Santorini Travel Diaries - The Volcano, Hot Springs & Thirassia Island Tour

  IMG_2664Day 4 of our  Santorini vacation was a very special day as it was my 30th birthday! We started off the day very early (at 8am) as we had to drive to the Port of Athinios to catch the boat for our tour to the volcano, Hot Springs, and Thirassia Island.The port was about 40 minute drive from our hotel. The ferry was scheduled to leave at 10:30 so we gave ourselves ample time to get there and grab some breakfast.

Port of Athinios

The port of Athinios is literally at the bottom of the mountain so to get there, we had to drive down from the very top to the bottom of the mountain through a very narrow winding road. The views on the way were just magnificent; at every corner, I just wanted to stop and take pictures.IMG_2391IMG_2395  The port has several eating places; we made a quick stop here and had breakfast  whilst waiting for our boat to arrive.IMG_2398This was one of the tour boats that was set to leave the same time as ours. The boats are medium sized and have a lot of weight on them. I was worried that I may experience some motion sickness but that didn't happen, which was great!

We departed the port at 11am, which was about 30 minutes later than our scheduled departure time as the ferry was running late. We made a quick stop in Fira to pick up more passengers, which was quite annoying because had we known that the ferry would be stopping there, we would have just drove to Fira, which closer to us.IMG_2400After picking up passengers in Fira, we then proceeded to the uninhabited volcanic island of Nea Kameni , which was about 10 minutes away. Our boat docked there for about an hour and fifteen minutes while we toured the volcanic site, which has many active sulfur vents and is considered a scientific site. It took about 30 minutes to get to the top of the mountain where the volcanic craters are.

The VolcanoIMG_2506This is the Harbour of Erinia where our tour boat and a few others docked for about an hour and fifteen minutes while we toured the volcanic island.DSC_6433 DSC_6444 DSC_6438About My Look: I was wearing a jumpsuit from Mandee, you can purchase a slightly similar floral one from Boohoo. This gigantic straw hat from Amazon came in handy. I was complaining about the elastic band that goes around the chin as it made me feel like a child but it was very useful in keeping the hat from blowing away.DSC_6442DSC_6443It was very uncomfortable walking by the rocky narrow pathways in these sandals. The entire site is covered in sand and rocks and I'm amazed that I did not get hurt. As I mentioned in my previous post, I removed my sneakers from my luggage just before leaving for Greece. I clearly didn't think this through while packing my outfits.DSC_6446DSC_6455DSC_6460DSC_6461DSC_6465DSC_6467DSC_6479The volcanic island is not a site to go to with someone who may not like you very much. As you can see here, there are a lot of giant rocks, steep hills and deep trenches that could kill someone instantly on a simple fall.DSC_6480DSC_6490DSC_6521DSC_6523DSC_6524DSC_6529I found it quite amazing that despite the rocky environment, there were quite a lot of beautiful yellow flowers and green vegetation growing among the rocks and they are in full bloom during the summer months.DSC_6530DSC_6533IMG_2409IMG_2422IMG_2423IMG_2426IMG_2427IMG_2451IMG_2452IMG_2454IMG_2456IMG_2461IMG_2475IMG_2490The volcano comprises of so many narrow pathways such as these; they all lead to the opening of the crater all the way at the top of the mountain.IMG_2491IMG_2495IMG_2498IMG_2500IMG_2489IMG_2472 After getting to the top of the mountain, we then realized that the water on one part of the island was a deep blue while the other part of the island was deep green. At one point, the green water slowly blends into the blue water. It was so beautiful and serene that pictures do not do this place any justice.IMG_2470IMG_2469IMG_2406DSC_6501DSC_6500DSC_6497DSC_6494DSC_6492DSC_6489Nea Kameni Hot Springs

After our exhausting hike to the top of the volcanic crater, we proceeded to the Hot Springs that were less than 10 minutes away. The warm water contains a large amount of sulfur and is famously known for its healing therapeutic particles. We docked here for only 30 minutes for a swim. I heard that the water was not as warm it was supposed to be. I was one of the people that opted to stay on the boat instead of taking a dive in the water. I was not trying to get my hair wet :-).DSC_6538DSC_6540DSC_6541DSC_6542DSC_6543DSC_6547IMG_2509IMG_2510IMG_2513IMG_2514Thirassia Island

Thirassia Island was our next stop after the Hot Springs. It resides just opposite the caldera of Santorini and yet is quiet and undeveloped compared to Santorini. We stopped there for 2 hours. During this time, we were free to have a swim by the rocky beach, have lunch or hike up another 30 minutes to reach the main village. We had no strength to do another hike up the mountain. We had a quick snack and just hang out by the sandy shore until it was time to head back to the Port of Athinios where we had left our rental car.IMG_2526IMG_2534IMG_2537I could not wait to leave this island though for the mere fact that there were so many cats on the island even in the restaurants. If you know me, you know how terrified I am of cats so that was not a pleasant experience. Kevin literally had to carry me on his back to get to our boat because I was not about to pass by a bunch of cats sitting together. I do not have any pictures of them on purpose.IMG_2544IMG_2595IMG_2602IMG_2608IMG_2616IMG_2672IMG_2673IMG_2680IMG_2681IMG_2682IMG_2664This was the last pic that I took at the Port of Athinios. It had been a great tour, one of the best I've ever had. It was now time to head back to our hotel in Oia so I could take a nap and get ready for my birthday dinner. We had a reservation for 7pm at Fino Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Oia.

Stay tuned for part 2 of today's post and thank you for stopping by!