Methana - Volcanoes, Sun, Sea and Thermal Springs
If you are standing on the top of Philopappos hill next to the Acropolis in Athens, you may have a clear view over the Saronic gulf towards west. There you will discover the steep volcanic mountain of Egina island and behind it a mysterious serial of steep hills. It is the scenery of an nearly unknown peninsula at the east coast of the Peloponnese mainland. Even the most Greeks do not know that area and on the most touristic maps it is still a white spot. If you want to get there, you may drive with a car or you sail there in about 2,5 hours.
Arriving there, you will see an "modern" Greek architecture that is not very attractive by your first sight. That is why the most visitors are not really attracted and go on with their drive to Poros or other destinations in the Peloponnese. There is no tourist information office and it is difficult to find information about Methana.
So why should you stay longer? That is why I have founded this website in 1999. Methana has to offer a lot, but you must know what, where and when. On this website you will discover, why Methana is a highly interesting area!
The 55 square kilometer wide and up to 740 m high peninsula consists mostly of over 30 volcanoes, which have created an impressive landscape.
If you stand in front of Methana town, you will see the first mountains, but that is all for the moment. To discover the beauty and nature of Methana, you have to do a hiking tour, to drive with your car, a motorbike or to ride your mountain bike. It is still a little adventure to hike up the mountains, but I hope that in the next years, the locals will care about the maintenance of the hiking paths.
One of the most famous places of the peninsula is the historical volcano at the village of Kameni Chora, which you can climb easily. There was the last eruption around 270 BC. A volcano formed a 412 m high lava dome.
One of the most impressive landscapes in Greece!
Those who travel to the highlands of Methana, will see even larger volcanoes and will also pass the volcanic Caldera Stavrolongos, which is probably the central crater of the Methana peninsula. It is comparable to the Kelut volcano on the Indonesian island of Java.
The volcanoes of Methana are considered geologically active and can break out again in the future. When, no one knows. It can be in 100 years, in 1000 years or only in 10,000 years. But it will be repeated, because the African plate is pushed further underneath the European-Little-Asian plate and thus new magma is formed.
Volcanism is also the reason why there are thermal springs in Methana. They were the main reason in the past, why Greeks mainly came to Methana. Unfortunately, they have not been sufficiently modernized over recent decades, and inexperienced management is not exactly a success for the healing baths.
Due to the decline in visitor numbers & management, the "Spa" is in crisis. There are no new concepts on how to make it more successful. Interest in cooperation with foreign wellness companies is low and the Greek state is disinterested. Until today there is no certification, thus also no foreign spa guests.
The medicinal baths have always shaped the economic life of Methana and its crisis has also brought the other business & companies into the decline. Only sustainable tourism could bring the turnaround. Nature lovers, hobby geologists and hikers can generate income regularly throughout all over the year and could make the economy independent from the "Spa".
Since its founding in 1999, this website had the aim to present these alternatives and to convey concepts. Proposals, commitment and the attempt to co-operate with the local administration met with disinterest until this day. The idea and realization of the first international conference on the volcanism of Methana in June 2016 did not change the situation yet.
It is worth visiting Methana and supporting the local people. Every visitor is important and can encourage the Greeks to continue. The state does not support them.
Methana and Greece are generally the most beautiful places in Europe. Unfortunately, the Greek state is like a ship without a captain. No one knows how and where to go.
There is no plan, no goal, no vision.
Enjoy and support nature, the climate and the nice people!
Tours to Methana
The experienced tour guide Tobias Schorr has been living on Methana and is now organizing hiking tours on the Methana peninsula. You may find more information about his tours on this LINK!