Hop on a ferry and explore the unspoiled beauty of Kythnos, the closest Western Cycladic island to Athens, and then go on to elegant and beautiful Sifnos, two islands further on. With the guidance of local experts walk through picturesque villages, taste unique local delicacies, and hike unparalleled historic trails in Greek islands.
- Explore 2 stunning Greek islands, that are both off the beaten path
- Meet the locals and immerse yourself in island culture
- Hike scenic trails to charming villages, ancient sites and beautiful beaches
- Enjoy swimming in the sapphire crystal-clear waters of the Aegean sea
- Sample the authentic village cooking of Kythnos
- Take a pottery lesson and learn how to make our own ceramic clay
Day 1. Athens Piraeus port – Kythnos port
You start your holiday countdown once you get on board the ferryboat from the port of Piraeus (afternoon departure). 3 hours later you disembark at the beautiful port of Merichas where you are welcomed by the tour leader and are transferred to your hotel (a family guest house property) Later you can enjoy a delicious dinner in a traditional taverna in Merichas village with your tour group and tour leader, who will provide you with further information about the days to follow.
Day 2. Merichas- Dryopida – Lefkes – Chora
Recharge your batteries with a traditional breakfast and prepare yourselves for a day full of transforming experiences on the wonderful and undiscovered island of Kythnos. Walk through mountainous Dryopida village located in the heart of the island, meet the locals, admire the red hues of its traditional roof tiles, and be intrigued and impressed by a visit to Kythnos’s Folklore Museum, before exploring extraordinary Katafiki in North Dryopida, one of the largest caves in Greece.
Moving on, catch the sun and breathe the fresh Aegean air with a tranquil country walk along lovely Kythnos trails. In an easy hour-long downhill walk, let the panoramic scenery lull your senses, as you arrive at the peaceful beach of Lefkes with its crystal-clear waters. We pause for an hour at Lefkes where you can enjoy swimming, as well as appreciate the rich variety of the landscape, or take a nap beyond the shadows of the tamarisk trees which are close to the beach.
After an hour we leave Lefkes for Dryopida to enjoy a unique island village experience. Prepare yourself to sample pure Greek tastes and flavours in a traditional taverna in one of the village’s loveliest streets, and in doing so live the ultimate Greek experience from the inside! Under the guidance of a local cook you will be taught the secrets of Greek cuisine, and learn to prepare step by step traditional delicacies such as the signature Greek salad, tzatziki, Kythnos sfouggata cheese balls, and much more. Then we will opt for a family-style lunch, as we seat ourselves somewhere along a beautiful Cycladic path and enjoy your mouthwatering creations. What more could you ask by way of spoiling yourselves and all your senses?
Day 3. Mediaeval exploration
Today after your breakfast you will visit the capital of the island, the village of Chora or Messaria. Here you will discover traditional Cycladean architecture and the secret historical treasures of the Cyclades, such as the Catholicon, which was the last catholic church of Kythnos and is now a museum open to the public. Later you will begin your hike to the north of the island, and after 2 hours you will reach the Castle of Oria which was the mediaeval capital of Kythnos. History tells us that the castle was also called the ‘Castle of Thermia’, Thermia being the other name for Kythnos, on account of its hot springs famous since the Roman era. The castle was destroyed by the Turkish pirate Barbarossa.
On the hike back we will enjoy the panoramic view of the northern port of the island, the handsome village of Loutra. Here you can swim and relax at the famous thermal springs that are very popular during the high season because of their therapeutic properties. At the end of the tour your guide will transfer you back to your hotel and you will be free to enjoy your evening in Merichas or alternatively you can arrange an evening tour to enjoy coffee or dinner at the Chora.
Day 4. Merichas – Kolona- Vryokastro
The fourth day can fairly be described as a hiker’s day. On the way down to Vryokastro, an easy 2 hour walk, you will be mesmerised by the wild beauty of the hills, the lovely colour palette of the tranquil sea, and the touching sight of the ruins of the ancient capital of Kythnos. Moving on we reach famous Kolona, the best-known beach on Kythnos, that is on nearly every island postcard. 240 metres long and with its golden, grainy sand and transparent waters, it is named Kolona from the word ‘column’ because of its distinctive shape as it embraces the Aegean waters from both sides. After an hour and a half’s break for swimming and taking photographs in this spectacular place, you will probably find it very hard to leave Kolona. Your tour guide will transfer you back to your hotel where you can pack while savouring your wonderful memories of Kythnos, before departing from Merichas for Sifnos island. It takes 2 hours to reach Sifnos, where you will be met by your new tour leader and transferred to your hotel (a family guest house property). Then you can enjoy an excellent dinner in a traditional taverna and your tour leader will provide your group with information about the exciting days ahead.
Day 5. Circular walk around picturesque Sifnos villages to Mediaeval Kastro
Today we follow the beautiful trail from Apollonia towards the Kastro complex. The beautifully paved path is a flight of steps, and it zigzags between olive trees, beehives and some pigeon towers or dovecots as they are sometimes called. We pass by the pretty hamlet of Kato Petali and within an hour reach Kastro, one of Sifnos’s most picturesque and archaeologically significant villages. The village is particularly impressive as it retains the structure of its original fortifications intact.
After a break to explore and admire the Kastro, we continue toward the church of Panayia Poulati.
Walking along the enchanting coastline you are likely to see beautiful gulls, shags and cormorants that populate these waters.
Day 6. Coastal walk from Apollonia to Faros bay, Chrisopigi and Platy Gyalos
We depart for our coastal walk along the east side of the island, walking towards the handsome fishing port of Faros where we stop for a swim and a snack. We then continue to the famous chapel of Chrysopigi and finally reach the splendid bay of Platy Gyalos.
Supper is in one of our favourite Sifnos tavernas at Artemonas, the largest and one of the most beautiful of the island’s villages.
Day 7. Hike to remote beach of Fikiada
Today we explore the remotest part of Sifnos and walk to the solitary beach of Fikiada. We cross a cedar forest to visit its only resident, an ancient, deserted and legendary mansion whose olive grove is the oldest in Sifnos. Walking along the coast we listen rather hypnotised to the waves which break and disappear upon the rugged and colourful rocks. Then we swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Fikiada and enjoy a picnic with local delicacies. Afterwards we rest on the balcony of an ancient Sifnos monastery and admire the dramatic view of the Aegean.
Dinner is at the oldest traditional kafeneio on Sifnos!
Included in the cost
- 2 dinners and 1 lunch
- Local guides from the two islands
- Village and hiking guide, cookery lesson, pottery class
- Transportation by a vehicle, if applicable, within part of an activity