The 4 active volcanoes of the Aegean arc
Only a few people are aware of the fact that there are 4 volcanoes in Greece, defined as active volcanoes. Three of these volcanic eruptions can be traced back to historical times and Santorini was the last eruption recently in 1950. Each of the four volcanic regions (Methana, Milos, Santorini and Nisyros) differs in the composition of their volcanic rocks and, of course, in their landscape. While Methana and Nisyros tend to be green volcanoes, the vegetation on Santorini and Milos is more desert like. All the volcanoes are great hiking destinations and inspiring for photos. In all Greek volcanoes, Tobias Schorr has been conducting hiking study trips for more than 15 years and is linking these areas for the first time in a total package of "4 Volcanoes of Greece". It is an exclusive tour, it is like an extract of the most interesting sights of the volcanoes.
Day 1: Arrival at Athens airport
After your arrival Tobias Schorr is waiting for you at the arrival area. Together we will take the airport bus to the hotel in the old town of Plaka in Athens. If you arrive at a different time than the majority of the group, you will get a detailed plan on how to get to the hotel without any problems. In the evening the group meets and strolls to one of the taverns for dinner.https://volcanodiscovery.com/#
Day 2: Athen & Acropolis
After the breakfast we will meet our official guide at the Acropolis museum, before we will visit the famous hill with the Propylaion entrance, the Nike temple, the Erechteion and the famous Parthenon temple. We will learn about the history and we will discover also geological features of the area. Later we will stroll throught the lanes of Athens down town Plaka.
Day 3: Visit of the ancient mining area Laurion
The ancient sights of the previous day and our western civilization would not have existed if the ancient Athenians had not used the Laurion mineral resources. Today, the ancient mining area is our goal. But what does that have to do with "volcanoes"? Quite simply: under the southern attic there were magma chambers that heated groundwater that circulated through cavities in the rock. It deposited valuable minerals such as galena. And this lead ore contained silver as an impurity. This silver, from which the drachma coin was minted, financed ancient Athens! In Laurion we will visit the ancient theater at Thorikos, ancient tunnels and tombs from the Mycenaean period. A visit to the Mineral Museum is an experience of colors and shapes. In the afternoon we may visit the temple of Sounion.
Day 4: Drive to Methana, visit of the Sousaki volcanic area.
In the morning, take the bus north towards Corinth on the motorway. At the refineries we leave the highway and visit a valley in which one of the most mysterious volcanic areas in Greece is located. Sousaki volcanism dates back over 20 million years, but there are signs that the magma chambers below the region are still active. Numerous fumaroles are witness to this. Later it goes on a scenic route on the east coast of the Peloponnese to Methana. On the way we stop at places where you have a wonderful view of the Saronic Gulf with its volcanoes. Arrival in Methana in the evening. Dinner together in a typical tavern.
Tag 5: Visit of the historic lava dome at Kameni Chora
This tour is one of the most beautiful ones on the entire Peloponnese mainland: A wild landscape of high rocks, from which pines grow, characterizes the center of the volcano, that 270 BC. broke out. Its glow was visible even in ancient Athens and so ancient writers like Ovid and Strabon reported about this volcanic eruption. A hike to the center of the former lava dome is also a great opportunity for photographers! The volcano has only gradually become known in recent years. On the way back we take a break in a tavern in Vathy or in Kameni Chora. In the end we will visit the ancient Acropolis (Paliokastro) of Methana.
Day 6: A scenic hike to the caldera of Methana
Just like the caldera hike in Santorini, this tour is a "must"! It goes through small forests and over the Loutesa plateau to the highest peaks, such as the Chelona volcano and to the prehistoric wine presses of the Varkesa plateau. The highlight is the caldera of the Stavrolongos volcano. From there it goes down on an ancient stone slab path to the main town Methana.
Day 7: Drive to Athens & flight to Milos
Depending on which flight (or which ship) we take to Milos, we will go to Athens (or Piraeus) in the early morning or at noon. If it only goes from Athens to Milos in the afternoon, we will use the time to maybe visit the small theater of Epidaurus on the way.
If we arrive at Milos around noon, we drive to Tripiti and look at the ancient remains of the theater and hike back to Adamas, where our hotel is also located.
Day 8: Drive by 4x4 Jeeps to the Tsingrado caldera
After breakfast we visit the Mining Museum with important information for a better understanding of what we will discover today. Jeeps first take you to an adventurous sulfur mine. Later we drive through a sandy landscape to the center of the Tsingrado caldera. There is the the youngest volcano on Milos. We discover the witnesses of his slumbering activity on red-brown rocks from which hot steam escapes. The fumaroles from Kalamos show that under Milos there is still an active magma chamber. On the way back we stop at Lake Achivadolimni.
Day 9: Boat trip around Milos island
The volcanism of Milos can be observed best from the boat and a tour around the island is an indispensable highlight. Depending on how the wind blows, the excursion boat first passes Cape Vani, stops at the Sykia sea cave and reaches the famous volcanic tuff cliffs in Kleftiko. It continues on the north coast and the basalt columns of the Glaronisia Islands. In the evening the boat passes the fisher´s houses at Klima and reaches the port of Adamas again.
Day 10: Sailing to Santorini island
Milos is quite well connected to Santorini. Ferries and speed boats run several times a week from Milos to Santorini and so we can enjoy the coast of Milos again. But entering the Santorini caldera by ship is also an great experience. Depending on when we arrive, we can do something around the hotel. If the ferry doesn't leave until the evening, we still have time for spontaneous trips on Milos.
Day 11: The most beautful hike at the Santorini caldera
After visiting the impressive Minoan excavation of Akrotiri, we understand the high culture that existed in Santorini 3600 years ago. The finds that were made there will come like a surprise to us! In the museum in Thira we will see the development from early prehistoric times to Minoan civilization. In the late afternoon we hike through the alleys of the main town and then we come to the path on the edge of the caldera. It is one of the most beautiful trails in Greece and we will always have a view of the youngest volcanic islands in Greece in the middle of the caldera. In the afternoon we will arrive at the summit above the famous village of Oia. Depending on the weather and time, we can enjoy the sunset and take pictures from here. We end this wonderful day in a good tavern!
Day 12: A unique boat trip to the volcanoes of Santorini
With a private chartered boat we sail from Akrotiri to the youngest island of Greece. Nea Kameni was only created around 1540 by eruptions of the Santorini volcano. We'll hike to the craters and explain the various forms of eruptions. Later we take the boat to a small fjord-like bay, where we can swim in springs that are up to 39 degrees Celsius. Afterwards we go for a picnic on the older of the two islands, Palea Kameni. There is a hermit with whom we have been friends for years. We visit the crater lake from AD 726. and the plateau of the volcanic island, which rose 90 BC. from the sea. In the late afternoon we return to the main island of Santorini.
Day 13: Flight to Athens & Kos
Depending on when our flights leave, we still have some time to relax on Santorini or have to use our time at Athens Airport. Should there be a lot of time, we could store our luggage and drive back to the center of Athens until we fly on to Kos. After arriving in Kos and checking in at the hotel, you will have dinner in the charming old town of Kos.
Day 14: Round trip on Kos
We will explore the island of Kos with rental cars. First drive up to the village of Zia, where we take a break in a nice café. After that, the Kefalos peninsula with its lava domes is our next destination. We stop at the ancient ruins of Agios Stefanos and then drive to the Agios Joannis monastery. In the evening there is again a delicious dinner in the old town of Kos.
Day 15: Sailing to Nisyros
In the morning or at noon we will either go from Kos harbor or Kamari to Nisyros. It takes about 1 hour for us to arrive. After checking into our accommodation, we may have time to tour Mandraki. If possible we visit the archaeological museum and then the ancient acropolis Paliokastro, which towers over the main town.
Day16: Discovering the volcanic caldera of Nisyros
Today we will take the bus to the village of Nikia, which lies on the edge of the Nisyros caldera. When it's open, we'll visit the Volcano Museum, which opened in 2006. Then we stroll through the village and we will refresh ourselves with a soumada in the beautiful square. Later we walk down on a hiking trail into the caldera. There Stefanos crater is our first destination. In it we see boiling mud holes and fumaroles. Maybe there is also time to visit the Polyvotis and Alexandros craters? The way back is via a hiking trail through high valleys to the Evangelistria chapel and Mandraki.
Day 17: Hiking tour to the mountain tops of Nisyros
We will take a small rental bus to the Evangelistria chapel and then hike through the valley between high lava domes. At some point it goes up to the right into a mysterious valley. There, a former monastery complex awaits us in place of a much older Minoan sanctuary. In a cave we visit a mysterious chapel. Later we will walk up on the hiking trail to the highest peak of the island of Nisyros and to the beautiful crater valley "Diavatis". From the summit you have a great view of the caldera and over to Kos.
Day 18: Tour to the harbour of Pali and Lies beach
A relaxing tour to the little harbour of Pali and a stop at the pumic qarry to look out for garnets. There is a long sandy beach, called Lies, where we will relax or strall around to find minerals. In the eveing we will have a dinner in one of the taverns in Mandraki town.
Day 19: Sailing back to Kos island
Depending on the departure time of the ship, you may have still some time in Nisyros or later more time on Kos to enjoy the beach close to the hotel in Kos downtown. In the evening we will meet in a nice tavern for the dinner.
Day 20: Free day on Kos
Today you can relax, bath in the clean sea or do an additional tour on Kos. In the evening we will meet in a nice tavern in Kos down town.
Day 21: Departure from Kos to Athens
A transfer taxi will bring you to the airport of Kos to get your flight to Athens and from there your flight back home.