Trip Notes PDF
As the original SwimTrek, the Greek Cyclades tour offers the archetypal swimming holiday experience. Based in the waters around Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades, the area is ideal for Island Hopping in an area synonymous with some of the most beautiful beaches and water in the Mediterranean.
Many of the islands that we swim to are far off the beaten track so you will be able to experience authentic Greek life. But it's not only crossings; you'll also get to experience some fabulous coastal swims in areas only accessible to swimmers. We have been successfully running this tour for 9 years and it remains one of our most popular.
Unique to the Greek Cyclades tour, our main boat is a 40ft sailing yacht and with just 11 swimmers on board these tours offer that special smaller group feeling – perfect for the Greek islands! It promises to be both challenging and rewarding. The picturesque and varied swims combined with traditional island life make this a must do trip.
Fully guided tour with full safety escort for the number of days specified in the tour summary, swim guiding, technique analysis, accommodation; breakfast and lunch.
What's not included?
The prices do not include:
* This could change according to the selected itinerary based upon the ferry schedule for 2014. See Friday schedule under 'Itinerary & Map' for full details.
You can always jump onto the escort boat at any stage
N.B. The itinerary may vary depending on weather
These temperatures are indicative only and can change on a daily/weekly basis
Equipment to bring along with you
In addition to “normal” daily clothes, you will need to bring the following:
*It is advisable to have a pair of tinted goggles to cater for the sun’s glare off the sea during swims.
Guests have found it is easier to travel with a soft main bag/suitcase due to getting on and off ferries, and our main boat being a sailing boat.
Swim Hats, Flippers, Rash vests and Wetsuits
Please note that SwimTrek will supply swim hats. If you think you will want to use a wetsuit, flippers or a rash vest, we recommend you bring these with you in order to maximise your enjoyment of the trip.
Up to a maximum of 11 guests with 2 SwimTrek guides, a local boat pilot and 3 motorised safety escort boats.
There are various ways of getting to the islands and we have highlighted a couple of routes
Option 1: Travelling via Athens
Olympic Airways flies from Athens to Náxos so if their schedule permits, this is a good option (www.olympicair.com). See information below on getting from Naxos to Schinoússa.
Alternatively, flying into Athens requires a ferry journey to Naxos.
SwimTrek suggests reserving all ferries and flights TO and FROM the islands prior to travel at your earliest convenience
At Athens airport, leave the main entrance and turn right as approximately 200 metres further down is the bus stop for the X96 bus travelling direct to Piraeus harbour (1 hour). The ticket booth to purchase your fare is adjacent to the stop and the journey costs approximately €5. At Piraeus, get off the bus at the stop closest to Ferry Gate 7.
Ferries leave Piraeus Port daily for Naxos from 7-8am and 5-6pm. Depending on the type of ferry, travel time is roughly 5-6 hours. The price is €35-€45 one-way and tickets are available from outlets along the harbour front or online at Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.com) or Hellenic Seaways (www.hellenicseaways.gr).
Naxos to Schinoússa:
From Naxos the Express Skopelitis ferry (€13.00) leaves for Schinoússa at approx. 2pm each day (however this can change - Please check!). Tickets cannot be reserved in advance for this ferry service but you can purchase them from any of the travel agencies along the seafront such as Zas Travel.
Direct but infrequent ferries are available from Piraeus to Schinoússa with Blue Star Ferries, but these are not daily departures. Ferry schedules for all routes can be found at www.gtp.gr
It is possible to fly into Athens and reach the tour start point without staying an extra night in Naxos before the tour starts:
Option 2: Flying via Santorini
It is possible to fly into Santorini with Easyjet or various other charter airlines, and then catch a ferry from Santorini to Naxos. This is a faster option than flying into Athens but flights aren’t daily. Some guests who plan to stay a few extra nights in Greece have preferred this route. See information above on getting from Naxos to Schinoússa
You can fly back from Náxos to Athens with Olympic Airlines. Ferries leave Náxos for Piraeus between 9-10am and 6-6.30pm daily and travel time is between 5-6 hours. Always check the times!
For connections to/from islands not mentioned above Open Seas offer up to date ferry timetables.
Overnight in Piraeus:
The following hotel is a budget recommended, if you need to overnight in Piraeus prior to or after your trip:www.hotelphidias.gr. If you are arriving at the port, rail station, airport bus stop or on the metro the hotel provides a free shuttle bus service. To take advantage of the service it is important to contact the hotel first, either via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by giving them a call on +30 210 4296 480.
Our accommodation is of a good standard, based on twin-share and en-suite facilities. We use very good locally owned hotels.
Single Supplements are limited
All breakfasts and lunches are included except for one lunch. This enables you to explore and sample the abundance of traditional family run tavernas. Dinners are not included, as this gives you the option to choose where, when and with whom you would like to dine.
You will need extra money to cover such items as dinner, entertainment, souvenirs and your return ferry fare to Naxos (€8-€12). A single ATM machine is available on each island but these can be unreliable so we suggest withdrawing money in Naxos anyway. The local currency is the EURO (€).
Passports and Visas
You require a full passport, that should be valid for 6 months beyond the expected length of stay. You should check if you require a visa. Most nationalities including EU, US, Canadian and Australian citizens do not require a visa to enter Greece. Visa regulations do change. Please check!!
There are no essential vaccination requirements for Greece, but you should ensure that your tetanus is up to date.
Set on Anu Koufoníssi, this traditional white washed hotel offers friendly service and fantastic views of the coastline.
Set on the island of Schinousa, the Iliovasilema is the ideal place to relax and watch the sunset after a hard day swimming.