Situated on the West coast of the island of Santorini, the resort of Fira is not only the islands capital but also its beating heart, offering the largest selection of shops, restaurants and bars on the island. Resting on top of the Caldera cliffs, this bustling town not only provides a stunning view over the sea but also a wide range of cultural attractions for those visiting.
Fira’s development into the town it is today began in the 18th Century when Santorini’s previous capital Imerovigili became susceptible to earthquakes and people fled in large numbers to the safer Fira, thus creating a burgeoning town.
Today, this is the place to holiday if you want more than just a week on the beach; Fira has museums and landmarks galore and there’s always something going on. Santorini’s port is in Fira so the town is often busy during the day with cruise passengers, but you’ll find evenings are much less crowded.
If you visit Fira, you can expect dry, hot summers with temperatures cooling in the evening. The sea temperatures are always ideal to enjoy the water-based activities and the surrounding sea mitigates the hottest days. May to October tends to provide the best of the sunshine, though a comfortable time will be had throughout the year.
One of the star attractions is the nearby Thirasia volcano, and you can visit this wondrous site on one of the official tours that operate in the area, often including a stop at some island hot springs.
However, if you want to soak up some of the history of the island, you will surely want to visit the archaeological, prehistoric and folklore museums, which shed light on the various stages of the history of the island and demonstrate its whimsical allure. We’d recommend the Megaro Gyzi Museum, which documents the earthquake that hit the town in 1956 through a collection of before and after photos. You can also visit the Archaeological Museum that has a huge collection of ancient statues and sculptures. Around town, you’ll spot several beautiful buildings, particularly the whitewashed Agios Minas Church and the Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist.
Fira’s various cathedrals and the classical musical festival in September also allude to its position as the cultural hub of the island.
Those who love to shop will find themselves in heaven; Fira has the island’s largest shopping centre and countless independent shops selling jewellery, artwork, handmade gifts and souvenirs.
Fira is a place to wander the streets and find hidden viewpoints, and it rivals Oia for sunset views. It would not be a holiday destination though without a beach to relax upon, and the nearby Kamari beach provides a long stretch of white sand to enjoy.
Like all popular holidaying destinations, you will find all types of international cuisines available on the resort. If you want to get involved with the local dishes, Santorini Fava is a dish that must be sampled. This yellow split pea offering is a staple amongst locals and a favourite of those trying to get the most out of cheap Fira holidays.
The list of fantastic Greek restaurants in Fira is endless and, given the town’s close proximity to the Aegean, the locally caught seafood is always of high quality. If you prefer a meat-based dish, why not try the soutzoukakia, which are Greek baked meatballs in a tomato sauce.
Fira is one of the most popular choices for those seeking a night out on the town! Fira is considered to be the town that’s always open for business and whether you want to dance the night away in a club, socialise in a bar or relax with food and drink in a little café, you will not struggle to find what you are looking for.
The town has the largest choice of bars and clubs, many of which are located on the cliffside facing the caldera with outdoor areas and beautiful views of the submerged volcano. These are the pricier bars where you’re paying in part for the view; cheaper places can be found around the main square and in the backstreets.
For the clubbers, Koo nightclub will provide good music and a place to throw some shapes on the dance floor, while the Two Brothers bar is a lively haunt for those wanting a good time with friendly company. Meanwhile, the Bonjour Cafe in the central square offers cocktails, coffees and snacks for those wanting a little more relaxed ambience