Explore historic Greece when you join a team of international 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, making a real difference to the conservation of the population.
This project has been specially designed for those looking to volunteer, but are aged between 15 and 17 years old. Throughout this project, our younger volunteers will have greater supervision, training, and world-class leaders in the field who have been chosen for their mix of relevant experience and ability to mentor and inspire young people.
Based in Giannitsochori, 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 and night surveys (depending on nesting activity) 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.
You will also have a weekend to enjoy some cultural activities in the surrounding area, a beautiful and fascinating region of Greece.
Hands-on work with one of the most endangered species in the Mediterranean; exploring nearby nature reserves and admiring the local architecture; 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 your first steps towards your career in conservation and making a lasting contribution to the preservation of endangered turtles.
"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."
These updates cover all programs in this location
During your time on the project, your work will be extremely varied. Volunteers will rotate around the different roles of turtle patrol, camp duty, bamboo harvesting (used to protect the nests) and an environmental education programme for the locals and tourists.
Volunteers should expect the days to be long, as well as hot, with plenty of walking (at least 5km) while taking part in the various surveys.
Your accomodation will be quite rustic, with amazing views to wake up to each morning. Volunteers will be camped right next to the beach, at a campsite that has a number of facilities such as a mini-market and a restaurant.
In between your shifts, you will have plenty of time to relax on the sandy white beaches, explore the nearby area with your fellow volunteers or simply relax at the campsite and take in all the beautiful natural scenery.
What's Not Included
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 (seasonal); 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 Not Included
Although this trip follows a structured itinerary, don’t think you won’t be seeing and doing some amazing things! You’ll embark on a cultural weekend side trip of awesomeness to discover all the amazing sights the region has to offer!