Fira Village Information
- Location: In the center of Santorini on the caldera side. 6 km from the airport (Kamari), 8 km from Athinios Port, 11 km from Perissa Beach and 11 km from Oia.
- Parking: There is a free public parking lot on the road south of Fira, towards El Greco Resort Hotel. There are other parking lots across from the McDonald’s, and across from Lemon Suites, and smaller private lots scattered around Fira. Street parking is available but very limited during the busy summer months.
- Bus: The bus station is in the center of the village, with frequent buses to all of the islands main destinations. General bus information and public bus schedule.
- Dining: Many great restaurants and cafes. Our favorites are Argo, Ouzeri, Naoussa, Lucky’s, Cacio e Pepe, and Selene.
- Shopping: The full range from small souvenirs to elegant boutiques.
- Best Hotels: Athina Luxury Suites, Cosmopolitan Suites, Celestia Grand, Aria Suites, Katikies Garden • All Fira Hotels
Fira Village in Santorini – Video
Lay of The Land
The scenic and lively village of Fira is the capital of the island, built into the cliffs of the caldera. Its name comes from the ancient name of the island, Thera. Fira offers spectacular panoramic views of the 18km-long caldera, from the southern village of Akrotiri to northern village of Oia. There are picture-perfect views of the volcanic island of Nea Kameni and Thirassia Island from here as well. Caldera views from Fira are equally spectacular day and night, and Fira is also well known for its nightlife.
The village is the commercial hub of the island, full of picturesque narrow alleys filled with clothing and gift shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries, bars and clubs, as well as the island’s police station, post office, and other municipal offices. The central square in Fira is called Plateia Theotokopoulou, located in front of the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral with spectacular caldera views. Here there are plenty of coffee shops and places to eat. On the main road through town, you’ll find banks, pharmacies, travel agencies and shops as well as the bus terminal, taxi station and a public parking lot.
All business on the caldera side of the village have beautiful ocean, sunset, and caldera views – making dining, drinking, and lodging there much more expensive. Plenty of great places can be found off the caldera as well, however, and generally at a lower price-point.
The Old Port
Below Fira is the Old Port. Unless you are being tendered from a cruise ship, there is little reason to visit here. The old port is connected to Fira by a steep zig-zagged footpath, and by cable car. You will probably see donkeys carrying tourists going up and down the path all day long. We do not recommend this activity.
Fira to Oia Hike
Definitely one of the best things to do in Santorini is the Fira to Oia hike. The 10.5 km trail takes you along the caldera cliff and through the villages of Firostefani, Imerovigli, and on to Oia. It takes between 2 and 5 hours depending on how fast you walk and how often you stop. If you do a side trip to Skaros Rock it will add at least an hour. Part of the path is similar to a sidewalk, parts are cobblestone, and parts are a dirt path. There is a good climb in both directions. The climb from Oia to Imerovigli is long and gradual so you don’t notice it as much. The climb from Fira to Imerovigli is short and steep. The trail is not baby-stroller or bike-friendly. Most 7 year-olds would have no trouble completing the walk in terms of difficulty because the quality of the path is good, but it is a very long walk for anyone under 10.
Firostefani is the smaller village adjacent to Fira, about a 1 km walk along the Fira-Oia trail. If you want to be close to the action of Fira but don’t want the crowds then Firostefani is a great place to stay. Views here are equally wonderful. There are 10 to 12 restaurants in Firostefani, a bakery, and a couple of markets – but no bars or nightlife.
Map of Fira
Santorini Orientation (From Fira) – Video
- Oia-Fira Hiking Trail: 1-minute walk. One of the top attractions on the island is this scenic 10.5 km hiking trail connecting Oia and Fira. A mix of sidewalk, cobblestones, and dirt trail, this route boasts gorgeous vistas the entire way. Hiking northwest, the full length of the path from Fira to Oia Castle takes about 2 hours 25 minutes (add at least 30 minutes for a detour at Skaros Rock when you head north).
- Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral: This imposing cathedral dominates the main square in Fira. Fully renovated after the ’56 earthquake, this landmark church is surrounded by a series of grand archways, and is adorned with frescoed walls and ceilings inside in gold and vivid colors. Map.
- Old Port of Fira: A.K.A. Fira Skala, the Old Port has a few tavernas, shops, and pretty sea views. The only connections from the port to the village are the cable cars, donkeys, or walking up the 587 steps. Nowadays, the Old Port is mostly used by cruise ship passengers, arriving daily by the thousands in the high season. To avoid the largest crowds, plan excursions around the cruise ship calendar. Map.
- Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist: Often referred to simply as the Catholic Church, St. John’s is recognizable by its brilliant yellow and blue exterior and clock tower. Map.
- Skaros Rock: Impressive volcanic rock formation housing the ruins of a medieval castle and town, dating to 1207. The trailhead leading to Skaros begins at Agios Georgios Church in Imerovigli. Map.
- Fira Museums The Archaeological Museum of Thera, The Museum of Prehistoric Thera, The Folklore Museum, and Megaron Gyzi.
- Best Hotels in Santorini
- Best Family Hotels in Santorini
- Best Cheap Hotels in Santorini
- Best Beach Hotels in Santorini
- Where To Stay in Santorini
- Best Things To Do in Santorini
- Best Time To Visit Santorini
- Best Restaurants in Santorini
- Best Wineries in Santorini
- Santorini Ferry Port Guide
- Maps of Santorini
- Videos of Santorini