Fira: Discover The Capital of Santorini
Welcome to Fira.
General Information ABOUT fIRA, sANTORINI
Fira is the capital of Santorini. It can be found on the west coast of the island, perched on the edge of an impressive cliff, 220m (722ft) above sea level. Fira is right opposite the volcano, so it offers amazing views of the caldera and the volcano itself.
History OF fIRA, sANTORINI
The town was first built during the 17th century, when the risk of pirate attacks was reduced. It was in the late 18th century when Fira became the capital of Santorini. Before that, Skaros, a castle opposite Imerovigli, used to be the capital. All that remains today is a rock at the very edge of the cliff.
The earthquake IN sANTORINI(1956)
In 1956 there was a big earthquake on the island that destroyed a big part of Fira. It all had to be rebuilt from scratch, maintaining however its original traditional style. In terms of architecture, there were two types of buildings in Fira: yposkafa (traditional cave houses, for the lower class) and urban houses (for the upper class). Both types of houses remain until this day. Many are converted into hotels, bars and restaurants.
Modern day Fira is the cultural and commercial centre of Santorini. Here you will find museums, galleries and cultural events, as well as the largest shopping centre on the island and many restaurants. Fira also has the best nightlife in Santorini.
Farmers Market IN FIRA, sANTORINI
Just after the main square, you will find a small farmers market with fresh fish and vegetables.
Museums and Churches IN FIRA, sANTORINI
In Fira you will find the Archaeological and Prehistoric Museums. The town also has numerous churches and monasteries with impressive architectural features. While you are here, it is also worth visiting Megaro Gyzi Museum that hosts a fascinating collection of photos of Fira before and after the earthquake of 1956.
The Old Port IN FIRA, sANTORINI
The old port of Santorini is at the bottom of the Caldera cliffs in Fira. It is now used to bring in passengers from cruise ships and for smaller boats to anchor. The little harbour has restaurants, taverns and small shops. To come up to Fira town you can take the cable car, hop on a donkey (I wouldn't recommend that) or if you feel like getting your daily exercise climb 600 steps up. From the old port you can also get on a boat tour to the volcano and the hot springs.
Useful Information ABOUT FIRA, sANTORINI
*During the summer vehicles are not allowed to pass by the main square, so you have to drive around it.
*In Fira, you will find the starting point for all buses and the main taxi station as well.
Where to find Fira in Santorini:
From Fira, you can also start the hike to Oia. Read all about it here.
Until next time,