Discover two of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades in one trip: Santorini and Naxos. Santorini feels like no other place on earth: an ancient island that endured one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history. Here everything is brighter: the whitewashed cube-shaped houses, the lapis lazuli sea and the sunsets that light up the caldera. Naxos is an island of contrasts: on the one hand you have the lively town and beaches of Naxos town with its excitement and on the other hand there is the countryside where life is still very traditional.
♦ Mt. Zas - the highest mountain in Naxos island with breath-taking views of olive-orchards around you that are in sharp contrast with the deep blue Aegean Sea
♦ The steep cliffs of Santorini with layers in all colors
♦ Ancient Thira - the capital of the Santorini island in Ancient and Roman times
Day 1. From Athens to Naxos
Arrival at Athens Airport and transfer to the port of Piraeus from where you leave per ferry in the late afternoon to Naxos. The ferry takes 5,5 hrs and you arrive around midnight on Naxos. In case your flight does not allow traveling to Naxos on the same day, you have to book an extra night in Athens and you travel to Naxos the next day in the early morning. Overnight in Naxos.
Day 2. Walk from Chalki to Melanes
You take a taxi or public bus to Chalki, located in the center of the Tragea plain. Today you explore this fertile inner land of Naxos with olive groves and rich vegetation. There are some olive trees that are over thousand years old! You walk on cobbled paths via the Venetian Fortress Ano Kastro to an ancient marble quarry where you find a 10m tall statue of an unfinished Kouros from the 6th century BC! The walk ends in the nearby village Melanes from where you take a taxi or public bus back to the hotel. Overnight in Naxos.
Hiking time: 3,5/4,5/7 hours, uphill 150 m/300 m/400 m, downhill: 150 m/350 m /400 m, appr. 10 km/14 km/19 km
Day 3. Walk to Mt. Zas
Todays walk starts from Filoti that you reach per taxi or public bus. From this village, built at the foothills of Mt. Zas, you start your walk to the summit of this legendary mountain. You may witness the cave in which according to the legend, Zeus, the father of all the gods, was nursed by an eagle. After your descend you optionally continue the walk to Apiranthos. From Apiranthos you may walk back via the saddle of Mt. Fanari to Filoti; a beautiful walk with breathtaking views! Overnight in Naxos.
Uphill 500 m/900 m, downhill: 500 m/900 m, appr. 13 km/19 km
Day 4. From Naxos to Santorini
You travel from Naxos to Santorini. The ferry usually departs around noon and arrives 3 hours later on Santorini. In the morning you may visit the Castle in Naxos town (Chora) and visit the museum here. Or you can relax on the sandy beach of Agios Georgios. You enter the submersed crater of this old volcano by ferry boat and this is an unforgettable experience. You will be impressed by the steep coloured cliffs and the whitewashed villages on top. It is said that the eruption, 3.600 years ago, ended the Minoan Civilization. Overnight in Santorini.
Day 5. Walk from Perissa to Akrotiri
A transfer will take you to Perissa from where you start climbing via an old path to a windy saddle. This part is one of the very few places that exists from before the devastating volcanic outburst. You walk up to Ancient Thira. The location is really fantastic! Then you descend via an old path to the quiet inner parts of the island. You walk through vineyards (Santorini produces top class wines!) and along picturesque villages. Through this landscape of volcanic
ashes and along the black beach you walk back to Akrotiri village. Overnight in Santorini.
Hiking time: 5,5 hours, uphill 580 m, downhill: 550 m, appr. 13 km
Day 6. Walk from Fira to Oia
You travel per public bus to Fira, the capital of Santorini. Here you can explore the narrow alleys of this whitewashed town, built on the top of the volcanic cliffs. It houses a couple of interesting museums, such as the museum of prehistoric Thira and the Archaeological Museum. In the afternoon you make the famous walk from Fira to Oia. This walk allows you fabulous views of the lagoon and the spectacular cliffs with its massive drops. Most of the walk is via a really nice wide mule-path. From Oia you will be picked up and get a transfer back to the hotel. Overnight in Santorini.
Hiking time: 3 hours, uphill 300 m, downhill: 400 m, appr. 10,3 km
Day 7. Round walk from Akrotiri and travel from Santorini to Athens
A last free morning in Akrotiri at leisure and possibility to visit the archaeological site of Akrotiri: the Greek Pompeji that opened in spring 2012 after it had been closed for many years. Transfer to the port from where you travel comfortably per modern ferry to Piraeus. The journey last around 8 hours. Upon arrival you will have an organized transfer per taxi to your centrally located hotel in Athens. Overnight in Athens.
Hiking time: 1,5 hours, uphill 135 m, downhill: 120 m, appr. 5,2 km
Day 8. Departure
Depending on your flight departure today, you may have time to pay a visit to the Acropolis and the
Acropolis Museum before you travel per metro or bus to the airport.
April and June and September to the end of October. In the summer months it gets very hot. Please note: There is an additional tourism tax of 0,50 EUR per room per night for 2* and 1,50 EUR per room per night for 3* hotels and 3,00 EUR for 4* hotels. This is payable on the spot upon arrival.
The walks are mostly unsurfaced tracks; Cobbled mule-paths, footpaths,and some tarmac roads.