The small island of Thirasia is located northwest of Thira. It has 245 inhabitants, most of whom are employed in fishing or farming. According to scientific research, the island was formed in the volcanic eruption of 1640 BC. However, the ancient historian Pliny claimed that Thirasia broke off from Thira in 237 BC in the same earthquake that sunk Thira and created Palaia Kameni, Nea Kameni and Aspronisi.
Tradition has it that the island got its name from the daughter of King Thiras, to whom the island was given and where a palace was built in her honor. In fact, traces of a building rumored to he sections of the “king’s palace” can he seen on the island today.
Thirasia has three villages. Manolas, which is also the capital, is built along the eastern and southern shores of the island. The second and most densely populated village is Potamos, which contains numerous “hyposkafa” houses (carved into the volcanic rock face) and the Churches of Aghios Dimitrios and the Panaghia i Yatrissa (“Virgin Healer”). Southwest of Potamos is the village of Agrilia, which is now derelict. At the end of the island is the settlement of Kera, which is also abandoned and uninhabited.
Thirasia also has some significant churches that are renowned for their architecture and sculptural ornamentation.
In earlier days, the only contact with Thira (Oia, Fira, and Athinios) was initially by rowboat and later by caique from the Bay of Korfos. Now, a passenger-car ferry runs between Thira and Thirasia, and a passenger ship out of Piraeus calls at Naxos, Pares, los, Thirasia and Thira twice a week.
During the summer season, the island can be visited by boat from Thira.
There is good swimming and dining in the Bay of Korfos, in Riva, and in the village of Manolas. One can also stay in the islands capital in rooms-to-let or at the Hotel Kavomares.