in the shelter of a fjord. From the harbour we drive up country lanes and tracks first to the village of Zarakes and then Argyro (400 m), where the tiny red-roofed houses are dwarfed by the mountains above. From here we descend to the coastal hamlet of Agios Dimitrios and walk back along the coastal road to Panagia. This afternoon cruise to Eretria, one of the best well known cities of ancient Greece, the birthplace of our alphabet - wrongly named Latin.
Today's leisurely 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with 400 meters ascent and descent.
Today we visit the local archaeological site and museum then climb up along the forest path to the summit of Castelli HIll (120 m) and discover the remains of the ancient acropolis there. Later we descend back to the port to enjoy our evening on the long cosmopolitan promenade of the town watching the small ferries coming and going to the mainland. Cruise to Nea Styra, an area of stunning beaches and coastline.
Today's leisurely five kilometre walk is expected to take around three hours with 120 meters ascent and descent.
This morning we take a transfer to the start of our walk in the rolling hills above the small summer resort, by the stone prehistoric 'Dragon Houses' (400 m). From here we walk down ancient paths and through olive groves to the Valley of Styra and back to the harbour. As the sun sets cruise to Marmari.
Today's moderate 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with 400 meters ascent and descent.
Today we take a transfer to the start of our walk in the village of Kampos where the vineyards of the island grow. From here we walk round the headland of Lycorema to Marmari on local paths, through agricultural land. Marmari is a small port and fishing village with small tavernas and cafes dotted along the waterfront. In the afternoon we will sail around the headland to Karystos.
Today's leisurely 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with no noticeable ascent or descent.
After breakfast we take taxis to Mili where we begin our walk up to the villages of Gourna. These traditional villages sit beneath the imposing peak of mythical Mount Ohi. Continuing along paved paths and dirt track we arrive at the old Ventian castle 'Castello Rosso' (400 meters) and enjoy the views back across to Gourna and Mount Ohi, and down to the coast, returning to the boat. Tonight we will overnight in a small hotel in Karystos.
Today's moderate 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with 400 meters ascent and descent.
Hotel Galaxy (or similar)
Departing Karystos this morning we take a short taxi or minibus ride back to Marmari or Styra to board the ferry for the journey back to Rafina or Marathon on mainland Greece. Our ferry will depart at approximately 9.50am. From Rafina we transfer to Athens International Airport, where we will arrive at about 11.30am and this is where our trip ends. The earliest your flight can depart is 1.30pm.
Total distance : 27 miles
Greece has such a vast geographical difference between the mainland and the islands, and travel is possible at all times of year but the climate can vary depending on when you go.
During late spring or early autumn, in the months of April-May or September-October, temperatures are warm and pleasant, usually hovering around 25 degrees. Rainfall is low, but can be erratic during these months. Cooler evenings take the heat off the day. If you have booked a walking holiday, wild flowers bloom during the spring, adding colour to the hiking trails.
Summers are hot and dry, with plenty of sunshine and little rain. Temperatures can go north of 35 degrees in July and August. On the islands, restaurants and bars may be busy with cruise ship passengers. While this period definitely gives you a ‘summer holiday’ feeling, those wishing to explore Greece’s ancient sites may find the heat challenging.
When travelling in winter, from late November to early March, the villages will be very quiet. Temperatures in Athens at this time are around 10-15 degrees, while the nights will be colder. Hotels in northern Greece in particular are well adapted to deal with cold winters, having proper heating and warm fires to retreat to after a day of exploring. This makes it a good destination for travel between November-March.
2 Pin Round
Eretria Museum entrance - €2.00 per person Bar prices on board the caique are very reasonable and are approximately: mineral water €0.50, soft drinks (fizzy or juice) €1.50, €1.50 large glass of wine (red, white or rose - all locally produced) or ouzo mixed with water, €2.00 can of beer (Mythos or Fixx - local Evia beer) and €3.00 spirits such as whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, brandy, metaxa (rose flavoured local spirit) and mixer. There is also a large water container which is filled with fresh drinking water that can be used to re-fill bottles free of charge. All optional excursions must be paid for in cash and on board the caique payments can be made in cash in GBP or Euro. Most tavernas accept credit cards as well as cash payments.
Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. The summer months are the hottest, though the islands are freshened by cooling winds. Early and late in the season there may be an occasional shower and you will need a warmer sweater/fleece and long trousers for the odd chilly breeze whilst walking, in the evenings and when travelling between the ports.Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans. -Breathable wind and waterproof jacket -T-shirts -Long sleeved tops -Sunhat -Long trousers -Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them) -Swimwear -Midlayer Fleece/pullover -Socks (liner and thicker pair)
We recommend you bring walking boots with ankle support- leather or fabric are both fine. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Footwear is not generally worn on board but bring walking sandals for local shore excursions. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
Space is limited on board so only bring what you need. A soft bag is strongly recommended as it is more easily stored than a hard suitcase. A 20-30 litre day sack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a jumper, camera, sun-cream and water.
-Sunglasses -Sun cream -Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb) -Camera -Walking poles (if you usually use them) -Personal toiletries -Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials. -Small waterproof dry bag (for items such as your mobile phone) -Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore Please note that if you intend to sleep out on deck on some nights, as many travellers choose to do in good weather you need to bring a sleeping bag with you (the sunbathing cushions are available to sleep on the boat but cabin bedding can't be taken on deck).
Bus, Boat, Ferry, Taxi
Spend six nights aboard the historic listed family-owned traditional wooden motorised caique - MS Isidoros II. This boat is exclusively chartered by Explore and has a maximum capacity of 19 people which includes the crew and our leader, Thanos. Although our boat does have sails it will primarily run on engine power, but as long as the weather is good then the crew will get the sails out to show you and run on them for a short time. The caique was only ever designed for the sails to be a back-up should the engine fail and its shape is reminiscent of that of the ancient Greek rowing ships. Our boat has a large sundeck on the bow and space to sunbathe on the top deck, a cool and airy indoor galley and dining room, shady spots outside under a canopy, and a boat ladder for swimming. Between the floors of the caique are quite steep ladder type stairs with hand banisters. Sunbathing mats and snorkelling gear are provided. A safe for your personal valuables is available in the wheelhouse and complimentary Wi-Fi is available on board at all times. There are two double cabins on the main deck and six twin cabins on the lower deck. Cabins and bathrooms have windows that open (not portholes) and all cabins are en suite with a shower, sink and toilet. The cabins are cosy and can get warm in summer as (there is no air-conditioning due to the historic listed nature of the vessel), but each is equipped with a large fan that is on 24-hours a day or if you prefer, it's also possible to sleep on deck under the stars and take in the refreshing sea breeze. All cabins have a power socket (European two pin round plug), as does the galley for charging personal appliances. The plugs can be used when moored but not when cruising. In terms of bedding - pillows, a blanket for spring and autumn departures or a lightweight sheet in summer are provided as well as a bath and face towel, which are all changed mid-week. Vegetarians can be catered for on board, but please do let us know of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. The plastic used on the boat is recycled by the crew and the water on the island is drinkable, so Thanos will ask for jugs of water to be provided during dinners in the tavernas. Life jackets are stored under the sofas in the galley (there are 25 adult and 15 child life jackets on board). Life boats are located on the main deck (three boats that each hold 10 people). While our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day route printed, a degree of flexibility is built into the itinerary. Overnight stops and even islands visited, may vary due to weather, sea conditions and the availability of mooring space in harbours. There are two single cabins available per departure, once sold there are no more available. If the departure is not full and there are spare cabins you might find that other single travellers, booked on a twin share basis, may be allocated on default a single cabin without paying the additional supplement cost. On the last night of this holiday, we stay in the Galaxy Hotel, a two-star, family run, traditional Greek hotel. We have graded it as simple accommodation due to the basic furnishing in the room and simple nature of the decor. It is located on the harbour front with great views out to sea. All rooms have a balcony with sea views, air conditioning, en-suite facilities, a fridge, a TV, tea and coffee making facilities as well as free Wi-Fi. This hotel has been in the same family for more than 30 years and you are sure to get a warm welcome, in fact many items from the breakfast buffet come from the family farm.
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An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.
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