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Fascination Volcano
8-day study and walking tour on Santorini, Greece
"Hi Tom, Thanks again for the super week on Santorini! It really was the experience I expected and I would heartily recommend your trip to anyone interested in combining a holiday on the Greek islands with geologically fascinating day walks. Well done!" (B. Davenport, Bremen)
Santorini's caldera cliffs
Santorini's caldera cliffs
Church in Fira with the caldera and Nea Kameni volcano in the background
Church in Fira with the caldera and Nea Kameni volcano in the background

Fascination Volcano

8-day study and walking tour on Santorini, Greece
Tour type
Walking & study tour: geology & volcanism - nature & culture - archaeology
Difficulty
Moderate
Group size: 6-12
Duration
8 / 9 days
no scheduled dates at present
Price per person
1450 € $£¥
This walking tour for a small group (6-12 participants) explores the fascinating natural and cultural history of the volcanic island of Santorini. The program is a series of excursions with focus on Santorini's outstanding, text-book quality volcanic and geologic features, as well as its natural beauty and cultural history.
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  • Exclusive program including private boat tours
  • Intense enjoyment of nature
  • Excellent Greek (Santorinian) cuisine
  • Charming, quiet accomodation in superb location
  • Good mixture of geology, relaxation and fun
  • Competent volcanologist guide

8 days itinerary

Note:
The following program is indicative - depending on weather and other conditions, it could be modified on location.
Day 1: Arrival to Santorini - Introduction
Arrival to Santorini - group dinner - introduction
Day 2: Whole-day walk along the scenic southern peninsula
Whole-day hike: explore the oldest volcanic products (near Akrotiri), observe spectacular geologic features (pillow lavas, fossils, dramatic faults) extraordinary scenery, swimming breaks, stunning views from the lighthouse.
See also: photos from this excursion in April 2019.
Day 3: Walk along the caldera - remains of prehistoric settlements - deposits of the Minoan eruption
Hike (3-4 hours total) along the spectacular southern caldera, observation of the spectacular pumice deposits from the past explosions of the volcano, visit to an abandoned quarry with prehistoric settlement remains, pick-nick lunch & swim break. Optional hike (2-3 hours) back along the beach and through pumice canyons and fields (or transfer by minibus).
See also: photos from this excursion in April 2019.
Day 4: The volcanic islands Nea + Palea Kameni
Whole-day boat trip to the volcano, visit of the active craters of Nea Kameni, warm volcanic springs (bathing) and extended lunch break on Palea Kameni.
See also: photos from this excursion in May 2019.
Day 5: Archaeologic highlights - spectacular walk along the caldera to Oia town
Visit the excavated ruins of the Minoan town covered by volcanic ash, then visit the capital Fira and its outstanding archaeological museum. In the afternoon, we follow a dramatic trail around the impressive northern caldera reaching the picturesque town of Oia.
See also: photos from this excursion in April 2019.
Day 6: Free day or optional excursion
The day is a spare day or otherwise at your free disposal. An optional half-day excursion can be offered.
Day 7: Prof. Ilias mountain - Ancient Thera - Perissa black sand beach
Whole-day hike: visit a Medieval village with its Venetian castle, climb Profitis Ilias Mountain (556m), Ancient Greek town of Thera, descend to the black-sand beach of Perissa.
In the evening, we meet for a group dinner in a beach tavern.
See also: photos from this excursion in May 2019.
Day 8: Departure
Departure or extension program.
Note:
If trips on small boat trips are for you, we recommend to add one day to the itinerary for tour with our small boat around the caldera. This results in the following 9-days itinerary:

9 days version

Day 1-7: Same as in 8-days itinerary
Same as in 8-days itinerary
Day 8: Boat tour around the caldera cliffs - visit Therasia Island
Half-day boat trip: visit the opposite island of Therasia, and sail closely around the steep caldera cliffs: an unforgettable experience!
Day 9: Departure
Departure or extension program.
Dates and details
Booking inquiry

Arrival info:

The tour starts and ends on Santorini. Participants usually arrange their own arrival to the island where we pick you up. On request, we can include your flight to Santorini or help finding the best connection/fare.

Tour guide

The tour is normally guided either by German volcanologist Dr. Tom Pfeiffer or photographer and amateur geologist Tobias Schorr. Both have been traveling on the Greek volcanic areas (Methana, Milos, Santorini, Nisyros) for more than 20 years and know the islands better than even most local people do.
Tom completed his PhD studies on the topic of the great Minoan eruption of Santorini. He made the important discovery of a 3600-year-old olive tree buried alive in the pumice deposit that now can be seen in the small geological museum in Perissa.
This allowed the most precise dating of one of the most significant natural event in the Bronze age (to 1613+-13 years BC) so far.
His colleague Tobias, with whom Tom alternates on this tour, is a true specialist for Greece in general, boasting in-depth knowledge about its culture, history, people, flora, fauna and of course geology. He is known for his good eye and discoveries of rare minerals, plants, animals, or hidden archeological artifacts during the various excursions.

Additional info

Physical requirements

Some hiking experience needed, walking over loose ground, climbing and descending on smaller steep passages. Secure step, a good feeling for balance and no fear of altitude. Walking distances of up to around 12 km, climbing of up to 500 m, walking times up to 4-6 hrs during a full day. For details, see section in main text.

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