Ithaca sea kayaking skills holiday, Greece

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
During the season, we will be working on cleaning up Kaminia beach as part of our Responsibly Guided Kayaking Tours. This is a beautiful remote cove which can be reached only via a dirt track. Due to its position in the island, it receives debris from the fish farms close to the mainland which are more than 40 kilometres away by sea as the crow flies. During the winter storms, the winds bring broken polystyrene boxes used to pack and transport the fish. The polystyrene breaks down into tiny balls and mixes with the sand and pebbles. We have done already a lot to remove the large blocks, but there is still work to do to remove the small pieces and the tiny balls.

Our tour is a low impact way of exploring the coastline, we produce minimum pollution and we try to minimise our and our clients' use of plastic. For example, we do not use drinking straws and communicate this to cafes & bars with the intention of helping them modernise their attitudes towards plastic. We use re-usable shopping bags and dispose of our rubbish responsibly. Water re-fill bottles are not recommended at present, as there have been some issues with the water system which water filters cannot solve. The island government and tourism board, of which most of our partners are members, are lobbying central government to obtain the funds to fix the issues. When the president of Greece visited the island in summer 2018, the Maire asked for support on 3 key areas: Protection of the environment with a better water system; development and protection of the archaeological sites in the island; and better ferry services that provide a lifeline to islanders and their businesses. Therefore, it is important to support them in this effort as a break through in these areas would represent a huge environmental win.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Our trips are organised in conjunction with local businesses. This means we work with small family hotels which are owned and run by local people, cooperate with the outdoor companies and shop local for all our food. We get our vegetables from the local farmer that brings his truck to the main square some days or the small greengrocer in the village. The bakery makes fresh bread every morning which we use for our picnics and sandwiches. We also like to use the olive oil produced in the island when we can get it. Most olive oil is produced for family consumption, so it is hard to get hold of it but a real treat.

Additionally, we have started a training program to develop local youths into kayak guides. Our first guide got his UK qualifications in November 2018. Therefore, you might see one of our trainees coming to paddle with us during our trips. We also do trips for local teenagers in which we do beach clean-ups. Through this we help them develop pride and love for their sea and their environment and they are exposed to the problem that plastic rubbish can cause. They then take a positive message back to their community and contribute to the effort to eliminate the use of things such as plastic straws and ear cotton buds.

Climate

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