Basic information about Greece
Greece is divided into the regions on the mainland, as well as the around 3,054 islands in the Aegean, Libyan and Ionian Seas. Our Eurohike team has chosen two particularly beautiful islands as travel destinations for our individual hiking tours with luggage transfer. Crete, the largest island in Greece, with an area of 8,336 km² in the eastern Mediterranean and one of the most wonderful hiking regions in the entire Mediterranean region. Impressive mountain landscapes meet wonderful sandy beaches and idyllic hiking trails meet unspoilt nature. Crete is the destination for many island hikers and the highest elevations are the Psiloritis in the Ida Mountains with around 2,456 metres and the Lefka Ori massif, also known as the ‘white mountain’ with around 40 peaks at over 2,000 metres. Another wonderful hiking destination appeared due to a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago – the Santorini archipelago, also known as Kallisti, which means ‘the most beautiful of all’. The most famous main island is Thira. Here you can walk on good hiking trails between idyllic villages, black lava beaches, typical steep cliffs and white-blue houses with unmistakable architecture.
Experience the beauty of Santorini on foot – you spend the night completely relaxed and not far from the beach in a traditional hotel and save yourself the daily change of hotel. On our walking holiday Santorini, 8 days you will explore the most beautiful places on the Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea during circular hikes. The starting point of your daily hikes is Kamari. From here you will explore the archaeological site of Alt Thira and the black sand beach of Perissa on the second day. The next circular hike takes you along the caldera to Oia, where you can enjoy wonderful views of the vast sea. The following day you hike from the highest mountain on the island, the Profitis Ilias, to the small mountain village of Pyrgos. The next two days guarantee plenty of enjoyment of the Greek natural landscape: the route to Vlychada, the city of Akrotiri and the southern cape of the island. The last stage of the day has a special highlight in store for you: a fantastic circular hike on the island of Thirassia.
On our hiking holiday Crete, 8 days you explore the coast and highlands of the largest Greek island on good hiking trails. Crete is a wonderful travel destination with a particularly pleasant climate for hikers. Your active holiday starts relaxed in Chania, the second largest city on the island. From there you travel to the coastal town of Paleochora and enjoy the island idyll as you like. The stage on the third day of your hiking tour leads first to the plateau and later back to the village of Sougia. The hike the next day is a special highlight, because today you cross the wild Agia Irini gorge on the western side of Lefka Ori, the ‘white mountains’. The next day you continue to walk from Xyloskalo, the starting point of one of the longest European gorges, to the port of Agia Roumeli. The stage on the sixth day of your island hike takes you along the coast, past the historic town of Agios Pavlos and into the idyllic Lykos. On the last day of your hiking trip in Crete you can enjoy the whole day of a perfect holiday feeling in Loutro and Chania and travel back to your home country with unforgettable impressions the following day.
Our Eurohike moments in Greece
- Picture-perfect sunsets: Enjoying the sunset is an unforgettable experience on our walking holiday Santorini, 8 days. The particularly beautiful piece of earth right by the Akrotiri lighthouse on the south-western coast of the island is the perfect place for it. The lighthouse has been providing seafarers with safety since 1811.
- Enjoy Greek wine: Due to the ‘Minoan eruption’ thousands of years ago, the soil of Santorini is a particularly fertile base for wine production. Don’t miss the wonderful regional island wine and enjoy a tasting at the Gavalas winery in Megalochori in the south of the island. Experience this on our walking holiday Santorini, 8 days.
- Adventure in Crete: On our hiking holiday Crete, 8 days you will cross the spectacular Agia Irini Gorge on the fourth day. This nature reserve is located on the west side of the Lafka Ori mountain range and is also known as the ‘White Mountains’.
- Taste of Crete: In Chania, the second largest town on the island of Crete, there are numerous wonderful restaurants and taverns to get to know the cuisine of Greece. Only the best of the region is served in the Chrisostomos restaurant: freshly baked bread, olive oil, freshly caught fish baked in a wood-fired oven, regional meat and wonderful Greek wine. Enjoy this on our hiking holiday Crete, 8 days.
Facts and details
- Location: In southern Europe on the eastern Mediterranean
- Area: 131,957 km²
- Population: 10.73 million
- Capital: Athens with approx. 3.15 million inhabitants
- Language: Greek
- Highest mountain: Olympus at 2,918 metres on the east coast of the country
- Coast: 13,676 kilometres
- Islands: 3,054 islands, with only about 117 being inhabited
- Season: The best climate for hiking tours in Crete and Santorini is from April/May to October
- Special feature: Around 82% of all Mediterranean islands belong to Greece.
The climate in Greece
In Greece there is a predominantly Mediterranean climate, whereby the winter months can be mild but humid and the summer time is dry and hot. Especially on the two beautiful islands of Santorini and Crete you can count on pleasant sunshine almost all year round when hiking: Santorini has the most hours of sunshine in all of Greece and on Crete there are more than 300 sunny days per year. The months from April to October are particularly suitable for hiking and a wonderful break in the Greek outdoors, because there is usually no rainfall during this period. In Crete, however, there can be snow in winter in the higher mountains. This island has several climatic zones and the influences from Africa always ensure slightly higher temperatures on the south coast than in the north of the island.
Culture and tradition in Greece
Numerous Greek traditions and customs are firmly anchored in the daily life of the locals. Dancing, whether as a couple or in a circle, is particularly popular on the Greek mainland and islands – this tradition is an important part of culture in Greece to this day. There is also a large variety of different dances that are performed in typical traditional costumes. The dances such as the Kalamatianos, the Tsamikos or the Choros Koutalia are particularly well known. The Kalamatianos dance, for example, is danced in a circle, while in the Choros Koutalia, which is also known as the spoon dance, the participants knock on the hand with wooden spoons and in rhythm with the music. Diversity is not only on the cards in landscape and cuisine – Greece also has a lot of cultural diversity.
You will not only experience a feast for the senses along the hiking routes on Santorini and Crete – Greece also offers a lot of culinary delights. From the wonderful Greek wine, the famous and internationally popular olive oil, the freshly caught fish and the multifaceted vegetables – every foodie is guaranteed to find the right thing here. The list of Greek specialties is long, so you can always find the popular Greek feta cheese, good Kalamata olives or Greek yoghurt with honey on plates at home. No wonder the range of culinary delicacies in Greece is so multifaceted, because the particularly mild, Mediterranean climate favours regional cultivation and the fertile soil made of volcanic rock on Santorini is particularly suitable for viticulture.
The two islands of Crete and Santorini are a splendid sight, with picturesque landscapes and beaches. The locals give the country and culture a face. The beautiful hiking trails, the particularly mild temperatures and the low rainfall make both islands perfect hiking destinations for hikers hungry for exercise.
Athens is one of the oldest cities in this part of the world. Athens played an important role in the country throughout history. To this day, you can find numerous sights and cultural highlights in Athens that are reminiscent of the former times, such as the famous Acropolis. In 1985 Athens was chosen as the first European Capital of Culture.
Greek cuisine is a real paradise for foodies. Here you will find a wonderful variety of traditional fish dishes, freshly caught seafood, regional meat and a wide range of vegetables. But wine from Greece is also popular internationally. Wine has been grown on Santorini for around 5,000 years. Simply delicious!
For the Greeks, Easter is a more important holiday than Christmas. Everything in the houses and streets is prepared and cleaned for Easter. On Easter weekend people eat the traditional soup Magiritsa made from lamb offal, the Easter cake Tsureki and grilled lamb with a large selection of starters, wine and ouzo. After dinner, there is partying and dancing until late at night.
In this country it is an honour to have a guest and it would be impolite to decline an invitation. In addition, this guest should not only bring luck, but also avert possible misfortune at the same time. So feel free to accept an invitation, you will not regret it!
Extra comfort on a hiking holiday in Greece
So that you have enough time to look forward to your trip, our Eurohike team takes over the entire planning and organisation of your hiking trip in Greece. Our travel experts take care of the complete handling of your active holiday and you enjoy all the advantages of our Eurohike WANDERPLUS on the island hikes: from detailed travel documents, cosy hotels and accommodation, on-site support and luggage transfer during your trip – with us you are always safe and well looked after. We are also there for you on our Eurohike service-hotline during the trip.
- All details and information about why a hiking holiday with Eurohike is the perfect active experience in nature can be found here.