Tours Greece

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Mark Twain

Greece Tour #2: Volunteering Holiday with Dolphins in Greece

Picture this: next Summer you arrive by ferry boat at the lush, green Greek island of Alonissos. Disembark at Patitiri, the picture-perfect port and main town of the island. You are at the heart of the National Marine Park of Northern Sporades. A hide-away for dolphins, the extremely rare Mediterranean Monk Seal and birds like the Eleonora’s falcon. In this idyllic setting (the Mama Mia! movie was shot in this part of Greece) you become part of the dolphin conservationist team. The coming week  you will assist researchers at sea during daily dolphin tours.

The day-to-day plan is elaborated below:

On this first day, you arrive by ferry at Patitiri, the port of Alonissos. Meet and greet the marine biologist of the team. Together you walk to your accommodation for this week. In the evening you get your briefing & introduction on Dolphin Conservation in the field station on Alonissos Islandto dolphins and research methods, such as dorsal fin photography and GPS-recording.

Around 7:00 – 8:15 we wake up, have breakfast at the porch of our house, with a stunning sea view. Then, get prepared for the dolphin tour!

Depending on the weather conditions, the dolphin tours may take place either in the morning or in the afternoon, lasting from about 3 to 7 hours. In cases where the sea state is more than 3 Beaufort and/or visibility is poor, dolphin tours will be interrupted or not implemented at all and other activities will take their place.
On board you will be with a marine biologist-researcher and the captain. You will be looking out for dolphins, counting, and monitoring dolphin populations. Taking pictures of their dorsal fins to cross-reference them with our photo-identification catalog. Register GPS-coordinates. This way the researchers will know if they are new animals, returning, or if a pack is getting larger.

Depending on the day’s outcome, usually around 12:00-13:00 there is a lunch break. We cook and eat on board (or enjoy our ready meal), whereas there is also some time for swimming and snorkeling to admire the rich underwater life in this protected marine zone!

There’s plenty of free time to chill and plan your own activities. Maybe visit around the narrow paved streets of the port, visit other villages of the island (few Greek villages match the beauty of Chora), or soak up the sun on one of the fabulous beaches. With rare Eleonora’s Falcons and Dragonflies circling overhead.

18:00 – 20:00: This is your opportunity to become a marine research scientist!
We will meet at the Information Center, and depending on how well our day went, and what material we have to work with we can practice our Photo-identification skills. Alternatively, you attend Eco Educational Seminars or Nature Documentary screening.

Around 20:00 it’s time to savor Greek food, either by cooking in the kitchen of our Project House or by visiting some of the local taverns!

Say goodbye to the team and the other travelers. Please make sure to leave the Dolphin Project House before 4 PM on Sunday. Leave by ferry boat, sail either to Volos or Skiathos Island to catch your flight.

Alternatively, you can extend your stay. The possibilities are endless.

Join this unique opportunity to volunteer in a dolphin conservation project in the Greek National Marine Park of Alonissos.

The 4 species of dolphins that can be found in Greek waters are under threat. Your help is needed to obtain a deep knowledge of their behavior and of their population status and trends. Assist researchers with daily dolphin tours aboard the well-equipped vessel. There is a kitchen and lunch will be prepared aboard (or tasty takeaway). This is not a “live-aboard” though! You will stay in a house on Alonissos with the other participants. Or: book your own accommodation and participate at a discounted rate.

Get introduced in the field station on Alonissos Island to research methods such as dorsal fin photography and GPS-recording. During the evenings there will be lectures by the field biologists on dolphin life history, behavior, and identification, threats faced by marine mammals, and marine research methods.

However, it is not all work that awaits you here. There is time to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the island, mingle with the locals, savor the yummy local delicacies, swim and snorkel and walk on the old footpaths of the islands in the National Marine Park.

This vacation is suitable for families, solo travelers, couples & friends. Children as young as 11 years old can participate. Group size varies per week. Ranging from between 4 – 12 persons on the boat.

Whats included?

INCLUDES
  • Conservation volunteering work program with daily surveys at sea
  • breakfasts 6 x
  • lunches 6 x
  • local support
  • accommodation – 7 nights in house on Alonissos
  • partial insurance (when working as a volunteer)
  • travel assistance
EXCLUDES
  • dinner (max. 10 Euro per meal)
  • drinks
  • transportation to and from Alonissos Island
  • personal travel insurance

Price and Availability

 

Price and availability can be further discussed through direct enquiry with Animals around the Globe. 

Adult price: 850 EURO

Child price: 750 EURO

As this is a summer tour, and groups are always limited this tour is in high demand.   

Dates 2021:  June till beginning September – weekly departures

Additional dates can be arranged for private small groups too, however direct contact with Animals Around the Globe is required for this.

 

tripadvisor logo
Our time (mid-August) with the Dolphin Project in beautiful Alonissos was perfect. We were made very welcome by the MoM team, especially Kimon who radiated enthusiasm and knowledge and kept all volunteers involved. We enjoyed the routine of dolphin spotting from the boat, the lunchtime snorkeling in secluded bays (and the lunches!), and my teen lad also loved the chance to help with ID work on dolphin photos taken by Kimon. It was a thrill of course to see wild dolphin behaviour so close-up. A great holiday and great way to learn about marine conservation!!
Ruth Thomas
Previous explorer
5/5
Kimon, the marine conservation team leader, made the holiday for us with his tireless efforts to ensure we had a great time, even on bad weather days when we couldn’t get out on the water. These five stars are due to him and the conservation team – friendly, kind and fun. Alonissos is an exceptionally beautiful island and a joy to explore, if you like walking and great views. My boys enjoyed the nightlife with the conservation team the most! The accommodation is perfect for young people; I found it a little challenging at times to be sharing a room as I’m not used to it but there is accommodation available on the island if you prefer. Overall a very memorable and joyous holiday.
Emma Thorpe
Previous explorer
5/5
I had a fantastic holiday. Kimon was a wonderful and knowledgeable guide and ensured that even on days when the weather meant we couldn’t go on the boat to look for dolphins, other activities were arranged. The island has a lovely welcoming feel to it and the people both at MOm and on the island in general are very friendly and keen to make sure you have a good time.
Sarah Bigby
Previous explorer
5/5

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