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 05, 2021

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.

Popular Programs

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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

9.53 Rating
based on 15 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 93.33%
  • 7-8 rating 6.67%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 8.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 15 reviews
Default avatar
Caitlin
9/10
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.
1 person 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
10/10
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.
3 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
10/10
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!
3 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
9/10
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
4 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
9/10
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)
9 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
10/10
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!
10 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!

Default avatar
Amelia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience!!!

I had originally signed up to go on this trip to do something more with my summer than just a normal vacation. What I got was so much more than I thought I would from this experience. I got to meet some amazing people and I had a blast. If I had been told beforehand that I would be waking up at 5 AM, I would have thought that I wouldn't be able to wake up, but the opposite was true, I found it so easy to wake up as I was going to go on a survey that was crazy cool. Finding the turtle nests was surreal. I still marvel at how turtles can nest in the way that they do. It was so peaceful walking down the beach in the early mornings. I would go back in a heartbeat and do it again. The staff was amazing. The campsite was really cool as well, being only a few minutes from the taverna and the beach. This trip was eye-opening to so much more than I thought it would be. We did some beach cleans as well as learning about the different effects that we have on the environment. It is an experience that I will never forget and that I highly recommend to anyone thinking about doing something similar.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Best piece of advice for this program is to bring some Crocs. When walking down the beach and crossing the rivers, they were the best kind of shoes to have. Everyone ended up going out and buying a pair during the weekend trip.
8 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Amelia, 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
Alastair
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing 2 weeks

I did 2 weeks of turtle conservation in Greece in August of 2019 and it was a genuinely life changing fortnight. I had never done anything thing like this before and had never travelled alone before either but I'm so glad I did because at the end of my time I felt like I had done something fulfilling and meaningful with my summer, and I had! So I had signed up for 2 weeks abroad doing wildlife conservation and didn't really know what to expect, but it was brilliant, every day I would get up early,(just before 6) and get ready to start my day witha morning survey, this is where you patrol a section of the beach with a small team from your camp and see what overnight activity had occurred. It was really exciting because you never knew what you were going to see. Tracks from hatchling throughout the night, live hatchling, fresh nests and predated nest were some of what I got to see. On my first day I was lucky enough to watch 7 hatchling head down the beach into the sea and it really was an amazing heartwarming moment, watching them take their first steps towards the vast ocean and you're their watching it... Very priveldiging. It really made it feel like you were doing something good, helping this species and making a genuine impact, which truth be told you were! But there was more to it than that, whilst i were there I met some amazing people and made some life long memories, the atmosphere of base camp was just amazing. No bad memories from it, everyone who was there, was there for a similar reason. You all had something in common because you'd all chose to be there and to help turtles so getting along with everyone was really easy. There was always someone or something going on at camp as well and it was just a really happy, relaxing place to be. Midday and evenings were filled with things like be ah clean, public awareness walks or shading turtle nests from light pollution. No matter where you were or what you were doing, there was always a nice vibe and whoever you were with was worth talking to and a good laugh. My biggest regret from the whole trip is not going for longer... 2 weeks isn't long enough! And the hardest part was leaving and saying goodbye. It was a special 2 weeks and has genuinely changed my life. I encourage anyone to do the same, life's to short, go for it!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would definitely book for a longer period of time and I'd bring an airbed!
10 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Alastair, 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...