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Swimtrek greek cyclades 020

TRIP OVERVIEW

7 days
Short Swim
3km/day
Leisurely

Trip Dates

05 Sep - 11 Sep, 2020
Available
19 Jun - 25 Jun, 2021
Available
04 Sep - 10 Sep, 2021
Full

Download trip notes

Tour Highlights

  • Experience island-hopping swims around some of the most scenic islands in the Mediterranean

  • Stay off the beaten track, with quaint accommodation on the undiscovered island of Schinoussa.

  • Explore tunnels, arches, caves and dramatic underwater topography as we complete breathtaking coastal swims on several different islands

  • Enjoy a smaller group and shorter swim distances in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea

  • Savour the friendly local atmosphere and narrow streets in the small island village of Schinoussa

Discover the stunning beauty of the Greek Islands on this short swims holiday in and around the islands which make up the Cyclades. This adventure is based on the original SwimTrek trip which has been running since 2003, however, the shorter daily swim distances are designed for those who are relatively new to open water swimming holidays or simply enjoy a little more time out of the water.

From our base of Schinoussa in the heart of the archipelago, we have the opportunity to island-hop around the Cyclades, discovering their isolated beaches and breathtaking coastlines, as well as enjoying several crossings. Our beautifully remote Greek adventure will consist of exploring the unspoilt islands of Schinoussa, Fidousa, Iraklia, Kato Koufonisi and Keros.

With a combination of short crossings between islands and beautiful coastal swims, you’ll have the chance to explore the diverse scenery which exists in this unique island group. From sea caves and tunnels, to arches and islets, there is no shortage of beautiful topography and landscapes to explore, above and below the water.


Who is this trip for?

This short swims trip offers a combination of both coastal swims and classic short crossings. Distances average around 2-3km per day, so it’s equally suited to those who are relatively new to the open water and those who prefer shorter daily swim distances. Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 3km (split over a minimum of two swims) prior to the start of the trip.


What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in the Greek Cyclades
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Technique advice with video playback
  • Six nights accommodation
  • Overnight Stay Tax
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches (excluding day 4)

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Lunch on day 4
  • Evening meals

Related Trips

Daily Itineraries

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during the course of your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and sea conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilot will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Day 1

After arriving into Schinoussa on the Express Skopelitis ferry, the island’s only connection with Naxos, you will be picked up by our local hotel partners and transferred to the Archipelagos Hotel. After some time to check into your room and freshen up, we meet at 17:30 on the terrace of the hotel. In the light of an unparalleled Aegean sunset, you’ll enjoy welcome drinks, introductions and discuss the daily schedule in the pre-trip briefing. Then it’s off for dinner at one of the island’s beautiful boutique tavernas.

Day 2

We begin this morning with a gentle start, easing into the day with a technique analysis session and the option to have your stroke videoed to help you get the most from your open water swims. Following this, we hold our acclimatisation in Tsigouri Bay, accessed by the hotel’s own private path. After lunch we swim to the uninhabited island of Fidousa, with its steep rocky shore and curious mountain goats. The early evening is given over to a session on technique advice and video playback where we review your footage from the morning.

Day 3

This morning we board our boat and sail across to the beautiful island of Iraklia which sits directly opposite Schinoussa’s southern coast We’ll then spend our morning swimming around its craggy coastline that stretches down into underwater cliffs. We swim over the sunken wreck of a former German World War II plane located just 9 metres below the surface in Alimnia Bay. Following an onboard lunch and some rest in Alimnia Bay, we continue swimming, completing a Livadi Bay to Venetiko coastal swim.

Day 4

Today we’ll carry out our first major crossing of the week and swim out from Schinoussa to Iraklia. There’s then time to head onto the island and explore the Castle ruins from 3000 BC. After you’ve had the time to look around this untouched island, you can board our boat and head back to Schinoussa. If you prefer to stay a little longer, there is the option of staying on Iraklia for lunch and catching the mid-afternoon ferry back to Schinoussa. This afternoon is yours to either kick back and relax or explore Schinoussa and/or Iraklia at your own pace. Please note that lunch is at your own expense today.

Day 5

Today we head out from Schinoussa’s isolated eastern shoreline and swim our way to the grand, striking cliffs of Kato Koufonissi (“Lower Cave”) Island. After setting foot on Kato Koufonissi, we enjoy a well-deserved lunch and a have the chance to explore this remote and virtually uninhabited paradise. This afternoon, we enjoy a coastal swim from the Panagia Settlement to Nero Beach, exploring the beauty of this unspoilt island further, before returning to Schinoussa.

Day 6

After breakfast, we set out to sail across from Schinoussa towards the uninhabited island of Keros. This island was once the centre of an ancient Cycladic community and its demise is shrouded in mystery. It is also known as a site of important archaeological significance with excavations both above and below the water.

We begin our swims in amongst the fascinating outcrops of the islands south of Keros. The route is a swimmer’s paradise, providing sheltered crossings and giving a fantastic sense of achievement. Swim distances are flexible, so you can choose to do as much or as little as you like. After lunch onboard our boat, we reach Keros and swim a section of its wonderfully deserted coastline, before returning once again to Schinoussa.

Day 7

We hold an early morning swim in Tsigouri Bay before breakfast. It’s a last chance to check with your guides on any swim technique issues before our remote swimming adventure ends at Schinoussa Harbour. Here, you can catch the morning ferry to Naxos.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Archipelagos Hotel, Schinoussa

Start Time: 17:30 on Day 1

Finish Point: Archipelagos Hotel, Schinoussa

Finish Time: 09:00 on Day 7

Trip Information

Equipment Checklist

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costumes (x2) Towel
Swimming Goggles* (x2) Small Daypack
Sunhat and Sunglasses Walking Shoes / Sandals
Waterproof Sun Cream Sweater / Fleece
Waterproof Jacket Aqua Shoes

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

Please note that SwimTrek will supply swim hats and provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Luggage Recommendation

Due to restricted space on the ferries, we recommend traveling with soft suitcases.

Group Size and Boat Support

This trip has a maximum group size of 11. The group will be split into a maximum of three groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort.  Boat support on this trip includes one main vessel and two support boats to be piloted by your SwimTrek guides and a local boat pilot. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Swimming Distances*

Swim Distance Swim Distance
Tsigouri - Fidousa 2km Gaidoura - Kato Koufonissi 2km
Alimnia Bay - Karbounolakos 2km Kato Koufonissi Coastal 1km
Livadi Bay – Venetiko 1km Keros Archipelago Island Hop (Megali Plaka-Tssouloufi-Lazaros) 1½km
Schinoússa - Agrilou 2½km Keros Coastal 1½km

*Please note that these swims are an example of the what may take place during the course of your trip and should be used as a guide only. Actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and sea conditions.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Walking Distances

Walk Distance
Schinoussa (Main Village to Psili Amos) 2km

Walking Conditions

Please note that most walks take place on recognised paths and tracks, however there may be cases where we walk along trails or other unsealed surfaces and care should be taken in these areas.

Temperatures

Month Water Temp (°C) Air Temp (°C)
June 21-24˚C / 70-75°F 22-26˚C / 72-79°F
September 22-25˚C / 72-77°F 22-26˚C / 72-79°F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Getting There

The trip will start and finish at the Archipelagos Hotel on the island of Schinoussa. Please ensure that your travel is arranged accordingly.

While there are a number of travel options to get to Schinoussa, SwimTrek recommends flying into Athens and arriving into Schinoussa by travelling via Naxos island, one of the largest islands in the Cyclades. The recommended options are:

  1. Flying into Athens, then flying from Athens to Naxos (the nearest airport to Schinoussa) and taking a ferry from Naxos to Schinoussa. 2.Flying into Athens, taking a ferry from Athens to Naxos, & another ferry from Naxos to Schinoussa.

Please note that the ferry from Naxos to Schinoussa leaves only once per day, usually at 14:00, so it is important to book this journey in advance and arrive in time to board the ferry in order to ensure that you reach the island of Schinoussa on the first day of your trip. In some cases, you might need to stay overnight in Athens or Naxos in order to catch this ferry on the first day of your trip.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. Other travel options are available, such as from Santorini, and guests are welcome to contact our team if they want to consider at other options. Because of flight and ferry times, its is a good idea to arrive a day early in either Naxos or Schinoussa to make sure you are on time for the start of the trip. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues. We suggest that you use the following websites to search for alternative flight and ferry options for this trip.

Flights: Skyscanner

Ferries: Open Seas or Danae Travel

IMPORTANT: While it is recommended that you purchase your ferry tickets online in advance, it is worth mentioning that neither ferry operators nor third party websites will issue an ‘e-ticket’ at the time of booking, i.e. you will not be able to print your ticket prior to travel. You will have the option to either have your ticket sent to you via courier (upon payment of a postage fee) or to pick up your ticket when you arrive in Greece. Pick-up locations can vary from one ferry operator to the next and often include locations in central Athens, as well as offices which are located at your selected departure port. For any enquiries about ticket collections, please contact the ferry operator or booking agent directly.

Travelling Via Athens

Flights to Athens

To search for available flights into Athens International Airport, please visit Skyscanner.

Flights from Athens to Náxos

From Athens airport you can fly directly into Náxos via Olympic Air. Once released, flight schedules and availability can be found at Olympic Air or Sky Express.

Ferries from Athens to Schinoussa

While it is possible to catch a direct ferry from Athens (Piraeus Port) to Schinoussa through Blue Star Ferries, please note that these run infrequently throughout the season and don’t always offer daily departures. It is worth noting that in past years these ferries have often not matched up well with incoming flights from European destinations. Ferry schedules, once released, can be found at Open Seas or Danae Travel.

Ferries from Athens to Naxos

From Athens airport, you will need to catch a bus to Piraeus Port in order to catch a ferry to Naxos. For airport bus timetables, please visit Athens Airport Bus. For information on taxis from the airport to Pireaus Port, please visit taxi-athens.net .

Depending on the ferry service that you book from Athens to Naxos, the journey time can vary significantly, however, in general the trip takes approximately 5-6 hours. The price of the ferry is approximately €45-€60 for a one-way trip and tickets are available to purchase online at Open Seas or Danae Travel, or from one of the local ferry agents who are located along the Piraeus Port harbour front.

Ferries from Naxos to Schinoussa

Once on the island of Naxos, you will need to catch the 'Express Skopelitis' ferry to Schinoussa. Please note that this ferry usually only departs from Naxos once per day at 14:00, however, this is subject to change and should be confirmed at the time of making your ferry booking. Tickets for this ferry, once released, can be booked online via either Open Seas or Danae Travel.

If you arrive in Schinoussa on the Express Skopelitis on Day 1 of the trip, you will be met for a transfer to the Archipelagos Hotel. If you are on an alternative ferry, please contact Panagiotis on hotelarchipelagos@gmail.com to arrange a free private transfer.

If you are unable to catch the ‘Express Skopelitis’ ferry at the beginning of your trip, private water taxis can be arranged by contacting Panagiotis on the email above, however, please note that these cost approximately €200 and are subject to availability.

Return Travel from Schinoussa

The trip will finish on the morning of Day 7 on the island of Koufonissi. The most popular option is to take the early morning ‘Express Skopelitis’ ferry back to Naxos and make your onwards journey from Naxos to Athens. Alternatively, there may be ferries from Schinoussa to alternative locations in Greece, so please check Open Seas or Danae Travel for ferry route options, schedules and tickets, once they are released.

Practical Information

Accommodation

Our accommodation in the Cyclades is on the island of Schinoussa at the simple and the locally owned Archipelagos Hotel. Located on the south side of the island, it lies only a few hundred metres from Schinoussa’s most popular beach, Tsigouri. The hotel is beautifully secluded and traditionally designed. The local village is situated only 700 meters away making this an ideal stay in Schinoussa. The rooms at the Archipelagos Hotel vary significantly from one room to the next, so please pay attention to the room description (including the room size) during the booking process. Rooms are based on a twin-share and have en-suite bathroom facilities. There are a limited number of single supplement rooms which can be reserved during the booking process, subject to availability.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extension Options

If you require additional accommodation at Archipelagos Hotel prior to your trip, please contact Panagiotis via e-mail: hotelarchipelagos@gmail.com

Accommodation Whilst Travelling

Staying in Naxos

Naxos is an ideal island on which to stay either prior to or after your trip. We recommend the Hotel Grotta, a superb family-run hotel only 10 minutes walk from the ferry terminal and with lovely views over the islands of Mykonos and Paros. It has been SwimTrek’s home away from home on Naxos for many years. You can book rooms at Hotel Grotta via Hotel Grotta.

Staying in Athens

The Hotel Phidias is a great hotel if you need to stay overnight in Athens prior to or after your SwimTrek trip. A free shuttle service to the hotel is available for all guests from the airport, port, metro or railway station. To book this shuttle, please ensure that you contact the hotel prior to travelling, by emailing mphidiasgr@otenet.gr or calling +30 210 4296 480. For further information on getting to the hotel, please visit: Hotel Phidias.

Food and Drink

All breakfasts and lunches (except lunch on day 4) are included in your trip price, however, dinners are at your own expense. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to sample the abundance of traditional family-run tavernas over the course of your trip. The average cost of dinner is between €20 - €30.

Extra Activities

As well as swimming, the unspoilt and idyllic nature of our trip makes it an ideal setting for trekking either side of our swims. Walks to local beaches, villages and historical landmarks allow you to take in the captivating views and wild landscapes that these islands have to offer. Otherwise, the locations we encounter are ideal for relaxing and enjoying the hot sun, during free time.

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as dinners, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs and your ferry transfers to and from Schinoussa at the start and at the end of the trip. The local currency in Greece is Euro (€). A single ATM machine is available on Schinoussa but can be unreliable, so we suggest withdrawing money before your departure or in Naxos.

Responsible Travel

SwimTrek is conscious of the importance of protecting the world’s natural wonders. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to not only take care of the natural environments which we are lucky enough to explore, but also to educate our guests about the importance of conservation efforts and responsible tourism. It’s for this reason that we have worked so closely with our partners to ensure that our trips are conducted in the most responsible and sustainable way possible, working tirelessly to minimise the impact of our presence on local marine life and the natural habitat.

Passports and Visas

Greece is part of the European Union. Non-residents of Greece require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Greece. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Health Information and Recommended Vaccinations

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to Greece, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit Travel Health Pro. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit worldstandards.eu.

  • This trip is one of the best. The swimming and locations are amazing. I never thought I'd do the same trip twice but I'll make an exception for this one!

    Ellen M, UK - 2019
  • [Guides] Telle and Marlys were fantastic - knowledgeable, fun, encouraging, dedicated, brilliant swimmers, great company and overall amazing people.

    Jessica W, UK - 2019
  • The scenery above and below the water was simply stunning. With the guides help I have grown in confidence and ability. I’m looking forward to holidaying with SwimTrek again in the future.

    Jo S, UK - 2018
  • Exceeded my expectations. Not just excellent swimming, the enjoyment of which was much enhanced by the coaching but the people who participated were all great!

    Reed K, Germany - 2018
  • A swim to satisfy your soul!

    Bernice L, Australia - 2018