Santorini Experience – swimming through the stunning Aegean Sea

 Saturday, August 29, 2020 


Open Water Swimming by Vikos @ Santorini Experience (photo by Babis Giritziotis)

The Santorini Experience

Recognised as one of the greatest sport tourism event, the Santorini Experience is set to take place from October 2-4, 2020 marking the 6th year of the event. Santorini is known as one of the top tourist destinations in the world and like every year it will attract professional and amateur athletes and offer them unique moments of sports and tourism combined. The event will see trail running and open water swimming races that will be held on October 3 and October 4, respectively.

The competitions will also have an eco-friendly approach, through a strategy that will incorporate plastic free actions and place the safety of all participants above everything. Santorini Experienceis co-organised by the Municipality of Santorini alongside the Municipal Sports Cultural Environmental Organisation of Santorini (DAPPOS). The 10km race has been organized along with AS Ifestos Thiras and EAS SEGAS Cyclades Region and approved by the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS). Santorini Experiencehas also joined the Greek actions of the “BeactiveHellas 2020” 2020 programme of the European Commission and is held under the auspices of the General Secretariat of Sports.

History of the Volcano

Known as one of the largest underwater active volcanoes in the world, the Volcano of Santorini, is probably the only Volcano with its Caldera reaching the sea. With accounts of ancient volcanic eruptions that connect Santorini with the myth of the lost Atlantis, to the earthquakes of contemporary times, history of Santorini is directly connected to its “restless” territory and its volcanoes. Parts of Santorini’s volcano are- Nea Kameni (1707-1711 AD), Palea Kameni (46-47 AD), the underwater volcano Columbus (active) (1650 AD) and Christiana Islands. The exciting swimming race of the Santorini Experience will also take place amid a similar historical sea gap between Thira and Thirasia, formed during the Minoan eruption that took place in 1613 BC, featuring a depth of more than 1000 meters.

The Event

Participants of Santorini Experience will have the opportunity to swim over the iconic lost Atlantis on the mesmerizing 1.5 miles (2.4 km) route from the volcano to the old port of Fira, in the morning of Sunday, October 4, 2020. Swimmers will also be able to enjoy the imposing view of the island in the warm waters of the volcano, at the open water swimming race by Vikos. Like every year, the swimming route of the captivating waters of Santorini will ensure complete safety. Average temperature of the water around October will remain around 20-22 degree Celsius. Depending on the final number of entries, different categories will be formed and a separate category would be added for individuals wearing wetsuits. The race will be held under the technical direction of Nikos Gemelos, Greek National Swimming Coach with Olympic and World Championship distinctions, with the approval of the Hellenic Swimming Federation in accordance with FINA regulations and the event’s health protocol.

Safety and Security

The event will make sure to look after all athletes by providing high-quality safety lifeguard buoys. Specialized lifeguards and rescue boats from Lifeguard Patrol will also contribute to the safety of the race like each year. Instructions from the special scientists-collaborators of the Hellenic Swimming Federation will be followed based on the epidemiological data and the suggestions of the Health Committee of the General Secretariat of Sports. In addition, strict standards of the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the General Secretariat of Sports and all relevant sports Federations will also be followed. The health and safety of all participants will continue to be the main priority of the event and the Santorini Experience will be planned and delivered based on the protocol of races, which will ensure public health and safety of all parties involved.

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