Thirasia, one of the least developed islet in Greece, is largely unexplored to this day.
In Santorini, a brief boat ride from charming Ammoudi harbour lies the islet of Thirasia, the island’s miniature counterpart. Perched atop the highest point of its caldera, Manolas, the Chora (capital) of Thirasia, a village boasting panoramic views, is adorned with exquisite Cycladic houses, cafés, a grocer, a traditional wood-fired bakery, and an abundance of cats. You won’t encounter bars or shops peddling wares to visitors. It’s a vivid picture of Santorini reminiscent of the 60s, unmarred by the modern trappings of today.
A winding, 270-stepped path leads to Korfos, the harbour of Manolas (once the islet’s primary port). The scant few houses seem to merge with the sea. Other features such as traditional fishermen’s shelters, quaint seaside tavernas, a pumice-stoned beach with crystalline waters, and the sycamore and blackberry sweets crafted by local housewives – all give a serene character to diminutive Thirasia.
What are worthwhile activities to engage in? Explore Agrilia, the oldest historic settlement on Thirasia. Abandoned in the 70s, it has recently shown signs of tentative reinhabitation over the past four years. Stroll through the traditional settlement of Potamos, boasting cave houses, picturesque courtyards, and few inhabitants. Visit the church of Panagia Lagathiou (also called The Presentation of the Virgin Mary), one of the most exquisite churches in the Aegean.
Journey to the windswept monastery of Prophet Elias in Kera, and continue your exploration of the captivating cape of Tripiti, home to the monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Dating from 1851, the monastery features 18 cells and awe-inspiring panoramic views. Go to the charming settlement of Agia Irini, where you can savour fresh fish in its inviting tavernas while admiring the boats lining its picturesque coast and take a refreshing swim at Riva, the sole beach on the islet that is easily accessible. In essence, immerse yourself in the embrace of this unspoiled paradise.
TEXT : ROMINA XYDA
PHOTOS : JULIA KLIMI