Born in Germany and raised in Greece, Florian came to love the Mediterranean way of life and spent his summers touring around southern Europe on his motorbike or exploring the Greek isles backpacking. One memorable trip took him to Egypt where he ventured down the Nile to Aswan and then across the desert to the Red Sea. Exploring the outdoors became his favorite pastime.
He left Greece upon passing his University entrance exam and after two years in medical school in Germany he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a helicopter pilot. Since there were many more opportunities in the U.S. than Germany he moved to California to make this dream become a reality. After flight school and working as an instructor he was offered a pilot position on the Big Island of Hawaii. Very little convincing was necessary to persuade him to take the leap, and after facilitating the graduation of current flight students he packed his bags and left for Hawaii.
Once on the Big Island he discovered that flying in Hawaii was very different than flying on the mainland. Not only was the scenery more spectacular, BUT navigating the exceptionally high mountains with many different micro climates proved challenging and exciting. He flew over the dormant Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa which rise to over 13,000 feet above sea level; and over Kilauea, Hawaii’s active volcano which spewed rivers of lava almost constantly. On a typical day he would take off from the home base at Waimea airport (located within Parker Ranch) climb, within minutes, to 10,000 feet hugging the snowy slopes of Mauna Kea only to descend quickly into a sea of dense rain forest and the fiery spectacle of lava flowing and steaming into the ocean.
After three years of exploring the Big Island both by air and land, Florian moved to Oahu to open his own helicopter company with a friend from flight school. Their area of operation quickly encompassed the entire Hawaiian island chain. They provided unsurpassed helicopter touring to visitors from around the world. When he was not flying, Florian explored the island in just about every way possible: hiking and climbing or venturing out into the ocean with a canoe, surfboard, dive mask, or windsurfing board. He even paddled from Molokai to Oahu during the annual Molokai Hoe outrigger canoe race.
Twelve years later, Florian and his friend sold their business and moved on. Florian moved to the mainland for a couple of years to fly Twin Otter Turboprop airplanes throughout the southwestern U.S., trading in 1000 foot waterfalls and tropical beaches for the high desert and such natural wonders as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Nat’l Park and Monument Valley.
Despite the breathtaking beauty of the Southwestern United States, Hawaii continued to beckon and he couldn’t stay away. Florian returned to the Hawaiian islands several years ago and began making a life on Maui. Maui always held a special place in his heart as one of the more rural islands with its cooling trade winds. Now, after exploring everything Maui has to offer on foot, he brings his passion and love for the Hawaiian Islands back to YOU as a member of the Awapuhi Adventures family!