Perched on the caldera’s edge, Fira is Santorini’s cultural capital and a bustling hub of island life. Day and night the meandering streets are brimming with sights and sounds, and lined with shops, cafés and lively tavernas. But at dusk, things momentarily stop as heads turn to watch the spectacular sunset. Enjoy a front row seat from your luxury boutique hotel as the sun sinks down over the sea.
Santorini’s quaint, cobblestoned capital – with a cosmopolitan twist.
Things to do
For those seeking a cultural fix, Fira boasts a handful of fascinating museums. Escape inside the Museum of Prehistoric Thira to learn the story of ancient Akrotiri. Or view ancient artefacts from around Santorini at the Archaeological Museum. But the jewel in the cultural crown is the Folklore Museum. Built within traditional cave houses it’s a treasure trove of craftspeople’s workshops, a winery, archives, art gallery and even a chapel.
For a natural spa like no other, spend the day swimming in the shadow of Santorini’s volcano. Hire a private boat out to Palia Kameni – an island in the caldera – and then swim the last few metres to the hot springs. The waters are warm, the scenery sublime and you could even have a makeshift mud bath.
Walk along the caldera from Fira and you’ll find yourself in pretty Firostefani. This quiet village suburb is the place to see the white-walled and blue-roofed Cycladic buildings that appear on postcards, as well as Santorini’s traditional cave houses. Then head back to Fira as dusk descends and the town’s cocktail bars and clubs come to life.
Fira is the island’s shopping hotspot. Head to Ypapantis Street – known as ‘Gold Street’ – for beautiful, hand crafted jewellery.
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