Location
  • Greece

Program Details

Language
English

Pricing

Price Details
The Volunteer contribution includes all your food, accommodation, training materials and project equipment.
Jul 13, 2020
Sep 17, 2022
89 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Visit Giannitsochori, a coastal village, to engage in sustainable projects that assist with the protection of endangered loggerhead turtles. Learn about the nesting process through a first-hand experience while also gaining technical marine conservation skills. Activities could include assembling protective structures, surveying and monitoring nesting sites, and ensuring they are safeguarded from natural predators in the area.

Your contributions support the hatchlings safe journey to the ocean and align with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water, and Goal 15: Life On Land. This is also a way to meet people from around the world and connect with skilled conservationists and local community members.

While in Greece, develop your palate with local dishes before exploring nearby mountain terrain and heading back to your beachside campsite for the night’s nesting activities.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Observe and assist in the nesting cycle of the loggerhead turtle.
  • Travel around Greece.
  • Hike nearby mountains with panoramic views over the Ionian Sea, taste traditional dishes, learn about the art and culture of Greece, and explore archaeological sites and fortresses.
  • Connect with local community members and people from around the world.
  • Develop practical conservation techniques and skills, and contribute towards the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Join conservation efforts along the west coast of Greece, where GVI partners with a local organization to protect loggerhead turtles and their breeding sites. You’ll monitor nests and turtles, build protective structures, and collect data. With your assistance, the growing awareness of these turtles will lead to better protection for them, ensuring more hatchlings join the population each year. This is also an opportunity to traverse archaeological sites and learn about ancient Olympic history.

Teens volunteering on the beach in Greece

This is a program for young adults between 15 and 17 years old to collaborate with the safeguarding of endangered loggerhead turtles. You will learn practical conservation skills such as, surveying and collecting data on nesting activity and turtle behavior and building protective structures. Contribute to the turtle hatchlings safe journey to the sea, while supporting the UN SDG Goal 14: Life Below Water, and Goal 15: Life On Land.

Program Reviews

4.94 Rating
based on 17 reviews
  • 5 rating 94.12%
  • 4 rating 5.88%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.8
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.85
  • Value 4.3
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 17 reviews
Default avatar
Rachael
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI Giannitsochori 6 weeks

I am a fourth year Biology Student at the University of St. Andrews. I chose to take part in a GVI program over the summer as a way to create a positive impact and meaningful change, whilst still having fun during my holidays! I loved that the program allowed me to get real hands on experience in turtle conservation. You learn how to do everything really quickly even if the initial PowerPoint lessons sound confusing. The communal living situation was really fun, and even though you are together all the time, it is very easy and normal to go off for some alone time each day! Overall very chill, relaxed and fun vibes, you will make some of the best memories and meet some of the best people from all over the world! Everyone I know that was there for only 2 weeks wanted to stay longer which speaks for itself!

Pros
  • meet people from all over the world
  • hands on experience in turtle conservation
  • explore a new culture
Cons
  • tented accommodation so quite warm at night initially, nut you soon acclimatise
  • lots of mosquitos, so bring lots of bug spray
  • limited clothes washing facilities
2 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Rachael,

Thanks for your great review!

I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your time with us as much as you did. Your hard work and efforts have certainly impacted this project in a meaningful way. Wishing you all the best in your studies.

Please keep on spreading your love for GVI! And obviously, we would love to see you back on base soon!

Default avatar
Soleia
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an amazing time in Greece !!

Greece was a unique experience,
If you're looking for an organized, fun and helpful trip while traveling around Greece then this trip is perfect for you ! I had a chance to volunteer in Greece and help protect turtle nests. The best part about this trip was being able to relocate the eggs if we felt they were endangered. I got to hold them and carry them to a safer place, it was such a wholesome experience. For volunteer work, we also got to do beach clean ups that were both necessary and fun because we would turn them into competitions as to who would get the most trash. After each beach clean up, we would look through the garbage and reuse some things like glass bottles for flower pots and other rubbish as decoration, it was so creative ! While other people were doing other surveys (morning walks to protect the nests) other people would make bamboo turtle tunnels to protect the nests from light pollution. I would 100% recommend this trip because it was not only fun but also worth every penny, I loved getting to know all the teens that were with me that came from all over the world and we got to discuss so many things and have open minded conversations about anything. As a group, we also got to be immersed in Greek culture by visiting places like Olympia and tasting different food and beverages local to Greece. Making these friends was so fun and it felt like I had known them forever :)

Pros
  • Experience to traveling alone for teens
  • Building your resume and gaining cultural knowledge
  • Meeting new friends and having the time of your life
Cons
  • You have to enjoy camping life
7 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Soleia,

Thanks for your great review!

I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and had such a beautiful experience. Your hard work and efforts have certainly impacted this project in a meaningful way. I hope you keep the fantastic connections you have made. Please do keep on spreading your love for GVI! And obviously, we would love to see you back on base soon!

Default avatar
Caitlin
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI sea turtle conservation in Greece

I had the best time in Greece working with GVI at the turtle conservation program. It was amazing to experience the nesting and hatching season and to learn how to collect the data. In total I’ve been at the program for 8 weeks and I have learned so much about sea turtles, conservation and GVI. I have met so many new people from all over the world and have made friends for life here. I had the best summer and I will definitely do another program with GVI. will highly recommend this program and GVI in general.

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment was when I found my first nest, I was digging and digging and then I fell in the hole and felt the satisfying poke and found the nest.
31 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Caitlin, thanks for your review! AMAZING NEWS to hear that you had such an unforgettable time with us at GVI! We'd love to see you come back and continue to make an impact.

Default avatar
Jenna
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI Greece was amazing!!

I had an amazing time learning about bad working with sea turtles and their nests in Greece. The program was 2 weeks long; and throughout the experience I learned so much about how much good people can do for the environment and local animals. While I was there, I helped protect nests from predators, observe the tagging of mother sea turtles, and meet some amazing volunteers from around the world that I intend to keep in touch with. Overall, I had a great time and I highly recommend this GVI program.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar thing about the trip was travelling by myself for the first time. It was a really interesting experience that I learned a lot from, and I think I gained a lot more independence from it.
31 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Jenna, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Default avatar
Scarlett
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Best volunteering experience with GVI!!

I volunteered with GVI as part of the U18s program in Greece for two weeks. During the weekdays, we would have morning surveys where we would find and protect turtle nests, and night surveys where we would assist in tagging mother turtles. All the staff were amazing and so kind! I also made such great friends with the other participants. We all especially enjoyed the cultural trips at the weekend where we visited the local cities of Kalamata and Olympia. I would 100% recommend this trip to Greece with GVI!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
We mainly ate traditional Greek food which I wasn't used to eating!
33 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Scarlett, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Default avatar
Ella
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI Greece Turtles - Most amazing two weeks

The program was amazing, all the staff were so friendly, helpful, inspiring and full of interesting stories and experiences. The food whilst out there was really lovely and it was amazing to try some traditional Greek food. The volunteering itself was excellent and I felt like what I did had a real impact. The other volunteers were lovely . I would have definitely spent more time there if I could have! The whole experience was so inspirational. I am now on extremely interested in doing a GVI project as part of my year in industry with university.

What was your funniest moment?
Helping people try to learn English and finding ways to communicate without the language barrier being a problem
35 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Ella, thanks for your review! I'm so happy to hear you had such a great experience with us. We welcome you back to base again sometime in the future. In the meantime, please do keep on spreading your GVI love!

Default avatar
Jodie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Travel, turtles and true beauty!

I travelled to Greece in June 2018 and had the best two weeks of my life.

Despite a rocky start of being refused boarding onto the airplane, from the moment I landed I felt both welcome and appreciated. Arriving many hours late, a GVI staff member waited for me all day in the airport and then sorted us accommodation in Athens, having missed our bus earlier! The warmth I felt from this lovely woman was immediate and continued for the whole trip...

Once we had finally arrived at the campsite the next day I was introduced to the rest of the staff as well as the other volunteers and within a few seconds made friends that, even though they live far away from me, are still part of my life now.

We stayed at a campsite on the most beautiful beach, surrounded by sand dunes and with stunning sunsets every single night. And this was the beach where our daily surveys took place. Each day we ventured out to locate and protect the turtle nests that had been dug the previous evening. Seeing the tracks they leave in the sand, and coming to understand them really makes you feel special!

By the end of the two week experience a significant goal had been reached. Over the summer the GVI team, along with Archelon (a neighbouring turtle conservation charity) had helped to protect over 1000 turtle nests, ensuring the hatchlings had the best chance of survival. There aren’t words to explain how rewarding it is to be involved in work like this. The celebration that evening was one to remember.

Volunteering for GVI was such an incredible experience. The scenery is reason enough to go to the area, but meeting new friends who also care about conserving nature, and knowing that we’d done some good for the turtles was the highlight of this fabulous trip. I cannot wait to get back!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring a good alarm clock! (It’s worth getting up for)
35 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Jodie, thanks for your wonderful review! I'm so glad to hear that you had such an amazing time and could see so easily the huge positive impact you're making whilst on base.

Default avatar
Megan
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Creating a sustainable impact in marine conservation

In June of 2019, I volunteered with GVI in Greece, Giannitsochori, for two weeks on their turtle program - but I wish I had stayed longer! It was an incredible experience and your work really does make a difference to the conservation of turtle populations. The accommodation is in a tent, about a 2 minute walk away from the beach. The GVI staff were always around and happy to help with any queries or issues and I felt incredibly safe on this program. I would recommend to anyone with a passion for marine conservation, those who wish to make a difference/sustainable impact, or anyone who loves the outdoors!

What would you improve about this program?
One thing I think maybe should be noted about the program is you're not guaranteed to see turtles/baby turtles on the program. I was there for 2 weeks in June, and thought I would see turtles hatching, but they do not usually hatch until later in the season - this was down to my own knowledge on turtles and no fault of GVI's, but I think it is something to be aware of. We did see adult turtles from the seafront, but you couldn't really see that well - but knowing it was a turtle was enough for me!
43 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Megan, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Questions & Answers

Yes

Hi Biro, Unfortunately, the youngest age we can accept is 14 years old. The GVI Team

Hi Alexa, We accept participants on our programs from the age of 15 and up. There are teen programs for students aged 15 - 17 which you can see here: https://www.gviusa.com/volunteering-for-teens/ , and programs for individuals aged 18+. Each program has a specific fee, which you can see here: https://www.gviusa.com/find-a-program/ Please do submit an inquiry on our website and one of our...