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 lively and noisy villages of Thira, Thirasia looks neglected and almost abandoned. With its area of only 9 km2 and the lack of beaches, it has never developed into touristic place although it offers the same spectacular caldera view. Most people come to Thirasia as a part of the volcano tour organized by travel agencies in Fira.
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 boats arrive at the port of Agia Irini/Riva (in the north of Thirasia) which is connected with road network with the rest of the island
- 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 many steep stairs or to take a donkey ride
When you enjoy the caldera view from Santorini, Thirasia is part of the scene and you can clearly see the houses of Manolas and the stairs leading up from Korfos. Manolas consists of old houses in the Cyclades style, narrow streets and a few churches. You can hardly meet any persons except for a few tourist with cameras. The village seems to be sleeping all the time. There are a couple of cafes and taverns but most people who arrive at Korfos never go up the village and have a meal at the port where they can choose among a few taverns, cafes, fast food restaurants and ice cream shops.
Except for Manolas, there are two other settlements on Thirasia - Agrilia and Potamos but they are even less populated. Close to Manolas you can see the abandoned village of Kera, the Church of Profitis Ilias and the Kimissi Monastery which is on the top of a hill. The hotels on Thirasia are limited in number and small. As we said, there are no beaches as well but you can swim in the south end of the harbor in Korfos. Next to Riva port there is a small strip of volcanic pebbles which visitors use as a beach but it is not organized and you should keep in mind that walking barefoot on these pebbles is difficult.
highlights: small island with old houses next to Santorini, island in Cyclades Islands, Greece