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Thira

The island of Thira – also known as Santorini – is known for its spectacular volcanic crater and dark sand beaches. Thira was a sophisticated outpost of Minoan civilisation as early as 3000 BC until it was destroyed by an enormous earthquake that changed the landscape dramatically. The island’s main town, Fira (also known as Hora or Thira) clings precariously to the top of the cliffs that surround the caldera (another word for crater) on the western side of the island – it’s a steep climb up 580 steps that take about 45 minutes. There are obliging donkeys to be hired if you don’t feel up to it and in summer there’s an exhilarating cable car that is worth taking just for fun. Fira is a busy tourist town in summer – there are numerous chic bars and restaurants with outstanding views out over the caldera and good nightlife to be enjoyed. Culture vultures will want to check out the town’s museums – the Archaeological Museum has an interesting collecting of erotic Dionysiac figures that might persuade history-averse teenagers through its door – and the Megaro Ghyzi is an old mansion that has been restored as a cultural centre and houses a permanent exhibition of maps and photos showing what life on the island was like before and after the 1956 earthquake. Oia, a postcard-perfect array of multi-coloured houses clinging to the cliff face at the northern end of the island, has a Naval Museum. Below it, the harbour at Ammoudhi is a good place to berth for the night – head ashore and try and nab a table at Kyra Katina or one of the other smart restaurants in Oia.  There is a lovely little beach here and great swimming too. Sunset-gazing is a big thing in Oia - make sure you have a good pitch and a glass of something cold within easy reach as you watch the spectacle. Elsewhere on the island, sites worth exploring are the ancient site of Minoan Thira at Akrotiri at the south-western tip of the island and Messaria, with its skyline of massive church domes. There are also a number of wineries to visit – Thira produces an excellent pudding wine, Visanto. You might think about picking up a few bottles to bring home – it’ll be a challenge to keep your hands off them for the remainder of your Thira yacht charter.
 

 

Mooring:

  • Moor stern-to at the marina at Vlichada or in the harbour at Ammoudhi.

To Do:

  • Donkey rides
  • Wine tasting
  • Fine dining
  • Hire motorbike or cars and explore the island

Facilities:

  • Water
  • Fuel
  • Internet access
  • Provisions