From inland traditional settlements to cosmopolitan villages that are situated on the top of cliffs, Santorini has a lot to offer to its visitors. One among these cosmopolitan villages is the infamous Fira, the capital of Santorini. Fira offers a variety of options to visitors ranging from sightseeing to thrilling views. Even the high end needs can be met as the warm welcoming local people are easily approachable and ready to assist visitors.

About Fira

The village of Fira is situated on the west coast of Santorini and forms the capital settlement. The area can be characterized as privileged and of unique beauty as Fira can be found exactly opposite of the volcano and right on the caldera cliffs. The settlement of Fira can be accessed through the main roads of the port and of the airport. However, for those who seek a more traditional way of transportation, there is a donkey path from the port leading towards Fira. In addition, visitors can reach Fira with a cable car.

In general, the settlement of Fira forms the main commercial and cultural centre of the Island, something that makes it a famous spot for both, locals and tourists. The exploration of Fira includes a variety of sightseeing opportunities due to a number of museums and galleries that can be found there. In addition, Fira is a vibrant and modern settlement as it hosts the great majority of bars and clubs. The options vary and can meet even the high end expectations of visitors with their elegant style and excellent service.

Fira in Santorini 1

The capital settlement of Fira provides an impeccable exploration as it combines everything that visitors need. The area is connected with a specially designed path which starts right on the edge of the caldera cliff and close to the Municipality of Santorini. Fira is also known for the breath-taking sunsets as they are visible for every point of the village. During that time, the vibrant village becomes a quiet place as everyone is amazed by the scenery.

Historical facts

The history of Fira’s development as a settlement started during the mid-18th century. Up until that time, the capital of Santorini was the Castle of Skaros. The Castle was one of the five fortresses that Santorini used to have. Located in Imerovigli, Skaros was providing the perfect protection from the invasions of pirates of that time. However, due to a series of massive earthquakes that took place in the area, the inhabitants of Skaros abandoned the place and mote towards Fira.

During the period of 19th century, the Island of Santorini was forming part of the Ottoman Empire. The pirates’ invasions stopped and gradually Fira became the Island’s capital and remains until today.


Ormos forms the Island’s old port and is situated at the sea-side bottom of the Caldera cliffs. Visitors can reach the port either by a cable car or by walking down a total of 600 steps that start from the top of the cliff. For those who seek a more traditional way to reach the port, a donkey’s ride is the best possible way. Ormos hosts a variety of fine restaurants, shops and cafeterias where visitors can enjoy their time next to the sea.

The port of Ormos is the anchor point for the multiple cruise ships that reach Santorini every day. In addition, several traditional boats and yachts can be found there. Ormos port is also the departing point of the boats that cruising visitors towards the small volcanic Islands that are situated close to Santorini.


The broader area of Fira includes a number of suburbs that are worth exploring. Kontochori is one among them. Located at a distance of approximately 15 minutes away from Fira, Kontochori is between Oia and Fira. This picturesque village provides an impeccable setting for exploration as it combines natural beauty with irresistible charm. An interesting highlight is that during the summer period, there is an outdoor cinema where visitors can enjoy a movie under the sky of Santorini.


This stunning location is commonly perceived as a separate settlement. In fact, Firostefani forms the extension of Fira. It is located on the top of the cliff, at its highest point and this is the reason explaining the settlement’s name. Stefani in Greek language means crown. Therefore, Firostefani is the Crown of Fira. Among the settlement’s main characteristics are the white washed houses, the narrow streets with the colourful flowers and the magnificent views over the Aegean Sea and over the volcano.


As the capital of Santorini, Fira forms an important cultural centre not only for the Island but for the region as a whole. Visitors who are interested in sightseeing can visit the Gyzi Cultural Centre. This landmark centre hosts a vast variety of interesting and important collections. Occasionally, several happenings are taking place there such as music concerts and theatrical acts. In Fira, visitors can also find the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Prehistoric Period. Both of them present an exquisite collection of exhibits that were found on the Island. In the settlement of Kontochori, a charming folklore museum presents items that were used during the 20th century and illustrate the lifestyle and the culture of the people during that period.