Frequently Asked Questions: These are mostly common sense answers to some questions you might have about our holiday offer and about the particulars of what is covered: timings, how the groups work, how we look after you, accommodation or options. Of course, if your query isn't answered here just drop us a line via the contact form or telephone and we'll be happy to respond.
The walks are moderate to easy with one walk involving, for some, occasional light scrambling for a short stretch. It is important that you are reasonably fit and able to walk the hours set out in the itinerary and it is a condition of starting the walk that you have personal insurance including repatriation and air rescue. The ethos of our trip is good walking but at a pace that you can enjoy the landscape, history and fauna. 2 people will accompany the group so if you are a little slower you are less likely to feel pressured to walk at an uncomfortable pace. We recommend that you use walking poles and wear walking boots.
If you do not want to do all of a walk or have a day off we can arrange for you to be picked up by a taxi at your expense. It might involve a short wait. If there is room and the timing coincides, you could get a lift with the luggage.
It is essential that your insurers know about this and that you let us know. This also applies to any allergies. We cannot guarantee food will be free from allergens. If you are sensitive to anything such as foods or insect bites you must carry and be able to use adrenaline or an EpiPen or whatever is recommended by your doctor. The tour leaders will not carry these. You must bring and carry any other medication recommended by your doctor.
- 7 nights Accommodation
- 6 breakfasts
- 6 lunches
- 2 picnics and 4 lunches at local tavernas
- 2 evening meals
- Taxi and bus transfers during the holiday
- Baggage transfer
- Flights, rail, ferry or other travel
- Transfer to and from the airport
- Meals for 5 nights
- Extra nights
- Any meals not included in the itinerary
- Alcohol at lunch
See also the booking procedure. It is important you do not book your flights, rail or other arrangements until you have made a provisional booking with us. This means that you have contacted us and we have confirmed the accommodation is available and minimum bookings received. See our booking conditions for full details. We will then let you know so that you can book your flight/other travel arrangements. If you make your travel arrangements before we have confirmed the holiday is going ahead you may have travel arrangements but no holiday. In the unlikely situation that we need to cancel a trip your travel insurance will cover your flight costs (see our booking conditions for more information).
You can reserve your holiday and pay a deposit and then check the flights once the schedule becomes available. If you cannot get a flight we will refund your deposit in full. See our booking conditions for full details.
The Greeks are hugely hospitable and will treat you as a guest. Extreme drunkenness is not appreciated as is immodesty. Many Greeks are die hard smokers and although people should not smoke inside a bar, café or taverna, the occasional person will. The owners of cafés and tavernas understand north European views on smoking and do what they can to minimise any problem but tolerance sometimes needs to be exercised. Rooms are non smoking although it is often permissible to smoke on the balcony. If you are a smoker we would please ask that you do not smoke inside tavernas and in hotel rooms.
Plumbing is with narrow pipes so no waste such as toilet paper can be flushed down the lavatory. It must be put in the bin provided,
Travel information changes so do check with us. How you travel may depend on the price of flights and whether you want to extend your stay. Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone her on 07484 683103 (includes WhatsApp)).
If you fly to Athens there are several other airlines available all year round from all European countries such as Aegean Airlines and flights from most European countries. Airlines include Aegean Airlines servicing most European countries, SAS from Oslo, Austrian Airlines from Vienna, Transavia from Amsterdam, EasyJet from Hamburg and Swissair from Geneva.
Once you arrive in Kalamata your options are to hire a car, take a taxi to the bus station and then local bus to Agios Nikolaos or taxi all the way. We can arrange for you to be collected if you want (currently around €60) and if you wish you could share if others in our group arrive at the same time. It takes approximately an hour and is a beautiful journey over the mountains. If you decide to stay In Kalamata for a night there are taxis directly outside the airport the cost into the town around €15-20 depending upon traffic. Taxi drivers are often happy to take you further but check roughly what it will cost. Our experience is that taxi drivers are friendly, honest and professional with meters and tariffs.
If you fly to Athens your options besides hiring a car is to take the airport bus (number 93 – 1 hour) to the bus station (Kiffisou Bus) and then one of the 8-9 coaches daily (approx 2 ½ – 3 hours to Kalamata by express) and then a bus to Agios Nikolaos (1 1 ¼ hour). We will check the times and connections for you. The total cost of bus and coach is currently around €35 and takes in total 4 ½ hours. The alternative is to take a shared taxi, the cost ranging from €75-80. You will share with strangers but it provides a relatively economic door to door service.
The slow alternative is to travel by train to Venice, take the ferry to Patras and then coach to Kalamata where you change onto the local bus service into the Mani.
Times of coaches Athens/Kalamata and onto the Mani can be viewed on www.ktelmessinias.gr We will help you with more detailed information once we know where you propose arriving.
It is warm in the day in April and October, up to 27 Celsius but can cool down especially in the mountains. Rain is unlikely on the coast but if it does rain usually (we cannot guarantee weather) it is soon sunny again. Cloud can come in once higher up in the mountains with associated temperature drop and rain clouds can come in quickly -remember when in the mountains you get mountain weather.
Supportive walking boots, layers and proper waterproof jacket and trousers are essential. A fleecy hat and gloves is a good idea for those who feel the cold. On occasion the ground will be scrubby so long trousers are recommended as is a long sleeved shirt/top.
The following are things to take:-
- Outdoor clothing that is comfortable. Some of the hills are exposed to the sun. Take a few layers to take into account changing weather conditions.
- We recommend that you carry in your backpack breathable waterproofs including over trousers.
- Something warm is essential when in the mountains and a fleece hat and gloves could be useful if we get caught in stormy weather.
- A sun hat with wide brim is essential.
- Light walking trousers are preferable to shorts to protect you when you walk through high undergrowth as is a long sleeved shirt/top.
- Comfortable worn in boots plus at least two pairs of double layered walking socks. Walking sandals are not suitable on our walks as the ground can be uneven and stony. Waterproof boots are the safest option. Take a spare pair of shoe laces. Do bring sandals and trainers with you for the evenings and your free time in the villages. Thin flip flops for those sometimes slippery bathroom floors, on the beach, and in the evening. If you have sensitive feet sandals you can wear when getting into and out of the water on pebbly beaches. We recommend poles.
For your day pack. A medium day pack should suffice not a small fashion accessory. You will be carrying:
- water, 1 ½ – 2 litres, your picnic,
- over trousers,
- sun glasses,
- sunscreen, mosquitoes repellent, lip block and hat
- camera, mobile phone,
- plasters, torch and first aid kit (we carry a basic kit), insect repellent, anti-histamine, sunscreen and any condition you may have. If you are sensitive to any foods or insect bites/stings you must carry an EpiPen, Andrenaline or any other medication recommended by your doctor. The tour leaders will not carry this.
- Poles. Walking poles are standard, not only do they help to propel uphill but protect those knees and provide balance down hill. You may save yourself unnecessary blisters, bruises and grazes and protect yourself against accidents. Light telescopic poles that can be strapped to your rucksack are ideal. When on narrower paths one pole is sometimes preferable.
- Your medical insurance certificate and European health insurance card www.europeanhealthinsurancecard.irg.uk
- Swimming costume and beach towel. Towels for use in the hotel room are provided.
Other items you might bring in your main luggage on the trip:
- Phrase book and other reading material.
- Plastic bag for impromptu seat and dirty laundry bag.
- Earplugs and eye covers for the light sleeper
- Washing powder as there is often somewhere to dry clothes and you may wish to limit what you bring
- Hairdryer. Most places will have access to a hairdryer but we cannot guarantee this
- Soap and shampoo. Most but not all accommodation provide soap and shampoo but it might not be what you wish to use
- Travel electrical adaptor suitable for Greece. Chargers for mobile. Torch for dark evenings in unlit villages and for viewing frescos in churches
- Lightweight binoculars for the birding enthusiasts
- Clothing for the evening
- Its always better to be safe than sorry and we advise that all valuables – cash, credit cards, mobile, passports etc are carried on your person at all times.