Experience is not necessary. We make sure that you understand our methodology in the theory and practical training sessions. We take our work with these vulnerable sea turtles seriously, which is why our training sessions are so important to attend.
Volunteers will have plenty of time to explore the island or simply relax on the beach. Each volunteer will have two days off a week after the first week, the first week will be one day off. Additionally, some free time will be available each day with afternoons and occasional evenings off.
A complete packing list of items we recommend packing will be included in the information packet that is emailed to you once you have applied.
The cost of the project includes the accommodation (each volunteer will have their own bed in a shared room that comes with a fitted bottom sheet, flat top sheet, pillow and pillowcase), crockery, cookware, use of bicycles to get around the area, a researcher t-shirt, all necessary field training, field leader support available at all times, and Kefalonia airport (EFL) or bus station (Argostoli/Lixouri) pick up and drop on your start and end date. The cost does not include travel to Kefalonia, food or personal travel insurance.
Each person is responsible for their own food shopping. Often those sharing the same room will plan meals together and share food to cut costs. Groceries should be around €40-60 per week, per person.
Argostoli Field Station: The accommodation is located closer to the beaches and within walking distance of one mini-market. For this reason, we strongly recommend you order your groceries ahead of your start date so that you have them upon your arrival at the project. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Lixouri Field Station: Your accommodation is a short walk away from several grocery stores and the Lixouri town square, therefore items are readily available upon your arrival.
Upon your arrival, there will be several important training sessions that will allow you to become familiar with our methodology. This ensures that you will be well-prepared to survey the nesting beaches, monitor the sea turtles in the harbour and answer basic questions the public may have while you are on surveys.
The Cephalonia International Airport (EFL) is the only airport in Kefalonia and is located just 20 minutes from Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia. With prior arrangements, Wildlife Sense will be available to transport you on your project start and end dates from and to your arriving and departing flights at this airport.
If you fly into Athens International Airport (ATH), as another option, there is a KTEL bus to Argostoli available from the Athens Kifisou bus station. The bus ride normally takes around 6-7hrs and costs €~40; one way (this includes the ferry ticket). To get to the Kifisou bus station from Athens airport simply get on the X93 bus available from the airport. Once you arrive at the Argostoli bus station, we will pick you up and take you to the project.
It is best to arrive on your start date and leave on your end date. We ask you to arrive before 5 pm, although if there is a less expensive flight, it is fine to arrive a bit later in the day. The first training session begins on the evening of your start date.
To avoid high fares, some volunteers have flown in a few days early and/or stayed a few days longer. During this time they either enjoyed traveling around the area before/after the project or stay nearby to spend time with the volunteers who weren’t on shift. If you arrive early or stay late, you are not likely to participate in shifts. Please note that those that chose to come early or stay longer are responsible for paying for their accommodation until their volunteer session begins or after their session is over. Additionally, keep in mind that if you do decide to arrive or leave on a day that is not a start or end date we will not be able to give you a ride to/from the airport or bus station and you’ll have to take a taxi. The taxis are very easy to get because you’ll be at either the bus station or the airport where there are taxi stations. The taxi should cost around €15-20.
If you are not sharing cooking responsibilities and meals with your roommates or friends, you may require up to €100 per week for provisions. There are plenty of fresh fruit/vegetable markets and supermarkets on the island to purchase groceries. Tavernas are throughout the towns, and there are a few restaurants near the accommodations. Frequenting these places may increase your meal budget. Personal expenses vary per person and are hard to estimate.
It is best to bring cash or a bank card and withdraw from one of the many cash machines (ATMs) in the town. Please note, there is a small fee charged by the bank for the withdrawal.
Please check the list of visa requirement by country to see if you need a visa to travel to Greece. If you already have a visa for another country of the Schengen area, you can also travel to Greece for the period of that visa. Please note that the UK is not a member of the Schengen area. If you have a student visa to the UK, you will need to issue a Schengen travel visa for Greece. You can issue a visa for Greece at the Greek Consulate of your country of residence if you have already lived there for three months or more, or at the Greek Consulate at your home country. For the UK, check the relevant page of the Greek Consulate in London.
In our experience, people suffering from severe anxiety can face several difficulties at the project due to the nature of working and living with a large group. While your experience may vary, it is important to realize that the priority of the project is the protection of sea turtles. Please review more details about volunteering with anxiety and mental illness before making a decision.