Santorini Fira

Information about Fira

Fira Santorini: The most important thing to know about Fira (not to be confused with Thira, the official name of Santorini and the regional unit which covers Santorini, as well as other nearby islands) is that it is the capital of Santorini and the largest town on the island.
Located on a 400m altitude on the western edge of the crescent-shaped Caldera, the town is perched above a cliffside, offering panoramic views of the sea to the locals and the visitors alike.
The houses of Fira are typically Cycladic and cubic-shaped, with low ceilings, whitewashed walls and blue-painted details. Despite the fact that Fira is continuously expanding, the locals have managed to preserve its picturesque atmosphere and even its most recently built hotels have a traditional style, making the settlement a prominent example of authentic Santorinian architecture.

Fira is among the best places for a stay, as it offers luxurious facilities, a vivid nightlife, high-caliber food and convenient public transportation. Moreover, the charming commercial streets of Fira are full of boutiques and cocktail bars with the best sunset views. Accommodation in Fira comes with a wide variety of options, including hotels, suites and traditional villas.

During your visit to the picturesque town, consider a visit to the neighboring settlement known as Firostefani, a natural extension of Fira. Homeric Poems Hotel is located there, along with its famous caique (traditional fishing boat) installation on the top of a terrace. This is one of the most photographed spots on the island!
Another must in the same area is Galini Cafe which is ideal for a delicious brunch and the perfect place to take amazing photos of the sea view, the volcano and Thirassia island!

Being the capital of Santorini, the charming town of Fira is also considered the island's main cultural center, housing various notable cultural institutions, such as the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, the Folklore Museum, the cultural institute of Megaron Gyzi and the Bellonio Cultural Center.

For visitors more keen on the ecclesiastic attributes of Santorini, the Catholic Cathedral, the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral and the Dominican Convent will definitely inspire them with their religious ambience and serenity. Other churches worth visiting include Agios Stylianos Catholic church with the uniquely painted walls, Agios Minas church which overlooks the sea, Agios Ioannis Theologos church that has an unusual style of architecture and the famous Three Bells Church of Fira with its impressive bell tower.

In addition to the places of interest in Fira, there are other beautiful locations in this area that you should not miss. For instance, the town of Fira expands towards the northern side of the island and reaches Firostefani, a smaller settlement with spectacular views. You can get there in about 10 minutes on foot. Another option is the village of Imerovigli, which also adorns the top of the volcanic caldera. A walk from Fira to Imerovigli should last about 25 minutes. Other hiking paths from Fira include the trail from Fira to Oia which offers several kilometers of Aegean Sea and Volcano views and the path from Fira to Gialos Old Port, for a great sea-level sunset viewpoint.

Hotels in Fira

Recommended by Greeka

Celestia Grand Villas

Villas
Luxury

Built at the edge of the Caldera slope, Celestia Grand is composed of 7 private, sumptuous suites with a thermal bath tub, a private swimming pool and stunning views of the magnificent surroundings. Only a small distance separates this five-star resort from the capital town of Fira. So, all the ...

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Recommended by Greeka

Porto Fira Suites

Apartments Traditional Houses
3 keys

Porto Fira Suites can be found in a spectacular spot, right on the Caldera cliffs in the island’s capital town Fira. Facing the unique volcano, the vast Aegean Sea, and the quaint old harbour, the complex promises a luxurious and comfortable stay. With four different types of lovely, simple and ...

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Revelis Villa & Canava

Villas
4 keys

Revelis Villa and Cavana are located in a calm place with magnificent sea and caldera views, very close to the lively center of Fira. The complex consists of two traditionally designed, cave-like villas, with arches, vaults, and an outdoor private pool or jacuzzi. They can host 5-6 people.

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Things to Do & See In Fira

Tours and activities related to Fira

Map Of Fira, Santorini

Reviews of Fira, Santorini

3.5/5.0
15 Reviews
  • Ang68mon 28 Apr 2018
    Wake up to this cruelty ... you are killing your own tourism
    These donkeys are so sad. No water in sight for them. Tied up in the heat of the day in direct sunlight. Lazy and often overweight tourists abuse them further. Disgusting and shameful, walk it or cable car it. Insist that these donkeys are better treated.
  • puddpirt03 09 Jan 2017
    It's Cruel to the Mules
    It’s Cruel to the Mules…

    I have personally witnessed handlers severely mistreating the donkeys. PLEASE, do not support this!

    The abuse takes several forms. The donkeys are forced to climb up and back down a pathway with around 600 VERY STEEP steps, making as many as seven trips a day between 9 o’clock in the morning and sunset. Often, the animals are required to carry tourists who, putting it bluntly, are obese and may weigh considerably more than the donkeys themselves. And the mules must do this exhausting, grueling work in blazing sunshine and searing summer heat, often with unsatisfactory food, water and rest periods, plus few if any breaks in the shade. To add insult to injury, they may be wearing ill-fitting harnesses that inflict cuts and sores on their bodies, while their owners or handlers may frequently strike them with sticks to make them move or hurry up. In short, they toil under cruel and deplorable working conditions.
  • susanne 27 Jul 2014
    Please DO NOT ride the donkeys
    I write this from our holiday in Santorini, a holiday that we decided to make short. We just rebooked our return tickets back home, 4 days earlier than planned, due to the terrible way the donkeys are treated. What we have witnessed during three days here is absolutely unacceptable. Owners kicking the poor animals legs hard, and after that forcing them to carry tourists several hundreds of stairs, in strong heat, no water or shade, beatened. No, we do not support this and will never return as long as this continues.
  • ramondelc 06 Nov 2013
    Great experience
    I ordered a replica of an antique thira fresco and, apart from obtaining a true piece of high quality art, I received one of the kindest attention I have ever experienced when making a purchase. I enthusiastically recommend going and visiting them if in Fira, or on their web page. Ilias is really worth, a true artist and a great professional. Thanks a lot
  • jonathan.schofield 18 Jun 2012
    Appalling
    How long does this barbaric and pathetic farce have to continue.
    The sight of the donkeys together with the 'owners' hideous treatment of them ruined what was otherwise a lovely place. I will NEVER return whilst this is allowed to continue and will do anything I can to prevent others witnessing this travesty.
  • jennifercm 16 Jul 2011
    Great place to swim
    A little cold, but so salty. You are so buoyant all you have to do is let your legs hang down and put your arms out to float. Amazing. Touring the volcano is brutally sunny but worth the hike.
  • reton32 16 Oct 2010
    Best spot for wedding
    What to say about caldera? There are no words. The best place in the world, best view, best spot to get married. Actually I saw many couples getting married in Santorini while I was there. No wonder, because truly you can't find a more romantic place for your wedding. Looking at the sunset was a marvelous experience, the sun going into the sea in pink and orange background! It is too sad that the sunset ended so quickly!
  • potiro 12 Oct 2010
    Can give a backache
    Nice experience and very traditional! Only in Greece you can find so traditional things! I've seen donkey rides only in Santorini and I've heard that in Hydra you can do it, too. My first time on a donkey was a pleasure, but a bit frightening! Why do donkeys go so close to the edge? I was afraid we would both fall, but obviously a donkey can balance very well, better than people. Otherwise, you have to take the cable car to get from the port up to the town of Fira because the way up is very tiring (plus the heat that makes it worse). Just my husband had a backache from the donkey, so pay attention...
  • summer 29 Jun 2010
    For all history buffs
    All the museums buffs should go and visit the Prehistoric Museum of Thera. The historical imprint, the varying culture and art find their place in this marvelous museum. The serene and tranquil location adds to the beauty of the place. This is one of the best museums I have visited in Greece, although still a lot of things should be done to help visitors. For example, the labels of the exhibits must have more details because not all people know the archaeological terms. Also guided tours should be organized in fixed times. It is a pity that Greece has so nice museums but no people working in them.
  • tessydat 12 Jun 2010
    Smelly but nice experience
    I remember the boat ride and the cruise but mostly I vividly remember the graceful and enchanting donkey ride that I enjoyed in Santorini. I had read about donkeys being hard working animals and this statement is so true as I enjoyed the scenic beauty of Santorini the donkey was pulling my weight through the entire journey. The slow yet steady pace was relaxing and the guide made me see some of the most beautiful spots in the island. One of the major problems was that the native did not understand English so I had to practically talk to him in sign language. The balmy weather made me sweat profusely. The only problem was the smell but you can stand it. After all, it is an once in a lifetime experience!
  • christr 11 Jun 2010
    Lovely architecture
    I am a freelance photographer by profession and recently I visited the village Fira, in Santorini island of Greece, for one of my personal photo shoots. My friends suggested me to visit this place and I think this is a photographer's paradise. The bird's eye view makes this island look like a conglomeration of white edifices with domes, shining beautifully in the clear daylight. While photographing the interior of some of the buildings, I witnessed some of the exquisite instances of architecture dating to the Venetian era of Santorini.

    The museum was a good haunt for me to click images of the archaeological findings from the excavation of Akrotiri, a flourishing port town to be found in southern Santorini. I found some very interesting frescoes depicting the pompous life of the Greek civilization that once flourished on this island. Coming back to the town, the main hub is Theotokopoulou Square. This area is thronged by restaurants, bars, shops, cafes and night clubs. It has all the assistance for tourists. I picked up a few souvenirs for my friends from some of the shops here and they loved them. They also loved me!
  • tressy47 09 Jun 2010
    Best view of little town
    The one thing I enjoyed at the Ampelos restaurant was the view! Situated high on top of Fira, here you have the best view of the entire little town. The restaurant was clean and nicely decorated with comfortable seating and elegant cutlery. The food is good, very typical Greek but with interesting twists to the recipe. The menu offered varieties of fish, although in the cuttle fish and kalamari could have used some more spice. The swordfish was delicious and all are served with rice only. I am not a Greek food expert, but I think the moussaka was just like it should be.
  • tessydat 04 Jun 2010
    Strenuous hike but nice view
    The day we reached Santorini, we determined that we have to take the Caldera cruise to visit the famous Nea Kameni volcano from close! Our cruise took us from Fira straight to the volcano. My boyfriend and I are avid outdoor enthusiasts and hence, we were determined enough to hike to the volcano. If you haven't enjoyed outdoor activity, I have to warn you because the hike is strenuous. There are no steeps, but the hot sun will surely consume a lot of your energy. It is better to limit your luggage and we carried only water with us. Once we reached volcano top, we realized that we made a worthwhile trip. The view of island from the top was incredible. You can get a nice 360 degree view of the low lying islands, something no one wants to miss. We took a lot of snaps of the island. We didn't take hot springs tour mainly because we didn't want to get wet. However, we saw many people enjoying the springs despite the horrible smell.
  • gareth 02 Jun 2010
    Impressive
    The beautiful beaches, buildings of special beauty, mouth-watering Greek dishes with view to the sunset and excellent spots for coffee early in the morning – that's what Caldera is all about to me.

    The romantic spot, beautiful experience of tranquility and proximity to nature is to be cherished. The imprint of the caldera is evident all over the island, in all the aspects of life: architecture, food, tourism, beaches, everywhere. The caldera is certainly the most tourist attraction of Santorini. The scenic beauty and the mesmerizing spots, all made excellent impressions to us and we realized what makes all the beauty of Santorini.

    However, the bad thing is that the locals take great trade of this beauty. I found that some of the exquisite hotels and spectacular restaurants with view to the caldera were way too pricey. Well, that's life, isn't it? You have to pay for something so beautiful! But it's worth it, my friends, it's totally worth it!
  • J_Perez 02 Nov 2006
    Amazing view
    Nationality: Spanish

    Age: 24

    -How did you get to the village: By foot as my accommodation is located in the area

    -Where is your accommodation located: Fira Camping

    -How much time did it take you to reach the village: 5 minutes

    -What are the conditions of the roads that take you to the village: Quite well

    -If you used public transportations, did you have to wait long for the bus: No

    -Did you enjoy the trip to the village: Ii is just out 5 minutes from the camping so it is no very long

    -In order to get to the village were enough signs in order to find it: I stay in the area

    -Why did you choose this particular village: My accommodation is located in the area and the amazing scenery.

    -How would you describe the village: Picturesque, labyrinth streets, beautiful architecture, touristy industry, restaurants, cafes, crowded, expensive

    -Can everything, one might need, be found in the village: Telephone, bank, mini market, restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, shops, travel agencies, internet cafes, hotels and other accommodations

    - Did the village meet your expectations? Yes - alot of wonderful people Rate: 7/10

    - Favorite thing about the village: The houses perched on a hill, the view from the top to the port, night atmosphere

    - Is there anything that you don’t like about the beach or things that should be done by the authorities to improve it or is something missing: The traffic, a little bit chaotic

    - Would you come to this village again: Yes

    Other recommends villages? Pyrgos is beautiful and more silent, less people



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