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Volunteer with Turtles in Greece

Protect and conserve an important loggerhead turtle nesting area in the Mediterranean

Program Details

Program Type

Volunteering

Location

Europe - Greece - Mavrovouni

2 weeks from

£995.00

Code: GRMV0124P
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Program Information

Discover historic Greece when you live and volunteer alongside a team of international volunteers, and make a real contribution to the conservation and protection of one of the most important loggerhead turtle nesting areas in the region.
Overview
Project Life
Project Details
Free Time
The Team
Dates & Costs

Overview

Based in the beautiful Bay of Lakonikos in the southern Peloponnese, you will live and volunteer with a team of international volunteers to conserve and protect one of the most important loggerhead turtle nesting areas in Greece.

The team will engage in daily morning surveys to record nesting activity and protect turtle nests against predation by mammals and inundation by sea water. Volunteers will also provide important conservation information to overseas visitors and the local community.

Highlights Include

Hands-on work with one of the most endangered species in the Mediterranean; living in a quiet area near a traditional fishing town; exploring nearby nature reserves and admiring local architecture. The thrill of seeing turtles lay their eggs and watching the hatchlings head for the sea; experiencing Greek culture first hand in a beautiful area which you can explore in your free time; taking a great first step towards your career in practical conservation or simply making a lasting one-off contribution to the preservation of endangered turtles.

GVI’s work in conjunction with our local partner provides you with all the necessary training and opportunities exist for you to explore the fascinating Greek culture and sights of the surrounding local area in your free time.

Testimonials

"It is hard not to regurgitate all that has been said before – ‘how the time has gone’, ‘the amazing people’, ‘combining a beach holiday with volunteer work’. All these things are true. The one thing that will stay with me is the work with the hatchlings; watching them power down the beach, watching as they get battered by the waves but always manage to overcome them and of course the times I had the privilege to hold these tiny hatchlings. So thank you to everyone who has made this time one I will never forget."

- William Hughes, (United Kingdom)

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Students

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport transfers (pick up and drop off)

Parents

Why Study Abroad

GVI Difference

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport transfers (pick up and drop off)

Course Life

The work is varied, with all volunteers rotating around the different roles: turtle patrol, camp duty, bamboo harvesting (used to protect the nests) and an environmental education program for the locals and tourists. The days are long, it is hot and you will have to walk long distances (at least 5km) during surveys.

You will be living in tents right next to the beach and the campsite has a number of facilities, including a mini-market, a self-service restaurant and telephone. In between shifts you will have plenty of time to relax in camp or enjoy the beach. You will also have one day off a week which varies depending on the schedule.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport transfers (pick up and drop off)

Course Details

 

GVI works in collabouration with a Greek organisation that has been conducting research in this area since 1983, making it one of the oldest conservation projects in the Mediterranean.

Key volunteer tasks may include:

  • Patrolling the beach to locate new tracks and nests
  • Recording data and measurements
  • Installing protective nest grids
  • Nest relocation (if required)
  • Nest excavation (from August onwards)
  • Bamboo harvesting – assembling nest grids
  • Manning beach kiosk – educating public about the project
  • Public awareness presentations – conducted at campsites/hotels in the local area

Data collected not only contributes to coastal management plans in Greece but also towards the international strategy for the conservation of sea turtles.

How this project makes a difference:

Protecting nests against predation by mammals and/or inundation by sea water ensures that as many hatchlings as possible are added to the population each year, while public awareness activities help people adopt friendlier attitudes towards the natural environment and possibly reduce their environmental footprint in the area.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport transfers (pick up and drop off)

Life on the Internship

The work is varied, with all volunteers rotating around the different roles: turtle patrol, camp duty, bamboo harvesting (used to protect the nests) and an environmental education program for the locals and tourists. The days are long, it is hot and you will have to walk long distances (at least 5km) during surveys.

You will be living in tents right next to the beach and the campsite has a number of facilities, including a mini-market, a self-service restaurant and telephone. In between shifts you will have plenty of time to relax in camp or enjoy the beach. You will also have one day off a week which varies depending on the schedule.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport transfers (pick up and drop off)

Program Details

 

GVI works in collabouration with a Greek organisation that has been conducting research in this area since 1983, making it one of the oldest conservation projects in the Mediterranean.

Key volunteer tasks may include:

  • Patrolling the beach to locate new tracks and nests
  • Recording data and measurements
  • Installing protective nest grids
  • Nest relocation (if required)
  • Nest excavation (from August onwards)
  • Bamboo harvesting – assembling nest grids
  • Manning beach kiosk – educating public about the project
  • Public awareness presentations – conducted at campsites/hotels in the local area

Data collected not only contributes to coastal management plans in Greece but also towards the international strategy for the conservation of sea turtles.

How this project makes a difference:

Protecting nests against predation by mammals and/or inundation by sea water ensures that as many hatchlings as possible are added to the population each year, while public awareness activities help people adopt friendlier attitudes towards the natural environment and possibly reduce their environmental footprint in the area.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport transfers (pick up and drop off)

Project Life

The work is varied, with all volunteers rotating around the different roles: turtle patrol, camp duty, bamboo harvesting (used to protect the nests) and an environmental education program for the locals and tourists. The days are long, it is hot and you will have to walk long distances (at least 5km) during surveys.

You will be living in tents right next to the beach and the campsite has a number of facilities, including a mini-market, a self-service restaurant and telephone. In between shifts you will have plenty of time to relax in camp or enjoy the beach. You will also have one day off a week which varies depending on the schedule.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport transfers (pick up and drop off)

Project Details

 

GVI works in collabouration with a Greek organisation that has been conducting research in this area since 1983, making it one of the oldest conservation projects in the Mediterranean.

Key volunteer tasks may include:

  • Patrolling the beach to locate new tracks and nests
  • Recording data and measurements
  • Installing protective nest grids
  • Nest relocation (if required)
  • Nest excavation (from August onwards)
  • Bamboo harvesting – assembling nest grids
  • Manning beach kiosk – educating public about the project
  • Public awareness presentations – conducted at campsites/hotels in the local area

Data collected not only contributes to coastal management plans in Greece but also towards the international strategy for the conservation of sea turtles.

How this project makes a difference:

Protecting nests against predation by mammals and/or inundation by sea water ensures that as many hatchlings as possible are added to the population each year, while public awareness activities help people adopt friendlier attitudes towards the natural environment and possibly reduce their environmental footprint in the area.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport transfers (pick up and drop off)

Free Time

Optional Side Trips

During your time off on the project you may want to visit some of the following places:

Whilst not part of the program most volunteers will have the opportunity to visit the Village of Mavrovouni and the fishing port of Gythio. They are both located close to the project site and have some interesting old buildings and cobbled streets with great views across the bay. In Gythio there is an ancient theatre and a few Roman ruins scattered around to explore. On occasion the project staff may take volunteers to Limeni Village where it is sometimes possible to snorkel with turtles.

The Archaeological Site of Mystras is now a world heritage site. It was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 and since then has been conquered, re-conquered, occupied and abandoned. Now only the medieval ruins remain.

Monemvassia is a well-known medieval fortress with an adjacent town, located on a small peninsula off the east coast of the Peloponnese near Laconia. Its remains include the defensive structures and the small adjacent town and Byzantine churches . Its name derives from two Greek words, ‘mone’ and ‘emvassia’, meaning “single entrance”. Many of the streets are narrow and fit only for pedestrians.

Areopoli is the second-largest town in Mani and is one of the few areas in Greece that was not under occupation rule. The inhabitants, in the past, built their homes like small fortresses in order to feel secure. Now you will find narrow streets, majestic tours, markets and a small port.

Further Travel Opportunities

Greece is a country with one of the most fascinating histories in Europe. If you have the available time and funds, then you should definitely try and explore it further. Possible side trips include relaxing on some of the island beaches, visiting the traditional villages of Metsovo and Kythira, taking in the ambience of Nafplio or Corfu Town, investigating the royal tombs at Vergina, and above all, seeing the ancient ruins at Delphi, the Acropolis and Olympia. Ferries depart from Gythio to Crete twice a week and from there it is possible to island hop back to Athens.

The Team

James McKie
Country Expert

Meet James, HQ’s social officer. He’s often likened to a minion from ‘Despicable Me’ “It must be because I’m sweet and work so hard…” He decided to join GVI because of our dedication to sustainability, numerous achievements and fantastic reviews. “It was a no-brainer!”

One of James’ claims to fame is that he played golf with Henry Cooper – the only person to ever knock out Mohamed Ali. “I obviously had to let him win”. He also knows everything there is to know about Fiji, eev.ra.thang.

A great story about James is the one about the Man Overboard alarm… Everyone in his group came rushing over, super relieved to find that it wasn’t him, it had just been a practise alarm. “I’m still confused about why, out of an entyre boat load of people, they assumed it was me who had gone overboard…”

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What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport transfers (pick up and drop off)

Our Impact

Location

Mavrovouni

The project site at Mavrovouni is a settlement close to Gythio, a lively and charming harbour town which sits in the center of the Bay of Lakonikos in the southern Peloponnese. It has a long sea-side promenade, colourful fishing boats, narrow streets and stairways typical of Greece. Mavrovouni beach is 5 km long and has several campsites and a few small local businesses.

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