Volunteering holiday with Dolphins in Greece

Adventure Tour
From€850

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    This tour is provided by

    Natural Greece

    Natural Greece is a licensed tour operator business that, ever since 2013, has been offering expert-led Eco & Wildlife Holidays all over Greece, delighting customers worldwide. Its team consists of leading tourism professionals and knowledgeable, passionate guides.

    • 7 Days
    • Jun - Sep
    • Alonissos Island

    Join this Dolphin conservation Project with daily dolphin tours on a Greek island!

    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. 

    Dates 2020:  July & August – weekly departures

    Dates 2021:  June till beginning September – weekly departures

    Contact us for information on revised travel dates.

    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.

    Departure & Return Location

    • Alonissos Island

    Price 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

    Price Excludes

    • Dinner (max. 10 Euro per meal)
    • Drinks
    • Transportation to and from Alonissos Island
    • Personal travel insurance

    How to get there

    Contact us for travel assistance on how to get to Alonissos Island, the project location.

    You can get to Alonissos only by boat, from Skiathos/Skopelos, and Volos on a daily basis. Seasonal scheduled trips might also be available from Kymi and Mandoudi port at Evia.

    Volos is 358 km away from Athens and 212 km from Thessaloniki, about 4 and 2  1/2 hours drive respectively, on the national highway. You can arrive at Volos by bus, car or directly by plane to Volos airport. The trip by boat from Volos to Alonissos takes approximately 5 hours and by a catamaran 3 1/2 hours.

    Skiathos is also an island of the Northern Sporades. You can get to Skiathos by plane and then by boat (2 hours) or fast ferry (1 1/2 hours) to Alonissos.

    Kymi is 149 km from Athens, a 2 1/2 hour drive on the national highway and on country roads. You can arrive at Kymi by bus or by car. The trip by boat to Alonissos takes approximately 2 1/2 hours.

    Accommodation

    Stay at a fully equipped project house at Patitiri, the main port of Alonissos, which is in close proximity to the organization’s Information Center. The house can host up to 6 people and is located on the ground floor; it has two bedrooms (1 sleeps 4 and 1 sleeps 2), a bathroom and a separate room with a shower, a fully equipped kitchen, a library, and a big porch with a dinner table, viewing the sea. It is possible to have your room with your travel partner(s). Clean sheets and towels are provided.

    If you are looking for more luxurious accommodation: Contact us for available rooms in the Dolphin Project House and other options.

    Internet access

    The house does not have a Wi-Fi connection. Nevertheless, participants may use the internet connection at the nearby Information Center of the charity.

    Highlights

    • Help save our natural environment
    • Protect turtle nests and females from predators, inundation and human threats
    • Assist those baby turtles arrive safely at sea
    • Experience Greek culture, gastronomy & hospitality in one of Greece’s most beautiful corners
    • Enjoy fantastic beach life, swim, snorkel & relax
    Itinerary

    Day 1Arrival to Patitiri

    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 Island to dolphins and research methods, such as dorsal fin photography and GPS-recording.

    Days 2-6Dolphin Tours

    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!

    Day 7Depart Dolphin Project House

    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.

    Map

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