On my Greek Island Hopper Tour with Topdeck Travel, one of the exciting optionals that you can do in Santorini is a full day tour of Santorini’s still-active volcanic island Nea Kameni and Santorini’s hot springs!
Facts about Nea Kameni
1. Youngest volcanic landform in the Eastern Mediterranean.
2. Protected natural monument and national geological park
3. Nea Kameni has erupted 8 times in the past 1,900 years
4. Nea Kameni has been dormant since 1950 (that’s about 65 years in 2015!)
5. Scientists are confident they can forecast the volcano’s next eruptions at least a few months or a year in advance.
6. Nea Kameni’s activity is regularly monitored.
A Popular Tourist Attraction
Being a still-active volcanic island, Nea Kameni (also known as the Santorini volcano) is a popular tourist attraction in Santorini.
Many tourists visiting Santorini travel down to the port of Fira by gondola, get on a boat, and spend the day hiking up the 130 metre high volcanic crater!
Getting to the port of Fira
From our hotel in Santorini, a bus picked us up in the morning and thirty minutes later we arrived to the town of Fira!
As the island of Santorini is built on massive cliffs, you need a way to get to the bottom of the port to catch the boat! You have two options: You can ride a donkey down the hill (I would recommend going up the hill by donkey, as going down hill might can be a bit scary!) or you can go down by gondola, which is exactly what we did!
The next step was to get on our boat, but don’t forget to take in the pretty scenery from the port!
Boat ride to Nea Kameni
Here are some initial impression shots I took of Nea Kameni before pulling into port!
Pulling into port and hiking the 130m high crater!
After arriving into port, we set off on our hike to to the crater. I can definitely say that the hike to the crater is highly recommended! A big uphill climb to the top (for someone like me who is totally unfit, I had to take a few breaks!) and then an easy walk back down. The trip was totally worth it for the amazing views and you definitely feel like you have accomplished something!
Lots of Sulfur!
Nea Kameni has such high concentrations of sulfur that you can actually see its yellowy colour and the smoke coming off of it has a very strong sulfur smell!
I made it to the top!
It is so worth the hike and you can get such beautiful shots like these!
Santorini Hot Springs
After our hike up to the crater, the boat took us to the famous hot springs located at Palia Kameni (which means “old burnt” in Greek). The boat anchors in deep water away from the bay, as the hot springs are too shallow so your only option to get to the hot springs is to jump off the boat and swim! The hot springs are at a temperature of 33 degrees celcius (which is just over 90 degrees Fahrenheit) and has very high concentrations of sulfur, so your skin may be a little yellow after your swim!
3 Tips for the Hot Springs
1. Wear old swimmers: I wore the only swimmers I had (Seafolly swimmers which were quite expensive) and they got totally ruined. I had tried multiple times to wash out the yellowiness, but it just wouldn’t come out! I suggest buying a really cheap pair of swimmers to wear!
2. Use an old towel: I had my old towel from home and after it was covered in yellow, I discarded it! Please do not use towels from the hotel you are staying in as they will not be impressed!
3. Cover yourself in the mud: It is awesome for your skin AND it is super fun!
Back to port and up the hill
After a spot of lunch on the boat (which was prepared for us and included in the price!) we went back to port.
To get up the hill back to Fira, we had an all included donkey ride! This was something I had always wanted to do in Santorini and it was a very memorable and fun experience! Check out my post: Riding a Donkey in Santorini
So, was the day trip worth it?
I had a fantastic day exploring the island of Santorini and I encourage all travellers to do it too!
This day trip is well worth it for the views, great for someone wanting to try something new and interesting, and it is a lot of fun, especially when you are on a tour and you can share it with your new travel mates!
Here is a quick video I put together of my Nea Kameni trip!
Share Your Thoughts!
Have you been to Nea Kameni from Santorini and experienced the hot springs? What was your experience?