Together with our local partners we ensure you receive all the necessary training to meet the project's objectives. The work is varied, with all volunteers rotating around the different roles: turtle patrol, camp duty, bamboo harvesting (used to protect the nests) and an environmental education program for the locals and tourists. The days are long, it is hot and you will have to walk long distances (minimum 5 km) during surveys.
We work in collaboration 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 include:
Patrolling the beach to locate new tracks and nests
Recording data and measurements
Installing protective nest grids
Nest relocation (if required)
Nest excavation (from August onwards)
Bamboo harvesting - assembling nest grids
Data collected not only contributes to coastal management plans in Greece but also towards the international strategy for the conservation of sea turtles.
Please note that it is likely that you see turtles while on the project, especially during the hatching season, but this is not guaranteed.
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.
The project site is a 10-minute walk from the village of Giannitsochori, a small and traditional village in the municipality of Zacharo, southern Elis. It is situated in the narrow coastal plains along the Ionian Sea, 2 km north of the mouth of the river Neda, at the foot of the western extensions of the mountain Minthi. It is a known beach resort with amazing Greek historical ruins close by.
In between your shifts, you will have plenty of time to soak up the sun on the sandy white beaches or relax with your fellow volunteers back at the campsite. Although the climate will be hot and can get very humid, by living so close to the beach you will be able to cool down with a quick dip in the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. Depending on how your shifts are structured, you will also have one day off a week, giving you time to explore the local area and immerse yourself even more into the breathtaking natural beauty, culture and history that Greece has to offer.
Minimum age of 18
Basic level of competency in English
Acceptance subject to availability
Police clearance certificate
GVI medical form
24-hour emergency phone
24-hour in-country support
Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
All necessary project equipment and materials
All necessary project training by experienced staff
Long-term experienced staff
Meals while on project
Safe and basic accommodation (shared)
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.