Just inland from Kamari on the hill overlooking both this beach resort and Perissa to the south is Ancient Thira, the excavated site of the foremost post-Minoan settlement on the island.
A steep 4km hairpin road leads from Kamari to the site where excavations are spread over a long terraced area. The views alone are worth the trip, quite exhilarating with a dizzying drop to the sea below.
Here are remains of an early Christian basilica, foundations of temples and houses, an impressive amphitheatre, relief rock carvings and even some 3,000-year-old graffiti. The Artemidoros sanctuary was hewn out of the rock face around 400BC and is carved with inscriptions and symbols of the gods, such as an eagle for Zeus and a lion for Apollo.
In the centre of the city is the Agora or market place. The northern part is older with a Doric temple. The southern part was added in the Roman period with a portico, a temple building and the Royal Stoa built about 100BC. A Doric colonnade once supported the roof. Two inscribed slabs in the west wall, record that the portico was repaired in AD 149 by Kleitosthenes.
The road up to ancient Fira is a steep series of tight bends, very narrow but with a few passing places. Parts of the can be seen from the parking area, but to see everything you follow a steep and twisting trail over the hillside with sheer drops in places so you need a head for heights.