Walking holidays, the island of Ikaria

If you are a fan of hiking or a fan of Ikaria, come spend 6 days with us in the mountainous village of Arethousa, hiking on the slopes of central Ikaria and enjoying the breathtaking landscape. Each day you will a experience new dynamic route through the island’s many hiking paths and in the evenings you will also learn to dance traditional local dances, cook local dishes and socialize with local people.

When?

  • check-in: Sun, Oct. 6th, 2019
  • check-out: Sat, Oct. 12th, 2019 (6 nights)
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Location – Accommodation

Accommodation is provided in single or double occupancy at the Ikarian Centre’s facilities, which are located in a rural region 1.5 km outside the village of Arethousa. The facilities were originally constructed to provide accommodation for Greek language students and host language lessons, so we often call these buildings “the campus.”  For more details about the campus’ location and on-campus accommodation in Ikaria, please follow the link.

Activities

In the afternoons we welcome our guests to participate with us in several activities:

  • Traditional dance lessons
  • Lectures and slide shows about Ikaria
  • Cooking lessons with local cooks.

For more details, see the schedule below. Our guests will also have the opportunity to socialize with the local guides and other guests in the evenings and at dinner.

A typical day

07:00 or 08:00 – 15:00 Hiking in Ikaria. Lunch is not served, and sometimes we are kilometers away from the closest taverna.  Carry snacks with you!
15:00 – 17:00 Beach time. After a day of hiking, everyone appreciates the sea. Sometimes it’s also possible to have lunch in a taverna nearby.
18:00 – 20:00 Traditional dance lessons, lectures and slide shows, cooking lessons.
20:00 Dinner in the tavernas of Arethousa, or at home.

A more detailed schedule for each day is available below

Schedule & activities

  • First day 
    Check-in
    17:00: Hiking late in the afternoon to the coastal village of Karavostamo. Time for a swim late in the afternoon and dinner in Karavostamo.
    21:00: Return home by car.
  • Second day
    8:00 – 12:00: Hiking Arethousa – Chrysostomo.
    12:00 – 15:00: Visit Therma, swim at Therma Lefkadas (hot springs), and have lunch in the village. Short visit to the archaeological museum of Agios Kirkos.
    17:00 Return home.
    18:00 – 19:00: Lecture and slides about Ikaria.
    19:00 – 20:00: Traditional dance lesson.
    20:00: Dinner in a local taverna.
  • Third day
    8:00 – 12:00: Hiking Arethousa – Droutsoulas.
    12:00 – 15:00: Swim at Kyparisi beach.
    15:00: Return home.
    17:30- 21:00: Cooking lesson (taught by local housewives).
    20:00 – 21:00: Traditional dance lesson (while eating and drinking).
  • Fourth day
    Free day, however we do offer transportation for our guests according to the following schedule:
    13:30: Shuttle to Karavostamo for swimming and a meal.
    18:00: Return home.
    20:00: – Dinner in a local taverna.
  • Fifth day
    7:00 – 14:00: Hiking Arethousa – Plagia (Fragma Mounte – Theoktisti).
    14:00 – 16:00: Visit to the village of Maganitis. Lunch in Manganitis.
    16:00 – 17:00: Visit to Seychelles beach, near Maganitis. 
    18:00: Return home. 
    19:00 – 20:00: Traditional dance lesson.
    20:00: – Dinner in a local taverna.
  • Sixth day
    7:00 – 14:00: Hiking Raches – Pigi (Fragma Mounte – Theoktisti).
    14:00 – 15:00: Visit to the monastery of Theoktisti.
    15:00 – 16:00: Swimming at Kampos beach. Lunch in Kampos
    17:00: Return home.
    19:00 – 20:00: Traditional dance lesson.
    20:00: Dinner in a local taverna.
  • Seventh day
    Departure

Note: Meal costs are not included in the price of the holiday and of course there’s no requirement to attend. You can bring a snack for the road if you don’t want to have lunch in a taverna. In the evening we offer to take our guests to a local taverna, 5 min away, but you can choose to stay home and prepare something for yourself. The cost for a meal and wine in the local taverna is around 12 – 15 Euros.

Accommodation price

  • For two people (accommodation in the same room): 560 Euros (280 Euros/person)
  • For one person (accommodation in private room): 384 Euros

The accommodation includes free participation in activities.  It does not include any kind of food served on-campus or off-campus, or breakfast. In addition, breakfast and other meals are not served at the centre. However visitors can use the kitchenette in their rooms or the common kitchen to prepare breakfast and simple meals.

What should I bring with me?

Closed-toe shoes and shorts; or longer pants, as you might find it annoying to get scratched by bushes. A hiking pole is not necessary, but may be helpful. Of course a hat, water, and snacks are also among the necessary equipment.

How difficult are the hikes?

We will walk in a mountainous terrain, with both uphill and downhill climbs. Some parts are quite steep. The trails pass through areas with low bushes and in many places are no wider than half a meter. The paths are NOT paved. There are stones, tree roots, and shrubs along the entire length of the route. You must be in a relatively good physical condition, have a good sense of balance, and NOT have any SERIOUS problems with vertigo or a fear of heights.

About us

Ikarian Centre is a Greek language school for non-native speakers located in a rural area outside the mountains village of Arethousa. We have offered Greek language lessons to non-native speakers on the island of Ikaria for the past 25 years. We have always offered accommodation, hiking tours and cultural activities to our students, and recently we have decided to welcome any guest who would like to stay with us and participate in hiking and cultural activities. In recent years we have also worked to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the network of trails of the region, via volunteering camps and initiatives. Dialogos, a non-profit organization, was established by the founder of the Ikarian Centre to work on this effort. An online map that includes some trails of Arethousa, Ikaria is a part of our contribution to this project, and you can find it using the previous link.

Reservations

Submit the following reservation form before June 10th 2019. A reservation fee equal to 80 Euros is also required. If you cancel your reservation, the reservation fee is not refunded. The remainder must be paid after June 10th, or just after your arrival on the island.

Reservation form