Nikia - Caldera (Crater Stefanos)
This is a truly breathtaking hike. You will visit the caldera and you will see many craters. The route starts from the Volcanological Museum in Nikia and leads to the flat area of the caldera where the hydrothermal craters are located. It is a 45 minutes’ walk and you can return via the same route or you can head towards the Monastery of Evangelistria and onwards to Mandraki.
Stefanos is the largest crater in the hydrothermal field. It is of an elliptical shape and its slopes are composed of old debris deposits, while its interior of alluvial deposits. In its interior, the rumble caused by the flow of the hydrothermal fluids’ underneath, is stunning. This fluid reaches the surface via fumaroles that are located around the inner edge of the crater. The gases steaming out have a temperature of approximately 100 degrees Celsius and are rich in water (94%), hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and methane. You can also admire mud pools, usually formed during rainfall and periods of high humidity, offering a magnificent spectacle. You can visit Kaminakia craters on the southeastern sides of the caldera as well as the crater of Mikros Stefanos. The path then leads to the hill with the post caldera craters of Logothetis, Megalos Polyvotis (1871-73), Mikros Polyvotis (1887) and Alexander (1871-73). For safety reasons, visitors are requested not to descend to Megalos Polyvotis crater when no winds blow in the area because of the high level of carbon dioxide in the air.