The capital of Santorini, Firá (Thíra) is made up of whitewashed cubic houses and terraces, winding lanes, little squares, and blue-domed churches perched on the cliffs 300 meters above the caldera. Donkey tours are provided to access many attractions on the island, all year round. „The team of Santorini Donkey is families and owners of Donkeys for over 100 years. We are the ones that keep the traditional ways of transportation alive and offer a unique experience cultural sight-seeing tours on the beautiful paths of Santorini for everyone who wants a taste of the real Santorini!” a dedicated website says. But something happened regarding this business now. Greece has banned “overweight” tourists from riding the animals on the popular island of Santorini, after activists complained that they were suffering spinal injuries.
People wishing to ride the donkeys will now have to weigh less than 100 kilograms (220 pounds), or one-fifth of the donkey’s body weight. The animals “should not be loaded with a weight excessive in size, age or physical condition,” the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food instructed. Footage of overweight tourists riding the animals prompted a backlash on social media in July, and a petition calling for an end to their use as transportation received more than 100,000 signatures. It’s not known if other official decisions will follow.