small island with old houses next to Santorini



Although a separate island, Thirasia is considered part of Santorini due to the fact they were united before the volcanic eruption in the past. It is very close to Oia and yet a very different place. They say that visiting Thirasia is like visiting Santorini years ago, before the tourists, and you will be surprised to see that compared to the bustling and noisy villages of the popular island, Thirasia looks neglected and almost abandoned.

With its area of only 9 km2 and the lack of beaches, it has never developed as touristy destination although it offers the same spectacular caldera view. Most people come to Thirasia as part of the one-day volcano tour organized by travel agencies in Fira.

Hotels in Thirasia

Where to stay in Thirasia?

When you enjoy the caldera view from Santorini, Thirasia is part of the scene and you can clearly see the white houses of a small village and path with steps leading up to it. This is Manolas, the main village of Thirasia. It consists of old houses in the authentic Cyclades style, narrow alleys and a few churches. You can hardly meet any persons except for tourists and the village seems to be sleepy all the time. However, there are a couple of cafes and taverns with caldera view which is not less fascinating than the view from Santorini.

Under Manolas is the small port of Korfos where the boat cruises from Santorini stop. Most of the tourists never go up the village because the route is steep and they don`t have so much time. Instead they have a meal at the port where they can choose among a few taverns, cafes and ice cream shop.

Colorful church at the background of blue sky

The port for ferries and larger boats is called Agia Irini, it is located on the north coast and has a taverna and a few small buildings. Except for Manolas, there are two other settlements in Thirasia - Agrilia and Potamos but they are even less populated. Close to Manolas is the abandoned village of Kera and the church of Profitis Ilias which has panoramic views of Santorini and the volcanic islands in the middle of the sea.

The hotels in Thirasia are small and limited in number but you can choose from rooms to rent and private villas.

Are there beaches in Thirasia?

Thirasia has no sandy beaches at all but there are a few strips covered with dark volcanic stones where you can sunbath and swim. Just next to the port of Agia Irini is the only beach with sunbeds and parasols in the island, and the nearby Riva beach is a narrow strip backed up by rocks. The small stone platforms in Korfos are also used as swimming spots but be aware that the sea floor is quite rocky there.

How to get to Thirasia?

You can visit Thirasia by taking a boat from the harbor of Ammoudi or from Fira. Some of the ferries from Piraeus also stop here. Please note that:

- Ferries and larger boats arrive at the port of Agia Irini (Riva) which is connected with road network with the rest of the island. If you want to come by car, this is your port.
- Some boats from Santorini can take you to the port of Korfos which is under the main village of Manolas but the only way to go up to the village is to climb a steep path or to take a donkey ride.

More about Thirasia

Thirasia photo galleryx