10 independent reviews for Cyclades sailing & walking holiday in Greece

Reviews for Cyclades sailing & walking holiday in Greece

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review 24 Oct 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Everything! Spending a week living on a yacht and sailing the crystal clear, stunningly blue and mostly very calm waters of the Mediterranean. Hiking on beautiful and sparsely populated islands where we had the hinterland mostly to ourselves and discovering the hidden corners of historic island villages, guided by the wonderful Annie, who was full of information on local plants and habitat, as well as where to get the best coffee and seafood! Taking lessons in boat-craft from Skipper Soteris while hearing about his involvement in a wonderful Upcycling initiative that complements the eco-principles of the tour company. And not least, having a great time with a wonderful group of like minded travel companions.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Pack light and ease into a stripped-down Zen mode. A boat is compact and no space is wasted. The essentials are all you need. A few clothes, bathers, towel. a good pair of walking shoes or boots. Hat and block out for sure. Sunglasses. Book, Camera. That's it. Forget the 9-5 routine and slip into 'island time'. The pace is relaxed (not the walking necessarily) but is probably adjusted to the temperament of the group. Both Annie and Soteris are flexible and respond to people's interests and requests, which makes for a very inclusive group and harmonious dynamics.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, everything was purchases locally and all waste was kept to a minimum. The deep appreciation of the environment Annie and Soteris encourage promotes its conservation, with locals and visitors alike. and the tourist dollars we bring provide livelihoods for the islanders and reduce pressure on the ocean and the land.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic! Very memorable. Something I'd want to repeat.

review 17 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were many 'wow' factors - the weather, the unspoiled islands, the clear unpolluted waters we sailed and swam in, stunning walks/hikes learning the history of the Cyclades, the friendly locals and the great food. Also feeling totally safe being guided by our Skipper Georgio and our oracle Daphne who mentored us to hike almost 40 miles. I definitely would have missed so much left to my own devices.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go and be at one with nature, leave your makeup behind and go au naturale for a week, swim and shower off the salt water on the bathing platform - very liberating! Don't over pack and stress about limited storage.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We ate in all the local, family run tavernas sought out by our skipper (Georgio) and guide (Daphne). We were very well educated by Daphne about the environmental challenges of the islands, not least the lack of fresh water. We felt that we supported conservation by bringing and spending money on the islands.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I felt very fortunate to be recommended by Responsible Travel to our tour operator, a company that I would not have found without them. I would highly recommend this very unique experience. I was a 65 year old lady travelling alone and mixed well with my fellow sailors that were much younger couples. I felt completely safe and that all possible effort was made to ensure that I had a great holiday, nothing was left to chance.

review 27 Oct 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole experience, the islands were not crowded and beautiful. The sailing was great fun, I had never been sailing before, and both Annie and Sorteris knew their stuff. You were asked to help if you wanted to as well.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Travel light, and leave the hair dryer at home, you only need basic gear, and sunblock

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, ate at local taverna's and restaurants, and always tried to reduce the impact where we docked

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, forgot how blue and clear the water is, and it was great to get to the smaller islands were people lived their everyday lives, highly recommend this holiday.

review 6 Oct 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The late afternoon walks with Annie through the small villages, and especially to the monastery on the cliff, were a part of Greece many people won't see and created lasting memories for us. Annie was a wonderful guide, taking us on little- traveled paths and educating us along the way with interesting information not found in guidebooks. Sotiris was an excellent skipper, taking us on exciting sailing journeys to these out of the way islands. It was all we had hoped for and more in a sailing/walking holiday.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Pay attention to the request to pack lightly and in easy to stow bags. Take a light raincoat for spray under sail. Bring a sturdy pair of hiking shoes and if you have them, collapsible trekking poles for the uneven ground and ups/downs. Bring your appetite, and don't be afraid to try the goat in the oven. "Cash only" on the small islands so bring enough for your meals and any purchases. (although ATM's are on every island).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we supported the local businesses by patronizing the small tavernas and shops along the way outside of the big resort destinations. Our sailing journeys kept fuel usage to a bare minimum, using mother nature's energy to deliver us to the islands. We practiced proper recycling methods and reduced our waste by using reusable shopping bags.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was an exciting adventure and one that we were invested in by our own efforts, thereby increasing our enjoyment of it. Being actively engaged in the entire week sharpened our focus more so than a passive vacation. Annie and Sotiris were generous with their knowledge of all things local. We would rate our vacation as Excellent.

review 21 Jul 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

This question is difficult to answer as there are so many brilliant memories. However, the two events that stand out are the visit to Kimoulous and the dinner in the fish restaurant on the beach and the visit to Iraclia, the beaturiful bay, walking up in the mountains over the cliffs and the visit to the little Taverna in the village.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be clear that it is a combined sailing-walking trip and hence to be prepared for living and sailing on a boat as a team. Travel sickness pills may be helpful for those that feel sea sick as even in summer the winds can be strong.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, I was reminded again to preserve water, reuse and reduce waste. Eating in the local tavernas was one of the best and most memorable experiences, eating the local produce and helping the people in the villages especially during this financial crises. Also thanks for the many great conversations with Annie and Sotiris who helped us so much more to understand the greek society and living in a more conscious and environmentally and socially sustainable way.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, thanks so much. We really enjoyed the trip, the company, the places we visited and the people we met. We will spread the word....

review 28 Apr 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

This is difficult to pin down. Was it seeing the dolphins (twice) or the spontaneous Greek dancing in a cafe on Amorgos? Or perhaps the weather or the company of our hosts and the other guests.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go with the flow - Soiris and Annie know ALL the best places!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely, all the places we ate in and bought food, water or gifts from were owned by the people who lived on each island and whilst on the boat we participated (minimally I admit) in gathering information on the pods of dolphins we saw.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

10 out of 10 based on the companionship, weather, knowledge and sheer good fun that was had by both of us during this holiday.

review 31 Oct 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The special quality of the experience made this a memorable holiday. Although the Cyclades are popular islands for holiday makers we felt that we were privileged to have a really personal experience on some of the smaller islands. The random nature of the voyage and experiences of small harbours and off the beaten track hill villages took us back to an earlier age- before mass tourism.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Pack light! We overpacked with warm weather clothes! Learn about the long history of the entire Mediterranean Sea. Buy local and enjoy the delicious local foods.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The operator were careful to spread our custom around especially to the lesser known and more remote places in need of the extra income. This added to the quality and variety of what we ate! The journey itself was of very low environmental impact and the team clearly had done a wide range of environmentally sound and sustaining work especially in relation to under-water issues.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

First-rate. A great and memorable experience. It also introduced us well to the people of these smaller islands and their way of life. Happy to recommend strongly.

review 21 Aug 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It is hard to pick one thing... I have a long list... so here are the Top 2! One night we went swimming off the boat and saw stars in the water. It wasn't a reflection of the sky but light that tiny sea creatures gave out when we touched them. When we came out of the water it seemed that we were sparkling too! Another day we stopped for a drink at a taverna in the hills of Amorgos. We sat outside in the narrow street. At first there were just a few of us, then some musicians came along and started to play. More chairs were brought out, more and more people came. Soon the line of chairs was all along the street. It was such a lovely gathering, like being with friends who suddenly decided to have a party.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

To travel very light as there is limited storage space and to take covered walking shoes with good soles as some of the paths are rugged.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, the operator is helping to support communities as they took us to some remote places – one island had only about 100 inhabitants and some were only accessible by boat or by infrequent ferries. They took us to local tavernas and cafés and suggested somewhere to stay for our second week, so we were felt that we were supporting small businesses. I think the environmental impact was limited as we were sailing most of the time and were careful about recycling and using water economically. The operator was also monitoring wildlife and looking for any changes in the marine environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It is like being on holiday with friends who share their favourite places with you and introduce you to their friends. It was lovely not to feel like a tourist and see places as they really are. A rare and very special holiday!

review 26 Oct 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Memorable moments for me included swimming in the sea, eating the delicious home- cooked food on Amorgos, and the beautiful beaches on Koufonissi.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Pack light!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We went at low season, as the tavernas were starting to close and people on the islands were returning to Athens. Because our skipper and walking guide had friends on every island people were really happy to open up especially for us.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I had a great holiday, I'd rate it very highly. I met some interesting people, saw some beautiful sights and had a great time learning to sail, walking up mountains and relaxing on deck.

review 15 Oct 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The day we spent walking on Amorgos to the Monastery was fantastic. The scenery throughout the walk was superb. Each evening we ate at a local taverna which was recommended by Annie and Sortiras, which meant at each island there was a change in the food,

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The walks are moderate and I would advise closed shoes as the paths can be rough with thorny plants. They advise to pack light and you do need to. Space on the boat is limited and other than walking clothes and a change for the evening you don,t need much more. There is a " bare foot" policy on the boat so a pair of flip flops is useful for slipping on when getting off the boat. You do need to be reasonably fit, as I would describe the walks as moderate and you have to get on and off the boat up gangplanks and over the side. Remember that it is a yacht so if there is no wind you cannot sail so need to be flexible, we walked a full day and sailed a full day rather than half and half.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we ate at local restaurants/ tavernas which served locally sourced food and were encouraged to buy goods as required in each place.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great fun, we had a good group and Annie makes the whole thing work. We met really nice local people who opened up simply to serve us food even though the season was over.

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