Fira is the capital of Santorini.
It can be found on the west coast of the island, on the caldera
cliffs opposite the volcano. Modern day Fira is the cultural
and commercial center of the Santorini. Although geared around
the tourist industry, perhaps more so than other areas on
the island, there is much about Fira worth taking a look at.
Apart from the museums, galleries and cultural events, it
has the island's largest shopping center and the biggest choice
of dining out and entertainment. Fira heads the nightlife
section - many bars and cafes are actually on the caldera,
whilst others, as well as the large clubs, are tucked into
the quaint cobbled streets weaving through the town.
There is so much to choose from and so many places to explore.
The whole of the Fira Caldera is connected by a path at the
cliff edge that starts just above the Mayor's office and finishes
up on the hill at the Nomikos Conference center. The volcano
can be seen from every point, as can the mesmerizing sunsets.
Sunset time in Santorini seems to be the only hour of the
day when everything, and everyone stops moving ...
|The Petros M. Nomikos Conference Center
with the permanent exhibition of 'The Wall Paintings of Thera'
and the Catholic Church are in the distance on the hill.
|Firostefani is an old village just north of Fira
which has merged with Fira, becoming one of its suburbs. The
name Firostefani means 'Crown of Fira' stefani = crown. Predominant
characteristics are traditional houses, narrow paths and views
to the volcano.
|Kontochori is also a suburb of Fira, 15 minutes
walk from the main square. It can be found on the lower road
as you leave the center driving northward in the direction of
Oia. Kontochori has an outdoor summer cinema.
The old port of Santorini is at
the bottom of the Caldera cliffs in Fira. The little harbour
has restaurants, taverns and small shops. To reach the old
port, you can walk down the 600 stone steps, hop on a mule
or take the Cable Car which leaves from the top part of the
The large cruise liners drop anchor at Ormos and the passengers
are ferried to shore in small boats. One can spot small fishing
boats, the kaikia' as well as several pleasure boats that
depart daily to the volcano 'Nea Kameni', the Hot Springs
at 'Palia Kameni', Thirassia island and Oia for the sunset.
Perhaps the only way to realise what Santorini is, and where
you really are, is to experience the island from the foot
of the Caldera cliffs, and the best way to do that is from
The history of Fira as a
settlement started during the second half of the 18th
century, when the Venetian nobles and Catholic community
abandoned the Castle
of Skaros in Imerovigli (capital of Santorini at
that time), after a prolonged period of earthquakes.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Santorini fell
to the Turks, and the islanders no longer had to deal
with the constant fear of pirate raids on the island.
Subsequently Fira became the island capital, replacing
the successor of Skaros, which was the Kasteli
|post office, banks, taxi depot,
shops, galleries, clubs, bars, bookshops, restaurants,
cafes, supermarkets, cable car, old port, camping site,
outdoor summer cinema
|The main bus depot is near the central square
of Fira on the lower side road.