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Deserted Beaches, Sea Caves & Arches, Crystal Clear Blue Mediterranean Waters
Our 2020 spring paddling & walking ‘soft’ outdoor adventure is going to be based out of the southwesterly Cyclades Group of Islands in the Greek Aegean Sea lying halfway between Athens and the Island of Crete. Travelers looking for varied outdoor activities combined with diverse European Island culture will love the itinerary we have planned on this unique and spectacular island archipelagos adventure! We’ll do a series of day trips, a combination of sea kayaking, walking and exploring the island villages. In the evening we will enjoy the great Mediterranean food and wine in local restaurants and retire to a local hotel, guest house or B&B for the night.
These are Volcanic Islands in origin and hence have unique and spectacular coastlines. They are a geological wonderland and a paddling paradise. Paddle the clear, blue Mediterranean waters; explore sea caves, tunnels and arches; relax on deserted beaches; explore uninhabited islands.
The program will consist of a of paddling day trips, broken up with walking or hiking days, there will be time for some relaxation in the quaint Greek villages or maybe even a relaxing day on the beach. We’ll explore a variety of local sites and visit Kimolos, Milos, and Fologandros Islands. Exact itinerary will depend on wind and weather. Milos, the island of colours and the largest of these islands, is most well known as the place where the famous statue, the “Venus de Milo” was discovered, it like the smaller Kimolos and Fologandros offer fantastic scenery and culture.
The 5500 inhabitants of Milos and 650 of Kimolos live in 7+1 villages in the north and east part of the islands. They are economically dependent on Mining and Tourism, with a bit of fishing. Tourism has only recently developed and the islands remains untouched by hotels chains and package tourism. Mining has occurred since ancient times and currently occupies about half the workforce. This dual economy has preserved an authentic local culture that is not found on many of the other islands that have become entirely dependent on tourism.
These islands composed almost entirely of volcanic rocks. Unlike Santorini, which was formed from a single volcanic centre, this area is composed of dozens of eruptions that occurred over a period of about one million years, 3-4 million years ago. This complex volcanic origin is responsible for the wide variety of useful rocks and minerals that have been mined over the millennia and for the unique and colorful rock formations that comprise the coastline. Although the volcanic activity has ceased, earthquakes occasionally rock the island – the last major one was in 1993. Geothermal activity continues to the present day, and can be seen in the form of steam vents, native sulpher deposits hot springs and a natural sauna cave.
Of particular interest to paddlers, are the abundance of sea caves, which occur all around the island. Numbering well over 150, they are particularly abundant in the southwest of the island, around an area called Kleftico and on the North coast at Sarakiniko and Papafrangus. Many form impressive arches and some form tunnels over 50m long. Some have massive, cathedral like roofs, while others have small entrances and crooked passages, requiring torchlight for exploration.
Folegandros: This small island (32 km2), has only 650 inhabitants, though recently more popular it is still a relatively untouched piece of old Greece. On account of the simple and relaxing atmosphere that reigns all around the island residents distinguish it as the “island of Peace”.
Folegandros has three small villages, Karavostasi (the port), the Chora, and Agali Beach. These are connected by paved roads. What catches the eye immediately is the endless series of “dry-placed” walls that have been erected over the centuries by the inhabitants to create terraces on the sunny slopes of the territory to be able to raise cereals.
The village of Chora is closed to car and motorcycle traffic and has a unique “center” of three squares in a row, with trees under which to enjoy a drink or food in a quiet,romantic atmosphere. The church of Panaghia , on the top of a hill, offers a nice walk and a magnificent view of the Chora and of the west coast.
In the area of the Kastro, a small fortress made by the Venetians in 1210 will take you back to the Middle Ages. The village of Ano Merià is spread over cultivated fields and “dry-placed” walls and has typical “kafeneio” and taverns.
Our 2020 soft adventure will be a combination of pleasurable paddling day trips, plus walking and cultural tours. Accommodations will be in B&Bs.
(Note: this is a suggested itinerary only, conditions on each trip may vary)
Sample Itinerary May 1-13, 2020
0-May 1, Travel Athens. Meet Athens (participants responsible for flights)
1 – (May 2) Travel to Milos (morning Ferry frm Athens) – Afternoon hike Roman Ruins/ Catacombs (hotel/dinner Port Milos, specific hotel tba)
2- Intro Sea Kayak Day (night/dinner port Milos, Hotel Accom)
3- (May 4) Ferry to Fologandros (night/dinner Chora Fologandros, accom Anemomilos Hotel)
4- Hike Fologandros (night/dinner Chora Fologandros)
Sample Walk: Ano Meria – Livadaki – Angali – Chora
This is probably the most beautiful hike you can make on the island of Folégandros. You walk on a couple of marvellous monopátia and along the way you can swim on the beaches of Livadáki and Angáli.
This hike all the way back to Chóra takes more than three hours of actual hiking time – some pauses and stops to swim on one of the beaches will turn this hike into a full day of 4-5 hours. We’ll start in the morning with from Chóra . On the way back we may decide to return by bus from the road above Angáli.
5- Hike Fologandros (night/dinner Chora Fologandros)
6- (May 7) Ferry to Milos (night Triavasolos Milos, dinner Plaka, accom Triavasolos guest house))
7- Sea Kayak Day Trip (night Triavasolos, dinner Tripiti)
These trips are planned on a day-to-day basis. Every effort will be made to make the best trip possible given the conditions and experience of the participants. Trips begin and end on a high point with nothing but spectacular coastline in between – sea caves, natural arches and passages, rock gardens, huge cliffs, secluded coves, deserted beaches, crossing to small islands, etc. Discover the highlights of the Milos coast by day, then return to the village each night to enjoy the delights of Greek culture and hospitality.
8- Sea Kayak Day Trip (night/dinner Triavasolos)
9- Sea Kayak Day Trip (transfer to Polonia, Milos, for night accom, dinner)
10- Free Day (Milos/Polonia) (Night/dinner Polonia
11- (May 12) Day Trip to Kimilos, Hike (night/dinner Polonia)
12- (May 13, Wed)End – Flights home from Milos(or Ferry) or on to other Greek Island Adventures. Participants responsible for flights (Olympic Air Milos to Athens, or Ferry)
Participants responsible for booking their own flights to Athens and from Milos
I was hoping that you could thank [Brian and Matt] again for us and let them know what a remarkable experience they facilitated for my wife and I. We will certainly remember it for a lifetime. We had so much fun that we can hardly decide what trip to do next.Jeremy MillerThe meals!! Exceptional, varied, delicious and nutritious come to mind. Meals are never an ‘afterthought’ with highlights including such as sushi on the river bank featuring freshly caught Arctic char, cheese fondue, chocolate fondue ... each meal offers something to look forward to at the end of a hard paddling day.Merrilyn Lindsay business ownerI have known and paddled with Shawn since 1974. He is an amazing guide and canoeist and I have canoed with him from Northern Ontario to the far Arctic, east to west coast. I lead my own local Ontario canoe trips every year, but when I want a guided remote wilderness adventure, there is none better than Shawn and Wanapitei Canoe to take me there.David Wilkie, DVM professor and veterinarianI did my first big canoe trip with Wanapitei in 1980 and had a wonderful experience. I have done many since and always have enjoyed the good leadership, organization, and company on each one, not to mention the great rivers.Peter Milliken, PC lawyer and politicianPaddling the Hess River with Shawn this summer was a thrill and the adventure of a lifetime. The river, country, wildlife, and as important, the people on the trip were all a superb. The whole experience was first rate and an inspiration to do more.Didier Maclaine Pont invester/paddlerAfter not having canoed since my teen years, I was excited but nervous about taking up my paddle again in midlife. Shawn's skill and experience made my trip with him one of the best I could have imagined. I highly recommend his trips.James Gardner vp - marketingI had an incredible time—nothing short of amazing! I'll be back, as they say.Chris Cunningham author