Take a step into the maze-like paths of ancient times, and hike in one of the most beautiful, culturally vibrant, and historically significant regions of Greece and Europe: Peloponnese (a region that Lonely Planet has voted as its top destination in Europe for 2016).
Through a variety of activities, we offer you the opportunity to explore age-old paths, mountain peaks, old villages, and deep gorges. At the beginning of the trip, you will delve into the myths and secrets of the historical center of Athens, and, in the following days, prepare to: trek on Mount Menalo and reach the legendary Mount Taygetos peak (2407m.); hike through Lousios river gorge from Stemnitsa to Dimitsana village; visit Dimitsana’s historic Open Air Water Power Museum; discover the charming and flourishing seaside town of Kardamyli in Mani Seaside and have a biking adventure around Mani; kayak in the crystal waters of the Mediterranean; visit the stunning Diros cave and walk to the lighthouse of Cape Tenaro-the southernmost point of mainland Europe; finish with a tour of the Byzantine city of Mystras.
- Level: Easy-Moderate
- Activities: trekking /cultural sightseeing/ caving / biking /sea kayaking
- Duration: 8 days
- All Rahhalah’s ground handlers and guides are locally employed ensuring more authentic experience for travelers, as well as sensitivity and understanding of the local culture and environment
- Our staff is highly experienced and has excellent knowledge, committed to provide exceptional service at all times.
We run a low impact operation and we leave no traces behind, contributing to the efforts of protection of the local land, its people and culture.
We are committed to employing local people to the maximum extent possible. We pay our staff well and, just as important, we provide them with periodical training. In addition we emphasize on making extensive use of local products and enhance maximum economic benefits to the local communities.
As you all know 1% of our revenue go back to a local cause and Rahhalah directly takes care of that. This is our pay back promise.
Day 01: Arrival to Athens
You will be welcomed at the airport and driven to the hotel.
Optional: Relax by strolling in the nearby area, making a first acquaintance with Athens. Enjoy a coffee in one of the numerous coffee shops around the Acropolis Rock, or, like an Athenian, choose to rest in one of the several terraces overlooking the Parthenon, gazing at the historical center from above. At night, dining options can be offered for those interested to explore the culinary delights of the Greek capital, and you might even consider checking a screening in an open-air cinema: one of the most unique, memorable experiences locals and tourists enjoy alike.
Day 02: Athens (B, L, D)
We set off, after breakfast, for our city exploration. We will follow alternative routes, avoiding the long queues in the archaeological sites and the museums. Instead, we will connect with the city like a veritable Athenian. We will start by visiting the three hills on the west side of the Acropolis, enjoying the pine-covered paths and great views of the Parthenon and Lycabettus hill, while also passing by Pnyka: the actual place where democracy was born. We will continue by ambling among the various neighborhoods, getting to know the dense tapestry of the city. Thiseio and Monastiraki, along with the Flea market are part of our route, where we will have lunch in an old tavern, dining on the traditional Greek street food.
After lunch, we will walk among the most commercial streets of the historical center, reaching Syntagma square and the Parliament, and then we will head towards Plaka, passing by the numerous Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman ruins, and Anafiotika, the tiny island-like neighborhood under the Acropolis Rock.
At night, we will have dinner in one of the picturesque Plaka taverns, enjoying some Greek music and, hopefully, dancing as well!
Day 03: Mount Menalo trekking – Stemnitsa ( B, L, D)
Today we wake up early and after breakfast we transfer to Mount Menalo refuge at 1600m elevation. We will cross the spectacular fir forest of Menalo until we arrive to the tiny and historical village of Alonistaina for lunch. Our driver will then take us to picturesque Stemnitsa village, which is perched on the lush hillside of Mt Mainalon, where you can unwind as you choose for the rest of the day. The village was where revolutionary leader Theodoros Kolokotronis was based during the War of Independence, and in more modern times was known for its people’s traditional know-how in the art of silver-smithing and other crafts.
Driving time: Athens Center to Menalo Refuge-2 hrs 30 min / Allonistaina Village to Stemnitsa- 50 min
Menalo crossing 3 hrs 30 min– 5hrs depending on the group pace / + 400 m/ -700 m
Day 04: Stemnitsa – Trek – Kardamyli ( B, L, D)
After breakfast we will walk amongst Lousios river, towards picturesque Dimitsana village, all the while embraced by luxuriant vegetation and pausing to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views. We will visit the impressive Prodromos and Philosophos monasteries, where we will see 10th Century murals.
In Dimitsana we will visit the unique Open Air Water-Power Museum, which showcases fascinating pre-industrial mechanisms and workshop rooms that utilized water power to manufacture numerous major utilitarian products.
Following your exploration of Dimitsana, after lunch, we take you to Kardamylli, which oozes quaintly old fashioned, traditional charm, with landmarks such as antique monasteries and medieval tower houses that stand out in landscapes of dazzling cobalt-blue seas and sheer cliffs carpeted in many shades of green.
Driving time: Stemnitsa village to Kardamyli – 2 hrs 20 min
Hike to Stemnitsa /Lousios river to Dimitsana village- 5 hrs / -500 m/+ 400 m
Day 05: Kardamyli – Taygetos trek ( B, L, D)
Early bird wake up! After breakfast we will transfer to the Taygetus refuge which is the start of our highlight trek. Taygetus is the highest mountain in the Peloponnese, stretching more than 100km, one of the largest alpine routes in the country, known as Pentadactylos. Today we will reach ‘Profitis Elias’ summit at 2407m. with breathtaking vibes and stunning panoramic views which reach Cape Tenaro or even Crete on a clear day. A great part of the mountain is covered by pine trees. There are also cypresses, junipers, oaks, evergreen maples, eurasian smoketrees and more. Taygetos is famous for its “mountain tea” (genus sideritis).
Driving distance: Kardamyli to Taygetus peak starting point -1 hr 40 min
Hike Taygetus peak – 6-7 hrs / + 1500 m/-1500 m
Day 06: Kardamyli – Sea kayak experience ( B, L, D)
We will start our day with a detailed introduction briefing by our kayak experts. Starting from Kardamyli, paddle around the crystal waters of Mani peninsula on the foot of Mount Taygetos. During your sea kayak experience you will discover hidden sea caves with rare geological formations, pristine beaches and charming fishing villages. During your fruit break you will learn about famous writer Niko Kazantzakis’ hero Zorba and its connection to the beaches you will visit.
Sea kayaking 4-5 hrs
Day 07: Kardamyli – Biking tour & Road trip to Cape Tenaro ( B, L, D)
From Kardamyli you can opt for a guided seaside bike ride to nearby villages, soaking in magnificent views of the Messinian gulf. Your private mini bus will be waiting at your biking route end, where today’s road-trip starts! Visit the magnificent Diros cave, taking in remarkable natural sculptures created by the stalactites and stalagmites, during a half hour boat ride along the underground lake. Explore Vathia village to see its impressive towers, churches and houses and stunning panoramic vistas. Built during the 16th Century, most of the ghostly-looking village was abandoned by the late 20th Century.
Later on, walk the trails of Cape Tenaro the stunningly scenic, southernmost point of mainland Greece. On the path there, see the ancient ruins of Tainaron, once a vivacious Roman city; At the tip of Cape Tenaro is the legendary sea cave that is said to be ‘the gate to Hades’. At the end of the walk there is a restored light house from where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Cretan sea.
Driving distance: Kardamyli – Cape Tenaro -Road trip 160km return (3hrs net total driving).Will take approx 7-8 hours with Viros cave visit, a walk and swim in Cape Tenaro and lunch included
Biking 20-40km /1 hr 30 min – 3hours according to group level. Road & mountain route available
Hiking in Cape Tenaro- 1 hrs 30 min/ +70 m/- 70 m
Day 08: Departure Athens ( B)
Today we will visit the fortified town of Mystras the capital of the Despotate of Morea in the 14th and 15th century, and will receive a 2.5 hours tour by a certified local archaeologist.
We will arrive at Athens around 3 pm and transfer to Athens International Airport for departure flight.
Recommended departure flight after 6.30pm.
per person based on a group of min 6. Double occupancy.
26th June 2017
- This cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement Applies.
- This rate is valid for June 2017
- Full payment should be made 30 days prior to departure date.
- All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change.
- Airport transfers
- Professional English-speaking guide and qualified mountain guide
- Chief Initiator – Transformational Journeys Trip Leader – Konstantina Sakellariou
- All transportation as described in the itinerary.
- Accommodation: 2 nights in Athens historical center (walking distance to the Acropolis) in family run hotel; 5 nights in the Peloponnese in traditional guesthouses or family run hotels (en-suite facilities). Double occupancy.
- Meals as described
- Guided sea kayak experience
- Guided biking experience in Kardamyli (includes bikes, vehicle support, helmets)*** Guided tour in Mystras by certified archaelogist
- Entrance tickets to Ancient Kardamyli, Diros cave, Dimitsana waterpower museum, Mystras
- International flights
- Visa fees
- Travel Insurance
- Single Supplement
- High Season supplements
- Personal gear
- Meals not mentioned above
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal expenses
Important:The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.