ACCOMMODATION: Rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (Poor to Excellent) for Vissinokipos guesthouse: 5 Comments: Very friendly hosts and a wonderful view over Kastoria. Rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (Poor to Excellent) for Alexandros guesthouse: 5 Comments: More basic accommodation, as expected in this rather remote area, but an excellent location overlooking the gorge. ACTIVITY PROGRAM: Rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (Poor to Excellent): 5 Comments: The walks were very enjoyable. Pity we didn’t see a bear. We managed to include visits to Dispilio and Argos Orestiko in the afternoons – maybe you could add these to the scheduled tour, plus more time in Kastoria – the walks finish in the early afternoon, so there is time afterwards. YOUR LOCAL GUIDE Yannis Tsaknakis: Rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (Poor to Excellent): 5 Comments: Very knowledgeable, and some interesting conversations en route. OVERALL RATING: Rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (Poor to Excellent): 5 Comments: We were very pleased. We combined this with 4 days in Thessaloniki and 6 days in Halkidiki, which made a very varied and interesting holiday.
ACCOMMODATION: Rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (Poor to Excellent): 5 ACTIVITY PROGRAM: Rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (Poor to Excellent): 4 YOUR LOCAL GUIDES: Rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (Poor to Excellent): 5 Overall rating for this holiday: Rating on a scale of 1 to 5 (Poor to Excellent): 4 Thank you for a very nice week!
ACCOMODATION-4 I could stand up in my tent and am grateful for that. However due to gaps in canvas and floor some ants and insect life - very hot. ACTIVITY PROGRAM-5 excellent YOUR LOCAL GUIDES- 5 couldn't have been more helpful and pro active. Katrina and Chantal were SO helpful and really helped me - especially when I cut my foot.i had to go to hospital and have stitches. without their help I would have been lost. A BIG Thank you.They went beyond the call of duty OVERALL RATING- 5- really good experience. Lovely group of people.
Overall holiday review and rating: An excellent experience !!! We didn't want to leave. 5 *****
Fantastic trip. It surpassed our expectations and we felt very privileged to be on this adventure with Yannis and Anastasia as our leaders.Their knowledge and passion for their environment was outstanding, their genuineness and integrity was heart warming. Anastasia was also fantastic and I loved our chats on plants and their medicinal uses. We were surprised at the beauty of Northern Greece and that it had been kept such a secret.
Deborah Andrews and Peter Thompson
Our tour with Chantel was one of the BEST tours we have ever had. She showed us the REAL Greece. We swam in Vouliagmeni Lake (spa fish lake). HIGHLIGHT-a place most "tourist" do not know about. We hiked and saw vegetation and looked at wildlife. We found capers and prepared a wonderful lunch at Chantel's BEAUTIFUL home. Everything was DELICIOUS. Then we swam in the Mediterranean Sea. Kayaked around the swim area. PERFECT. PERFECT. PERFECT. Would go again in a heart beat. Chantel listens to your needs.
I really enjoyed my first visit to Greece ever and delighted to meet everyone especially Yiannis. He is the best, and communicates well. I felt safe with him and did panic a bit when out of sight. He is in tune and very clever and never met anyone like him before. ***** 5-star: I really enjoyed the whole trip. I would have liked to seen a bear so maybe the random bait drop could work? I would recommend this to friends, in fact have done so already and thank you so much for being around at the end of the phone. I really like this trip and loved Greece !
There were so many memorable and exciting parts but probably the most exciting was seeing the Golden Eagle, we sighted about 4 but one was quite low and very distinguishable through the scope, brilliant. My guide was very, very knowledgeable and knew all the good viewing spots. I would rate this holiday: ***** 5-star: I am reborn, simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Thank you for kind support and I enjoyed many flowers. You introduced me to very good places which I cannot go by myself.And I was surprised that you know all of plants with academic name. I think you are a real professional.Thank you again for your kindness.
We had a swim and were nibbled by fish, then walked through a nature reserve finding interesting plants and birds (and a tortoise) and finished the morning with a picnic. For the afternoon Chantel arranged for us to go on a sea kayak trip with another really great guide. We couldn't have felt better looked after.
Very nice and succesful journey. Thanks again for taking good care! / Heel fijne en succesvolle reis. Dank wederom voor de goede zorgen!
Niels Bronsgeest, Stichting Natuurreizen
Deventer, The Netherlands
"Thank you Natural Greece for organizing this wonderful trip around Lake Kerkini! The hotel was good and has very friendly owners (Nikos and parents). The breakfast as well as the lunch package was tasteful and had a nice touch of the local cuisine. The Kerkini lake offers diverse landscapes and a extensive scale of birds (bearing in mind it was not even the high-season for bird watching). The birding guide George was knowledgeable and very good company. The boat trip on the lake was perfect for shooting pictures of the pelicans. I can recommend this trip to all bird - and nature lovers to this not so touristy area but with having huge potential! "
If you have a chance to do this excursion you should! The hike was amazing! It was very informative and you can see some amazing views of the islands and sea. The kayaking trip was well worth the money as well. The whole trip was well organized, you had everything you needed. Chantel was so kind and she packed snacks and lunch. Could not have asked for a better way to see the coast of Athens. Can not recommend this enough!!
Maastricht, The Netherlands
The trip was fantastic - in addition to the gorgeous hiking and thoughtfully arranged accommodations and meals (all of which were comfortable and delicious and fun!), Giannis and Maria were THE BEST. Perfectly complimented each other, knowledgeable, warm, thoughtful, genuinely friendly and helpful - Christos and Christina were terrific hosts, as were Giorgos and his dad at Gramos Lodge.
Christine & Paul Singer
Washington D.C., USA
The tour was highly educational, we learned about animals and their signs, such as tracks or droppings as we spotted them, about fungi, various plants and forest habitats we hiked through. The landscapes were stunning, topped by a hundred metres high waterfall. The cuisine was yummy and even a seasoned Greek traveler like myself had to discover new dishes and tastes every day (have you ever tried a sweet liqueur made of locally picked wild fungi?). Accommodation was great, from the lovely lake-view hotel in Kastoria to a comfortable log cottage high in the mountains (so far, actually, that the mobile network signal came from neighbouring Albania). Last but not least, our guides, bear-researchers Yannis and Maria were not only highly knowledgeable but a nice company too, such pleasant people to spend time with while trekking those mountains. They were always willing to tailor the tour according the fitness level and wishes of their guests. Bear tracking in Greece is highly recommendable and very unique experience, even, as I said, for a seasoned Greek traveler.
Had great time tracking bears, enjoyed it immensely. Yanis and Maria are a great guiding pair, Yanis so calm and always smiling and Maria with that infectious laugh. Accommodation very good and charming, food great. Landscapes magnificent.
The feedback we’ve had has been very good. Everybody enjoyed the trip and really enjoyed both Georgos’ and Chris’ company and guiding.
Greece does sell itself really ....people, food, accommodation. I thought the trip was excellent with lots of variety meeting local people and an insight into conservation.
Everything is great. Yesterday was really fantastic. Many thanks for everything.
Itziar Del Rio & David Gomez
From the beginning we very much enjoyed the birdwatching voyage in Northern Greece. Georgos performed very well in his role as a guide, making where ever possible our trip not only pleasant, relaxed, also informative on the way Greeks understand life. We gained a lot of knowledge on the many species (around 150) we were able to observe, not in the least thanks to his talent to see the tiny birds and the many reptiles (snakes, tortoises). We were impressed !!. As we were not experienced, Georgos made ample room to learn us where to look, to listen and follow the behaviour of a particular bird (and reptile). The overall rating: xxxx
Connie & Piet Elenbaas
Overall the clients had a great trip. Thanks for your excellent organization!
Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours
Johannesburg, South Africa
All in all, a wonderful trip with a wonderful group. Everybody enjoyed the trip, feedback was 90% positive.
Dr. Christoph Muelleder, Weltanschauen
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday? The best bit of the holiday was seeing Greece through the eyes of a Greek person. 2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this holiday? Be flexible and soak up the unique experience. 3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation? Yes 4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall? Excellent. It was well organized and I was very impressed. Overall holiday rating: **** Some wonderful memories, I would not hesitate to recommend it to a friend
Thank you once again for arranging this week's trip around Dadia, Evros and Kerkini. It was very interesting and enjoyable and, as I'd hoped, gave me a great overview of the region. Please pass over my thanks to the chaps who looked after me too.
Everyone is back home. They have had a fantastic holiday! Thanks for the organization. We'll do it again in 2017! / Iedereen weer goed thuis. Ze hebben een fantastische reis gehad! Dank voor de organisatie. Op naar 2017!
Niels Bronsgeest, Director of Stichting Natuurreizen
Deventer, The Netherlands
I spent my holidays in a beautiful island called Karpathos. Experienced the nice weather and people. Saw goats along the trail, once you feed them, they will fall in love with you. There's a lot of fresh seafood. We caught sea urchin and ate like sashimi. Our tourist guides are very knowledgeable, they know all the plants and the small animals in the island. We were lucky and found the unique frogs. It was an awesome holidays and felt sad to say goodbye to them. If you want to visit Greece or the Karpathos island to get a different experience. I'm very sure Natural Greece will provide you the best service and recommendations.
Even though we contacted Chantel on a very short notice asking for something very precise (sea kayaking), Chantel answered us very quickly and managed to organize a very nice day during which we did both hiking in nature and sea kayaking. She was eager to answer our questions and to share her knowledge while the kayaking trip was safe, adventurous and perfect! Thanks!
We had a great day with Chantel. The best place was surely the lake!
This was the most happy, beautiful, relaxing sail and dive trip I have ever been on!! Thank you very much for taking such good care of us! Love,
Marian van Kleinwee
Merci xxx pour cette magnifique expérience!
Giannis did a fantastic job and we will be doing this again. The week was fantastic.
Danielle Robinson, Newton Rigg College
We are now on the Island of Icaria and enjoying its beauty with our daughter Stacy. I just wanted to thank you for all your help and let you know that your guides, Demitrius, Vanessa and Dave were excellent. We had a wonderful tour of Athens and Ancient Olympia and area.
I would also like to extend our thanks to Giorgos and Gianis for their patience with us and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Greece and found the work of Callisto both fascinating and inspirational. Obviously the highlights were the close encounter with 1817 and the more distant views of “our” bear, but the weather, food and the countryside were spectacular. Note: You can read a report on the 2nd Brown Bear sighting by Martin & Liz Pitt right here: http://www.natural-greece.gr/en/news?id=19
Liz & Martin Pitt
Regarding our day in Athens with Chantel, she is delightful. Her English was perfect. We enjoyed our time with her.
Chantel guided us through a very relaxed and splendid day of swimming in healing waters, gathering flowers & herbs on a beautiful scenic hike, and eating a delicious lunch complimented by the herbs that we collected. It was a great way for our family to take a break from Athen's tourist attractions to experience something fun & unique.
a great tour for our group of ramblers from the UK and US thanks
Alison Mellor, Ramblers Worldwide Holidays
Thanks again for the fabulous days! Greetings! / Nogmaals dank voor de geweldige paar dagen! Groet!
Niels Bronsgeest, Stichting Natuurreizen
Thank you once again for a great trip to Lake Kerkini.
Phil Knott, Heatherlea
Thank you for the great adventure today!!!
We would all like to thank you for brilliant well organised birding holiday. We all really enjoyed it, George was great, the families at the hotels looked after us very well and the birding was fantastic. We will recommend "Natural Greece" to our friends. Thank you again
Keith, Hazel and Michael
Chantel was professional and personable, and coped with some trying circumstances beautifully. Our hotel was off the beaten path located in the middle of a booming market place, inaccessible to her vehicle. She made adjustments, helped us get our luggage to the hotel, and never lost her charm while doing so. Her tour to Cape Sounio was a welcome respite from many urban tours we took. I would highly recommend Chantel for anyone touring the Athens area.
Once again congrats for the excellent trip organised and delivered! A brilliant idea put into action with great professionalism and inspiration, perfectly planned and executed. I 'm looking forward to your next interesting, unique proposals that will highlight and point out Greece' s rich flora and fauna. A most experienced, effective and innovative profesional. I would definitely recommend anyone to join Natural Greece in its programmes around Greece!
“I cannot thank you enough for our fantastic holiday; both Bryan and I thoroughly enjoyed our time on board. We were so fortunate to find such a knowledgeable professional skipper, who I have to be honest we both felt tremendously safe with throughout the week, which at our age is vitally important! Andrea was superb, his knowledge and passion really brought the whole experience of the beautiful Cyclades to life. His patience with our questions and enthusiasm for the flora, fauna and local Greek way of life never wavering. I still remember watching him leave, Bryan and I stood on Tahita in Adamas and watched until we could no longer see the ferry and realised that we had just said goodbye to a very dear friend. Very many people have asked how the trip went, we have enthused greatly about the sailing, walking and wildlife and how we would love someday to return or for some of our friends to enjoy the stunning scenery, so thank you all once again and we hope to see you sometime soon. Take care.”
Di & Bryan
Dear Mahi, Thank you SO MUCH for this incredible week. We have felt vey welcome and so comfortable with your excellent hospitality. We really appreciated the days in your kitchen and all of the gorgeous recipes. Some day we will return!! No problem, we eat!
Heather Louise Sutton
Thank you again for a wonderful day yesterday!
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Thank you so much for the sea Kayaking, the team of Google France really enjoyed it !
Google France, Thomas Gourand
“Annie thank you for making this a wonderful holiday. It was fantastic to visit different islands and explore the paths and… and… so many lovely memories to take home."
Chris & Greg
“Annie and Sotiris, thank you so much for an amazing week aboard Tahita. It was the most memorable part of our time in Greece thanks to the great company, interesting dives, and phenomenal food. I hope I have the opportunity to visit again sometime in the future!”
Chantel, thank you so much for the magnificent organization of the dream trip "In the footprints of the European bear". It was beautiful, fun, unforgettable and 5* rated. The enthusiasm and passion of Armin will be for always with me. Thank you and keep doing this marvelous job filled with love for nature. Marlien
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Greece, apart from sea and sun, has got wildlife and it is there for you to see and experience. In a pristine unexplored mountainous landscape you can sense bears, wolves, boars whispering around you. Although I am a native Greek I had never imagined the thrilling beauty hidden in the mountains of Northern Greece. Chantel through a very well organised adventure tour made all this possible. At a very reasonable cost the venture offered me the opportunity to get rid of the stress and learn many valuable lessons about nature. We followed Our nature loving and experienced guide Armin along the paths of mount Grammos and we listened openmouthedly to unravel the fascinating secrets of wildlife. Once you have learnt so many things about wild life you realize how closely we are related to animals. Many thanks to everybody.
Chantel was a great, friendly guide. She was cool and composed with sense of humour through out the warm day with 6 hours of walking. She has ability to understand your need and will only give you the information depending on your interest although she has very detailed knowledge on her subject. Her pace was according to our needs. Very professional. This was one of the best experience. Keep it up Chantel.
I was on a birding tour well organised by Natural Greece and accompanied by their nature guide Georgos Spiridakis, who lives on the shore of this lake and specialises in the area. Birdwise, the Kerkini Lake is nothing short of fantastic. Out of 312 bird species recorded here, my daily averages were around 65 to 70, and during the trip, I observed 103 species at the lake alone. We stayed at comfortable, family-run B&B Limneo Hotel at the village of Chrysochorafa, whose friendly owner, Nikos Gallios is ready to personally serve breakfast at 4 am, if his eccentric guests wish so. Highly recommendable birding area and the Natural Greece tour.
"I was on a new sailing birdwatch tour well organised by Natural Greece and accompanied by their bird guide Andrea Bonetti. At the island of Syros, we slept on a Jeanneau Sun Kiss 45 sloop. It has a spacious salon and two tiny bathrooms....................." Read a complete trip report: BIRDING THE CYCLADES, MY MY, HOW CAN I RESIST YOU? http://10000birds.com/birding-the-cyclades-my-my-how-can-i-resist-you.htm
The day with Chantel on this tour was one of the most enjoyable ones that we spent our our vacation. We felt that we were experiencing the real Greece in that she was an expert in the flora and fauna of the natural environment. She spoke English beautifully and was so knowledgeable about all the wind plants and herbs. The lunch that we share was truly extraordinary. She also was excellent with our ten year old son. For any person that enjoys nature and cooking, book this tour...
Chantel welcomed my daughter , her BFF and myself at the port and she was so charming and lovely. We took a subway ride to Athens and she was extremely informative. We toured Athens (Acropolis and all the other sites) and she knew exactly how to keep the girls engaged. Spending the day with Chantel was like visiting with your girl friend. We had a great lunch . The day was low key but extremely well informed.
Fantastic! We normally get official guides every year, which are good but need to give the dates of every conquest and exactly what they where wearing on the eve of battle. I can't be bothered with that. Chantelle understood our sense of humour gave us enough detail about all we asked without the need to test us at the end with the GCSE EXAM. It was like having a friend of a friend take you round the city. Very enjoyable and a great star to our visit. HIGHLY recommended. We will use her again.
My experience in Greece was beautiful and made extra special with the Greek cooking lessons. I have taken cooking lessons in Germany, Rome, Barcelona, and my experience in Greece surpass' them all. It was unique experiencing cooking actually in her home, using all the tools that I have in my own home. I remember all the recipes from this class the best! She was extremely accommodating working around our time schedule and picking me up from our hotel and taking me back. I give this experience 5 stars and HIGHLY recommend making this apart of your Greek vacation experience!
Elizabeth and Dominik Beckman
The trip was absolutely worthwhile, interesting and relaxing. We had a lot of fun, we learned a lot of things and after this most enjoyable week, we are prepared to get back to daily business. Sotiris thank you for sailing us safely through the week. Melita, thank you for your most enjoyable company and for sharing your love for nature in all its forms. Kishes
Eric, Jan, Hedwig, Monique, Serge, Riq
A very nice historical mansion in Visitza, a beautifully quiet village in northern Pelion. We had a great time there. Thanks!
Just would like to say thank you for looking after our group in Athens. We really enjoyed the tour and you were a great host. See you next year!
Dane Dunne, Tour Manager at Entourage Tours
We really enjoyed spending the day with Chantel! She did a great job of keeping us interested and entertained, and shared her knowledge and love of the city. Great value and great tour!
This tour was totally not what i expected... And that's why I truly loved that! It completely took me away from stress, rush, problems, living in the big city. I felt that nothing matters more than me, my body and being in a harmony with the nature. And of course I can't forget to mention the food! It's amazing how we've got some ingredients just from the "bushes", then a little bit of water and mhmmm heaven in my mouth. I can promise you that it will be an unforgettable experience!
I never thought that such a place existed that is so close to Athens. Not only will this place offer you breathtaking scenery but also its clear waters’ healing properties offer wellness for your mind, body and soul. Our swim was followed by a short hike up the hill above the lake, where blossoming flowers, herbs and various other flora and fauna abound. The cherry on top of the icing was the wonderful feast of dishes whose recipes can be traced back to ancient Greece complimented with Greek wine. Chantel was the perfect tour guide that day: She was very informative, telling us pieces of information about the surroundings, the lake, the plants and animals. She was also super helpful and attentive to our needs. I never felt bored throughout this tour. Overall, I truly had an unforgettable experience. It was a great tour shared with good company.
Chantel organized a wonderfull tour in one of the most beautiful but little known suburbs of Athens. You are so closed to the capital, but you think you are in an Aegean island, two thousands and a half years ago, without cars, traffic and pollution, just surrondend by sea, coloured flowers, singing birds and sage and thyme parfume. Chatel introduced us to a variety of spontaneous herbs and flowers, she could tell us the myth linked to one plant, the healing use of another and the cooking treatment of others. She explained us the regenerating secrets of Lake Vouliagmeni's waters and she invited us to bath there and later to busk in the strong Greek sun. And at the end she surprised us with a wonderfull meal (we helped her collecting herbs that she used to prepare the food) made by ancient and modern Greek recepies, using genuine and fresh ingredients from the Greek land. I have just one regret: I thought we would have met Hyppocrate, picking up herbs in the hill. But he didn't show up! Maybe on the next tour...
Chantel hosted an amazing activity which I was lucky enough to attend. Chantel made an excellent tour for us in the hills around Athens and swimming in the lake and ocean. Thanks once again for showing us such a great day :)
Sotiris what can I say! This has truly been the greatest experience! You have opened my eyes to a whole new Greece away from the \'tourist trail\'. Your knowledge astounds me! Thanks for all your hard work and hospitality.
"Annie & Sotiris, Thank you for the amazing time sailing and exploring this week - what an adventure! There has been time to relax, sunbathe and snorkel, fantastic walks, wonderful food and some exhilarating sailing. I have loved it and felt like I have spent the week with friends I have known for ages. It has been brilliant to be involved in the sailing and to take the helm in the wind! You have both been such wonderful hosts and made us feel like home. I'll miss the gentle rocking - but will be back and let others know about Mystic Blue."