Greek Islands Women?s Adventure

Trip Length 8 Days
Group Size 4-16
Difficulty
Starting from
$4,399 for REI Members
$4,899 for non-members
Departures May 2020-Sep 2020
Mon���Fri 7am���5pm PT

Spend eight days savoring ancient wonders and the simple, timeless pleasures of Mediterranean island life.

From ancient Athens to sun-soaked Santorini, this trip connects you and a group of adventure-loving women to the sights and sounds of Greece. Designed to provide a full picture of Greece?s spirit and soul, the journey includes incredible historic landmarks, natural beauty worthy of high praise and the chance to experience the vibrant life of locals along the way.

In Athens, explore ancient ruins like the Acropolis and Parthenon, visible reminders of Greece?s transformation through the years. Feel challenged and empowered on hikes, enjoy a full body stretch with a seaside yoga session in Naxos and discover Grecian culinary secrets in Tinos. Then ferry down to iconic Santorini, a crescent-shaped island known for its stunning sunsets. Witness the spirit of the island with a hike along the crater?s edge from Fira to Oia. Wander Oia?s narrow passageways and quaint shops, stopping to sample souvlaki and take in the sights. Back in Fira, we gather for a farewell dinner, toasting to new friends and unforgettable memories in beautiful Greece.

Open trip gallery
See all trip photos

Trip Highlights

  • Island hop from Tinos to Naxos to Santorini
  • Learn to prepare a traditional Greek meal and unwind with beachside yoga
  • Hike ancient trails among lush vineyards, terraced hillsides, and olive groves
  • Dine on Mediterranean fare accented with olive oil, yogurts, nuts and honey
  • REI Women?s Adventure?designed for women, guided by women

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should be experienced hikers in good physical condition and capable of hiking 3-4 hours most days (two days with longer hikes up to 5 hours) on rocky, uneven, and occasionally steep trails. Hiking shoes with good tread and lateral support are important. Trekking poles may be helpful for hiking on rocky trails. Yoga is suitable for beginners.

  • Hiking
  • Yoga

What's Included

Lodging and meals as noted in the daily itinerary; wine with included dinners; all transfers between islands; professional female guide services.

Accommodations

Hotels, 7 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Athens today, and take a walking tour of the historic Plaka.

Arrive in Athens, Greece by 4pm and transfer on your own to the group hotel. Our lodgings are located near a charming historic district at the foot of the Acropolis. Early this evening we meet in the hotel lobby for introductions, followed by a short walking tour. The Plaka's fascinating narrow lanes and stepped alleys invite exploration. Hidden squares with small churches, lively shops and cafes, and grand neoclassical-style houses are delightful and picturesque. Dinner is at a traditional Greek tavern serving family-style meals. All meals included.

Walking: 1+ hour.

Day 2

Explore the Acropolis and Parthenon, and ferry to Tinos Island.

We begin the day with a guided tour of the Parthenon, a temple on the Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena, and also visit the New Acropolis Museum. We enjoy lunch, then travel by high-speed catamaran from the port of Rafina to the island of Tinos. This is the only island in the Cyclades with a dedicated temple to Poseidon, the god of sea, and to his wife, the sea nymph Amphitrite. According to mythology, as the island's protector Poseidon sent a flock of storks to rid it of snakes. The late afternoon is free time to explore, looking for examples of the island?s dovecotes. 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. Dinner is at a local restaurant. All meals included.

Transfers: 1+ hour; Ferry: 2 hours; Walking: 3 hours.

Day 3

Hike through charming mountain villages and explore Tinos Town.

Our hike starts in Volax, a village noted for its unique round boulders. We follow a winding path downhill to the village of Koumaros, known for its old fountains and medieval arches. In Xombourgo we are welcomed into a traditional Greek home with an aperitif of Tinian raki, a spirit distilled from wine. Our hostesses provide a lesson in preparing a lunch of local specialties; we dine together, sharing stories of family and island living. Our hike ends in Chora (Tinos Town), and there is free time to rest or explore before dinner. We recommend visiting the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, a white marble church that 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. Dinner is at a local tavern. All meals included.

??Transfers: 30 minutes; Hiking: 5.5 miles, 3.5 hours; elevation gain 660'/loss 1,667'.

Day 4

Visit a 2500 year-old Kouros of Melanes statue, hike to historic Chalki.

We ferry to Naxos Island, the largest and most fertile of the Cyclades. The island's marble was once highly prized for sculpture and often exported. Our hike begins in the backyard of a local family, which is the site of the 2,500-year-old Kouros of Melanes statues. The unfinished kouros statues are world renown. Historians believe that the incomplete statues depicting young men would have supported a temple roof; however, the project was abandoned due to faults in the marble and stone. We continue to Ano Potamia and enjoy a refreshing break at the village spring before we hike to Apano Kastro (Upper Castle), where we drink in big views of Naxos Town and the port. Today's explorations end in Chalki with a visit to a small distillery that produces Kitron, the specialty liquor of Naxos. Dinner in the village. All meals included.

Transfers: 1 hour; Ferry: 1.25 - 2.5 hours depending on schedule; Hiking: 4.3 miles, 4 hours; elevation gain 912'/loss 666'.

Day 5

The summit of Mt. Zas offers panoramic views, beachside yoga at sunset.

From the little chapel at Santa Marina we begin our hike to the summit of Mount Zas (Mount Zeus). This is the highest point in the Cyclades at 3290', and the views are worthy of the gods. According to Greek mythology, Zeus was raised in a cave on this mountain. The trail starts as a dirt path and becomes a stone walkway; as we near the crest, the trail contains large limestone rocks to step around and over. After raising our water bottles to toast our successful summit, we head back down the trail to the chapel for a picnic lunch. Our hike continues to the charming, whitewashed village of Filoti. From here, we return to our hotel and relax with beachside yoga while admiring the sunset. We dine together and celebrate a rewarding day. All meals included.

Transfers: 1+ hour; Hiking: 4.9 miles, 4.5 hours, elevation gain 1,100'/loss 2,000'.

Day 6

Hikes at Mount Profitis Ilias, wine tasting in a unique setting.

We ferry to Santorini. In the afternoon a short drive brings us to Pyrgos, a fortress settlement at the summit of Profitis Ilias (1860'). From here we observe the characteristics of the island. Around 1600 BC 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 walk the winding paths of a village and admire the remains of neoclassical mansions as we make our way to Kasteli Castle. Next, we head downhill to the traditional settlement of Exo Gonia (643'). The cobblestone avenues lead us to Panagia Episkopi, an 11th-century Byzantine church. At a unique art center set within the pumice-rock chambers of an old winery, we sample local, award-winning wines. Tonight's dinner is at an authentic tavern with beautiful views over the Kamari hills. All meals included.

Transfers: 1 hour; Ferry: 1.25 hours; Hiking: 2.8 miles, 2 hours, elevation gain 500'/loss 150'.

Day 7

Hike on Santorini following the crater's edge from Fira to Oia.

This morning we hike to the dramatic 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 your camera! Arriving in Oia, we explore its narrow passageways and quaint shops and then sample the local souvlaki for lunch. We transfer back to Fira in the late afternoon to meet our friend Maria, a wine tasting connoisseur. Maria will share her knowledge of the delicious wines made from grapes grown in Santorini's volcanic soil. At tonight?s farewell dinner, we admire the sunset while celebrating our women?s-only adventure to three beautiful Greek Islands. All meals included.

Transfers: 30 minutes; Hiking: 6.6 miles, 4.5 hours; elevation gain 1,100'/loss 1,800'.

Day 8

Depart Santorini, or continue your explorations of this ancient country.

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

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.

What to pack

You might also consider

Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

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 REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.