Donkeys - a trademark of Santorini
If your wish come true and you visit Santorini one day, after coming to the island, donkeys will welcome you first :)
They are trademarks of Santorini.
Although there are ropeways, climbing to the city with the help of these animals is still very popular among tourists.
The donkeys are still used to carry the burden of construction to inaccessible places, and they are very skilled, light and they walk safe along the cliffs and high and numerous stairs.
It is interesting that, after they are no longer able to work, they move them to “asylum” in a field where locals take care of them and provide them with the necessary care. The island also has a supervisor to control the protection of elderly donkeys.
Through history, donkeys played a significant role in the development of the island, and thanks to them, many houses and hotels were built at a time when there was no other way of transport.
On the island, there is a big number of sculptures of donkeys and artists from all countries are invited to paint them. Every artist who paints the sculpture gets 5 days free vacation in one of the hotels in Santorini. Sculptures are sold then on auctions, and collected money is used to help sick and old donkeys.
Lately, the animal protection association appeal to stop using donkeys as a way of transport of people and luggage in Santorini. Very high temperatures, heavy tourists with even heavier luggage, huge climbs, the existence of ropeways, and the absence of any shelter and shade throughout the day are the reasons that tourists should stop using Santorini donkeys for transportation and use alternative ways to climb to Fira.