Set off the coast of Santorini, Nea Kameni and neighboring Palea Kameni lie at the heart of the mostly submerged Santorini caldera and are Greece’s newest volcanic islands. Reach Nea Kameni on a small-group or private boat tour or catamaran cruise departing from Santorini’s main island. On the island, hike to the rim of the crater to look across the volcanic landscape or soak in the hot springs, known for waters tinted orange by the mineral-rich seabed.
Volcano boat tours may also stop on Thirasia, the second-largest island in the archipelago, and Palea Kameni, where passengers can swim to the famous hot springs beneath the Agios Nikolaos church. Choose between a daytime or sunset tour; both often offer an on-board barbecue and drinks. For a view of the island and caldera from above, opt for a helicopter sightseeing tour that flies over Santorini and the outlying volcanic islands.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Bring your camera to capture the dramatic volcanic landscape on Nea Kameni.
Exploring the island requires a fair amount of walking along rough terrain, so it may not be suitable for young children or those who are not strong walkers.
If you plan to hike to the crater’s rim, wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes and bring a hat and sunblock.
Boat tour passengers must be agile enough to board and disembark boats, so travelers with limited mobility should confirm accessibility before booking.
The orange-tinged water in the hot springs can discolor white or light-colored swimwear.
How to Get There
Nea Kameni is located off the west coast of Santorini in the Greek Cyclades islands and is only reachable by boat. Join a private tour or a larger group cruise departing from one of the ports on the west coast of Santorini. Helicopter tours fly over the island but do not land.
When to Get There
Boat tours to Nea Kameni are most crowded in summer, so opt for a private catamaran or other boat cruise for a more personalized experience. To avoid uncomfortable midday heat, set sail in early morning or late afternoon, or plan your visit for spring or fall.
The Volcanic Island of Old Kameni
Palea Kameni, or “Old” Kameni, is located just off the coast of Nea Kameni and is most famous for its sulfuric hot springs kept at a constant temperature of 86–95º F (30–35° C) by underground geothermal activity. Most boat tours to Nea Kameni also make a stop at its smaller sister island so passengers can soak in the orange-tinged spring waters that bubble up beneath the church of Agios Nikolaos in a cove off the islet’s coast.
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