A SPECTACULAR 60KM CIRCUIT OF THE ENTIRE VOLCANIC RIM OF THE WORLD-FAMOUS ‘SUNKEN CALDERA’ OF SANTORINI BY FOOT AND KAYAK.
Enjoy sweeping views of picture-postcard Cycladic white-washed villages clinging to the rim of the Caldera, against a backdrop of clear azure seas. Everyone should see Santorini at least once in their lifetime. This rugged and challenging multi-sport attempt creates quite possibly the most memorable way imaginable to experience this magical Isle.
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*price per month, depending on departure day when you sign up in March, click here for more info on pricing
29 SEPT – 2 OCT / 2023
6 – 9 OCTOBER / 2023
13 – 16 OCTOBER / 2023
4 – 7 OCTOBER / 2024
11 – 14 OCTOBER / 2024
9 MILES (15 KM) ON KAYAK + 28 MILES (45KM) ON FOOT
BED & BREAKFAST
4 DAYS /
DIFFICULTY RATING: CAN I DO THIS?
Absolutely. This adventure is for anyone with a good level of general fitness.
3 nights accommodation / B&B
Some meals included.
Flexible transfer policy.
GUIDES AND SUPPORT
Professional support vehicles, safety staff, medical and welfare.
Includes kayak and associated equipment rental.
High quality medal, rat rag and premium t-shirt for all participants.
Professional local and UK safety staff, medics, drivers, route safety staff and Rat Race experts on hand throughout. Audited and accredited to BS8848 expedition safety standard.
RAISE £2000 AND GET UP TO £900 REFUNDED
SET UP YOUR JUST GIVING PAGE HERE OR FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR CHARITY PARTNERSHIP HERE
This is a full circumnavigation of the World-famous Volcanic island of Santorini including its neighbouring island, Thirassia. It makes a full circuit of the famous sunken Caldera over 60km and includes a climb to bag the high-point of Santorini, giving unbelievable views across the whole archipelago. The route starts and finishes in Oia, the architectural jewel of Santorini and includes 2 x kayak and 2 x foot legs. The island is teaming with classic vistas of Cycladic white-washed buildings clinging to the cliffs, seemingly tumbling into the sparkling sea below. It is also World-famous for its sensational sunsets. Enjoy it all as you embark on this multi-sport tour of one of Earth’s most cherished spots.
After collections and transfers from Santorini International airport and 2 nights quality B and B accommodation on the island, plus Registration and pre-challenge logistics, our journey will commence with an exciting kayak flotilla crossing from the main island to the neighbouring island of Thirassia. We will carry this out right at sun-up, thus taking out some of the heat of the day and hopefully providing us with an amazing sunrise with which to start our adventure. You will come ashore on Thirassia for the first foot foray of the day, covering some 5km of rugged and rocky terrain before taking to the kayaks again. We will again move as a flotilla together, covering the main sea leg with full safety cover and aiming across open water to the Northern tip of Santorini. This is a big outing in the boats and you will welcome the opportunity to get ashore and stretch out those legs as you settle into 36km of full-on trekking or running.
Our Santorini leg will take in the high point of the island – Mount Profitis Ilias – plus some other incredible natural features, affording astounding views over this volcanic chunk of Greek paradise. The route gradually brings you to the rim of the Caldera itself and you will pass through the picture-postcard towns of Fira and Oia with their white-washed Cycladic architecture and classic blue domed roofs. Arriving back in Oia you will have completed a circumnavigation of the Volcano in a 60km-long loop by sea and on foot. Top off this incredible journey with a World-famous Santorini sunset – the perfect ending to a rugged and truly unique Aegean adventure. The evening sees us all enjoy a celebration dinner in a cracking local Taverna and one last night together on this incredible island.
You will arrive into Santorini International airport for our RV at 1400 (or overnight in the local area and self-transfer to our hotel to arrive at the hotel at 1500). If arriving into the airport, we will the transfer the team to the accommodation and check into our rooms. The rest of the afternoon will be your own. We will set a meeting point for dinner for those who wish; and everyone can get to know one another over a relaxing local meal.
ACCOMMODATION: B and B - shared rooms within an apartment or studio
MEALS: None provided. Pay for your own dinner and drinks
After a leisurely breakfast we will carry out Registration and provide some briefings, including heat management, style of event, intro to the route and we will provide assistance loading the route onto your GPS watches if you require. We will also go through some kayak safety points. The day is then mostly your own to explore Santorini. If you wish to take part in our optional kayak refresher, this will be in the afternoon and transport will be provided. We will set another RV for another optional dinner together, prior to what many will hope will be an early night. You may of course wish to do your own thing and that is no problem either. there is no shortage of good restaurants on Santorini. For tomorrow, set those alarms as it’s an early one!
ACCOMMODATION: B and B - shared rooms within an apartment or studio
MEALS: Breakfast provided. Pay for your own lunch, dinner and drinks
Kayak Start – Oia to Thirassia (5km): It’s an early start to ensure you can have a decent breakfast and get ready for our mass kayak flotilla start from Oia, which will take place at Dawn. This will allow us to avoid some of the heat of the day later on and will give us the best chance of a clam sea state, with minimal boat traffic. It will also be an utterly spectacular way to start your journey. You will be collected from the accommodation and be transported to the startline, where we will amass the boats and head off for the initial 5km crossing to Thirassia.
Thirassia Foot Stage (10km / 285m ascent): Coming ashore on Thirassia you will run or trek for 10km, enjoying incredible early morning views back to the ‘mainland’ of Santorini, before jumping back in the kayaks.
Kayaking back to Santorini (10km): For this next kayak stage, we will amass again as a flotilla as this is a committing sea leg, where it is safest for the group to travel together. If you have been fast on Thirassia, shake out the legs and enjoy the peace and quiet of the early morning before taking back to the boats. If it takes you a while longer to do the distance on foot, no problem. We will kayak back to the Northern tip of Santorini, where you will come ashore and have the option to access your transition bag to change clothes or shoes and we will also have a Pit Stop ready and waiting to feed and fuel you.
Run/ Trek Santorini (36km / 1580m ascent): Having refreshed and left the water behind you, there is now 36km of foot travel standing between you and the finish, back in Oia where you began all those hours ago. You will find trail, road and rocky paths all converge to bring you in the first instance to your first objective: The high point of the island, Mount Profitis Ilias (567m). From there, having enjoyed phenomenal views and spotted the impressive monastery of the Prophet Elias, it isn’t quite ‘all down hill;’ but you will gradually descend to the Caldera rim, high above the Ocean. This will afford stunning views back out to Thirassia, from whence you came this morning. At all times, Pit Stops will be positioned approximately every 5km on the run route to assist with hydration and fuelling as the day gets hotter. As you rejoin the Volcanic rim itself high atop the cliffs that flank the island, you will pass through the stunning white-washed ‘main town’ of Fira. After Fira at 40km the route will take a short out and back to Skaros Rock, which offers superb 180 degree views of the Caldera’s rim. With 10km to go, you will make your way along the coastal path back to Oia, where you will descend again all the way to sea level and end up back at the spot where you jumped in the kayaks several hours (and 60km) before. This makes Journey’s End and a full circumnavigation of the entire Volcanic Caldera of Santorini!
Once you have finished, our event vehicles will transport you to the event accommodation. Cue food, beers and revelry (and maybe showers!)
ACCOMMODATION: B and B - shared rooms within an apartment or studio
MEALS: ‘Grab n’ go’ breakfast, Pit Stop service throughout the day, celebration dinner at a local Taverna provided
After a big hearty breakfast we will transfer folk and their gear back to the airport. If you wish to stay around, no problem. We will have some options for extending your stay on Santorini or simply make your own plan to hand around or go island-hopping to some other Aegean gems. There is no shortage of options in the Cyclades.
We will be using two places to accommodate everyone over the event weekend. Both locations are very close together and will create our base for the duration.
The nature and style of accommodation in Santorini is apartments and studios. This means that there are two rooms with some shared communal space: bathroom, small kitchen and lounge. Accommodation is typically always offered on a shared basis, You can expect to have 3/4 people per studio/apartment.
If you are taking part on your own, you will be paired with another participant of the same sex in a twin room. If you wish to share a room with a fellow racer, you will have the opportunity to request this on your event participation form, which will be sent to you 3 months ahead of the event.
This will be served in your accommodation and will consist of typical local choices in line with the hotel’s offerings. On Challenge day, it is an early departure so we will provide ‘grab n’ go’ materials or arrange for an early pre-departure breakfast.
Pre-challenge, we will designate a local restaurant both nights for those who wish to dine together. There is no obligation on this however and if you wish to make your own plans – no problem. After the Challenge, dinner is on us and Rat Race will provide a 3 course meal and wine for the table. If you wish to augment with other selections in the restaurant that night, you may do so. You will settle the bill for your own drinks outside of our supplied wine. But don’t worry – the first round is most definitely on us to toast a job well done!
During the challenge you will have access to our famously well-stocked Pit Stops multiple times throughout the journey. On all stages, these will typically be set-up from our mobile teams at set spots on the route. You will carry your own supplies, including plenty of water and your sports nutrition, in your pack too. This ensures you are always self-sufficient with food and fluids.
Pit stops will typically have a minimum of the following available:
Water – Ensure you leave with water bottles and bladders filled so you have enough to get you to the next Pit Stop.
Sports Food Bars – oat-type bars for maximum energy.
Salty snacks – such as chips and peanuts.
Savoury treats – We will feature some fresh local foods and other goodies at selected pit stops, around lunchtime.
A fruit option – such as oranges, bananas, melon and watermelon.
Sweets – including local speciality sweet treats.
A variety of sandwiches, pastries and cakes.
We may even ensure a selection of the local cheeses, dried or cured meats and other goodies are on offer at select Pit stop locations!
Our Pit Stops are there to help supplement any personal sports nutrition plan you may have. If you have any special dietary requirements then please plan for this and pack your kit accordingly. Rat Race aim to offer Pit Stop snacks that are tasty and functional for as broad a mix of needs as possible. We have options available that are suitable for vegetarian and vegans and availability of this will depend on demand. If peanuts are served these will be in individual portioned bags to reduce the chance of contamination but Rat Race cannot guarantee that the food does not contain contamination from allergens such as nuts or gluten in its preparation or serving.
Please make sure you sanitise your hands prior to eating any food. Please, please, please take care with your trash and help us in our aim of leaving these incredible islands tidier than we find them. This is even more critical in this environment, with any lost trash instantly becoming a choking hazard for the marine life we are here to admire.
The date-range is set and the route is tried and tested. However, our challenges unfold in some of the most spectacular places on Earth. Sometimes we do have to change plans on account of weather or other unforeseen factors. If we do have to do so, you will be informed and usually, these unforeseen changes simply add to the flavour of proceedings and provide for a good story to tell at day’s end! That having been said, our route is likely to remain largely intact, regardless of any on-the-ground changes.
Click ‘Buy Event Voucher’ and go through the sign-up process, you’ll then be issued with an event voucher which will automatically reserve you a place in the event you have chosen.
Rat Race require you to be over 18 on the day of Registration for this adventure. If you wish to participate as a family group or with a responsible adult and you are 16+, we will consider applications on an individual basis. Please contact us if this is the case.
Getting to the start line is important and we are there to help you as best we can. However, if you feel on reflection that it is just not your time yet, we do have a transfer system that you can use to transfer out, receive Rat Race credit and come back again next year or do something else. Credit is typically valid for 12 months and there is a fee to be paid for transferring out in this way. We want to be really clear that this option is there for you if you need it, but it does have a deadline. View our full terms and conditions here.
The latest kit list will be sent to you before the event within the Essential Event Information Document.
Of course. If you run for Children with Cancer UK and raise the target amount for this event per person, we will refund your entry fee up to the amount of £2500. You are of course more than welcome to fundraise for any cause close to your heart.
Yes, you can. We welcome support on almost all of our events and if you do decide you want to come and work with us, we will make sure we look after you. Click here to find out more about volunteering for Rat Race.
We’ve put together a fantastic new instalment plan that allows you to choose how many months you want to spread the cost of this brilliant adventure over. You can pay it off all in one go or spread it over as many months as you like, totally interest free. There is no credit check required to use this facility. When you sign up to the instalment plan Rat Race will then set up a reoccurring payment and your card will be debited on the same date each month. If there is an error with your payment you will receive reminders from Stripe, our payment provider, and also the Rat Race customer service team. After 3 attempts to contact you if the outstanding balance remains unpaid we will assume you wish to cancel your entry and will withdraw you from the event and you will not be eligible to enter our transfer process and no monies will be refunded.
Add Refund Protect to your booking during purchase and receive a full refund of your entry fee if you are unable to attend the event due to a qualifying unforeseen circumstance. PLEASE NOTE this protection is with our 3rd party partner Refund Protect and NOT Rat Race. In the event you make a refund application this is administered by the Refund Protect customer service team, Rat Race are not privy to the application and cannot intervene on your behalf to influence the outcome determined by their team.
To check the full list of qualifying unforeseen circumstances that are protected please click here to view Refund Protect terms and conditions.
To add Refund Protect (administered by a 3rd party) to your Rat Race booking simply select this option when presented during the entry process. Refund Protect cannot be added retrospectively. Rat Race will then send you name and booking details to Refund Protect in order to protect your transaction with them. If you opt to pay in instalments and transfer your entry before the entry cost is full paid you will be liable to ensure the cost of Refund Protect has been fully covered. This total amount will be deducted from any Rat Race credit due through the transfer process or you will be invoiced by Rat Race for the outstanding amount as Rat Race have paid this on your behalf to Refund Protect at point of entry.
Yes. You need a decent travel policy covering you for general travel and which covers participation in outdoor sports. You will also need what is called an Evacuation Insurance Policy, which is for if we need to send you back to the closest city for urgent medical attention via a helicopter or similar. We also recommend you have this in place as soon as you enter this event and that if you book flights, we highly recommend booking a flexible option for any last-minute changes you might need to make or to ensure you have maximum flexibility if you cannot attend for any reason.
Travel insurance is compulsory for our events, so please make sure your insurance policy covers the activities you will be participating in. There are a number of specialist providers available including Mann Broadbent.
Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a confirmation email. After that, you will be kept in the loop closer to the event when we will send out our Essential Event Information approximately 12 weeks ahead of the event, detailing the full itinerary, what you need to bring and other important information relating to the specific event you have signed up for. We will also host webinars which you will be invited to (again, closer to the event), where you will have the opportunity to ask questions and go through your kit. There will be a final email one month ahead of the event, just to check you’ve completed all the important forms and are ready for the event ahead.
If you have chosen to pay in instalments, we will also get in touch with you if any of your payments have been missed.
Rat Race have been audited and accredited to the prestigious BS8848 expedition safety standard. We have firm emergency protocols and response systems in place whilst out on our adventures. Our main priority above all else is to keep you and our staff safe. Before we leave for each trip a comprehensive in-country risk and threat assessment has been conducted by the Head of Expeditions. All protocols are put in place relating to those assessments. We make sure that the staff involved have the highest level of first aid training; a higher level of medical cover is also put in place if needed; all instructors have qualifications and/ or competencies to match the adventure we will undertake. In the event of an emergency, Rat Race staff and appointed contractors have comprehensive knowledge of procedures which will rapidly be put in place. If needed, our staff will provide first aid and then further medical assistance and evacuation if needed in line with a published Medical Procedures Plan. We have medical back-up and Clinical Directorship provided by a specialist events medical company and we have further emergency response support services provided by competent contracted partner. All our cover is available 24/7 while operations are underway. We use our knowledge and emergency procedures to provide the best possible care in our often remote and austere environments. Before leaving on a trip, we will advise on the insurance cover you are required to have in place for the trip; we will ask for a copy of these insurance details before the departure date.
Race entry includes a glorious finishers medal and bespoke event Rat Race tee. We will request your tshirt size and this will be the size you will be given at Registration.
The short answer is no. The price for this event is for everything outlined on the website and it is very difficult for us to split this out. Our accommodation is based on group rates and is on a shared basis. All of our event logistics, support and organisation has been designed to have all the participants in the same locations to allow transfers, briefings etc to run smoothly and to let you bond with your fellow #ratracers! You are welcome to arrange your own accommodation if you wish but this will not result in a reduction in the event fee from us, you will also then be responsible for ensuring you are at our meeting points at the arranged time and we will not be able to transport you to and from your own accommodation, you will need to be able to do this independently.
No problem. Where we use hotels, rooms are offered on a twin / shared basis. If you wish to share with a fellow participant, you will be asked to add this information to your event participation from which we will issue you with approximately 12 weeks ahead of the event.
This is a 60km challenge set over a chunky day out, with an early start. BUT the Rat Race ethos is to provide extraordinary challenges for ordinary people. You do not need super-technical skills or to be a seasoned endurance athlete. You need a good base fitness and train for a big day out on foot and boat. It’s a big day for sure, but it is definitely designed to be ‘doable.’ It is not a suffer fest. You do have it in you. And everyone should see Santorini once in their life. This is certainly a very memorable way to do so! There is enough time to trek the whole thing if you are on foot; and unless you really are off the pace, we will try not to cut you off.
Of course, we are giving you a very early start to allow the very best possible window for route completion. But, if you need us and if you need to abandon the route for whatever reason, we are there for you. The absolute key is that you enjoy this amazing journey around this World-famous Volcanic Caldera; and that you do so within your own limits. On the kayak legs, we will re-group and travel as a flotilla for safety reasons.
We want you to concentrate on the views and the hard work of putting one foot (or paddle) in front of the other. So we don’t want you to be staring at maps or navigational aids any more than you have to. The route will not be way-marked as such, but there will be some assistance from our staff and static marshals will be deployed in the trickier sections.
We will also be asking you to download a route file that you will be able to download onto your smartphone. You will follow this ‘line’ when on the foot-based route and this will be your main go-to resource for the duration of the challenge. On the kayak you will travel as a flotilla and will not be required to navigate at all. Don’t worry – you won’t get lost. But if you do – support is never far away.
We will use a mixture of guides, stewards, pit stops and support vehicles to support you at intervals by our mobile ‘pit stop’ team. We will also have our local safety team with you all the way on the water, whilst you are kayaking. Across the challenge, we will have multiple vehicles at our disposal, plus multiple staff members, snacks, and drinks to distribute. So, if it does get too much, if you overheat, get too cold (unlikely!), need sustenance, motivational support or otherwise, we should be able to assist. You are in good hands.
We will undertake the 2 x kayak legs as a flotilla (a group of boats travelling together). The first one is at the very start, so we will all be together anyway. The second leg is AFTER the 9km foot section on Thirassia, so there will be a pause at that stage to allow folk to re-group and then we will travel across to Santorini in one flotilla.
Weather and sea conditions are clearly variables which are very important for the safe completion of the kayak phases. The 2 kayak stages have slightly different tolerances and variables so it may be the case that one operates and the other does not; that both operate or that neither operates. In all cases, our contingency if this occurs is to transfer to Thirassia with our safety boats, complete the run/ trek stage there and use the safety boats to transfer back to Santorini. In the case that this is not possible, we will abandon the Thirassia route altogether and concentrate on the Santorini run/ trek stage only.