An excursion to Thirassia Island is something that you should add to your bucket list if you’re having your holidays in Santorini.
This island is less than 1 miles away from Santorini. Actually, in the past Santorini and Thirassia were a single island which broke into many pieces after a big volcanic eruption.
We can say that Thirassia is underdeveloped, but I mean in a good way. Many people says that it looks like Santorini before it became so popular.
A peaceful atmosphere, stunning scenarios, pristine beaches, lovely gardens and authentic people is what you are going to find.
Thirassia has five villages and undoubtedly the first one to visit is Manolas, the capital of the island.
This village is located on the east side of the island, on the highest point and you have to climb more than 100 steps to reach it from the port on which you’ll probably land! However, the views on the caldera of Santorini are breathtaking.
As many other greek villages, in Manolas you’ll find bougainvillea, windmills, blue domes and and bright white houses. Among the main attractions are an abandoned cave house and the church of Agios Kostantinos.
Akrilia was once the biggest settlement on Thirassia, but today is completely abandoned. It is worth a visit because it’s a cave village! Besides the peculiar atmosphere, Akrilia hosts the lovely church of Virgin Mary. The priests’ winery is usually open to visits and I know that some organized tours include a light lunch there.
Actually, on the island there are many churches to explore. The most popular is the Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin. If you’re looking for a fantastic view of Santorini, you should reach the Chapel of Prophet Elias, located on Thirassia’s highest peak.
Thirassia is perfect for hiking. There are numerous paths. For example, from Manolas you can reach the already mentioned Chapel of Prophet Elias, the abandoned village of Kera or the village of Agrilia. From Agrilia you can then reach the old mines.
However, the main thing to do in Thirassia is relax.
Once you are tired of hiking or visiting the villages, you can just go to the beach and enjoy the nature.
Beaches in Thirassia are beautiful and, most of all, are way less crowded than those in Santorini.
With its black pebbles and the dark blue water, Agia Irini, in the north coast of the island, is considered the most beautiful beach of Thirassia.
In my opinion, a trip isn’t complete without trying the local cuisine. Obviously, there aren’t many differences between the culinary heritage of Santorini and that of Thirassia. However this small island seems to be famous for a local cheese, wild capers, wild asparagus and round zucchini.
According to the mythology, the name of the island comes from the youngest daughter of King Thera, Thirasia, who received the island as a gift with the purpose to build her palace on it.
During the 18th century, the pumice stone of Thirassia was used for the construction of the Suez Canal.
There are many daily boat trips from the main coast towns of Santorini to Thirassia. During the high season you won’t have any difficulties in reaching it, however boat trips schedule may change due to the weather conditions.