“Sifnos, apart from its bright sky and surrounding deep blue waters, boasts an inexhaustible network of beautiful ancient hiking trails that allow you to explore the unique nature of the island, its picturesque villages, ancient acropolis, churches & monasteries, traditional island life and solitary golden beaches”anna, our sifnos-based GREEK ISLANDS hiking guide
Only three rooms remaining on the Faster trip and only two rooms on the Relaxed trip!
Greece is an amazing country full of riches: incredible food and wine, some of the top antiquities in the world, rugged mountains, jagged coastlines, blue skies, beautiful islands, and friendly people.
In deciding to create our first tour in Greece, we found ourselves overwhelmed with a wealth of possible locations and activities. But we leaned towards a Greek Islands hiking location and, ultimately, we found what we consider to be a perfect tour location.
The Island of Sifnos
There are over 200 islands in the Cyclades, a group of islands southeast of the main Greece land mass. Sifnos, the Island of Harmony, is medium sized and features the typical blue waters, rugged hills, white-washed villages, and stone streets of many Greek islands. The island has a dozen or so villages, including the capital of Appolonia, all of which have been declared a “traditional” (and thus protected) village by the Greek government. There are fewer than 3,000 residents living on the island, which has an area of 76 square kilometers. It is easily accessible via direct ferry from the port of Athens.
Sifnos is known to have a number of cultural strengths. The local clay pottery is famous in Greece and the island boasts 19 different pottery workshops – we will take a pottery course at one. The cuisine is also famous, with dishes such as chickpea meatballs, a salad made of stewed capers, kalasouna (vegetable pie with rice), manoura local cheese, hirovoski (wild herbs), mizithra (goat raw cheese, string beans with garlic, dried figs, and loli (a sweet made from red pumpkin). It has fascinating sights such as the ancient city of Kastro, the acropolis of Agios Andreas, an ancient fort on the hilltop of Agios Nikitas, a 6th century temple on the hill of Profitis Elias, and more.
Greek Islands Hiking
But what really drew us to Sifnos was the outstanding hiking network on the island. Greece is undergoing a bit of a revolution in hiking trails, with communities scattered across the country reviving the ancient paths locals used to walk from village to village into modern-day hiking trails. Sifnos has a network of ten such refurbished and signpost trails with a variety of distances and difficulties. We make use of these trails during our days on the island, led by our local Greek hiking guide Anna, and learning about the flora, fauna, history, and cultural along the way.
Importantly, we are planning TWO hiking tours on Sifnos in 2023, from April 26 – May 2 and from May 2 – 8. The two tours will be very similar in terms of hiking routes, with generally two route options each day. However, the first tour will include slightly longer routes and a faster pace and is suitable for intermediate to advanced hikers. The second tour will include slightly shorter routes and a slower pace, and is suitable for hikers who can still hike five miles but want a more relaxed pace.
It would not be a Greece vacation without time in Athens. Not only does Athens have amazing food, exotic neighborhoods to wander, and first-class accommodations but some of the greatest architectural antiquities in the world are in the capital city of Greece.
We will spend two nights and a full day in Athens, seeing the best highlights of the city (mostly on foot). We’ll visit the enticing neighborhoods of Anafiotika and Plaka. We’ll visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Ancient Agora, a meeting place surrounded by both the Areopagus and Agoraios Kolonos, two of the hills dotting the city. We’ll be accompanied by an expert Athens guide and enjoy some of the most amazing Greek food there is to be had.
Private Tour Info
Consider creating your own private group on a date of your choosing with as few as eight participants.Start planning your private tour
- Dates: April 26 - May 2, 2023
- Cost Per Person: $3,800
- Single Supplement: $800
- Private Tour Minimum: 8
- Activities: Hiking
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Guides: Allan Wright, And Local Guides
Other Info: We have TWO Greek Islands Hiking Adventures in 2023 - a moderate version and a relaxed version, so you can hike with people who are more your own pace and you won't feel the need to either keep up with or wait for others!
- April 26 - May 2 will be a moderate version for faster hikers that includes longer distances
- May 2 - 8 will be a more relaxed version for slower hikers with slightly shorter distances
- Lose yourself on the island of Sifros, famous for its beautiful scenery and friendly people
- Take four separate daylong walks on the island with our local guide Anna
- Delight your taste buds with Greek cuisine and engage in a cooking class to learn a few tricks
- Take a pottery-making class; Sifnos is well known for its ceramics dating back to ancient times
- Spend a day on a walking tour of Athens with a local guide, including visits to the Acropolis, Parthenon, and more
Please note we have two Greek Islands Hiking Adventures in 2023: April 26 - May 2 will be moderate but at a faster pace with slightly longer distances and May 2 - 8 will be moderate but at a more relaxed pace with slightly shorter distances. The itinerary below is the same for both tours but the actual distances will vary with each tour.
DAY 1: CIRCULAR WALK TO MEDIEVAL KASTRO
You will need to arrive in Athens the night before and meet at a designated downtown hotel. We will meet in the morning and take a fast ferry boat to the island of Sifnos. In the afternoon, we will do a first walk, passing through the beautiful settlements of Ano Petali, Artemonas, and Ai Loukas with their interesting architecture. Afterward, we follow the path down to the church of Poulati, while in front of us the view of beautiful Kastro leads us on, seemingly emerging from beneath the sea. We continue along the coast to reach Kastro, one of the most picturesque villages on the island and the most important from an archeological point of view. The village has been inhabited uninterruptedly since prehistoric times. After a short break to admire and explore Kastro, we will continue on a beautiful path that resembles a flight of stairs, zigzagging between fields with olive trees, bee hives, and a few pigeon towers on either side. We’ll pass the pretty village of Kato Petali and then end up back in Apollonia. Hiking Distance: 10 KM
DAY 2: ARCHEOLOGICAL TOUR TO THE MYCENAEAN CITADEL OF AGIOS ANDREAS
Today we’ll walk from Apollonia toward Vathy, one of the most beautiful bays of Sifnos. On the way, we’ll stop at the hill of Agios Andreas where we’ll admire the most important archaeological site of Sifnos, the Mycenaean Citadel of Agios Andreas, while enjoying the panoramic view over Sifnos and the nearby islands. We’ll continue our hike towards the magnificent church Panagia tou Neilou, an ideal place to stop for a rest, a snack or to admire the view. Shortly we will arrive at the long beach of Vathy where you can swim and relax. After we shuttle back to our hotel in Apollonia, we will transfer to one of the local workshops producing traditional pottery ceramics out of the island's clay. In addition to learning the process, you'll be able to spend time hands-on crafting the clay. Hiking Distance: 10 KM
DAY 3: WALK TO FIKIADA BAY, THE LONELIEST PART OF SIFNOS
Today our hike takes us to one of the loneliest parts of the island, Fikiada Bay in the south. Fikiada is ranked among the island's nicest beaches and can only be reached on foot or by boat. We’ll start our hike with a transfer to the bay of Vathy and walk for a little bit more than an hour through a breathtaking landscape. When we reach the bay, you can swim in the bay's secluded, turquoise waters. Your guides will prepare a lunch of local foods including local cheese, olives, tomatoes, and rusk (a traditional twice-baked bread). From Fikiada we will then walk towards another magnificent bay and beach, Platy Yalos, before ending our hike and shuttling back to the hotel. Later this afternoon, we'll head to a local farm for a hands-on cooking class, where we'll learn to produce a few local delicacies and then enjoy the fruits of our labors for dinner. Hiking Distance: 12 KM
DAY 4: APPOLONIA - EXAMBELA - FAROS - CHRISOPIGI - PLATYS GIALOS
We will depart from Apollonia for our coastal walk along the east side of the island. On the way, we pass the traditional settlement of Exambela and continue down narrow alleys leading to colorful courtyards adorned with bougainvilleas. Here we will get a glimpse into the daily life of the locals. The smells of basil, lemon trees, and jasmine will accompany us throughout the duration of our stroll in the village. We continue hiking through olive groves and along a little stream smothered by lush vegetation, spying old watermills that watered the nearby farms. We reach the picturesque fishing port of Faros, where you can have lunch at a traditional taverna located on the seaside. After a break, we continue to the best-known highlight of the island, the famous monastery and protectress of the island, the chapel of Chrysopigi. Our hike ends a short while later at the beach Platyis Gialos. Hiking Distance: 11 KM
DAY 5: HOTEL TO PORT FAREWELL STROLL
This morning we will enjoy our last Sifnos breakfast, pack, and checkout. Our bags will be shuttled to the port while we walk on an easy path the six kilometers to the ferry. We'll take the afternoon ferry back to the port of Athens, transfer to a downtown hotel, and head out for a delicious dinner of modern Greek cuisine. Hiking Distance: 6 KM
DAY 6: ATHENS CITY WALK
We'll join a local guide for a walk around Athens. Our walk will take us to the top archeological antiquities, including the Parthenon, the Acropolis, and the Ancient Agora, an outdoor marketplace that was a major gathering place for the Greeks in old times. We'll stroll through the neighborhoods of Anafiotika and Plaka, fascinating locales with shops and restaurants that provide a feast of sights, scents, and sounds. You'll have time to choose a restaurant for lunch on your own. This evening we'll have a final farewell Greek feast to celebrate our time in the country as well as newfound friends or renewed acquaintances.
DAY 7: DEPARTURE
This morning after breakfast in our downtown hotel you are free to continue your journey, either departing for your airport, staying longer in Athens, or perhaps visiting another area of Greece.Book this Tour
NIGHTS 1-4 >> THE PETALI VILLAGE / APOLLONIA Our hotel is perched on a hill above Apollonia, with views of the town below and the seas in the distance. There is an outdoor pool situated in the middle of the various whitewashed buildings that contain the sleeping rooms. You can relax and order a drink from the poolside bar or perhaps get a workout in at the fitness room or soak in the jacuzzi.
NIGHT 5 - 6 >> DOWNTOWN ATHENS HOTEL / ATHENS We will stay in a downtown Athens hotel that is three-star or four-star, has all the comforts we need, and is close to the major sights. Hotel has not yet been finalized.Book this Tour
Arrival & Departure
We will meet you early in the morning on Day One at our downtown Athens hotel before shuttling to the port for a fast ferry to Sifnos. You will almost certainly need to arrive in Athens the day before, allowing you to recover if you are coming in from North America. On our last morning, you are free to depart for the airport as needed or perhaps continue your travels in Greece.
- One local hiking guide (Anna) and one Zephyr guide.
- Our trip prices are based on double occupancy. If you are coming on a trip solo, you have two options: 1) Pay the single supplement to receive your own room. 2) Ask us to try to find you a roommate of the same gender to share a room with; if we are not successful you will be charged the single supplement and receive your own room.
- Breakfasts and dinners plus some trail lunches are included.
- All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day, including round-trip ferry transportation.
- All costs for extra activities listed in the itinerary are included.
- NOT INCLUDED: Beverages, desserts, some lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses, and travel to and from the destination.
Changes to Your Itinerary
While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.
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