8 days
Duration
Easy to Moderate
Difficulty grade
Greece
Location
March-October
Availability

Athens: discover historical Athens on foot

Walk through the fir forests and quiet countryside of verdant Poros

Swim at the excellent local beaches and savour the traditional Greek cuisine

Arrive in Hydra by ferry and explore the preserved old town with its cobbled mule tracks

Explore this laid-back, car-free island in total tranquillity


On this island-hopping walking holiday, you will explore the historic Greek capital as well as two totally different islands to the south of Athens in the Saronic Gulf: Poros and Hydra. Whereas Poros is a verdant island covered with fir forests, Hydra is rockier with great walking possibilities and stunning views. The absence of motorized vehicles on Hydra makes this destination a true walking paradise.

The trip starts with an overnight stay in the historic centre of Athens, where you will stroll through the lush green National Gardens and past the ancient Olympic Stadium. Via the pedestrian zone around the Acropolis you will see the Parthenon temple, and the Roman and Ancient Greek Markets.

The Saronic islands of Poros and Hydra, even with their close proximity to mainland Greece, feel a world away from the metropolis of Athens. You will first travel by ferry to the forested island of Poros, where you do a superb walk to the ancient temple of Poseidon. The small peninsula on which the old town of Poros is built offers plenty of possibilities as you wander through narrow lanes and sip on ouzo with a ‘meze’ in one of the cafes on the quay.

The last destination on this trip is the island of Hydra, a completely car-free island offering a wide network of footpaths shared only with donkeys! Hydra town is a pretty artists’ colony, with stone mansions, narrow cobbled streets and shops offering highly original jewellery and ceramics. One of the walks starts after taking a local water taxi to the secluded bay of Ledeza. You will sail back to the port of Piraeus by catamaran in just 2 hours, before travelling on to the airport.

8 DAY TOUR From €575 per person sharing*

*A high-season surcharge will apply during the busy summer months.
*A supplement charge will apply to solo walkers.

AVAILABILITY Starting on any day of the week from March 21st to october 25th, subject to availability. In case you want to book in winter prices are on request. The hotel Hydrousa in Hydra is closed during the winter season November-March. You will stay at an alternative accommodation in the winter. This might be the case for Poros too, since hotel Saga might occasionally close for a short period during the winter.
ACCOMMODATION 7 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis. The accommodations we have chosen are optimum choices having in mind the atmosphere, comfort and hospitality. All rooms have private facilities and almost always a balcony or terrace.

The standard hotels of this trip are listed below. If a hotel is fully booked, we book a similar alternative for you and inform you about the alternative booked.

You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way. We can also book a hotel in Athens for you before and/or after the trip.

INCLUDED
7 nights accommodation with en suite facilities
7 Breakfasts
Taxi transfer Athens hotel-Piraeus port
Piraeus-Poros ferry in tourist class
High-speed Poros-Hydra and Hydra-Piraeus in tourist class
Luggage transfers to/from the port on Poros
Detailed walking notes &  maps
Original walking map of Hydra
Pre-departure information pack
24/7 telephone support
NOT INCLUDED
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners
Taxi transfers or public transport not mentioned above
Admissions & entrance fees of any kind
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Airport transfers
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement(s)
Water taxi Hydra town-Ledeza Bay (can also be arranged locally on the spot)

This trip is graded easy to moderate overall. It is suitable for anyone in good physical shape. The walks are mostly unsurfaced tracks; cobbled mule tracks, footpaths, and some dirt tracks.

1

Day 1: Arrive in Athens and explore the historic centre

Arrival in Athens airport. You can either travel by public transport from the airport to your Athens city hotel or take a taxi.

Time-permitting, you can explore the centre of Athens and soak up the atmosphere of the old town with its colourful shops, the central fish- and meat market and the old quarter of Plaka situated at the foot of the Acropolis Hill. On top of the Acropolis you find the ancient Temple of Parthenon and at the foot of the hill the splendid new Acropolis Museum.

Overnight: Hotel Novus, Athens

2

Day 2: From Athens to Poros

Distance: 5 km | Ascent: 120 m | Descent: 120 m | Walking time: 2 hrs approx.

Pick-up at the hotel in Athens and transfer to the port of Piraeus for your Ferry to Poros.

In the afternoon there is time for a nice walk on the peninsula of Poros town. First you walk through this unique town with its brightly coloured houses up to the ruin of an old windmill. Here you will enjoy breath-taking views across the narrow Galatas channel toward the high peaks of the Peloponnese. You follow a partly paved path (kalderimi) all the way along the ridge to the church of Ag. Anargyroi. Sitting in front of the church you will have a 360-degree panoramic view. You descend via a different path back to Poros town, where you can relax in one of the cafes or eateries.

Overnight: Hotel Saga, Poros

3

Day 3: Poros loop walk

Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 500 m | Descent: 500 m | Walking time: 3½ hrs approx.

Today’s walk leads you first along the coast toward Kyani Akti, from where you ascend through forested areas and small olive groves toward the archaeological site of Poseidon.
The Sanctuary of Poseidon deserves a visit. It is situated in a strategic position, 200m above sea level. The sanctuary was dedicated to the worship of Poseidon, God of the Sea.
Leaving the site behind you, you ascend further along a forest trail and reach the highest point of the walk, before descending through the woodlands to the coast at Perlia where your hotel is located.

Overnight: Hotel Saga, Poros

4

Day 4: Ferry to Hydra & afternoon walk

Distance: 10/16 km | Ascent & Descent: 150/350 m | Walking time: 3-5 hrs approx.

You travel today by high-speed ferry from Poros to Hydra (several departures daily). The striking difference between verdant Poros and Hydra becomes clear as you near the island and see the rugged limestone hills rising above Hydra town. Despite its initial rugged appearance, Hydra is regarded as ‘the pearl of the Saronic Gulf’. It is the only Greek island which is completely free of motorized vehicles and its main town and port are among the most beautiful in Greece, with preserved neo-classical mansions, white-washed village houses and narrow cobbled lanes climbing steeply up from the horseshoe shaped harbour. Quite rightly, the whole town is preserved as a national monument.

In the afternoon you can do a lovely walk on Hydra as you get to know the town and the sparsely-populated interior of the island.

Overnight: Hotel Hydrousa, Hydra

5

Day 5: Walk to Bisti Beach

Distance: 10/16 km | Ascent & Descent: 150/350 m | Walking time: 3-5 hrs approx.

The first of the two main walking routes crossing Hydra begins at Hydra’s main town and ends on the western side of the island, at Bisti Beach and the small church of Ag. Georgos. This side of the island is covered with rich vegetation and the pine forest extends all the way down to the beach, offering a contrast to the barren rocky landscape usually associated with Hydra.

Your walk initially takes you along the north coast, through the villages of Kaminia, Vlychos, Plakes and past the Bay of Palamidas. From there you have the option of returning to the town of Hydra via a different route OR walking further inland to ascend to the village of Episkopi. After Episkopi, the footpath continues southwest, toward the coast. You will enjoy impressive views as you walk through lush vegetation. Your route ends at the picturesque bay of Bisti with its small church, Agios Georgos. You will return to the town of Hydra by water taxi (not included in standard arrangement).

Overnight: Hotel Hydrousa, Hydra

6

Day 6: Hydra loop walk

Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 700 m | Descent: 700 m | Walking time: 6 hrs approx.

Today’s circular route takes you to the summit of Mount Eros on the island of Hydra, 588m.
A wide “kalderimi” winds uphill from the town of Hydra to the Monastery of Profitis Elias, situated just 100m below the summit. From here a trail leads up to the summit, where you can enjoy splendid views over Hydra, the surrounding islands and the Peloponnese. The return route to the town of Hydra follows a different trail, descending gradually to the settlement at Episkopi, then swiftly back to Hydra.

Overnight: Hotel Hydrousa, Hydra

7

Day 7: Walk from Ledeza to Hydra town

Distance: 10/17 km | Ascent: 468 m | Descent: 440 m | Walking time: 3½-6½ hrs approx.

For today’s route you will be taken by a water taxi to Ledeza Bay (optional). From the bay you ascend a zig-zagging staircase to the remote clifftop Monastery of Zourvas. You can choose to walk directly back to the town of Hydra via some wooded areas of cedars and oaks. The route passes the monasteries of Aghia Matrona and Aghia Triada. Via a dirt track you reach the monastery of Aghios Nikolaos and descend to the town of Hydra.

For the longer walk you first continue further east, to the lighthouse of Zourvas, via the church of Agios Ioannikios. This church seems to be hanging from the cliffs while the sea shimmers and dazzles 100m below. The end of the route is marked by the stone lighthouse of Zourvas. The only guests in the area are wild goats that roam and graze on the land. You return on foot to Zourvas Monastery then follow the standard route to Chora via a saddle marked by windmills.

Overnight: Hotel Hydrousa, Hydra

8

Day 8: Departure

You walk with your luggage to the port via the cobbled streets of Hydra. At the port, you board a high-speed vessel to travel back to Piraeus. Optionally you can book a transfer to Athens airport for your flight departure or you can book additional nights in Athens.

Travel information

/  The most convenient airport to fly to is Athens Internationl Airport.

From Athens airport you travel easily by public transport to your hotel in Athens down-town. At the end of the tour, you travel from Piraeus to Athens Airport by public Expres bus, or you can take a taxi.

You may also book a private transfers from/to the airport by taxi. Let us know at the time of booking if you would like us to arrange this for you.

Hiking Poros and Hydra
Athens Acropolis, photo: GNTO/Y. Skoulas
Athens Temple of Zeus, photo: GNTO/Y. Skoulas
Poros hiking
hiking on Poros
Hydra-hiking-signpost

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