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Santorini Island, Greece, spring 2019: Balos hike

Balos is a small bay and beach on the caldera side near Akrotiri. It can be accessed from a trail leading down from the caldera rim above or following the coast, starting at the caldera beach with its access road. Both can be combined to a highly interesting short round trip of about 1-2 hours.
It is one of Santorini's least crowded and best places to swim inside the caldera. Until today, it is also used as a small harbor and boat shelter, as well as a famous place to collect capers. Most likely, the Balos Bay was already used as harbor in Minoan times. Remnants of Minoan building had been found on the cliff above during the 19 and 20th centuries (but unfortunately construction and erosion have by now destroyed most of it).
Geologically, it is also of particular interest: along the coast, the cliffs expose an old basaltic-andesitic cinder cone in cross section where a transition from water-magma interaction (phreatomagmatic activity) to purely strombolian-type eruptions (magmatic activity) is brilliantly recorded.
 

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