Small Cyclades Kayak Circumnavigation
Based on double occupancy. Single supplement applies. $475
8 days, 7 nights
Based on double occupancy. Single supplement applies. $475
For those that are in need of a healthy dose of adventure, this is the trip for you. Beginning on the Greek island of Naxos, we will head south along the coast to a cluster of small Cyclades islands, circumnavigating four of them before returning to Naxos. As we glide through the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, we will discover the beauty held within the remote islands of the Small Cyclades. Wild landscape, clear waters, isolated beaches and traditional villages will surely make this an experience unlike any other The Northwest Passage has ever seen. With waters as tranquil as the culture, we will have time to enjoy the remote beaches and hike inland and explore the landscape. When is the last time you experienced a place so perfectly calm and unhurried by the world around it? We've been all over, so we know how rare places such as these are...
Day One: A Northwest Passage Guide will meet you upon arrival in Naxos, and transfer you to our accommodations in Agiassos Bay. Here you will practice paddling skills and become acquainted with the gear you will be using throughout the trip. After working up an appetite in the bay, we will get to know each other a little better and discuss trip logistics over sunset drinks and delicious, locally sourced dishes at dinner. (D)
Day Two: After breakfast we begin our first full day on the water. We bid farewell Naxos as we embark on our first open water crossing to the island of Irakleia. Once ashore we will enjoy lunch at a beachside taverna and settle into our accommodations. Before tucking into a delicious dinner in the port town we will stretch our legs on a sunset hike and explore the beautiful island of Irakleia by land. (B, D)
Day Three: Today we will complete our first circumnavigation of the trip by paddling all the way around Irakleia. The varied, marvelous coastline is a dream paddling environment: rock gardens, craggy headlands, high rise bluffs and spectacular views of the many, many surrounding islands. After roughly 15 miles of paddling, we will dine and rest in Irakleia once again. (B, D)
Day Four: Today we will complete both an open water crossing and another circumnavigation. After departing Irakleia we cross a small stretch of open water and land our kayaks on the island of Schinoussa, our home for the night. But we’re not done paddling yet! We will paddle the entire coastline of the island stopping for lunch along the way. We end our paddling day at the gorgeous and off-the-beaten-path beach of Lio Liou. We will drive or walk into town amongst the rolling farmland of Schinoussa, a wonderful backdrop for sunset drinks and dinner. (B,D)
Day Five: Today we will explore the coastline of both Kato (Lower) and Pano (Upper) Koufonissi. After crossing from Schinoussa, we hug the sandstone-rich coastline of Kato Koufonissi and travel amongst arches, bluffs and rock gardens. After refueling with a coffee stop, we press on to Pano Koufonissi where we will stop for lunch before circumnavigating the entire island. After setting into our beachside accommodations we will head into town where you will have the opportunity to dine where you choose. The vibrant port town of Koufonissi buzzes with local energy and is a great place to shop for gifts and mementoes. (B)
Day Six: Since we will stay in Pano Koufonissi again tonight, you have the option to rest on the beach or explore the grandiose, uninhabited island of Keros. Strewn with ruins from the over 4,500 year old Minoan civilization, the totally undeveloped and magnificently mountainous Keros is a treasure for any traveler. High ceilinged sea caves and towering bluffs line the coast of Keros. After stopping for a picnic lunch we will complete our circumnavigation of Keros and return to Pano Koufonissi. Tonight we enjoy dinner as a group in the island’s port town. (B, D)
Day Seven: After breakfast we bid farewell to the Small Cyclades and embark on our return crossing to Naxos. After stopping for lunch along the way we will return to Agiassos Bay, where we spent our first evening of the trip. Overlooking the islands of Paros and Antiparos, we will enjoy dinner as evening falls once more on the Aegean Sea. (B, D)
Day Eight: Having added our voyage to the annals of this incredible waterway five millennia after the first Minoan sailors, we must now part ways until our next paddling adventure! A Northwest Passage guide will transfer you to the Naxos ferry port or airport. (B)
* Note: This is our intended itinerary for this exploratory trip. As with any adventure travel, the forces of nature can be unpredictable, causing us to make adjustments and changes to the itinerary. Rest assured that our many years of exploring have provided us with numerous options if changes need to be made. If it is too windy to paddle, various hiking, cultural and historical options will make you glad for the winds.
We enjoy the Small Cyclades because of their remote, unspoiled beauty. For the past five thousand years, since their apparent heyday in the third millennium BCE, they have remained well off the beaten track. The sense of serene solitude we will experience has welcomed rare visitors for thousnads of years.
The island of Keros appears to have been of greater importance than we may ever know. Recent excavations have suggested that this was a sacred island of pilgrimage during the Cycladic Island civilization prior to the beginning of the Bronze Age.
The Romans used them as a place to exile troublesome citizens, and pirates sometimes used them as hidden bases. We will enjoy using them as our own base for a week of blissful "exile" from the stresses of the modern world.