Greece – Mediterranean Sea Turtle Conservation

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Experience Mediterranean life while volunteering to protect the vulnerable loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings along Greece’s beaches.

Program Highlights:

  • Experience the stunning, Mediterranean mainland of Greece
  • Work hands-on for sea turtle conservation
  • Ethical wildlife volunteer tasks and interactions
  • Join one of the longest-running conservation projects in the Mediterranean
  • Visit Greece’s ancient sites during free time
  • Suitable for families with children aged 14 and over

 

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum two-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Saturday: Arrive at Athens International Airport (ATH). You will be picked up by the local team and taken to settle in to the accommodations in Giannitsochori. Settle in and meet your fellow volunteers before your welcome presentation.

Day 1, Sunday: Volunteers have this day free to relax or explore the area.

Days 2-6, Monday-Friday: Volunteer work is organized on a rotating schedule of 3-4 hour shifts, with evenings and weekends off to spend how you wish. Specific tasks vary by season. In May and June the work focuses on identifying new nests, and protecting them from any environmental hazards. July through August is hatching season. Tasks involve monitoring and recording the hatchlings from each nest. The focus in September is on nest excavations to study the success rate of each nest.

Days 7-8, Saturday-Sunday: Weekends are free for relaxation or exploration.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturday-Sunday mostly free. Departure is on Saturday.

Please note: It is important to remember that nature is unpredictable, and no matter what month you go, there are no guaranteed turtle sightings. Regardless, your work during any of the months will still be contributing to the safety of the turtles when they do hatch and the success of hatching season.

 

Location icon Location of the Project: Giannitsochori, Greece

Project length Project length: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Athens International Airport (ATH)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Sea turtle conservation, beach monitoring, community education

Age Age: 18 – 65

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 18 international volunteers

Important Note Important Note: Family Option: this project accepts families with children as young as 14 years old.

 

What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared tents in a campsite

Food Food: All food ingredients are provided for volunteers to use.

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days.

Orientation Orientation: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

 

What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses, transportation to the project

Come experience the beautiful Mediterranean country of Greece. Explore the deep history of the land which founded democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, the Olympic Games, and major mathematical and scientific principles. Greece’s ancient history has earned it 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all waiting to be explored.

 

Your specific duties as a volunteer will vary from month to month throughout the season.

May/June: The work focuses on identifying new nests, and protecting them from any environmental hazards. Specifically, your work may include:

  • Early morning beach walks to identify any overnight nesting
  • Marking new nests
  • Moving nests if they lie below the high tide line
  • Building a protective barrier around the nests
  • Building a runway for turtles to follow to the water so they don’t get lost when they hatch

 

July/August: This is hatching season so the work involves monitoring and recording the hatchlings from each nest. Your work may include:

  • Early morning beach surveys to monitor which nests hatched
  • Counting number of hatchlings (by counting tracks in the sand leading from the nest down to the water)
  • Nest excavations to determine the success rate of the nest

 

September: You may see the end of hatching season, but the focus will be on nest excavations to study the success rate of each nest. Your duties will include:

  • Nest excavations continue through the end of hatching season
  • Taking down protective bamboo barriers

 

The volunteer work that is carried out throughout the span of the project is related to environmental education – working the information kiosk for visitors and giving presentations at local campsites or hotels, as well as beach patrols, bamboo harvesting (used to mark and protect the nests), and general maintenance of the site.

Volunteer work is organized on a rotating schedule of 3-4 hour shifts, with evenings and weekends off to spend how you wish.

Please note: it is important to remember that nature is unpredictable, and no matter what month you go, there are no guaranteed turtle sightings. Regardless, your work during any of the months will still be contributing to the safety of the turtles when they do hatch and the success of hatching season.

Internet icon Internet: WiFi is available intermittently at the campsite. We recommend purchasing a local SIM card.

Laundry icon Laundry: Washing machine and dryer available for small fee. A hand-washing station is available.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Volunteers will be sleeping on very basic mats in shared, two-person same gender tents at a designated area of a public campsite. There are shared bathrooms with running hot and cold water, including flush toilets and showers. There are electricity supply boxes available on the campsite, but not in each individual tent. Valuables can be stored and locked in the campsite office. (Please be sure to bring your own camping mattress or air mattress along).

Food icon Food: Ingredients for breakfast, lunch & dinner are provided, and volunteers will take turns to cook for the group.

 

Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Ability to work in a team
  • Good physical fitness – can be walking up to 5 km at a time
  • Ability to work at early hours of the morning
  • Good level of English
  • Flexible attitude
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Police clearance

Volunteer Experiences

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