Unlike the touristic villages Oia, Imerovigli, and Fira on Santorini, Thirasia is an overlooked village on the second largest island of the volcanic Santorini island group. I would not say Thirasia is completely off the beaten track because tourists come there every day. Still, the island is lesser known than the villages on the main Santorini island. Most of the times, visitors tend to skip Thirasia due to the lack of time. But for a longer stay in Santorini (3 days or more), I highly recommend booking a tour to Thirasia.
I did not know what to expect in Thirasia, and I thought it was more or less similar to the other villages in Santorini: blue and white, laid-back, and picturesque. Much to my surprise, for the first time, I saw a different dynamism - the authentic life of the locals. While staying on the main Santorini island, most of the things I experienced were meant for tourists: restaurants, shops, and museums. But on Thirasia, I saw cats, a lot of fat happy cats. I also saw villagers who were not in the tourist industry, and their humble houses were not Airbnb. Everything seemed down to earth!
As my friend and I reached Thirasia during lunchtime, we decided to have a quick lunch to save time. Having gyros was a perfect choice. Gyros (consisting of roasted meat, pita, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce) are the ultimate Greek street food. Plus, the meal was so cheap it cost only 3 euros per person. For desserts, do not miss the yogurt ice cream with Greek honey and walnut pieces from one of the cafés near the harbors. It was the tastiest yogurt ice cream I had ever tasted.
My visit to the Thirasia island was part of a boat tour organized by a local travel company. The tour lasted for about 8 hours. Before taking us to Thirasia, the boat tour stopped at the volcano island Nea Kameni and the hot springs, where tourists could swim. The company was recommended to us by my accommodation host. Our stay at Kiklamino Studios & Apartments in the village Finikia (which is next to Oia) was budget and pleasant. For first time visitors to Santorini, check out this article by Chrisa: Explore Santorini and its unique beauty.
A bonus tip: bring a face mask with you if you cannot stand the smell of donkey sh*t. There is a lot of it on the road from the harbor leading up to the main village.
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