Santorini Travel Diaries - The Volcano, Hot Springs & Thirassia Island Tour
Day 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. The port has several eating places; we made a quick stop here and had breakfast whilst waiting for our boat to arrive.This 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.After 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 VolcanoThis 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. About 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.It 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.The 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.I 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.The 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. 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.Nea 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 :-).Thirassia 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.I 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.This 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!