6 days
Duration
Kythnos Island
Location
12+
Age

Nature holiday on the Greek Island of Kythnos, Greece

Leisurely paced hike with top nature guide across this little-known Greek Island.

On the idyllic Cycladic island of Kythnos you discover its natural, agricultural and cultural life. Walk across the wild countryside observing the sea, the landscape and various flowers, reptiles and birds. In the Katafiki cave meet natural life endemic to one of Greece’s largest caves. Up to 500 different species of wildlife can be found on the island, of which around 140 species of birds.

Departure in spring and autumn. Contact us for details.

Highlights:

  • Rare and endemic flowers; many birds of prey and migratory species; reptiles
  • Walk on old mule tracks with a local guide; reach many of Kythnos’s sandy beaches
  • Go on a boat ride to look out for monk seals, dolphins and migratory cliff birds
  • Visit Katafiki cave, one of Greece’s largest underground habitats
  • Enjoy local wines and hospitality in friendly taverna

Your local tour guide on this sunny island is David Koutsogiannopoulos, a leading Greek naturalist. He will make all the difference on this nature holiday. Read his article about the remarkable nature of a Greek Island where (almost) no one has gone before: “A Greek Cyclades Island for nature lovers: Kythnos  Check out more Greece hiking holidays here.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Athens
TOUR DURATION 6 days
PRICE €475 p.p. based on double room occupancy

€670 p.p. based on single room occupancy

INCLUDES
  • 5 nights in Hotel Messaria, or Philoxenia studios Kythnos
  • transfers from Athens airport or centre to the port of Lavrio and back
  • ferry tickets port Lavrio-Kythnos Island-port Lavrio
  • all breakfasts
  • all dinners
  • all land transportation in comfortable A/C vehicle
  • all tolls
  • fuel
  • expert nature guide & local guide travelling with the group at all times
  • visits/activities as mentioned in the nature holiday program
EXCLUDES
  • lunches, tips and drinks
  • international flights
  • travel insurance

Also part of the package is a copy of David’s exclusive Kythnos Island, a Nature Guide which has month-by-month sighting calendars for plants, birds and other species

The avifauna of the island is one of the richest in Greece, especially during spring and autumn migration. There are more than 140 species of birds. Shags, Little Owls and Hoopoes are very common but the real rarity is the Eleonora’s Falcon. Every April they travel all the way from Madagascar to Greece. They breed in Summer. Here you’ll find all swifts, martins and swallows of Europe and more than 6 species of gulls. Other birds of prey include Short-toed, Bonelli’s Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Honey Buzzard, Buzzard, Sparrow hawk, Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon.

Encounter a large number of reptiles like the endemic Erhadr’s Wall Lizard, the Sand Boa (Europe’s only Boa) or the Balkan Green Lizard. More of 100 species of Lepidoptera are living on Kythnos with real jewels Polygonia egea, Nerium Oleander butterfly, Daphnis nerii, Saturnia pyria and Zerynthia polyxena. Over 400 (!) different plant species can be found on this relatively small island, most of them blooming in early spring. Expect special bulb flowers like crocus flowering after Summer.

Kythnos is one of the nearest Cycladic islands to the Greek mainland, less than two hours from the port of Lavrio. Lavrio port is a half hour drive from Athens International Airport. It has remained little disturbed by mass tourism and it retains its traditional culture. Geologically it is one of the newest Cycladic islands. It has a long history of human civilization going back 10.000 years, some of which is still visible. Part of the north west of the island is a Natura 2000 protected area. Much of the island is gently rolling hills up to 350 meters high, traditional villages and bays with housing.

It is real easy to reach this Greek Island. Take a flight to Athens Airport. Your transfer from Athens Airport (or Athens center) to the port of Lavrio is included in this travel package. From Athens center to Lavrio is around 1 hour drive. Το Lavrio port is half an hour drive. From the port you get a ferry boat to Kythnos Island (approx. 2 hour duration). Also the ferry boat is included. You return the same way.

Ask us for travel advice. We will be happy to welcome you here!

The easy walks on Kythnos contain no big climbs: the island goes up to 350 metres. Besides, the pace is slow. We cross wild countryside with vibrant flowers and animals, all with splendid views across the Aegean to other Cycladic islands. We mostly walk on mule tracks, which farmers and their mules still use. The beaches are numerous and most are quiet all year around. Locals adore the church festivals which are an opportunity for traditional music and dancing.

Day-to-day programme

1

Day 1 - Monday

Transfer from the ferry port of Merichas to your hotel in Hora, the island capital. After a walk around this traditional village, full of churches, we enjoy dinner in a tavern and an introduction from our guides.
2

Day 2 - Tuesday

Breakfast. Transfer and walk up to Orias Castle on a spectacular headland where there are the ruins of a Byzantine castle. The area is home to many buzzards and other birds of prey apart from sheep and goats from the nearby farms. There are also wildflowers galore. After we visit Maroulas Neolithic site and then head to Loutra where there is a natural hot spring. Return to Hora via an orchid field to spot wild and rare orchid species. Moth sighting on the way. Dinner.

Estimated duration of walk: 4 hours (4km) ~ 200m elevation

Degree of difficulty: easy to medium

3

Day 3 - Wednesday

Breakfast. Boat trip to North of island and sea bird spotting on the way. Search for Monk seals among the cliff caves. Lunch stop at Loutra. Bus transfer to Hora. Dinner.

Estimated duration of boat ride: 4 hours (40km) ~ null elevation

Degree of difficulty: easy

4

Day 4 - Thursday

Breakfast.  Transfer to Apokrousi beach for migratory birdwatching. Then head to Episkopi beach to visit the wetlands. Move on to see the flowers and tamerisk trees on Flambouria beach. Dinner in Dryopida. Minibus back to Hora.

Estimated duration of walk: 5 hours (4km) ~ 150m elevation

Degree of difficulty: easy to medium

5

Day 5 - Friday

Breakfast. Walk around Hora for birdwatching. Head on a different route to Dryopida to visit the Katafiki cave and its indigenous insects and bats. Beach visit to various lovely beached on the east coast. Bus to Hora. Dinner.

Estimated duration of walk: 5 hours (5km) ~ 200m elevation

Degree of difficulty: easy to medium

6

Day 6 - Saturday

Breakfast & check-out. Transfer to Kakovolo hill in order to marvel at a pre-historic type forest and various wildflower species. Lunch at Merichas. Then transfer for a wine tasting experience in Arapis.

Estimated duration of walk: 3 hours (4km) ~ 150m elevation

Degree of difficulty: easy

Ferry leaves for Lavrio.

Kythnos Greece lunch Cyclades
Architecture of Kythnos island
Wild horse on Kythnos island
Papilio machaon in Kythnos
Sylvia melanocephala - Sardinian Warbler
eleonora's falcon in Kythnos
Orchis papilionacea in Kythnos

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review
May 17, 2018

An energetic and enjoyable tour of the beautiful and relatively undisturbed island of Kythnos. We were accompanied by two excellent local guides, David, the naturalist with an amazing knowledge of the island’s fauna and flora and Katerina a local history specialist. Events on the island were organised by Nigel who did an amazing job ensuring every day had a full programme despite the minor itinerary changes that have to be expected on such a small island. Being part of a small group made the tour feel very personal and everyone bonded leading to a relaxed atmosphere. The walks, although not overly long distance wise, were up and down hill and sometimes over rocky terrain.
We would thoroughly recommend this tour if you enjoy walking through beautiful countryside, with good company and expert guides.
Anyone interested in the wildlife we encountered can visit
https://www.flickr.com/photos/113253155@N06/albums/72157691155435890

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