Eco sailing holiday: Cyclades, 7 days
Our Aegean Wildlife sailing trip is part of our effort to introduce our guests to a side of Greek nature that few people know about.
Apart from the excitement of sailing and relaxing on beautiful bays enjoying the Greek sun and local island life, you will have the chance to participate in activities such as dolphin spotting, trekking in natural paths, visiting areas where the Mediterranean Seal Monahus monahus lives and breeds.
You’ll also be able to get involved in sample collection for the research of our biologist and beach or bay clean ups.
Tales from the wild side…
Tale One: Biodiversity
Our trip starts from the capital of the Cyclades, Syros, and it ends after one week at the volcanic island of Milos, home to the Milos Viper, the most endangered reptile in Europe. 200 more miles for Tahita to add on her log book.
SYROS TO MILOS, MAY TO OCTOBER
We start our journey from the historical port of Syros, Ermoupoli. The day will be devoted to getting to know each other, a briefing on the Aegean ecosystem and settling down on the boat. You will have plenty of time to walk around the picturesque old town of Ano Syros.
Sailing and dolphin spotting is on the agenda today. We will follow the route southwards towards Paros Island. Plenty of time for dolphin spotting with the aid of our hydrophone and for watching sea birds such as the common Yellow-legged Gull, the rare Audouin’s Gull and plentiful of Shags that hang around in these waters. By late noon we will reach the small fishing port of Piso Livadi, on the eastern coast of Paros, where you can taste the local fish delicacies of Antonis.
Our prow is pointing to the southeast, to the very heart of the Aegean, the ”small Cyclades” complex. Only a few of the 50 islands, islets and rocks are inhabited by man, giving the impression of an ”empty” habitat to the unsuspected eye. On the contrary, these islands hide an impressive variety of life. The next station of our “project” will be the unspoilt fishing port of Iraklia.
The typical vegetation of the ecosystems here is phrygana. You will be surprised to discover that even a tiny rocky islet may be home to tens of invertebrate species and even to many vertebrates including birds such as the Chukar, the Shag, but also Eleonora’s and Peregrine Falcons and even the majestic Griffon Vultures. Reptiles include geckos, Balkan Rock Lizards, Sand Boas and others. And let’s not forget the endemic flowers growing there, which include a variety of unique orchids, crocuses, knapweeds, mulleins, bellflowers and many more!
Today’s route is eastwards. The sailing area we will cover is a well-known passage for dolphins. Despotiko, another small island, a favorite meeting point for sailors in the Aegean, is where we’ll end our small experiment. We will compare and analyse our results and photos, breaking off work for plunges in the crystal clear waters of the bay.
At night you will be a witness to a unique spectacle: the glowing sea. A myriad of minuscule planktonic crustaceans produce light thanks to the phenomenon of bioluminescence.
We’ll have an early start and enjoy a day sailing towards the unspoilt island of Kimolos. The area north of Kimolos and the neighboring uninhabited island of Polyegos harbor one of the most critically endangered marine mammal species in Europe, the Mediterranean Monk Seal.
One of the first volcanic islands to emerge from the sea about 2 million years ago, Milos features a quite unique fauna, with the Milos Viper being one of the most interesting and rare animals in Europe. Its population is estimated to be less than 4,000 individuals and is strictly protected by a Presidential Degree.
Milos Wall Lizard, the extremely rare Milos Grass Snake and Milos Green Lizard are three more endemic species of the Milos archipelago.
Milos and the Cyclades in general lie along the Aegean migratory route for European birds that fly southwards to spend the winter in Africa. Our observation point will be the small brackish lake of Achivadolimni (lake of shells in Greek), where wading birds can be observed (herons, waders, occasional Glossy Ibis e.t.c.). It’s hiking time! All the aforementioned animals, plus the Stripe-neck Terrapin, can be found here, in this small oasis of water and vegetation in the midst of the general Cyclades aridness.
That will be the end of our “biodiversity project”. Please note that photographs of cetaceans and other interesting fauna and flora that you take during the sailing cruise might be of great relevance to scientists in their researches. If you like, you can contribute by sharing with us your photos at the end of the trip.
Wild Tale fees
Οption A: Solo travelers
The fee is 990 Euros per person and it includes:
We accept max. 6 guests each week to guarantee max. space and comfort for all.
Option B: Group travelers
Fee of yacht* plus fee of walking guide i.e. 880 Euro per week.
* You can arrange your own yacht or the fee will be 3500 Euro and it includes:
The fee includes:
- Βiologist/guide 6,5% VAT
- Breakfast (self-service)
- Water supplies
- Port fees
- Snorkeling equipment
- End cleaning
The fee doesn’t include:
- Fuel (Around EUR 120-150 per week to be divided among our 6 guests)
- Lunch and supper