The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
The walking trails of Kythira meander through green meadows, past old water mills and waterfalls and along pretty coastal routes attracting a new genre of visitors.
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 16100
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.
Tucked away at the southernmost point of Greece’s Peloponnese region you’ll find the quiet island of Kythira. It has long been a source of inspiration to artists and poets who were drawn by the island’s natural beauty and today the walking trails which meander through green meadows, past old water mills and waterfalls and along pretty coastal routes attract a new genre of visitors.
We start with time on the Peloponnese mainland at the small fishing port of Gythion, located deep in the Mani region, where we explore the countryside, walk to a small beach and visit ancient Sparta and the archaeological site of Mystra, once a strong castle-town, famed for its Byzantine churches and wonderful frescoes.
Taking the ferry to Kythira, we spend a week exploring the island with its plethora of villages, each with their own distinct characters and where families have lived for generations. We walk from Avlemonas, the start of one of the island’s oldest paths, while the tallest lighthouse in Greece sits in the north of the island with views over to the Peloponnese. Trails are lined by dry stone walls, cobbled kaldirimi – ancient footpaths - which wind their way between villages and in the distance, the remains of the ancient, abandoned city of Paleochora can be seen.
Our third centre is the quiet fishing village of Gerolimenas, once an important port for delivering goods to Athens. We explore the inner Mani with its tower houses and rugged terrain as we walk the villages trail. En route to the airport, at the end of the holiday, we have time to visit Diros Cave on an underground boat trip.
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.
Arrive Kalamata airport and transfer by private coach to our first centre at Gythion. Dinner is not included this evening due to the arrival time at the hotel.
Transfer Time = 3hrs 30mins
Out time spent in Gythion will take us on paths up above the town offering panoramic views, to ancient Sparta and Museum of Olives and Mystra.
Gythio Mavrovouni Circular Walk: An easy walk up the hill behind the town for good views, before descending to Mavrovouni beach for swimming and lunch. Return by taxi or walking back by quiet surfaced road.
Sparta & Mystra: Primarily a visit to the archaeological museum, Ancient Sparta and Mystra. We plan to visit the Museum of the Olive en route back to Gythio.
Today we make the crossing from the mainland, by ferry, to the island of Kythira. On arrival our coach transfers us to the Hotel Romantica, in Aghia Pelagia, our home for the next seven nights'.
The tranquil island of Kythira sits off the southern coast of Greece's Peloponnese region. Mass tourism hasn't reached this island, so it is still possible to follow quiet, relatively unwalked tracks and trails. We'll discover its plethora of villages, each with their own distinct characters and where families have lived for generations.
We walk from Avlemonas, the start of one of the island’s oldest paths, while the tallest lighthouse in Greece sits in the north of the island with views over to the Peloponnese. Trails are lined by dry stone walls, cobbled kaldirimi – ancient footpaths - which wind their way between villages and in the distance, the remains of the ancient, abandoned city of Paleochora can be seen.
Akri Spathi Lighthouse: Follow an easy, mainly dirt road, to visit the small port and explore the lighthouse area. Swimming is possible. It is possible to extend this walk, depending on the group.
Paleohora: A challenging, sometimes scrubby, walk with some steep sections o the ruins of the ancient island Byzantine capital. It is possible to extend this walk, depending on the group.
Koloktroni to Diakofti: A coastal walk, mainly downhill, on track from ridge with great views and swimming possibilities at the end of the walk.
Diakofti to Avlemona: Our second coastal path with great views.
Mylopotamos Watermills: An exceptional walk through a gorge, on a narrow path along a stream, some stepping stones, and a good ascent to Mylopotamos. Short at 4km/2.5 miles, it is a picturesque trail with plenty of photo opportunities.
Returning to the mainland by ferry today, our coach transfers us to the south of the Mani to the little fishing village of Gerolimenas, where we stay at the Hotel O Gerolimenas for three nights'.
We have two days walking from the fishing village of Gerolimenas, once an important port for delivering goods to Athens. We explore the inner Mani with its tower houses and rugged terrain as we walk the villages trail.
Mani Villages: Easy walking on quiet roads to see typical Mani houses and villages and visit a Byzantine church/fort area. There is the option for a challenging cliff and scrub walk.
Cap Taneron: A beautiful ridge walk with spectacular views and wonderful flowers in the spring. At Vathia, a great photo stop, there are deserted buildings to explore.
We leave Gerolimenas behind today as we make our way north to Kalamata airport with a stop at Diros Caves, and if time, in the village of Kardymila.
Departure dates for your selected tour
1st May 2021 - 15th May 2021 (14 Nights)
15th May 2021 - 29th May 2021 (14 Nights)
5th Jun 2021 - 19th Jun 2021 (14 Nights)
11th Sep 2021 - 25th Sep 2021 (14 Nights)
25th Sep 2021 - 9th 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.
We stay in twin bedded and single rooms with shower and wc at the comfortable and friendly Hotel Pantheon in Gythion. Situated on directly on the sea front, views from much of the hotel are magnificent, with the port and blue Aegean in the foreground and mountains rising from the sea in the distance.
All sea facing rooms offer en suite facilities, a/c, television, hairdryer and telephone. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
The hotel bar, located on the ground floor, has magnificent views of the port.
Rooms at the Hotel Romantica offer its guests a balcony with a sea-view, air conditioning and wireless Internet access. The en suite rooms have a shower, hairdryer and safety deposit box. The sister property, just steps away, has a swimming pool, spa and sauna that hotel guests can use.
The Hotel O Gerolimenas is built in the traditional stone style of the Mani, in the southern Peloponnese. It is a historical building that has been renovated in a sympathetic way. There are just 23 rooms, with mountain or sea views and all are comfortably decorated with air conditioning, TV, mini fridge and en-suite bathroom with hairdryer. The hotel is close to the pebble beach and offers a restaurant and bar.
This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the Walks & Excursions section for more information.
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 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.
We fly from London Heathrow to Kalamata with British Airways.
The transfer time to our first hotel in Gyrhion is approximately 1.5 hours
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, giving the opportunity to sample the fresh, tasty Greek cuisine. Lunches are not included and will be a combination of picnic stops and sometimes a local taverna. Vegetarians and special diets can be catered for on this holiday.
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.
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.
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 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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