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“Do not walk down” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Santorini Donkey Tours

Santorini Donkey Tours
Fira, Greece
+30 694 035 6025
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Ranked #25 of 31 Tours & Activities in Fira
Attraction details
Bloomington, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Do not walk down”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

This was horrible! Our excursion on the Celebrity Reflection cruise ship was suppose to include the cable car ride to get back down. The cable cars broke down, which later we heard happens a lot. We had to walk down the dirty, smelly, slippery, steep path. The photos I have looked at show a clean path. Not true, there, of course is donkey poop and pee everywhere, donkeys rest on the side with their rears pointing at you The donkeys are set in their ways and want to get back up the path as you are coming down. You have to get out of their way, the will just walk right over you. The path is very slippery, people were falling everywhere and getting badly hurt and over heating. We had to take the path down only because the Cable cars were broke down and they were not sure when they would be fixed. Also, the donkeys were slipping coming and going on the path. Our tour guide (before she left us) said it was not safe to walk the path or ride the donkeys.

Visited July 2013
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65 reviews 65 reviews
40 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“unique visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

Santorini is a very interesting place considering its birth being from a Volcano eruption eons ago. I would stay here no longer than 4-5 days at most, then move onto other Greek Islands especially Ios. Highlights of Santorini include, strolling along the shops along the cliff edge on top of the island, swimming at red beach amazing scenery!!, yacht rides around the Island, and visiting the museums and archaeological sites.

Visited May 2013
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Big Time Donkey Abuse”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

I am thoroughly disgusted with the cruise companies that promote the use of the 'donkey taxis' as well as those individuals who actually ride on their backs rather than queue for the cable car or walk up themselves. On the day we visited Santorini three ships were anchored off the coast so Fira was packed with tourists. The temperature was in excess of 34 degrees C. The donkeys did not have any food or water. There was insufficient shelter for all of them in the blisteringly hot sun. Many of them were obviously struggling to carry overweight riders and even two adult riders in some cases. Furthermore, we witnessed their ruthless old handlers abusing them by whipping them with long sticks as they trundled up and down (at high speed), time after time throughout the long day.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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13 reviews 13 reviews
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17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A fun experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

This was fun for our group of ten. The donkeys we rode seemed to be well taken care of and in good health. It is a good value for an experience!

The ride up took about 20 minutes. It is hard to time pictures on the way up but fun to try.

A few of our riders did have scratches on their calves from the donkey brushing along the wall.

Riding a donkey in Santorini is like taking a cable car in San Francisco or a gondola in Venice, something on everyone's list.

Visited July 2013
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Belfast, United Kingdom
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Beware the donkeys!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Santorini was my favorite port of call on a cruise in July 2013. So picturesque, great shopping and pleasant people. However, getting from the port , I think it was called Scala to Fira and back down again, was an experience. I would not pay to go on a donkey, as an animal lover, I believe it is wrong. I know the locals make their money this way but I think the whole situation needs reviewing.
We took the cable car up, an experience in itself. It cost 4 Euros each. The cliff is sheer and the angle at which the car goes up is steep! The steps we had to line up on, awaiting the cable car were steep too, with no hand rail. I did not believe I was scared of heights until then!
We decided to walk back down to the port to get the tender back to the ship. We knew the donkeys also shared this path but were not prepared for the experience. Firstly, the path is made up of lots of steps ( my calf muscles have only stopped complaining!) they consist of old, worn and hence slippy stones. A man in front of me, lost his footing and slipped and fell. Secondly, you must negotiate the donkeys tethered at the donkey stations at both the top and bottom of this path that zig zags down the mountain. Some face outwards and some inwards. I was very concerned about passing behind a donkey in case it kicked. Successfully negotiated, your worries are just beginning. Donkey trains come up and down past you, bearing tourists who cannot control nor steer the animals. The path is narrow with nowhere to go when the donkeys come directly towards you. There is excrement all over the steps, blood too, I can only assume is from the donkeys when they have been beaten with sticks by their owners. Worst nightmare! A young female Japanese tourist who was just in front of me was kicked as she passed a group of stationary animals about a third of the way down. Her scream was ear splitting. The response of the man in charge of the donkeys? To whip said donkey with a stick!
By the time we got to the bottom, I was a wreck, both physically and emotionally, my legs were shaking. What an experience.
Finally, I feel it is not humane to work and treat the donkeys in this way. Tourists who pay to ride on the donkeys are ensuring that this method of going up or down from Fira, will continue. Many of the animals were muzzled with cruel-looking wire contraptions. One wonders why?

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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