Alpintrek Lake Garda hiking trekking
mountaineering and trekking guides association Dolomites Alps Trentino Italy
Mountain guides Arco at Lake Garda Trentino Dolomites Italy
Tel +39 0464394224 - mail: @alpintrek.com
Everywhere you encounter silence, beautiful views and your only company is goats. Everywhere on Kalymnos Island in Greece there are mountains, crests, ridges, antique monasteries and small deserted bays were you can swim alone. Sometime you visit villages where the friendly inhabitants are happy to ask "How are you?" because this is the these only phrase they know in English language. Walking through the Island in Greece is for me a personal great satisfaction: I have to train my senses to find the direction (follow the nose) which is one of the many characteristics of a mountain guide. Only in Patagonia or in the Jungle of Thailand I fell similar sensations. Here is totally different than the most touristy and busy Islands in Greece. For the fans of jungle trekking: please do not come to Greece on Kalymnos for your walking holidays: here are only small bushes and the air is fragrant of sage and mint.
For the first time I wrote something about myself. I am an internationally licensed mountain guide (UAGM) and I have been working as a rock climbing school director in our Alpine Mountaineering School of Arco - Lake Garda Italy for 20 years. In the year 2003 I was invited to visit this new rock climbing paradise and I quickly fell in love with this small Island. Within a very short period of time I "produced" my new website www.kalymnosclimbing.eu . Up to date we have about 1.200 visitors per day on this domain and I believe to have contributed a lot to the development of climbing tourism. Year by year I have bin here with my "old" customers or young participants of our rock climbing courses and often it happened that we spent a lot of time "walking" on the paths to reach our programmed climbing spots. Every time I was fascinated by the views, wildness and solitude of this territory.
The inhabitants told us that every time of year was suitable for trekking and
climbing holidays in Greece. The hotels owners at Lake Garda in Italy are telling the same thing but this
is only advertising. In wintertime it is cold here and raining. to day in internet there are
reliable statistics: between April to October there are an average of 10 rainy days and this is
the best time to enjoy your hiking trips. I think is better to avoid the months of July and
August because of the heat and strong winds and in order to avoid the masses of daily-excursion-tourists
who coming from closely and touristy Kos.
The paths require a little mountaineering experience, sense to find the right direction, capacity to read a may and to use the GPS. On my handwritten "Routes guide" is written: "In case of emergency call: 69445796735" which is the number of the mountain rescue service... but in Greece the mountain rescue is organized by a voluntary basis and I guess in case of accident the situation will be extremely difficult! In Pothia there is a small and nice hospital but I do know about their experience in handily serious injuries. Short and clear: in your walking excursions you should avoid all risks, do not trek alone, and take along in your rucksack a first-aid-kit !
Another problem regarding equipment: the boots need not to be too heavy and the climbers often even walk around in flip flops but in case of doubt take with you your normal mountain boots. What to wear? On Kalymnos it happens that you are sweating on a steep path in the hot sun and then a few minutes later you are freezing on a pass in the with strong wind coming from North. This means you should take with you a windcheater (necessary also for driving the scooter, fleece (better wind stopper), cap, sun cream, etc.
You will find the it very handy to use the telescopic hiking sticks on the paths of Kalymnos.
Up to the year 2000 the hotels have been open only from June through September.
The first rock climbers which came here found their first roof over their head in the so-called
"studios": small apartments with kitchen, bedroom, balcony or terrace. The cleanliness
and furniture however was not very much acceptable. Some of them are still in the same condition.
Trust our recommendations because we know exactly which accommodation you should avoid. Good studios
in Greece generally cost from 30 to 45 Euros per night, the same price you have to pay for a hotel
How do you get here? Please forget a "romantic cruise" from Athens by ferry (10-12 hrs.): I have tried this terrible trip myself! Here is a new airport and why not fly directly on the Island? Forget this option too because the scarce connections from Athens make you spend a night in the airport and you have to spend more money. The best way to came here is to book a flight in internet (or with your travel agency) to KOS with a low cost company such as AEGEAN AIRLINES - OLYMPICAIR - RYANAIR. From Kos you take a boat ca. 30 minuts. How to get around on the island: by scooter with automatic gear suitable for 2 persons (please bring along your drivers license and wind-proof jacket) or by rent-a-car. Cost for a scooter per day: ca. EUR 15 - 20; rent-a-car per day: ca. EUR 40 - 50. In case you are scared to drive a motorbike or scooter, in our guided walking holidays, we offer the possibility share a rent-a-car (for 4 persons) among the participants and divide the costs.
Every year after my arrival on Kalymnos I bought my a new map but every time was disappointed as the maps were only suitable for a "car tourist' s holidays". On the island there is the so-called "Municipal Athletic Organization" whose young member have taken the praiseworthy and useful task of tracing and maintaining the rock climbing routes, building of new climbing spots, etc. Many years ago they gave me a handwritten "Hiking routes guide" with some descriptions of old routes between the small villages and the monasteries on the mountains. These paths have been called "donkey' s paths" in the past. On the paths which are leading to the appx. 50 climbing spots on the Island we found many multi-colored signs. Once you are beyond the climbing crags, the situation turns out to be much different: all of a sudden there are no more marks, no signs, sometime only "Steinmann' s" but NOTHING else.. From each paths you have a fantastic view and sense of "lonely planet" but sometimes it needs a lot of spirit of adventure spirit to find the right way within a in a NET of "goats' paths". The 15.000 inhabitant do not walk because is too hard for them and they prefer to move by car or motorbike: why walk or hike in the mountains? The 50.000 goats on the Island have an different opinion and they are running up and down everywhere. For this reason there are so many paths. In April 2009 I have finally found a new map for hikers and trekkers (Anawasi Edition Athen) scale 1:25.000, even with GPS marks, fantastic, you can order the map in internet. Finally I can read on a map my favorite round trips, finally I do no longer miss the correct path! But please be careful with the interpretation of the legend of the map regarding the description of the paths, for example "difficult crossing with unclear path" or "a long traverse above the cliffs on a faint but passable goat track" or "Two step sections with stairs", ecc. For these reasons and not only for business we offer our guided trips.
Another business affair?! Indeed many of our initiatives of our mountaineering
and rock climbing school in Arco have been very successful: starting with the first rock climbing
courses at Lake Garda in 1989 up to the last offer "rock climbing courses on Kalymnos"
This time it is different: it is all about Delio' s strong will because he insists in
making this pearl of nature known to all hikers in the world Welt and to offer his clients an
unforgettable guided walking holiday.
It is very costly for our mountaineering school to send a mountain guide here. On our secure paths at Lake Garda or in the Dolomites, a mountain guide can accompany up to 15 hikers whereas on this territory the situation is different and one mountain guide should be available for every 7-9 participants. We know that every hiker who has good knowledge in reading maps, using compass, GPS and altimeter etc., is able to do the treks here on their own. Our offer is destined for persons who do not have this type of mountain experience and we tell them Welcome to our guided walking holiday on Kalymnos! We prefer treks which have the same starting and ending point because in this way we can avoid taxis or long waiting times for public transport to get us back to our car or scooter. Among the routes there a 7 different ones according to physical condition, experience and requirements of the participants, the max. elevation difference is ca. 600 m., max. duration ca. 5 hrs. Some routes on the Anawasi map not even we have tried and sometimes these are paths which are only known to hunters and goat shepherds: welcome to our first ascent ! The mountain guide reserves the right to change the itinerary with respect to safety reasons and the physical condition of the participants. This is our offer:
5 Guided walking days
Number of participants: min. 5 - max. 7 (for treks with more participants with DEFINITE mountainerring experience, please ask for an offer)
PRICE: EURO 767,00 per person
6-day Guided walking holiday with internationally licensed mountain guide (UIAGM); English, German and Italian speaking.
Included: 6 nights rent of a small apartment (studios suitable for 2-3 persons)) or hotel room (B & B) in double room.
Not included: food/drinks; cost for rent-a-car, cost for scooter rent. Upon request we can rent a small car for 4 persons (ca. 40-50 EUR per day) and share the cost. Supplement for single room EUR 75,00
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