Volcanic Greece: Our top 5 Volcanoes To Sail To In Greece
Sailing around Greece on a Seamaster Yacht Charter allows you to get up close and personal with some amazing volcanic scenery.
The following 5 volcanic attractions will take you on a trip to some of Greece’s most enduring and stunning destinations. From idyllic Milos and its healing hot springs, rustic Methana and its dramatic scenery, to chic Kos and legendary Santorini, and the awe-inspiring volcano-island of Nisyros.
Here are our top 5 volcanoes to sail to in Greece…
Though relatively unknown (outside of it being that place that a fisherman found the Venus de Milo, which now famously rests in the Louvre), Milos is easily one of our favourite Cyclades Islands with its stunning scenery and rich history all deriving from it being born from the violent eruptions of a now dormant volcano. The principal crater of the Milos volcano forms one of the Aegean’s largest harbours in the town of Adamas, but you’ll also find hot springs that Hippocrates once recommended as a treatment for dermatitis, still bubbling away across the eastern half of the island. The beaches (some 70+ them) are stunning and each offers its own geological intrigue. Some are formed from solidified lava and volcanic ash that now appear as huge white rocky coves, others like Papafragkas are stark canyon-like inlets of water that form heavenly natural pools, while others are bewilderingly beautiful, hard-to-reach havens of pure white sands and inviting azure waters.
Head inland to Kalamos to see what’s left of the volcano and then check out the Milos Mining Museum to find out more about the island’s incredible volcanic history. In fact, it’s the island’s volcanic past and subsequent geologically rich present that has kept tourism to a minimum on Milos, as its main source of income is in mining for minerals such as obsidian. Though it’s this untouched ‘lost in time’ ambience that makes exploring Milos such an intense pleasure.
Kos & Nisyros
There are few Greek islands as lush and culturally rich as Kos. It is bequeathed with numerous ancient Greek ruins, medieval castles and some of the country’s best beaches, though aside from a couple of hot springs on the southeastern coast and some thermal areas on the eastern side of the island, there’s little of aesthetic interest to those hunting volcanoes. However, just a short sail away is the island of Nisyro, another of the Dodecanese islands and an active volcano, with a 4km Caldera at its centre, and the millennia old Stefanos crater, which is thought to be the largest and best-preserved hydrothermal crater in the world. Sail towards the volcano from Kos Town and once there, take a walk up to the Caldera to see (and smell) the volcano. Whilst there, explore some of Nisyros’s other attractions, including the 14th-century Castle of Panagia Spiliani, the idyllic village of Mandraki on the coast, and the hilltop villages of Nikea and Emborios which offer fabulous views out over the Dodecanese islands.
Santorini is of course best known for its dramatic Aegean views and colourful cliffs that are adorned with the typical whitewashed walls and blue-hatted houses of the Cyclades. Like its Cycladic cousin Milos, it too was moulded into the island it is today by the eruptions of a volcano. Santorini’s volcano is still active and the islands of Therasia and Aspronisi are all a part of the same (now mostly submerged) Caldera. Everywhere you look on Santorini you’ll see evidence of its volcano from otherworldly black and red sand beaches made from volcanic rocks and lava, to the relatively new black volcanic islands of Palea Kameni and Nea Kammeni. Stop by Nea Kammeni to walk a circle around its rim and to see the sulphur vents before sailing around Santorini to get a full impression of the scale of the Caldera on which it sits atop.
Perched on the Peloponnese peninsula, and not too far from Athens, Methana is at its most basic, one big volcano. The landscape here is dramatic to the extreme, mountainous and rustic, with lush hillsides leading to volcanic craters and bubbling hot springs, while the town itself has become a popular spa destination and is fringed by volcanic beaches like those at Nissaki Ayion. There’s a large marina at Methana, which makes it easily accessible for sailors. Hike to the top of Kameni Hora to walk Methana’s stark rock formations and vast crater, before taking in the best views of the peninsula from above.