Silver & Ancient Athens & Hiking Volcanoes

  • Annabergite from Lavrio
    "Silver of the Aegean Sea" - Mining - Minerals - Volcanoes

    Discover how the ancient mining was important for our Western civilization and how volcanoes create minerals!

  • Sulfur
    Mining - Minerals - Volcanoes

    On Milos island you will discover how minerals are created by volcanic activity still today!

  • Pyrite
    Mining - Minerals - Volcanoes

    On this geological study tour you will experience fumaroles and volcanoes.

Mineralogical wealth & volcanoes & ancient culture

Geological hiking tours on Milos are something very special and ideal for nature lovers, mineral collectors and photographers! (c) Tobias Schorr
Geological hiking tours on Milos are something very special and ideal for nature lovers, mineral collectors and photographers! (c) Tobias Schorr

Only a few experts know how important the ancient mineral resources were for our Western culture and about the beauty of minerals. The German tour guide Tobias Schorr and his Greek colleagues leads you to the famous ancient highlights in Athens, like the ancient acropolis. Later he will introduce you into the ancient mining of Lavrion. If you are lucky, you may even meet Greek mineral collectors. They are still digging in the underground for precious minerals. You will understand their love for minerals, when you will visit the mineralogical museum of Lavrion. Wonderful crystals of all colors await you! Later we continue to the island of Milos, with its beautiful beaches, the place where the statue of Venus was found and volcanoes. Milos is an insider's tip, because the island is half the mining area and the other half a Natura2000 protected area. On the hikes and itineraries you will discover rare minerals, visit the most beautiful coasts of the island, admire the wild coast on a boat trip and observe the hot gases of the active volcano craters. The accommodation is located in the port of Adamas, where you can also enjoy the island's goodies in the evening.

Day 1: Arrival at Athens

Flight over Attica
Flight over Attica
The Acropolis in dramatic light
The Acropolis in dramatic light
Arriving at the Athens Venizelos airport
Arriving at the Athens Venizelos airport

After your arrival at Athens aiport, we will pick you and the other participants up and drive to the the hotel in Athens downtown. If your arrival time does not fit with the others we will send a taxi with a table on which your name is written and it will bring you also to the accommodation. In the evening we will all go out for a first dinner in one of the taverns in the Plaka area.

Day 2: The famous ancient sites of Athens

The temple of Athena Parthenon in the evening
The temple of Athena Parthenon in the evening
The Erehteion temple on the Acropolis
The Erehteion temple on the Acropolis
The famous Karyatides of the Acropolis
The famous Karyatides of the Acropolis

After the breakfast we will meet our official Greek guide who will show us all details of the ancient Acropolis. She will be telling us the history that created the modern civilization. We will also stroll through the bussy lanes of Athens centre. In the evening we will take the metro or will walk to Petralona where we will have a Greek island´s meal in the tavern Santorini.

Day 3: Excursion to the ancient mining area of Lavrio & to the temple of Poseidon at Sounion

An old mine shaft at the mineral museum of Agios Konstantinos near Lavrio
An old mine shaft at the mineral museum of Agios Konstantinos near Lavrio
Annabergite is one of the famous Lavrio-Minerals
Annabergite is one of the famous Lavrio-Minerals
The owl was the ancient symbol for Athens and wisdom
The owl was the ancient symbol for Athens and wisdom. And the ancient Greek money, the Drachme, was a silver coin that was a product of the silver mining of Lavrio.

Today we will drive through the suburbs of Athens to the southern part of the Attica peninsula towards Thoricos. It is a place, typical for an ancient mining town. There is a well preserved ancient theatre and ancient mine shafts. We will understand how the silver and lead ore was concentrated and washed. If we are lucky, we will already there meet Greek mineral collectors who are still visiting the underground shafts and discover the most beautiful copper, lead and silver minerals. Some of these blue, green or red minerals will be seen in the mineral museum in Agios Konstantinos. The tour will have a stop at a huge cave that broke into thousands of years ago, the so called „Chaos“. In the late afternoon we will enjoy the great sight of the Poseidon temple of Sounion. One of the most famous ancient sites in Greece.

Day 4: Scenic flight to the volcano island Milos

Our plane to Milos, the Bombaridier DHC-8-201
Our plane to Milos, the Bombaridier DHC-8-201
Arrival at Milos aiport
Arrival at Milos aiport
Flight over Milos in the early morning
Flight over Milos in the early morning

Early in the morning we will drive to the airport of Athens to catch the first flight to Milos MLO airport. If we are lucky, we will have great views on the Aegean sea and on the gulf of Milos. After our arrival in the hotel at Adamas town, a bus will pick us up an bring us to the town of Tripiti where we will visit the archaeological museum. Milos was the place where the famous statue of Venus (in Greek „Aphrodite“) has been discovered. We will hike to the place where it has been found and we will also see the ancient theatre of Milos. On our walking tour back to Adamas in the afternoon, we will visit the area where in prehistoric times the volcanic glass obsidian was mined. In spring time we may discover also rare orchids there. In the evening we will have a delicious meal at one of the taverns at the harbour front of Adamas.

Day 5: sailing around the volcanic island of Milos

With a little boat we will enter also caves
With a little boat we will enter also caves
The so called pirate rocks
The so called pirate rocks
A scenic stop at the volcanic pumice cliffs of Kleftiko
A scenic stop at the volcanic pumice cliffs of Kleftiko

There is no better opportunity to see all Milos, than sailing around it! We will pass at the red rocks of the former manganese mine of Vani, white beaches will shine in the Aegean sun, black lava columns will sting out of the water and green rocks will create strange shapes. Depending on the weather we will sail around the famous pumice cliffs of Kleftiko and go on until the islands „glaronisia“ with their amazing „organ pipes rocks“. Before we will return back to the harbour, we will take photos of the colourful fishermen houses of Klima.

Day 6: Jeep safari to the sulphur mine and to the crater of Tsingrado volcano

The abandoned sulphur mine
The abandoned sulphur mine
At the crater rim of Tsingrado volcano
At the crater rim of Tsingrado volcano
One of the craters of Tsingrado volcano
One of the craters of Tsingrado volcano

There are some mysterious places on Milos that you can reach only with a four-wheel Jeep. On this Jeep safari we will drive to the abandoned sulphur mine. There we will see all the former mining infrastructure. It is an atmosphere like in the „wild west“. We will pass a field of many phreatic volcano craters and on sandy paths we will arrive in the caldera of Tsingrado volcano. At the cape of Kalamos there will be hot fumaroles with steaming wholes and crystals of sulphur condensing. Later we may have a stop at the nature reserve of Ahivadolimni. If we are lucky, we may watch flamingos or other rare birds.

Day 7: Scenic hiking tour along the romantic north coast of Milos

The famous Saracinico bay at northern Milos island
The famous Saracinico bay at northern Milos island
The walls of the prehistoric town of Phylacopi on Milos island
The walls of the prehistoric town of Phylacopi on Milos island
A fossilized oyster from the north coast of Milos
A fossilized oyster from the north coast of Milos

We will start this excursion at the prehistoric site of Phylacopi. There the mining and trading of volcanic glass (obsidian) counts back more than 4000 years. Today knifes, arrows and other tools made of obsidian can be discovered on many prehistoric sites of Greece. Milos was the number one production place for any tools made of this volcanic product. On our hike we will see the results of huge volcanic eruptions, that covered the island with thick layers of pumice and rock debris. The waves have cut little bays and fjords into the white tuff and pumice rocks. On some places old sea floor was uplifted ans so we will find fossils. One of the most beautiful bays is the so called Saracinico bay. The moonscape around it is a great theme for impressing landscape photographs. On our way back to Adamas we will pass a field with many fumaroles. There the 98 C hot sulphur gas is the taste of the active volcano in the underground...

Day 8 : Departure from Milos and flight back to Athens

Spring time on Milos
Spring time on Milos
Violete flower meadow in the Tsingrado crater
Violete flower meadow in the Tsingrado crater
Poppy covered meadow in front of an old volcano on Milos
Poppy covered meadow in front of an old volcano on Milos

The flight back to Athens will be starting early in the morning so every participant can get on his connection flight from Athens to his home country. If you like, you can stay longer on Milos island or you can even combine the tour with the Santorini program. Of course it is not a risk to do the tour yourself after the guided tour.