• Natural Greece
  • Natural Greece
  • Natural Greece
  • Natural Greece
  • Natural Greece

Fill out this form to enquire or book Birdwatching & Sailing Conservation Holiday in Greece

From €730

Highlights

  • Discover the unique birds of the Cyclades Islands such as the Eleonora’s Falcon, Audouin’s Gull, Mediterranean Shag, Cory’s Shearwater and the Yelkouan Shearwater while sailing from island to island!
  • Hear the “spooky” night calls of the Shearwaters while sailing between small islets
  • Participate in scientific research while on board the sailing yacht contributing to the conservation of those birds and their habitats in collaboration with the scientists from the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS)
  • Watch other, slightly more common, bird species of the Mediterranean such as the Blue Rock Thrush, Long-legged Buzzard and (with luck) Bonelli’s Eagle
  • Visit authentic Greek Islands that have preserved their local heritage, traditional cuisine and the genuine welcome offered by its people

Read the review on 10.000 Birds blog here

You may also like the Northern Greece Birdwatching trip

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Other Information

  • Day-to-day Program

    Day 1 Naxos. Meeting at the island of Naxos, briefing on life on the yacht and the species we will encounter during the week, arrangement of provisions and welcome supper to get to know each other.

    Day 2 We'll start the day with a visit to Aliki and Agios Prokopios, two coastal lagoons near the Chora of Naxos. In the lagoons, we can watch waterbirds such as the Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover and Ferruginous Duck . Today we will follow the stream from north to south towards the small, fishing island of Iraklia. Plenty of time for watching seabirds like gulls (Audouin’s  and Yellow-legged Gulls), Mediterranean Shags and Shearwaters (Cory’s and Yelkouans) that hang around in these waters. By late noon we will reach the islets of Mikros and Megalos Avelas where we are sure to spot Eleonora’s falcons. We will stop for a swim at the bay of Alimia. Short sail to the fishing port of Ag. Georgios and supper at the local tavern at the main village of the island where you'll have the chance to sample home made food by Maria!

    Day 3 Walk in the morning at the one of the highest points of the island trying to spot  Griffon vultures, Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzards, Lanner Falcon, Orphean Warblers and Cretzschmar’s Buntings. Sail towards the deserted islands of Dryma & Antikeri where we'll spend the night on the anchor. Here with luck we will observe the two shearwaters (Cory’s and Yelkouans) forming large congregations (commonly called rafts) on the sea surface in the late afternoon hours or at dusk prior to their entrance in their breeding colonies. Listening to their calls, with which they locate their pair, is an impressive experience. We'll have a barbecue on the beach whereas we always make sure not to disturb birds!

    Day 4 Today we'll sail towards the pirate island of Amorgos and the bay of Aegiali. On the way, we can participate in the European Seabirds At Sea scheme, a standardized method used by thousands of recorders since 1979 all over Europe to record seabird activity and presence. Data collected by us will contribute to the Greek marine Important Bird Area designation. We'll stop at the deserted island of Nikouria to observe the feeding Eleonora’s falcons, which also use the cliffs of this large islet to breed. While doing so, we can also have a swim in the shallow waters of Kalotiri Bay. Short sail towards the fishing port of Aegiali. Short hike in the evening to the village of Langada, and further still along the trail which leads to the abandoned mines and magnificent coastal cliffs of the north-eastern point of Amorgos. In Langada village we'll enjoy traditional delicacies and live folk music.

    Day 5 Another day on and around the island of Amorgos. Opportunity to do more conservation work that will contribute to the Greek marine Important Area designation.

    Day 6 We'll sail towards the deserted island of Keros, an important port in the ancient times. Keros is surrounded by rocks and islets and it's an ideal area for watching Mediterranean Shags and Audouin’s Gulls which breed and feed in this area. Peregrine and Eleonora’s falcons also breed on the southern cliff of the island. We'll spend the night at an isolated bay at the south side of the island.

    Day 7 Sail towards the island of Paros and the fishing port of Piso Livadi.

    We're as flexible as the weather!

    We don't follow the same route every week and every itinerary may change due to the weather and other factors beyond our control. Remember that we cannot go against the weather! The sailing area, starting and ending islands and the experiences mentioned above will be the same.

  • Pricing

    Price

    • Price 814,--Euro per person in case of 2 travelling
    • Price 774,--Euro per person in case of 3-4 travelling
    • Price 730,--Euro per person in case of 5-6 travelling

    Included:

    • 6 nights aboard a comfortable sailing yacht. It has room for a small group + 1 skipper + 1 biologist/environmentalist.
    • 7 days of birdwatching, project participation and sailing as described in the program
    • Skipper
    • Biologist/Environmentalist from the Hellenic Ornithological Society
    • 6,5% VAT
    • Breakfast (self-service)
    • Water supplies
    • Port fees
    • Snorkeling equipment
    • Book ”Birds of the Aegean” (in English and Greek) by the Hellenic Ornithological Society

    Not included:

    • Fuel (Around EUR 150-200 to be divided among all guests)
    • Provisions (lunch & supper)
    • Travel insurance (please arrange your own if you'd like to)
    • International flights
    • Ferry boat tickets

     

    We're as flexible as the weather! We don't follow the same route every week and every itinerary may slightly change due to the weather and other factors beyond our control. Remember that we cannot go against the weather! The sailing area, starting and ending islands and the experiences mentioned above will be the same.

  • How to get there

    You can take a flight to either Athens, Mykonos or Santorini. From there you go to the port and take a ferry boat to Naxos Island. Or you can take a flight from Athens to Naxos (for example with olympicair.com). Both Naxos and Paros have been selected because they are very well connected by to and from the main port of Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. You can check the ferry timetable at www.ferries.gr or even book online. Get all travel assistance you need by filling in the form below.

  • About the organizers of this trip

    Hellenic Ornithological Society

    The Hellenic Ornithological Society is a conservation non-governmental organization for the protection of wild birds and their habitats in Greece. It was founded in 1982 and its mission is to ensure a sustainable natural environment for birds and people. Its work includes a wide range of actions; from protection and research, through education, raising of public awareness and policy making. Since 1994, the Hellenic Ornithological Society has been a partner of Birdlife International, the largest global partnership of birds and biodiversity conservation organisations. The inventory of relevant marine Important Bird Areas is implemented by HOS since 2009. Recently, the new book for the Important Areas for Seabirds in Greece was published and it is available here.

    Skipper: Sotiris Diamantis

    Sotiris was born in Essen, Germany, on 9th January 1974. He's been working as a professional skipper for the last 14 years, having covered more than 45,000 miles. He has completed his RYA Boatmaster qualification. He's sailed around the Aegean, Ionian, Adriatic Seas, the central Med, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. He has also extensive experience in traditional wooden and fiberglass boat maintenance.

    Sotiris started scuba diving in the Red Sea 12 years ago and became a PADI Divemaster in 2002 in Thailand. He's also trained in Emergency First Response and Rescue Diving.He speaks fluently German, English, Spanish and basic French.

  • How this Tour makes Travel Positive

    Celebrate Ecological Diversity

    The Sustainable Tourism Rating System shows you for each trip in what way Ecological Diversity is respected and celebrated.

    This trip is celebrating Ecological Diversity in the following ways:

    • Wildlife species are not harvested, consumed, displayed, sold, or traded, except as part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilization is sustainable, and in compliance with local to international laws.
    • No captive wildlife is held, except for properly regulated activities, in compliance with local to international law. Living specimens of protected and wildlife species are only kept by those authorized and suitably equipped to house and care for them humanely.
    • The trip supports and contributes to biodiversity conservation, including natural protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value. All relevant the photographs, data and specimen that you may collect during the week will be offered to scientists of the Hellenic Ornithological Society to assist them in their data collection and researches.
    • Interactions with wildlife, taking into account cumulative impacts, do not produce adverse effects on the viability and behaviour of populations in the wild. Any disturbance of natural ecosystems is minimized, rehabilitated, and there is a compensatory contribution to conservation management. When watching and monitoring dolphins & other cetaceans we do it from far away without disturbing them, adhering to the ACCOBAMS guidelines for commercial cetacean-watching activities in the Mediterranean Sea. When mooring the boat, the anchor is never thrown on meadows that are essential for the ecosystem.
    • Information about and interpretation of the natural surroundings is provided to travellers, as well as explaining appropriate behaviour while visiting natural areas.

     

    Sustainable Tourism Rating System


    The Sustainable Tourism Rating System shows you for each trip in what way a Diversity of Place & Culture is celebrated.

    This trip is celebrating a Diversity of Place & Culture in the following ways:

    • Information about and interpretation of the local culture, and cultural heritage is provided to travellers/ By introducing people to the multi-cultural reality of the Greek islands. We explain the local body language and customs; we discuss historical and local stories.
    • Local services and goods are purchased and offered, following fair-trade principles: By recommending the purchase of products from the local agricultural co-operatives which function in many islands
    • Supporting local small entrepreneurs to develop and sell sustainable products that are based on the area’s nature, history and culture (including food and beverages, crafts, performance arts, agricultural products, etc.)/By advising our guests to taste the local cuisine in local taverns and get a taste of the local culture and avoid global restaurant chains
    • By taking you to remote or underdeveloped islands we aim to distribute economic benefits to those places that are hard to reach.

     

    Low Environmental Impact

    The Sustainable Tourism Rating System shows you for each trip in what way you Travel with Low Environmental Impact.

    This trip intends to lower Environmental Impact in the following ways:

    • Proper waste management and recycling policy aboard the boat. All passengers are briefed upon arrival. Litter found in the sea or on the beach is collected.
    • Purchasing policies favour locally appropriate and ecologically sustainable products, including building materials, capital goods, food, beverages and consumables.
    • The purchase and use of disposable and consumable goods is measured and the organization actively weeks ways to reduce their use. Cleaning products and paint used are environmentally friendly.
    • Energy consumption is measured, sources are indicated and measures are adopted to minimize overall consumption, and encourage the use of renewable energy (e.g. boat is equipped with a 350 Watt wind generator in order to achieve electrical self sufficiency without the use of motor or diesel generator, use of LED light bulbs, natural ventilation with wind scoops)
    • Water consumption is measured, sources are indicated, and measures are adopted to minimize overall consumption. Water sourcing is sustainable, and does not adversely affect environmental flows. All aboard are informed about the water management policy.
    • Transportation method: mainly sailing using wind power-the motor is used as little as possible. The boat has an electrical outboard motor in order to stop using fuel
    • Water consumption is measured, sources are indicated, and measures are adopted to minimize overall consumption. Water sourcing is sustainable, and does not adversely affect environmental flows.

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