Step-by-step Instructions on Surviving a Greek Donkey Gauntlet

Getting from Thira to the Old Port — the departure point for most cruises and caldera tours — means walking a steep, winding, cobblestone path for half an hour. There will be donkeys (for taxiing people back up the hill). There will be shit. Here’s how to deal.

Step 1: Ask a ticket lady the best way to get from the bluffs of Thira to the port. She will lie and direct you to the cobblestone shit slide.

Photo by Gavin Jackson @TravelerBroads

Step 2: Notice donkey-minder guys carrying little sticks and breathe a sigh of relief in error. They will not help you. In fact, these are the last donkey-minder guys you will see for the next half hour.

Photo by Gavin Jackson @TravelerBroads

Step 3: Immediately acknowledge your misstake in wearing sandals.

Photo by Gavin Jackson @TravelerBroads

Step 4: Deal with the business end of donkey after donkey. Pray not to get kicked. Notice some donkeys wearing Hannibal Lecter-style muzzles and also pray not to get bit. (You didn’t even know that was an option.)

Photo by Gavin Jackson @TravelerBroads

Step 5: Run into one impossibly hateful donkey that refuses to move out of your way and be forced to duck under said donkey’s head to get past. Naturally, he will be a freakishly short donkey.


Step 6: Falsely believe you’ve seen your last donkey and that you’re almost to the port. You haven’t, and you are not.

Photo by Gavin Jackson @TravelerBroads

Step 7: At the bottom of the donkey gauntlet, vow to take the cheap, convenient tram from now on.

Photo by Gavin Jackson @TravelerBroads


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