Travel: Santorini: Thira – Black beach – Red beach – Oia

For the last day in Santorini we rented a smart car to go around by ourselves. Since there’s a lot of ups and downs, we opted for automatic car. But I didn’t expect that the car would not stay on the slopes! 😯 Therefore, I was very nervous the first couple of hours to adapt to the semi-automatic car and the ups/downs!


Our first stop was Ancient Thira.



This hilltop on Thira was first inhabited by the Dorians, whose leader was Theras, in the 9th century BC. Thira was later occupied in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the Hellenistic era (around the 4th century BC).

You can reach the site by taxi, but it is better on foot. The walking route passes a cave that holds the only spring on the island. It took us 3.5 hrs walk up and down.


Most of the ruins of Ancient Thira date from the Hellenistic era, but there are also extensive Roman and Byzantine remains. Buildings from different periods are mixed together throughout the site along one main street, which is intersected by smaller streets.

The main street passes through two agoras, which include ruins of several Greek temples. The arc of the theater embraces the town of Kamari, Fira beyond, and the open Aegean. The extensive ruins also include Hellenistic shops, Roman baths, Byzantine walls, and the stone church of Agios Stefanos.

The Hellenistic Temple of Dionysos (3rd century BC) is a small Doric temple built on a man-made platform north of the Agora. The facade and roof were made of marble while the rest of the building was of local stone.

Founded by Artemidoros of Perge in the late 4th or early 3rd century BC, the Sanctuary of Artemidoros was entirely hewn from living rock. It includes various inscriptions and engravings of Artemidoros as well as the symbols of major gods: an eagle for Zeus, a lion for Apollo, a dolphin for Poseidon.

Part of the Sanctuary of Apollo Karneios (6th century BC) is hewn from rock, while the rest is constructed on a platform. It includes a temple with pronaos and cella, a square courtyard with six monolithic pillars and an underground cistern and a small building, probably a repository.



The ruins of Ancient Thira are located on a headland called Mesa Vouna between the two popular beaches of Kamari and Perissa. In addition to its ancient ruins, the site offers spectacular views over cliffs that drop into the sea on three sides.












It’s definitely an impressive ancient ruins.

Our next stop was Perissa beach, famous for its black sand.



can u see someone is topless? 😯



gathering some black sand as souvenir 🙂


and black stones as well.


Next we went to Red beach,a beach composed of black and red volcanic rocks.




gathering more souvenirs, this time red-black stones



very proud of my findings! 🙂


next stop was Oia, again! The day before we came with the tour to watch the sunset and we had to run to catch the bus. I felt that I needed more time to explore the stores so we came back. I’ve heard that driving to Oia is not very safe for non-greek tourists because of dangerous cliffs and tight curves. But I really wanted to go, so we decided to try.


It wasn’t too bad although it was a big relieve to arrive safe! 🙂





the center was less crowded during the day because most of people come to watch sunset.






That was all for Santorini…. really really romantic and beautiful island to visit! 🙂

Next island: Rhodes.



Filed under travel

6 responses to “Travel: Santorini: Thira – Black beach – Red beach – Oia

  1. Those beaches look spectacular! And I’m so glad you followed your gut and went back to see the shops and sights some more…

  2. DiningAndDishing

    You lucky lady!!! I visited Santorini after college and have vowed to return one day for my honey moon :). I’m glad you guys had a great time – the pics are GORGEOUS!

    – Beth @

  3. thedelicateplace

    what steep cliffs! i would have be afraid to stand near the edge! i love the photos of you on the beach you are so pretty! the sun looks very intense there! did you get a nice sun tan?

    • balancejoyanddelicias

      I applied sun protector every 2-3 hrs because I don’t like to get tanned. but the sun was so intense that I think I got some. Hope it goes away soon! 🙂


  4. Romantic is an understatement!! So gorgeous. I want to close my eyes and open them and be there right now 🙂

  5. em

    the smart car is so tiny! it looks gorgeous there. i’m so fascinated by all the rich culture and history to be found in foreign countries. thanks for sharing your adventures. 🙂

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