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Find information on Fira in our Travel Guide covering sights, foods and nightlife plus more...
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Fira sits around the rim of an extinct volcano and is situated midway on the west coast of Santorini. It appears to be clinging to the sides of the hill with terraces and gardens trying to reclaim some of the land, before it falls away into the sea. Fira is the capital of the island, home to less than two thousand permanent residents, but a bustling town during the holiday season. The white and pastel painted houses with blue doors and window frames and the domed churches are typical Santorinian architecture. Unfortunately much of the town was damaged in the 1956 earthquake and only a small number of the Venetian buildings remain. The town is accessed from the sea by cable car, donkey or on foot, via six hundred steps. Fira can of course be accessed in a more conventional way, by bus, and there is a coach station to the south of the town. Fira is a bustling town with a huge variety of shops, restaurants, tavernas and bars. It has a lively nightlife with entertainment to suit all tastes. A Fira holiday offers warm hospitality, an excellent range of accommodation, good opportunities for sightseeing, a vibrant nightlife and wonderful views in every direction.
Fira is an interesting town offering accommodation to suit most budgets, restaurants and tavernas catering for even the most pernickety of palates, and shops to satiate the appetites of the most voracious shoppers. Fira is well placed to explore both the north and the south of the island.
With the exception of families with small children, a Fira holiday appeals to a wide variety of people. Couples of all ages enjoy sightseeing and the wonderful maze of narrow streets filled with shops of every description. Young people will enjoy the lively nightlife. Owing to the nature of the terrain, Fira is unsuitable for those with mobility problems.
The Fira holiday season lasts from April until October when the temperature ranges from twenty to thirty degrees. Summer is the most popular time to visit the island.
Fira, on the west coast of Santorini, lies on the edge of a long extinct volcano overlooking the caldera that is now filled with sea water. It is a very attractive town, its white and cream buildings contrasting sharply with the vivid blue of the skies and sea. If you arrive by boat you have three choices which may depend on your level of fitness since Fira sits two hundred and sixty metres above your head. There are roughly six hundred steps to climb either on foot or on the precarious back of a donkey. The other alternative is to take the cable car, a faster and less energetic choice.
Fira was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1956 and many of the old buildings were lost. The two largest churches, the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic have been restored and their domes are an imposing sight. Some of the Venetian buildings remain and these include the blue domed churches. The archaeological museum has some interesting exhibits from ancient Minoan times.
Fira has an amazing number of shops, bars, restaurants and tavernas providing for your every need and nightlife can be as lively or as tranquil as you choose.
Below Fira are volcanic beaches and rocky inlets that are washed by the warm Mediterranean waters and offer good bathing.
Fira nightlife has something for everyone. There are many lively bars where those who wish can enjoy music and dance, and there are just as many wonderful restaurants and tavernas where you can savour an evening meal in a romantic atmosphere under the stars.
Fira is a shopper’s paradise with hundreds of little shops packed into the narrow cobbled lanes. These lanes are broad steps as they all lead uphill to the top of the town and are unsuitable for wheelchairs or those who have walking difficulties. The shops provide an enormous range of goods and towards the top of the town there is a jewellery quarter with an amazing number of jewellers for such a small town.
It appears that whatever you fancy eating you will find it in Fira. The choice is almost endless from fast food to English pub fare, from traditional island food to international cuisine. Traditional Greek food relies heavily on fish simply cooked and is quite delicious. Moussaka is another Greek favourite made from minced lamb and aubergines. International cuisine is also available in the larger restaurants. Fast food stalls such as Souvlatzidiki sell takeaway souvlakis, a type of kebab. For a more substantial snack these are sometimes wrapped in pita bread and called gyros. The Santorini wines are inexpensive and very palatable.
The more expensive restaurants are on the cliff top where your meal will be enhanced by the beauty of the spectacular sunsets.