Did you think about what you can do on your European vacation this summer? Here’s an idea for your next adventure. The Greek islands are going green. There are lots of opportunities to get involved in eco-friendly activities on the Greek Islands that is not harmful to the environment. Explore their unique biodiversity and landscape rich in history and full of beauty.
Island of Hydra – Hiking
In the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea lies the island of Hydra, known for being a vehicle free island. With over 80kms of paths and marked trails all over the island. It makes for a good choice in choosing options and their difficulty level. To the east you reach the lighthouse of Zourva. Bisti beach however, is on the other side of the island all the way to the west. Looking for difficulty, hike to the top of Mount Eros with views expanding all the way across the Mediterranean. On your hike, Hydra allows you to explore its rich history in maritime, art and tranquil town.
Alonissos Marine Park – Diving
In the north west of the Aegean Sea, the region of Sporades is home to 4 Greek Islands and one of the largest marine protected areas. It holds both natural and cultural significance to the island hosting animal species and plants that are rare and have adapted to its surrounding environment. Many archaeological and historical monuments can also be seen throughout the park. The Mediterranean monk seal is endangered but calls the park home.
Exploring the underwater features of the park as well as diving is a way to discover its beauty. The uninhabited islets are where access is allowed to observe wildlife at its best such as Peristera and Piperi, shipwrecks to be discovered and the Byzantine empire living on through its monasteries and churches that still stand.
If you’re lucky to make friends with a seal, check the guidelines for park visitors before inviting them to lunch!
Island of Kos – Biking
Travel to the island of Kos is set in the Dodecanese, setting standards for eco-friendly tourism with a predominantly flat terrain. Considered the cycling island of Greece, they have imported over 6500 rental bikes and carved a network of cycling paths to navigate your way around the island.
In turn, the consciousness of locals and transportation providing zero emissions, it is a favoured way of discovering the lush landscape and historic landmarks.
Island of Zakynthos (Zante) – Turtle-watching
Located in the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos (or Zante for short) there is more than just breath-taking beaches and nightlife. It is one of the largest nesting grounds for turtles in the Mediterranean. Eighty percent of the Caretta Caretta sea turtle lays its eggs along its beaches and the National marine park on the island has drawn out measures to ensure human activity does not come in contact with the endangered species. Kiosks installation, light free zone at night and watching the nests of turtles are some of the actions taken.
Archelon is a eco-conscious group for volunteering travellers, specifically for these turtles. Laganas is a bay dedicated to helping monitor the activity of nesting turtles, safety guards surrounding the nests and raising awareness for their endangerment. There is the opportunity to to camp and volunteer on a night shift.
Island of Skyros – Mouries Farm
The island of Skyros located in the Sporades is home to the Skyrian horse. This small-sized breed of horse is one of the rarest and considered ancient forms of horse breeding. The non-profit organization/farm Mouries has bred and protected the endangered horse breed however relies heavily on volunteers for assistance. An important aspect of its farm culture is the cultural exchange. Being involved in daily tasks like leading rides for kids, feeding/watering horses etc. At the same time as part of the reserve of Natura 2000, it holds hiking paths, endemic biodiversity and scenery.
Island of Kalymnos – Climbing
The Dodecanese holds more than just picturesque Greek Islands. The island of Kalymnos however, is one of the most popular travel destinations for climbers. With its natural rock formation and highly regarded safety standards, it pushes you at all levels whilst taking in the beauty of your surroundings. For annual conscious climbers, their visit and participation in this activity has raised the environmental awareness of Kalymnos. Actions for clean practices and adopting protective measures for biodiversity.