All Roads Lead to Fira

First things first – the pronounciation – Fira has a long “A” like bar or afar. Many people get muddled with Fira, Thira & Santorini. Thira is the official name of the island, Fira is the capital, and Santorini is what we call it. Confused? You are in good company – BBC News website had the same problem until we wrote them an email. They corrected the mistake the following day.
Fira is on Santorini’s famous Caldera, has a spectacular volcano view, and literally twinkles at night from all the clubs and bars. The Caldera path or “Calderimi” starts in Fira and ends in Oia – the route is a favourite with hikers and nature lovers.

4 Seasons in the Capital

A Tourist Mecca during the summer, Fira is the place we locals gather in the winter when everyone has gone – coffee in the square, a bit of shopping, an occasional night out at the weekend. It’s quiet, so quiet you could hear a pin drop. And then we get to Spring. Slowly slowly the island comes alive. Like crocuses in the snow, one by one, shop shutters are banished & colourful treasure is revealed. You see PEOPLE walking around, Easter is near and preparations for the summer are in full swing. Fira is starting to wake up.
Why do we do say all roads lead to Fira? It’s simple – all roads do literally start and end in Fira. That’s why the main bus station is there. If, for example you are in Perissa and you want to go to Oia, you have to change buses in Fira. In order to get your bearings on the island and find out what’s what, you should visit it at least once. We KNOW it’s bustling and and somewhat touristy, but it also offers many things to do. Most of the museums are there, it has the biggest selection of cafes and restaurants, the sunset is gorgeous and the nightlife is amazing.
There is a Cable Car to take you down to the Old Port of Fira – known by the locals as “Ormos”. You could hop on a a mule if you are adventurous, or walk it – be warned, there are 588 steps. Boat trips to the Volcano and Hot Springs leave from the Old Port – you can also catch a sunset cruise to Oia.

Snooze – Shop – Eat

In Fira you get to do night shopping. Everything stays open late to cater to everyone’s timetable. Let’s say you were on the beach all day. But you also want to have a snooze and go out for a late dinner (we tend to eat late in Greece). And you want to shop. You can combine it.

The Mellow Time of Year

Our favourite time of the year in Fira is Autumn. The island is still buzzing but it’s a gentler buzz. The days are still sunny but not hot – and the evenings are cool and refreshing. The sea is like glass and the sunsets are the best, stretching in a rainbow arc from one side of the island to the other. Sitting at a Caldera cafe, watching the sun go down in the afternoon and generally chilling out – it doesn’t get much better than that.
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