Fira is the capital of Santorini and its commercial and economic hub, a place that retained its traditional architecture and beauty despite the great expansion it saw the last twenty years. Fira is perched on the edge of the imposing volcanic rocks and cliffs, facing the submerged volcano. Nea Kammeni, the island volcano, once part of Fira, floats now in front of the capital waiting for visitors to come on the small boats of the island.
Architecture of Fira
Fira is the centre of activities on the island, a place featuring an impressively vast array of accommodation options, luxury hotels, stunning resorts and modest in-caved houses, all facing the Big Blue of the Aegean. Fira is a typical Cycladic village, consisting of charming white washed houses, separated from each other with narrow paved streets. The blue Domed churches popping up between the houses, are the most characteristic image of Fira, while the sun bathed cafés and large verandas offer breathtaking views to the Volcano and the rest of the island.
Activities and Sightseeing in Fira
Fira is a bustling town, especially during summer, when tourists park their car hires or scooters and surge into the town; central streets are crowded in July and August, while the numerous shops, cafés and restaurants or clubs are full of life.
Fira is not only about fun though; there are many interesting places to visit, starting with the Archaeological Museum of Santorini, crammed with findings from the excavations in Akrotiri and remains of the Great Minoan Civilization that flourished on the island.
Fira features many interesting monasteries, both Orthodox and Catholic; lovers of history should also visit the Gyzi Museum that has an amazing collection of pictures and artifacts, showing Santorini as once was, before the destructive earthquake of 1956.
A place you cannot afford to miss though, is Ypapantis Street at the Western part of the town, a street that runs along the crest of the Caldera offering stunning views.
The port of Fira
Fira has a port named Skala of Fira, which has been for many years the main port of the island, but today serves only the large Cruise Ships; from there visitors of Santorini can take the small boats that go to the volcano, or for a tour of the island.
Fira is an essentially beautiful and picturesque town, a place whose cliffs glow under the amazing light of the Aegean, and which glow red and dark black as sun goes down, evoking the volcanic origins of the island.