My name is Effie Karin Vrakas, and I was born in Athens Greece, on July 20, 1992. I’m half French from my mother’s side and half Greek from my father’s side. I’m a Greek surfing ambassador in international championships and a world surf traveler. I also work as a fashion director and model. My passion besides surfing is running, dancing, cooking, and dreaming.
So far, my greatest achievement is having been 7th at the Asian Surfing Championship for the year 2013.
Being a Greek surfer, one of the biggest challenges I face is the inconsistent nature of the swells. As a result, surfers in Greece have to travel a lot in order to find somewhere to train.
Also funding for professional athletes is not available to surfers in Greece, and so the other main challenge that I face is finding a way to finance my surfing.
For me, the best feeling ever is when I catch a good wave and make good turns on it.
I try to follow the swells as much as I can (by following weather maps to find the best locations), so when I’m in Greece I travel to Peloponnese, the Greek islands, and to the east coast. When there are no waves I usually do pilates and jogging.
I would say that the key for me is being able to train in as many different places as possible, so that I can gain more experience. The more I travel, the better I surf.
I always feel constrained while competing by the time limit for the heat.
Someone once told me that if you don’t chase the wave, the wave won’t chase you.
Period of operation: Year round * except river trekking in Neda (day 4 available from June to September).
Duration: 7 days (6 nights).
Activities: Rafting, Sea Kayak, River Trekking, Hiking, Scuba Diving, Flying Fox, Archery.
Skill level: Suitable for all skill levels.
Minimum participants: 4.
Minimum age: 8 y/o *except river trekking in Neda, minimum age 12 y/o.
Price: You could choose activities you prefer from this package. Send us your request and let us know which activity you want to do and how many days so as to set the price
Peloponnese is among the top mainland destinations in Greece for those who want to follow an off-the-beaten-path activities tour. Vast gorges, crystal clear rivers, sandy beaches, azure waters, excellent dive sites and rugged mountains as well as Venetian fortresses, classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine churches and historical legends.
Our journey consists of some of the best activity and historical sites in Arkadia (Central Peloponnese) and Messinia regions (South Peloponnese), starting from Ancient Gortys.
Pick up from Athens or Kalamata airport to Dimitsana.
Dimitsana is one of the most beautiful mountainous villages in Arkadia. Built on a mountain slope of 950m high, Dimitsana is a stone built village with remarkable traditional houses and rich history. We get settled in the hotel and have the rest of the day off to get to know each other, go sightseeing, eat great food and prepare for the next day.
Hiking Tour– Flying Fox – Archery: 4 hours
Our destination is Ancient Gortys. We arrive with our mini bus to the New Philosopher’s Monastery, where the hiking begins. We visit the old monastery of Philosophos which was built in 1661 on the west side of Loussios gorge and is widely known as a“Secret School”. We then continue our hike until the famous Prodromos Monastery. The view over the Loussios gorge is unique.
We end our hike in ancient Gortys where we see the remains of the Temple of Asclepius and the ancient road that Spartan athletes used to follow so as to reach ancient Olympia for the Olympic Games.
After enjoying a delicious snack, we continue with archery and flying fox over the Loussios river.
River Rafting in Loussios and Alfios rivers : 3 hours
The perfect way to discover the river where the nymphs used to bathe Zeus and explore its dense vegetation and crystal clear waters is rafting. Our experienced guides will take you through both Loussios and Alfios Rivers and initiate you in the secrets of rafting while you’ll be enjoying this amazing paradise on earth!
The river run is suitable for all skill levels and lasts for 2 hours. At the end of the activity, we enjoy a full Greek lunch by the river with wine, fresh salad and a special main dish cooked and served by our friends in the rafting base.
River Trekking in Neda (summer season only from June to September): 4 hours (from Arcadia to Messinia, Temple of Apollon)
Neda river lies on the borders of the Ilia and Messinia region and is the only river in Greece with a feminine name. Driving from the Arcadia region to the Messinia region before we reach Neda river we make a stop at the stunning Temple of Apollo Epicurius or the Parthenon of Peloponnese.
Arriving at the spot where our river trek starts, the breathtaking scenery will definitely amaze you. As we trek through the river gorge, we pass through narrow cliff openings no more than 1.5m wide at some points where we have to swim crossing stone bridges and underwater caves until we reach the spectacular Neda waterfalls.
Sea Kayaking – Hiking Kardamili in Mani Messinia: 5-6 hours with breaks
Once we arrive at our activity base, we get our kayaks and begin to enjoy an excursion at the foot of mount Taygetos where each little cove hides a special surprise. Hidden caves, cliffs with spectacular formations and unique beaches such as the well hidden beach of Foneas with the white pebbles or the beach of Kalogria with fine golden sand and turquoise waters.
The beach of Kalogria is also known as the beach of Zorbas, as this was the place where writer Nikos Kazantzakis met his hero of his book, Zorba the Greek. Halfway we make a stop for swimming, snorkeling and a picnic with local traditional delicacies.
Our tour starts from the fortified tower houses of old Kardamili as we follow the path that once was part of the ancient so called ‘’royal road’’, connecting Kardamili with Sparta. Along the way, we walk through the narrow streets of traditional villages as we learn about their history.
A small break for a healthy picnic with traditional local delicacies gives us an additional supply of energy. A burst of colors and fragrances of flowers and herbs overwhelm us and bring us even closer to the natural environment. We walk through an easy route, sometimes a stone built path and sometimes a shady pathway, immersed in olive trees, pines and cypress trees.
Scuba Diving Kardamili in Mani Messinia. DSD Course for beginners or an Exciting Dive for Certified divers: 3 hours
What a great way to Discover Scuba Diving (also called DSD ). This is an application of recreational diving in which an un-certified diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater under the direct supervision of a qualified instructor. Arriving at Kalogria beach we set foot on the diving center where we prepare ourselves for a dive.
The dive site has an amazing sandy bottom with crystal clear visibility and offers many surprises to explore such as grass lands, caverns and rocky reefs. The area is also characterized by fresh water springs which emerge from underground caverns into the sea-floor.
If you are a certified diver, we can schedule an exciting dive from the shore or boat.
Messinia to Athens Airport or Kalamata Airport
What is Included in the price:
- Car transportation – fuel- tolls.
- Accommodation in local guesthouses and/or hotels with breakfast for 7 days/ 6 nights*.
- Certified guide throughout the 7 day activities.
- All the necessary equipment.
- Photos from the activities.
- Liability Insurance.
*We can also arrange for you to stay in 4-5 star hotels. In this case, price varies depending on the season and the hotel.
What to bring with you:
- Comfortable clothes.
- Swim suites (at least 2 pairs).
- Sun glasses / sun screen / hat.
Extra pair of shoes that will get wet. Suitable shoes are lightweight trainers, sandals or sea shoes. Avoid bulky shoes.
The schedule of the tour, may change in case of bad weather conditions.
Meet your Guide:
- Padi Scuba Diving Instructor.
- Rafting Guide.
- River Trekking / Hiking Guide.
- Sea Kayak guide.
Antonis is into action sports since a very young age. Despite living in the city, he has never been a city boy. He studied Electrical Engineering; however, his real passion is nature and outdoor activities. Everything started when he first got his feet on a snowboard. From that moment on, he couldn’t wait for the weekend to come and leave the city.
Traveling is also a big passion for Antonis. While travelling in South East Asia, he got interested in scuba diving and guess what! He is a PADI scuba instructor now. The element of water is everywhere in his life. Since 2005 he is a Rafting, River Trekking, Hiking guide but even that, it was not enough!
Sea Kayaking was coming his way, so he did that too and now he is a 3 star BCU (British Canoeing Union) paddler. But that’s not all. He has tried everything from surfing to sailing, windsurfing to climbing and even babysitting !!!
- Positive energy.
- Good looks.
- He gets really really, REALLY enthusiastic once in the outdoors.
More facts: Studied Electrical Engineering in Greece and took his Masters degree in London U.K. Works as an engineer since 2002. During the winter season, he goes snowboarding and at least once a year he travels somewhere far away from home.
What else… his friends call him little Antony because they say he will never grow up. Want to meet him? E-mail us for more info on the amazing South Peloponnese Adventure Tour!
The Orlias gorge is located in Dion Pieria, on the northern northeastern slopes of Olympus and is divided into three parts.
We leave the cars in the small chapel of Saints Constantine and Helen located at the 4th km of the forest road Dion – Koromilia. This is the starting point of the trail that leads up to the shelter Koromilia. We can leave the trail in several points and admire the beautiful waterfalls from far away.
Crossing the trail and after hiking for 20 minutes alongside the stream bank through impressive vegetation, we reach the entrance of the gorge.
Section III is a small and short part of easy difficulty level, ideal for children over 8 years and large groups of beginners as a good introduction to canyoning!
After an amazing route lasting 2.30 to 3.30 hours with 3 rappels 3m, 7m and 9m respectively, water slides and diving into the vathres (small lakes) with crystal clear waters we reach the exit of the gorge and the cars.
The best time to visit is from May to October.