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Southern Greece: Hike, Bike & Kayak


Pedal, paddle and pace your way through Southern Greece’s ancient sites and natural splendour on this seven-day active adventure. Starting in the history-steeped city of Athens, it’s not long before you’re hiking along the Menalon Trail to two Byzantine monasteries constructed directly into the vertical rockface. A cycle route will help you see Kefalonia, stopping at a castle that used to mark the island’s capital, while a sea kayaking tour of the Argostolion coastline will treat you to turquoise waters. There’s no better way to see these pearls of the Ionian Sea!

7 days, from

$2,465

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: ZMXK
Style: Original
Theme: Multi-Active Adventures

Details

Countries Visited:  Greece
Accommodation: Hotel (6 nights)
Transportation: Public bus , Private vehicle , Ferry
Included Meals:

  • 6 breakfasts

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Hike parts of the Menalon Trail – one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe – on your way to the breathtaking sights of the ancient Philosophou and Prodromou monasteries.

  • Cycle around the island of Kefalonia, experience fabulous coastal views as you ascend to a historic castle and visit a local olive grove.

  • Sea kayak along Kefalonia’s southern coastline, stopping for lunch on white sand beaches and for swims in the turquoise water.

  • Visit the Olympia archaeological site, birthplace of the Olympic Games and an important site in the development of Western society.

  • Spend two nights in Dimitsana, walking the cobbled paths of this idyllic mountain village packed full of Arcadian history.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Athens

Kalimera! Welcome to Greece. Your adventure begins in Athens with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. There is a lot to do and see in one of the world's oldest cities, so you may wish to arrive a few days early to allow time for exploration. Visit some of the historic sites, including the National Gardens, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the original Olympic Stadium, or see the changing of the guard at Syntagma (Parliament) Square. After your meeting there’s an optional welcome dinner with your fellow travellers, where you can sample some of Athens’ finest fare.

Day 2: Dimitsana

An early start will see you on the road to Dimitsana. A quick pitstop in Tripoli will break up the drive, and here you have the option of going on a rafting tour of the Lousios River. The tour will see you glide along water that Zeus himself bathed in and through a gorge dense with greenery, finishing with a dip under a waterfall. Then, it’s on to your accommodation in Dimitsana. Perched prettily on a mountain slope, you’ll have the afternoon free to explore the numerous nooks of this medieval village. Walk the winding streets and marvel at the restored stone-built mansions, or visit the Open-Air Water-Power Museum for a glimpse at traditional village life.

Day 3: Hike Menalon Trail/ Dimitsana

Today, you’ll embark on an incredible hike through the Lousios Valley. Fuel up on pastries from a local bakery before you start walking, then follow the trail until you encounter the ‘new’ Philosophou Monastery. Maybe indulge in some Greek coffee and lokoumi offered by the resident monks, before making your way to the old Philosophou. Dramatically carved into the vertical rockface 200 m above the valley floor, the monastery educated many of Greece’s finest minds. Explore the ruins and gaze at the view across Lousios Gorge, then continue toward the striking sight of Prodromou. Clinging to the edge of the gorge and dating back to 1167, the bullet holes on the door of the monastery hint at the history of Greece’s fight for independence. The trail finishes at Ancient Gortys. Tour the remnants of the rumoured healing grounds before a transfer takes you back to Dimitsana, where the evening is free for you indulge in local taverna food.

Day 4: Olympia/Kefalonia

After saying farewell to the delights of Dimitsana, a morning drive will take you to Olympia. Both a centre of worship for Zeus and birthplace of the Olympic Games, your leader will show you the main stadium, gymnasium, wrestling school, priest houses, Temple of Hera, Temple of Zeus and the hippodrome. There’ll be free time for some lunch, before you continue to Kyllini then catch a ferry to Kefalonia. Transfer to your accommodation, then have a free evening to explore Argostolion. Walk along the waterfront promenade of the small seaside city, pop into Platia Vallianou, the lively town square, and be sure to sample the seafood or a Kefalonian meat pie.

Day 5: Cycling Kefalonia

Suit up for a cycle around Kefalonia! Starting from Argostolion, ride inland for 8 km and ascend 280 m to the Castle of Agios Georgios, which used to be the island’s capital. Gently descend back to sea level for 7 km on your way to Trapezaki Beach before turning back west for a 4 km cycle to an olive grove in Pesada. From Pesada you’ll be on the home straight back to Argostolion, following the road for 11 km with a 100 m climb. The evening will be yours to either rest up or continue pounding the pavement around Argostolion.

Day 6: Sea Kayaking Kefalonia

Swap the pedals for paddles as you embark on a sea kayaking adventure. Starting from Argostolion Lighthouse, ease your way south along a coastline pockmarked with caves, natural arches and rock gardens. At Paliostafida Beach there’ll be a stop for a swim and a snack of fresh fruit, before you continue past Makris Gialos Beach. You’ll notice a change in the coastal terrain as dramatic limestone cliffs begin to tower overhead, occasionally broken by remote white sandy beaches. Maybe swim or snorkel in the quiet bay – this is also a great spot for lunch. After landing at Minies Beach, maybe grab a cold drink to toast your efforts and then head back to your accommodation.

Day 7: Kefalonia

With no further activities planned, your trip comes to an end in Kefalonia. If you’d like to extend your stay in Greece, just speak to your booking agent.