Paros Santorini Naxos 15 days bike & hike
Biking, hiking and touring on Paros, Naxos and Santorini, including excursions to Antiparos, Delos and Mykonos. In Paros was born the lyric poet Archilochos. Naxos became centre of the Venetian dukedom of the Archipelago. Delos was a Bethleem for the ancient religion: Here the god of light Apollo was born. Is Santorini the mythical Atlantis? "Island-hopping" at the coasts of light, biking by the see, through arid landscapes and lonely areas, walking on medieval paths, to archaic statues, along the crater’s border. It’s really (at least) as beautiful as shown in the pictures.
1st day: Athens
Arrival in Athens. Transfer to the hotel, where we spend this night.
2nd day: Boat to Paros. Biking tour in the north of the island
Early in the morning transfer to the harbour of Piraeus. On a comfortable Ferry we enjoy a nice trip towards the island of Paros (ca.5h). We move to our hotel in Parikia, the main village of the island, and take over our mountain bikes. In the afternoon we bike to the picturesque village of Nausa and have a walk through its old harbour-quarter. On an alternative road we go back to Parikia (22km, 200m up, easy to medium, A- B). In the evening we stroll through the labyrinth of allays of the traditional settlement to the little church of Constantine und Helena on the hill of the Kastro, where we can wait for the sunset and then we continue to our tavern. Three nights in Parikia
3rd day: Island tour by bike
First we bike to the ancient marble quarries of Marathi, where the famous Parian marble was extracted from underground pits. We continue to the inland village of Lefkes and walk through its traditional settlement. Through Prodromos-village we join the East coast. On a panoramic road (Photo stop always possible) and past nice beaches (where we can swim) we bike through Dryos, Aliki and Vutakos back to Parikia (50km, 450m up, medium to demanding, B- C).
4th day: The neighbouring island of Antiparos
Today’s biking tour passes the monastery of „Christos tu Dasus“, 180m, goes to the „Butterflies-valley“ (open only in summer time) and continues to Punta, at the strait between Paros and Antiparos. By ferry, we reach the neighbouring island. We bike to the cave, 160m, where we can read between the stalactites even the signature of the first, Bavarian king of modern Greece Othon. In the centre of the traditional settlement the medieval fortified village remains virtually intact. There are several beaches to choose for a swim. Late in the afternoon we go back ito Parikia (30km, 350m up, medium, B).
5th day: An early Christian church. Cycladic idols and archaic statues. To the volcanic island of Santorini
In the morning we visit the early Christian church of Panagia Katapoliani and the archaeological museum. At noon we take the ferry to Santorini (3h). The entry of the boat in the caldera (the closed bay formedt by the eruption of the volcano, that is the crater of the always active volcano itself) will be an overwhelming experience. Transfer from the harbour of Athinios to Kamari on the east coast of the island (10km). Dinner at a tavern. Three nights in Kamari
6th day: Medieval villages. Fira, the capital of the island. Hiking along the border of the crater. The marvel of Oia
We drive to the medieval villages of Pyrgos und Emporio, walk through their picturesque settlements. Short stop at Saint Nicolas Marmaras, a small ancient temple, transformed into a Christian church. We continue to Fira, the island’s capital (ca. 25km). Short guided walk, then free time to stroll around and visit the museums. After lunch, we hike on a panoramic path, along the border of the crater and over the small Elias-mountain to Oia (3h, 360m up, easy, B+). Free time to enjoy a walk around one of the most picturesque villages of the world. Transfer back to Kamari (19km)
7th day: Ancient Thera, one of the most impressive excavation sites in Greece.
From Kamari we walk to Ancient Thera on Mesa Vuno-mountain, 369m. Here we visit the ruins of the ancient city. Its location makes it one of the most impressive excavation sites in Greece. We go down on a path which passes by the small church of Zoodochos Pigi (3h30`, easy, B+). The rest of the day will be at our disposal. We have the opportunity to visit the active volcano on the island of Nea Kameni. Transfer to Fira (5km). On the donkey path we go down to the old harbour. Short boat trip to Nea Kameni-island, where the volcano is still smouldering. We walk there and back to Georgios-crater, 127m (1h, easy, A+)., witnessing a unique geological phenomenon, and one shudders at the thought of sitting on an active volcano. Back to Fira. From the harbour to the village we can walk, ride or use the cableway. Transfer back to Kamari (8km)
8th day: To Naxos.The island’s capital
We take the ferry- direct or with a stop on Ios- to Naxos (2h30'). City tour in the capital of the island (Chora of Naxos). The castle was the seat of the dukes of Naxos during the Venetian period. The formerly Jesuit monastery houses the archaeological museum with its rich Cycladic idol collection. The best sunset view is by the Portara (“Big Door”), at the ruins of the temple of Apollo- or at one of the taverns by the harbour promenade. Six nights at the town of Naxos
9th day: Biking tour in the south west of the island
First we bike across a fertile plane. Here, near the Chora, a temple of Dionysus has been excavated. We bike through the picturesque village of Agios Arsenios, then through Tripodes and soon we reach the highest point of the day’s tour (170m). After a longer, panoramic downhill ride we reach the Bay of Aliko with its beautiful sandy beach (where we can take a bath). Along the west coast, partially on lonely tracks, we bike through Agia Anna back to Naxos town (38km, 220m up, medium, B).
10th day: Impressive biking tour in the inland
We bike to Melanes on the asphalt road and continue on a narrow track to Flerio, where the ancient marble statue of a young man lies in a beautiful garden waiting for visitors. We continue on the road, pass the marble-quarries and the village of Kinidaros, then the highest point of the day’s tour (480m), and reach the Byzantine church of Panagia Drossiani. Very old olive-trees stand on the Tragaea-plateau, Venetian family towers in its villages. Behind Chalki we traverse a bizarre, rocky landscape; on a hill stand the ruins of the fortress of Epano Kastro. After traversing the three villages of Potamia-valley, we gain the Chora of Naxos (40km, 600m up, medium to demanding, B- C)
11th day: To an abandoned Episcopal church and to the sanctuary of a pagan goddess
A nice mountain bike tour. From Naxos-town, on roads and on narrow tracks, we reach the now-days abandoned former Episcopal church of St. Mammas. After traversing the main road we continue to the Demeter-sanctuary near Sangri. Through a lonely landscape, we reach again the main road near Damarionas. We pass the Pyrgos (tower) of Belonia-family, traverse the village of Tripodes and reach the west coast near Plaka. Through Kalamuria we gain the town of Naxos (50 km, 500m up, medium to demanding, B- C)
12th day: Day off. Optional boat trip to Delos and Mykonos
Delos was a Bethlehem for the ancient religion (birth-place of Apollo, the god of light, music and oracles for the Greeks), later an international commerce and shipping centre of the ancient world, today the most important excavation in the Aegean Sea. Mykonos has a beautiful Cycladic settlement; it is famous today for some sandy beaches and its intense night life as well.
13th day:Rough mountain landscape, lonely villages, Byzantine churches and a very old young man.
Full day excursion to the mountains and the northern part of the island. We visit a pottery in the village of Damalas, traverse the plateau of Tragea driving through its main village Chalki, then along the slopes of Zas-mountain through Filoti to Apirathos. After a short stay at the amphitheatrically-shaped mountain village, we continue through the Emery-villages Koronos and Skado to Koronis, 550m (40km). From here we can walk down to Apollon village (2h, easy, B+) and have a swim. Near the village the two-and-half-thousand-years-old marble statue of a young man still lies in the quarry. On a panoramic road along the N, NW coast we drive back to Naxos town (35km)
14th day: Back to Athens
In the morning we leave by ferry to Piraeus (ca. 5h). Transfer to our hotel. In the afternoon free time to visit Athens.
Transfer to the airport
Insurance: Participants should be covered by their own personal travel-health insurance and prior to the trip. The personal insurance must at least cover medical expenses as well as air rescue and the cost of repatriation.
Alpine Travel is not responsible for any accidents or mishaps directly or indirectly related to the tour.
(See Terms & Conditions)
Period: From April to October 2013.
Transportation: We travel by our own mini-bus, which leaves us to walk and continues, with our baggage, to the next place where we will stay for the night.
Accommodation: Hotels in the cities, village pensions throughout the trip (all with private facilities).
The trip prices are based on double occupancy.
Food: Every morning we have breakfast in the hotels, picnic lunch en route and a dinner at local tavern. (Vegetarians are welcome on the trips)
Group Size: 6-16 participants.