FIRA - A TYPICAL CYCLADIC VILLAGE
Perched on the edge of a 260 metres high cliff, FIRA is the capital and most important village on the island of Santorini. Fabulous panoramic views of the caldera and the submerged volcano can be seen from most locations in Fira.
Plateia Theotokopoulou is the main square. The narrow streets are filled with all kinds of shops, jewellery stores, cafe's, restaurants, bars and night clubs.
Fira is a typical Cycladic village filled with charming white-washed houses and blue-domed churches.
Hans and I, as well as the many VTers who "invaded" Fira, absolutely loved it here and is perhaps one of the most beautiful spots to have a VT meet. Kudos to the organizers - Galatea and Janet - for making this an unforgettable experience.
Fira is the capital of Santorini and its most visited location. Many people, it seems, don't get any further than this, and in one sense you can't blame them. It's a truly magnificent place and anything you read about it being "trashy, tacky and touristy" must be taken in context. Yes, the town exists these days solely to service tourism. Every building, whether it has a prime caldera location or not, seems to be a hotel, bar, cafe or shop (well, with the exception of the churches).
OK, accept that you're not going to see Greek peasant life here and get over it. Fira remains one of the most spectacular sights you're likely to see anywhere, its white "sugar cube" buildings clinging miraculously to the cliffside as they tumble down towards the sea below. From wherever you look, the view is stunning, either looking at Fira itself, the neighbouring villages of Firostefani and (especially) Imerovigli, the volcano, Therissia across the way, inland... it's all a magical sight.
How do you write a guide for "what to see in Fira"? For me it's difficult, because the thing to see is the place itself and not individual things within Fira. Sure there are museums and exhibition spaces that may be on some tourist's plan of things to see and do, but not mine. For me things like that are "for a rainy day", and on an island with as much sun as Santorini I doubt I'd ever see them.
In the tips in this page I'll just pick out a few things that I liked, and show some pictures of what Fira is all about. The best thing you can do is just visit the place, wander around and take it all in.
Many of the tips in this page also appear in my Santorini page, though both the wording and the photos will be different, so it's maybe worth reading both if you're wanting to know about Fira. And it's definitely worth taking a look at Santorini if you want to know what else there is to do on this wonderful island other than just seeing the capital.