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Geology, photography, walking tours and sailing trips in Greece: (read more)

Duration Tour
Price p.p.
Tour character / Difficulty
Santorini Island, Greece
Fascination Volcano - geologic walking & study tour on Santorini Island, Greece 24 Sep - 1 Oct 2014
2-9(10) May 2015
8 / 9 days Fascination Volcano
(Walking & study tour: geology & volcanism - nature & culture - archaeology)
1050 EUR (8d.) / 1175 EUR (9d.)
Half-day and whole-day hikes, boat excursions, competent introduction to Santorini's geology
Santorini Island, Greece
Discover the nature & culture & geology of Santorini! 13-20 Sep 2014
18-25 Oct 2014
8 days Pearl of the Aegean - Santorini
(Walking & study tour: nature & culture - geology & volcanism - archaeology)
1024 €  ? 
A easy walking study tour with time for discovering the nature and geology of Santorini island. Also a good possibility in getting in contact in local people.
Nisyros Island, Greece
Discover the beautyful volcanic island of Nisyros 4-11 Oct 2014
8 days Almonds, olives and volcanoes
(Walking & study tour: nature & culture - geology & volcanism - archaeology)
1240 €  ? 
Combination of Athens, Cos and Nisyros. Walking tour - day- and half-day hikes, hotel accommodation in the center of Athens, in Cos center and at the port of Mandraki.
Lesbos Island, Greece
Discover the volcanoes, fossilized trees and hot springs of Lesvos island! no scheduled dates at present
8 days / 7 nights Wonders of Nature - the Isle of Lesbos
(Walking & study tour: nature & culture - archaeology - photography)
1170 €  ? 
A mixture of walking tours with visiting of villages, forests, old volcanoes. Intensive contact to local people.
Aegean Sea, Greece
Custom and group dates
no scheduled dates at present
Aegean Dream
(Sailing cruise: adventure - nature & culture)
4400 EUR per group (1-6 persons)
Relaxed sailing on a small yacht with experienced skipper (option to learn and train sailing maneuvers), optional excursions on land, some departures with accompanying geologist
Santorini, Greece
Photo tour to Santorini, Greece: discover the spectacular light of the Aegean Custom and group dates
no scheduled dates at present
8 days Light of the Aegean
(Photography tour: nature & culture - geology & volcanism)
from 2200 EUR
Easy walks and excursions by private car, taxi and boat.
Milos Island, Greece
Milos - Crystals, Volcanoes and Ancient Culture 6-13 Sep 2014
20-27 Sep 2014
25 Oct - 1 Nov 2014
8 days /7 nights Silver of the Aegean
(Walking & study tour: photography - geology & volcanism)
1170 €  ? 
Easy to moderate hikes, 4x4 safari, photography, boat trips, mineral collecting
: spaces available / : guaranteed / : few spaces left / : booked out

What clients said:

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Trip to Santorini 13-20 April 2013 Santorini - Pearl of The Aegean

Hi Tobias,

I hope you are resting well in Germany after your trip from Greece. We had a good journey on the ship and our cabin even had a shower and toilet. We then had a slow day with a little bit of walking through the town center and out on the port wall to the Venetian Fort. Today we started our guided tour and visited the museum and Knossos.

Thank you for a great trip on Santorini. I have now seen many more places and love it even more. The other girls found it spectacular too. Thank you also for being able to adapt the program in such a way that we did not miss out due to the bad weather.

Keep in touch as I would love to show you parts of Australia one day and I even might come back and do another tour with you. Keep me informed about your new projects,

Thank you again Tobias,


"outstanding tour with a wonderful guide" (Fascination Volcano tour on Santorini (June 2012)

"Dear tom,
Thanks a lot for great cooperation : travel agent called us to say guests had an outstanding tour with a wonderful guide J
All the best."
Olivier Jeannier
Agent de voyages Sales & Operations Specialtours & Groups
Tourisme Pour Tous

"Thank you again for an incredible week" (Pearl of the Aegean - Santorini tour)

"Hi Tobias and Phoebe,
I meant to e-mail you both soon after I got back home. Thank you again for an incredible week--it was definitely one of the greatest trips I think I have ever taken.
I made all my flight connections (though I had to run across the Munich airport, but it was a chance for exercise, haha), but my luggage got left behind in Munich and took several extra days to come home. And everything went well with the parents of the friend-of-a-friend who picked me up in Athens. I'm still astounded by the kindness of strangers, and the hospitality of Greek people in general.
Little by little, I'm uploading my photos to my Flickr account. There were over 600 so it's taking a while to go through them and edit them. Next up: stitching together panoramas of lava flows on Nea Kameni!
I actually I took very few photos of people on this trip. Tobias, you'd mentioned a site where we could share all our photos--I'd be happy to upload my originals there, too, so we all have them in one place.
Phoebe: I'm glad you all made it home safely!
Tobias: hope you had a great time in Minos! Your photos on Facebook are gorgeous.
Be well. :) It was wonderful traveling with you.
Smitha" (Smitha, USA)

"... a special thank-you to Tobias for being such a understanding and helpful guide for a really wonderful week..."

Group at a breadcrust bomb on Nea Kameni (photo: Allen Fraser)
Group at a breadcrust bomb on Nea Kameni (photo: Allen Fraser)

Hello everyone,
We'd like to say a big thank-you to you all for being such excellent companions during our stay on such a wonderful island.
Also a special thank-you to Tobias for being such a understanding and helpful guide for a really wonderful week.
I've attached a group photo of you all by the bread-crust bomb (if anyone would like a higher res image let me know and I will e-mail it to you).
You are all of course welcome to visit Shetland and other websites you may find helpful are Shetland Geotours www.shetlandgeology.com (although we will be making some changes to what we do for next season) and Visit Shetland visit.shetland.org

Best wishes
Allen Fraser & Ann Thomson" (UK, Pearl of the Aegean - Santorini tour)

Myriam from France about our recent tour on Santorini

Les ponces de l'éruption Minoenne
Les ponces de l'éruption Minoenne
Chèvre sur Palea Kameni
Chèvre sur Palea Kameni
Le groupe avec des amis
Le groupe avec des amis

"Bonjour de France, enfin du soleil ici pas le même que celui de Santorin bien sûr, mais c'est toujours agréable.
Le retour en France a été difficile après avoir vécu une semaine hors du commun dans un décor extraordinaire. Je remercie Tobias et toi pour votre façon de partager votre passion et de nous faire entrer dans cet univers décalé avec la vie "normale" de tous les jours.
J'ai apprécié la découverte géologique de l'île, l'initiation à la compréhension de la formation de l'île et des volcans, les rencontres avec des gens simples mais de caractère de Santorin.
Le temps s'est arrêté pendant une semaine et je garde des souvenirs d'odeurs, de couleurs, de plats partagés avec le groupe.j'ai revu les photos prises pendant le voyage, les couleurs et les paysages étaient tellement extraordinaires que les résultats sont surprenants même avec mon simple appareil photo. J'aimerais envoyer les photos de groupe prises dans la taverne de nicolas à "yurgos", peux-tu m'envoyer leur adresse?Egalement j'aimerais commander le livre de Walter Friedrich, mais je n'ai pas noté l'éditeur.Merci pour ces renseignements.
Bonne continuation dans tes voyages
ps: quelques photos jointes... Myriam" (Myriam T., Orléans)

Dear Tobias and staff,
Many thanks for the excellent tour on the Best Kept Secret, Nisyros island. The volcano was of course a vivid memory and just one of the higlights to the tour. I have just returned from April 2010. Perfect weather, beautiful. If you can go in spring, do it! I have taken 3 different Adventure Travel tour company, and Volcano Discovery was by far the best. Nisyros island has more ruins than Athens, more authentic villiages than I have ever seen. I'm talking about pristine enchanted mountain top shocking vistas and each village area Has No Cars. You can get a huge hike, or wander at your pace, as they did accomidate for small groups. You can not beat the price, they have in the case of the 2 tours that i took Santorini, and Nisyros, for example just across the street was a hotel for 3 times the price. In Nisyros ther were no crowds, untouched open roads, and safe. There are black sand beaches and thermal bath houses from Roaman times. I was surprised to see recent remodeled museums on Nisyros. Better than Athens Acropolos, and lit up at night, you view them as you eat your dinner in Mandraki. So Volcano experts and history buffs, ancient finds, as the small churches with artifacts that you can almost touch, icons and whitewashed quiet stone blue and white, everywhere. This is not your Big Box Over advertised overated island. Thanks Forever,Elana V., Honolulu Hawaii
From my volcano to yours
Sent from my iPhone

Margrit from Potsdam about the Faszination Volcano tour on Santorini (Oct 09)

"Hallo Tom,
wieder einmal war es sehr schön auf Santorin und ich möchte mich für alles bedanken. Die Organisation, unser Hotel und die vielen neuen Eindrücke, welche du uns vermittelt hast sind kaum in Worte zu fassen. Vor allem aber danke, dass ich noch so kurzfristig teilnehmen konnte.
Eure Touren sind schon etwas Besonderes und mit viel Esprit, sehr persönlichen Einsatz, so dass man sich sofort wohlfühlt und immer gern wiederkommt.
Herzliche Grüße, Margrit" (Margrit from Potsdam, Faszination Volcano tour)

Gudrun from Dresden about the "Fascination Volcano" Tour in October 2009

"Hallo Tom,
nochmals vielen herzlichen Dank an Dich und die anderen für die schöne gemeinsame Woche mit dem gelungenen Mix aus Natur und Kultur, Sonne, buntem Stein und blauem Meer, Wandern und Neues Lernen, ein bisschen Anstrengung und Genuss!
... Weiterhin viel Glück bei allen Euren Unternehmungen und herzliche Grüße - Gudrun"

Jean about the tour:

Hi Tobias,

Thanks so much for the link to your great photos! They really brought back a lot of happy memories of the wonderful Volcano Discovery Tour you and Tom gave us. This was definitely one of my most memorable trips ever. Who could forget all of the great meals, including limpets, sea anemones, fresh salads and fish; walking on the volcano, swimming in the hot springs, the visit to ancient Thira, hiking from Fira to Ia to see the sunset, and, of course, captain Sostis, with his unique yoga sessions, massage, fresh goat cheese and Greek coffee, not to mention his excitable dog! And of course the wonderful living geology lesson that is Santorini. I hope to do another Volcano Discovery tour soon – in fact, after a couple of weeks back at work, I’m ready to go next week!

I am sifting through my photos with plans to post a select group soon and would love to see those taken by other members of the group. Hope everyone had smooth and uneventful trips home and that the tour of Methena was fun. I enjoyed my all too brief visit to Athens before heading home. Thanks for the great hotel booking, Tobias. I had a view of the Acropolis from my balcony. What more could you ask for?

Happy trails everyone,

Jean" (Fascination Volcano tour, Santorini)

Sandra from California about the "Fascination Volcano" tour on Santorini:

"...Somehow I missed Tobias' link to photos and, fortunately, saw it through your note. Just finished looking at each image. Now, I"m exhausted! Stunning, and brings back keen memories, indeed. A whirling, dizzying journey to a version of Santorini unknown to most travelers. From moment we dropped luggage at Aktori to wine-tasting, to walk between villages, to our magical boat trips, to trek around caldera ledge, to climb up limestone mt., to smoking sulpher, to ancient city of Thira, to dreamy soups, best goat cheese, limpets and baklava...on and on. Tom and Tobias, our intrepid, ever-onward guides are a terrific team. Such compatibility among group of 17--wondrous again. How lucky was that??

Crazily, I just returned from 12 days in China...thus, a combo Greece/China 5-week adventure to savor and treasure. From yogurt, white villages & volcanoes to noodles, mountain temples & cave grottos. All intrigue and mystery and contrasts galore...

Best hugs,


Valerie's feedback from the trip on Santorini, May 2009

"Dear Tom & Tobias. Thank you for our remarkable trek in Santorini and Methana--for the beautiful memories and breathtaking photos.
... Coming home to Tobias' pictures gave me time to slow down and appreciate the remarkable experience we had.
I braved edges with Tom's help, jumped on boats with swirling seas (Daphne said I landed, elephant like, on poor Steve flattening him). ... The views took my breath away. ... Remember the oasis where we drank fresh squeezed orange juice and cake? I doubt whether juice will ever taste that good again. ... Little did I know that a bonus to our trip was the leader's desire for good food--and wine-- at the end of the day.
I have new appreciation for magma, volcanic bombs, the beauty of the caldera, smoking sulphur, adjectives that describe volcanic formations and olive trees found preserved in volcanic ash.
Thank you Tom and Tobias for a remarkable experience, and for your good choice in participants. It was a great group. Valerie" (Fascination Volcano, Santorini tour)

"... This was one of those wonderful adventures that we loved at the time, but loved even more as we looked back at all of the places we'd been, the lovely people we met, the great bond we developed. And......a birthday - high atop a volcano - that I will remember forever!
...Many hugs, Daphne" (D. Lewis, Washington, Santorini tour)

"Hi Tom,
This trip had everything! It was so much better than the standard tourist trip to Santorini (we felt so superior the folks who arrived on the 10 story floating skyscrapers and who apparently devoted their time on the island to shopping!). The hikes were good exercise, but with your encouragement to the less athletic among us, not too tough. We got to see so many parts of the island that most visitors don't get to see. And our reward for energetic hiking was delicious food, and lots of it. I appreciated that we got to eat a whole variety of local foods and wines which do not appear on the conventional menus of Greek restaurants in the U.S. I ate like a champ but didn't gain any weight!
I particularly appreciated the interpretation of the geology that you provided. On the way to the airport, you asked what was my favorite thing we did. I liked all the hikes, and especially the accomplishment of doing so much in a short time, but the big thrill, I think, was visiting the small geology museum in Perissa and seeing the critically significant preserved olive tree that you discovered and having you tell us about the find. Thanks for a really wonderful experience!" (Linda K, Olympia (WS), Santorini May 09)

It is always a wonderful experience to have happy clients and it is a great joy to have good feedback at the end of a tour,- here are a few of them in their original version:

"Hallo, Tom Zuerst vielen Dank für die tollen Photos, ich zeigte sie auch Helene und wir schwelgten wieder in Erinnerungen an unsere gemeinsamen Ferien. Es war eine wirkliche  lehrreiche  und zur gleichen Zeit auch sportliche Reise gewesen. Vor allem wurden auch unsere grauen Zellen aktiviert........
Auch über die Organisation muss ich Dir noch nachträglich ein grosses Lob aussprechen!!!!!
Irgendwann werde ich wieder eine Reise mit Deiner Organisation  durchführen. Ich habe ja Einiges  lesen können ( sites internet). Ich wünsche Dir eine schöne Adventszeit sowie natürlich  auch vielleicht ruhige Weihnachten und einen tollen Rutsch ins Jahr 2009, sowie weiterhin viel Erfolg auf Deinen Reisen.
Und vielleicht irgendwann einmal wieder ?! Alles Liebe und Gute Uta" (Fasination Vulkan, Santorin - Okt. 08)

"Tom, I'm thinking you might be on your way to Krakatau now -- I hope you all have a great trip.  We had such an excellent time on our Santorini tour and I keep going back to your web site to figure out which volcano tour I want to try next... " (Jill, USA)

Thanks again, Tom, for this great week in Santorini
Thanks for your competency, your kindness, your support in all situation. Thanks for the ouzo, the orange juice, the wine ...Keep in touch, Marie-Paule (Fascination Volcano, Santorini)

"Thanks again for the great time we all had when visiting Methana & Poros Island. I was very impressed by Greece & will return when other things allow." (Robin, UK, tour to Methan & Poros, Jan 08)

One of the participants sent us this nice spostcard she made herself.
One of the participants sent us this nice spostcard she made herself.
Sacred Sites in Greece 2007 tour - hand-made postcard.
Sacred Sites in Greece 2007 tour - hand-made postcard.

"Hi Tobias,  just wanted to say how much we loved Greece and you;  Hannah had to leave at 9:00 am; we are enjoying the pictures but miss the real thing. love,  Kathy and Hannah" (San Francisco; Saronic Gulf tour 06/07) 

"Bonsoir Tom,
Merci pour les photos de Santorin qui sont magnifiques! Et encore félicitations pour l'organisation de ce voyage. Quand on revoit les photos et le film qu'a fait Yvon, on se rend compte qu'on a non seulement bien vu l'aspect Géologie de cette île, mais aussi l'aspect humain... Bonne continuation (les Suisses disent "bonne suite")
und alles gute. Nathalie et Yvon" (Santorini tour, Sep. 2006)
"Un très grand merci, Tom. Quel plaisir de revivre ces moments fabuleux grâce à tes photos ! J'espère que ton périple italo-sicilien se déroule aussi bien que le nôtre et je te redis ma reconnaissance pour la qualité de l'organisation et les commentaires dont tu nous a fait bénéficier. Cordialement, Geneviève" (Santorini tour, Sep. 2006)

"Hi Tom, Now that we are back home, I wanted to thank you for your patience in showing us so many different aspects of Santorini: the history of volcanic eruptions and geology, local wine and food, Easter pageants, great walks and views, ancient excavations, etc.  We enjoyed our stay very much! ... please give our regards to Koula and her family. We really appreciated that they invited us to share their fabulous Easter meal with them. It was very kind of Tobias to meet us for an evening on such short notice. ... Viele herzliche Gruesse Ursula and Bill" (May 2006, Ursula & Bill from Canada)
Pirgos village on (Greek Easter) Good Friday (21 April 2006)
Pirgos village on (Greek Easter) Good Friday (21 April 2006)

"Hi Tom,
just  a note to thank you for a great tour in October, it was great fun and I learned much, the food and company were excellent, the whole experience was fantastic. I see I even made it to the picture gallery! I have been busy with the thin sections, and have attached a few photos for you to look at. As is often the case ones that you expect to be good are disappointing, e.g. Cape Riva Ignimbrite, while Dacite, which looks to be just glass, shows a lot of structure, flow aligned crystals and good zoned feldspar and pyroxene. The sale of slides seems to be going well and I have stared a ‘shop’ on ebay http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Geosec-Slides which is difficult to keep stocked as they sell so quickly. The fund for future collecting expeditions is growing nicely! ... Once again thanks for October, send my regards to your Mother, and have a happy Christmas. Rob" (UK, Dec. 2005)

Karen inside a spectacular cooling fracture on the volcano of Methana.
Karen inside a spectacular cooling fracture on the volcano of Methana.
Regina, Tobias and Karen in a cafe on Poros Island, Greece (Saronic Gulf tour, Oct. 2005).
Regina, Tobias and Karen in a cafe on Poros Island, Greece (Saronic Gulf tour, Oct. 2005).
"Hi Tom, Hi Tobias, 
Just a very brief message to say "hello" and to thank you for making my first encounter with Greece such a special one. I have many fond recollections and stories to last a lifetime. ... I am slowly adjusting to life back in the states, but missing my traveling companions very much. Please send my best regards to Regina and remember too that you will always have a place to stay should you come to San Francisco. With warm regards. Karen" (San Francisco, Oct. 2005)

Some nice words from a mixed group on Santorini ... (French, English, German speaking)
Some nice words from a mixed group on Santorini ... (French, English, German speaking)
"Thank you Tom for a wonderful week of discovery & wonderful surprises! Judith."
"Thank you Tom for a wonderful week of discovery & wonderful surprises! Judith."

"Dear Tom
Many thanks for a wonderful trip to Santorini, it was great!
Hope things go well at the conference. Well, I said I would send you the octopus photos so here they are, hope they don't clog your mailbox I have no zip function on this computer!
All the best
Ann" (Newcastle, UK)
Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (1)
Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (1)
Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (2)
Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (2)

"Hi Tom, Thanks again for the super week on Santorini! It really was the experience I expected and I would heartily recommend your trip to anyone interested in combining a holiday on the Greek islands with geologically fascinating day walks. Well done!" (Bob Davenport, Germany)

"…I am so pleased to tell you about Tom's Santorini tours! My preference for travel is to be "as close to the ground" as possible. By that I mean I avoid tourist areas and really look for unusual or cultural/educational experiences.
Tom's tours are both intimate and professional. Tom is an expert in not only volcanic activity past and present, but he is also an expert on Greek life and culture. He knows the people, and they love him. Because Tom has lived in Greece for several months of the year for several years, he is well known and appreciated by the locals. This appreciation for Tom and the people he brings on his tours is rewarded by the community with absolute joy in service. For example, the last night of the tour we had a meal at a taverna on a beach. The restaurant gave us each a choice of anything on the menu. We were treated to amazing traditional Greek food, from small fish to hardbread, feta and olives, and amazing desserts. All of this was served in casual fashion on a makeshift outdoor patio almost in the sea! (not quite)
My favourite day was the trip to the volcano. We boarded a small boat and were transported to the volcano by the most humerous and typically Greek character, Sostas. Sostas is a friend of Tom's and can be seen on the Discovery show featuring Tom and Sostas and this tour. We landed on the volcano and Tom explained its history and answered any questions we had. We then swam in the volcanic waters at Sostas's house as Sostas prepared a traditional fish soup, hardbread, feta made from the goats that wander around the hills surrounding Sosta's property, olives, ect. An absolutely marvelous day. I must point out local tours to the volcano generally involve large boats with hoards of tourists who are dropped off and picked up with no explanation of the volcanic activity or history. Tom ensures a personal and educational cultural experience." (Shelly Logan, Canada)

"Hello Tom, I send our last Bulletin because there is one article on the excursion Santorini. I profit to thank you again very much for the way you lead this tour all the people were very happy." (Pierre Vetsch, Société Vulcanologique de Genève, SVG) - the report (in French) is found in the Bulletin Nr. 45 of the SVG.
Extract of the bulletin report mentioned above, referring to the Oct. 2004 tour: "...L’histoire de Calliste (le très beau nom donné à cette île par les anciens Grecs) est extraordinairement bien inscrite sur les flancs de sa caldeira (plutôt des restes de ses caldeiras successives). Des évidences ont été trouvées pour au moins 4 caldeiras, suite à autant d’éruptions explosives. La dernière, la Minoenne, date de 1645 BC. Elle est gravée dans la mémoire de l’humanité... tellement elle est récente ! C’est tout cela, et bien d’autres choses encore, que nous sommes allés admirer (et tenté de comprendre) au cours de ce voyage.
Le magicien dans cette affaire, c’est Tom Pfeiffer, géologue-volcanologue mandaté par notre président pour nous accompagner. Tom a parfaitement répondu à notre attente. Passionné, attentif, pédagogue, à l’humour taquin, volontiers francophone, il nous a fait découvrir les secrets de cette île en sept jours bien remplis. Je parlerai plus loin de son parcours professionnel..." (Jean-Maurice Seigne, Genève, Switzerland)


Follow us:
The Methana volcano peninsula
The Methana volcano peninsula
The volcanic island of Milos
The volcanic island of Milos
The volcano of Santorini
The volcano of Santorini
The volcano of Nisyros
The volcano of Nisyros
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