Fira is the capital of the Greek island of Thira, which is more commonly known as Santorini. So sometimes the spelling of Fira and Thira and can lead to confusion. This confusion of spellings of place names is not just confined to Santorini, the whole of Greece and the Greek islands have many different spellings of the same places. See our Spellings page for more on this confusing subject!
But whatever way you spell it the capital is a fabulous place. It is bustling, vibrant and the busiest location on Santorini. It has a sophisticated and cosmopolitan feel to it but also a laid back charm.
Many VIP and celebrity guests at the select Santorini luxury hotels rub shouders with local fruit sellers and tourists alike. It's a mix of old and new, chic and shabby, stylish and functional.
It is perched high upon a cliff and commands an impressive and panoramic view of the sunken volcano. The renowned Santorini sunsets are simply stunning when viewed from here.
Fira is a great place to spend some time in both the day and to experience Santorini nightlife. A lot of visiting cruise ships disembark their passengers for just one day's sightseeing at the port in Fira. You could be met and welcomed by the famous Fira donkeys if you're lucky.
But if you have more time to spend in Fira then a relaxing drink in the many bars or cafes is a must.
Dining here can be a lot of fun too with a wide range of places to enjoy fabulous Greek cuisine. All tastes and wallet sizes are catered for in the winding little streets of this town.
The Santorini nightlife scene is very vibrant too with a variety of clubs; bars and hotspots too tempt the young, energetic crowd.
Shaken and partly damaged by the 1956 earthquake Fira lost a few of its traditional whitewashed, blue painted window frame Cycladic buildings. Luckily lots survived and the sturdy well-built Venetian buildings withstood the earthquake too.
Fira is home to the Archaeological Museum of Santorini, which houses many excavated exhibits uncovered at the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri. Akrotiri is one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean and was shaken by earthquake and destoyed by the volcano. Well worth a visit.
Another interesting museum is the Folklore Museum, which displays fine examples of folk art and creative crafts including weaving, lace making and embroidery along with traditional wooden tools and household goods. It offers a glimpse back in time to how the islanders lived their lives in days gone by.
As with most Greek islands towns and villages, Fira has many churches and monasteries that are crammed full of gold chandeliers, golden fixtures, colourful painted walls and many religious icons.
Most churches are painted white on the outside with the beautiful blue domes that look simply stunning against the clear blue summer skies that Santorini boasts.
Both the beautiful Catholic Cathedral and the stunning Greek Orthodox Cathedral can be found here.
Shopping is also a lot of fun here with many quaint little shops in the white washed tiny streets selling local ethnic products like honey, herbs and spices and leather goods. Well worth a visit if your pocket allows are the gold and silver jewellery shops. Many of which have their own goldsmiths busily crafting in their workshops at the rear creating beautiful designs that glisten and glitter in the front showrooms.
The Greek Key design in both gold and silver is obviously popular here with whole sections of the jewellery store devoted to it. But if you have your own design in mind, say for an engagement ring or matching wedding rings, just ask in the shop and most will be delighted to create your personalised piece of jewellery.
If you're able to stay for a few days or even a week or so there are many Santorini luxury hotels that offer every comfort. There are some prestigious 5 star Santorini luxury hotels offering guests high quality service along with the widest variety of luxury facilities to be found on the island. There's also plenty of Santorini budget hotels, apartments, studios, rooms for rent and villas too.
There is so much to see and do in the town itself but if you want to explore a little further you can take a boat trip to the nearby still active volcanic islands of Palea and Nea Kameni.
Santorini and its capital are becoming increasingly popular as a setting for many weddings in Santorini. With hundreds of gorgeous locations to choose from on this romantic
Greek Island your difficulty might be choosing exactly where you would like to hold your wedding ceremony, reception and celebrations.
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