The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Offering miles of ancient stoned pathways, unspoiled countryside, wooded valleys, and quiet beaches, Tinos and Andros are a walker's paradise waiting to be discovered.
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 15650
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.
The last sun drenched mile of pathway wanders through the wooded valley. A cove fringed by a sandy beach and a cooling swim awaits.
Relatively unknown to visitors to Greece, the Cycladic islands of Tinos and Andros offer miles of ancient stone pathways, unspoiled countryside, wooded valleys, and quiet beaches and are a walkers’ paradise. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays. Both islands are a delight for nature lovers with many species of birds and springtime flowers. Relatively untouched by tourism, the islands offer a true Greek experience with lots of local flavours and colour.
After spending one night in the attractive harbour town of Nea Makri on the Greek mainland, we take the ferry to the island of Tinos. Popular with pilgrims visiting the church of Panagia Evangelistria, the island’s green interior offers picturesque, small villages – there are over 60 on the island – traditional architecture and over a 1,000 artistic Venetian dovecotes! Following old mule trails and pathways we’ll walk between remote villages, enjoy taverna lunches and swim from sandy beaches.
We island hop the short distance to nearby Andros, the most northern and second largest of the Archipelego, where we discover a verdant landscape dotted with springs, streams and waterfalls, working watermills, quiet villages and superb sandy beaches. We are joined by a local guide on one day who gives us an insight to the island and we also enjoy a traditional taverna dinner.
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 into Athens airport and transfer to the port town of Rafina, where we stay for 1 night at the Hotel Mati. Dinner will be either at hotel or a local restaurant this evening.
Transfer Time = 40m
We take the ferry this morning from Rafina to the island of Tinos, (approx. 3.5 hours sailing) where we stay for 6 nights’ accommodation at the Aeolos Bay Hotel. After check in and time for lunch, we'll take an orientation walk of the town seeing the pilgrimage church of Evangelistra as we go.
During our time on Tinos, our walks take us on inland and coastal tracks, visiting small villages - with Pyrgos noted as one of the most beautiful in the Cyclades islands, seeing the numerous dovecotes, exploring a fortress and taking time to swim from local beaches. Lunches may be picnics or a tasty meal at a waterside taverna. There is also the opportunity of making a trip on your free day to the island of Mykonos. We plan to include the following walks in our programme, although the leader may make changes due to local conditions:
The marble villages of Ysterna and Pyrgos: A delightful walk, initially fairly level, visiting two attractive villages famous for their marble work, then descending gently to the coast at Panormos, with its beach and welcoming tavernas.
Xomburgo Fortress to the Rocks of Volax and Falatados: After climbing to the vantage point of Xomburgo (559m) with its ruined Venetian fortress, the walk heads into a magnificent rocky landscape around Volax, with a delightful circular route on well maintained paths. Opportunity to explore picturesque Volax and lunch at village taverna.
Traditional Villages - From Loutra to Chora: Subject to opening times the start of this walk offers the opportunity to visit a Folklore Museum and an Ursuline convent. is possible The walk then descends and ascends a valley, before contouring around to the village Ktikados where there is an opportunity to take lunch in the splendidly positioned Taverna Drosia. We pass through the village and take the long path into Chora that was built by the Venetians some 400 years ago. This is the exact path the Ottomans led the Venetians down when they expelled them from the island.
Tarampados Dovecotes to Kionia Beach: This is an easily accessible and attractive walk for close-up views of the famous Tinos dovecotes. The long sandy beach at Kionia is one of the best on the island. The ancient path down from Ktikados to Kionia is easy and particularly beautiful, though some other sections of path may be overgrown, especially in spring.
We leave Tinos today, taking the ferry (approx. 1.5 hours sailing time) to the nearby, and most northerly, Cycladic island of Andros where we stay for 7 nights’ accommodation at the beautiful Hotel Perrakis. The hotel is close to two beaches, and has a lovely pool and terrace so you may choose to relax this afternoon or join the leader on a short local walk.
While on Andros, our walks take us into the Dipotomata Valley, to the port towns of Batsi and Gavrion, visiting Byzantine churches, towers and fortresses. We'll pass small hamlets and enjoy the shade of cypress and olive trees as we walk with wide ranging and picturesque views. On one of our days we will be joined by a local guide from Andros Routes, a non profit organisation that aims to promote the traditional side of the island and to keep paths open for walkers. They also offer a sampling lunch with items made on the island. We plan to include the following walks in the programme, but the leader may need to make changes due to local conditions. There will also be a free day.
The five springs: from Menites to the island capital Chora – a walk along old village paths, past springs and flowing water, and ending with time to explore the island's unique capital, with its fine houses and monuments.
Through the watermill valley to Ormos Korthiou, Andros: From the pretty village of Sineti the walk passes through the verdant Dipotamita valley of the mills, then ascends to the village of Kochilou beforea long descent to the sea and the old port of Korthiou with its narrow streets and cafes.
Arni to the Katakoilos Valley and Batsi, Andros: A delightful walk, different from most of the others, around two verdant valleys, passing through the small villages of Upper and Lower Katakoilos, then descending to the sea at Batsi for cafes, swim and optional ptional coastal extension from Batsi to Ypsilo.
Agios Petros Tower to Gavrion: A walk around the hills behind our hotel, visiting chapels, a spring, A Hellenistic tower, a dovecote, and the port town of Gavrion. A good walk with wide-ranging views.
Vourkoti to Ghialia Bay and Chora: Starting out at Vourkoti, the highest village in the Cyclades, this walk descends mainly on old kalderimi, passing old villages, springs, waterfalls and many features of traditional rural life. It allows time for a pleasant beach, and finally exploration of the picturesque capital Chora. Our local guide Olga joins us today to give us an insight into the island. A light picnic lunch for tasting local produce is included. This is an excellent day out.
We take the ferry from Andros to Rafina (approx. 2.5 hours sailing time). On arrival we are met by a private coach and we will visit the archaeological site of Marathon (entrance fee included). We continue to Athens airport for the flight to the UK
Departure dates for your selected tour
5th May 2021 - 19th May 2021 (14 Nights)
19th May 2021 - 2nd Jun 2021 (14 Nights)
15th Sep 2021 - 29th Sep 2021 (14 Nights)
29th Sep 2021 - 13th 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.
The four-star Mati Hotel is located on the coast, close to Rafina, and offers its guests lovely views. All en suite rooms have a hairdryer, mini fridge and television. All rooms have a balcony or terrace. You will also find a swimming pool, restaurant and bar in the hotel.
On the island of Tinos we stay at the three-star Aeolos Bay Hotel in Tinos Town, a stroll away from a small beach. The hotel has a restaurant, cafe-bar, swimming pool, terrace and pool-side bar. All rooms are en suite with a balcony and have a mini-fridge, a/c, TV and free Wifi.
On Andros we stay at the recently renovated three star Hotel Perrakis at Kypri Bay, located in front of two beaches, which are easy to wander down to.
Between the villages of Batsi and Gavrio, the hotel has a quiet feel, yet close to the amenities of Batsi resort with its shops and restaurants. There couldn’t be anywhere better to relax by the sea.
Enjoy the outdoor pool with terrace or the beach side bar serving cocktails. The Cyclades Restaurant serves Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and fresh seafood with sea views from the veranda. A breakfast buffet is served every day including fruit juice, delicious eggs, a variety of cereals and local pies and fresh coffee.
Bright and spacious bedrooms have a balcony and views of the azure Aegean, en-suite facilities, TV, telephone, air conditioning, hairdryer, mini-fridge, safe, free Wi-Fi and an i-Pod docking station.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and on the beach.
This Grade 4 holiday includes walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain using the ancient partly paved paths for which the islands are famous. While these are often well maintained, providing delightful walking conditions, some sections have been neglected, so that we may sometimes have to contend with undergrowth or other obstacles. Sometimes we also walk on easy dirt roads or quiet surfaced roads. Our walks are generally between 5 miles and 10 miles a day with most ascents and descents between 200m-400m and actual walking time up to 5 hours. If the weather is particularly hot, the walks may appear tougher. We also take time to visit typical island villages and admire the local architecture, there will be opportunities to swim from beaches, and occasionally we may find a cafe or taverna in which to relax. The maximum altitude reached on this holiday is approx. 700m
Many walks use the ancient partly paved paths for which the islands are famous. While these are often well maintained, providing delightful walking conditions, some sections have been neglected, so that we may sometimes have to contend with undergrowth or other obstacles. Sometimes we also walk on easy dirt roads or quiet surfaced roads. There are plenty of ups and downs, but these are generally not steep and can be taken at a gentle pace, with plenty of time to admire the views. If the weather is particularly hot, the walks may appear tougher. We can take time to visit typical island villages and admire the local architecture, there will be opportunities to swim from beaches, and occasionally we may find a café or taverna in which to relax. You may wish to budget €10-15pp for entrance fees. Should you decide to take an optional excursion, such as a day trip to the nearby island of Mykonos, these costs are not included in the holiday or local transport costs.
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.
Banks and ATM machines can be found in the main towns on each island as well as in Rafina.
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.
To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied in some centres by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.
We fly from London Heathrow (LHR) to Athens (ATH) with British Airways.
The transfer from Athens Airport to Nea Makri takes approx. 30 minutes 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.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday charge. Breakfasts will be taken at the hotels, with dinners taken at a mix of the hotels and local tavernas. The Cyclades Restaurant at the Hotel Perrakis is well known on the island and features contemporary Mediterranean cuisine created from fresh Greek produce including fresh fish and seafood. The meals on this holiday are a wonderful accompaniment to the walking and scenery, and the menus are chosen so that you are able to sample a wide variety of the Greek cuisine, with vegetarians easily catered for. Lunches are not included except on one day, when we will have a light meal at a traditional farm as part of our walk. On other days picnic lunches can be bought from nearby shops, or sometimes from the hotels, especially on Andros. Occasionally a day's walking may include the option of lunch at a taverna. Your leader will give you more information at the daily briefings.
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.
As we travel between the islands by ferry, and you will have to handle your own baggage, please try to travel reasonably light. The hotel in Rafina is a short walk from the ferry port and the group will walk between them with luggage. You should be able to lift and carry your own luggage. Please note that the Hotel Perrakis does not have a lift (but the hotel is just 3 storeys).
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
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: The Greek Islands by Marc Dubin. Published by Dorling Kindersley
Lonely Planet Greek Island by Korina Miller. Published by Lonely Planet Publications
The Cyclades by John Freely. Published by I.B.Tauris.
Northern Cyclades: Andros Tinos Syros (McGilchrist's Greek Islands) by Nigel McGilchrist. Published by Genius Loci Publications
Greek National Tourist Office www.gnto.gr
Island of Andros www.andros.gr or www.cycladen.be/AndrosEng
Island of Tinos www.cycladen.be/TinosEng or www.tinos-tinos.com
Visit Greece www.visitgreece.gr
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.
Heart & Sole is proud to sponsor Andros Routes, a non-profit, volunteer organisation based on the island of Andros. The aim of the project is to combine research, culture and sustainable tourism on the island. In addition to maintaining the ancient pathways for future generations of walkers to enjoy, and producing walking books and guides, Andros Routes also provides guiding and promotes traditional projects such as local craft making, village communities and farms, which are on some of the walking routes, so that they may benefit from tourism to the island in a natural way.
During our time on Andros, we will walk with a local guide on one day so that we can learn about life on the island and also visit a farmhouse and enjoy their fresh produce. You can read more about Andros Routes at www.androsroutes.gr
By travelling with us on this holiday, in addition to experiencing the joy of visiting new places, you can help make a difference.
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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