Why You Should NOT Ride Donkeys In Santorini

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Please do not take a donkey ride in Santorini. Here is why you should NOT ride donkeys in Santorini.

Greece Travel Blog_Why You Should Not Ride Donkeys In Santorini

When you visit Santorini, you’ll no doubt want to explore as much as possible and make your way up and down the caldera to have all the best views. The problem is, it’s heavy on the feet.

When you arrive, you’ll see that many people use donkeys as a way to get around. However, that comes with some pretty debatable effects and consequences.

Santorini Donkey Ride – Yay Or Nay

Santorini Donkeys - Santorini island with donkey in Oia village

People want to get around the local area the most straightforward way, and riding a donkey certainly has some historical context. But it’s also about doing the right thing by the animal too.

Donkeys are certainly hard-working animals that can carry a lot of weight, but they’re not able to carry people who sometimes weigh more than 100kg! Let’s be truthful here – the population is getting heavier, not lighter, and we’re expecting donkeys to carry that load while walking uphill in extreme heat several times per day.

Remember that Santorini is also a major cruise destination and handles thousands of passengers per day during the height of the summer season.

To add further weight to the subject, there are around 600 steps that go all the way up the Santorini cliffs – think how you feel walking up that number of steps and then throw in the heat. We’re talking 400 meters above sea level here, so it’s not something that’s easy to do, especially in the heat.

Please do not take a donkey ride in Santorini.

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How Else Can You Get Around In Santorini

Sitting in Akrotiri Santorini overlooking the Caldera

It’s possible to get around without burdening a poor little donkey in Santorini. If you want to visit them, go and give them a carrot and pet them a little – you don’t have to ride them to enjoy the experience.


Instead, you can put on your walking shoes and head up by foot, or you can go for the easier option and choose the cable car.

Cable Car

The cable car (more like a gondola lift) connects the port with the town of Thera. It can hold 1200 people every hour, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long in the queue.

It’s a very scenic way to get around the caldera, and it won’t hurt a donkey. It’s time we all started to think about the welfare of the animals over profits and saving our legs.

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