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Tinos, a wild and authentic island

Tinos is a revelation. Located in the Aegean Sea, it has been spared the worldliness and seaside tourism of its neighbouring islands. There are few beaches for swimming, tourism is essentially religious, it has preserved itself from the often ugly scars of prosperity and concrete. The island offers a unique authenticity in the Cyclades, based on charming traditional villages, a historical architecture with these Venetian dovecotes, cultivated terraces tumbling down to the sea, wind-mills perched on the ridges defying the power of Aeolus, slate paths, both true and blind to tease the daring explorer, countless places of worship from the simple chapel to imposing monasteries. These landscapes have an arrogant beauty with these striking green valleys contrasting with the aridity falling as cliffs into the Big Blue or spread out in bays of heavenly sweetness. The centre of the island is dominated by the Exombourgo, a granite colossus, which reigns like a Mount Fuji over its metamorphic disciples. Daily hikes are offered to those interested in nature, botany or the island culture to explore different parts of the island. The walks are educational, devoting time to plants and their uses, to birds, and more broadly to ecology in general. The traditional villages of the island and the museums are visited, the history interpreted with Aeolus and Poseidon, the Mediterranean art of living is experienced with a happy team of hosts and companions. The cuisine is Mediterranean with vegetables, fresh fish, olive oil and local specialties. Experiencing the natural and cultural riches of Tinos is the priority. The stay is supervised by Sylvain Garraud, a mountain guide/naturalist and naturopath-herbalist. He has lived in the Mediterranean area and is passionate about this nature and culture. He is now a naturopath-herbalist in his practice and organizes trips or hiking days to share his passion for nature and plants. He will be the guide for the hikes, the health adviser and the resource person for the environmental theme and the naturalistic activities.

Destinations:

Price:

From CHF 1,490.–

Length of holiday:

7 days (6 nights)

Departure dates:

Group trip
27 April-04 May 2019

Features of the holiday

Destination: Cyclades, Europe, Greece
Season: Spring
Responsible travel: Accommodation, Environment, Environmentally-friendly transportation, Sensitization, Small organization
Travel type: Mixed holidays
Traveller type: Couple, Family, More mature, Small group, Solo, Student
Activities: Botany, Observation, Ornithology, Tasting, Tour, Trekking, Walk
Accommodation: Home stay
Natural environment: Birds, Flora, Island, Mountain, Sea, Seaside
Culture: Agriculture, Architecture, Church, Customs, History, Vernacular architecture
Climate: Mediterranean, Temperate
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Itinerary of the holiday

The daily hikes are leave from and return to the city of Tinos, where you are based.
Your mid-day meal is either a picnic or a tavern lunch. Your activities are beginner to intermediate level; some hiking experience is preferable – walks last on average 6 hours for 10-20 km of distance; the altitude varies upto 600 meters. Daily departures are scheduled at about 8:30 in the morning.

The evening is reserved for discussion and meeting or dedicated to cultural evenings.

  • Day 1 – Arrival in Tinos : Arrival in Athens on scheduled or charter flight. Take the bus to Rafina. Arrival at 17h maximum to board the ferry to Tinos. Arrival in Tinos at 21h30, check in with the accommodation and then dinner to get to know each other.
  • Day 2 – The southwest coast : On the first day, you will follow the southwest coast of the island between the terraces and cliffs. You will be in the arid part right in the phryganas – the Greek scrubland – amid the aromatic plants, saturated with powerful essentials oil vapours. Savory and sage dominate. You will see Syros in the middle of this giant turquoise expanse and you will have lunch on a small beach steeped in this Cycladic atmosphere. Shaped by your feast of local flavours, you will climb to the immaculate white marble village of Kardiani perched high and contrasting with the green of the immense plane trees.
  • Day 3 – The volcanic northeast : A moon-like destination, the Volax area is composed of rounded granite rocks deposited chaotically in the landscape to create a lunar atmosphere. Incredible and particular to Tinos, these wet valleys are like green snakes slithering through the sun-drenched slopes.
    This is the occasion to discover the fig and olive trees tortured by the power of Aeolus who has his origin in Tinos. You will eat in Agapi in a traditional inn, then you will finish your trip in the bay of Kolibitra for a deserved swim.
  • Day 4 – The west between marble and monastery : Two days of trek in the west of the island. The first day is cultural. You will leave Ysternia to see this traditional architectural masterpiece of the Cyclades – the village of Pyrgos – which houses the National Fine Arts Training Centre. You will go down the scrubby slopes to reach the port of Panormos and eat at the tavern in this idyllic setting. You will go up to the monastery to spend the night in the open country. You will take part in an Orthodox sung religious service extendingto the this evening with guitar and dancing. In the middle of the Cyclades, somewhere in this island of Tinos, you’ll just be happy to feel alive!
  • Day 5 – The west between marble and monastery (continued) : The next day, you will leave the monastery for a beautiful day of walking in the wild part of the island. You will meet interesting naturalists along the way. A coffee break is planned on the shore in a private house, then you will follow your way back to discover this intimate part of the island. You will finish your day in Ammos, allowing you to catch your breath and while remembering of the past two days of adventure.
  • Day 6 – The mountain centre, jams and fiesta : This last day walking will take you to the heart of the island on the Exombourgo trails. You will follow the path to the summit giving you a last panorama of the island. Lunch will be at a local house in Tripotamos. In the afternoon, you will go to Nikoleta’s house for a cooking lesson to prepare traditional jams and preserves of strawberry, artichoke, or capers depending on the season and availability. Finally, in the evening, you will finish your week in Tinos with a private show, laughter, songs, dances, and authentic dishes. With the joy of life and pleasure of eating fresh products of vegetables and fish, you have the secrets of Mediterranean longevity.
  • Day 7 – Tinos, its church and cliffs : You will pay a last homage to Tinos by visiting the Orthodox church Panaghia Evangélistria by following the main artery of the city which leads straight to this imposing religious building. You then carry on to the cliffs of Tinos to admire the serpentine cliffs and and remind yourself of some of the plants. Following this you will lunch together at the port then board the ferry at 14h for the departure to Athens and onto the airport.

Map

Length of the holiday

7 days (6 nights)

Departure dates

Group trip
27 April-04 May 2019

Price

Price per person:
CHF 1,898.– (4 pers.)
CHF 1,763.– (5 pers.)
CHF 1,645.– (6 pers.)
CHF 1,561.– (7 pers.)
CHF 1,498.– (8 pers.)
CHF 1,490.– (9 pers.)

Single room supplement: CHF 216.–

Departure from 4 persons on.

Included with the holiday

  • home stay accomodation,
  • all meals & picnics, except drinks and evening meal on days 2, 3 et 5,
  • transportation in private vehicles during the whole stay on Tinos,
  • French-speaking guide,
  • local guide

Not included with the holiday

  • international return flights,
  • transfers airport–Tinos (bus + ferry),
  • travel insurance (highly recommended),
  • entrance to sites & museums,
  • evening meal on days 2, 3 et 5,
  • drinks,
  • tips,
  • personal expenses

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