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Athens and the Islands of Poros and Hydra

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From£623
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From£623
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Homepage > Greece > Athens and the Islands of Poros and Hydra
  • Duration: 7 Nights
  • Difficulty: Level 2
  • Tour Type: Self Guided
  • Availability: Daily 20th April to 25th Oct
  • Location: Athens
Tour Details

On this Greek self guided walking holiday we shall explore on foot not only its capital Athens but 2 contrasting Islands within the Saronic Gulf the sea to the south of Athens and the Peloponnese. First, up is the Island of Poros is covered with a fir forest, whereas the Island of  Hydra is a rockier island with great walking possibilities and fantastic views. The absence of motorised vehicles on Hydra makes this destination a true walking paradise.

Your walking holiday starts with a night in the historic centre of Athens. You can stroll through the lush green National Gardens and past the ancient Olympic Stadium. Via the pedestrian zone around the Acropolis you will see the Parthenon temple, and the Roman and Ancient Greek Markets.

Then you shall travel by ferry to the forested island of Poros, where you do a superb walk to the ancient temple of Poseidon. The small peninsula on which the old town of Poros is built offers plenty of possibilities as you wander through narrow lanes and sip on ouzo with a ‘meze’ in one of the cafes on the quay. The last destination on this trip is the island of Hydra, a completely car-free island offering a wide network of intact footpaths! Hydra is a very pretty town, with stone mansions and narrow cobbled streets. One of the walks starts after taking a local water taxi to the secluded bay of Ledeza. You will sail back to the port of Piraeus by catamaran in just 2 hours, then travel on to the airport or stay a few nights longer.

Starting Location

Athens

Price Includes

  • 7 nights bed and breakfast
  • 3/4 star equivalent hotels
  • Information Pack
  • Route Instructions/maps
  • Transfers Athens hotel-Piraeus docks
  • Poros – luggage transfer from/to Hotel-Port
  • Ferry Piraeus-Poros
  • Ferry Poros-Hydra, Hydra-Piraeus

Price Excludes

  • Transport before and after tour
  • Single Rooms
  • Flights
  • Season supplements
  • Extra Nights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Taxi Athens airport -Athens (1-4 persons)
  • Piraeus-Athens airport (1-4 persons)
  • Water taxi Hydra town-Ledeza bay (can also be arrange while on Hydra and paid on the spot). (1-8 persons)
  • City Taxes
Trip Info

Walk Characteristics

The walks are mostly on unsurfaced tracks; cobbled mule tracks, footpaths and some dirt tracks.

Accommodation

Subject to change – during November -March alternative accommodation is likely.

  • Athens – hotel Novus (www.novushotel.gr)
  • Poros – hotel Saga (www.saga-hotel.com)
  • Hydra – hotel Hydrousa (http://www.hydroussahotel.gr)

 

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Itinerary

Day 1Arrival at Athens

Arrival in Athens airport where you can easily travel by public transport to Athens centre. It is possible to pre-book a taxi transfer from the airport to Athens if you prefer.

Day 2From Athens to Poros 3 miles 5km up/down 120m 2 hours.

Pick-up at the hotel in Athens and transfer to the port of Piraeus. In the afternoon there is time for a nice walk on the peninsula of Poros town. First, you walk through this unique town with its brightly coloured houses up to the ruin of an old windmill. Here you can enjoy breathtaking views across the narrow Galatas channel toward the high peaks of the Peloponnese. You continue until a ridge and follow a partly paved path (kalderimi) all along the ridge to the church of Ag. Anargyroi. Sitting in front of the church you will have a 360 degree panoramic view. You descend via a different path back to Poros town where you can relax in one of the cafes.

Day 3Circular walk on Poros 6.2 miles 10km 500m up/down 3.5 hours.

Today’s walk will lead you first along the coast toward Kyani Akti, from where you ascend through a forested area and small olive groves toward the archaeological site of Poseidon which was believed to have been built around the 5th century BC. The Sanctuary of Poseidon deserves a visit. It is situated in a strategic position, 200m above sea level. The sanctuary was dedicated to the worship of Poseidon, but there is evidence that the site was already inhabited in prehistoric times. There are still excavations taking place.

Leaving the site behind you, you ascend further via a fire lane. You will come to a forest road and reach the highest point of today. Zigzagging down via forest roads, you come to the main tarmac road which you follow shortly. Then you turn onto a nice path and descend through open woodlands until the coast at the area Perlia where your hotel is located.

Day 4From Poros to Hydra 2.5 miles 4km 280m up/down 2 hours.

You travel today by high-speed ferry from Poros to Hydra. The striking difference between Poros and Hydra becomes clear as you near the island of Hydra. Whereas Poros is covered with pine forests, Hydra consists mostly of rocky mountains and a curved coastline.

The main town and port are among the most beautiful in Greece, with preserved neo-classical mansions, white-washed village houses and narrow cobbled lanes climbing steeply up from the horseshoe-shaped harbour. Quite rightly, the whole town is preserved as a national monument.

In the afternoon you can do a lovely walk on Hydra as you get to know the town and the sparsely-populated area inland.

Day 5Walk on Hydra 6.2-10 miles 10-16km 150-350m up/down 3-5 hours.

The first of the two main walking routes crossing Hydra begins at Hydra’s main town and ends on the western side of the island, with Bisti Beach and the small church of Ag. Georgos. This side of the island is covered with rich vegetation and the pine forest reaches down to Bisti beach, offering a very different side of the island than the one usually associated with Hydra, a formation of bare rock!

First, you walk along the north coast through the villages of Kaminia, Vlychos, Plakes and past the Bay of Palamidas with its small dockyard. From there you have the option of returning to the town of Hydra via a different route OR walking further inland to ascend to the village of Episkopi. After Episkopi, the footpath continues southwest, toward the coast. You will enjoy impressive views and walk mainly through lush vegetation. Your route ends at the picturesque bay of Bisti with its small church, Agios Georgos. In high season there are sun beds for rent. You will return to the town of Hydra by water taxi (not included in the standard arrangement).

Day 6 Walk on Hydra 6.2 miles 10km 700m up/down 6 hours

The circular walk for today takes you to the summit of Mount Eros on the island of Hydra at 588m. A wide “kalderimi” winds uphill from the town of Hydra to the Monastery of Profitis Elias, situated just 100m below the summit. From here a trail leads up to the summit, where you can enjoy splendid views over Hydra, the surrounding islands and the Peloponnese. The return route to the town of Hydra follows a different trail, descending gradually to the settlement at Episkopi then swiftly back to Hydra.

Day 7Walk on Hydra  6-10.7 miles 9.6-17.2km 468/400m up/down 3.5-6.5 hours.

For today’s route on Hydra you will be taken by a water taxi to Ledeza Bay (optional). From the bay, you ascend to the Monastery of Zourvas, situated in a barren landscape, dominated by stone. You can choose to walk directly back to the town of Hydra via a clear footpath. You will walk through wooded areas as well, full of cedars and oaks. The route passes the monasteries of Aghia Matrona and Aghia Triada. Via a dirt track, you reach the monastery of Aghios Nikolaos and descend to the town of Hydra.

For the longer walk, you first continue further east, to the lighthouse of Zourvas, via the church of Agios Ioannikios. This church seems to be hanging from the cliffs while the sea shimmers 100m below, creating a dazzling sight. The end of the route is marked by the stone lighthouse of Zourvas, which is now automated. The only guests in the area are wild goats that roam and graze on the land. You return on foot to Zourvas Monastery then follow the standard route via Aghia Matrona, Aghia Triada and Aghios Nikolaos and return to Chora via a saddle marked by windmills.

Day 8Departure

You walk with your luggage down to the port via the cobbled streets of Hydra for one last time. At the port, you board a high-speed vessel to travel back to Piraeus. Optionally you can book a transfer to Athens airport for your flight departure or you can book additional nights in Athens.

Map

How to get there

Fly to Athens airport.

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