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Holidays

Self-Guided Walking on Santorini & Naxos

Greece
Available Departures: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

8 days from

US$970

without flights
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Explore Santorini & Naxos and delve into Greek history on this one week self-guided walking holiday

Trip Code: SGSN
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking on Santorini & Naxos

Highlights
  • Island hop sun-kissed Greek islands from Santorini to Naxos
  • Hike to the summit of Mount Zas (1003m), the highest point of the Cyclades, for 360 degree views
  • Discover the ancient sites of Thira and Akrotiri, and the statues of Kouros
  • Explore the contrasts of volcanic terrain and lush valleys in this unique landscape
  • Hotel upgrade option available

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days walking & sightseeing
  • Daily departures available
  • Join In Santorini

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 3 nights Hotel with swimming pool
  • 4 nights Hotel
Overview

The islands of the Cyclades are the epitome of quintessential Greek island paradise: think of iridescent lapis lazuli seas, white-washed buildings with classic blue shutters reflecting the colours of the Greek flag, and stunning beaches galore. Immerse yourself into Greek history and mythology on your daily walks and get a real taste of traditional life in the countryside. Combine this with the friendly welcome you’ll be sure to receive, and wonderful fresh Mediterranean cuisine, you won’t want to leave.


On this one week self-guided walking holiday you will spend 3 nights in Santorini, discovering its volcanic landscapes and the remnants of one of the largest eruptions in history. Your walks on Santorini take you to the quiet interior via ancient Thira and along the cliffs of the old caldera from Fira to Oia, with the opportunity to visit the Archaeological Museum to learn of the fascinating history and heritage of the island. You then take the ferry on to Naxos for 4 nights, to explore the fertile slopes which produce abundant Greek staples including olives, figs and grapes. Your walking week will culminate with a climb to the summit of Mount Zas (1003m), the highest point of the Cyclades, for a glorious panorama of Naxos and the surrounding islands.

Your holiday is arranged in comfortable, perfectly located 2* and 3* hotels on a B&B basis, allowing you to sample the delicious cuisine at local tavernas and restaurants of your choice.

Is this holiday for you?

This holiday is perfect for you if you love to explore on foot at your own pace. Your daily excursions will take you on hilly to mountainous terrain, walking around 4-5 hours each day, with some days offering the option to extend your day’s walk. The biggest climb of the week is to achieve the summit of Mount Zas (1003m). Paths are well kept, generally on a mix of unsurfaced tracks, cobbled path …

This holiday is perfect for you if you love to explore on foot at your own pace. Your daily excursions will take you on hilly to mountainous terrain, walking around 4-5 hours each day, with some days offering the option to extend your day’s walk. The biggest climb of the week is to achieve the summit of Mount Zas (1003m). Paths are well kept, generally on a mix of unsurfaced tracks, cobbled paths, and some short sections on tarmac roads. Due to the nature of the landscape some trails are positioned on steep ground with some exposure. With two comfortable hotel bases over the week (and the option to upgrade your hotels), you’ll have the opportunity to explore the locality at your leisure and relax after your day’s walk.

Why KE?

This fabulous dual-island holiday starts in Santorini, allowing you to relax and settle in for a few days before hopping on to Naxos for the second half of the week. Staying in comfortable, perfectly located hotels and with the option to upgrade your accommodation, you can really make this holiday your own.

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Itinerary

Arriving to Santorini Airport, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in Akrotiri. Drink in the views of colourful steep cliffs draped with whitewashed villages for your first impression of this volcanic island. The caldera is believed to have been formed some 3600 years ago in a massive eruption which is thought to have ended the civilisation of the early Minoan inhabitants.

Depending on your time of arrival, you may wish to stretch your legs with a short circular walk from Akrotiri along the caldera, or perhaps discover the history of Akrotiri with an optional visit to the nearby Akrotiri Archaeological Site.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Ascent

150 M

Descent

150 M

Time

1 hour

Distance

3 KM

After breakfast, take an included transfer to Perissa, from where you will commence today's walk. Beginning your ascent early, you will climb a well-trodden path up to the saddle between Profitis Ilias, the highest point of the island, and Ancient Thira. Having escaped the devastation of the eruption which shaped Santorini to its current form, this area provides a window into the past. While optional, a visit to the excavations of Ancient Thira is not one to miss. The vista from this elevated position is certainly breath-taking.

Your route then descends into the quiet interior of the island, through vineyards and picture postcard villages en route back to Akrotiri village. Enjoy the sea views to the west and east along your way.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

580 M

Descent

550 M

Time

5-6 hours

Distance

13 KM

This morning you will journey by public bus to the capital of Santorini: Fira (or Thira). In Fira, we suggest an optional visit to the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera to learn more about the island's past and heritage. Take the time to explore the narrow alleys and discover this vibrant town with its majestic views over the surrounding cliffs, and enjoy a leisurely lunch here before taking your afternoon walk along the caldera edge to reach the pretty town of Oia. Walking along on well-maintained paths, you will no doubt gawp at the extensive views over the azure lagoon, but remember to watch your step! Positioned at the northern end of the island, Oia is famed for its stunning sunsets, with the dipping sun lighting up the blood-red cliffs. Enjoy a sundowner before your private transfer collects you to return to your hotel in Akrotiri.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

275 M

Descent

365 M

Time

3 hours

Distance

11 KM

Enjoy a relaxed morning today before your onward travel to Naxos. This is an opportunity to visit the nearby Archaelogical Site if you have not done so already, or perhaps you might like to stretch your legs with a final walk along the caldera beach.

In the afternoon you will be transferred to the ferry port for the 2.5 hour journey to Naxos, where you will be transferred from the port to your hotel in Chora/Naxos town for the next four nights. Once settled in, take a short walk from the port to Chrisostomos Monastery, offering wonderful views over the town. Alternatively, you may simply prefer to orientate yourself in Chora with a visit to the Venetian Kastro in Naxos old town and explore the castle and its surrounding alleys.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

130 M

Descent

130 M

Time

2 hours

Distance

5 KM

Catch a local bus or a taxi to Chalki this morning. Positioned in the heart of the mountainous Tragaea region, arriving in Chalki feels like stepping back in time. You'll have time to explore Chalki and admire the pretty architecture of the old mansions and churches, an echo of the wealth and power it had in its past as the island's capital.

Your walk today will take you to Melanes; along the cobbled way you will discover the historic olive groves of the region, the old Venetian fortress Ano Kastro, and an ancient marble quarry where you will find a 10m statue of Kouros dating back to the 6th century BC! From Melanes you can take a bus or taxi directly back to Chora, or you also have the option to extend your walk if you wish, either through lush valleys to Potamia village and back to the start point of Chalki, or a slightly shorter extension via Potamia to Galanado from where you can take the bus back to Chora.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

150 M

Descent

150 M

Time

3-4 hours

Distance

10 KM

Today's walk is a leisurely, mostly downhill journey from Kynidaros to the village of Eggares. From Chora, transfer by local bus or taxi to the small settlement of Kynidaros, surrounded by vineyards and olive, oak and plane trees, as well as the nearby marble quarries which remains one of the main sources of income for its residents. It is the quality marble from these quarries which brought prosperity to the region.

Heading in a westerly direction and descending towards the coast, your route takes you along a river valley to your objective for the day, the village of Eggares where you can visit the Olive Oil Museum. One of Naxos's oldest olive mills, take a tour here and sample the olive oil produced at this very press as well as other olive products, and enjoy a refreshing drink and maybe a sweet treat at the on-site cafe.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

80 M

Descent

470 M

Time

2-3 hours

Distance

7 KM

Today is the big one, the zenith of your week of Greek island walking! Your walk starts from the village of Filoti, at the foothills of Mount Zas (also known as Mount Zeus), the highest mountain in the Cyclades at 1003m altitude. Legend has it that Zeus, the great Greek God and father of all gods was raised on this mountain; and it was upon this summit that he was given his lightning bolt by an eagle, granting him his power and thus the title of the ruler of Olympus, the home of the gods.

A steady climb on clear tracks marked with cairns and waymarkers will take you to the summit, from where you can drink in 360 degree views over Naxos and the surrounding islands, a fantastic reward for your efforts. On your descent you will pass the fortified monastery of Fotodoti, which looks more akin to a fortress than a place of worship! Founded on the ruins of an early Christian basilica dating back to the 6th century AD, it is the oldest church on Naxos, with preserved frescoes in its interior. The monastery celebrates the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ on 6th August, welcoming visitors and pilgrims. Ending your walk at the village of Apiranthos you can kick back at a café here and enjoy a refreshing drink before returning to Naxos town via local bus, and celebrate the end of a wonderful week of walking.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

770 M

Descent

520 M

Time

5 hours

Distance

13 KM

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast today and perhaps relax on the beach or take a final wander through the streets of Naxos town, before transferring to the port for your scenic ferry back to Santorini and be transferred to the airport for your departure flight home (flights should be booked departing after 19:00 on this day). You can also extend your stay in Santorini if you wish, just ask our sales team for a quote.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Boat

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Transfers as described
  • Transfer from hotel in Santorini to Perissa on Day 2
  • Transfer from Oia to hotel in Santorini on Day 3
  • Ferry from Santorini to Naxos on Day 4
  • Ferry from Naxos to Santorini on Day 8
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes

  • Travel insurance
  • Tourist taxes may apply and are usually under 5 Euros per room per night
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Entrance fees
  • Transfers by local bus or taxi
  • Personal equipment

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

The trip starts and ends at Santorini. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airport for this trip is Santorini Airport with many departures from regional UK airports. You will be met at Santorini Airport on Day 1 and taken to the first night's hotel in Akrotiri. At the end of the holiday, the ferry from Naxos arrives to Santorini in the afternoon. You will be transferred from the port to Santorini Airport, please book your flight to depart after 19:00 on the final day of your holiday.

This trip is on a bed and breakfast basis to allow you the most flexibility during your holiday.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Greek food has a vast culinary influence throughout Europe and beyond thanks to its ancient traditions making for an excellent mix of tasty Mediterranean dishes alongside a fantastic range of fresh vegetables and salads. Greek food tends to be influenced by the seasons and geography with local menus on the islands including plentiful fresh seafood, fava, olives, aubergines, fresh cheeses, filled filo pastries, lamb and poultry, plus don’t forget the excellent breads to dip in taramasalata and tzatziki. All accompanied by a glass of locally produced wine of course.

For those with a sweet tooth you can look forward to the delights of buttery Baklava, a filo pastry tart layered with nuts and butter soaked in syrup after baking, or the delicious Amygdalota almond cookies- perfect with a cup of coffee.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

During this trip we spend 3 nights on Santorini and 4 nights on Naxos on a bed and breakfast basis, allowing you the flexibility to enjoy the many fantastic restaurants around. Each of the small, family-run 2* and 3* hotels we use has been chosen for its location and standard of service. All the hotels offer comfortable en-suite bedrooms and great communal areas including restaurant/bar and outdoor areas to enjoy these sun-kissed isles, in Akrotiri the hotel has a pool.

It is possible to arrange additional nights accommodation if you would like to extend your stay on Santorini. Please speak to one of our sales team for further details.

During high season you may be booked into an alternative accommodation of a similar standard in the area.

WHY NOT TREAT YOURSELF TO A HOTEL UPGRADE?
On this trip we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to upgrade your accommodation to 3* and 4* hotels. Perfect if you are looking to treat yourself for a special occasion, or simply prefer to travel with a little more luxury. In Akrotiri, Santorini you will stay in the 4* Goulielmos Hotel in garden view room with private balcony or terrace. Goulielmos Hotel has a contemporary, stylish décor and boasts an outdoor pool with magnificent views overlooking the caldera. You will also spend 4 nights in the 3* Naxos Resort Hotel in a garden view room with private balcony or terrace. This hotel is perfectly situated for Agios Georgios Beach and offers extensive facilities including bar & restaurant, outdoor pool, wellness area and gym.

Please speak to one of our sales team to find out more. Please note that hotels are subject to availability and an alternative of a similar standard may be offered.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. Luggage with wheels is useful for this holiday. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

The advantage of a self-guided walking holiday is that you decide the pace however, getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable your walks will be. You should be comfortable with walking 4 to 5 hours for consecutive days on varied terrain. Some of the routes are along rugged and high paths where surefootedness and a head for heights is required to enjoy the views.

The Cyclades region experiences a Mediterranean climate, with hot, sunny summers with daytime temperatures averaging 27 C, and mild, moderately rainy winters. With this in mind the optimum time to undertake this walking holiday is during the spring and autumn seasons (September to mid-October) where temperatures are more comfortable. The winds of the Meltemi during the summer season helps to make the temperatures feel more comfortable.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

Greek Islands – Lonely Planet

The Cyclades: Discovering the Greek Islands of the Aegean by John Freely

Fire in the Sea: The Santorini Volcano: Natural History and the Legend of Atlantis by Walter Friedrich and Alexander McBirney

The Santorini Odyssey by Peg Maddocks

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

  • Hiking boots with good grip soles

  • Functional base layer

  • T-shirts

  • Hat

  • Windproof jacket

  • Fleece / extra layer

  • Long/short hiking trousers

  • Hiking socks

  • Waterproof Jacket

  • Waterproof Trousers

  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)

  • Small first aid kit for your rucksack

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle or hydration pack

  • Camera (batteries/memory card)

  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)

  • Power bank

  • Waterproof phone cover

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal wash kit

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags

  • Tupperware for picnics

  • Walking poles

  • Headtorch & spare batteries

  • Your self-guided route notes

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

More Information

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More Information

Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons in double or twin occupancy, however we can quote for any number of travellers, including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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