Monte Nero Activities [60]

Greece is a Mediterranean country with a very long tradition of life on the sea. More than 3,000 islands and islets and about 15,000 kms of coastlines form a unique sea kayaking terrain which, in combination with the very rich history, the seducing culture, and one of the most tasteful and rich cuisines in the world, is a destination that promises great moments and experiences.

The Ionian Sea on the west coast of Greece is a real sea kayaking paradise. Generally, it is the calmest sea in Greece and its crystal clear and warm waters, along with its numerous islands and islets, offer a variety of possibilities, from nice crossings to beautiful coastal paddling, sea cave explorations and many more…

A few years ago, we (Yvonne Walser and Pavlos Georgilas) created Monte Nero Activities, an outdoor activities company based in Kefalonia (the biggest of the Ionian islands and 5th largest in Greece) that offers sea kayaking tours in the Ionian Sea (and mountain bike and trekking in Kefalonia).

The customer satisfaction, the quality of service, the safety and our respect of nature are the cornerstones of our philosophy.

Making new friends, meeting interesting people and sharing experiences were part of our initial intentions and during the first years of our operation, this has more than come true.

We offer daily or multi day tours that can fit to any taste and experience level. Although we have productized a number of tours, we have the flexibility and possibility to customize tours depending on the customers’ needs. Additionally, there are almost always options and alternative itineraries in case of difficult weather conditions.

The main areas of focus for our sea kayaking activities are Kefalonia, Ithaki, Zakynthos, Lefkada and the surrounding islets.

Kefalonia probably offers the biggest variety of sceneries. On the south, there are coastlines dotted with caves, ideal for relaxed exploration style paddling, numerous beautiful sandy beaches with turquoise waters and impressive rock formations, rock gardens, natural arcs and tunnels. And despite this coastal beauty, it is very difficult to escape the inland view:- full of green slopes and scattered colourful villages under the impressive mass of Mount Ainos. (Mount Ainos, due to its endemic, black fir tree, is one of the ten national parks in Greece. This black fir tree made it look like a black mass, a black mountain (Monte Nero in Latin) and so it was thus named by the Venetians).

On the west, the scenery is again beautiful but much wilder as white limestone cliffs which host pristine beaches with milky turquoise waters cover the biggest part of the coastline.

Ithaki, the Ulysses island about 1 mile off Kefalonia, is a really seductive place. Its capital Vathi located at the end of a fjord, is one of the most beautiful natural ports in Greece. Small, picturesque fishing villages on the northeast part offer a perfect overnight stop. In the north part, turquoise waters and white, sand beaches under limestone cliffs offer very interesting snorkeling, challenging cliff jumping opportunities and beautiful camping spots.

Zakynthos has a beautiful coastline, again full of limestone cliffs dotted with caves and waters with incredible blue colours. It is both a playground for the sea kayaker and challenging terrain as many of its beauties are hidden in the wild west coast. It is also the biggest refuge for the endangered sea turtle Caretta-Caretta, so a meeting with this charming creature is always possible.

Lefkada and its sourounding islands and islets (Meganisi, Skorpios (the Aristotle Onassis island) Kastos, Kalamos, Atokos) offer a sheltered area with beautiful paddling among green islands, full of picturesque fishing villages and fjord-like ports. Relaxing coastal paddling, nice crossings, short hikes in the villages, free camping overnights with bbq and midday stops in tavernas for light lunches (lampchops and beer…) are usually the daily agenda. A meeting with a group of dolphins can be also on the agenda, as this magnificent sea mammal abounds in these waters and in general in the Ionian sea.

All these places form a unique terrain that allows us to tailor many different tours from daily tours to one-month expeditions, both for novices and experienced paddlers!!

In addition to the natural beauty, we always try to enrich the paddling experience of our customers with more services and entertainment. Thus, in our multi day tours, a celestial navigation and astronomy night is organized! We gather under the stars and relax discussing about how astronomy and navigation have gone hand in hand over the centuries, permitting man to discover new places and conquer the planet! We tell stories about how different civilizations in different time periods used the stars and other natural means to find their way, about the constellations and the mythology attached and whenever there is a power boat support and a clear sky, we do a sky observation with our telescope. Celestial navigation and Astronomy are by nature, disciplines very close to a sea kayaker’s psychosunthesis. We are passionate talking about that and our customers love it!!…

Accommodation, pick ups and many more are among the services that we can offer. You have just to come to Kefalonia. Then, leave everything to us…

For more information about sea kayaking in the Ionian Sea (Greece) and sharing with us some nice crossings in sheltered waters, beautiful coastal paddling, sea caves exploration, astronomy nights, genuine Greek hospitality, Mediterranean cuisine and many more…

Please visit our site at www.monte-nero-activities.com. We will be pleased to receive your mail and answer to any question you might have about our programs.

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