Geneva Kayak Center

Inn-to-inn

Greece - Dodecanese Islands

Kos, Greece

Dates: May 5-13. 2012
Days: 9 days, 8 nights
Price: $3299*
Trip Level: 2/3-
Includes: All Inclusive Upon Arrival in Kos**
Group Size: 6-10


Trip Description

Looking for the ultimate Grecian paddling trip? Try island hopping by kayak from inn to inn, along high cliffs and across aqua blue bays of the Mediterranean this spring! We’re teaming up with local paddling company Terra Santa Expeditions, a Sea Kayaking UK (formerly NDK) Expedition Center, for 7 spectacular days of paddling in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece. We’ll paddle from island to island staying in intimate inns each night, giving us the chance to experience the beautiful culture of this area. Rich in history, each island that we visit has its own unique character; from islands with active volcanoes to islands where they used to dive for sponges, while another plays host to ancient castles. During our day paddles, we come upon fisherman, monks in their secluded chapels and monasteries, and there is always time for snorkeling in turquoise waters. We’ll finish our days in a traditional village, with dinner at the local taverna, frequently calamari and a Greek salad. This is what our kayak trips in the Greed islands are all about.

Included in the price of the trip 7 days of paddling and 8 nights of inn style accommodations as well as any ferry or boat transportation during the trip. Meals at restaurants and on the water, from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 9, are included, and fantastic! We’ll be paddling the finest boats in Greece – a fleet of fiberglass SKUK (formerly NDK) boats, and using quality kayak gear (you may choose to bring your own) such as Lendal Paddles and Snapdragon spray decks. Participants must arrange their own travel to the town of Kos by the afternoon of May 10. Please call for tips on arranging flights or other transportation to and from Kos.

Our paddling adventure in Greece will be lead by one of Geneva Kayak’s most experienced coaches and guides in conjunction with Grecian paddling veterans Omer and Saggi, owners of Terra Santa Expeditions. Omer and Saggi are both top level BCU coaches and are experienced paddlers and veterans of expeditions around the world. These three guides will lead our group with confidence on the water and also be able give you all the intimate knowledge of the Dodecanese Islands, with the flair and quality of every Geneva Kayak Trip.

The Dodecanese Islands Inn-to-Inn trip is rated at Level 2/3-. Participants do not need to have passed a Level 2 assessment or have taken a Level 3 training, but should have taken our GKC L2T trainings and feel confident in those skills. Level 2 trips are considered to be beginner kayaking trips, but we will include level 3 training for intermediates during this trip. Paddlers of all ability level will enjoy paddling in these spectacular islands are encouraged to join this trip.


Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Kos
Geneva Kayak Center guides will greet trip members in Kos at the airport and transport to the hotel. After checking in, we’ll meet up with the folks from Terra Santa at the marina in Kos to sort out kayaks & gear and then head out for our 1st dinner in Kos.
Island of Leros
After breakfast we will take the ferry to the island of Leros (approx. 2 hour ride). Italy occupied this island for many years. Taking advantage of its large, deep bays as natural harbors it was the largest naval base in the Mediterranean. Our stop is called Agia Marina. Here we will unload the kayaks and then paddle out of the harbor. The destination for today is the fishing village of Pandeli with its white houses, mountaintop Crusader fortress and Greek windmills. We’ll enter via the small harbor, parking the kayaks just a couple of yards from the local café. After checking into our guest house you can choose to just hang out and enjoy the place or get into the kayaks again and have a skills session. The water is warm and perfect for practicing different rescues or rolling. If you are interested you may train & get assessed for a BCU star rating during the trip as well. Dinner will be served in one of the local restaurants.
Fortress of the Crusaders & Paddling Leros
This morning we will hike up the Seep Mountain to the Castle of Pandeli - the Crusaders fortress. From the top one can see the Dodecanese Islands as well as the coast of Turkey, and next to us are the picturesque white ancient Greek windmills, while far below we can even see our kayaks on the beach. Coming down from the fortress we will take "the 370 steps" going down the village between colorful houses. After lunch we will load the kayaks and venture south along the eastern shores of Leros. Our destination is the village of Xerokambos and Villa Maria Guest House.
Small Island Hopping, Telendos
After breakfast we will make the crossing to Kalymnos Island in a series of short hops between smaller islands. Kalymnos, also known as the “Island of the Sponge Divers”, is considered one of the most beautiful islands of the Aegean Sea. The coast is marked by high cliffs, numerous rock gardens and small caves. Today we may challenge our paddling skills and sneak in among the rocks and the surf. The island of Telendos on the western shore of Kalymnos is our goal for tonight. Telendos is closed to cars and can only be reached by boat. The island has a small, picturesque village with a few taverns, a 16th century chapel above a cliff and swimming beach. We will land our kayaks and stroll to our Guest House for a two-night stay. Dinner will be at our water front tavern with local wine, tzatziki and maybe calamari.
Paddle, Rest on the Beach, Or Both!
Today you can go for a hike up in the mountains or circumnavigate the Island of Telendos. You may also rest and hang out on the beach.
Kalimnos – Monasteries, Sponges and Shipwrecks
Today we will cross Telendos strait again back to Kalimnos. This channel of water was created on the disastrous earthquake of 554 A.D.; Telendos was until then united to the land opposite to it (Kalimnos) and was not a separate island. The area that has sunk is believed to have been the central part of a large city.) Kantouni is our lunch brake village from where we can hike to the monastery or climb to up the mountain into the caves.

Later we’ll paddle along the western cliffs & rock gardens of Kalymnos and on the southern side enter the bay of Vlichadia were a visit to the divers museum is a must. This is one of the richest collections of sponges, seashells, corals and wonderful art collected from ancient shipwrecks in Greece.
Fjords and Cliffs
Today we will paddle along the south side of the Island, crossing the deep bay of Pothya (the largest community and industrial port of Kalymnos) and round Cape Chali. We will continue to paddle up along the eastern shore towards Vathi. The name means “deep“ in Greek. Vathi is a long, narrow fjord that passes below tall cliffs leading into a verdant valley. At the fjord’s end lies our destination: Rina, a small village whose harbor is full of fishing boats and a few yachts. From our take-out point we’ll walk 10 yards to the local guest house where we will stay tonight & enjoy grilled fresh fish.
Yogurt with Honey
After more Yogurt with honey we will slowly start our last day of paddling back to the main town of Kalimnos- Potia. We will changed to dry clothing go for shopping, have lunch at Yanis’s place and take the fast ferry back to Kos. Tonight is our last Greek dinner together.
Day 9: End of Trip
Following breakfast, we’ll arrange transportation for the participants to the airport in Kos or to other destinations of your choosing.

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* There is a surcharge of 200.00 for single travelers who do not wish to share accommodations with a participant of the same gender.
** Trip does not include: Flight Tickets, Transfer to & from the airport, Alcohol, Personal & medical insurance


All Greece photos on GenevaKayak.com courtesy of Terra Santa Expeditions