Woman embracing the view on Santorini (Dreamstime)
List Words : Team Wanderlust | 19 March 2018

9 authentic adventures that reveal the heart of Greece

Sail through remote islands, trek to remote mountain tops, learn to cook authentic Greek food... These incredible trip ideas will help you get to know the Greece that's worthy of the Gods

1: Walk amongst the Gods on Greece’s sacred summits

Greece's sacred mountain (KE Adventure Travel)

Greece's sacred mountain (KE Adventure Travel)

Trek to the top of Mount Olympus and explore the UNESCO-listed monasteries of Meteora on this seven-day walking holiday with KE Adventure Travel.

Sitting on the border of Macedonia, Olympus was Greece’s first national park and it's a land of mythical proportions. You’ll scale Mytikas, the Throne of Zeus, visit the floating monasteries of Meteora and trek through fragrant beech and fir forests that are home to a rich variety of wildlife, including chamois, wolves, jackels, woodpeckers and birds of prey.

Trip: Sacred Summits of Olympus and Meteora

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: Departures Jun, Sep & Oct

How long: 7 days

How much: From £795 (exc. flights)

2: Sail the seas around Santorini

Sailing off Santorini (Dreamstime)

Sailing off Santorini (Dreamstime)

Explore the world’s most beautiful islands aboard a luxurious 52-foot yacht on this 10-day sailing trip with G Adventures.

Setting sail from Santorini, you’ll cross azure seas, discover hidden coves and feast upon the freshest seafood. There will be plenty of time for hiking, snorkelling, and relaxing as you explore ancient archaeological sites and taverna-lined harbours and knock back the occasional Ouzo with hospitable locals.

Trip: Sailing Greece – Santorini to Santorini

Who: G Adventures

When:  Regular departures Aug-Oct

How long: 10 days

How much: From £904 (exc. flights)

3: Cruise hidden Greece in style

Anchored in a secluded bay near Thassos (Dreamstime)

Anchored in a secluded bay near Thassos (Dreamstime)

Discover the parts of Greece very few get to see on this sailing adventure aboard the vintage M/S Galileo with Peregrine.

Immaculately refurbished in 2016, the M/S Galileo is elegant and spacious, with generous outside decks, perfect for soaking up the picture-postcard views of the Aegean and feasting upon fresh seafood as the sun sets behind the temple of Poseidon.

Best of all, it is your passport to getting away from the tourist trail, visiting Amorgos, with its unusual rock hewn monastery, and Sifnos, known for its incredible cuisine.

Trip: Cruise the Hidden Gems of Greece

Who: Peregrine

When: Departures Aug & Oct

How long: 8 days

How much: From £2,455 (exc. flights)

4: The ultimate Greek foodie adventure

Food with a view on Santorini (Dreamstime)

Food with a view on Santorini (Dreamstime)

Embark on the ultimate Greek foodie adventure, from Athens to the islands to the Peloponnese, with Intrepid.

From savouring the bounty of the seas in the Saronic Islands to exploring the olive groves of the Peloponnese, you’ll dine on the very best of Greek cuisine and discover its age-old provenance. Cook up a storm with a local cook in their Poros home. Cycle through a pistachio farm on the island of Aegina. Uncover the heart of Kalamata olive production in the rugged Mani region. Sip ouzo at a distillery that has been producing this iconic Greek aperitif for more than a hundred years. 

Add a few days relaxing in the beautiful seaside town of Kardamyli and you have the perfect Greek holiday.

Trip: Greece Real Food Adventure

Who: Intrepid

When: Departures May-Oct

How long: 8 days

How much: £1,660 (exc. flights)

5: Island hop through the charming Cyclades

Greek windmills on Mykonos (Dreamstime)

Greek windmills on Mykonos (Dreamstime)

Spend seven glorious days of sun and sea as you make your way through the westernmost islands of the Cyclades with Sunvil.

The undoubted highlight of your adventure will be Milos and Folegandros, two lesser-known islands of the Cyclade group, but blessed with sandy coves, whitewashed houses and volcanic calderas. They boast ageless chapels and historical sites too, but it will be the warm, friendly and authentic Greek hospitality that you experience that you will remember longest. 

Trip: Island Hopping Holiday in the Cyclades

Who: Sunvil

When: Flexible departure dates Aug-Oct

How long: 7 nights

How much: From £839 (including flights from the UK)

6: Hike into the heart of timeless Greece

Greek street life on Corfu (Dreamstime)

Greek street life on Corfu (Dreamstime)

Explore ancient villages and discover dramatic coastlines on this 8-day trek through a part of Greece where time has stood still with Explore.

Starting at the beautiful coastal village of Liapades, you’ll follow a cliff pathway to Agios Georgiou and the Agios Athanasios Monastery. Next stop, Kalami, your base for a few days, and the perfect place to discover ancient footpaths through shadowed olive groves and across hillsides scented with wild flowers. 

Finally, you’ll arrive in Corfu Town, a jumbled collection of fortresses, churches and museums and lively tavernas, the ideal place to celebrate your achievement.

Trip: Corfu Trail to the North

Who:  Explore

When: Departures May, Jun, Sep & Oct

How long: 8 days

How much: From £799 (exc. flights)

7: Walk through Crete’s remotest corners

Trekking Samaria Gorge on Crete (Dreamstime)

Trekking Samaria Gorge on Crete (Dreamstime)

Discover the wild high ranges and canyons of Crete, as well as idyllic coastal routes, on this Grade 6 trekking adventure with Ramblers Walking Holidays.

It is a sometimes strenuous journey, but one that will reward you with deep gorges, imposing summits and impossibly blue seas. Leaving the tourist hordes behind, you’ll venture into remote parts of the island that are only accessible by foot. Highlights include Paleohora, a fortified peninsula jutting into the Libyan Sea, the mountain sanctuary of Omalas and the incomparable Samaria Gorge.

Finally, the tranquil fishing village of Loutro, awaits, offering fresh seafood, a cooling sea and the chance to trek in the Aradhena Gorge.

Trip: Wild Crete (Grade 6)

Who: Ramblers Walking Holidays

When: Departures May & Oct

How long: 8 days

How much: From £1,125 (exc. flights)

8: Harvest olives in Greece

Olive harvest, Greece (Dreamstime)

Olive harvest, Greece (Dreamstime)

Immerse your self in the ancient traditions and rhythms of rural Greece on this authentic agricultural homestay with Evaneos.

You’ll join local farmers harvesting olives, using techniques handed down through the generations, on groves free of pesticides and substances harmful to the environment. The rewards are immense. You’ll gain an unparalleled insight into the traditional ways of cultivating, harvesting and processing of olives, as well as produce your own virgin olive oil which you can bottle and use in your kitchen at home.

Trip: The Olive Harvest and Homestay

Who: Evaneos

When: Flexible departures Oct, Nov & Dec

How long: 8 days

How much: From £660 (exc. flights)

9: Spin your wheels in Greece

Bicycle in Nisyros (Dreamstime)

Bicycle in Nisyros (Dreamstime)

Ride through history and some of the most scintillating scenery on the planet on this week-long cycling tour through the Peloponnese with Exodus.

The Peloponnese is jam-packed with history, archaeology and mythology, and is best experienced at a more leisurely and revealing pace. Each bend reveals a new landscape – from azure blue seas to the green olive trees and vineyards – and each day ends in a friendly village and a buzzing tavern. It is the perfect way to experience authentic Greek culture and lifestyle, at the pace locals themselves prefer.

Trip: Cycling in Greece

Who: Exodus

When: Departures May, Jun & Sep

How long: 8 days

How much: From £1,349 (exc. flights)

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