How to drive to Ancient Thera in Santorini?

Ancient Thera is an antique city of the 9th century BC, located on the east coast of Santorini, a Greek island. Switchbacks, single lane much of the way, and no guardrails. As beautiful of a drive as it is terrifying!

Ancient Thera Road

Where is Ancient Thera?

Tucked away on the southwestern part of the island, nestled between the beaches of Perissa and Kamari, Ancient Thera (also known as Thira) is located on the peak of Mesa Vouno (“Inside Mountain”), at 360m above sea level. Set on the island’s highest hilltop, the city was named after the mythical ruler of the island, Theras.

Can I drive to Ancient Thera?

The road to the ancient city is extremely challenging. It’s narrow, paved with cobblestone, with steep drop-offs and 22 hairpin turns (known as Kamari serpentines). Starting at Kamari, the road is 2.7 km (1.67 miles) long. It’s very steep, hitting a 17% maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The elevation gain is 252 meters. The average gradient is 9.33%.

Is the road to Ancient Thera open?

The winding road offers spectacular views down to the sea. The road is closed from 5:30 pm to 7:30 am. Drive at a moderate speed. You’re not in a race. Be warned if you want to visit; don't walk up the mountain on Mondays; it's closed.
Pic: Rosemarie Stensbirk