Milos and the Cyclades in general lie along the Aegean migratory route for European birds that fly southwards to spend the winter in Africa. Our observation point will be the small brackish lake of Achivadolimni (lake of shells in Greek), where wading birds can be observed (herons, waders, the occasional Glossy Ibis e.t.c.). It's trekking time! All the aforementioned animals, plus the Stripe-neck Terrapin, can be found here, in this small oasis of water and vegetation in the midst of the general Cyclades aridness.
That will be the end of our "biodiversity project". Please note that all the photographs and specimen that you may collect during the week will be offered to scientists to assist them in their data collection and researches.
Below is a sample itinerary of a typical biodiversity cruise
Syros - Milos, May - October
Day 1.We start our journey from the historical port of Syros, Ermoupoli. The day will be devoted to getting to know each other, a briefing on the Aegean ecosystem and settling down on the boat. You will have plenty of time to walk around the picturesque old town of Ano Syros.
Day 2.Sailing and dolphin spotting is on the agenda today. We will follow the route southwards towards Paros island. Plenty of time for dolphin spotting with the aid of our hydrophone and for watching sea birds like the common Yellow-legged Gull, the rare Audouin's Gull and plentiful of Shags that hang around in these waters. By late noon we will reach the small fishing port of Piso Livadi, on the eastern coast of Paros, where you can taste the local fish delicacies of Antonis.
Day 3.Our prow is pointing to the southeast , to the very heart of the Aegean, the ''small Cyclades'' complex. Only a few of the 50 islands, islets and rocks are inhabited by man, giving the impression of an ''empty'' habitat to the unsuspected eye. On the contrary, these islands hide an impressive variety of life. The next station of our "project" will be the unspoilt fishing port of Iraklia.
The typical vegetation of the ecosystems here is phrygana. You will be surprised to discover that even a tiny rocky islet may be home to tens of invertebrate species and even to many vertebrates including birds like the Chukar, the Shag, but also Eleonora's and Peregrine Falcons and even the majestic Griffon Vultures. Reptiles include geckos, Balkan Rock Lizards, Sand Boas and others. And lets not forget the endemic flowers growing there, which include a variety of unique orchids, crocuses, knapweeds, mulleins, bellflowers and many more!
Day 4.Today's route is eastwards. The sailing area we will cover is a well-known passage for dolphins. Despotiko, another small island, favourite meeting point for sailors in the Aegean, is where we'll end our small experiment. We will compare and analyse our results and photos, breaking the work with plunges in the crystal clear waters of the bay. At night you will be a witness to a unique spectacle: the glowing sea. A myriad of minuscule planktonic crustaceans produce light thanks to the phenomenon of bioluminescence.
Day 5/6.We'll have an early start and enjoy a day sailing towards the unspoilt island of Kimolos. The area north of Kimolos and the neighboring uninhabited island of Polyegos harbor one of the most critically endangered marine mammal species in Europe, the Mediterranean Monk Seal.
MOm, the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal, a Greek NGO, has been working for the protection of the Mediterranean Monk Seal since 1998, through field research, conservation and public awareness actions. After years of research and lobbying, MOm aspires to see Kimolos amongst the protected marine areas of Greece, as the second largest european population of the Mediterranean monk seal lives and breeds in the Kimolos-Polyegos island complex. Though the Mediterranean monk seal is not exactly sociable, who knows... We may be lucky!
Day 7.One of the first volcanic islands to emerge from the sea about 2 million years ago, Milos features a quite unique fauna, with the Milos viper one of its most interesting and rare animal in Europe. Its population is estimated to be less than 4,000 individuals and is strictly protected by a Presidential Degree. Milos wall lizard, the extremely rare Milos Grass Snakeand Milos Green Lizard are the three more endemic species of the Milos archipelago.
We're as flexible as the weather!
The above itinerary is an example of what you can experience in our Wild Tale sailing trips in the Aegean Sea. We don't follow the same route every week and every itinerary may slightly change due to the weather and other factors beyond our control. Remember that we cannot sail against the weather! We will do our best.
When Tahita is not chartered, the team sail around cleaning beaches, recycling or giving a helping hand to researchers and organisations in their efforts to study and protect the environment and wild life.
Discover the unique wild life and nature of the Greek islands and participate in our efforts to protect and support the local environment.