Navigating Ancient Shores

Sea Turtle And Marine Conservation Teen Volunteering In Greece

Conserve turtles on this teen volunteer project in the historic coastal town of Giannitsochori, Greece.

Durations:  2 weeks

Program information

Explore historic Greece when you join a team of international teen volunteers conserving endangered loggerhead turtles which nest on the white sand beaches of Giannitsochori. Record nesting activity and protect hatchlings from predators as they make their first journey to the ocean.

undefined 31 May 2022

Included in your program

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Take a walking food tour of Kyparissia

Enjoy the sunset from the Old Town

Go stargazing and learn Greek mythology

White-water raft through a tunnel of trees

Trek the Neda river gorge

Hike through a gorge to a local spring

Explore the birthplace of the Olympic Games

Visit a local farmers' market

Connect with our alumni
Want to connect with some of our past participants about their adventures? Get in touch with hundreds of friendly ambassadors all over the world who would be more than happy to answer any questions.
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Scarlett O’Neill

11 Aug, 2021
The GVI Greece U18s program was one of the best experiences of my life! I met some of the best people, and really enjoyed helping the turtles. I also felt totally immersed in the Greek culture, eating traditional Greek food and visiting traditional Greek sites (such as the ancient Olympic ruins!). I would 100% recommend this trip to marine conservation lovers and those up for a good time.

Jenna Zandstra

11 Aug, 2021
I loved the GVI Greece Under 18s experience. I met so many new people from around the world, helped the environment, and contributed to preventing the endangerment of loggerhead sea turtles.

issy Mcdonald

11 Oct, 2018
**What made you want to volunteer in Greece with GVI?** I didn’t want to be sitting around my house all summer so I decided, along with my mum, to search for volunteering abroad. I found the GVI website through an advert on facebook. I researched the project and decided that it would be an amazing experience for me to do. **Describe your favourite moment on the Greece project.** I have loved all of the project but one of my favourite moments was my first night survey and when I first saw a turtle. I realised exactly what I was helping and was able to see the difference first hand. It was a life changing experience for me and honestly has made me think much more broadly about the volunteering work I was doing. **How were GVI staff and Archelon volunteers? Did they make the project enjoyable?** I have loved all the staff and volunteers on the project. They have made the experience 100 times better as I was always able to go to them if I had a question or a worry. They were really passionate about everything they were doing and that made me feel passionate about it too. I found that the staff were great people who were able to include everyone on all aspects of the project. **What have you learned during the course of the project?** I have learnt so much on the project not only about the turtles and the wildlife but about how much I enjoyed the work I was doing. This has made me seriously consider a career in conservation as I was able to see the effects of the work first hand and this has made me happy. The talks from the staff taught me about the different paths in life which I could take other than going to university which has been really inspirational. I have also learnt to look at the world from a conservation point of view. **How do you feel the work you have done here has made a difference?** I was constantly able to see how the work I was doing made an impact and a difference whether protecting a nest on morning survey or tagging and seeing a turtle on a night survey. Watching everyone get passionate about these animals and hopefully spreading the word on the issues facing them has given me hope for the future of these beautiful creatures. **What would you say to a friend who is thinking about joining next year?** See you there! This has been one of the best experiences of my life and a truly eye opening one. I have met so many amazing people who I hope to stay in contact with. I have never done anything this worth while and so everyone should get a chance to do this. The memories I have made here are some I will never forget and will try to share with everyone. **Do you have any last messages for the GVI team and Archelon?** Thank you so much for the best two weeks of my life. I will definitely try to come back and help again whether with GVI or Archelon. I hope everyone has the best time saving the world- one turtle at a time!

Amy Carter

11 Oct, 2018
I wanted to volunteer with GVI because I have always had a passion for conservation and marine animals and want to study marine biology at university next year. The best part of the project was meeting so many like-minded people and finding and learning about the difference that we’ve made, and I especially enjoyed seeing my first hatchling make it to the sea even though it was so late in the day. The GVI staff and Archelon volunteers were so friendly and inspired me to do similar things as them once I’ve finished university. They made the project far more enjoyable as they were always so supportive and encouraging in everything that we did. Throughout the course of the project I have learnt so much more about conservation and the environment and it has helped confirm my aspirations and hopes for the future, and it has also opened my mind to many more opportunities after university. I feel the work done with GVI has made a huge difference as we have learnt about how numbers have drastically changed since the turtles have been protected and how the numbers of hatchlings that survive to adulthood is so small that every nest protected can be a huge impact. I would tell anyone thinking of joining next year to definitely take the opportunity if its available as it has been an incredible experience for me and has helped me gain a better perspective of how I want to spend my time once I’ve finished school and I’ve made so many friends along the way. I would like to thank the GVI team and Archelon for giving me such an amazing experience and being so supportive throughout the project and making it so much fun whilst helping to make a difference.

Abi Farmer

11 Oct, 2018
The two weeks I spent in Greece were two of the most exciting, unforgettable weeks I can remember. Before I came to Kyparissia Bay in Greece I had never done anything like this before. Everything we did from listening to presentations from the staff to night and morning surveys was amazing. I have to say my favorite part of the trip was the night surveys, seeing the turtles nesting in the middle of night under the stars made all the early morning and hard work worthwhile. Words can't explain how rewarding and inspiring this trip was and I would love to do something like this again.

Cecelia neeve

11 Oct, 2018
Dear turtle saviours, The two weeks I spent with you all this summer were honestly two of the best weeks of my life and I would do it all again in a heartbeat if I could. Part of that, of course was down to the incredible turtles we are all so lucky to have helped protect, but a huge part of it was down to all of you! Thank you for being such kind, vibrant, passionate, interesting, fun, hilarious, talented, loving people. You made the experience one that I'll never forget. This experience has actually confirmed what I want to do with the next part of my life- I now know I want to do a sustainability degree following a gap year spent doing more volunteering, hopefully including some with GVI! I hope you all continue to have amazing adventures saving the world. It makes me so happy to know that there are people like you who care about the planet and all of its creatures as much as you all do. Best wishes to wherever you all are in the world! Cece X

Sofia Bhatty

11 Oct, 2018
During my GCSEs, I had been eager to do something useful and memorable with my summer; I decided I wanted to volunteer abroad and I heard about GVI through Facebook. When I read about the turtle program in Greece, I was immediately fascinated by it because, like many others, I love animals, and so working alongside Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, to help to conserve sea turtles would be an unbelievably incredible opportunity. On the plane to Greece, I was unquestionably excited, particularly for the camping because who doesn’t love camping? … When I arrived at the airport in Athens, I was greeted by friendly GVI staff, who I can now honestly call my friends. However, before arriving at camp, many things were running through my head; will there be showers?, will the food be nice?, will I get along with the other volunteers? The answer to all those questions is yes. A typical weekday in Greece included a survey (either morning or night), followed by a group activity (decorating camp with turtle-shaped flags). Lunch would then be prepared by volunteers and eaten together at the dining area in camp. Whoever was on rota for cleaning duty would make sure that the kitchen and dining area was tidy, and then we had free time, often referred to as ‘nap time’ (because it was hot and surveys can be tiring, so substantial sleep is essential). However, the majority of volunteers would spend ‘nap time’ at the beach or at the taverna, enjoying a crunchy ice cream or a refreshing slushie. After, we would all gather to enjoy a presentation prepared by a GVI leader, educating us on the importance of sustaining our planet or a brief on their journey leading up to GVI. This was followed by dinner and cleaning duty, which was again carried out by volunteers. At around 8pm, we all trekked (all of 2 minutes, ha!) to the beautiful Greek beach, Kyparissia Bay, to be amazed by the incredible sunset, whilst briefing each other on the day’s events; findings on surveys, questions and notices for others. After brief, we had some time to appreciate the beach, playing football by the sea and sharing our talents. After sunset, we had free time to enjoy with friends; most chilled at the taverna, scrolling through Instagram (the WiFi was pretty good) or playing Uno over some oregano-flavoured fries and a few Souvlakis (despite already having eaten dinner), whilst others prepared for their long, eventful, magical night survey on the beach. The GVI program in Greece has given me an insight into the world of conservational work, as well as helping me build life-long friendships with the other volunteers and GVI staff. The opportunity to meet people from, not only my home country, England, but from all around the world, including Colombia, Luxembourg and Holland, has not only educated me culturally, but it has allowed me to meet individuals I would never have met before from different backgrounds and life styles. As well as creating strong friendships, the program is a great confidence-builder; being in a completely different country with a range of different characters and coming together with one purpose and aim has prepared me better than anything or anyone could have done for the future. This experience allowed me to have the most worthwhile and unforgettable summer I have ever had, and I hope to embark on another journey with GVI next summer.

Will Deverell

11 Oct, 2018
I don't know what I was expecting when I arrived in Greece for two weeks of volunteering with Loggerhead Turtles, but the reality that I experienced there was better than anything I could have imagined. All the things that many teenagers would shy away from, early mornings, physical labour and basic accommodation somehow combined together to provide the best time of my life. I think part of the brilliance of this program, is it's uniqueness, because working - for no reason other than your belief in the cause - with wild animals in their natural environment is something everyone should experience once in their life. It was such a rewarding project to be involved in, as at the end of each day, I could see the nests that I had protected, and know that I had done my part towards saving the planet. One of the staff who supervised us said, the best feeling on earth is saving a life that can never repay you, and helping to save those turtles made me see the truth behind these words. Since returning to England, I haven't stopped recommending GVI to my family and friends, it will change your life, like it changed mine.

Ellen Parry

11 Oct, 2018
I spent the best two weeks of my life volunteering with loggerhead turtles in Kyparissia Bay in Greece. I cannot describe how magical it was to both see my first turtle nesting and also to protect their nests. GVI has opened my eyes to the world, I have this new found ambition to travel the world, saving endangered species. You will make friends who you will keep for the rest of your life, simply because you all have made those memories together. GVI has made me realise that there really is more to life at the end of the day than the grades you get on a piece of paper after sitting an exam. The world is yours to explore.

Emily Ling

25 Nov, 2013
I’ve met so many interesting people who have opened my eyes to ideas and places I hadn’t even thought about before. It seems ages ago that I saw my first hatchling waddle out to sea under the equally spellbinding night sky with the Milky Way as their roof and the moon leading them. I have really enjoyed working for the turtles and it feels so good to being doing something for the world no matter how small my actions, every bit counts! I feel like a better person for this special experience. This has been a highlight of my life.