Best time to go on a walking holiday in Greece

BEST TIME TO GO ON A WALKING HOLIDAY IN GREECE


TEMPERATURE & RAINFALL

Although tailor made walking holidays can take place throughout the year, small group tours are usually organised in Apr/May or Sep/Oct as temperatures are much more comfortable outside of the relentless heat of Jul-Aug. Spring is the best time to go on a walking holiday in Greece if you’re hoping to meet local people, before the start of the typical tourist season, and walk over green hillsides adorned with asphodel, irises, orchids and tassel hyacinths. The autumnal harvest is another lovely time with warm waves in Sept always welcome. Find out the best time to visit Greece, the Greek Islands or the Cyclades in our dedicated guides.

GREECE WALKING HOLIDAYS ADVICE


TIPS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN GREECE


Annie Antonatou, founder and walking guide at our supplier Mystic Blue, discusses the best time for bird watching and walking in Greece, as well as her favourite island walks in the Cyclades.

Birding & walking


“The spring migration starts mid February, when the first birds arrive from Africa, and peaks in mid-end April. It goes on throughout May in declining numbers and ends in June. The autumn migration covers a prolonged time period starting from the end of June and continuing until the end of October, peaking in the 2nd half of August. Common species of seabird include: shearwaters, shags and cormorants whilst on land you can expect to encounter eagles, buzzards, falcons, warblers and wag-tails, to name but a few.”

Naxos


“Naxos is the richest and most multi-faceted island in the Cyclades with lofty mountains, fertile valleys, plateaus, springs, rivers, caves, picturesque villages, Byzantine chapels, Venetian towers, Kouros statues, ancient sites, endemic wildlife, unique customs and the longest sandy beaches in the Aegean. There’s a great walk on Naxos from the village of Filoti to the top of Mount Zas, which stands at an impressive 1,004m. On clear days you can see all the surrounding islands and on the way back it’s possible to explore the island’s biggest cave which features some amazing stalagmites.”

Walking time: 3 – 5 hrs Grade: moderate

Santorini


“Santorini will take your breath away with its white Cycladic houses lining the cliff tops, the amazing views to the caldera and Nea Kameni (the volcano), the spectacular sunsets and the black and red beaches. My favourite walk is from the village of Fira to the chic citadel of Oia via the picturesque villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli. This hike is actually a spectacular, cliff-top walk with incredible views of the caldera, the volcano and the deep blue of the Aegean Sea. This is the view that Santorini is so famous for and you will find out that you cannot get enough of it.”
Walking time: 4hrs Grade: easy. Plan the walk so you reach Oia on time to watch the world famous sunset.

The small Cyclades


“Amorgos, Iraklia, Schinoussa, Pano and Kato Koufonisi and Donoussa, just south of Naxos, offer a taste of the real Greece. Until recently, these islands were extremely isolated and have remained unspoilt to offer a heavenly slice of traditional culture. My favourite walk is on Amorgos and starts from the narrow, whitewashed streets and chapels of Chora (the island’s medieval capital). Take the trail towards Hozoviotissa monastery for breathtaking views before continuing along the spine of the island until you reach the beautiful Bay of Aegiali.”

Walking time: 4 – 6 hrs Grade: easy to moderate
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If you'd like to chat about Greece walking or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
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GREECE WALKING HOLIDAYS TRAVEL ADVICE


TIPS FROM OUR TRAVELLERS

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Greece walking holiday tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your suitcase.
“Go for it! It's a very relaxing way of getting to know the islands and meeting the local people. It was great to have a local guide who helped with communication, travel and chose some excellent restaurants.” – Catriona Collum
“There's a lot of mountain walking on uneven surfaces, so make sure to bring trekking poles and a good, broken-in pair of hiking boots. If you're not used to walking up and down hills, try to incorporate it into your exercise routine before you arrive. Sunscreen is a must. Also, try to learn a little Greek before you arrive, it's a way of showing respect for your hosts and I found people truly appreciated the effort to speak their language.” – Susan Leeds
“Travel light (a backpack and a day pack), and keep a good waterproof and fleece jacket handy – the weather in the mountains changes without warning. Good shoes, sunglasses and sunscreen and you’re all set. Wi-Fi is available but leave those phones and tablets in the room – go out there – talk to the locals, enjoy a glass of wine and make the most of the views.” – Sarita Chitrapu
“Late April is a wonderful time, still off high season, with almost deserted beaches where you can already swim – although water is a bit on the chilly side – and wonderful spring blossom on every trail. The friendly guides can arrange any walk to suit the group's needs and wishes: from lovely countryside strolls to sunrise uphill more demanding climbs, if you wish, stopping or ending on some wonderful beaches whenever you want.” – Esteve Marie
“As well as the weather, do check the tides/swell of the sea especially when planning the 'Caldera to Akrotiri and Vlychada trail'. There are two parts on this trail which are on the rocky beach (the beach is narrow) and if the tide is in then your path is blocked. Also, expect many of the remote churches to be closed... it's just how it is.” – Neena Kumar
Photo credits: [Temperature chart: Chris Lawton] [Birding & walking: Иван Сологуб] [Santorini: Bryce Edwards] [Review 1: Bryce Edwards] [Review 2: iamadonut]

Written by: Chris Owen
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