Fira (also called Thera or Thira) is the main town of Santorini island. Though it has little except the museum, the cable car and the few bars and clubs, it is a good base to use as there are buses from many other parts of the island.
Every day during the summer is a bustling metropolis as cruise ships from all over the Mediterranean and Aegean seas descend. As a result prices in Thira (and Santorini generally) tend to be a little higher than other Greek Islands.
- Main article: Santorini#Get_in.
Up the stairs behind the bus station and across a parking lot to the west is 2 the main taxi stand. There is a public toilet/restroom is located at the southern end of the taxi stand. There is a crazed woman who confiscates the toilet paper from the toilets in the mornings, and then accosts patrons as they enter, demanding 50 cents for a couple of sheets of toilet paper. She follows people into the restroom and continues to harass them while they use the facilities. Bring your own napkins, and try to ignore her.
By quad bike
Another great way to get around the (small) island is by hiring a quad bike (usually named "ATV") from numerous locations in the main tourist villages. For €20 a day, it is better value than taxis and more fun than a bus.
The most rewarding way of getting around is via the footpath that runs along the edge of the caldera. From the cable car in central Fira where the cruise ships disgorge themselves, one can walk north past a cluster of hotels and a ruins of a medieval fort at Imerovigli and all the way to the village of Oia on the northern tip of island.
- 1 Museum of Prehistoric Thira, ☏ . Definitely pay a visit to this museum, where the story of Akrotiri and other ancient settlements is vividly told through a stunning collection of Neolithic and Bronze Age artifacts. Full €3, reduced €2. Special ticketing package for Ancient Thera, Akrotiri, Archaeological Museum, Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Collection of Icons and Ecclesiastical Artefacts at Pyrgos: €14, reduced €7.
- In 2 Karterados village, 2 km south of Fira, you can find traditional Santorini architecture.
- 3 Archaeological Museum of Thera. Tu-Su 08:00-15:00. It houses artefacts from Proto-Cycladic culture of the 3rd millennium BC, and continues on to the Classical period. Full €2, reduced €1.
Imerovigli has many lovely churches, all made in the Cycladic architectural style. The most notable are the church of Ai-Stratis, in the centre of the village, and the Monastery of Saint Nikolaos, on the way connecting Imerovigli to Fira.
- 4 Skaros Rock. The remains of a Venetian Castle built in 1207 by Marco Sanudo, the ruler of all Cyclades islands that time.
There's actually not a lot to do in Fira. Apart from the few museums and craft studios (which are open fairly late), travelers seeking unique experiences unobtainable elsewhere will be disappointed.
- Stroll through the shopping district (for overpriced jewelry, designer clothing and handbags) and go to the numerous (American-styled) discos and bars.
- Watch a sunset over dinner.
- Walk along Agiou Mina street. This street goes through Fira part-way down the cliff, from the south part of town all the way to the cable car. It provides the stunning views of Fira that you came to see. You can walk either north or soth, but walking north has the advantage that the main part of Fira is in front of you. To get there, from the main cathedral, walk with the sea to your right, just left of Hotel Atlantis, about 50 m. Walk around 1500 BC restaurant, and you'll be on the path. Just be careful of the donkey poop!
- Go to the Old port. Whoever said "Getting there is half the fun" was likely referring to the Old Port. Or, in this case, getting there is 99% of the fun. There is almost nothing to do at the Old Port (except perhaps take a couple of pictures from sea level). But the ride down and up can be fun. Your choices are the cable car (€4 one way), donkey ride (€5 per person, plus a €5 "tip" for your "guide"). Try to avoid walking this road at any cost, it's quite long and it's completely covered with slippery donkey poop. The smell makes you want to vomit. If you want to avoid the smell and the scene just take the cable car but aware of possible congestion when people from the ferries arrive and leave. Some local mule guides may also try to cheat you by demanding a payment for walking down, they will try to sell you a small piece of paper that says ticket without any numbers on it. Ignore these people, the road is free.
- Get out of the tourist section. The tourist part of Fira is surprisingly small; a couple minutes walk away from the sea brings you out of the tourist area. While the architecture here is not stunning, it certainly is different than you will see elsewhere. Plus, you'll have a chance to marvel at the fact that even though Fira land prices are very high, there are still empty lots in the middle of the city.
In the early evening the passengers of the cruise ships return to their vessels and cafes become much more relaxed.
- Nikolas, Erythrou Stavrou (head straight up the pedestrian mall (Danezi) and take the first right), ☏ . A local eatery preserving traditional Hellenic cuisine. No English menu is provided, but the staff is efficient in explaining the Greek menu board and provide suggestions if necessary. Service is a departure from the overly warm receptions with most tourist traps as it is quick, efficient, and sufficiently friendly. Must tries include the Horiatiki (Greek) salad, moussaka, beef stew. Ask for "horta", a plate of simple boiled greenery ordered by the locals and not on the menu as it is both time-consuming and difficult to prepare on a mass-scale. Though the dish may not look overly appetizing when it arrives at the table, sprinkle on some fresh lemon juice from the provided wedge and add some salt to bring the traditional veggie dish alive. Appetizer €4, mains €8-14.
- Ouzeri (in the centre of Fira at the Fabrika shopping centre which is next to the Cathedral), ☏ . George and Iordana, the owners, welcome warmly all their guests. You will find a great variety of traditional Greek dishes using the local products of Santorini, Greek salad, green salad with Chorotyri, Mousaka, Ouzo meatballs, Soutzoukakia.
- Parea Tavern (two blocks from Theotokopoulou square on M. Danezi street), ☏ . Offers a wide range of cheap, tasty food including salads, sandwiches, moussaka, a variety of gyros, pizza, spaghetti, omelets, and both savory and dessert crepes. Great for travelers on a budget and the service is relatively prompt by comparison to many of the other restaurants in Fira. Gyros are €1.70, Greek salads are €4.50. They also deliver from 10:00 - 24:00.
- Sphinx Restaurant (centre of Fira in front of the Cathedral). Restaurant Sphinx has been accommodated in a restored mansion in Fira since 1991. Its unique view over the Caldera of Santorini becomes more breathtaking during the exquisite sunsets just in front of you. Chef and owner George Psychas creates Mediterranean cuisine which showcases the fresh local produce and Aegean Sea fish. Relaxing environment, extensive wine selection.
- Two Brothers Bar, An internationally famed watering hole, catering to the tourist party crowd.
- Bonjour Café (Central Square of Fira), ☏ . Modern café bar open all day offering variety of coffees, juices, soft drinks cocktails and snacks. Open from early in the morning until late after midnight.
- The Highlander, a Scottish bar, Happy Hour from 21:00-22:30
- Koo, cool nightclub to hang out after drinking at the other bars and to close out the night.
- Adamant Suites, ☏ . Adamant suites is a small private complex consisting of six private suites, all different in size and shape.
- Aria Suites, ☏ . Boutique hotel with a view of the volcano and Acrotiri.
- Athina Suites, ☏ . A short walk from downtown. Mounted on a rock top. Offers a panoramic view of the Caldera cliff and the volcano.
- Cliff Side suites, ☏ , fax: . 23 rooms and suites with all four-star conveniences. Respecting the Aegean Architectural style, the complex promotes the design and comfort of the locality, combined with modern colors. Includes on-the-edge-of-the-rim swimming pool with views of the caldera plus spa services and outdoor heated Jacuzzi.
- El Greco Hotel, ☏ , fax: .
- Mill Houses Suites, ☏ , fax: . The exterior architecture of Mill Houses Suites in harmony with the geological peculiarities of the landscape.
- Panorama Hotel, ☏ , fax: . The hotel on Caldera faces the sea and the volcanoes. 12 studios, one Greek villa and one honeymoon suite.
- Sofia Hotel. Economy family-run hotel.
- Summer Time Pension, ☏ . 100 m from the centre of the town. €83-110.
- Villa Evgenia, ☏ . 300 m from town centre. €70-120.
- Anteliz Hotel and Suites, Markou Nomikou 89, ☏ . Four-star hotel on the top of the cliff ridge along the Caldera path, overlooking the Caldera Gulf, the volcano and the settlements of Oia and Akrotiri.
- Villa Stella, ☏ . Family-owned hotel in a quiet district 7 minutes from the centre. Clean rooms with sea views. €35-40.
- Afrodete Hotel, Firostefani, ☏ . Afrodete Hotel offer seaview rooms 500 m from Fira Town. from €30-100.
- Dana Villas, Firostefani, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- Santorini Luxury Villas, Firostefani, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. from €365.
- Above Blue Suites, Imerovigli, ☏ . A selection of different size and type of suites and a villa in one of the nicest spots of town.
- 1 Anita's Villa, Imerovigli, ☏ . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:30. Anita's Villa is a small volcano view traditional accommodation of simply yet comfortable studios, at the edge of the cliff side of the caldera at Imerovigli. €90-160.
- Avianto Suites, Imerovigli, ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. On the cliffs of Imerovigli, offering breathtaking views over the caldera, Oia and the volcano.
- Dreams Luxury Suites, Imerovigli, ☏ . An all-suite hotel.
- Katerina's Castle Hotel, Imerovigli, ☏ . Located on a cliff.
- Santorini Princess, Imerovigli, ☏ . Check-in: 13:30, check-out: 11:30. Luxury spa hotel with Caldera view.
- 2 Villa Thiranthemis Santorini (Thiranthemis Hotel in Fira Santorini), Caldera Fira Santorini, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Outdoor swimming pool and caldera-view rooms.
- Easy internet cafe with 20 PCs minimum charge €1. Next to taxi station. A nice and calm internet cafe. They also have Wi-Fi with 2Mbps bandwidth. You will find it from the orange colour.