Nea Kameni and nearby Palea Kameni are two small islands of volcanic origin, located within the Santorini caldera.
Their origins date back to about two millennia ago, described by the Roman historian Cassius and Pliny the Elder. They were formed due to repeated eruptions of lava and ash. These are two dormant volcanoes, with many sulfur vents still active, and a carpet of red succulents that develops during the summer period.
Their name literally means New and Old Burnt Island.
Their activity, today, is constantly monitored by ISMOSAV, the Institute for the study and monitoring of the Santorini volcano.
Nea Kameni has an almost round shape and an area of just 3.5 square kilometers. The highest point, the final destination of the excursions, is located about 110 meters above sea level.
Its sulfur-rich waters, veritable thermal springs, are particularly popular with visitors. (One of the main reasons why you venture so far).
The thermal water, in fact, contains iron and manganese, a real cure-all for the skin, with a therapeutic effect.
In this sense, you cannot fail to stretch towards Palea Kameni.
If you are on holiday in Santorini, be sure to carve out some space to admire the wild beauty of a volcano that changed the history of Mediterranean civilizations thousands of years ago.
Every day, in high season, dozens of boats depart from the old port of Santorini, that is, the port of Thira from which cruise ships also arrive. From Thira you can use the cable car or walk down the steps (forget the poor donkeys, for heaven’s sake!).
In the city, you will find numerous offices offering organized tours to Kameni (and Thirasia). In some cases, you may even choose to have lunch or stay until sunset. We recommend going there. You will enjoy your Santorini vacation more. In general, to visit Nea and Palea Kameni you start from an average price of 22/25€.
Generally the excursions last from 3 to 4 hours, starting from the visit of Nea Kameni.
If you love trekking, a gravel path will allow you to climb up to about 130 meters, on the top of the volcanic crater. Obviously you will have to go prepared with comfortable or trekking shoes (no flip flops), hat, protection and water. During the complete tour, there are several shady spots to rest.
Even more suggestive is the visit of the small Palea Kameni, where you can bathe in the hot springs, with water at a constant temperature of 33 degrees.
Keep in mind that the water on the islands is quite cold (especially those you encounter at the beginning of the excursion).
In Palea Kameni you will really take a bath in gas bubbles!
Particularly impressive is the small chapel on the sea, all covered with the typical white stone
To reach it, you will have to swim for a while; due to the muddy area, the boats cannot approach, to avoid running aground.