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Silver of the Aegean

- 8-days geologic walking and study tour to Athens, Laurion and Milos Island, Greece -

Volcanic colors of the coast (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Volcanic colors of the coast (c) Tom Pfeiffer
The pumice bridge (c) Tom Pfeiffer
The pumice bridge (c) Tom Pfeiffer
The church at Palaka (c) Tom Pfeiffer
The church at Palaka (c) Tom Pfeiffer
The northern coast of Milos (c) Tom Pfeiffer
The northern coast of Milos (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Plaka village (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Plaka village (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Klima fishing houses (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Klima fishing houses (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Delicious food on the boat (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Delicious food on the boat (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Paliohori coast (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Paliohori coast (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Hiking on Milos (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Hiking on Milos (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Boat houses at the north coast (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Boat houses at the north coast (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Basaltic columns at Glaronisia (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Basaltic columns at Glaronisia (c) Tom Pfeiffer
Milos in the western Aegean is one of the most beautiful and photogenic islands of Greece.
Known for one of the most famous classic statues, the Venus of Milos (now in the Louvre of Paris), Milos is exceptionally rich in mineral deposits, and has a particular scenic beauty that leaves visitors breathless. It also boasts a great number of superb and uncrowded beaches, as well as spectacular coastal cliffs with multicolored volcanic rocks of all types on display.
Even so, its millennia-old economic base in mining has prevented it from mass tourism. The island is a wonderful destination for both active and relaxed holidays. and Greek hospitality is still very much alive here.
Geologically, Milos is a wonderland packed with picture-book volcanic features. On a series of different excursions by land and sea, guided by a trained geologist, we will explore the faceted volcanic history of the island through observation of their deposits. No previous knowledge is required, and the excursions are - as usual - a mix of hiking, sailing, study, and holidays. Great local Aegean cuisine and good company round out this tour, which can be perfectly combined with our study and walking tour on Santorini.
  • Spectacular varied scenery
  • Colorful volcanic deposits
  • Rich mining history (obsidian, perlite, kaolin, sulfur, manganese, baryte)
  • Opportunity to collect minerals
  • Prehistoric and Ancient Greek remnants
  • Active hydrothermal activity (fumaroles etc)
  • Private boat-trip around Milos
  • Delicious local cuisine
  • Competent geologist guide

Laurion & Milos: 8 days

Day 1: Arrival in Athens
Own arrival in Athens. In the evening, meeting in the for a dinner in a cozy tavern in the historic center of Athens.
Acc.: mid-class hotel in the historic center of Athens (D)
Day 2: Sightseeing of Athens & Acropolis & new museum
Round tour in Athens center with ancient Acropolis and its new museum
Acc.: hotel in Athens center
Day 3: Ancient mining in Lavrio
A tour to Europe´s ancient mining center Lavrio
Acc.: hotel in the center of Athens (L)
Day 4: Flight Athens to Milos - Ancient Acropolis of Milos - fishing village Klima
Flight to Milos Island in the morning. In the afternoon, visit of Plaka, the main town of Milos, visit of the archeological museum and the Ancient Acropolis with the place where the famous statue of Venus has been found. On the way back to Adamas and our hotel, we will walk to the area where in prehistoric times the volcanic glass obsidian was mined.
Acc.: hotel in Adamas (D)
Day 5: Prehistoric obsidian and the Sarakiniko coastline
On Milos, the history of mining goes gback to prehistoric times, even as far as around 3000 years B.C.! People were digging for volcanic glas (obsidian), for sulfur and for alunite, sending their products by ship to all over the Mediterranean. The most important prehistoric town Phylakopi, situated in the northeast of the island is our first target today. We visit the Ancient city walls of Phylakopi and also the site where obsidian tools were once produced (many pieces on the ground can still be found).
Then we walk along the coastline to some of the most beautiful bays of Milos, like Agios Konstantinos (with a chapel in the underground), Papafrangas, Mytikas and Sarakiniko. After swimming, exploring the spectacular scenery etc. a taxi will bring us back to hotel.
Acc.: as before (Milos) (B, D)
Day 6: Mining museum, sulphur mine and active fumaroles
4x4 jeep excursion to various interesting sites, e.g. an old sulphur mine and the active fumaroles of Kalamos inside the Tsingrado volcano complex
Acc.: hotel in Adamas (B, L)
Day 7: Spectacular boat trip around Milos and to Kimolos Island
Full-day private boat tour around the island with its spectacular volcanic coastline. Delicious lunch on board. Free evening.
Acc.: as before (B, L)
Day 8: Return to Athens - end of tour
Our tour ends today with transfer to the airport and the short fly back to Athens. If there are not enough tickets for the small airplane, we will sail back to Piraeus by ferry boat. In this case we will inform you in time to stay one day longer in Athens to catch your flight. Alternatively, you could stay a bit longer on Milos or go to another island ... depending on time, there are many options.
Acc.: none (B)

Arrival info:

The tour starts and ends on Milos island. Milos can be easily reached by plane from Athens (Olympic / Aegean) or by ferry from Pireus and many other islands (see Greek Travel Pages).

Tour code: MIL_SAE
Tour type: Walking & study tour: photography - geology & volcanism
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Group size: 4-10
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Dates:

6-13 Apr 2019
18-25 May 2019
7-14 Sep 2019

Price (p.p.): 1480 €  ? 

Included:

  • 7 nights accommodation in double room
  • Full board (except 1 dinner) incl. drinking water, wine, soft-drinks, coffee/tea
  • Domestic flight from Athens to Milos
  • Excursion to Lavrio
  • Transfer Athens city to airport
  • All transfers from and to Milos airport / ferry port
  • All transfers by taxi, jeep, bus and boat on Milos
  • 1 day boat trip
  • Entrance to museums etc
  • English-, German-, and Greek-speaking geologist or photographer guide

Tour guide:

The tour is normally guided either by German volcanologist Dr. Tom Pfeiffer or photographer Tobias Schorr. Both have been traveling on Santorini for more than 20 years and know the island better than even most local people and are well connected there.
Tom finished his PhD studies about 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.
It allowed the so-far most precise dating of one of the most significant natural event in the Bronze age (to 1613+-13 years BC).
His friend Tobias, with whom Tom alternates on this tour, is a true specialist for Greece in general: its culture and history, people, flora, fauna and of course geology. He is legendary for his good eye and often discovering rare minerals, plants, animals, or hidden archeological artifacts during the various excursions.
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