Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
Greece’s most northern region of Macedonia is Greece at its most welcoming, with quiet coastal towns, uncrowded beaches, and, the quintessential Greek hospitality.
Special Selection Hotels
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 15180
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. 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. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.
If you are looking at this one week holiday why not make your stay two weeks by joining us on Exploring Halkidiki.
You hear it long before you see it – the music of water playing over stones. The Varvara waterfall, tumbling down through ancient rocks is the dramatic climax of a sun-dappled forest walk through European yews, ash and beech trees. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays.
Greece’s most northern region of Macedonia is Greece at its best, with quiet coastal towns, uncrowded beaches, and of course, quintessential Greek hospitality. Walks lead us through the picturesque countryside, into pleasant woodlands of pine, fir and chestnut, we follow forest tracks and enjoy panoramic coastal trails.
From the tranquil seaside town of Olympiada, we follow a beautiful section of the 19 mile Aristotle Trail and walk the green Marmari peninsula. At Ouranoupoli, which borders the World Heritage Site of Mount Athos, there is the possibility of a cruise to view the magnificent hanging monasteries and enjoy a local walk. The ancient city of Amphipolis, inhabited from the 5th century BC includes a recently excavated tomb, probably that of one of Alexander the Great’s family.
The food in this part of Greece could be some of the best you have ever tasted. Breakfasts often include homemade dishes. Dinners will be taken at one of the town’s delightful sea front tavernas and the hotel’s resident owner/chef Loulou gives an excellent demonstration of Greek cookery.
Olympiada is ideal for those looking for a quieter holiday in a more traditional part of Greece. Nature is on our doorstep with walking trails, waterfalls and pine forests all around us.
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.
Depart London Gatwick to Thessaloniki. On arrival we travel by road to the Hotel Liotopi, located in the quiet seaside town of Olympiada. After we have checked in at the hotel, we'll take an orientation stroll around the town and enjoy a coffee and freshly made loukamades in the main square. Dinner, as it is every evening, is at a sea front taverna.
Transfer Time = 1h 30m
Ancient Stagira, the remains of the town of Aristotle's birth, lies a short walk from Olympiada. Here we'll learn about the history of the area and discover the local plants and flowers with a local botantist. There are wonderful views overlooking Olympiada and the Strymonian Gulf from the hill top. Distance: 3kms (8kms with optional extension;) Ascent/Descent: minimal (+/- 300m with optional extension)
We take transport out to the Mamari Peninsula today, which is encompassed within a nature reserve. Our coastal path takes us along good beach tracks, past a mussel farm and fishing huts. Great views on offer as we walk. There will be time for a picnic lunch and perhaps a swim too at Diavorvoro beach! Distance: 16kms; Ascent: 150m; Descent 332m
Ouranopoli, meaning Heavens Gate, is a town that lies on the border with Mount Athos, a sacred site in the Greek Orthodox church. From here we take a short walk from the Ouranopoli tower to the Mount Athos border and may have the opportunity to visit the monastery at the border. There will be time for lunch and a free afternoon of exploring the town, or you may wish to take a cruise along the shores of Mount Athos where you can see the numerous magnificent monasteries. Depending on numbers, we may be able to offer a short ferry crossing to Ammouliani island for a walk through the main town and saltpans which offers some good views of the Athos peninsula. Distance: 4kms; Ascent/Descent: 100m
Our walk today takes us along a part of "Aristotle's Way", in total a 23km path that starts in New Stagira and ends at Aristotle's birthplace in Old Stagira. We visit the interesting Aristotle Park then make an initial ascent to the ridge, where we follow broad forest tracks through chestnut, then beech and coniferous woodland. We catch glimpses of the sea as we walk. This is a path with varied flora and fauna and makes an interesting day. Keep an eye out for wild tortoises. Distance: 14kms; Ascent 271m; Descent 446m
Today is mainly a sightseeing day as we take hired transport for a visit to the ruins of Amphipolis, best known for the magnificent ancient Greek city and later Roman city, whose impressive remains can still be seen. We visit Stavros open air market en route and return via the village of Mikra Volvi where we can see the pretty little church of Ayia Marina. Amphipolis, which offers wonderful flowers, butterflies and other fauna, is famous in history for events such as the battle between the Spartans and Athenians in 422 BC, and where, after Alexander the Great's death, his wife Roxane and their small son Alexander IV were exiled and later murdered. We will visit the museum and see the unique and interesting statue - the Lion of Amphipolis.
A short distance from the hotel you'll find the Vavara waterfalls and Kalivia Valley. We follow a mainly easy track that starts in the inland hills, descends to two tall waterfalls then continues on forest tracks through pleasant woodland to a valley with a very old settlement. We then head towards the coast and back to the hotel along the beach. Distance: 12kms; Ascent 100m; Descent 320m
Transfer by road to Thessaloniki Airport.
Departure dates for your selected tour
7th May 2022 - 14th May 2022 (7 Nights)
14th May 2022 - 21st May 2022 (7 Nights)
17th Sep 2022 - 24th Sep 2022 (7 Nights)
1st Oct 2022 - 8th Oct 2022 (7 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.
The family run Hotel Liotopi offers a warm and intimate welcome to guests, and is in keeping with its boutique size of 16 rooms in total. Close to the beach in Olympiada it is a stone’s throw from shops, cafes and restaurants. The hotel prides itself on its homemade breakfast, which is taken outside in the charming garden in good weather.
Rooms are uniquely decorated and are ensuite with a/c, fridge, TV and a hairdryer. All rooms have a balcony with either sea or mountain view. Free Wi-Fi is offered to guests. Breakfasts and taverna dinners are included in the holiday charge.
This Grade 4/SS walking holiday includes walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and includes days dedicated to sightseeing as well. Our full-day walks are 8 to 10 miles, with ascents and descents up to 350m. Sightseeing days include exploring archeological sites on foot, usually with opportunities of walks up to 5 miles. The maximum altitude reached on this holidays is approx. 850m
On this Grade 4/SS holiday, there is scenic walking over the hills and along the coast. We use coastal trails, forest paths, mule tracks and quiet roads. We’ll proceed at a leisurely pace. Some of the walks are at the top of the grade, with ascents or descents of 300-400m, though rarely steep. This holiday's walking programme will be of special interest to those who enjoy Greek history, lifestyle and culture.
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.
Optional Cruise to Mount Athos
On one of the days during the holiday you will have the opportunity to take a cruise along the shores of Mount Athos, the Holy Peninsula, with the opportunity to see some of the magnificent monasteries. You may wish to bring a pair of binoculars for this trip so you can see these buildings in more detail.
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.
There is an ATM in Olympiada and credit cards are accepted at the Hotel Liotopi.
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.
Flights from London to Thessaloniki (SKG) with British Airways.
On arrival the transfer from Thessaloniki Airport to the Hotel Liotopi in Olympiada takes approximately 1½ hours by coach.
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.
Homemade breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday cost. Evening meals will be taken at the hotel’s seafront taverna which offers an extensive range of Greek dishes and wines. Lunches are not included in the holiday cost but can easily be bought from the village bakery or shop, or perhaps there will be a stop at a taverna for lunch. Your group leader will give you more details each day.
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 Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
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.
It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
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.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
EHIC & GHIC Cards
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development 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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