Kythnos nature holiday in Greece

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2016: 17 Oct
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kythnos nature holiday in Greece

Environment

Our walking trails extol the natural beauty of the island's countryside, its historical sites, its traditional villages, its numerous churches and many sandy beaches. We emphasise to our walkers the importance of looking after the countryside, protecting wildlife, not dropping rubbish and closing gates. We support the island mayor's pledge to find funding for more signs on the trails and clearing where needed thus encouraging more walkers to the area (a low carbon way to explore the island).

Our Travellers Code of Conduct includes two pages of Useful Information covering the fitness required of walkers, clothing and shoes, and the natural sights to see, such as flowers, plants and animals. For each trail, we provide a map of the route, distances, the height of hills, difficult terrain, and natural hazards. We urge walkers to be respectful to farmers and their animals.

As stated above, we plan to launch our own hotel in 2016, a renovation of two 200-year-old mansions. These buildings will be under Greek culture ministry protection for their historical value. The hotel will include a series of presentations about the history of the island, the village where the hotel is located, and the buildings themselves.

With our hiking holidays, we want to demonstrate that this ecologically-sensitive form of tourism can help the local economy. We want to be an advocate in the local community for preserving the calm and history of Kythnos.

Community

For the walking, we will use local guides as much as possible and pay them a proper wage. The tavernas where we eat will be chosen for their use of local produce such as meat, cheese, vegetables and salad. We will visit farms and a honey-making centre during the holidays. The souvenir shops we recommend in Hora, Dryopida and Merichas produce their own pottery and jewelry on the island.

Kythnos has a lively cultural scene, including many traditional music events linked to religious feast days, particularly the Orthodox Easter and 15 August and also many other saint days. When in a holiday week there is no festival, we will try to organise a music event in a taverna.

The island has a summer festival in July and August which we encourage guests to visit. At the music events, we will explain the traditional instruments being played such as lute, fiddle, tsambouna and sandouni and their continuing production, thus supporting local artisan business.

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