October: Nordic walking week in Ithaka, Greece
Come and join us for this incredible holiday in Ithaka, Greece!
In October, when London will be getting grey and wet, Greece is still warm and mostly dry. Most of the tourists will have gone by then, but it is an amazing time to go. No longer swelteringly hot, we can explore this beautiful unspoilt island in the Ionian sea. We are spoilt for choice for walks, and we will add a day of kayaking for those who would like to give it a go.
Azure seas, impressive views, green valleys and lovely locals
It is no wonder Odysseus wanted so badly to come back to his home island Ithaca. Millenia after the time of the mythological tale of the Odyssey, Ithaka still feels peaceful and unspoilt. You won’t find any high-rise buildings or large hotels here. Ithaka is still a very traditional island and its people are welcoming, friendly, and helpful.
Dotted around this small island, we will find tiny pebbly coves and beaches with crystal clear water, some of them only reachable by water or foot. Along picturesque colourful old Venetian houses and remains of windmills, enjoy your dinner waterfront as the waves form the incoming boats smoothly touch your feet.
We will walk through green valleys, taking in the smells of oregano, thyme, mountain tea and chamomile and will follow mountain paths rewarding us with incredible views.
Just like our Sicily trip two years ago, this trip will be a relaxed affair; our idea of a holiday is to enjoy beautiful walks, take in the views, smell the herbs, soak in the sun and have a drink on a terrace overlooking the sea to sample the local food. No longer swelteringly hot, the average temperature in October is a comfortable 23 degrees.
We will take our Nordic Walking poles and walk most days (max around 12km) to explore some of the beautiful nature and incredible history of the Island.
We even planned a kayak day for those of you who would like to explore the island from the water. The local guides and myself will be at hand to give you our best tips and coaching, to make sure you will love your day on the water.
We will make sure there will be plenty of time to relax; with a book, a natter, or just quietly staring out over the aquamarine seas. Bring your swimsuit, the sea temperature is still 24 degrees in October.
We will fly to the island of Kefalonia nearby. (please see below for our recommended flights).
Upon arrival at the airport, we will share a taxi to a hotel on the other side of the island, not far from the ferry to Ithaca. You can relax in your room or enjoy a dip in the pool before dinner. That evening we will have a short stroll along the beach to a taverna to celebrate the start of our holiday.
After a restful evening and maybe an early morning dip in the pool, we will take the ferry to Ithaka. We will stay in the picturesque village of Vathi, the capital of Ithaka.
Vathi is a pleasant small town with many lovely cafes and restaurants. Most of village life happens along the promenade by the sea front and it is a joy to sit there sipping coffee or a freshly squeezed orange juice in the mornings and afternoons.
You will be staying in an individual room with a private bathroom in a village apartment, unless you prefer to share your room of course! All rooms will be centrally located within a 10-minute walk to the main square. Like all typical Greek rooms: they will be very clean and simple.
Depending on the ferry time (which, in typical relaxed Greek style has not been published yet at the time we wrote this), we will go for a short walk in the morning on Kefalonia, or in the afternoon after our arrival in Vathi.
Days 3 – 7
We are spoilt for choice of walking routes on Ithaka. We have included some of our favourites from which we will make our final choice on the day, so we can make a choice based on your preferences, the temperature and weather and how we all feel. The walks we selected are all 5- 12 km and will last 3- 6 hours. We can push those muscles or just go for more easy going hikes, it is up to you.
Some of the walks will pass little coves where we can swim or have a picknick on the beach, and sometimes we will find a little taverna at the end of our trip.
One of the days we will have a BBQ in an Olive Grove in the country side and to give our weary feet a rest, we have arranged a day of kayaking too. This will be the perfect time to give kayaking a go, even if you have never sat in one of those before.
Of course, we will be there to coach and guide you, and will make sure you have a great time. If you prefer a rest day on dry land, that is possible too.
Today we leave our wonderful place on Ithaka and prepare to take a ferry back to Kefalonia. At the ferry port, we will be picked up by our taxi, who will bring us to our hotel in bustling Argostoli, which is about 15 minutes from the airport.
On the far end of a natural bay, Argostoli is a modern town with many restaurants, shops and bars. It won’t be hard to find a nice taverna to have our last meal together.
Flight back to London
We only have 8 spaces, and lots of you have already expressed interest, so if you want to join, be quick!
Fit and Happy Outdoors is all about community and friendship. For that reason, we give active members priority to take part in this trip. (by active member we mean someone who has taken part in our 4 week learn to Nordic walk course, who regularly walks with us or has regularly walked with us in the past)
This trip is organised in cooperation with our friends from Explora.
More information? Write to Ailien@fitandhappyoutdoors.com or ask for a call back.
Included in the price:
Hotels in Kefalionia 2 nights on the basis of single use of your room
Hotel in Vathi, Ithaca, on the basis of single use of your room
Transport to and from airports (provided you are on the recommended flight)
Transport to and from walks
Ferry to and from Ithaka
lunch at Kioni
Olive grove BBQ
Walks and kayak tour guided by local guides and Ailien
restaurant lunches and dinners apart from the ones mentioned above
entry fees to museums, national parks, etc
Saturday 30 Sept 2017 any flight arriving at or before 15:30 pm, which is when our minibus will pick us up.
Return: Sunday 8 Oct 2017 from Easyjet 13:55 from Kefalonia EFL, arriving at LGW 15:25