Greece is a fantastic location for hiking and trekking, with many locations little known to travellers. There are hiking routes that go through luscious forests, ending up to amazing blue water beaches, along with paradise-like routes through waterfalls, rivers, and canyons. There is actually a huge range of options and locations, suitable both for the avid hiker and the novice one. Do you prefer to end up in traditional villages with picturesque small coffee shops and taverns serving delicious local treats? There are hiking routes to experience that too. Fancying snow and tough mountaineering? There is plenty of that for the hardcore climbers too! Craving for lakes, valleys, landmarks, and history? There are tons of such hiking routes where you can experience all of that. Through all our travels and all our hiking experiences in Greece, we do have some locations that stand out in our heart and soul for their natural beauty. Here are our preferences:
#1: Hiking in Naxos Island, Cyclades Famous for its culinary options and Cycladic colours, Naxos is another hiking paradise, relatively unknown to outsiders. Most routes were recently marked. Several routes – mostly in the Central part of the island – take you from one village to another, through villages and mountains, offering an unparalleled overview of the island.
#2: Hiking in Andros Island, Cyclades There are lots and lots of hiking routes, even a 100km unified route that goes through the whole island. Andros is a beautiful island with a spectacular capital (Chora). Routes vary in time, ranging from 3 to 7 hours ones. Are you brave to take the 100km one? Better plan for a few days more for that.
#3: Hiking in Santorini from Fira to Oia, Cyclades A 10 km scenic route (one way), really easy to do, that takes you along the edge of Caldera. Take that route for some spectacular views and photos. Tired to do the 10 km back? Take a bus or a taxi from either Fira or Oia to get back. Going with a relaxed pace will take you around 5 hours to reach each destination.
#4: River Trekking to Neda Waterfalls, Peloponnese Neda is a river that comes with a female name (which is rare for Greece). It is famous for its waterfalls, and a scenic route that is done mostly through running river waters. One of the most popular waterfall related routes among Greek hikers.
#5: River Trekking to Nemouta Waterfalls, Peloponnese Nemouta is a location next to the majestic forest of Foloi. A hiking route takes you through thick forest and around 20 waterfalls (6 are the ones you can easily visit). Even the end of the route is next to a river, where you can relax or take a swim. The route takes around 5 to 6 hours.
#6: Hiking in Vlachokerasia Forest in Peloponnese One of the most beautiful forests of Greece is the forest of Skiritida, next to the village of Vlachokerasia. Most know the route by the name of the village and not of the forest. A 6 to 7 hours hiking route full of beauty and wild nature.
#7: Hiking Samaria Gorge in Crete Crete has a tone of gorges to hike through, each different from the other. The most famous one is – of course – the Gorge of Samaria. This is a 4 to 6 hours route (one way; time depends on your pace). It is a tough one, so be prepared with water and snacks. It ends to the magnificent Agia Roumeli beach, where small boats wait to take you back. #8: Exploring the World’s Deepest Vikos Gorge, North Greece It is known as the deepest one in the world. Vikos is a long and beautiful gorge with a variety of flora and fauna. Make sure to reserve for food, as one of the Gorge exits are in the village of Vikos where there is only 1 tavern. The route takes around 6 hours, starting from Monodendri to Vikos (one way) unless you want to hike longer towards more villages.
#9: Ano Chora, Oreini Nafpaktia It takes around 1.30 hours to get to Ano Chora from Nafpaktos, but that village will highly reward you with its hiking routes. Allocate time to visit all villages of Oreini Nafpaktia (i.e. Platanos, Rahi and more). Everything is green here & weekends in winter time will leave you in awe. There all kinds of routes from 3 to 6 hours long.
#10: Mountaineering in Karpenisi, Evritania Located in the west part of Greece, Karpenisi is popular for the thick, green forests, lots and lots of water and gorgeous hiking routes. But it is also very popular for mountaineering. People visit that area just to experience the multitude of hiking/climbing routes, ending up into small villages with tasteful sweets and food. The famous (to Greeks) “Panta Vrehei” Canyon is in this area and you can combine hiking with a visit there.
#11: Hiking Parnitha Mountain in Athens One of the many things one can do in and around Athens is to hike through Parnitha Mountain. There are lots of routes, with the most popular ones starting from the parking area of the Casino, towards the different summits. End up to either Mpafi or Flampouri summits, where you can enjoy good food (tasty and mountain-size portions) or “rakomelo” (a mixture of an alcoholic drink and honey). Going up from the parking area will take around 3 hours. That is just a scratch on the surface of the multitude of hiking routes you can do in Greece.