Volunteering for Greeks and Turks: Project pathways 2017

29 June – 9 July 2017

  • Cleaning, marking and mapping a 3 Km foot path leading to the peak of the mountain, and transforming the old school of the village to a tourist information center
  • Working with locals in small-scale restoration works in the village, before the local “Panigiri” on July 17th
  • Helping DIALOGOS in small-scale maintenance work at the guesthouse, like removing an old stone wall and painting the facade of some buildings.

Where: Arethousa, Ikaria
Accommodation: Shared accommodation provided at the Ikarian Center’s guesthouse
Food: Lunch after work is provided. Participants may prepare their breakfast and simple meals at the guesthouse’s common kitchen or rooms’ kitchenettes
Who can participate: Greeks, Turks and Cypriots from both communities of the island
Number of participants: min. 6 – max. 14
Participation fee: 150€ – 450tl (payment is made in the currency of volunteer’s homeland)
Daily schedule: For a detailed description, follow the link

The concept

Put on the ecotourism radar by recent media coverage and its classification as a blue zone, Ikaria has seen a sudden surge in visitors. Every year, more and more campers and hikers from all over the world are attracted to the island by its rugged and uncharted terrain. However, with so many visitors leaving behind new paths and clearings, the tourist footprint is beginning to take its toll on Ikaria’s delicate ecosystem.

Far from trying to stop visitors from seeing the island’s magnificent natural beauty, Project Pathways is an initiative to promote sustainable tourism in the region of Arethousa in Ikaria, DIALOGOS’s headquarters. However, we can’t do it alone! With a task force of volunteers, the DIALOGOS aims to reopen and remark the region’s overgrown pathways. Clear, well-marked pathways will allow walkers and more adventurous hikers to have maximum access with minimal environmental impact. At the same time it will help the local community to take some benefit from this “tourist invasion”. It will also empower the local community to protect the natural heritage that happens to surround her, proving that a healthy environment and local traditions are valuable for sustainable development.

Ikaria is also an island very close to the borders with Turkey, only 125Km away Izmir. Recently it seems that fanaticism, prejudices and intolerance  are raising from both sides of the borders, even further… DIALOGOS considers this project as an opportunity to demonstrate against fanaticism, by bringing Turks and Greeks together and demonstrating, via helping a small community living by the borders, our solidarity and our will to live a life in peace and good relations with the neighbors. For this reason, this year project pathways is calling Turks and Greeks, also Turkish and Greek Cypriots to support it.

Activities and benefits

  • Afternoon conversation classes, under the supervision and participation of a language teacher for beginners – intermediate levels
  • Introduction of the Greek language, for absolute beginners.
  • Workshops and projects
  • Excursions on the island.
    For a detailed program, follow the link. The participants from Turkey may also participate in the Greek language course before or after the project, and pay a reduced tuition

Accommodation and transport

Participants will reside in the Centre’s guesthouse which is located 15min on foot OUTSIDE the village of Arethousa, in a beautiful spot ON the mountain. For a clear idea, please check the terrain on google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/HsUiT49JDYB2 . Arethousa is a village with a population of 100 people. There is one kafenio, one taverna and one minimarket in the village. Every day, after lunch, there is a shuttle service to a nearby beach (Karavostamo, in the coast village of Karavostamo, or Kyparissi) Some of the evenings we also provide a shuttle service to Evdilos, 8km away, the central harbor of North Ikaria, a small village of 600 inhabitants, with several tavernas, bars and cafeterias. Participants may also use a rental car, if they want to share the cost of the rent (around 50€) and the petrol between them.


Participants from Turkey are expected to arrive on the port of Agios Kirikos (Ikaria’s south port) on Wednesday, 28th of June at 13:20 with the ferry Nissos Rhodos. We are going to pick you up from the port. You can cross the borders from Kusadshi to Samos, Tsesme (to Chios) or Aivalik (Lesvos) and take the same ferry (Nissos Rodos) arriving at Agios Kirikos (Ikaria) at 13:20. The fare from Samos is 10 Euros. For the route and reservations check http://www.hsw.gr/ Alternatively you can fly to Athens and take the plane (www.olympicair.com or www.skyexpress.gr) or the ferry (www.hsw.gr) to Ikaria. There are also flights to Ikaria from the airport of Thessaloniki (www.astra-airlines.gr) We are going to arrange a free pick up, no matter how you arrive on the island.

Participants are expected to leave the guest house in the morning of the 10th of July. If necessary you may stay for a few more days, if there are rooms available. This can be arranged only after your arrival


If you are interested in participating, you must submit the registration form until May 22nd 2017. You can still register in the program as they are still available places. For the registration form click here: https://goo.gl/forms/7m6DDl6wr7mDk7Ck2

The participation fee must be paid after our confirmation that you are accepted in the project, between May 22 – May 26

The participation fee must be paid with the registration, either via bank transfer. Details will be sent to you after the submission of the form. Cancellation: After May 22nd, the participation fee is not refunded in case of cancellation by the volunteer.


  • Why is there a participation fee?
    There is a cost related with the project: bills and expenses related with the accommodation, expenses for transport, coordination and administration work, food… Dialogos must cover at least a part of this cost in order to keep the project sustainable.
  • Do I have to pay extra for accommodation?
    No, accommodation is offered by DIALOGOS, in rooms with one or two more volunteers, ideally of the other national group but the same gender.
  • Do I have to pay for my food?
    Lunch is included, simple meal, also for vegetarians, without alcohol, in the village community kitchen. If you want to consume alcohol you are welcome to buy it from the local market. Breakfast, dinner and other meals are not included. However, volunteers can use the facilities of the guesthouse (kitchenettes in their rooms and a common kitchen) in order to prepare their breakfast, dinner or any kind of meals.
  • Other expenses on the island?
    Coffee and soft drinks: 1-3€, depending on the place
    Food, including wine, in a local restaurant, 10-12€. If you want to reduce your daily expenses or just for fun, you are welcome to prepare your own breakfast and simple meals at the guesthouse.
  • Will I have the time to discover the island?
    One daily excursion around the island is included in the program. For the daily program click here
  • Is there free transport to the port the day of my departure?


More questions? Contact us