Greek Island Hopper

From: $3,899

per person dbl occ

Dates: Apr-Oct - see all dates

Total Days: 9

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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Price:

2014

REI member: $3,899

Non-member: $4,199

2015

REI member: $3,999

Non-member: $4,299

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $799 limited availability

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Apr 18–26
  • May 3–11
  • May 17–25
  • May 24 – Jun 1 Sold out
  • May 31 – Jun 8
  • Jun 7–15
  • Jun 14–22
  • Jun 21–29
  • Jun 28 – Jul 6
  • Jul 12–20
  • Aug 23–31
  • Aug 30 – Sep 7
  • Sep 6–14 Sold out
  • Sep 13–21
  • Sep 20–28
  • Oct 4–12

2015

  • May 2–10
  • May 9–17
  • May 16–24
  • May 23–31
  • May 30 – Jun 7
  • Jun 13–21
  • Jun 20–28
  • Jun 27 – Jul 5
  • Jul 11–19
  • Aug 22–30
  • Aug 29 – Sep 6
  • Sep 5–13
  • Sep 19–27
  • Oct 3–11

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-16

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Hotels, 8 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Hop from island to island in Greece's beautiful Cyclades
  • Visit the Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon
  • Explore Tinos, Naxos, Santorini, and more with local guides
  • Hike ancient trails among lush vineyards, terraces hillsides, and olive groves
  • Dine on delightful Greek meals, accented with olives, cheeses, nuts, and honey.

Spectacular sunsets, fascinating history, rocky landscapes, and welcoming people draw us to the Cyclades, the most beautiful islands in the Aegean Sea. From fishing villages adorned with blue-shuttered, whitewashed houses to the crystalline sea bordered by white, black, and red sandy beaches, our journey visits the very best places.

Starting in Athens, explore the ancient ruins of the Acropolis and Parthenon before speeding off to the islands of Tinos and Naxos, where vineyards, terraced hillsides, and olive groves reach to the sea. Our last island stop is Santorini, world famous for its dramatic crater and brilliant sunsets. Each day we hike winding footpaths, soak up huge vistas, enjoy relaxing swims, and delight in scrumptious Greek meals.

The ancient Greeks had it right: Life really doesn't get any better than this!

Traveling with kids under 18? Check out our Greek Islands Family Adventure.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Athens! Take a walking tour of the historic Plaka.
  • Day 2 - Explore the Acropolis and Parthenon. Ferry to Tinos Island.
  • Day 3 - Hike through whitewashed villages and among terraced vineyards.
  • Day 4 - Hike trails on Naxos that blend history with modern day village life.
  • Day 5 - Hike to the summit of Mt. Zas for views worthy of the gods.
  • Day 6 - Ferry to Santorini, known for its spectacular sunsets.
  • Day 7 - Hike from Fira to Oia, along the crater's edge high above the sea.
  • Day 8 - Explore Santorini's famous red and black sand beaches or shop in town.
  • Day 9 - Depart or continue your explorations of this ancient country.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Athens! Take a walking tour of the historic Plaka.

    Your trip begins today in Athens, Greece. Arrive in Athens by 4 p.m. and transfer on your own to our hotel near the Plaka (about an hour by taxi). Early this evening we meet in the hotel lobby for a group orientation followed by a short walking tour of the Plaka, the shopping district located in the oldest part of Athens. Dinner tonight is at a traditional Greek tavern serving delicious family-style meals. You may want to leave the USA a day or two early to allow for more time to explore this fascinating city prior to leaving for the islands. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - Explore the Acropolis and Parthenon. Ferry to Tinos Island.

    After breakfast we enjoy a half day of sightseeing the famous sites of Athens including the Acropolis and the Parthenon. We stop for lunch by the port of Rafina, an area that specializes in delicious, fresh seafood. In the late afternoon we travel by high-speed catamaran for about 2.5 hours to the island of Tinos and the true start of our island hopping adventure. Tinos, in ancient times, was known as Hydroussa and Offiousa, because of its abundance of water (hydor) and snakes (ofis). According to mythology, Poseidon, who was the island's protector, freed it of snakes. As a sign of gratitude the islanders worshipped the god Poseidon and his wife, the sea goddess, Amphitrite. In the area of Kionia the ruins of the temple complex of Poseidon and Amphitrite which dates back to the 5th century B.C. can be seen. After arriving at the terminal on Tinos, we transfer to our hotel in Agios Fokas overlooking the sea. There is free time to rest or explore until the group meets for dinner. Look for examples of the island's famous dovecotes. These interesting structures were used to house flocks of doves. In medieval Europe the possession of a dovecote was a symbol of status and power. The doves were an important source of food and their droppings were a coveted fertilizer. All meals included.

    Bus and walking tour of Athens: 3 - 4 hours; Ferry to Tinos: 1 hour 10 minutes.

  • Day 3 - Hike through whitewashed villages and among terraced vineyards.

    Today we will take in the sights of beautiful beaches, terraced vineyards and whitewashed houses. After transferring to the village of Feletados, we hike to an overlook behind a monastery for stunning views of the Aegean Sea. Hiking on trails through small villages, we'll stop to linger over Greek coffee and visit with the gracious locals. Then it's on to the village of Volax, almost hidden in the middle of rounded, granite boulders, a geological phenomenon that sets it apart from the rest of Greece. Volax is noted for its traditional handmade woven baskets. A footpath winds down the valley to Agapi. We return to our hotel in the late afternoon where we can use our free time to explore the seaside near our hotel, swim or relax by the pool. This evening we'll head to Tinos town to explore its cobbled streets before dinner. Don't miss a visit to the famous Church of Panagia Evangelista (or Church of the Virgin Mary). The white marble church draws thousands of pilgrims to view its miracle-working icon discovered in 1823 after the Virgin Mary appeared in a series of visions to a local nun. Tonight we have a chance to sample the cuisine at a local tavern in town. Tinos is known for homemade cheeses, honey and local sausages. All meals included. Driving: 2 hours.

    Walking/hiking: 4.5 hours

  • Day 4 - Hike trails on Naxos that blend history with modern day village life.

    We transfer by ferry boat to Naxos Island, the largest and most fertile of the Cyclades, where meadows open into immense beaches. The island's marble was once highly prized for sculpture and often exported. We arrive in Naxos around 1 p.m. and check into our hotel on the beach of St. George. This afternoon we enjoy a lovely hike that literally begins in the backyard of a local family's home at the site of Kouros of Melanes statue. The unfinished kouros statues of Naxos are world renown. Historians deem that these incomplete statues depicting young men were supposed to support a temple roof. Ultimately the project was abandoned by the ancient sculptors due to faults in the marble and stone. It is believed that they were used to depict local heroes, or possibly the god Dionysus who inhabited the island according to mythology. The statues have not been moved from the location where they were found over 2500 years ago! We follow the footpath to the picturesque village of Ano Potamia and enjoy a refreshing break at the village spring before continuing onto the Apano Kastro (Upper Castle) where we drink in big views of Naxos town and the port. We finish our hike in the village Halki with a visit to a small distillery that produces Kitron, the specialty liquor of Naxos. This hike nicely blends archaeological interests with modern day traditional Greek village life. All meals included. Ferry to Naxos: 1 hour 30 minutes; Driving time on Naxos: 1 hour; Hiking: 3 hours.

    Hiking: 3 hours

  • Day 5 - Hike to the summit of Mt. Zas for views worthy of the gods.

    We drive to the little chapel at Santa Marina where we start today's hardy hike to the summit of Mt. Zas (meaning Zeus), the highest point in the Cyclades at approximately 3,400', for views worthy of the gods. According to Greek mythology, the young Zeus was raised in a cave on this mountain. The trail starts as a dirt path and becomes a stone walkway at the top. The panorama from the summit is breathtaking! We enjoy a picnic lunch near the chapel, adding to our appreciation of flavorful Greek food eaten beneath the gorgeous Mediterranean sky. Then we continue hiking along a road to the village of Filoti, second-largest town on Naxos. We return to our hotel by taxi so we can devote the rest of the day to swimming or exploring. All meals included. Driving: 2 hours.

    Hiking: 4-5 hours

  • Day 6 - Ferry to Santorini, known for its spectacular sunsets.

    Linger over breakfast at our hotel (Greece has the best yogurt in the world!) or walk along the beach before catching our ferry at noon to Santorini, the fairest of the Cyclades islands. Santorini differs from the other islands due to its geological morphology, the result of a now-dormant volcano. In 2000 B.C. an eruption submerged the central part of the island, and the thriving civilization was destroyed. A huge underwater crater, called a caldera, was left behind. We arrive on Santorini around 3 p.m. and proceed to our hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free to admire the breathtaking view of the volcano and wander on your own. We meet in the evening for dinner. All meals included. Ferry from Naxos to Santorini: 2 hours.

  • Day 7 - Hike from Fira to Oia, along the crater's edge high above the sea.

    Today we hike from our hotel in Fira to the picturesque village of Oia. Set high above the sea, our hike begins on a stone path that turns into a dirt footpath while following the edge of the caldera. The views are tremendous – don't forget the camera! After stopping for lunch, late this afternoon we will arrive in Oia and explore its narrow passageways and quaint shops. This evening we transfer back to Fira, and the group will meet for dinner at a tavern overlooking the volcano. Looking for a late night? Santorini is definitely a fun nighttime destination! All meals included.

    Hiking: 5 hours.

  • Day 8 - Explore Santorini's famous red and black sand beaches or shop in town.

    We rise to our last morning in the enchanting Cyclades. The day is free to explore Santorini on your own. Visit one of the famous red or black sand beaches, the Akrotiri archaeological site, or do some last-minute shopping in town. The climate and volcanic soil on Santorini are perfect for growing grapes, making a visit to a local winery to taste the island's unique vintage a real pleasure. There is also an option to sea kayak in the clear blue waters of the Aegean - stunning rock formations and incredible views of the caldera are visual treats! We transfer to the airport in the mid- to late- afternoon (flight schedules vary by departure date) for our return to Athens. In Athens a farewell dinner provides a chance to celebrate our wonderful adventure to three of the most beautiful Greek Isles. All meals included.

  • Day 9 - Depart or continue your explorations of this ancient country.

    The trip concludes after breakfast this morning. Transfer on your own to the airport, or continue your stay to explore more of Greece. Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control. The final hiking selection is left up to the trip leader due to weather and trail conditions.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate. 

Price Includes

All accommodations and meals as noted in the daily itinerary; all transfers on the islands by private bus or taxi; half day sightseeing tour of Athens with entrance fees and a professional guide; skilled bi-lingual trip leader; high speed boat and ferry tickets and airline ticket Santorini-Athens economy class.

Not Included

Airfare to Athens Greece; airport transfers; optional side trips; optional taxis; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; trip cancellation insurance; alcoholic beverages; soft drinks or snacks; laundry; optional gratuities to guide(s) and items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should be experienced walkers/hikers in good physical condition, capable of walking 2-4 hours a day on rocky trails with some steep sections. Days 3 and 5 have longer hikes, up to 5 hours. The trails are well maintained, but can have loose and/or sharp rocks.

Weather

Spring and summer on the Cyclades Islands are sunny and warm. The daytime temperatures average 65-80° F though temperatures in the 90s are possible in the summer months. Nighttime temperatures cool off slightly to 60° F. Rain showers are rare, but it's often breezy on the coast.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Greek Island Hopper Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Luggage, wheels and retractable handle are recommended
  • Daypack to carry camera, water bottle, sunscreen, etc.
  • Luggage lock and luggage tags
  • Passport pouch or money belt
Outerwear
  • Midweight polar fleece sweater or light jacket
  • Rain jacket and pants, waterproof and breathable
Clothing
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Hiking pants, synthetic, quick drying
  • Hiking shorts, synthetic, quick drying
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit
Clothing Accessories
  • Bandana
  • Swimsuit cover-up
  • Sun hat
City Clothing
  • Lightweight, easily washable items for city wear
Footwear
  • Hiking boots, lightweight, broken-in, good ankle support
  • Beach sandals
  • Casual, comfortable shoes for evening
Accessories
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with high SPF
  • Sunglasses and leash
  • Two 1-quart water bottles
  • Toiletry kit
  • Personal first aid kit
Optional Accessories
  • Trekking poles or walking stick
  • Camera, memory and batteries
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Electrical adapter plug/converter
  • Travel pillow
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Beach towel

Things to Consider

  • Always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing and medications in your carry-on baggage in case your luggage is delayed.
  • This is a vehicle supported tour; your luggage is transported for you. Please pack your gear and clothing into one piece of luggage (plus daypack).
  • Make sure your hiking boots are broken-in, and bring moleskin Second Skin® or Blister Block® for foot treatment. Wearing thin liner socks made of silk or synthetic fibers under your regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters.
  • Hotels with swimming pools provide towels. For visits to the beach, you will need your own towel. Sarongs make excellent lightweight, quick drying, compact travel and beach towels. Another good option is the REI MultiTowel or similar.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresGreek Island Hopper
 
4.9

(based on 51 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Food (50)
  • Guides (50)
  • Well organized itinerary (49)
  • Activity level (45)
  • Group camaraderie (45)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (29), Avid adventurer (14), Casual/ recreational (7)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Destination (46), Active adventures (44), All the details planned for me (41), I liked the itinerary (41), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (27)

      Reviewed by 51 customers

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      4.0

      Nice vacation

      By SL

      from Windham, NH

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

          My husband and I went in mid-late September and enjoyed a perfect weather everyday.
          Our guides, Maria and Anna were professional and yet fun to hang out with. They were very organized. Love the variety of Greek cuisine introduced to us throughout the trip.
          Overall, the trip definitely met our expectations. But, we would love to have more free time allocated for self -exploration around each island, especially in Santorini. We also would prefer to start the hikes earlier in the morning.
          Kayaking in Santorini was an optional add-on which we highly recommend to anyone who wants to see the island from a different and yet equally beautiful view. Our guide was amazingly knowledgeable about the island and extremely accommodating. He took tons of pictures for everyone while we kayaked out in the water, so there was no need for bringing our own precious camera along. He even threw in a couple of nice surprises during the tour (we will not ruin the surprises here for those of you who will consider taking the kayak trip!).
          We regret not knowing about the Friday and Saturday night concerts usually held at the ancient amphitheater, Odeon, in Athens prior to our arrival to the city. We would have tried getting tickets for a concert there. The music sounded magnificent as we strolled around the Acropolis at night.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • wedding anniversary
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • hiking activities
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • bring comfortable hiking boots

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Wow! Trip of a Lifetime!!

          By dwnhillskr1220

          from Seattle, WA

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

              First of all, I will say that our guides were amazing. Sophia and Christos really made the trip for me. They took us to so many great places and really made the trip fun. They would order up all these different dishes at dinner and everyone in our group loved just about everything. As a vegetarian I wasn't sure what to expect, but many of the dishes were vegetarian or had a vegetarian option. Even when our guides could have spent time away from the group they chose to hang out with us. We all just had a really great time together.
              Everything was so well organized, transportation (whether by ferry, tour bus, or plane) was great, accommodations were very comfortable, high quality and unique.
              The hiking was great! We had a variety of ages and hiking levels and everyone was able to go at their own pace. It is a good idea to bring long pants as recommended, as some of the hikes got a bit shrubby and your legs can get a little scraped up. I was training for a marathon and didn't want to bring both running shoes and hiking boots, so I compromised and brought trail running shoes. These fit the bill for both activities and worked out perfectly. For someone with weak ankles I wouldn't recommend that, though the hiking most days wasn't all that technical.
              Speaking of which, for anyone who might be in training for a run, it's pretty doable, as long as you get up early and get your running in before the heat kicks in and the group meets for breakfast, typically by 8 or 9am.

              In closing, I'd like to say that Sophia often went above and beyond as a guide. I was staying on for several days after the REI trip on my own and she did some research and passed on helpful information for my extended stay. She was always making wonderful recommendations for shops, restaurants, and sight-seeing for when we had free time. She really seemed to enjoy hanging out with us and had such a wonderful sense of humor. She connected with everyone in our group and made each person feel important and included. She has continued to stay in touch since the trip and I think we all feel like we have gained a new friend. If there are merit increases based on performance or awards of any sort, Sophia certainly deserves the recognition. REI is lucky to have her.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • I have always wanted to travel to the Greek Islands and this seemed like a perfect way to experience Greece.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • So many things to choose from, but I would say hiking across the islands of Tinos and Naxos and experiencing ancient history while exploring such rugged, beautiful terrain. There were virtually no other tourists in most of the areas we hiked to. It felt like we had the trails and villages all to ourselves.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • From my experience REI Adventures are top notch. Our guides were local and fluent in English (and other languages). They were extremely knowledgeable and took us to restaurants, hikes, villages, etc. that you most likely would never find on your own. I had never done a group trip like this before and I loved it. You are traveling with like-minded people and amazing guides. I even opted for an unknown roommate and we both saved a little money and became fast friends. I would do an REI adventure trip again in a heartbeat.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great Trip

              By RBuendia

              from Seattle, WA

              About Me Avid Adventurer, Casual Adventurer

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

                  This is a great trip. I give it 4 stars because I think that covering three islands and Athens in nine days is a bit rushed. Transferring between islands does take up most of the day. Twelve days for this trip would be perfect since there are other places on the islands that would be fun to check out.

                  Our guides were Stephanos and Sylvia. They were fabulous. The logistics for this trip is nuts. Yet they handled it all with aplomb and grace. They're just super nice people and great fun to be with. Probably helped them that the 15 of us got along great.

                  Also highly recommend getting the Rick Steves app plus his podcasts on Athens and the major sites (Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, National Archeological Museum, the Agora, Athens City Walk etc).

                  Be careful if you take the Metro. Got my wallet picked on the way from the airport to Athens. It is a good value though since it was only 14 Euro to/from the airport. Well, unless you get your wallet picked.

                  Pack light. You're schlepping your stuff between islands. I just used a light, low cut, hiking shoes and quick dry shirts. Worked great.

                  The hikes are great fun, not too arduous as long as you're not a couch potato. They're eventually negative altitude gains since after getting to a peak you'll continue hiking down the valley to some small town. Make sure your camera is charged and you have extra memory cards.

                  The Acropolis ticket is good for 6 other sites around the Acropolis. The REI front office told me that to go to the trip hotel (Callirhoe) and pick it up since we arrived 3 days early. We did and the tickets weren't there. They were there the day before the trip but we couldn't see all 6 sites before we had to meet the group. May have to call the trip leader when you get to Athens.

                  The hotel we used was the Callirhoe Hotel. Nice enough hotel especially if you like hard mattresses. If it gets cool, the heater doesn't work. But they will provide blankets.

                  Food was wonderful and lots of it. Stephanos was always willing to get a special dish for folks with restrictions or preferences.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • I'm interested in history and Greece certainly has it in spades.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Greek yoghurt. Well, there are actually tons of highlights, but that Greek yoghurt was spectacular.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Research as much as possible about Greek history, mythology, and current events. Highly recommend the book "Greek Island Hopping, 2013" by Frewin Poffley. We checked out a copy from the library and took it with us on the trip. Lots of great info on history, mythology, and great spreads on the major archeological sites and museums. It also describes the islands and provides a map of the main town
                   
                  5.0

                  Great Trip

                  By TJ the adventurer

                  from Hudson, Wisconsin

                  About Me Avid Adventurer

                  Site Member

                  Pros

                  • Accommodations
                  • Activity Level
                  • Food
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides
                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

                      We had a great group of fellow travelers and our guides Maria and Anna were absolutely the best. Trip itinerary provided a good mix of historic sites, the rural beauty of the Greek Islands, and the must see touristy sites. Food was great and although this is not a difficult adventure trip there was enough hiking to wear off the extra calories. Not as much free time as the itinerary suggests.

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Active Adventures, Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                      • Visiting Greece and the Greek Islands was on my bucket list
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • Hiking through the small villages on Tinos and to the top of Mt Zeus on Naxos. Sea kayaking on our free day on Santorini.
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • Be prepared for the best food you've ever eaten. Pack water shoes and swim mask if you plan to swim (beaches can be rocky).

                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Amazing Trip

                      By MostInspired

                      from Mission Viejo, California

                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                      See all my reviews

                      Site Member

                      Pros

                      • Accommodations
                      • Activity Level
                      • Destinations
                      • Exceeded Expectations
                      • Food
                      • Fun Factor
                      • Group Camaraderie
                      • Guides
                      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

                          I really can't say enough good things about the trip. Let me say that I had scheduled several extra days at the end to see other things; however, I had such a good time that when the group parted ways, I was really sad to see them go.

                          I like to write so I will go on a bit. I arrived three days early to see more of Athens and was pleased when one of the group asked REI if others were coming early and they put us in touch with each other. Shortly afterward two of her friends arrived as well so we had a group of four to peruse Athens. I had already enjoyed an excellent time with my three new friends before the group trip even began.

                          Athens is a fun city. The people are friendly, it is relatively inexpensive and there are many neighborhoods, historical monuments and other cities within a day to explore. Our small group decided to take a day cruise trip that stopped at the islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina. It was a brief stop in each that allowed for a quick look around and shopping. It was a good preview of the island hopping to come. We ended up taking in other neighborhoods and sites including a metro ride to the complex of the 2004 Olympics.

                          We finally met up with our group which was comprised of 10 visitors and two guides. The visitors were the four of us, two other couples and a mother/daughter combo. After some basic introductions it was off to dinner and let the fun begin! Dinner was outstanding...the entrees just keep on coming and coming. Don't eat the bread...wait for the entrees to come!

                          Dinner concluded and we were encouraged to visit the Acropolis museum before gathering for the tour of the Acropolis and the Parthenon. The museum was great as was the latter two, although they were heavily crowed with tourists.

                          That complete, we grabbed our bags and boarded a bus for the port of Rafina to begin our island hopping.

                          So as not to bore you to tears, we spent two nights on each island and each was special in its own way.

                          The charming hotel on Tinos, the great hikes with amazing views. The cute little town that was easy and fun to navigate on foot. The food...yes the food was awesome.

                          Naxos island...similar to Tinos in some ways but much larger (the largest island in the Cyclades) in every way. Amazing hikes to the castle and Mt. Zeus, the beautiful resort and wonderful meals.

                          Then Santorini. I expected disappointment after reading so much about it, but it lived up to its billing. It is just so beautiful. Arriving on the ferry had the deck packed with people waiting to get a view and take pictures. What look like snow-covered cliffs are just more of the amazing white-washed hotels and homes that span the horizon. The resort with its 7-8 (how many?) pools was very relaxing yet just a five minute walk to the city of Fira. The outstanding food and amazing sunset dinner. The hike on the last day from Fira to Oia. So much to enjoy. The optional Sea Kayaking adventure recommended on the last day provided two of us that chose it with an amazing view of the crater from the ocean, however it made the last day very, very busy. Lastly Akrotiri...the city buried in volcanic ash and now being excavated was a special treat.

                          Soon after it was a quick flight back to Athens, followed by a late dinner and quick goodbyes.

                          The time flew by. I cannot recall the last time eight nights went by so fast. While it was pretty busy, there was time every afternoon and evening (except for dinner) to relax and do what one chooses and you can (and some did) opt out of some of the hikes. The hikes were great. Keep your expectations moderate. They were neither easy, nor especially demanding. Just enjoyable for those with an open mind interested in exploring the countryside and small villages.

                          A trip I will always cherish and never forget...For me, it lived up to its billing and then some. And I think I have some new friends for life to take from it as well. Thank you so much Dimitris and Maria for sharing your country and making our trip so special. Steve T.

                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                          • I'd had a trip to Europe on my mind for many months. My last job was miserable, I had money saved and I just needed to get away. Strangely enough, Greece was not on my radar. I read about trips in Switzerland and Ireland but only at the end did I notice this. The more I read, the more excited I became.
                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                          • The group camaraderie and destinations.
                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                          • I've heard May can be on the cool side and our September trip was on the hot side, yet without strong winds that some have experienced. It was fine with me, just an FYI to future travelers.
                           
                          5.0

                          Fabulous Trip

                          By ghart

                          from Louisville, KY

                          About Me Casual Adventurer, First-Time Adventurer

                          Pros

                          • Accommodations
                          • Activity Level
                          • Exceeded Expectations
                          • Food
                          • Group Camaraderie
                          • Guides
                          • Well Organized Itinerary

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

                              This was my first organized trip. I tend to be very organized and often plan trips for my friends. This was a complete joy to have some one else do all the work! I thought our guides were fabulous, the accommodations, food, balance between hiking, relaxing and shopping were great!

                              I can't wait for my next trip, thank your REI

                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Recommended by a Friend, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                               
                              5.0

                              Amazing in every way!

                              By bosco

                              from Ohio

                              About Me Avid Adventurer

                              Site Member

                              Pros

                              • Accommodations
                              • Activity Level
                              • Exceeded Expectations
                              • Food
                              • Group Camaraderie
                              • Guides
                              • Well Organized Itinerary

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

                                  Our guides, Dimitris and Sylvia, were amazingly well organized, knowledgeable, and fun to be with. They scored perfectly with accommodations and meal selections (restaurants and courses) and are incredibly sharing of their country and its history.

                                  All hikes were breezy--a welcome relief when hiking in cloudless conditions. Brings lots of sunscreen. While July was beginning to get 'warm', the near constant winds and cooler nights kept things comfortable.

                                  The elephant in the room? While Greece is struggling through the EU financial crisis, I never once felt unwelcomed or even the tiniest bit 'uneasy' about my security or safety. This includes the extras days traveling solo tacked on both ends of our trip. Everyone was warm, gracious, and helpful!

                                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                  • We were part of a group where one member was committed to traveling Greece. Being on our bucket list as well, plus past experience with REI travel, plus excellent reviews made it an easy choice. This is our second REI trip and won't be our last. While continents apart, both trips were planned out to the last possible detail. It is so fantastic to have a "personal" guide take you through the sites and back roads of amazing countries! You get to enjoy all country has to offer while the guides sweat the details on transportation, lodging, and always amazing restaurants.
                                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                  • The hikes through amazing countryside and the unforgettable food!
                                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                  • Arrive a couple days early, stay a couple extra days. Greece has so much to offer!
                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Simply Outstanding

                                  By jcrun

                                  from Richmond, VA

                                  About Me Casual Adventurer

                                  Site Member

                                  Pros

                                  • Accommodations
                                  • Exceeded Expectations
                                  • Food
                                  • Guides
                                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

                                      First and foremost, our guides Dmitris and Dafni were truly superb. From beginning to end, our trip was fun and fulfilling as a result of their attention to detail, knowledge, and enthusiasm. The history and scenery of Athens and the Cyclades cannot be adequately described, but suffice to say my wife and I were constantly amazed by the places and people we encountered on this trip. The itinerary is organized so well that we felt like we were able to take full advantage of every minute, with an appropriate mix of planned activity and free time. The local food was expertly chosen by our guides and served family style, making mealtime just as enjoyable as every other part of the trip.
                                      Bottom Line: we give this trip our strongest possible recommendation.

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • History, scenery, beaches.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • The food.
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • Book this trip.

                                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      4.0

                                      beautiful, nwindy Greek coast

                                      By San Diego Lin

                                      from encinitas, california

                                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                                      Pros

                                      • Accommodations
                                      • Activity Level
                                      • Food
                                      • Group Camaraderie
                                      • Guides
                                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

                                          So much was great about this trip, partaicularly the guides, the food, the fellow hikers--but there were a few things I would have liked to know in advance (none of them could have been changed by REI)--the winds were strong and relentless, daily and made
                                          the hike up Mt.Zeus very difficult for some of us (winds were recorded at 40 mph that day and I understand this is not unusual)--and the water, while refreshing after a day of hiking, was quite cold, both in the sea and the hotel pools--the ocean floor was very rocky on all the beaches we visited, so I would recommend water shoes for a more comfortable swim

                                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                          • I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                          • an oppoprtunity to see the Greek islands
                                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                          • hiking, history, the guides and my fellow hikers
                                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                          • Bring a hat w a tie and water shoes for the rocky sea bottom

                                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          Book this Trip.. today

                                          By Southernbelle95

                                          from Alabama

                                          About Me First-Time Adventurer

                                          Pros

                                          • Accommodations
                                          • Activity Level
                                          • Exceeded Expectations
                                          • Food
                                          • Group Camaraderie
                                          • Guides
                                          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                          • Well Organized Itinerary

                                          Cons

                                            Best Uses

                                              Comments about REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper:

                                              The guides Dimitris and Sylvia were outstanding.. They were professional, extremely patient ...very knowledgeable .... and kept us all safe. I felt very comfortable with these two.. they work very well as a team.

                                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value
                                              • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                              • Destination!
                                              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                              • Tinos, Naxos and Santorini, are all beautiful and have their own highlights.
                                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                              • Pack LIGHT you really do not need a lot of clothes.. and you can wash at every island.. or hand wash and dry.. And take Euros many places do not take credit cards. Come prepared to eat great food...

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