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P7070387

Tour Highlights

  • Swim in the waters of Europe’s largest marine protected area, the ‘National Marine Park of Alonissos Northern Sporades’

  • Complete a unique island-hopping swim between the islands of Alonissos, Agihos Georgios, Mikro and Skopelos

  • Explore the remote eastern coastline of the island of Skopelos

  • Discover the diverse range of marine life that exists in this part of the Aegean Sea, including the rare and endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal

  • Relax and unwind at the end of each day with the spectacular sea views from our hillside accommodation at the 4-star Hotel Atrium

Staying at the stunning 4-star Hotel Atrium, this is a truly unique swimming holiday experience which takes in the spectacular 24-island archipelago of the Greek Sporades. Located in the Aegean sea, the islands run along the east coast of Greece and are characterised by their dense vegetation and mountainous terrain.

The Sporades are best known for their beautiful beaches and turquoise-blue seas, and the islands which we explore during this trip form part of the ‘National Marine Park of Alonissos Northern Sporades’ which, at 2,260km2, is the largest marine protected area in Europe. Throughout the course of the week, you will swim along stunning coastlines and island-hop between some of the area’s most beautiful and remote destinations.

This Sporades archipelago, which really does live up to its translated meaning of 'scattered', is the perfect Greek Island experience, which gives you the opportunity to explore the area’s stunning natural beauty and fascinating local marine life, including possible sightings of the rare and protected Mediterranean Monk Seal.

Who is this trip for?

If you are both a swim fan and a nature lover, this is the ultimate experience for you; swimming in the protected waters of Europe's largest Marine Park in a remote part of the Aegean Sea. This trip is designed for the swimmer who enjoys both coastal swims and crossings. Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 5 km.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in the Greek Sporades
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Technique advice with video playback
  • Six nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Evening meals
  • Overnight Stay Tax (€1.50 per room, per night, payable locally)


Day 1

After your arrival on Alonissos you will have a chance to relax before meeting in the evening for a welcome drink and pre-trip safety briefing in which the week’s plan will be discussed in more detail.

Day 2

Following breakfast we head out for our acclimatisation swim, followed by our first coastal swim towards Alonissos’ southern point of Marpounta. The coastline along the way is craggy with lots of inlets and bays to explore. After lunch on the beach we continue with our coastal swimming journey as we head to Cape Kókkino Lighthouse below the imposing peak of Mount Kalóvoulos. Later we have the chance to review some underwater video footage from the day and offer stroke analysis.

Day 3

This is the day for our first crossing of the week as we travel to eastern Skopelos and embark on the 4km crossing to Cape Kókkino on Alonissos via the two islands of Agios Georgios and the smaller Mikro. At Agios Georgios there is a stunning tunnel to swim through if you wish. On Mikro, it’s possible to see old ruins and olive trees on this island as you swim past. This stretch is a common place to spot dolphins too. The afternoon is at your leisure and gives you time to explore other parts of the island or go further afield.

Day 4

We travel to the small harbour of Steni Vala on Alonissos’ east coast and undertake our second crossing of the week as we swim to the uninhabited island of Peristera which offers protection to Alonissos’ east coast. After this we head off to Hondros for our ’shipwreck’ swim to Vasiliko Bay, a swim that offers some of the most varied underwater scenery of the trip.

Day 5

We travel by boat to the stunning south eastern coastline of Skopelos, passing the crossing from Skopelos to Alonissos that we will undertake later in the week. The coastal swimming here is superb and it is far from any of the population centres. The longer morning swim finishes at the idyllic Stafylos Bay, popular with locals in the summer. The afternoon carries on with a shorter coastal swim finishing at the small hamlet of Agnontas Bay.

Day 6

Today we head off to the islands known locally as the ‘Two Brothers’, Meghalo Adelphi and Mikro Adelphi. Our first swim is along the rocky coastline of Meghalo Adelphi, with its blue-green rocks complete with resident goats who are known to take an interest in swimmers as we glide past. After lunch, we do the short crossing to Mikro Adelphi followed by a coastal swim along this pretty island.

Day 7

We have our farewell swim which gives us a chance to say goodbye to each other and the beautiful water of the Sporades. This is also an opportunity for the guides to give you any last minute technique advice to take with you.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Hotel Atrium, Alonissos

Start Time: 17:30 on Day 1

Finish Point: Hotel Atrium, Alonissos

Finish Time: 11:00 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 Costume (x2) Towel
Swimming Goggles* (x2) Sweater / Fleece
Sunhat and Sunglasses Waterproof Jacket
Waterproof Sun Cream Walking Shoes / Sandals
Small Daypack Aqua Shoes / Sandals

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

SwimTrek will supply swim hats. We will have a limited supply/range of flippers, rash vests and wetsuits available on the trip, however we cannot guarantee sizes for all. If you have your own swim fins, rash vest or wetsuit, we would recommend you bring these with you in order to maximise your enjoyment of the trip. Please note that SwimTrek will 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.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
June 21-23˚C / 69-73°F 23-25˚C / 73-77°F
July 22-24˚C / 72-75°F 27-29 ˚C / 80-84°F
August 23-25˚C / 73-77°F 29-31˚C / 84-87°F
September 23-25˚C / 73 - 77°F 28-30˚C / 82-86°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.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance
Patitiri-Marpounta 2½km
Marpounta-Cape Kókkino 3km
Cape Kiourto-Stafylos Bay 3km
Cape Velora-Agnontas Bay 2km
Skopelos-Alonissos 4km
Alonissos-Peristera 3½km
Hondros Cavos-Vasiliko Bay 3km
Meghalo Adelphi 3km
Mikro Adelphi 2km

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.

Group Size and Boat Support

This trip has a maximum group size of 15. 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 safety vessel and two inflatable 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.

Getting There - General Information

There are various options for travelling to Alonissos at the start of your tour, however please note that an additional night’s accommodation is often required during transit in order to match up your flight arrival time with a suitable ferry departure to the island.

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.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. 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.

Please do also note that from April 7th 2019, the Hellenic Police will be implementing systematic passport control checks for all European citizens travelling to/from destinations outside the Schengen area (including the UK). Waiting times at passport control may be affected so please ensure you arrive to the airport in good time.

Getting There via Skiathos

The easiest travel option to get to the start of your trip is to fly to the island of Skiathos and then catch a ferry to Alonissos (Patitiri Port). Please note that flights into Skiathos generally arrive on Fridays throughout the season, meaning that you will need to book an additional night’s accommodation, in either Skiathos, Skopelos or Alonissos, prior to the start of your trip.

To search for available flights into Skiathos, please visit SkyScanner.

Travel from Skiathos Airport to Alonissos Port (Patitiri)

From Skiathos airport you will need to make your way to Skiathos ferry port. This is approximately a 10-minute taxi journey. Ferries run from Skiathos to Alonissos regularly throughout the year and the journey takes approximately two hours. Tickets and a full ferry timetable, once released, can be booked via either of the following websites: Open Seas or Danae Travel. Please note that ferry departure and arrival times should be used as a guide only as they can vary through the season.

Accommodation During Transit

As mentioned above, flights into Skiathos generally arrive on Fridays, which means that it is necessary to book an extra night’s accommodation prior to the start of your trip. The following three options are all possible, depending on your flight arrival time into Skiathos and the relevant ferry departure times from Skiathos Port:

  • Catch a ferry to Alonissos on the same day that you arrive and book an extra night’s accommodation at the SwimTrek hotel, Hotel Atrium. This extra night can be booked through our partners in Alonissos, Albedo Travel, by emailing: info@alonissosholidays.com

  • Catch a ferry to Skopelos on the day of your arrival and spend the night there before catching a ferry to Alonissos the following day

  • Stay in Skiathos on the night of your arrival and catch a ferry to Alonissos the following day in time for your welcome meeting in the afternoon of Day 1 of your trip

Transfer from Alonissos Port (Patitiri) to Hotel Atrium

A free transfer service from Alonissos port to Hotel Atrium is available for all SwimTrek guests. In order to take advantage of this service, please provide Christina at Alonissos Holidays (incoming@alonissosholidays.com) with your ferry arrival time and boat name (e.g. Flying Cat 5) 48 hours before arrival and a transfer from the ferry port to the hotel will be provided upon arrival.

Getting There via Athens

It is also possible to reach Alonissos at the start of your trip via Athens, however it is worth mentioning that this option results in a significantly longer journey time compared to travelling directly to Skiathos.

As with travelling via Skiathos, travelling via Athens will also require you to travel at least one day prior to the start of your trip and book an additional night’s accommodation during transit.

To search for available flights into Skiathos, please visit SkyScanner.

Travel from Athens Airport to Alonissos Port (Patitiri)

There are a huge number of routes from Athens to Alonissos at the start of your trip using a combination of planes, trains, buses, ferries and private transfers. Rather than attempting to list all of the various travel options, we have included two of the most common and convenient options for this journey below.

  • Catch a connecting flight with Olympic Air from Athens to Skiathos and then follow the steps in ‘Travel from Skiathos Airport to Alonissos Port (Patitiri)' in the previous section.

Transfer from Alonissos Port (Patitiri) to Hotel Atrium

A free transfer service from Alonissos port to Hotel Atrium is available for all SwimTrek guests. In order to take advantage of this service, please provide Christina at Alonissos Holidays (incoming@alonissosholidays.com) with your ferry arrival time and boat name (e.g. Flying Cat 5) 48 hours before arrival and a transfer from the ferry port to the hotel will be provided upon arrival.

Practical Information

Accommodation

We stay at the 4-star Hotel Atrium, set on the hills overlooking the harbour town of Patitiri. The hotel is roughly a 15 minute uphill walk from the harbour. All rooms are well-decorated and equipped with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms and are sold on a twin share basis. There are a limited number of single supplement rooms which can be reserved during the booking process, subject to availability.

If you require additional nights’ accommodation before or after the SwimTrek tour, this can be arranged directly through the Albedo Travel via e-mail: info@alonissosholidays.com.

Meals

All breakfasts and lunches are included in your trip price, however dinners are at your own expense. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the local cafes and restaurants of your choice over the course of your trip. The average cost of dinner in a local restaurant is €20-€25.

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as dinners, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. The local currency for the islands is the Euro (€). Please note, the Greek Ministry of Tourism has introduced an Overnight Stay Tax. This is payable upon arrival at the accommodation at a rate of €1.50 per room, per night.

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 most countries, including 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 www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. 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 ElectricalOutlet.org.

  • SwimTrek is an excellent company with an excellent product. Safety comes first in an efficient, professional & creative way.

    Karin W. ESP- 2018
  • SwimTrek delivers exactly what it says on the tin: fantastic locations, knowledgeable & friendly guides, and great swimming experiences. I'm hooked!

    Richard L. ESP- 2018
  • This was the first time I had done a SwimTrek holiday but it certainly won't be my last! Great experience and adventure! Face the fear and jump on board - you won't regret it!

    Liz B. UK- 2018
  • Your Swim Trek vacation will be a trip of a lifetime. Don’t delay!

    Laura S. USA- 2018
  • The experience of a lifetime. Beyond fun!

    Jane S, UK. 2017
  • I cannot imagine a better experience. As I said to my fellow swimmer during our first crossing, "If you are not having fun now, you just don't want to have a good day. It could not get better than this."

    Mimi S. USA - 2017
  • Another wonderful SwimTrek holiday - clear waters, fabulous helpful guides, long swims, great food. Ready to book another one for next year! Thank you guides for a fabulous experience.

    Helen T. UK - 2017
  • Special experience to be in a beautiful location doing something you love with other people who share your passion for swimming and are fun and interesting. Knowing that all the details and concerns were competently looked after you could just focus on the joy of swimming and camaraderie.

    William C, UK. 2017
  • I cannot imagine a better experience. As I said to my fellow swimmer during our first crossing, "If you are not having fun now, you just don't want to have a good day. It could not get better than this."

    Mimi S, USA. 2017