Conserve turtles on this under 18 volunteer project in historic Greece AND get career training from Conservation Careers!
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 14 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.” – Emily Ling (United Kingdom).
Our Award-winning Partner
Conservation Careers has teamed up with an award-winning, mission-driven organisation with a team of passionate experts across the globe who will make your experience a truly unforgettable one.
Founded in 1998, they run programs in 21 locations, in 13 countries around the world, each aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as the objectives of local partners. They welcome participants from all around the world and help facilitate their development into global citizens. This is how they achieve their mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Their commitment to running high-quality sustainable development and experiential education programs has earned them recognition from numerous organizations such as Panthera, the Seychelles Parks & Gardens Authority, as well as Stanford, NYU, Duke, and Ohio State.
If you register your interest below, you’ll put you in touch with our partner to take the booking and to plan your trip!
To see all our Conservation Careers Internship opportunities, please click here.
Location – Giannitsochori
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.
We work 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.
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!
During your program, you’ll also have the opportunity to experience tailor-made adventure and wellness activities. These have been specially designed to further immerse you in the diversity and richness of the habitats and cultures around you.
- Take a walking food tour of Kyparissia
- Enjoy the sunset from the Old Town
- Go stargazing and learn Greek mythology
- White-water raft through a tunnel of trees
- STrek the Neda river gorge
- Hike through a gorge to a local spring
- Explore the birthplace of the Olympic Games
- Visit a local farmers’ market
BONUS! Conservation Career Kick-Starter online training programme (worth £295)
Do you want to spend your career helping wildlife to flourish, but are feeling a little lost, confused or disillusioned?
Start your career in wildlife conservation with a unique programme of training, support community & jobs from Conservation Careers!
The Conservation Career Kick-Starter is a proven step-by-step system to get clear, get ready, and get hired as a professional conservationist.
Whether you’re at university and planning your next steps, a graduate in the job hunt or working in an unrelated job but interested to switch into conservation, this course is designed to help you.
After going through the course, you’ll have created a personal career plan which will give you confidence in your job hunt and will make everything quicker, simpler and more fun!
All you need to do is register your interest in the project below, and if you choose to make a booking we’ll save a place for you on the Kick-Starter when you get back from your placement.
Included with the Kick-Starter is a year’s full-access to the world’s biggest conservation job board with over 15,000 jobs, plus access to our private online support community, CC Pro.
Dates & Cost
2 weeks for £3,145
Dates are as follows:
Start dates are not guaranteed and require a minimum of 4 participants
Increasing Employability: Pre Departure Program Training:
Our programs are not only life-changing experiences but are also designed to help participants increase their employability. We have developed a curriculum to be completed prior to arrival in the country in order to ensure that more time is dedicated to program work once you commence your volunteer program.
Eight weeks prior to your start date, you will complete the following online courses in preparation for your in-country program:
PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION (1 hour)
PROGRAM SPECIFIC TRAINING (1 – 5 hours)
OPTIONAL: MARINE CONSERVATION COURSE (10 – 15 hours)
In order to obtain a certificate for the Marine Conservation course which is endorsed by the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, you will need to complete quizzes & assignments and will be given 4 weeks post program to submit your work.
If you are looking to travel in less than 8 weeks from now, you will still complete the course however this will be done in country and all content will need to be downloaded before arrival.
Health & Hygiene:
The work we contribute to across the globe remains important and new measures allow our participants to continue to join our programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. Changes to our existing protocols have been made by our health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities. Please inquire for more information on the protocols.
Reserve your place or ask a question
About Conservation Careers
Conservation Careers has teamed up a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).
Their award-winning projects receive over 2000 participants every year, and we’re proud to say that the vast majority of them describe their experience with them as ‘life changing’. Their approval rate from over 20,000 participants since 1997 is over 95%.
A key component of the success of their community development and conservation projects is the participants who join their programs.