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30 Sep - 7 Oct 2018: Fascination Volcano - Santorini Island (Greece)
4-11(12) May 2019: Fascination Volcano - Santorini Island (Greece)
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Fascination Volcano

- 8 (9) days study and walking tour on Santorini, Greece -

Curious to know what our previous participants thought of this tour? Below we list just some of the many positive feedbacks we received over the past years!

"outstanding tour with a wonderful guide" (Fascination Volcano tour on Santorini (June 2012)

"Dear tom,
Thanks a lot for great cooperation : travel agent called us to say guests had an outstanding tour with a wonderful guide J
All the best."
Olivier Jeannier
Agent de voyages Sales & Operations Specialtours & Groups
Tourisme Pour Tous

Myriam from France about our recent tour on Santorini

Les ponces de l'éruption Minoenne
Les ponces de l'éruption Minoenne
Chèvre sur Palea Kameni
Chèvre sur Palea Kameni
Le groupe avec des amis
Le groupe avec des amis

"Bonjour de France, enfin du soleil ici pas le même que celui de Santorin bien sûr, mais c'est toujours agréable.
Le retour en France a été difficile après avoir vécu une semaine hors du commun dans un décor extraordinaire. Je remercie Tobias et toi pour votre façon de partager votre passion et de nous faire entrer dans cet univers décalé avec la vie "normale" de tous les jours.
J'ai apprécié la découverte géologique de l'île, l'initiation à la compréhension de la formation de l'île et des volcans, les rencontres avec des gens simples mais de caractère de Santorin.
Le temps s'est arrêté pendant une semaine et je garde des souvenirs d'odeurs, de couleurs, de plats partagés avec le groupe.j'ai revu les photos prises pendant le voyage, les couleurs et les paysages étaient tellement extraordinaires que les résultats sont surprenants même avec mon simple appareil photo. J'aimerais envoyer les photos de groupe prises dans la taverne de nicolas à "yurgos", peux-tu m'envoyer leur adresse?Egalement j'aimerais commander le livre de Walter Friedrich, mais je n'ai pas noté l'éditeur.Merci pour ces renseignements.
Bonne continuation dans tes voyages
ps: quelques photos jointes... Myriam" (Myriam T., Orléans)

Margrit from Potsdam about the Faszination Volcano tour on Santorini (Oct 09)

"Hallo Tom,
wieder einmal war es sehr schön auf Santorin und ich möchte mich für alles bedanken. Die Organisation, unser Hotel und die vielen neuen Eindrücke, welche du uns vermittelt hast sind kaum in Worte zu fassen. Vor allem aber danke, dass ich noch so kurzfristig teilnehmen konnte.
Eure Touren sind schon etwas Besonderes und mit viel Esprit, sehr persönlichen Einsatz, so dass man sich sofort wohlfühlt und immer gern wiederkommt.
Herzliche Grüße, Margrit" (Margrit from Potsdam, Faszination Volcano tour)

Gudrun from Dresden about the "Fascination Volcano" Tour in October 2009

"Hallo Tom,
nochmals vielen herzlichen Dank an Dich und die anderen für die schöne gemeinsame Woche mit dem gelungenen Mix aus Natur und Kultur, Sonne, buntem Stein und blauem Meer, Wandern und Neues Lernen, ein bisschen Anstrengung und Genuss!
... Weiterhin viel Glück bei allen Euren Unternehmungen und herzliche Grüße - Gudrun"

Sandra from California about the "Fascination Volcano" tour on Santorini:

"...Somehow I missed Tobias' link to photos and, fortunately, saw it through your note. Just finished looking at each image. Now, I"m exhausted! Stunning, and brings back keen memories, indeed. A whirling, dizzying journey to a version of Santorini unknown to most travelers. From moment we dropped luggage at Aktori to wine-tasting, to walk between villages, to our magical boat trips, to trek around caldera ledge, to climb up limestone mt., to smoking sulpher, to ancient city of Thira, to dreamy soups, best goat cheese, limpets and baklava...on and on. Tom and Tobias, our intrepid, ever-onward guides are a terrific team. Such compatibility among group of 17--wondrous again. How lucky was that??

Crazily, I just returned from 12 days in China...thus, a combo Greece/China 5-week adventure to savor and treasure. From yogurt, white villages & volcanoes to noodles, mountain temples & cave grottos. All intrigue and mystery and contrasts galore...

Best hugs,


Valerie's feedback from the trip on Santorini, May 2009

"Dear Tom & Tobias. Thank you for our remarkable trek in Santorini and Methana--for the beautiful memories and breathtaking photos.
... Coming home to Tobias' pictures gave me time to slow down and appreciate the remarkable experience we had.
I braved edges with Tom's help, jumped on boats with swirling seas (Daphne said I landed, elephant like, on poor Steve flattening him). ... The views took my breath away. ... Remember the oasis where we drank fresh squeezed orange juice and cake? I doubt whether juice will ever taste that good again. ... Little did I know that a bonus to our trip was the leader's desire for good food--and wine-- at the end of the day.
I have new appreciation for magma, volcanic bombs, the beauty of the caldera, smoking sulphur, adjectives that describe volcanic formations and olive trees found preserved in volcanic ash.
Thank you Tom and Tobias for a remarkable experience, and for your good choice in participants. It was a great group. Valerie" (Fascination Volcano, Santorini tour)

"... This was one of those wonderful adventures that we loved at the time, but loved even more as we looked back at all of the places we'd been, the lovely people we met, the great bond we developed. And......a birthday - high atop a volcano - that I will remember forever!
...Many hugs, Daphne" (D. Lewis, Washington, Santorini tour)

"Hi Tom,
This trip had everything! It was so much better than the standard tourist trip to Santorini (we felt so superior the folks who arrived on the 10 story floating skyscrapers and who apparently devoted their time on the island to shopping!). The hikes were good exercise, but with your encouragement to the less athletic among us, not too tough. We got to see so many parts of the island that most visitors don't get to see. And our reward for energetic hiking was delicious food, and lots of it. I appreciated that we got to eat a whole variety of local foods and wines which do not appear on the conventional menus of Greek restaurants in the U.S. I ate like a champ but didn't gain any weight!
I particularly appreciated the interpretation of the geology that you provided. On the way to the airport, you asked what was my favorite thing we did. I liked all the hikes, and especially the accomplishment of doing so much in a short time, but the big thrill, I think, was visiting the small geology museum in Perissa and seeing the critically significant preserved olive tree that you discovered and having you tell us about the find. Thanks for a really wonderful experience!" (Linda K, Olympia (WS), Santorini May 09)

"Hallo, Tom Zuerst vielen Dank für die tollen Photos, ich zeigte sie auch Helene und wir schwelgten wieder in Erinnerungen an unsere gemeinsamen Ferien. Es war eine wirkliche  lehrreiche  und zur gleichen Zeit auch sportliche Reise gewesen. Vor allem wurden auch unsere grauen Zellen aktiviert........
Auch über die Organisation muss ich Dir noch nachträglich ein grosses Lob aussprechen!!!!!
Irgendwann werde ich wieder eine Reise mit Deiner Organisation  durchführen. Ich habe ja Einiges  lesen können ( sites internet). Ich wünsche Dir eine schöne Adventszeit sowie natürlich  auch vielleicht ruhige Weihnachten und einen tollen Rutsch ins Jahr 2009, sowie weiterhin viel Erfolg auf Deinen Reisen.
Und vielleicht irgendwann einmal wieder ?! Alles Liebe und Gute Uta" (Fasination Vulkan, Santorin - Okt. 08)

"Tom, I'm thinking you might be on your way to Krakatau now -- I hope you all have a great trip.  We had such an excellent time on our Santorini tour and I keep going back to your web site to figure out which volcano tour I want to try next... " (Jill, USA)

Thanks again, Tom, for this great week in Santorini
Thanks for your competency, your kindness, your support in all situation. Thanks for the ouzo, the orange juice, the wine ...Keep in touch, Marie-Paule (Fascination Volcano, Santorini)

One of the participants sent us this nice spostcard she made herself.
One of the participants sent us this nice spostcard she made herself.
Sacred Sites in Greece 2007 tour - hand-made postcard.
Sacred Sites in Greece 2007 tour - hand-made postcard.

"Bonsoir Tom,
Merci pour les photos de Santorin qui sont magnifiques! Et encore félicitations pour l'organisation de ce voyage. Quand on revoit les photos et le film qu'a fait Yvon, on se rend compte qu'on a non seulement bien vu l'aspect Géologie de cette île, mais aussi l'aspect humain... Bonne continuation (les Suisses disent "bonne suite")
und alles gute. Nathalie et Yvon" (Santorini tour, Sep. 2006)
"Un très grand merci, Tom. Quel plaisir de revivre ces moments fabuleux grâce à tes photos ! J'espère que ton périple italo-sicilien se déroule aussi bien que le nôtre et je te redis ma reconnaissance pour la qualité de l'organisation et les commentaires dont tu nous a fait bénéficier. Cordialement, Geneviève" (Santorini tour, Sep. 2006)

Pirgos village on (Greek Easter) Good Friday (21 April 2006)
Pirgos village on (Greek Easter) Good Friday (21 April 2006)
"Hi Tom, Now that we are back home, I wanted to thank you for your patience in showing us so many different aspects of Santorini: the history of volcanic eruptions and geology, local wine and food, Easter pageants, great walks and views, ancient excavations, etc.  We enjoyed our stay very much! ... please give our regards to Koula and her family. We really appreciated that they invited us to share their fabulous Easter meal with them. It was very kind of Tobias to meet us for an evening on such short notice. ... Viele herzliche Gruesse Ursula and Bill" (May 2006, Ursula & Bill from Canada)

"Hi Tom,
just  a note to thank you for a great tour in October, it was great fun and I learned much, the food and company were excellent, the whole experience was fantastic. I see I even made it to the picture gallery! I have been busy with the thin sections, and have attached a few photos for you to look at. As is often the case ones that you expect to be good are disappointing, e.g. Cape Riva Ignimbrite, while Dacite, which looks to be just glass, shows a lot of structure, flow aligned crystals and good zoned feldspar and pyroxene. The sale of slides seems to be going well and I have stared a ‘shop’ on ebay which is difficult to keep stocked as they sell so quickly. The fund for future collecting expeditions is growing nicely! ... Once again thanks for October, send my regards to your Mother, and have a happy Christmas. Rob" (UK, Dec. 2005)

Some nice words from a mixed group on Santorini ... (French, English, German speaking)
Some nice words from a mixed group on Santorini ... (French, English, German speaking)
"Thank you Tom for a wonderful week of discovery & wonderful surprises! Judith."
"Thank you Tom for a wonderful week of discovery & wonderful surprises! Judith."

Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (1)
Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (1)
Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (2)
Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (2)
"Dear Tom Many thanks for a wonderful trip to Santorini, it was great! Hope things go well at the conference. Well, I said I would send you the octopus photos so here they are, hope they don't clog your mailbox I have no zip function on this computer! All the best Ann" (Newcastle, UK)

"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!" (Bob Davenport, Germany)

"…I am so pleased to tell you about Tom's Santorini tours! My preference for travel is to be "as close to the ground" as possible. By that I mean I avoid tourist areas and really look for unusual or cultural/educational experiences.
Tom's tours are both intimate and professional. Tom is an expert in not only volcanic activity past and present, but he is also an expert on Greek life and culture. He knows the people, and they love him. Because Tom has lived in Greece for several months of the year for several years, he is well known and appreciated by the locals. This appreciation for Tom and the people he brings on his tours is rewarded by the community with absolute joy in service. For example, the last night of the tour we had a meal at a taverna on a beach. The restaurant gave us each a choice of anything on the menu. We were treated to amazing traditional Greek food, from small fish to hardbread, feta and olives, and amazing desserts. All of this was served in casual fashion on a makeshift outdoor patio almost in the sea! (not quite)
My favourite day was the trip to the volcano. We boarded a small boat and were transported to the volcano by the most humerous and typically Greek character, Sostas. Sostas is a friend of Tom's and can be seen on the Discovery show featuring Tom and Sostas and this tour. We landed on the volcano and Tom explained its history and answered any questions we had. We then swam in the volcanic waters at Sostas's house as Sostas prepared a traditional fish soup, hardbread, feta made from the goats that wander around the hills surrounding Sosta's property, olives, ect. An absolutely marvelous day. I must point out local tours to the volcano generally involve large boats with hoards of tourists who are dropped off and picked up with no explanation of the volcanic activity or history. Tom ensures a personal and educational cultural experience." (Shelly Logan, Canada)

"Hello Tom, I send our last Bulletin because there is one article on the excursion Santorini. I profit to thank you again very much for the way you lead this tour all the people were very happy." (Pierre Vetsch, Société Vulcanologique de Genève, SVG) - the report (in French) is found in the Bulletin Nr. 45 of the SVG.
Extract of the bulletin report mentioned above, referring to the Oct. 2004 tour: "...L’histoire de Calliste (le très beau nom donné à cette île par les anciens Grecs) est extraordinairement bien inscrite sur les flancs de sa caldeira (plutôt des restes de ses caldeiras successives). Des évidences ont été trouvées pour au moins 4 caldeiras, suite à autant d’éruptions explosives. La dernière, la Minoenne, date de 1645 BC. Elle est gravée dans la mémoire de l’humanité... tellement elle est récente ! C’est tout cela, et bien d’autres choses encore, que nous sommes allés admirer (et tenté de comprendre) au cours de ce voyage.
Le magicien dans cette affaire, c’est Tom Pfeiffer, géologue-volcanologue mandaté par notre président pour nous accompagner. Tom a parfaitement répondu à notre attente. Passionné, attentif, pédagogue, à l’humour taquin, volontiers francophone, il nous a fait découvrir les secrets de cette île en sept jours bien remplis. Je parlerai plus loin de son parcours professionnel..." (Jean-Maurice Seigne, Genève, Switzerland)
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