Fira, Santorini Island
Fira is the capital town of Santorini and for many day trippers the place where they will spend most of their time in Santorini. Beautifully located on the edge of the caldera cliffs this is what you see as you approaching Santorini by ferry, a town with white houses overlooking the sea from the top, many of them sitting on steep cliffs. This is where people will take some beautiful panoramic photos (the number of cameras increases drastically at sunset).
Fira was founded at the end of 18th century and became the capital of Santorini as the old one (casteli of Skaros, where Imerovigli stands today) was severely damaged by the earthquakes. It has about 2000 inhabitants although in summer the number of people that pass by is way higher (on a busy day 6000 people may arrive by cruises that anchor at the small harbor between Nea Kameni and Fira, the approach by boat the Old Port below Fira and then take the cable car or the mule path up to Fira)
Most people walk along the promenade near the caldera but there are many narrow street to explore, full of stores (souvenirs, jewelries, clothing) of course as thousands come and go on daily base but there are interesting attractions too, many churches, small or big, worth to check the Orthodox Cathedral of Ypapanti on the south edge and the Catholic Cathedral of St.John the Baptist near the cable car entrance. Worth to visit some of the museums in Fira, all small in size wont take much of your precious time, my favorite was the Museum of Prehistoric Thera but you can also check the Archaeological Museum, Megaro Gyzi, the Lignos Folklore museum and the Conference Center of Nomikos.
The main street is always packed with car traffic, busy and noisy, a place to avoid for us but full of fast food eateries and café (less expensive than the ones with view over the caldera) and other useful corners (travel agents, post office etc). Don’t forget that Fira is the transportation hub of the island, from the KTEL bus station depart all the buses to the beaches and the villages. Those that don’t want to rent bike or car may find it convenient to stay in Fira to save some time if they plan to explore the island by bus. The truth is that the last years we prefer other corners of the island.
Perched on the cliffs, overlooking the sea, the town of Fira shares with the Parthenon the fame of the best known images of Greece.
The city is a show, with a climax at the sunset. Its narrow streets have some commerce tourist oriented.
The capitol and main city of Santorini ( aka Thera, Thira ), as well as the bus transportation hub, has a full time population of less than 2000, but in season receives as many as 6000 cruise ship passengers on a busy day. Away from the pedestrianized walkway overlooking the caldera, the basics for the island are located but facing the water is the expected promenade lined by restaurants, clothing and jewellries, craft and souvenir stores. Earrings, necklaces, and rings made from black and red lava are featured alongside expensive designer items. There are, as in Oia, no branches of international design firms and blessedly no fast food chains. It has the largest number of tourist oriented businesses but we found both quality and pricing superior in Oia - perhaps less cruise ship customers there.
The history of Fira is quite limited - The first settlement dates only to the late 18thC and the village became the capitol of Santorini only after the departure of the Ottomans perhaps based on its central location on the caldera and flat terrain above the cliff.
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.
Well, all your iconic Santorini sights are here. You must go to the top of the caldera, where the white houses are terraced high above the blue Aegean, and the small islands in the background give the unique photo opportunities.
Not that Fira itself is worth lingering in for too long - busy, pricey (see Tourist trap tip), but beautiful - see pictures on this tip.
We liked Imeroviglia the best. It's quiet and stunningly beautiful. Careful in the bars and restaurants - at least 50% more expensive than in other villages.
I was surprised by how many (no doubt expensive) ideal looking apartments - own pool and terrace - were grossly overlooked by all and sundry because of the steep terracing of the village. Or you walk within touching distance of an "exclusive" pool.
Address: Fira and vilage within 1km north of it
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.
Fira is the capital of Santorini and the most important of all villages. It was built on the edge of the caldera, at a height of 260 meters and has a great view of the volcano and of the sunset.
The town is a typical Cycladic village with white houses, blue windows, doors and narrow cobblestone streets. Most of its beautiful blue domed churches were built during the Venetian rule.
The Orthodox Cathedral built in the 19th century is located in the centre. In the huge 1956 earthquake - 7.8 on the Richter scale - it has been seriously damaged, but has since been rebuilt in a quite modern form. Its dome is very impressive, and not blue!!
Fira tiny port is only used by cruise ships. Here the water is so deep that ships can not anchor; there are giant floating buoys and ships can moor to one of them.
From here you can visit the town either by cable car or by a mule ride and of course by a 30-40 minutes scenic walk.
Nevertheless, Fira is a fine place to stay, because it is really picturesque, and has an enormous offer of hotels and restaurants. However, restaurants with caldera-view ask top prices.
Directions: It is located at the west side of the island and 10 km away from the main port, Athinios.
Being the capital town of Santorini, Fira boosts of shops and locales for both locals and tourists alike. The place could get a bit crowded but still it is must-visit village. Since Fira is located somewhere in the middle part of the Caldera, it has a very nice view of the Volcano Island (Nea Kameni) that should not be missed.
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 the island and the most important village. Early in the 19th century the capital of the island was moved from Pyrgos to Fira. After the earthquake of 1956 a part of the town was destroyed (only a small part of the 18th century buildings were saved). Fira is perched on the edge of an impressive cliff 260m high and offers a great panorama over the submerged volcano. It is made of many white painted houses in stepped streets with blue domed churches and sun-bathed verandas. Plateia Theotokopoulou (Theotokopoulou Square) is the main square of Fira and it is where all the locals meet. The small streets during peak season period are crowed and filled with all kind of shops, jeweleries, cafe, restaurants, bars and night clubs. The main road of 25 Martiou (25th March) intersecting the square and is lined with travel agencies. The bus and the taxi station are located at the beginning of the road also. Erythrou Stavrou, one block west of 25 Martiou, is the main commercial thoroughfare. Another block west, Ypapantis runs along the crest of the caldera and provides some staggering panoramic views.
Fira is the capital of Santorini. It is located on the west side of the island, perched on the edge of a 260 meter cliff (locally called as the Caldera rim) and offers a fantastic panorama on the volcano.
It is a busy touristy area and a stop for many cruise ships. The town is full of whitewashed houses in traditional cycladic style, blue domed churches, winding narrow streets, arcades and a quarter where the Catholic nobility once dwelt. The streets are filled with swarms of tourists (from the cruise ships), jewellery shops, souvenir shops, many expensive restaurants, trendy bars and exclusive shops.
If you are interessed in some places to visit, there is the Archaeological Museum showing many items from excavations done in the ancient Minoan settlement of Akrotiri. There are also some interesting churches and monasteries such as Agios Minas, the cathedral of Hypapandi, the cathedral of Christ, the monastery of Panagia ton Dominikanidon, Panagia tou Rodariou and the Catholic Cathedral.
There is also the Megaron Gyzi Museum which has a fascinating collection of photos of Fira before and after the earthquake of 1956.
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.
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.
Address: Out and about