Hike the Islands

Many of our most enduring memories of living on Paros come from our trail hikes both into the interior and along the coast. Yet reliable information about the trails on most of the islands is hard to find. See our brief bit about Paros trekking

Now for four Cycladic islands that has been remedied with a new authoritative book. This guidebook offers 35 day walks across the four Cycladic islands of Paros, Naxos, Amorgos and Santorini. Each island offers a unique walking experience and the walks range from easy 4 km town tours to 16 km hikes visiting remote peaks in wild interiors. This is the first guide to feature the new 50 km Naxos Strada, which is introduced as a series of five day walks.

“Independent hiking is a healthy social-distancing-friendly activity, and a great way to enjoy the Greek countryside. Even the most popular of the Cycladic islands retain a bucolic atmosphere in their interiors and have extensive networks of traditional paths – once the main thoroughfares for farmers and shepherds.

‘The guide’s English author Gilly Cameron-Cooper and her husband Robin lived in Athens in the early ’90s, where Gilly worked as a journalist and travel writer. Ten years later, they gave up demanding London jobs and “downshifted” to set up a walking tour business based out of the island of Naxos. They later added programs of guided and self-guided walking trips on Paros, Amorgos and Tinos.

What’s in the book?

‘More than 300 kilometers of walking routes – enough for several weeks of exploring – including the 52 km, coast-to-coast hiking trail ‘Naxos Strada’. In fact, it’s the first book to publish it. There are detailed route directions, with insights into what you see along the way (including wildflowers, landscape features and archaeological sites). Practical travel information, maps and route summaries help you plan your vacation in advance, and there are about 200 color photographs as well, and some Greek language tips.

‘All four islands have networks of traditional paths, landscapes ranging from dramatic to gentle, and interesting stories to tell. Together, they give you the whole, intense Greek experience.

What makes each of these islands unique?

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades, with the most wonderfully diverse landscape, scattered with traces of ancient history. There are mountains of marble and granite, broad inland vales of olive groves and farmland, year-round streams, and unspoilt stretches of coastline.

Paros has a softer, more cosmopolitan ambience: monasteries that are ­oases of calm in secret folds of countryside, and some of the finest examples of paved ‘Byzantine’ paths.

Amorgos is remote, insular, and sensual, with a stark, rugged beauty and dizzying cliffs plunging down to the beautiful waters that inspired Luc Besson’s film The Big Blue. It also has the most potent aromatic shrubs in Greece.

‘Santorini is sensational for its volcanic rim that rears up from a sea-filled caldera, for a Bronze Age city excavated from layers of ash, cave houses cut into cliffs, and for interesting ways of growing tomatoes and grape vines on barren, waterless land.”

Quotes taken from article in Greece-Is.com

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