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«16 – 30 April 2016 2 weeks LESVOS & CHIOS Two weeks exploring islands of the North Aegean Sea © Ramblers Worldwide Holidays 2015 220915 HJN ...»

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TOUR CODE: 15820

GRADE: D/FLOWERS

16 – 30 April 2016

2 weeks

LESVOS & CHIOS

Two weeks exploring islands of the North Aegean Sea

© Ramblers Worldwide Holidays 2015

220915 HJN

HOLIDAY INFORMATION

TOUR DESCRIPTION:

This information is in addition to our General Information Booklet, which is enclosed.

Just a breath away from the Asia Minor coast, in the north-eastern corner of the Aegean Sea, lie the Greek islands of Lésvos and Chíos. Mineral springs, fortress villages, rich history, delicious seafood, and sandy beaches are all waiting to be discovered.

On Lesvos, Greece’s third largest island, we split our time between two centres, giving us the opportunity to fully explore this diverse island from the green, forested eastern coast to the volcanic, rocky terrain of the west. We’ll find oak and pine forests, including a petrified forest with trees over 500 years old, vast olive groves and highlights of the island’s medieval and Ottoman architecture, which we will see in form of bridges, mosques and imposing tower houses, which are dotted all over the island. The picturesque village of Molyvos and port-town of Mytilini, both dominated by castle-fortresses, are perfect spots to discover the island’s history, wander the narrow streets and sample local cuisine at waterside tavernas.

A short ferry ride brings us to the nearby island of Chios, birthplace of the Greek poet, Homer.

Dominated by Mount Pelineo in the centre of the island, Chios is dotted with medieval “Mastic” villages with narrow streets and tightly packed houses, including the unique painted houses of Pirghi, decorated churches & monasteries and our walks follow ancient kalderami or pathways leading us through the island’s historical sites and natural beauty. We have arranged for a local guide to join us for our Mastic village walk one day and he will add insight to island life and will add a real local flavour to the day. We also have the opportunity to sample local specialities during our picnic lunch.

An important ingredient of any Greek holiday is the opportunity to sample the local food and wines. On this holiday we eat at local tavernas most evenings and the menus are chosen so that you are able to sample a wide variety of Greek dishes. The Greek diet is said to be one of the healthiest, and the meals on this holiday are a wonderful addition to the walking.

During April, the island comes alive with a carpet of wild flowers including lupins, poppies, fritillaries and the orchid, for which it is well known.

© Ramblers Worldwide Holidays 2015 220915 HJN

ITINERARY:

O

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Our grade D/Flowers walking programme offers a range of walks, some being shorter and some more challenging, in remoter hilly areas. Many walks use the ancient partly paved paths for which the islands are famous. While these are often well maintained, providing delightful walking conditions, some sections have been neglected, so that we may sometimes have to contend with undergrowth or other obstacles. Sometimes we also walk on easy dirt roads or quiet surfaced roads. There are plenty of ups and downs, but these are generally not steep, and can be taken at a gentle pace, with plenty of time to admire the views. We can take time to visit typical island villages and there will be opportunities to swim from beaches, and occasionally we may find a café or taverna in which to relax. Walks will be at a relaxed pace so that we can fully enjoy the local flora and fauna.

© Ramblers Worldwide Holidays 2015 220915 HJN An example of some of the walks we may include in our programme (dependent on weather

conditions and the ability of the group) are as follows:

Village of Agiassos to Asomatos: A circular route walking through the olive groves, for which the island of lesvos is famous for, on the lower slopes of Mount Olympos. A beautiful walk, especially in spring when the area is carpeted in flowers Ascent 300m; 12.5km ; 3 hours Petra – Petri – Molyvos: The western foothills of the Lepetimnos range are the setting for a walk directly from our hotel, into the countryside and up into the mountains, with excellent views of the coast. Most of the ascent is at the beginning of the walk. End in the pretty, castle topped village of Molyvos before taking the local bus back to Petra.

Ascent 200m; 14km ; 3.5 hours The Mastic Villages: This wonderful walk uses old paths crossing through the famous mastic villages of Chios. We will be joined by a local guide who will introduce us to the importance of Mastic to the island and we will also sample local specialities.

Ascent 250m; 12km ; 4 hours We do not include local transport costs or entrance fees in conjunction with the walks programme on this holiday. This is due to walks being weather dependent and also takes into account the group ability and your personal choice (you may choose to take a day off from the group arrangements), and this way you only pay for the activities that you take part in. Local transport costs for this holiday should not exceed £50 per week (approx €60, payable locally in euro). You may also wish to budget €5-8pp for entrance fees. You may wish to take an optional excursion from Mytilini to the attractive town of Ayvalik on the Turkish coast, which holds a famous weekly bazaar (ferry schedule permitting).





Please note that the estimation of local costs relating to this holiday is based on currency exchange rates valid at the time of the publication of our summer 2016 brochure and this Holiday Information sheet. Any fluctuations in exchange rates may impact on this estimation of local costs. Please check with your bank or foreign currency provider prior to your holiday to enable you to plan your spending.

Each evening, the leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. If you do not wish to join the party, please let the leader know. There will be a couple of free days during the holiday for you to explore on your own or relax at the hotels. The leader will discuss this with you during the holiday and offer information on what local excursions are on offer.

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 We fly from London Heathrow-Athens-Lesvos and Chios-Athens-London Heathrow with Aegean Airlines.

 Details of your baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent approximately 10 days prior to departure.

 The transfer from Mytilini Airport on Lesvos to Petra is approx 90 minutes by coach.

© Ramblers Worldwide Holidays 2015 220915 HJN If you are joining the holiday in Lesvos it is assumed, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet the party at the Hotel Lesvion in Mytilini. If this is not your intention, and you wish to meet the group at Athens airport (and are flying to Lesvos on the same flight) and wish to transfer with the group From Mytilini Airport to the Hotel Lesvion, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure. We ask that you advise us of your flight details (flight number, departure airport and arrival time) into Athens, in order to make sure the leader is able to meet up with you.

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Please refer to Section 2 of the enclosed General Information Booklet.

For British passport holders, for stays in Greece of up to three months your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. You don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

It is a good to idea carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to the UK.

Passport, visa and health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP, or can be obtained from the Medical Advisory Services for Travellers Abroad (MASTA). In addition, general travel advice is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel.

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Please refer to Section 2 of our General Information Booklet for details.

The currency in Greece is the euro. Banks and ATM machines can be found in the main towns on each island.

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We stay in three different centres on this holiday. All of our chosen hotels are of a good

standard and offer amenities that you expect from tourist class hotels:

In the port town of Mytilini we stay at the Hotel Lesvion, located on the quayside, with easy access to explore the town. The hotel offers a bar and breakfast room, which has lovely views.

All rooms are en suite with sound-proofing, hairdryer, mini-fridge, climate control, TV and Wi-Fi.

Hotel Lesvion Pavlou Kountourioti, Mitilini 811 00, Lesvos, Greece Tel: 0030 22510 28177 Web: www.lesvion.gr © Ramblers Worldwide Holidays 2015 220915 HJN At our 2nd centre, we stay at the family run Hotel Panorama, located on a hill-side overlooking the seaside town of Petra, close to a sandy beach and a short walk into the village centre. The hotel offers a swimming pool with sun chairs, restaurant, bar, Wi-Fi and library. The spacious en suite rooms are dotted around the gardens and have verandas and are equipped with climate control (extra cost?), TV, hairdryer, telephone and safe.

Hotel PanoramaPetraLesvos TK81109GreeceTel: 0030 22530 41543Web: www.panoramahotel-lesvos.com

The Grecian Castle Hotel consists of five buildings, built in traditional Chios style, and is surrounded by colourful, well tended gardens. A short walk to the town centre, and close to Bella Vista beach, the hotel offers a swimming pool with terrace, bar, restaurant, and Wi-Fi in the public areas. The en suite rooms have climate control, mini-bar, TV, telephone and hairdryer.

Grecian Castle Hotel Leoforos Enoseos 6, Хіос 821 00, Chios Greece Tel: 0030 2271 044740 Web: www.greciancastle.gr The electricity supply in Greece is 220v AC and you will need a round 2-pin adaptor if you wish to use electrical equipment.

Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday charge. Breakfasts will be taken at the hotels, with dinners taken at a mix of the hotels and local tavernas. Due to the late arrival on Day 1, dinner is not included. We suggest that you may want to eat at Athens airport before boarding the flight to Lesvos.

The meals on this holiday are a wonderful accompaniment to the walking and scenery, and the menus are chosen so that you are able to sample a wide variety of the Greek cuisine, with vegetarians easily catered for. Lunches are not included and picnic lunches can be bought from nearby shops, or sometimes from the hotels. Occasionally a day’s walking may include the option of lunch at a taverna. Your leader will give you more information at the daily briefings.

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Resort facilities in Petra, Mytilini and Chios Town include:

 Shops  Restaurants & Bars  Small supermarkets  Pharmacy  Banks & ATMs

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April in Lesvos should be clear and mild, but be prepared for the possibility of occasional rainy days. Daytime averages average 17-20°Cs. For the odd cool days and in the evenings a jumper, jacket or fleece may be needed. It can be windy at any time of year.

When visiting churches the wearing of shorts can cause offence and arms should be covered.

Lightweight trousers are useful on some walks for protection against thorn bushes. You may also find useful a small rucksack, lightweight bottle for drinking water, penknife (pack in suitcase), some polythene bags, and a small first aid kit.

We suggest you take insect repellent, sun screen, hat, lightweight waterproofs, possibly a swimsuit and a towel, and possibly beach shoes for protection on stony beaches and against sea urchins, although these are not usually found on the sandy beaches.

Lightweight walking boots with good ankle support are recommended for this holiday, as some paths can be rough and stony. We recommend that you wear your walking boots or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as, in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the walking programme. Walking poles may also be helpful on some of the rougher paths.

TRAVELLING LIGHT:

As we travel between the islands by ferry, and you will have to handle your own baggage, please try to travel reasonably light. You should be able to lift and carry your own luggage.

While the Hotel Lesvion has a lift, the rooms at the Hotel Panorama and Grecian Castle Hotel are dotted around the gardens and will need to walk from the main building to your rooms with your luggage.

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Please make sure that your insurance for this holiday covers you for guided walking below 2000m.

Please also take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you - it will help in the event of an emergency. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date and you should ensure that yours is valid for the duration of your holiday. See our General Information Booklet for further details.

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Many local libraries stock a selection of travel guides/books which may offer you more information regarding Lesvos & Chios. You may also find the following websites useful in

planning your holiday:

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 DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: The Greek Islands by Marc Dubin. Published by Dorling Kindersley  Lonely Planet Greek Island by Korina Miller. Published by Lonely Planet Publications  Sunflower Lesvos car tours and walks by Brian and Eileen Anderson. Published by Sunflower Books

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Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.



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