Fira, Santorini Island
Perched on the cliffs, overlooking the sea, the town of Fira shares with the Partenon the fame of the best known images of Greece.
The city is a spectacle, with a climax at the sunset. Its narrow streets have some commerce tourist oriented.
Fira is the main town on Santorini and a very pretty place.
Part of the town is sitting on steep cliffs and there is a superb view of the bay from there.
the town itself is small town greece at it's very prettiest and i recommend people to stay there if the beach is not the main thing on their holiday.
Nightlife in fira is also quite good with good restaurants and bars, plus a few nightclubs.
Fira is the capital of the island and the most important village.
It is perched on the edge of an impressive cliff 260 m high and offers a great panorama over the submerged volcano.
The main square of Fira (Platia Theotokopoulou) it is where all the locals meet.
During the peak season the small narrow streets are crowed and are filled with all kinds of shops, jewelleries, café, restaurants, bars and night clubs.
The bus and the taxi station are located at the beginning of the road of 25 Martiou (25th March). Just a block west of this street it is the main commercial thoroughfare.
Another blog on the west side, Ypapantis, runs along the crest of the Caldera and provides some staggering panoramic views.
You will love being here!
See some beautiful photos of mine
Fira is the largest town on Santorini, with magnificent scenery and pleasant avenues to stroll, browse, and window-shop. This is the center of the island's culture.
It has two beautiful churches, the Greek Orthodox and the Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist. It also has a small local museum. See the website below for more details.
During my stay on Santorini I had a chance to see sunsets at both Fira and Oia, and honestly I preferred the first one to the latter. In Fira (in september), we easily found a place where we were by ourselves. What I mean is the special atmosphere - the combination of a vibrating silence with light wind and a wide spectrum of sun colors, which change from the white/silver to golden/purple. and that was a truly amazing and intimate experience of connecting with nature!
Fira is the capital of Santorini (island is also known as Thira and not to be confused with Fira)
Santorini itself was formed when Volcano in the centre of it's crescent shape (the Caldera), erupted. in 1650 B.C. Today its a picture postcard holiday destination, much frequented by cruise ships, all of us wanting to see the white cubed buildings and blue domed churches cascading down the steep cliffs. The narrow streets are filled with souvenir shops - lovely clothes and a lot of jewellery shops. We had a giggle at a shop called Woman's Paradise and the men were sitting in comfy sofas outside! Other streets are quieter with lovely bell towers over them.
There are two ports serving Fira: Gialos "old port" at base of cliffs on which Fira is perched - serving the majority of cruise ship transfers. A cable car ride, donkey ride or a tiring 600 steps up to reach Fira - the steps are numbered too!. The other port is Athenios port used for ferry services to other islands. Some of the best views of Fira we had were from the water during the Volcano trip - really get the impression of how steep the cliffs are and the geology of volcano rock formation.
As a change from the usual Greek blue/white domed churches the Catholic Church in Fira is a lovely peachy colour and its ornate clock tower makes it really stand out. It a modern structure - rebuilt afetr the 1950 earthquake and is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Its at the far end of Fira - a quiet part not on the normal tourist trail. Also in this catholic quarter of Fira is the Dominican convent - the home of twelve nuns who come from twelve different countries. As you stroll through the street that passes through the Convent you may hear the nuns singing Vespers.
Its the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral which is Fira's landmark - its large structure and can be seen from quite a distance. Its located at the bottom end of Fira town - just come up the hill from the bus station towards the bottom of the town and you'll be greeted with its arches and courtyard. The cathedral also has beautiful frescoes that were painted by a local artist named Christoforos Assimis. There is an art museum nearby - made for an interesting angled shot.
Fira is the main village on the island and it is located on the caldera, just in front of the volcano active craters. Similarly to the other villages on Santorini, Fira has been mutilated several times by the earthquakes preceding and following the volcano eruptions, and it has thus been rebuilt in several occasions.
Fira today is highly touristic, but still preserves its charm because of its "physical limits". It was built on top of the caldera (when looking at Fira. Firostefani and Imerovigli from the volcano, or from the lighthouse, they look like icing on top of a cake) long ago, so streets are still winding, and it is not possible to drive. Small traditional (touristic) small shops border the small streets and people stop ouside them talking all day long. All buildings have wonderful terraces overlooking the caldera, that get crowdy at sunset time.
Just take a walk along the streets of Fira when it is not rush hour fully breathe the atmosphere of this unique spot.
The Donkey ride was a great experience..so good we went up and down the stairs.
Do the Hot springs trip, if its hot on the boat dont do the volcano, its twice as hot on there and the walk is ENDLESS.
The fish market is dark age material, after seeing this we thought twice about eating fish.
You have to do at least one day on the beach, if you get a chance have a massage only 20euro for 1/2 an hour, he gave a magic massage, well worth every euro.
The original building, like the Orthodox cathedral, was destroyed in the 1956 earthquake. It has since been rebuilt and was opened in 1975.
The cathedral is dedicated to St John the Baptist and is situated on the north side of Fira.
The other pictures show the little church which was just down the slope from our balcony at Aroma Suites and was facing out to sea. Another picture shows the tiniest church I have ever seen, it could be on private land and is perhaps a family shrine. It was on the edge of Fira going towards Firostefani.
Fira suffered considerable damage in an earthquake in 1956 – as if the island had not suffered enough from the forces of nature – which destroyed the main church, so this handsome building is therefore relatively new.
The interior has been richly decorated with scenes from the Old and New Testament by a local artist, Christofores Assimis, and, in my opinion, is a handsome example of recent Greek Orthodox Art.
I only know a few of the Bible stories, but am fairly certain that the main picture I have selected concerns Moses when he was leading the Israelities out of Egypt to "to the promised land".
They were in the wilderness and desperate for water, Moses prayed to God and an angel appeared and hit the rock, and from the rock sprung fresh water for him and his followers.
If you want to try and imagine what Fira may have been like in times gone by, you need to look past the strategically placed pots of flowers and pretty tiles and see how the little dwellings are all clustered together going back into the hillside like caves.
There are many tiny churches, it must have been a deeply religious community, and the whole town would have been much less brightly lit, much smaller and with far less white paint. The town is linked by dozens of little stone paths, with quite a lot of steps, which twist and turn around the little dwellings and link the communities together.
If you go from outside the Orthodox Cathedral and, with your back to the cathedral, look for the steps/ pathway at the left end of the terrace area. This will lead down to a network of paths which are interesting to explore and are quieter than the main streets. They are fun to discover and in a place this size, full of wonderful view points, you cannot get lost for long !
The centre of Santorini Island is called Fira. Most of the hotels and shops are there. If you are going to stay in a hotel in Fira, try to keep in mind that the hotel is facing the ocean and not the island. We went to a lovely hotel but we didn't realise before hand that the hotel view is not as great as most of the hotels which are located facing the ocean.
I fell in love with every single little shop and restaurant in Fira. It is certainly very touristy because I wanted to buy everything. You can get nice pastry shops, jewelry shops, house decoration shops and souvenirs shops. You never get tired of browsing things.
Every rock in Santorini - except for Profitis Ilias mountain - has followed a remarkable course from the earth's core, surfing through cosmogenic volcanic eruptions, literally building the island.
The Caldera walls constitute a unique geological monument. Rocky and steep, they tower over the western part of the island, adorned with the snow white villages of Fira, Imerovigi and Oia.