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Planning the perfect walking holiday in Greece

Written by Fiona

June 24 2024

Greece is renowned for crystal clear sea, rich history and warm people – and one of the best way to get close and personal to this astonishing country is through a walking holiday. That way you will enjoy the beauty of the country to the fullest, while also remaining fit and healthy.

For the hikers, Greece is your ideal place with a wide variety of route, from old trails leading to ancient sites to breathtaking coastal paths overlooking the Aegean Sea. From adventure to relaxation, the Mediterranean paradise has everything you need.

In this guide, we’ll explore the biggest draws of a walking holiday in Greece, including different paths and useful information.

Choosing your destination

The first thing and most important as you plan your trip is choosing your destination. Whether it’s an island, the mainland or the Peloponnese, each region has something to offer.

Crete

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, has a little bit of everything – from rugged mountains to lush valleys, making it the perfect destination for hikers.

Highlights:

  1. Samaria Gorge: Get ready for an exciting adventure as you embark on a challenging hike through the Samaria Gorge, one of Europe’s longest canyons.
  2. Knossos: When you visit the ancient city of Knossos, you can wander through palaces, courtyards and intricate passages and imagine what life was like in that fascinating place.

Santorini

Santorini is a top destination in Greece, famous for its iconic white-washed buildings and breathtaking caldera views. 

While the island doesn’t have extensive hiking trails, it offers lovely walks along the cliffside paths.

Highlights:

  1. Oia: Take a stroll around the narrow streets of Oia, which is known for its beautiful blue-domed churches and stunning sunset views.
  2. Fira: You can visit the Archaeological Museum and enjoy panoramic views of the volcanic islands.

Peloponnese

The Peloponnese Peninsula is packed with mythology and history, offering iconic paths to stroll along, ancient ruins to explore, rugged mountains to admire and charming villages to visit.

Consider these trails:

  1. Ancient Olympia: Walk in the footsteps of ancient athletes at Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Explore the stadium, temples, and the Philippeion.
  2. Mani Region: Discover the wild beauty of the Mani region. Hike through olive groves, visit medieval towers, and enjoy breathtaking coastal views.

Best time to visit

Greece is blessed with the Mediterranean climate and that means even the winters are warm, while the summers are dry and sunny. However, most tourist and walking holiday tour operators, like Orbis Ways, prefer to plan trips from April to August.

Spring (from April to June) is an excellent time for walking holidays. The weather is pleasant and the landscape is lush.

Summer is great, too, but it’s a popular season for tourists, which means prices may be higher and a lot of places could be crowded. Also, you’ll have to explore the trails with the scorching heat of summer.

If you want cooler temperatures, then your best time to visit is during autumn (September to November). It’s similar to spring, but with even smaller crowds.

Packing essentials

Packing is the most important factor for any walking holiday. You need to make sure to pack enough to have a pleasant journey but be smart and don’t overpack.

Each walking holiday is different but there are some packing essentials and tips that will remain the same, whether you visit Greece or the Fisherman’s Trails in Portugal.

Here are the essential ones: Lightweight clothing, comfortable footwear, sun protection, hydration gear, small backpack, first aid kit, map or GPS device, camera and reusable shopping bag.

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