August 11, 2013
In Santorini, donkey riding is the second most popular way of transport after walking. The cute animals are loyal, peaceful and the most important, they are able to climb steps and walk long distances, patiently and safely, while carrying people on their back. Being an indispensable part of the charm of the island, they can walk by the edge of the cliff even though having been loaded with luggage or humans!
Travelers in Santorini have the rare opportunity to experience a donkey riding while enjoying the breathtaking view to the caldera. The donkeys are the first to welcome visitors at the port and take their first tour to the island. Being cute and friendly yet strong and fit enough to climb the steps, they are considered to be a picturesque symbol of Santorini that is strictly connected to the traditions of the island. Even though the cable car is available for the transferring of the visitors to Fira faster, most of them prefer the traditional donkeys that let them experience a rare promenade.
The donkeys had been a loyal friend of men for a long time since they accompanied people to several daily activities before the invention of modern means of transport. However, in Santorini they are still necessary not just for the transfer of people from the port to Fira town but for the transfer of a plethora of material needed for the building of settlements and resorts on the slope ground of the cliff which is inaccessible to cars. Thanks to their offer to the local community, the donkeys are protected and respected by the people of Santorini. Given the fact that these patients animals work hard during their life, when they grow old, they are transferred to a field where locals take care of them.
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