|Day 1:||This sailing holiday starts in the historical port of Ermoupoli on Syros island. With some time getting to know your fellow sailors for the week, as well as learning a little about conservation and marine ecology in Greece’s waters, there is still time to take a stroll around the hillside, traditional and beyond pretty town of Ano Syros.|
|Day 2:||Today we start sailing, heading off to the island of Paros and looking out for dolphins en route. Our guide will also help us spot various sea birds that follow in our slipstream, from shags to yellow legged gulls. After a day of sailing, we anchor at Paros in the secluded fishing village, Piso Livadi, where Halaris’ famous tavern serves up a fine catch of the day.|
|Day 3:||Today we sail into the heart of the Small Cyclades islands which, although they are small, are stupendous. A string of about a dozen gemstones shimmering in the Aegean and, with only a few inhabited by humans, this is an extraordinary archipelago to sail around and seek out wildlife in their natural habitats. Such as on Iraklia with a human population touching a hundred, hiking through its rocky terrain reveals a world of reptiles, raptors, wild flowers and wild herbs. From Eleonora's falcon to Griffon vultures, wild orchids to ancient olive groves, Iraklia is a micro world of Greece’s biodiverse beauty.|
|Day 4:||Sailing east all day along a route frequented by dolphins, we drop anchor in time for sun set off the island of Despotiko, where we will take time to gather our research results, analyse photos and discuss wildlife behaviour that we have witnessed on our sailing odyssey. Leaving time for a swim in the crystalline waters around the island. You can always delay your swim until night time for one of the best wildlife treats of this trip – when the phenomenon of bioluminescence lights up the waters with every stroke.|
|Day 5-6:||On this fifth day we sail to the Cycladic island of Kimolos with a small population but which, for wildlife lovers, also has a fascinating uninhabited island as neighbour. This is Polyegos, a very important habitat for a highly protected and endangered species : the Mediterranean Monk Seal. Our naturalist guide will fill you in on local efforts to protect this beautiful mammal, especially as both these islands are home to the one of the highest populations of them in European waters.|
|Day 7:||From Kimolos to Milos island, this ancient volcanic island is an explosion of flora and fauna. From the famous and rare Milos viper and endemic lizards to migratory birds en route to Africa. The island’s wetland at Achivadolimni is temporary home to glossy ibis, herons and flamingos.|
Our primary objective is the study and protection of the marine world and the raising of awareness on environmental issues. In order to support our goal, we have formed a series of ecotourism projects involving sailing, diving and/or exploring unique species. When our sailing boat, is not chartered, we sail around cleaning beaches, recycling or helping researchers and organisations to collect data in order to study and protect the environment and wildlife.
Our base has become the island of Syros where most of the maintenance work is carried out by local people using materials purchased locally.
We encourage guests to visit and try the local cuisine and purchase local goods wherever we go in order to get a taste of the local culture and also support the local community. Under the guidance of our experienced biologist, people are introduced to tens of endemic species, both from the animal and plant kingdoms which exist only in this small corner of the globe. Guests will leave with a different approach towards wildlife and aware of the dangers they face and how to minimise them. We organise visits at the two national marine parks in Greece, in Zakynthos and Alonisos, where the two most important organisations for the protection of the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta and the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus are based. Our guests are briefed on their work and how they can support them.
During our whale and dolphin spotting, the voices of mammals will be recorded with the aid of our hydrophone and notes will be made on their characteristics in order to help scientists with their collection of data. Our guests are welcome to participate.
We organise marine ecology seminars for divers and present a brief version of this to every diver that joins us. This involves a briefing on how to monitor the level of anthropogenic impact on a marine site and warn our scientist of any deterioration they observe.
We try to minimise the impact of our boat on the marine environment by using the motor as little as possible, mainly just to enter and leave the port. When mooring we avoid throwing the anchor on meadows of sea grass. We always use permanent moorings when provided. We’ve allowed space in the sailing boat to store waste plastics especially bottles. As there is no drinking water available in the Greek islands, there is a huge consumption of bottled water. We store all the plastic in the capital of Syros, Ermoupolis and we take it back to Athens at the end of the season for recycling.
Be part of the 172nd Dartmouth Royal Regatta
From £625 5 days excluding flights