The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Spectacular walks, a little island hopping and plenty of swimming opportunities
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 15200
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Here’s a fabulous holiday for true Greek enthusiasts with spectacular walks, a little island hopping and plenty of swimming opportunities. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays. Some say Greece’s Mount Pelion peninsula is one of the most beautiful in the country, with its kaldirimi footpaths linking villages, azure sea and verdant hillsides, while Skiathos and Skopelos, the “Mama Mia island” ooze charm, fine beaches and a traditional feeling.
We start on the island of Skiathos, which is quite small at 5 miles by 3 miles, but is a good introduction to the Sporades islands. Our walks take in local beaches, follow wooded tracks and passing monasteries. Taking the ferry we reach Skopelos, the largest of the Sporades Islands. We stay in Skopelos town, with breathtaking views over the harbour towards Alonissos and the Venetian Kastro. Skopelos again has many fine beaches, some of which we will visit on our walks as we explore the island following dirt tracks and old roads, skirting olive groves and seeing small hillside churches.
Another ferry journey brings us to the green Pelion peninsula with its picturesque mountain villages with shaded squares, networks of ancient cobbled mule paths meandering through olive groves, pine forests and apple orchards and coastal trails with panoramic sea views. Pelion remains unspoiled and quintessentially Greek with wonderful cuisine and wines and the local drink of choice, tsipuro.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We arrive onto the island of Skiathos, the closest of the Sporades islands to the Greek mainland, and make the short transfer to the Hotel Stellina in Skiathos Town.
Transfer Time = 30m
Walking trails on the island of Skiathos take us up in the mountains and hills surrounding the main town, or Chora. There are lovely forests, wooded tracks, and coastal trails often with cool sea breezes, making the walks enjoyable. We have four nights' on the island which allows us three days of walking.
BIOTOPE OF KOUKOUNARIES & THREE BEACHES: This linear walk heads directly from our hotel in Skiathos town. We walk through Koukounaries Biotope an inland freshwater lagoon, on our wal to the northern beaches. At Krifi Beach, we have time for a swim before lunch. The afternoon continues over a rocky promotory to Agistros, through forest to a high point before dropping down. 3 hours plus stops.
TWO MONASTERIES AND A PANORAMA: Our linear walk today starts at the beautiful Evangelistrias Monastery in the hills, an immaculate verdant retreat in the mountain, and the only active monastery on the island. Heading west from here we climb to some 400m from where there are far reaching views across the island and to the sea beyond. We then continue towards the north coast, but keeping high, mainly along pretty narrow paths which pass through woodland and the occasional olive grove. Eventually we reach the former monastery of Charalampous, with yet more spectacular views. We end at a taverna where refreshments can be taken on the terrace. 3.5 hours plus time to visit the monastery.
KECHRIAS MONASTERY & BEACH: a circular walk contours through pine woodland to reach Panagia Kechria which contains 15th century wall murals. Our lunch spot allows for a taverna lunch and a swim before our return route then heads south, ascending, then generally contouring along a hillside before descending to where we started. On the walk we pass through remote olive groves and there are lovely views as we climb back to the coast. 5 hours with stops.
Leaving Skiathos behind today, we take the ferry to nearby Skopelos, known as the Mama-Mia island since the first film was shot there. We again stay in the main town, overlooking the port.
The larger island of Skopelos offers numerous walks with coastal paths and inland tracks, which take us to small villages, countryside churches and local tavernas. We follow old kaldirimi, or cobbled donkey paths, through wooded valleys with the chance of ending at quiet beaches and coves.
STAFILOS: An easy walk on dirt roads and paths up to, and following around ridge, to then descend to a taverna near to a beautiful bay, with a swimming option, and finally returning on the old road. 5.5 hours with stops.
PIRGOS-SENDOUKIA-GLYSTERI-SKOPELOS: Starting at the top of a ridge firstly visiting some ancient graves, before descending a lovely quiet track, past a monastery, and arriving at Glysteri beach with an option of beachtime before returning to the hotel. Today offers good views over the island. 5 hours with stops.
PANORMOS BAY: A half day walk that starts with lovely panoramic views before descending along side a reservoir. We end at one of the most popular beaches on the island, at the quiet end, which offers a taverna stop.
There will also be a day off during our time on Skopelos, where you may wish to take a glass-bottomed boat that visits Alonisos Marine & Reserve
Our ferry journey today brings us to the Pelion mainland, into Volos port, with a short drive to the village of Kala Nera, where we stay for five nights'.
Pelion is a pretty peninsula with cobbled pathways linking villages, which offer shady squares and a glimpse of Greek life.
VIZITZA: Vizitsa is one of the show villages of the Pelion, from where a beautiful walk, mainly descending, takes us through trees and olive groves. 3 hours with stops.
MILINA & VIZITZA: Pleasant gentle walk mainly on dirt road with good views and sightings of islands we have visited - Skiathos and Skopolos - from top of ridge. We end at small port with good beach and tavernas. 4 hours with stops.
AG LAVRENTI - KALA NERA: Lovely walk with great views. Starting in typical mountain village then following an old mule path contouring around wooded valley to second village for taverna lunch and finally a long descent mainly on kaldermi back to hotel. 5 hours with stops.
ARGALASTI-AFFISSOS: An easy walk starting from a small country town and winding down to coast on old kalderimi. A coastal walk with a mixture of dirt road and track takes us to a quiet small fishing village. 5 hours with stops.
Your group leader may combine a couple of the walk days so that you can enjoy a free day while in Kala Nera. More information will be given during your daily briefings.
Time to leave as we pack out suitcases and make the short transfer to Volos airport for our return flight to the UK
Departure dates for your selected tour
21st May 2021 - 4th Jun 2021 (14 Nights)
10th Sep 2021 - 24th Sep 2021 (14 Nights)
17th Sep 2021 - 1st Oct 2021 (14 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
A sun terrace and outdoor swimming pool awaits guests when they arrive at the Hotel Stellina on Skiathos. Located in the main town, or Chora, the hotel offers en suite rooms with balcony, mini-fridge, TV, air conditioning and wi-fi.
Built in the local architecture style of the Sporades islands, the Hotel Apperitton on Skopelos offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning, private bathroom, refrigerator, and TV. There is an outdoor swimming pool and terrace to enjoy the sun-filled days.
Located in a quiet area of the village of Kala Nera, on Greece's Pelion Peninsula, the Hotel Agelis offers comfortable accommodation in nicely decorated rooms. All are en suite with television, air conditioning, telephone, mini bar, wifi internet connection and a balcony. The village centre with its cafes and tavernas, and the Blue Flag beach are a short stroll away.
On this Grade 4/Lifestyle grade holiday there is scenic walking through the hills and along the coast with opportunities to swim and enjoy the beaches. We use coastal trails, forest paths, mule tracks and quiet roads, which generally give easy walking with gentle climbs. We proceed at a leisurely pace making use of the tavernas in the local villages. The terrain will be undulating with the occasional steep section. We will generally walk between 4.5 and 10 miles miles a day, with ascents and descents between 150m and 550m. On a Lifestyle holiday, in addition to great walking there will be plenty of time to immerse ourselves in the delights of local cuisine and wines, friendly people, language and natural beauty. The maximum altitude reached on this holiday is approx 750m.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
The currency in Greece is the euro.
You will find ATM and bank facilities in all three centres on this holiday
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
On arrival into Skiathos airport, our transfer to Skiathos Town takes approx. 15 minutes.
Travel between islands is by ferry, which is included in the holiday cost, and our return flight is from Volos, on the Greek mainland.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday charge. Breakfasts will be taken at our hotels and dinners will be taken at local restaurants and tavernas.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Greece
Electricity in Greece is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
The Rough Guide to the Greek Islands - Published by the Rough Guides
Lonely Planet Guide to the Greek Islands - Published by Lonely Planet
Website: Visit Greece - www.visitgreece.gr/en/greek_islands/sporades
The films Mama Mia and Mama Mia 2 were partly filmed on the island of Skopelos
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Greece
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Greece.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may also wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis.
There is a low to no risk of malaria in Greece. Malaria risk is from May to October and is very limited; confined to the villages of the Evrotas delta area in Lakonia district. Please seek advice from your doctor or travel clinic.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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