The Methana Volcano
Methana – The volcanic spa
One of Attica’s most surprising features is the bizarre volcanic landscape of Methana, formed over millions of years and a number of violent eruptions. Τhe Methana peninsula, jutting out into the Saronic Gulf just off the eastern coast of the Peloponnese, is home to one Greece’s most ancient healing centres and one Greece’s earliest spa towns.
The area’s volcanic activity left its mark, creating a landform shaped by the flow of lava and ash. Atop the peninsula, the volcanic cone with a 417-meter crater towers overhead. Those who take the path leading to the crater witness this primeval sleeping giant. Surrounding the volcano is a landscape of pine trees, shrubs, homes with ceramic-tiled roofs and flowered courtyards and pathways that lead to a coastline of pristine beaches.
This blend of natural elements – earth, water and the sheer volcanic force – creates a unique scenery and a place that is fertile and healing at the same time.
Scientists have located 30 points of intense seismic activity within the Methana Volcano, and while it is currently calm, the volcano is still considered active. Rising out of the volcanic arc of the Aegean, it is surrounded by two powerful neighbours, Nissyros and the notorious Santorini.
While the journey begins with a paved road, the path to the summit takes hikers through a beautiful pine forest and past imposing limestone rocks. At the end of the clearly marked trail, visitors climb up to the very precipice of the volcano’s crater.
According to Pausanias, the ancient traveller, the volcano last erupted in the third century BC.