Greece has a large volcanic arch, created millions of years ago by the sinking of the African lithosphere (Oceania) under the Eurasiatic plate (mainland). This volcanic arch of Greece had especially intense volcanic activity in the past and created the volcanic landscapes that we come across in many regions and islands around Greece.
Most of the volcanoes in Greece and the Greek islands are extinct, however, there are some still active. The most important active volcanoes in Greece are situated on Santorini island (Thera), Nisyros island, Methana, and Milos island, receiving thousands of visitors every year. In fact, volcanic hiking tours have been developed for people with a special interest in volcanoes.
Discover the most famous volcanoes in Greece: In Santorini, Nisyros, Methana, and Milos islands.
Volcano of Santorini
The volcano of Santorini is the most famous volcano in Greece. It has the largest caldera (crater) in the world with a height of 300m and a diameter of 11km. The special thing about this caldera is that it is actually sunken and filled with seawater. On the cliffs of the caldera, white sugar houses have been constructed offering a breathtaking view. Boat tours depart from the old port of Fira in Santorini to the volcano, which is actually the island of Nea Kameni, formed by volcanic eruptions in the 16th century. The last eruption of the Santorini volcano was small and happened in 1950. The volcano is still active.
Volcano of Nisyros
The second most famous volcano in Greece is located on the small island of Nisyros, Dodecanese. This is the youngest of the large volcanic centers in Greece, only 160,000 years old. In 1872, a large eruption happened and created a crater of about 6 to 7 meters. In 1888, another explosion happened to form a crater of 25m in diameter. In 1956, schisms emitting smoke were observed. Today the volcano of Nisyros is dormant. The largest crater that most tourists visit is Agios Stefanos, with a diameter and depth of 30m.
Volcano of Methana
The peninsula of Methana, on the northeastern side of the Peloponnese, actually has 32 volcanoes that are mostly andesitic and dacitic lava domes. The volcanic activity in the peninsula started about one million years ago and in fact, a large eruption took place in 230 BC. The last eruption of the Methana volcano happened in 1700. Today the volcano is dormant and many hiking and climbing tours are organized on the peninsula. Due to the volcanic activity, Methana also has famous thermal springs.
Volcano of Milos
The volcano of Milos island is also considered dormant. It is located in the center of the island and has given Milos its richness in minerals and its strange geological formation. The last volcanic eruption on Milos took place in 90,000 BC.
Other smaller volcanoes in Greece are found on Kos island and on the islet of Gyali, between Kos and Nisyros. In places where volcanoes exist, there are also thermal springs, such as Thermes Beach in Kos, the Thermals of Methana, and the Hot Springs in Santorini.