Sidebar Menu

Photo of Fira (Santorini region)
Fira hotels
Booking.com: best prices
Where
Arrive
Leave

Visit Fira

Fira, also called Thira, is a clifftop town overlooking the Aegean Sea on the beautiful island of Santorini. Like Oia and  Imerovigli it sits on the edge of the caldera formed by a huge volcanic erruption and whose crater is now filled by the sea. 

Explore Fira

Greece This Way comment: Fira is the second most beautiful town on Santorini after Oia. If you are looking for a slightly cheaper option or something with more of a party atmosphere on a night then Fira fits the bill.

Caldera views at Thira

If you arrive on Santorini by boat then you can either walk up the hill, take a donkey or ride the cable car. The cable cars are a popular choice but if a cruise ship has just come in the wait at the top or bottom can be lengthy. Fira is the main hub for the bus network on the island with all buses arriving or leaving from Fira and so this is an easy way to get here from Oia or other places on Santorini.

At the lower end of Fira near to the bus station there are lots of narrow pedestrian streets full of shops and tourists and from there if you walk right to the cliff edge you can see the town of Fira winding upwards to Firostefani, the top part of Fira and on to Imerovigli which is the village you can see at the high point of the cliff. The views over the Caldera with the white buildings of Oia along the edge are simply stunning.

Next to here there is the beautiful Candlemas cathedral which has a lovely tranquil garden and inside the walls are covered in beautiful paintings. The cathedral, along with many other buildings was destroyed in the huge 1956 earthquake and subsequently rebuilt.

There is a very pleasant walk all along the edge of the cliff to Firostefani which means you get the beautiful views all the way and there are lots of restaurants with views over the Caldera to tempt you along the way.

The edge of the caldera is lined with smart hotels some of which are trendy cave hotels with infinity pools and with the wonderful views over the caldera these are the ones to choose if your budget runs to it. If it doesn't don't worry. You can enjoy the view as you walk the path along the edge or as you stop in one of the bars or restaurants along the way.

The cliff side path actually continues all the way to Oia. We walked as far as Imerovigli this time which was a very pleasant walk. Next time we will make sure we have enough time to walk to Oia in order to enjoy the view for even longer!

During the walk from the lower part of Fira to the higher part at Firostefani you will walk past the lovely Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist painted in a lovely soft yellow colour and with an elegant clock tower. It is one of the rare churches in Greece that is not Greek Orthodox.

Further along the walk is the smaller blue domed church of Saint Theodore. To see its blue dome you have to walk up the streets behind the church to get a view from above. It is then possible to get some great photos with the blue dome and attractive triple bell tower with a backdrop of the deep blue sea and the islands on the other side of the caldera.

From the top end of Fira you can see fabulous views over the caldera and Fira spreading out all along the cliff edge of the caldera. Simply stunning!

Behind the coastal path is a maize of cute narrow streets filled with shops bars and restaurants and lovely to explore.

Fira

At the lower end of town there is an Archaeological Museum with artifacts from Santorini including a collection of red and black vases from the 5th century BC and sculptures from the Hellenistic period.

The Museum of Prehistoric Thera has items from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Cycladic period (17C BC). Particularly noteworthy are the Statue of the Golden Goat and a fantastic wall painting of a blue monkey from the 17th century BC.

Where to visit nearby?

Carry on along the coastal path from Fira and you get to Imerovigli. There is a lot of accommodation here and some fabulous views but for restaurants and shops you will mostly need to head to Fira.

Oia is the jewel in the crown of Santorini island. Be sure to visit by day and if possible spend a night or two (or more) there to enjoy the beautiful sight of the town lit up at night.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Santorini guide.

See also:

Photos of Fira

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • caldera
  • church-candelmas1
  • church-candlemas
  • church-st-theodore
  • church
  • fira-centre
  • garden
  • hilltop
  • hotels
  • hotels1
  • oia
  • pedestrian-streets
  • pedestrian-streets1
  • thira-cruise
  • thira
  • town

Map of Fira and places to visit

Fira places to visit

Back To Top