Map of the hiking path
One of the most exciting lava domes in Greece
The lava dome of Kameni Chora is one of the best examples, of what happens when viscous magma reaches the earth's surface. It builds up a kind of plug, which then possibly tears at the side. Then hot lava slips slip out of the cracks, which are pushed further by slipping, hot material. Explosions only occur when the magma encounters water or in the beginning of the opening of faults and cracks.
The dacitic / andesitic lava is typical result for subduction processes in the earth mantle. The lime stone contenting earth crust of northern Africa is pushed under the little Asian and European plate and so there are different processes of mixing basaltic earth crust components with gas containing upper parts of plates. There are chemical and physical processes that mix the magma and the gases reduce the weight of the magma, that rises up in faults and cracks. Magma chambers in different deeps stay for thousands of years at the same place and cool down until new material ins pressed into them and chemical reactions re-activate older magma (mafic intrussions). If it has enough thermal and physical power, the magma may rise up to the surface and create one of the 30 eruption sites on Methana peninsula.
Visit of the historic lava dome of Kameni Chora village
If you love hiking, please follow the path at the parking lot and then turn left towards the slope.
(The path to the right leads to the village of Agios Nikolaos and Palia Loutra.)
So if you follow the path on the mountainside, it passes through a small grove in which cyclamen bloom in autumn. It is clear, that you DO NOT smoke in a forest. After a few hairpin bends you will reach the plateau of the lava flow after about 10-15 minutes. Follow the path to a tree where it goes uphill over a small rock. With great caution then you go up to the rocks. There is a "cave", which is actually a thermal fault, that was created, when the lava mass was cooling. You can then climb further back over rocks. Soon you stand in front of one of the most beautiful rocks from which pine trees grow out. The climb to the center of the volcano should never be done alone and you should bring enough drinking water with you.
In summer, the climb is recommended in the afternoon, which lasts about 25 minutes.
Security: you should ONLY climb the volcano with good footwear with a profile, because there are places that are covered with fine, rolling stones. A headgear is self-evident.
Please note that rock climbing is life-threatening - even if a few people have already set climbing routes with hooks!
In case of an accident, you can NOT expect an organized mountain rescue.