Santorini Island, Greece, spring 2019: hike from Pirgos to Prof. Ilias, Ancient Thera to Perissa

Normally, our last excursion during the geologic walking tour leads us to the non-volcanic basement, which forms the highest mountain Profitis Ilias and its neighbor Mesa Vouno, where the Ancient Greek city of Thera was located and whose excavated ruins are certainly a highlight that should not be missed during a visit to Santorini.
Spectacular views, very interesting geological formations, and - in spring - extraordinary spring colors by the rich flora, wait for you.
View from Pirgos towards Profitis Ilias mountain, the highest point of Santorini. It is formed by non-volcanic rocks, mainly marbles and schists, from the metamorphic basement. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View from Pirgos towards Profitis Ilias mountain, the highest point of Santorini. It is formed by no... [info]
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View of the medieval village of Pirgos built around a fortified hilltop (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View of the medieval village of Pirgos built around a fortified hilltop (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View towads Exo Gonia village (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View towads Exo Gonia village (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Church of a former monastery at the beginning of the trail to Profitis Ilias (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Church of a former monastery at the beginning of the trail to Profitis Ilias (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The trail follows the ridge of the limestone/marble basement rocks. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The trail follows the ridge of the limestone/marble basement rocks. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The fields along the path are filled with flowers. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The fields along the path are filled with flowers. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Group of red poppies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Group of red poppies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Daisies and red poppies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Daisies and red poppies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View back towards Pirgos (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View back towards Pirgos (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The trail slowly climbs. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The trail slowly climbs. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Soon, the view towards the islands in the north opens up. Ios Island can be seen in the background. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Soon, the view towards the islands in the north opens up. Ios Island can be seen in the background. ... [info]
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View towards the southwest. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View towards the southwest. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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With exceptional visibility, the still snow-clad mountain ranges of Crete in more than 120 km distance are clearly visible. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
With exceptional visibility, the still snow-clad mountain ranges of Crete in more than 120 km distan... [info]
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We slowly gain elevation. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
We slowly gain elevation. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Vegetation changes with the different grounds (alternating pumice and limestone) and elevation. Large fennel flowers look like miniature trees. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Vegetation changes with the different grounds (alternating pumice and limestone) and elevation. Larg... [info]
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Yellow and purple wildflowers (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Yellow and purple wildflowers (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red poppies and fennel grow along the trail. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppies and fennel grow along the trail. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View of the trail (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View of the trail (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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We approach the summit area of the mountain. Looking back towards the SW with the Akrotiri peninsula in the background. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
We approach the summit area of the mountain. Looking back towards the SW with the Akrotiri peninsula... [info]
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santorini_k21641.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
santorini_k21641.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Flowering sage which grows a lot in this area. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Flowering sage which grows a lot in this area. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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On flatter parts of the mountain, the Minoan pumice fall deposit, about 5 m thick, is still preserved. Here, a ballistic impact is seen in it. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
On flatter parts of the mountain, the Minoan pumice fall deposit, about 5 m thick, is still preserve... [info]
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Small remnant of a terrace on the northern slope of the mountain, which also was once farmland. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Small remnant of a terrace on the northern slope of the mountain, which also was once farmland. (Pho... [info]
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Red poppies arranged by chance as if in a loose circle. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppies arranged by chance as if in a loose circle. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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After passing the summit, our trail continues alongside the steep northern slope of Profitis Ilias. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
After passing the summit, our trail continues alongside the steep northern slope of Profitis Ilias. ... [info]
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The blue sea is everywhere about 500 m beneath us. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The blue sea is everywhere about 500 m beneath us. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View from the trail towards the second mountain, Mesa Vouno, where the Ancient Greek capital was located. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View from the trail towards the second mountain, Mesa Vouno, where the Ancient Greek capital was loc... [info]
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Calcite crystals filling cracks in the marbles. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Calcite crystals filling cracks in the marbles. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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We pass an important fault zone. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
We pass an important fault zone. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View down to the plain of Perissa, which once was only farmland, but has been intensely built during the past few decades. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View down to the plain of Perissa, which once was only farmland, but has been intensely built during... [info]
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A similar picture goes for the other side where Kamari beach town is located. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A similar picture goes for the other side where Kamari beach town is located. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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After a few hours, we have reached the site of the Ancient Greek city "Ancient Thera", excavated during the first years of the 20th century. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
After a few hours, we have reached the site of the Ancient Greek city "Ancient Thera", excavated dur... [info]
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Between the still very impressive ruins, flowers have taken over all space where there is soil. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Between the still very impressive ruins, flowers have taken over all space where there is soil. (Pho... [info]
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Daisies and red poppies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Daisies and red poppies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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An old cistern in the foreground. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
An old cistern in the foreground. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Seas of daisies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Seas of daisies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Barley, red poppies and daisies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Barley, red poppies and daisies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Yellow and white dominate large patches, as golden marguerite (farberkamille, Cota tinctoria) and daisies often grow together. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Yellow and white dominate large patches, as golden marguerite (farberkamille, Cota tinctoria) and da... [info]
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Poppies and daisies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Poppies and daisies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(34 Hits)
Group of red poppies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Group of red poppies. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Green, white, yellow and red. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Green, white, yellow and red. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(34 Hits)
Red poppies and golden marguerites (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppies and golden marguerites (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red poppies and golden marguerites (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppies and golden marguerites (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(36 Hits)
Red poppies and barley (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppies and barley (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red poppies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red poppies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red poppy close-up (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppy close-up (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red poppies close-up (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppies close-up (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red poppy silhouette (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppy silhouette (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Pink poppy (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Pink poppy (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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We're having a rest in the shade, or get absorbed by the extraordinary colorful natural flower decoration around... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
We're having a rest in the shade, or get absorbed by the extraordinary colorful natural flower decor... [info]
(36 Hits)
Red poppies... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red poppies... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(40 Hits)
santorini_k21715.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
santorini_k21715.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A bee is happy exploring the poppy flower. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A bee is happy exploring the poppy flower. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(43 Hits)
Group of red poppies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Group of red poppies (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Daisies and the sea with the Island of Anafi (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Daisies and the sea with the Island of Anafi (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Meadow between the ancient ruins (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Meadow between the ancient ruins (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red, yellow and green (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red, yellow and green (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View towards the Christiana islands in the SW background (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View towards the Christiana islands in the SW background (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Yellow and blue (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Yellow and blue (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Informative plates with Greek and English descriptions are placed around the site. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Informative plates with Greek and English descriptions are placed around the site. (Photo: Tom Pfeif... [info]
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The southern foothills of Profitis Ilias (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The southern foothills of Profitis Ilias (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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santorini_k21747.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
santorini_k21747.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(30 Hits)
Red and blue (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red and blue (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(41 Hits)
Wildflowers and the blue sea behind (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Wildflowers and the blue sea behind (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(39 Hits)
Ancient column (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ancient column (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The ancient trail down to Kamari (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The ancient trail down to Kamari (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(35 Hits)
View of Santorini's airport and the runway. From here, one can see planes landing and taking off from above. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View of Santorini's airport and the runway. From here, one can see planes landing and taking off fro... [info]
(39 Hits)
Early Christian basilica (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Early Christian basilica (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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We will take the trail down towards Perissa beach. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
We will take the trail down towards Perissa beach. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Group walking on the beautiful old trail. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Group walking on the beautiful old trail. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View back up towards the saddle between Profitis Ilias and Mesa Vouno. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View back up towards the saddle between Profitis Ilias and Mesa Vouno. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Remnants of the pumice deposit form a thick cake-like layer in the flatter parts of the slope. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Remnants of the pumice deposit form a thick cake-like layer in the flatter parts of the slope. (Phot... [info]
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View back to Profitis Ilias from the SE. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View back to Profitis Ilias from the SE. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Perissa with its large characteristic main church is now near. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Perissa with its large characteristic main church is now near. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Panagia Katefiani chapel built high into the southern cliff of Mesa Vouno. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Panagia Katefiani chapel built high into the southern cliff of Mesa Vouno. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Enjoying a drink on the beach... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Enjoying a drink on the beach... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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After the beach break, we decide to return for a few photos and another shorter walk to the caldera near Akrotiri... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
After the beach break, we decide to return for a few photos and another shorter walk to the caldera ... [info]
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View of the red tuff layers that dominate the southern caldera. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View of the red tuff layers that dominate the southern caldera. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View towards the Skaros area (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View towards the Skaros area (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Fira must be busy today, with 3 cruise ships moored below... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Fira must be busy today, with 3 cruise ships moored below... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(34 Hits)
View over Palea and Nea Kameni islands in the caldera (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View over Palea and Nea Kameni islands in the caldera (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Tasty meze at Anna's Kali Kardia shop and tavern. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Tasty meze at Anna's Kali Kardia shop and tavern. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(34 Hits)
Walking back we pass beneath the Taxiarchis hill, an area of updomed submarine volcanic sediments. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Walking back we pass beneath the Taxiarchis hill, an area of updomed submarine volcanic sediments. (... [info]
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This area has preserved largely its rural character. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
This area has preserved largely its rural character. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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After about 30 minutes, we have reached the coast on the other side. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
After about 30 minutes, we have reached the coast on the other side. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Barley field in the evening sunlight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Barley field in the evening sunlight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Evening sunlight on the Red Beach (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Evening sunlight on the Red Beach (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red Beach (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red Beach (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Close-up of the back to red scoria layers that form most of the ancient cinder cone. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Close-up of the back to red scoria layers that form most of the ancient cinder cone. (Photo: Tom Pfe... [info]
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Red scoria layers (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red scoria layers (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(23 Hits)
Black and red pebbles (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Black and red pebbles (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(30 Hits)
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