It's hard to believe that a place that's just 15 minutes by boat from one of the busiest Greek islands could possibly be one of the most idyllic island retreats. Thirasia is the small piece of Santorini that made a bid for freedom a few thousand years ago and hasn't looked back since.
Yes, tourists do come, but they usually only stay for a couple of hours and rarely venture much further than the port before getting back on their excursion boats to return to the hustle and bustle of 'mainland' Santorini. They're missing a great deal! The island largely unspoilt by the ravages of tourism and has beautiful walks, breathtaking views of the caldera and a panorama of Santorini that you don't get from any viewpoint. It's got beautiful churches and deserted villages with perfect examples of cave houses, all wrapped up in a blanket of peace and quiet. And the people are oh so friendly!
And as for Jimmy, well, he's almost the human embodiment of the island. Calm and laid-back, friendly, helpful and very likeable. His 9 rooms are the only place you can stay on the island but that's no imposition. They are bright and clean, not luxury, but everything you need for a few days to recover from the pressues of today's world.
Jimmy's has such wonderful views across the caldera to the villages sprinkled like icing sugar along the rim of the crater. At night, the icing sugar turns into a pin cushion of twinkling lights. While I was there, Jimmy was building a new terrace on the cliff edge for his guests to sit and enjoy the views; it should be ready by now. When you come, make sure you've got enough space on your memory card - you'll want to take lots of pictures.
When you visit Santorini, go to Thirasia and stay at Jimmy's for a night or so - you'll be glad you did. You can catch the ferry for €1 from Ammoudi port below Oia. The ferry goes to Riva on Thirasia where you can jump aboard the local minibus up to the main village of Manolas - it doesn't run on Sunday but Jimmy offered to come and pick me up - I told you he was helpful. The ferries run 3 times a day around 8:00, 12:00 and 17:00 and while I was there, an additional ferry was added for the summer running at 22:00. As always, check these times, they may change.
I'd read that the tavernas close when the tour boats leave in the late afternoon so I took some wine and some goodies for late night picnicking. It wasn't necessary though. Jimmy phoned the local Panorama taverna and asked them to open up just for me - they did, for both nights I stayed, and I spent two most enjoyable evenings chatting and eating Yianni's excellent food. See my review of the Panorama Taverna.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline and Odigeo so you can book your Zacharo Rooms reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.