Santorini walking short break, Greece
Description of Santorini walking short break, Greece
The island of Santorini, sometimes known as Thera, is one of the Cyclades’ most fascinating islands. In fact it is part of a mini archipelago bearing the same name as this, its largest island, the others being Therasia, the only other inhabited island of the group, and the uninhabited Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi and Christiana. They are all products of massive volcanic activity, with the three largest islands enclosing a sapphire blue, submerged caldera. Making this Santorini walking holiday not only one that is fantastic and fascinating terrain, but also one with some of the Cyclades’ finest views.
This four day walking holiday is self-guided, with an itinerary crafted by our local experts who know Santorini, its coastal walks, magnificent viewpoints and geological wonders inside out. Staying at a small, locally owned guesthouse in the town of Fira, the best way to start this holiday is by hiking along the rim of the island’s own caldera to watch the sunset. The next day will be another high point, literally, trekking to the highest point on the island, Mount Profitis Ilias (567m), passing the fortified Venetian castle settlement at Emborio en route. Wander from one ancient village to another, such as Pyrgos, with narrow streets, traditional Cycladic houses and ruins of the ancient Kasteli castle and mansions from similarly ancient times. Similarly ancient is the island’s Akrotiri excavation, where settlements dating back to prehistoric times have been unearthed. With calderas, volcanic terrain and black beaches, although Santorini’s volcano is dormant, this holiday is gloriously active. With different beaches every day to cool down at and watch the sun go down at too.
This Santorini walking holiday is made even better with our local support and information package, which not only details self guided trails across the island, but also gives information on cultural, archaeological and natural sites of interests along the way. As well as some of our favourite places to picnic, tavernas and cafes.
PlanetThis walking trail holiday in the island of Santorini, has a primary eco-focus. We are dedicated to encouraging low-impact activity holidays, such as walking, and minimising our negative impact on the environment and people. This is mainly done by respecting the natural environment of the places we visit and by concentrating on an alternative way of travelling, mostly out of the heavy burdened touristic summer season.
We try to support the No Footprint idea by exploring in small group numbers and as much as possible getting around on foot or by public transport. Our walking holidays after all, leave nothing but footprints behind! We walk on designated paths and make sure no litter is left behind, while we also gather up any that we see on our way. We often arrange clean ups of paths and beaches during the week, or tree planting initiatives in these dry and arid Greek islands. We report on paths that are falling out of use and help to clear or shape them back.
Most of our paths are part of larger protected areas or National parks and Natural reserves, such as the vast Natura 2000 network. This way, we encourage our guests to behave in an environmentally responsible manner. We inform our guests about the unique flora and endemic and common species they will encounter while walking or swimming around Santorini waters. We find it to be important to encourage and develop a passion for wildlife and wild places amongst our customers. We give guidelines on where to look for them, how to observe them or even capture a unique picture showing to the rest of the world their magic. Of course, it is important to emphasize that all wildlife sightings are a bonus; none are guaranteed! We practice Responsible Wildlife Viewing principles by not disturbing or threatening the behaviour of any wild animal by no means. We ask our guests to never remove a specimen – whether plant, seed or animal – from its natural environment. Guests leave aware of the environmental dangers faced and what they can do themselves to minimise them.
We encourage our guests and the owners of the accommodations we use to be aware of the threats to the environment (i.e. water waste, plastic bags and bottles) and suggest ways in which they can minimise their negative footprint. We explain to our guests the need for water conservation in the Greek islands and advise them on how to minimise their water waste. We encourage our guests to bring refillable water bottles and/or recycle them in designated areas. All communication is done electronically where possible, saving on paper
PeopleWe have the greatest respect for the local people and their customs and are anxious to share our knowledge of Cycladic island lifestyle with our guests. Your guides are all local, sharing with you their ideas and love for their land. In order to limit the social impact of tourism all are guests are introduced to the local customs, religion, politics and history during our walks. We take our clients to local festivals, artists' workshops, and other local celebrations trying to get them to experience the local way of life. We encourage our guests to mix and interact with the local people which are particularly friendly and hospitable.
Through our walking trail holidays in Greece we support small businesses by supporting locally owned shops, guesthouses, mini-markets, bakeries and taverns. As our holidays take place in spring, early summer and autumn, we bring customers and income to establishments which would otherwise only have visitors in the high touristic summer months. In many villages, we visit local craftswomen who make their own handmade traditional products and by selling them, support their families.
All the products used in our picnics are bought locally, by small family-owned shops, supporting a low carbon diet and respecting the seasonal produces, thus supporting the local agricultural community. Evening meals are taken in typical Greek restaurants serving local, Greek and Mediterranean dishes, usually with products from their own personal gardens.
We opt for local, family owned guesthouses, staffed by locals. These accommodations have been restored by local workers and retained their unique local character whilst providing all necessary comforts. The guesthouses recently installed solar panels which provide hot water for all rooms all year round.
In general, with all walking holidays in Greece, we’re trying through our activities to encourage travellers to approach places they visit with greater understanding and respect.