Adventures, Greece, Santorini, Travel
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Riding a Donkey in Santorini

What a hilarious experience! It’s going to get good. Here’s my story:


I always heard that Santorini had the option of riding a donkey like local greeks did back in the day. You know before motorcycles and other motorized vehicles took over the world? Anyways, I never actually considered it but once I was there I said: “Oh what the hell! Let’s just go.”


I was convinced it was going to be a fun experience, so riding a donkey it is! We asked for directions and the souvenir store lady told us: “Keep walking ahead, you’ll start to smell them!”


Smell them? I didn’t understand at first. “Thank you so much!” I replied. We kept walking and out of the sudden we start to smell this disgusting (yet so weird) smell. “Omg please don’t tell me that’s how the Donkey’s smell?” I thought.


Of course they smelled disgusting. There are at least 60 donkeys just waiting in line eating and pooping everywhere… It was funny! “Let’s just do it. We are in Santorini! You can’t go to Santorini and not ride the famous donkeys!”




I finally convinced her. She was not happy. But she was laughing too? So it was quite difficult to understand my mom’s true emotions towards this activity I was making her do.


The guides didn’t speak english, and if they did they barely knew how to get by. In conclusion, we couldn’t communicate. At all. Zero.


I tried to explain that my mom had surgery in her leg a couple of years ago and that she needed assistance to mount the donkey. He nodded and helped her get on the donkey. Ok this is the part they don’t tell you…


The donkey goes up and down the stairs! There are like hundreds of stairs and it takes forever to get to the pier. Riding a donkey is not like riding a horse, the donkey had the most uncomfortable walk that makes your butt go up and down. It’s fine the first three minutes… until everything starts to hurt. Haha


Of course, i was just laughing and I was sure this was a good story to tell someday. We continued riding and out of the sudden we see a donkey go nuts! He went CRAZY and started to RUN the stairs up with a girl on top! The crazy donkey made all other donkeys go somewhat crazy too.



At this point I was pretty sure I was going to fall and break my head or something like that. This animal was out of control and no one could get them to stop. No wonder nobody rides them.


Soon everything calmed down (I guess), I was still scared but I my face was smiling so all good I guess. Twenty minutes later, it was finally time to de-mount the donkey. I grew up riding horses all my life, so I dismounted and waited for my mom.


Remember when I told you my mom had surgery couple of years ago? Well, since then she hasn’t ridden a horse ever again. I would say “she was rusty in the technique for demounting a four-legged animal”.


She fell. And hit her leg and back…. OMG.


I felt terrible.


It was all my fault.


I made her do it.


She was in pain lying on the floor. (Just imagine several donkeys in the backdrop and some of them walking towards us) Now that I am telling the story, I found this hilarious but at the moment it was a “Oh Shit!” Situation we didn't want to deal with while on holiday.


Thankfully my mom took a medicine she brought with her and she was OK a couple of hours later. She was pissed at me (for making her do it) and at the situation that she didn’t speak to me during a whole hour. Haha


But all good! If you have all time to do it, you should. It's a fun experience and it will most probably be a funny story to tell someday (Like mine was!).


PS - Expect to stink throughout the rest of the day. Ew.


Until next trip,

About The Author

Mariella Molestina Noboa

The art of saying "Yes!" can take you far away. Many people pass on opportunities for many reasons, one of them being fear. Through my life I've encounter many people that forget to live the present for something that might not even happen in the future. If you are constantly waiting for the right time to finally do something, like fulfill your life dream, you are going to spend most of your life waiting.

My name is Mariella and I created this blog as a source of inspiration for others to believe they can live the life they always pictured. The secret? Believe you can and take action. The world awaits!


  1. That’s a lot braver than I would be. I haven’t been on horseback since I was about 11, and then I was well padded up and with one of those worryingly velvety riding hats. Donkeys definitely look gentle and welcoming though (aside from the one that took off for a run, clearly). Glad you both escaped (mostly) unscathed.

  2. This is amazing! I too rode a donkey in Oia! It was an amazing experience. I was 100% sure I was going to fall off.

  3. This is an interesting take on Santorini; most people never encounter one there. As a huge lover of animals, this is def something I would look into for next summer’s trip. Thanks Mariella 🙂

  4. Holy Donkey! That looks so fun! Ive never ridden a donkey before and this one looks amazing. And you look so beautiful there 🙂

  5. That sounds like a wild experience. I’ve never ridden a donkey before, but I got to ride the tiny horses in Iceland earlier this year. My mom tried, but when she got up she was too scared. We still tease her about it. I’m glad yours was ok after her fall. 🙂

  6. I can’t imagine what riding a donkey would be like. I was expecting your story to follow along the lines of the stereotypical stubborn donkey. Luckily for you it wasn’t and you actually had a pleasant experience with these lovely animals.

  7. Jewels says

    OMG, I’m so glad your mom ended up being ok!! Sounds like quite the adventure though! I didn’t realize donkey riding in Greece was a thing. It looks so fun!

  8. Oh my god, this has been on my bucketlist for so long! I get what you mean about the smell but growing up as a farmers granddaughter I actually don’t think it would bother me too much!

    I love your retelling of it, like it’s a mix of disdain over that you’re still grossed out but also glad you did it because you only live once and that really made me giggle!

  9. I would be scared to ride a Donkey too, but what a cool experience. When travelling its things like this that you just have to go for even if it is out of your comfort zone

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