Walking on the Greek Islands

8 days
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$1,649 USD
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
TEJ
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–16
Min age:
16

Walks on Santorini, Paros and Naxos

The Greek islands have much more to offer than most would think: archaeological treasures, history, culture, dramatic landscapes overlooking an azure coloured sea and, of course, delicious food. Our week starts on the beautiful island of Naxos, before heading to Santorini and Paros. Exploring the irresistible island of Santorini on foot will certainly be the highlight of our week. Hopping from one wonderful island to the other, we enjoy a relaxed week of gentle walks through picturesque villages, lush valleys and sandy beaches.

Highlights

  • Discover the three islands of Naxos, Santorini and Paros
  • Gentle walks amid idyllic scenery and remote villages
  • Enjoy delicious local Greek cuisine

Key information

  • 7 nights in 3-star hotels with en suite rooms
  • 3 full days and 2 half days walking on 3 islands
  • Travel by public transport, boat/ferry and coach
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Countries visited: Greece

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel Insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

3 full days walking and 2 half days exploration on foot

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 3-4hrs walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths

Day by day breakdown
Day 22.0km/1.0miles
Day 38.0km/4.0miles
Day 42.0km/1.0miles
Day 510.0km/6.0miles
Day 79.0km/5.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Athens; to Rafina and overnight

    The group flight usually arrives into Athens in the early evening and will be met and transferred to the start hotel in Rafina. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon. In the evening our guide will hold a short meeting to discuss the plan for the following day, to give advice on the local area and to answer any questions.

    Accommodation: Avra Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

     

  • Day 2

    Morning ferry to Naxos; afternoon explore the town and visit the Temple of Apollo.

    In the early morning, we catch the ferry to Naxos. The ferry will leave the port at 7.25am and takes about 5.5 hours. On board the ferry there is a selection of restaurants and cafes which will serve food and drinks throughout the journey. After checking in at our hotel, we will take a walk to explore the main town, Hora, a Venetian Castello town. The market area is a delight to wander through, with its craft shops, chapels and quaint restaurants. On the islet of Palatia stands the impressive Portara, ancient marble gateway, the entrance to the remains of the temple of Apollo.

    Walk: Distance 2km Ascent 50m Descent 50m Time: 3 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Aeolis or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Walk through the Tragea Valley in the heart of the island, from Halki to Melanes, visiting the ancient statue of Kouros.

    Today we trek the lush valley of Tragea, famous for its ancient olive and citrus groves. It is a great opportunity to discover the most authentic part of Naxos, where picturesque villages and churches punctuate our walk.  We will wander along the ancient path in the middle of the Naxian marble quarries until we reach Kouros, the gigantic statue from the 5th century B.C. which was damaged during transportation and then abandoned ever since, lying under trees in the Melanes Valley.

    Walk: Distance 8km Ascent 200m Descent 200m Time: 5 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Aeolis or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Afternoon ferry to Santorini; afternoon explore Fira.

    Today there is a free morning to explore Naxos. In the early afternoon, we take the ferry to Santorini (approximately 2.5 hrs). Santorini (locally known as Thira) is one of the most famous islands in the world. Known mainly for its beautiful beaches, it is a remnant of a volcanic cone whose top was blown off. A huge eruption (estimated 1650 BC) gave it its crescent shape and many speculate that it was the location of the legendary lost Atlantis. This beautiful island has a lot to offer to walkers, including magnificent views of the Mediterranean. In the late afternoon, we will have a walk around the town of Fira to enjoy the stunning views of the caldera.

    Walk: Distance 2 km Ascent 100m Descent 100m Time: 2 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Sunrise or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Walk along the caldera from Fira to Oia.

    The Six mile "Cliff Trail" is a spectacular walk 400 m high above the Volcanic Caldera, a photographer's delight and not too challenging. Views out over the Aegean as far as the eye can see are virtually ever present as we wind gently up and down to the pretty village of Oia, home to many artists, galleries, boutiques and cafes. There is time to explore, relax and soak up the culture before we transfer back to Fira.

    Walk: Distance 10km Ascent 300m Descent 300m Max Time: 5 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Sunrise or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free time in Santorini. Afternoon ferry to Paros

    This morning have free time in Santorini. Optional extras include a visit by bus to the buried city of Acrotiri, time at the famous black beaches of Kamari and/or a visit to the prehistoric museum of Thero in town. Leaving Santorini in the afternoon, we board the ferry to Paros, the journey is approximately 3 hours.

    Accommodation: Hotel Pandrossos or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Walk the ancient paths in the heart of Paros, from Lefkes to Prodromos and the coastal villages of Marpissa and Pisso Livadhi.

    In the morning we visit the cathedral of Paros, built in the 4th century A.D., a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture and a relic of early Christianity.  We take a bus to reach the heart of the island and the village of Lefkes, where we join the Old Byzantine path that runs all the way to the east coast of Paros. The route is believed to be about 1000 years old and used to traverse the entire island. Today’s route will pass through beautiful Cycladic villages as well as mediaeval villages. In the afternoon we take a bus back to Parikia.

    Walk: Distance 7km Ascent 100m Descent 350m Time: 4 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Pandrossos or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Ferry transfer to Piraeus; end Athens.

    We take the ferry back to Piraeus or Rafina (approx.5hrs) and transfer to Athens airport where the trip ends. Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport for the return flight to London.

    Please note: the ferry port can change depending on the season and you might return to Rafina. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Greece

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts included.

Simple buffet style Greek breakfast consists of bread/toast, butter, jam, fresh juice, milk, local yoghurt, eggs and honey, and coffee/tea. For lunch and dinner, we will generally go to different local tavernas and restaurants (at times picnic lunches using locally sourced food will be suggested for lunch instead), where we can sample some typical Greek meze dishes, olives, fresh fish, vegetables and much more.

Weather

The Cyclades enjoy a typical Mediterranean weather with mild winters and hot dry summers.

March and November: cooler daytime temperatures 10-15º night time 5-8º, a chance of some rain.

April, May and October: pleasant daytime temperatures 12-22º night time 5-13º, a chance of some rain.

June and September: daytime temperatures 20-35º, night time 15-20º; very dry.

In July and August the temperature can get hot (normally 35-36º) but there is always a sea breeze.

Athens

Is this trip for you?

Grade: 1 (Leisurely)

This trip offers the chance to discover three wonderful islands and enjoy some gentle walks. Routes have been chosen to showcase the best of the natural and historical sites on each island. Terrain will include footpaths and mountain terrain, which can be rocky and loose in places with some sloped ascents and descents (walking poles can be useful).
There are 3 day walks in our itinerary and 2 half days exploring on foot. Walking time is between 2 and 5 hours including lunch breaks, and an average level of fitness is required. All walks are optional.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

7 nights in 3* hotels with en suite rooms. On the islands, we use family-run hotels, thus ensuring that our visit benefits the local communities. The rooms are comfortable, clean and tidy, and have private facilities, however the bathrooms can sometimes be a little small and old fashioned. All of the hotels have a swimming pool (open May to October).

We also have one night in a standard hotel in Rafina.

Single Accommodation is available for a supplement.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed June 2019
    Rosaleen Henry

    Walking on the Greek islands

    I really enjoyed the holiday. Our guide Cecile was excellent and really made for a lovely trip in terms of looking after us and recommending and arranging meals at local restaurants. The accommodation was very good. My only disappointment was that most of the journeys were on Catamarans rather than ferries. Not what I expected from the brochure which said the journeys between Athens and the islands would be on ferries. I did not now catamarans would be regarded as ferries. I made my own arrangements from Rafina to Naxos when I found out the journey was not on a ferry. I really would have preferred to have traveled from Paros to Athens on the last day by ferry instead of 5 hours inside a catamaran on which we could not move around or go outside apart from a few minutes at each port. That is my only complaint. Overall it was a great trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Eating at a restaurant on Santorini looking at the sunset.. Visiting Akrotiri and the museum in Fira. Walking the Byzantine trail on Paros.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely outstanding.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for walking rocky paths in the heat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No. It lived up to my expectations .
  • Reviewed May 2019
    David Cowan

    Enjoyed but could be better

    Didn't get off to a good start because exodus didn't inform us and several others of an itinerary change, although some others in the party did hear about it. Although the reverse order for the visits is better we ended up with a 1/2 day on Paros with not much to do and no useful suggestion from the tour leader. He was generally a very good guide but occasionally not as flexible as one might wish. The walks were generally good and not hard apart from the odd steep climb. Just wish there had been more of them (see above). We were recommended to go to the buried town of akrotiri, which was well worth the trip together with the museum in Thira. Can't understand why Exodus don't make this part of the trip if time permits. If we hadn't gone we would have had another wasted morning on Santorini, to add to that on Paros. Hotel beds generally rock hard and in 2 out of the 4, some of the smallest shower cubicles we have ever experienced. I think we would have preferred to pay a bit more for a better hotel on Santorini & Paros Ferry journeys were always longer than anticipated but luckily weather was OK so we could go on deck apart from Naxos to Rafina on the catamaran where you have aircraft type seats

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walk on naxos

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above but generally good but did tend to lecture us a bit. Extremely knowledgeable and very pleasant. Could do with a bit more understanding on the needs of a diabetic in the group but soon caught on when we pointed out it wasn't a "gippy tummy" but low blood sugar. Probably helps that we are familiar with this condition due to previous job. Some small kindnesses to the group were also appreciated and he did try hard. But having him deal with other groups that exodus has in the region while guiding us was not optimal. Exodus need sto emply more staff to cover their local needs

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have plenty to read for ferry trips, be prepared for hard beds. Good walking shoes a must but boots probably optional
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Lesley Bird

    Brillian introduction to Greece!

    Had an amazing holiday island hopping with Thanos as our inspiring leader. The three islands were so different in character to each other (Naxos = relaxed/laidback / Santorini = busy/picture postcardish / Paros = picturesque mountain villages and pathways). Loved the holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The perfection of buildings, statues and even ruins which were thousands of years old and in many cases still being used or incorporated within slighly newer buildings. Our current buildings are not made to last!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos is amazing. He is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about all things Greek: culture; food; botanical; history and world affair. He delighted in sharing his country and seemed to gain in energy and enthusiasim as the week progressed. Thanos was a firm leader who successfully herded his group on and off the ferries without anyone or luggage going astray.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We went on this holiday in April and the weather was colder than I hoped or planned. In Paros it sank to 11C and that did feel cold but overall was very good when we were on our walks. If you go at that time of year take waterproofs!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The shower cubicles in the hotels are tiny .... really tiny. Just be prepared.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Gillian Ratliff

    Stunning scenery and such weather!

    Despite a last minute itinerary alteration due to ferry timetable changes, thus was a well-planned, wonderfully lead week mixing somewhat challenging walks with sightseeing and wonderful fellow travellers. We sampled many local dishes in lovely tavernas and village eateries and enjoyed some very amusing moments. A great week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view from the cliff top path from Fira to Ouia on Santorini - breathtaking!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos is a knowledgable, considerate and professional guide with a great sense of humour and a big personality.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is categorised as 1 but there are some quite tricky descents on some walks. The option to take the cable car down to the boat trip round the Caldera should be considered if you are not happy about a 600 step (uneven, in some places slippery) walk you share with donkeys carrying passengers up from the quayside. I know I would have preferred this, especially as I slipped and fell at one point.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Neil Hodkinson

    Greek Islands.

    This is an ideal trip to get a flavour of three Greek Islands, Paros, Santorini & Naxos. Also it is a good way of experiencing the culinary delights of the islands. I would question the classification of the trip, which is Leisurely. While there is plenty of time to relax on the ferry crossings betwen each island, all the walks while, relative short have ascents and decents on rough country paths. The path on Naxos is graded Difficult on the local trail board. However our mixed aged group (50 to 70+) coped with only a few minor difficulties.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The off trip visit to the Akrotiri excavation site of a buried Minoan settlement on Santorini plus the visit to the Santorini Museum of Prehistoric Thera. All the excavation finds are housed in the Museum.( I did this instead of the trip boat trip around the Santorini Caldera). Also the deliciously cooked octopus at the tarverna on Paros.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos has a wealth of knowledge of the island's history plus an extensive knowledge of flora of the islands. All of which he imparted, to the group at regular interval and was never seeming not to be able to answer the most obscure questions. He ensured the group was well catered for at the local tarverna's' that the group ate at. Plus ensure the group exited the ferries in a timely manner. All this meant that trip ran seamlessly thus providing an very enjoyable experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks on Paros & Naxos are on country paths with mixed under foot conditions, the same applies for part of the Santorini walk. Thus good walking foot wear is essentail plus I found walking poles usefully on the uphill and down hill sections of each walk. I noted that in 2019/2020 brochure that the Santorini boat trip has been replace by free time in Fira. I would recommend the visit to the Akrotiri excavation site, which is being classified as "The Pompeli of the Aegean". While it is not as extensive as Pompeli, it is covered by a very interesting building and can be easily reach on the local bus in 20 minutes from Fira. You will be required to get your luggage on and off the Ferries via the rear loading ramps. So you need wheel luggage that can be pulled along or travel light so you can carry your stuff. Large items of luggage are stored on the car deck of each ferry.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Dianne Anderson

    Greek Wander

    This was a trip comprised of 15 Canadian women all of whom I knew. Hiking was what appealed to me the most. Second was supplementing the knowledge I'd gained from sailing in the Cyclades (2013) as well as hiking in Corfu last May. Moving beds every three days on average and catching ferries on five occasions. although spelled out in the tour's monograph, didn't seem so onerous until one actually lived it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing atop Mt. Zues on Naxos, albeit in the fog, and later descending to relish the views. Our cooking class on Paros was more hilarious than inspirational but certainly it was a highlight. Also providing after dinner entertainment on our Santorini cruise as we Canadians, fortified with wine, disastrously gave demonstrations of Greek dancing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eleftheria worked extremely hard, both up front and behind the scenes, to make this trip stand out. Her knowledge of Hellenic history was extensive and she readily answered our questions. I will admit that our group provided her with great challenges in terms of hiking. Although I read the hike descriptions beforehand I question whether some of my fellow travellers did. We had a person who had never hiked, many who were intermittent walkers right up to myself who started serious hiking eight years ago by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for my 65th birthday. Safety concerns were many. There was much grumbling about Eleftheria dissuading some from attempting a hike. As a former ski patroller, safety tops anything else. Her execution of getting us on and off ferries with all of our baggage was remarkable. Also, she worked hard to find other options when some activities weren't possible due to end of season closures.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If the trip descriptions don't answer your questions before you commit, ask away and be honest about your abilities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first trip with Exodus, my last trip to Greece, and probably not my last with your company. I'm grateful for this opportunity to help you improve your offerings.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Carolyn Muench

    Great trip!

    Very good in spite of unseasonable weather for September. High winds cancelled ferries for several days. As a consequence we stayed only one night on Paros and missed Santorini entirely. But we got to know Naxos very well, and it is an island with plenty to do. it might have been frustrating, but leader Cecile Deltreil made superhuman efforts to keep us well occupied. Although we saw her frequently glued to her cell phone, she never seemed stressed out and explained changing arrangements in a way that kept us calm and happy. She was also an excellent guide on walks and in the towns we visited. If Cecile is typical of Exodus quality of service, it is an excellent company. In general accommodation was good and food excellent. Cecile has friendly relations with lots of good restaurants. I would certainly recommend this trip, and will be investigating other Exodus trips in future.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all good. I especially enjoyed exploring the small viliages, and the museum in Naxos was a surprise - really good.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I praise Cecile Deltreil to the skies. She deserves a bonus for this trip and a raise!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A word of caution about "leisurely," a word subject to interpretation. The walks were not long, and there were stops for points of interest. But Greek islands are up and down, and in some cases footing was rocky. So the walking was easy for hikers of any level, but more challenging if you have any walking difficulties. ( I had broken my leg 4 months prior, and found the walks a bit hard. Again leader Cecile was wonderful in figuring alternative activities for me as needed.)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Did I mention how wonderful Cecile was?
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Carol Cummins

    Hampered by weather

    We had a great group of mixed ages, abilities and nationalities. We had exceptionally bad storm weather meaning most of the itinerary didn’t happen but Cecile our guide did everything she could to work with the weather. Many of the walks didn’t happen although one of the substitute walks turned out to be the best of the trip. Great guide, great group, hampered by the weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Route 4 rom Halki - an unexpected 7k walk on our extended. Stay on Naxus. Good pace and distance whilst still leisurely. One to add to the main itinerary.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was great and more than performed given the circumstances. Very knowledgeable and patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is ranked as leisurely and it is. Do not expect it to be anything more. Be prepared for itinerary changes as the ferries are suspended whenever there is poor weather. We had an unlucky week with exceptional weather fir the area and time of year.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel in Naxus and our host Michael were exceptional. Very glad we were stranded there and not elsewhere Have graded as s 3. Suspect it would have been higher if the weather not intervened. We added a couple of days at Nea Makri at the start and 5 says in Athens at the end which is working out well and allowed for flight to/from our local airport. Pack light - you don’t need loads and small bags are much easier on the ferries
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Vivienne Hitchin

    Greek Islands Unplugged

    A chance to see the parts of Naxos, Santorini and Paros that maybe most don't see. The trip ran smoothly, expertly organised by Cecile, and the weather was beautiful, late 20's. I travelled on my own and joined a lovely and friendly group of 15 (3 couples, and the rest of us single, aged between 40 and 70). We chose to have most meals together. All hotels had a swimming pool, all 3 star and air conditioned. My favourite hotel was on Naxos and it definitely had the best breakfast. A lovely traditional island with lots going on, a good beach, excellent restaurants and beautiful countryside. I would definitely go back to Naxos. Santorini was beautiful with fantastic views, but very steep, noisy, expensive and busy, especially when a cruise ship arrived! My knees struggled a bit on the uphill parts of this, the longest, walk. I cheated and left early for a bus back to the hotel. Definitely glad I went by cable car both ways to the boat trip too! Most walked down and got the cable car back up, which wasn't scary by the way, and avoided using the few little donkeys still having to walk up and down the hundreds of steps. Paros was delightful and relaxing, a sleepy traditional island with beautiful beaches and countryside, lovely shops and restaurants. If you want to shop wait until you get to Paros, especially for clothes, in the lovely and cool sheltered streets. I arrived home from this holiday pleasantly tired and very happy, definitely one of my favourite trips.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through the countryside in Naxos and Paros.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was lovely, friendly and attentive, she listened to what everyone wanted and fitted in with us and what we wanted, always available and giving advice when needed. Her knowledge and love of the Greek Islands and the Greek people clearly showed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a small, light and comfortable rucksack, good walking boots/shoes and stick/s as you will need them, some of the hills are steep and can be slippy. Get out walking before you go as slightly harder than I had expected of a Level 1 Leasurely, although, to be fair, I have never been on a walking holiday before (hats off to anyone going on a Level 10!).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Travel between the islands and mainland was by ferry. A time to relax, maybe sleep, or chat. Your suitcase is stored down below. Don't forget to take something warm upstairs to wear as the air conditioning can be extremely cold!
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Alan Thomson

    Walking on the Greek Islands

    Three beautiful islands Naxos Santorini and Paros to visit a grade 1 but not so much walking and a lot of ferry time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The actual walks and visiting very small villages particularly the lunch stop in Naxos

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecilia was lovely and informative

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We had only 3 walks across the 7 days so please be prepared for the traveling

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A nice introduction to the Greek islands. Basic accommodation which could be noisy/Santorini and sometimes limited hot water.

Dates & Prices

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