Thirassia

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The Gem of the Caldera

Wild Sceneries and Rugged Coastlines Under the Mysteries of the Sleeping Volcano

“…We found ourselves naked upon the pumice stones, watching the rising islands, watching the red islands sinking into their sleep, in our sleep…”

Giorgos Seferis

Not even a mile away from the romantic settlement of Oia, you will find Thirassia. However, it seems like time on the isle has stopped in another era. Strange how time and distance can play with your mind. And what about the size? What Thirasia might lack in size, it replenishes in sceneries, as it constitutes the remnants of the great volcanic explosion of the Aegean. The imposing natural terrain with the impressive geological formations, the folklore traditional architecture of the settlement and the authentic traditional colors of the village of Manolas along with the black beach of Korfos compose the spectacular beauty of this volcanic isle. Thirassia will leave you speechless as you climb to the highest point of hers. An imposing natural monument unfolds in your eyes and it grasps your attention without even trying! How could this happen? Oh, miracles still happen! The unspoiled beauty of Thirassia will seduce you with the whitewashed houses that are scattered on the wild beauty of the black earth of the volcano. Will you let her seduce you?

Discover Thirassia

Best of Thirassia

The Capital of Thirasia

The Settlement of Manolas is the capital of Thirasia located on the east side of the island. Built on the highest point of the caldera, the traditional settlement offers panoramic views to the caldera of Santorini. The whitewashed houses, the windmills and the narrow alleys create an unimaginable contrast with the black earth that was created from the volcanic eruption. The majestic church of Agios Konstantinos dominates the village of Manolas. The huge blue dome of the church is distinguished from far enough. Here, one can enjoy panoramic views to the caldera of Santorini. Descend the two hundred seventy stone steps to the bay of Korfo to enjoy the local delicacies at the traditional taverns. If you happen to be here in August, make sure you attend the traditional celerbation in honour of Virgin Mary on August 15.

The Churches and Monasteries of Thirasia

In Thirasia, you will find twenty one churches and monasteries. The most important religious monument of the island is the church of Agios Konstantinos that dominates the village of Manolas. The church was constructed in 1874. The huge blue dome of the church is distinguished from far enough. In the village of Potamos, you will find the churches of Agios Dimitrios, Agios Spyridonas and Panagia Giatrissa. The chapel of Prophet Elias stands on the highest point of Thirasia. Here, one can admire panoramic views of Santorini. Also, the monastery of Panagia is located on the southernmost side of the island. This is one of the most beautiful churches of Thirasia that was built in 1887. However, the most intriguing part are the views towards the caldera and Santorini. In Riva, one will find the church of Agia Irini, else known as Santa Irini. According to tradition, the island of Santorini was named after the church!

Breathtaking Views to the Caldera of Santorini

Thirasia is widely known as the balcony of Santorini! Here, one will have the opportunity to enjoy magnificent views to the caldera of Santorini! You will find one of the finest views of the island from the chapel of Prophet Elias on the highest spot of Thirasia! Also, the monastery of Panagia on the northernmost point of the isle offers astonishing views to the Caldera of Santorini and Palea and Nea Kameni. On the position of “Vigla”, you will enjoy a beautiful view to the village of Manolas and Korfos.

The Village of Agrilia

The Village of Agrilia is one of the oldest rural settlements of Thirasia located on the southwest side of the island. Characterized as the most charming village of the island, the traditional setttlement has an authentic atmoshpere as seen from the traditional cave houses, the wine cellars and the beautiful churches of the area. In the entrance of Agrilia, you will see the impressive church of Panagia with a unique architecture. Keep in mind that it is advisable to take directions from a local in order to take the correct path for the settlement.

Archaeological Sites

The Archaeological site of Akrotiri is one of the most important archaeological sites of the Aegean located on the southwest side of Santorini. Akrotiri was one of the main urban centers of the Aegean and its strategic geographical location helped it transform into an important harbor of commercial activity. Archaeological excavations brought to light the remnants of an ancient settlement during works to transport volcanic soil from the island with the intention of insulating the Canal Bridge of Suez. According to scholars, the ancient settlement was constructed around the 5th century BC and destroyed by an earthquake in the 17th century BC. As Thirasia used to be connected with Santorini, else known as Thira, the archaeological site shows important information regarding the history of Thirasia. In 1867, the French volcanologist Fouque conducted some excavations in Thirasia and studied the remains of the buildings and the findings including stone vessels, utensils and tools.  According to these findings, the settlement of Thirasia dated back to the Bronze Age.

Churches and Monasteries

In Thirasia, you will find twenty one churches and monasteries. The most important religious monument of the island is the church of Agios Konstantinos that dominates the village of Manolas. The church was constructed in 1874. The huge blue dome of the church is distinguished from far enough. In the village of Potamos, you will find the churches of Agios Dimitrios, Agios Spyridonas and Panagia Giatrissa. The chapel of Prophet Elias stands on the highest point of Thirasia. Here, one can admire panoramic views of Santorini. Also, the monastery of Panagia is located on the southernmost side of the island. This is one of the most beautiful churches of Thirasia that was built in 1887. However, the most intriguing part are the views towards the caldera and Santorini. In Riva, one will find the church of Agia Irini, else known as Santa Irini. According to tradition, the island of Santorini was named after the church!

Geological Monuments

One of the most impressive volcanic veins of the caldera of Santorini is located on the southern side of Thirasia. Actually, it is a vertical intrusion of lava that flows into earlier veins. Probably, the volcanic material penetrated the fault surface. Due to the erosion of the surrounding materials, the area is even more impressive and it stands out like a small wall.

Promenades & Villages

Agia Irini is one of the most charming villages of Thirasia located on the north side of the island. The settlement was named from the homonymous church of the area, that also gave her name to the island of Santorini (Santa Irini). The village is famous for the delicious fresh fish specialties of the seaside taverns and its beautiful black beach. Lovers of hiking can explore the surrounding area through the small alleys, known as rimidia from the locals.

Agrilia is one of the oldest rural settlements of Thirasia located on the southwest side of the island. Characterized as the most charming village of the island, the traditional setttlement has an authentic atmoshpere as seen from the traditional cave houses, the wine cellars and the beautiful churches of the area. In the entrance of Agrilia, you will see the impressive church of Panagia with a unique architecture. Keep in mind that it is advisable to take directions from a local in order to take the correct path for the settlement.

Korfos is the old harbour of Thirasia located on the east side of the island. If you disembark here, the only way to get to the village of Manolas is on foot or by donkey. Sailing boats and fishing caiques dock in the bay of Korfos. The harbour is known for the fresh fish specialties of the traditional taverns.

Manolas is the capital of Thirasia located on the east side of the island. Built on the highest point of the caldera, the traditional settlement offers panoramic views to the caldera of Santorini. The whitewashed houses, the windmills and the narrow alleys create an unimaginable contrast with the black earth that was created from the volcanic eruption. The majestic church of Agios Konstantinos dominates the village of Manolas. The huge blue dome of the church is distinguished from far enough. Here, one can enjoy panoramic views to the caldera of Santorini. Descend the two hundred seventy stone steps to the bay of Korfo to enjoy the local delicacies at the traditional taverns. If you happen to be here in August, make sure you attend the traditional celerbation in honour of Virgin Mary on August 15.

Potamos is a traditional village located on the center part of the island. The cave houses and the colorful gardens provide an authentic color to the settlement. All the houses of Potamos are full of red geranium and bougainvillea. The center of the village is dominated from the church of Agios Dimitrios and Panagia Giatrissa. On August 6, one should not miss the traditional celebration of Metamorphosis Sotira that is held in the homonymous chapel. The traditional feast is followed from food and wine.

Riva is the harbor of Thirasia located on the northernmost side of the island. The most important monument of the settlement is the imposing church of Agia Irini, else known as Santa Irini in Latin. According to tradition, the church gave her name to the island of Santorini.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Chapel of Prophet Elias, Highest Point of Thirasia

Spot: Church of Agios Konstantinos, Manolas Village

Spot: Monastery of the Presentation of Virgin Mary, Northern Thirasia

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands of the world. The eternal beauty of Santorini is crafted through the reddish cliffs and the colorful houses hanging on the deep blue of the sea. Characterized as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Santorini will definetely leave you speechless from her invigorating beauty of the imposing sceneries of the island. Nowhere else on earth exist such an impressive scenery hosting human life. The explosive identity of this island will travel you to the craggy rocks elegantly carved lava provoking your awe and the thought that the volcano might be still active will inflame your shiver while bathing in the yellowish sulfur waters. The evocative landscapes, the lunar sceneries and the faschinating history of the island attest that Santorini is a natural monument for your bucket list, a destination you deserve to explore even for once in this life.

Activities

Hiking: Thirasia hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. (1) One of the most beautiful routes the one that starts from the village of Manolas and heads towards the chapel of Prophet Elias, the abandoned village of Kera and the monastery of Panagia on the southernmost point of the island. (2) Another interesting trail includes the one that starts from the village of Agrilia and leads to the old mines of Thirasia. This is the most important archaeological site of the island. (3) Quite interesting is also the route that starts from the village of Manolas and leads to the beautiful settlement of Potamos and the traditional settlement of Agrilia with the cave houses.

Beaches

Although Thirasia is not famous for its sandy seashores, the island has steep beaches with magnificent views to the caldera. The most beautiful beach is the beach of Agia Irini. It is a black pebbled beach with dark blue waters located on the northernmost side of the island. Also, there is the beach of Korfos on the east side of the island. Korfos has also black pebbles and pumice stones.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Nomikou: Bakery, Manolas

Sirigou: Bakery, Potamos

Gastronomic Delights

Agistri: Seafood, Riva

Captain Mihalis: Seafood, Riva

Kantouni: Greek Cuisine, Manolas

Ouzeri Thirasia: Ouzo and Meze, Korfos

Panorama: Greek Cuisine, Manolas

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include the cheese of chloro, the wild caper and wild asparagus and the round zucchini.

The local specialties of the island include fava, a dip made from chickpeas, and synamnoglyko, a sweet spoon made from mulberries.

Events & Festivals

Every 5th of May, the traditional celebration in honour of Agia Irini takes place in the church of Agia Irini. This is one of the largest celebrations of Thirasia.

Every 21st of Mary, the traditional celebration in honour of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni takes place in the church of Agios Konstantinos at the village of Manolas. This is one of the largest celebrations of Thirasia.

Every 20th of July, the traditional celebration in honour of Prophet Elias takes place in the chapel of Prophet Elias.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honour of the Dormition of Virgin Mary takes place in the abandoned village of Kera.

Every 29th of August, the traditional celebration in honour of Agios Ioannis takes place in the village of Potamos.

Every 21st of September, the traditional celebration in honour of the Panagia Giatrena takes place in the church of Panagia Giatrena in the village of Potamos.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, the island took its name after the youngest daughter of King Thera, Thirasia, who was given the island in order to build her grand palace.

History

Thirasia used to be a small part of the western coastline of prehistoric Strongili that was cut after the great volcanic eruption of 1.600 BC. In the middle of the 18th century, pumice stone was mined from the quarry of Thirasia that was used for the construction of the Suez Canal. However, the mineworkers also found the remnants of a buildings and a human skeleton. These findings were the reason that the excavations in the area of Akrotiri in Santorini started.

Travel & Transport

By Air: Santorini has an international airport with scheduled flights on an annual basis.  From April to October, there are charter flights from numerous countries of Europe. The journey from Athens usually lasts forty five minutes to one hour. Book your tickets with AirTickets.com!

By Boat : Thirasia is accessible by boat from the harbor of Piraeus. The journey usually lasts from four to six hours. The island is also connected with Anafi, Folegandros, Ios, Sikinos and Santorini amongst others. Traditional boats operate from the harbor of Ammoudi to the bay of Korfos in Thirasia. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

About Thirassia

Thirasia is one of the five islands that were created from the explosion of the volcano of Strongili in 1.600 BC. It is a rugged island ideal for travelers who love discoveries and simple joys in life. As the size of the island is small, the most appropriate way of transportation is on foot. Also, make sure you bring cash with you as there is only on cash machine on the island. Discover Thirasia through a photographic journey of Google!

An Experience of A Lifetime

Hiking in an active volcano is undoubtedly an experience of a lifetime! Here are some tips when you visit the volcano! When you arrive in the Geological Park of Nea Kameni, don’t forget to get your free leaflet. If you choose to visit the volcanic crater in summer, you must definitely wear athletic shoes, a hat and sunblock. In Palea Kameni, you can apply the mud on your body. Bear in mind that the smell and yellow color of sulfur will linger on your skin for a while.

Explore the Unexplored: Volumes of Lava

On the eastern side of Thirasia, one will have the opportunity to see volumes of white lava among the wild sceneries. One of the most impressive volcanic veins of Santorini is located on the southern end of Thirasia. Actually, it is a vertical intrusion of lava that flows into the earlier veins. Due to the erosion of the surrounding materials, the area is even more impressive and it stands out like a small wall.

Hiking at Its Best: When the Blue Sky meets the Dark Volcanic Land

The size and morphology of Thirasia encourage walks, as it is the best way to discover the island. Select one of the old paths that connect the beautiful settlement of the island. Those small alleys are known as rimidia from the locals! The following route is the most beautiful route of Thirasia; Manolas – Prophet Elias  – Kera –Monastery of Panagia: The trail starts from the village of Manolas and heads towards the chapel of Prophet Elias, the abandoned village of Kera and the monastery of Panagia on the southernmost point of the island. Another interesting route includes the one on the western side of Thirasia. A tour around the fertile western valley of the island reveals picturesque vineyards and crops of tomatoes and fava beans. 

Honoring Santa Irene

Every 5th of May, the traditional celebration in honor of Agia Irini takes place in the church of Agia Irini. This is one of the largest celebrations of Thirasia.

Mysterious Thirasia: The Abandoned Settlement of Kera

On the southeast side from the village of Manolas, one will find the abandoned settlement of Kera, else known as Keradiana from the locals. The ruined village used to be inhabited forty years ago. Now, the only thing one will see are the ruined buildings that stand high on the rock offering panoramic views to the volcanic islands!

Observing like An Olympian God

Thirasia is widely known as the balcony of Santorini! Here, one will have the opportunity to enjoy magnificent views to the caldera of Santorini! You will find one of the finest views of the island from the chapel of Prophet Elias on the highest spot of Thirassia! Also, the monastery of Panagia on the northernmost point of the isle offers astonishing views to the Caldera of Santorini and Palea and Nea Kameni. On the position of “Vigla”, you will have a beautiful view to the village of Manolas and Korfos.

Sunset VS Sunrise: Santorini or Thirassia?

While Santorini is legendary for the sunsets, Thirassia is renowned for its beautiful sunrise! Visit the monastery of Panagia on the southernmost side of the island to catch the rising sun!

Taste the Authentic Cuisine of Thirasia

In Thirasia, one will have the opportunity to taste the authentic cuisine of Greece!

Whitish Explosion: The White Rocks of the White Island

Aspronisi is one of the five islands that emerged from the volcanic eruption in 1.600 BC. If you are a lover of explorations, hop on a boat and discover the emerald waters and secret beauties of Aspronisi. Did you know that Aspronisi means the white island?

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Aspronisi Island: Mysteriousgreece

Church Dome: Kama by Panoramio

Church of Agios Konstantinos: Scoand by Panoramio

Houses: Heinz Bartels by Panoramio

Korfos Bay: Shutterstock

Monastery of Panagia: Pedro I by Panoramio

Old Mines: Mysteriousgreece

Sunset over Thirasia: Geir Ole by Panoramio

Traditional Boat: Shutterstock

View of Oia from the church of Agia Irini: Pedro I by Panoramio

View of Thirasia from the village of Oia: Vasilis Tsikkinis by Flickr

View of Thirasia: Visit Greece by Flickr