19 independent reviews for Cyclades sailing & walking holiday in Greece

Reviews for Cyclades sailing & walking holiday in Greece

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review 2 Nov 2022

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

My family and myself spent a wonderful week sailing the Small Cyclades. The sailing was super exciting under the expertise of our skilled skipper Sotetis. And the afternoon walks with Annie so memorable and informative. Their local knowledge was invaluable and so interesting, we met some wonderful local people and ate at delicious restaurants.

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

Be prepared for some great adventures with wonderful people.

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

Definitely feel like our footprint was minimised by sailing where possible and using our feet for transport and dining at local restaurants.

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

5/5.

review 17 Oct 2022

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

Visiting beautiful authentic Greek islands with very low levels of tourism.

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

Pack light (you really don't need much) and be open to just go with the flow. The Captain's knowledge ensures you explore the best places, visit amazing restaurants and enjoy unbelievable local food.

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

Yes, whenever possible we traveled under sail alone, we spent our money in small local shops and restaurants and with help of our skipper and walking guide, chose local produce in season.

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

Absolutely fantastic, an amazing way of seeing and experiencing real Greece.

review 25 Sep 2022

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

All of it! The hikes, sailing, swimming and snorkeling and the fabulous tavernas selected for dinner each day by Sotiris and Daphne.

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

I don't think it is a trip for everyone. I have spent time on a sailboat before so that was helpful and I knew sort of what to expect when it came to sleeping on a boat. It is helpful if folks prepare by staying fit and exercising (walking etc) so they are not limited on the walks.

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

I hope so - we tried our best to support the local people.

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

Outstanding and a terrific adventure. Because of Sotiris and Daphne , we really feel we had an authentic experience and got a sense of Greek culture and the spirit of the people.

review 18 Sep 2022

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

Sailing to the small Cyclades islands that ranged from blue water the color of the Greek flag to a lovely turquoise color, wonderfully kind local people and the food was fantastic!

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

Pack light and come with a positive go with the flow attitude. Maintain a sense of adventure. It is somewhat like camping on a boat. Sleeping quarters are small but all you need. I always recommend good ear plugs when traveling.

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

Yes, we sailed without motoring when there was enough wind. Hiked, swam and ate locally. We recycled.

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

I really enjoyed the adventure with our fun loving experienced team: Soterios as our Skipper and Dafni as our guide. I always felt if there was anything I needed, they would go above and beyond. I felt very safe. They had friends in every port and are beloved by the locals. Great value and a wonderful trip. I highly recommend this sailing adventure in Greece.

review 6 Jun 2022

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

Anchoring in a small bay, snorkelling in a cave and beach barbecuing

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

Pack light, but maybe include a waterproof for high seas! Just ask if you need something... the crew go out of their way to make everything work for you

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

Local people are supported by your custom.. eg tavernas and local shops. When the wind blows sailing is carbon neutral!

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

Very good... my third time and it was great to be back.

review 9 Jul 2022

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

The rebetiko musicians at Aegiali on the isle of Amorgos, the walk from Langada village near Aegiali to the village of Tholaria around a gorge, the walk along the cliffs at Irakleia and the small beach near Mersi port on the isle of Schinoussa. The fried squid at Mersi port in a restaurant I found on my own and the fried whitebait in a good cheap restaurant in Antiparos where I went with the skipper and guide, which I probably would not have found on my own. I also enjoyed visiting the archeological museums in Hora, Amorgos and at Parikia, Paros, not part of the programme.

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

Be aware that this is an expensive holiday: it was 400 extra to ensure a cabin to myself, even though in fact there were only three passengers, me in one double cabin and a couple in another. Another 100 each in cash was asked at the start to cover marina costs and fuel. We were shocked to discover that we were expected to pay for restaurant dinners for the skipper and the guide and that the 6 litres of water each we were asked to bring on board was also for their use. The email from the operator said that the price did not cover the skipper's meals. We all misunderstood this and did not realise it meant we were expected to pay for his and the guide's meals as well as bring water on board for them both. Most of the walks involved taxi fares there and back, which we also had not budgeted for.

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

Insofar as a sailing boat is ecologically friendly, yes. The engine was in use as little as possible. Had we followed the crew's initial recommendations we would have spent more money in restaurants. We didn't have any meals on board, apart from breakfast.

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

I saw some beautiful places but was very disappointed by the obvious recent changes in lifestyle on the Little Cyclades. There are boutique hotels alongside village tavernas and I paid more for a beer in a beach bar on Koufonissia than I would have in Paris, where I live. I had little incentive to practise my Greek as everyone seemed to speak English.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for joining us earlier this month. I'm glad to hear that you had some positive experiences during your holiday with us. Our crew informed me that they greatly enjoyed your conversations together. I'm really sad to hear that you found our holiday and in general the Small Cyclades expensive. It is true that prices have risen since you last visited. It is standard in the industry to pay for the skipper's or guide's meals and share provisions with him/her.. Our sailing & walking fee since 2006 have risen by 47 EUR max, a very low increase considering the general economic situation. Apart from the prices I understand that you enjoyed the sceneries and culture and you leave with positive memories all together. Best wishes

review 12 Nov 2021

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

We enjoyed the diversity of the islands. They were all extraordinarily beautiful but each one had a distinctive quality. We truly appreciated the hikes we took to gain perspective from each island - whether it was to a vista point, a long trek, a stroll around the perimeter of the island - all very special. I think that both Annie and Captain Siteros engaged in lively conversations with us - on the boat, over dinner and on the trails. I really appreciated learning from them and our conversations.

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

For us, balancing the sailing with time to explore and hike on each island was the best part. I would encourage other travelers to spend time walking around. If you are not familiar with sailing and marina life, you get into the life and rhythm pretty quickly. It is different and quite honestly, it might not be something the uninitiated would like. I did not have that knowledge in advance but got into it and enjoyed it a great deal - but I think folks need to understand what they are getting into.

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

I know that our visit benefited local folks. They said so and they appreciated our visit - particularly coming out of the horrors of COVID. And I know how deeply our guide and mentor, Annie, supports a conservation ethic but I am not entirely clear how our visit supported conservation quite frankly. And I know that the drinking water situation required us to purchase more plastic water bottles than I have used in years. I don't know if there is an alternative, however.

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

It was a wonderful trip. It contrasted well with a hiking adventure we took in the Peloponnese prior to the sailing and offered a perspective on island life during a period when the tourist rush was winding down.

review 15 Sep 2021

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

First experience of scuba diving for my family, Annie was a great underwater teacher and guide - memorable experiences.

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

Don't pack too many clothes! Best to travel light on a sailing boat.

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

We went to local restaurants and shops and the people we met were incredibly generous and friendly - we were lucky enough to have a couple of evenings where we saw live music which was fantastic.

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

One of the best holidays we have ever had - Annie and Sotiris the skipper of the boat were great hosts, the sailing, walking and diving were all incredible, and the hospitality of the island people we met was wonderful. We were excited to go on this holiday - but it exceeded all of our expectations.

review 20 Sep 2019

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

It's hard to name just one thing as there were so many things - the great walks which were varied and all with fantastic views; the other people in the group and the fact that there were only six of us, from three different countries, so it was easy to get to know each other; eating at local tavernas; our fantastic guides Annie and Dimitra who couldn't have done more to support us and ensure that everyone was happy, including being flexible with the itinerary and giving various options; the accommodation in the old town in Naxos and with a lovely sea view in Iraklia; good swimming opportunities; a lot of fun, and travelling between islands on the wonderful Express Skopelitis. I also had a day in Crete at the end due to my flight booking and had the most wonderful day there with Melita, the local guide on Crete.

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

Come with an open mind and with flexibility as to the itinerary (you can't control the wind as we found when the ferries were suspended for a couple of days!) and it would be very hard not to have a good time.

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

Yes - we ate mainly at tavernas which were run by local people/families and were known to the guides. We travelled to and from walk starts by local bus where possible. Accommodation was all small scale and run by locals. And the company are based in Greece so have all the local knowledge and insight.

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

Excellent! I would strongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys moderate walking in great landscapes, with opportunities to swim most days, the company of like-minded folk and with supportive and fun local guides.

review 15 Sep 2019

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

Fantastic guides Annie & Dimitria who showed so much care, thoughtfulness & took us on fantastic walks.

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

Go & enjoy

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

Yes to all the above

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

Loved it and would definitely do more.

review 28 Jun 2019

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

While hiking, we were thrilled with the landscape and felt very privileged to be in it, rather than just driving by. The knowledge that Annie, our very professional hiking leader, imparted was not just about the natural world, but also Greek history and culture. Each hike on the six islands we visited was different from the one before. Sotiris was an excellent skipper, making me (a reluctant sailor) feel totally safe and making my husband incredibly happy to be taught and trusted to help with lines and at the helm.

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

Remember that storage space on yachts is minimal - but you need little, in any case! Some of the hikes we did were strenuous and our hiking boots and poles were very useful.

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

Our meals were taken in local businesses, and the tour operators were respectful of the marine and land environment.

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

Well organized and skillfully lead, this was an excellent holiday. Each day had both organized activities and free time, and Annie and Sotiris made sure that everyone was comfortable.

review 27 Jun 2018

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

The entire trip was very well-planned. Part of each day was spent sailing between beautiful and lesser-known islands, whilst still affording lots of time to have early evening walks through beautiful countryside and small, white-washed villages. There were plenty of opportunities for swimming and snorkelling in turquoise seas to work up an appetite for the delicious and healthy Mediterranean evening food at atmospheric tavernas. I loved being lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the boat at our evening moorings.

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

Limit your luggage, as there is very little storage space. Book early if you want to have a double bed, as the bunk room is rather snug, but cosy.

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

Yes. We ate at small, family-run tavernas to benefit local commerce and most of the time we travelled under the power of sails or our own legs. Annie took care to let us know about local flora on our hikes.

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

Excellent. Annie and Sotiris were excellent hosts and ensured that the trip ran smoothly. On the one day that the wind was too strong for sailing, we had a busy sightseeing day instead.

review 8 Oct 2018

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

The first 2 days of the trip were glorious! Beautiful less visited islands & fishing villages. Our walking guide Yannis & Captain Soteris made sure we visited areas & restaurants off the beaten path, making for an authentic experience. We felt like locals! Our hikes were glorious but a bit challenging for my 76-year- old mother - think lose uneven gravel while climbing over rocks. I didn't have room to pack hiking boots so I did the hike in my slip-on sneakers which worked for me. The others on the trip had hiking boots & poles and stated they felt both were needed. Then we were unfortunate to have a cyclone come through the 2nd half of week preventing us from sailing much the Cyclades. Caption put our safety first ensuring we were moored in a protected port during gale force winds 10. Both Captian Soteris & our hiking guide Yannis made the best of a bad situation, going out of their way to make sure we still had a great time finding local ferries and activities on land to keep us engaged.

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

If you are booking a stateroom, you'll have others joining you. On our trip, we had a couple from Switzerland and a gentleman from Thailand join us. (We made lifelong friends!) Living quarters on boats are tight, so you'll have to flexible & respectful with others space. Be prepared to pool money for communal food (mainly lunch). Most meals (mainly dinner) on island are spent together along with the Captain & Guide.

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

Captian & Yannis went out of their way to support local businesses to ensure our money "was spread around" the islands. The boat focuses on recycling and minimizing our environmental impact on our trip.

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

Despite the terrible weather preventing us from sailing, I had a fantastic time. I truly feel like I got to know the real Greece and not the touristy version. If not for the cyclone, this would have been 5 stars!

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.

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