“Santorini is scents, sounds, images. If you meet a farmer who prunes his vines; if you pass through a sowed fava farm; if you gaze the Caldera from a mound; if you enter a small church; if you cross a medieval settlement, only then you have truly experienced that place – if you walk around it. For that reason you have to follow a path” – an excerpt.
We had heard mixed opinions about it but we had already booked the volcano and hit springs tour since coming so long we didn’t want to miss it. And I have zero regrets. The tour departed from the port of Fira, at 11:00 in the morning.
VOLCANO AND HIKE- NEA KAMENI
After 20 minutes by boat, we arrived at the volcano bay, where were for about 1 hour and 30 minutes the boat haults.Nea Kameni is a small uninhabited Greek island of volcanic origin located in the Aegean Sea within the flooded Santorini caldera. Nea Kameni and the neighbouring small island Palea Kameni (the new and old burnt islands) have formed over the past two millennia by repeated eruptions of dacite lava and ash.
During that time , you can follow the path to the top where active craters are. If you are interested to be guided at the volcano, you should pay 2.5euro/ per person as an entrance fee. Then, you will walk to the volcano’s ridge with your guide and he is going to explain you everything about the history and the geology of the volcano. You will stay at the volcanic island for 1.5hr.
Also good to know when you visit that the caldera basically functions as a speakerphone—anything you say will be magnified much louder, so when you’re having a chat with someone within the caldera, best to leave any salacious or gossipy details to when you’re out of the caldera and make sure you speak at a low tone! And do carry a sunscreen or a hat !
My favorite parts about the volcano were the steam and fog rising up from the center, and the expansive views from the top. It was nice to have some quiet time along the trails and the views were absolutely gorgeous. You are able to see the little white washed villages dot the edge of the caldera and miles of the sea on all sides the top.
One of the reasons we enjoyed the hike so much is that it allowed us to get in touch with some nature in a very peaceful setting, which was nice since Santorini can be pretty busy and touristy.
After making our way back down the volcano, we were dying from the heat and ready for a bit of wind in our hair–thank goodness the boat was just about ready to take off.
HOT SPRINGS – PALEA KAMENI-
That little swimmer in orange is me! After this the boat took off to the island of Palea Kameni for the hot springs, the famous mud baths, which were formed as result of volcanic eruptions. It is A place that is really popular for its thermal waters.
The boat stays here about 30 minutes to allow you a healthy bath. In the small bay of Agios Nikolaos the water temperature ranges from 30 to 35 degrees Celsius, as it mixes continuously with the normal sea currents.After the bath, you return to the old port of Fira.
The waters of the Santorini Hot Springs are also rich in iron and manganese. Sulfur treatments in spas around the world are costly: swimming in the Santorini Hot Springs is free. And even though I love swimming and went basically to swim in the warm waters- people call them “Hot Springs,” these waters are just warm, so there is no danger to get burned.
Important Note : In order to reach Agios Nicholaos’ beach is essential to swim extremely well.
It was a fun experience- it felt so relaxing. I’d definitely go again! And I totally recommend going there if you’re in Santorini- must not miss! Let me know about your experience there in the comments section below!