Fira's history as a settlement began during the latter half of the 18th century. A prolonged period of earthquakes led to the abandonment of Skaros Kasteli; Pyrgos Kallistis became the next capital. After Santorini fell to the Turks and the Venetian Duchy of Naxos was ousted, Pyrgos was replaced by Fira as island capital (early 19th century.)
Modern-day Fira is a bustling town, nightlife mecca and shopping centre of the island. It hosts cultural events and exhibitions, and is home to important museums such as the Museum of Prehistoric Thira and Megaro Gyzi.
Perched atop Santorini's caldera cliffs, Fira is 400 metres above sea level. Far below in the caldera basin, cruise ships anchor for a day. Situated opposite Nea Kameni Volcano, Fira's hillside is chequered with countless hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants. Shops, boutiques and galleries stay open late into the night. Evenings in Fira are an experience. Cocktails at sunset, a romantic meal on the Caldera, the twinkling lights over the bay; all under the magic of the Aegean moon.
The main square is pedestrian-only at the height of the summer season; if you are driving expect a traffic diversion via Fira's lower road. Most banks are in or around the square. Available parking space is limited and public parking is restricted to the outskirts of town. The island's central bus terminus is located below the square and all bus routes begin and end in Fira. Changeovers for a different destination are made there.
The cable car station to the Old Port "Ormos" is situated at the top of Fira town. During summer it departs every 30 minutes. We advise checking for schedule changes. It's usually busy so be prepared. Several boat trips to the Volcano & Hot Springs sail from here.
The Caldera path, popular with nature lovers and hikers, starts in Fira and ends in Oia.Fira Map
Fira by night
Agios Ioannis Theologos
Volcano at sunset
Mitropolis of Ypapanti
Fira - Firostefani path