Hiking, scuba diving, and lazing in Greece

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of February 5-11, 1998
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Hiking, scuba diving, and lazing in Greece
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Hiking, scuba diving, and lazing in Greece
Question: I'm planning a honeymoon in the Greek Islands sometime in May or June. We're both athletic types who like to kayak, bike, and scuba dive. We are interested in lazing on a beach but would also like to get some exercise. Can you suggest where to go and what activities are available?

Cynthia Rapp
Greenbelt, MD

Adventure Adviser: You may want to check a Destinations story in the May 1996 issue of Outside magazine titled "Gone Greco," by Marc Dubin. This five-page primer is perfect for those looking for action and adventure in Greece. Here's a brief summary:

The island of Kós is flattish compared to its sister islands, but its beaches and beach sports are among the best in the Dodecanese group. Most of the 111-mile island forms one long swath of sand broken by low, striated cliffs.

In the resort towns of Tingáki and Marmári, you can rent sea kayaks right on the beach for about $8 an hour. Inland, there's the Marmari Riding Center with 24 horses available for one-hour shoreline rides or half-day trips into the foothills.

You can reach the center by calling 011-30-241-41-783. To get a good cardiovascular workout after eating spanikopita and pastitsio all night, you can climb 2,622-foot Hristós, which, at the top, has sweeping 360-degree views of Turkey and a half-dozen other Greek islands. Start the hike from the village of Ziá 3 miles inland from Tingáki.

Unfortunately, scuba diving in Greece is very limited because of the number of pilferable submarine antiquities. The best way to dive is to consult the list of permitted areas provided by the National Tourist Organization of Greece, which is located in New York City (212-421-5777).

On Crete, you'll find 8,000-foot peaks that offer some of the best Mediterranean-island trekking outside of Corsica. The most scenic route is through the White Mountains (Lefká Óri), which loom above the port town of Haniá. There are several trails marked by the local Greek Mountaineering Club that are part of the European Randonée path. For more information on hiking in Greece call the Greek Mountaineering Club at 821-24-647.

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