Thera Archaeological Site
Photo by Candice Walsh
A Hike to the Top of Ancient TheraThere are two ways to reach the ruins of Ancient Thera: by bus or car, or by hiking from the bottom of the 360-metre high Messavouno Mountain. And since no reward ever came easy, you can bet that hiking is the way to go.
Thera was a wealthy Roman town inhabited from the 9th century BC until 726 AD. Here you can glimpse relics left behind in antiquity, like the agora (main square), the stoa (a marketplace), and the theater. Other ruins suggest dwellings.
You'll also find a sacred area devoted to Hermes and Heracles. In places like these, where you can reach out and touch the columns of emperors past, it's not hard to find a spiritual presence.
The hike to the top will take you along a steep and meandering route, but it's a well-groomed one. A small chapel will greet you halfway there. Be sure to go in and light a candle for loved ones back home.
AFAR Local Expert
about 3 years ago
After the Minoan civilization of Akrotiri was wiped out by a massive volcanic eruption, Spartans came to settle here. The ruins of where they lived and worshipped are called "Ancient Thera" and are a short drive and a strenuous walk from the coastal village of Kamari. While not as photogenic as the ruins on Delos or some other sites in Greece, there's a haunting feeling here—older locals swear they've seen the god Pan lurking about.