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Santorini Island, Greece: February 2018 geology tour

Upon request we organised a privately guided 3 days geology tour on the island of Santorini from 8 to 10 February 2018 of which tour guide and geologist Dr Ingrid Smet compiled this selection of photographs.
The islands looked very different from summer time when they are overrun by tourists and the heat has dried up most vegetation. Although the weather is of course less sunny and with higher chances of rain and clouds - and strong winds which sometimes result in the cancellation of all flights - it is well worth visiting Santorini in the winter time to take in the unique and quiet atmosphere and see the colourful winter and early spring flowers...

For many years now we organise 8-9 day group tours to Santorini both in autumn and springtime (Fascination Volcano tour) but if you can also contact us for a private multiple day tour at any custom date.
View across the Santorini caldera from the top of the zigzag road down to the port of Athinios (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View across the Santorini caldera from the top of the zigzag road down to the port of Athinios (Phot... [info]
(136 Hits)
The rocks cropping out at Athinios Bay are part of the much smaller island that already existed before the volcano was active. These old rocks have been intensely folded and metamorphosed. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The rocks cropping out at Athinios Bay are part of the much smaller island that already existed befo... [info]
(181 Hits)
View from the port towards the beautifully coloured volcanic layers that make up the inner caldera wall and the remains of the Skaros shield left of the white houses of Imerovigli. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from the port towards the beautifully coloured volcanic layers that make up the inner caldera w... [info]
(163 Hits)
The youngest volcanic island of the Santorini group, Nea Kameni, is formed in the centre of the olde calder. The island of Therasia in the back ground is part of the older volcanic  caldera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The youngest volcanic island of the Santorini group, Nea Kameni, is formed in the centre of the olde... [info]
(170 Hits)
The walls in this quarry near Akrotiri show the 4 different layers that were deposited during the last major eruption of Santorini ca. 3600 years ago. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The walls in this quarry near Akrotiri show the 4 different layers that were deposited during the la... [info]
(356 Hits)
White washed chapels and churches with 'Aegean blue' doors and roofs are strewn all over the islands. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
White washed chapels and churches with 'Aegean blue' doors and roofs are strewn all over the islands... [info]
(154 Hits)
The Akrotiri lighthouse (faros) on the southernmost part of Thera island is build on top ca. 500 000 year old lava flows. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The Akrotiri lighthouse (faros) on the southernmost part of Thera island is build on top ca. 500 000... [info]
(161 Hits)
View from the lighthouse towards the white, grey and blackish cliffs that represent the oldest volcanic deposits on Thera, formed during explosive activity under and near the sealevel some 650 000 years ago. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from the lighthouse towards the white, grey and blackish cliffs that represent the oldest volca... [info]
(154 Hits)
Architecture in the old part of Emporio village. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Architecture in the old part of Emporio village. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(153 Hits)
Elegant church tower amidst the closely packed small houses of Emporio. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Elegant church tower amidst the closely packed small houses of Emporio. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(140 Hits)
Typical Aegean small houses with narrow staircases in the 'castle' of Emporio. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Typical Aegean small houses with narrow staircases in the 'castle' of Emporio. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(141 Hits)
Wondering around in the narrow street of the old part, 'castle' of the traditional village of Emporio. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Wondering around in the narrow street of the old part, 'castle' of the traditional village of Empori... [info]
(138 Hits)
The traditional village of Pyrgos. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The traditional village of Pyrgos. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(118 Hits)
View from Pyrgos to the northern part of Thera island with the main village of Fira and in the background Oia (right) and Therasia (left). (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from Pyrgos to the northern part of Thera island with the main village of Fira and in the backg... [info]
(146 Hits)
Tea for two on the roofs of Pyrgos. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Tea for two on the roofs of Pyrgos. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(145 Hits)
View from Pyrgos towards the southern part of Thera island with Akrotiri peninsula (centre), Aspronisi island (right) and the Christiani isles (left). (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from Pyrgos towards the southern part of Thera island with Akrotiri peninsula (centre), Asproni... [info]
(155 Hits)
Pyrgos feline. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Pyrgos feline. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(151 Hits)
House entrances in the old part of Pyrgos village. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
House entrances in the old part of Pyrgos village. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(137 Hits)
One of many narrow streets in the old part of Pyrgos. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
One of many narrow streets in the old part of Pyrgos. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(133 Hits)
The fertile volcanic soils of Santorini have been used for vine growing and wine making since ancient times, but the local weather requires the vine plants to be twisted into low to the floor baskets that protect the grapes from strong winds. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The fertile volcanic soils of Santorini have been used for vine growing and wine making since ancien... [info]
(164 Hits)
A zigzag road takes you from the beach town of Kamari up to the mountain location of the archaeological site of Ancient Thera, built on a rocky promontory next to the higest mountain of Profitis Ilias. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
A zigzag road takes you from the beach town of Kamari up to the mountain location of the archaeologi... [info]
(215 Hits)
Fig trees and pilar remnants at the archaeological site of Ancient Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Fig trees and pilar remnants at the archaeological site of Ancient Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(135 Hits)
The ruins at the archaeological site of Ancient Thera represent a lively city that expanded and thrived for about 1000 years. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The ruins at the archaeological site of Ancient Thera represent a lively city that expanded and thri... [info]
(127 Hits)
Originally founded by Dorian colonists from Sparta ca. 800 BC the ancient town of Thera expanded over time with buildings representing also Egyptian and Roman influences. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Originally founded by Dorian colonists from Sparta ca. 800 BC the ancient town of Thera expanded ove... [info]
(126 Hits)
Roman baths at the archaeological site of Ancient Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Roman baths at the archaeological site of Ancient Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(177 Hits)
View from the archaeological site of Ancient Thera down towards the beach at Kamari where also in ancient towns a marine community was established. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from the archaeological site of Ancient Thera down towards the beach at Kamari where also in an... [info]
(134 Hits)
View towards the southern part of the caldera walls on a foggy winter day. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View towards the southern part of the caldera walls on a foggy winter day. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(154 Hits)
View from central Thera towards the northen part of the caldera, with the cinder cones of Megalo and Kokkino Vouno. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from central Thera towards the northen part of the caldera, with the cinder cones of Megalo and... [info]
(126 Hits)
Almond blossom. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Almond blossom. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(133 Hits)
Traditional windmill at the end of a narrow street in the northernmost part of Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Traditional windmill at the end of a narrow street in the northernmost part of Oia. (Photo: Ingrid S... [info]
(119 Hits)
Traditional Aegean windmill. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Traditional Aegean windmill. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(121 Hits)
Typical white houses at Ahmoudi. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Typical white houses at Ahmoudi. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(134 Hits)
Traditional houses hugging one another and the upper parts of the caldera wall in Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Traditional houses hugging one another and the upper parts of the caldera wall in Oia. (Photo: Ingri... [info]
(134 Hits)
View across part of the central caldera wall from Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View across part of the central caldera wall from Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(118 Hits)
Windy afternoon atop the caldera cliffs in Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Windy afternoon atop the caldera cliffs in Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(118 Hits)
Oia sunset. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Oia sunset. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(146 Hits)
Winter sun set behind the lower pumice lands of Therasia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Winter sun set behind the lower pumice lands of Therasia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(142 Hits)
The archaeological site of prehistoric Akrotiri is regarded as the Greek equivalent of Pompeii. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The archaeological site of prehistoric Akrotiri is regarded as the Greek equivalent of Pompeii. (Pho... [info]
(153 Hits)
The prehisotic houses of Akrotiri were build over 3700 years ago yet show a very similar architecture to the current day traditional Aegean houses. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The prehisotic houses of Akrotiri were build over 3700 years ago yet show a very similar architectur... [info]
(167 Hits)
Our excellent Santorini local guide Chara tells us all we want to know about the intriguing civilisation that build this remarkable town. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Our excellent Santorini local guide Chara tells us all we want to know about the intriguing civilisa... [info]
(170 Hits)
One of the larger buildings that was discovered contained many large amphora and vases with food stocks; often fixed to the walls which suggests that the area was also regularly experiencing earthquakes some 3700 years ago. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
One of the larger buildings that was discovered contained many large amphora and vases with food sto... [info]
(132 Hits)
View towards the areas of Akrotiri peninsula that domed up when the first lavas weld up from deep below and pushed the then seafloor above sea level. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View towards the areas of Akrotiri peninsula that domed up when the first lavas weld up from deep be... [info]
(131 Hits)
Santorini's famous 'red beach' is an impressive cross section through a red cinder cone that was active about 450 000 years ago. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Santorini's famous 'red beach' is an impressive cross section through a red cinder cone that was act... [info]
(384 Hits)
View from 'Red Beach' towards the domed landscape of Aktrori, shaped this way by the earliest volcanic activity on the island. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from 'Red Beach' towards the domed landscape of Aktrori, shaped this way by the earliest volcan... [info]
(133 Hits)
We pass the island of Palea Kameni with its impressive dome cross section on the way to Nea Kameni. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
We pass the island of Palea Kameni with its impressive dome cross section on the way to Nea Kameni. ... [info]
(148 Hits)
Actively degassing fumaroles create delicate mineral structures of yellow sulphur and white gypsum crystals. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Actively degassing fumaroles create delicate mineral structures of yellow sulphur and white gypsum c... [info]
(249 Hits)
The ground and pebbles are covered by intricate sulphur and gypsum mineralisations that deposited from the volcanic gasses. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The ground and pebbles are covered by intricate sulphur and gypsum mineralisations that deposited fr... [info]
(122 Hits)
Early spring time lupine on the volcano of Nea Kameni. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Early spring time lupine on the volcano of Nea Kameni. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(164 Hits)
Although the volcano has been quiet since its last eruption in 1950 it is expected to reawaken again one day, and is hence monitored closely so that any future eruption will be detected well in advance. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Although the volcano has been quiet since its last eruption in 1950 it is expected to reawaken again... [info]
(150 Hits)
Panoramic view of the central area of Nea Kameni with eruption and explosion craters, monitoring equipment (front left) and a red-oxidised lava dome and flow (right). In the background one sees that caldera with (from left to right) the island of Therasia and the white villages of Oia and Fira on the island of Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Panoramic view of the central area of Nea Kameni with eruption and explosion craters, monitoring equ... [info]
(294 Hits)
Large bread crust bomb on Nea Kameni in front of a dark grey to black blocky lava flow. In the background are the caldera cliffs of central Thera and Mt Profitis Ilias (right). (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Large bread crust bomb on Nea Kameni in front of a dark grey to black blocky lava flow. In the backg... [info]
(148 Hits)
The usually grey-brown volcanic desert landscape of Nea Kameni has a vivid green and ruby red carpet in winter time. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The usually grey-brown volcanic desert landscape of Nea Kameni has a vivid green and ruby red carpet... [info]
(345 Hits)
View from the central crater on Nea Kameni to a peripheral lava dome and flow and beyond the caldera cliffs below the town of Fira on Thera island. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from the central crater on Nea Kameni to a peripheral lava dome and flow and beyond the caldera... [info]
(256 Hits)
View into the two twin craters on Nea Kameni that still have active fumaroles. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View into the two twin craters on Nea Kameni that still have active fumaroles. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(223 Hits)
Cross section through a large blob of lava in the bottom section of the Skaros lava shield. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Cross section through a large blob of lava in the bottom section of the Skaros lava shield. (Photo: ... [info]
(135 Hits)
The colourful layers that make up the caldera cliffs are crosscut by volcanic dykes - sheets of now solidified lava that once rose up through the cracks in the caldera walls. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The colourful layers that make up the caldera cliffs are crosscut by volcanic dykes - sheets of now ... [info]
(129 Hits)
The white houses of Oia contrast strongly with the bright red scoria deposits that make up the caldera cliffs below and which represent yet another destructive phase of volcanic activity in Santorini's long history. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The white houses of Oia contrast strongly with the bright red scoria deposits that make up the calde... [info]
(290 Hits)
The island of Palea Kameni is uninhabited... (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The island of Palea Kameni is uninhabited... (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(127 Hits)
... with the one exception of our captain Sostis who decided to make it his home some 30 years ago. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
... with the one exception of our captain Sostis who decided to make it his home some 30 years ago. ... [info]
(132 Hits)
In recent times Santorini has become a very romantic destination, from honeymoons over Asian wedding ceremonies to heartshaped locks on the fences in Fira. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
In recent times Santorini has become a very romantic destination, from honeymoons over Asian wedding... [info]
(119 Hits)
Typical dolphin motive on a ca 3700 year old table at the Museum of prehistoric Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Typical dolphin motive on a ca 3700 year old table at the Museum of prehistoric Thera. (Photo: Ingri... [info]
(126 Hits)
The well know swallow motive on ca 3700 year old pottery at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The well know swallow motive on ca 3700 year old pottery at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. (Photo:... [info]
(132 Hits)
The famous wall painting of a young fisherman with his catch of the day, at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The famous wall painting of a young fisherman with his catch of the day, at the Museum of Prehistori... [info]
(122 Hits)
Very large ceramic amphora found at the cemetary of the town of ancient Thera (Archaeological Museum of Thera). (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Very large ceramic amphora found at the cemetary of the town of ancient Thera (Archaeological Museum... [info]
(123 Hits)
Exploring the exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Exploring the exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Thera. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(141 Hits)
Oie cat watching over its home. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Oie cat watching over its home. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(123 Hits)
Looking down the streets and stairs of Amhoudi. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Looking down the streets and stairs of Amhoudi. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(133 Hits)
Little coffee shop with grand view in Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Little coffee shop with grand view in Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(116 Hits)
View towards the volcanic rock escarpement of Micros Profitis Ilias. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View towards the volcanic rock escarpement of Micros Profitis Ilias. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(116 Hits)
View across the agricultural terraces that are constructed in the lower areas of Thera island which are made up of pumice and volcanic deposits from the Minoan eruption. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View across the agricultural terraces that are constructed in the lower areas of Thera island which ... [info]
(118 Hits)
Garden kitten in Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Garden kitten in Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(113 Hits)
View from Oia towards Therasia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from Oia towards Therasia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(237 Hits)
Blue and white - Aegean architecture (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Blue and white - Aegean architecture (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(108 Hits)
Cozy restaurant with excellent traditional food in Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Cozy restaurant with excellent traditional food in Oia. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(115 Hits)
The food delicacies are just one of the many reasons to come visit the unique Santorini islands! (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
The food delicacies are just one of the many reasons to come visit the unique Santorini islands! (Ph... [info]
(171 Hits)
Only a few buildings are not yet restored after the catastrophic earthquake that hit the island in 1956. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Only a few buildings are not yet restored after the catastrophic earthquake that hit the island in 1... [info]
(128 Hits)
Sunrise from Perissa Beach (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Sunrise from Perissa Beach (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(129 Hits)
Dawn along the beach at Perrissa (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Dawn along the beach at Perrissa (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(125 Hits)
Sunrise at Perissa beach (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Sunrise at Perissa beach (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(129 Hits)
Rays of early morning sunshine radiating out from behind the clouds. (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Rays of early morning sunshine radiating out from behind the clouds. (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(120 Hits)
View from Perissa towards Prifitis Ilias (left) and the site of ancient Thera (right). (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
View from Perissa towards Prifitis Ilias (left) and the site of ancient Thera (right). (Photo: Ingri... [info]
(124 Hits)
Perrisa beach in winter time (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Perrisa beach in winter time (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(131 Hits)
Shells and volcanic pebbles at Perissa beach (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Shells and volcanic pebbles at Perissa beach (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(130 Hits)
Sea side cat (Photo: Ingrid Smet)
Sea side cat (Photo: Ingrid Smet) [info]
(128 Hits)
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