Fira is the most crowdy of Santorini as it is the capital of the island. It can be reached by the cable car or the mules from Skala port. Moreover, the passengers of the cruises ships which anchor in the sea between Nea Kameni and Santorini, are transferred to the port by small boats and then to Fira. Alternatively, people can arrive at Athinios port by ferry and then by bus or by car to the centre of Fira. Athinios port is located to the south of Fira and it is connected to the city via an upward curving road.

Once having exited the cable car station, on the top of the cliff, one gets lost in the narrow streets of the city which look like a labyrinth to the foreigners! Cobblestone streets with small shops make the city centre colorful and full of life during the summer.

A great part of Fira hotels have been built on the cliff of caldera, taking advantage of the view to the caldera from that high altitude. The terraces of the hotel and the recreation area of Fira (cafes, restaurants etc) are preferred by the visitors especially during the sunset when everybody the most magnificent sunset view from the top of the caldera.


The area, where nowadays the modern city of Fira is located, consisted of canaves and vineyards. There was also a tower known as Bodji Family Goulas. After the moving of the habitants of Skaros and other inaccessible areas of Santorini to Fira area, the city was enlarged and took a long-narrow shape from north to south.

The north side of Fira centre, known as Frangomachalas (also known as neighborhood of the French or Catholic neighborhood), is composed of mansions built in the last centuries, such as Gyzi Hall which dates back to the 17th century AD and nowadays is used as a cultural centre. Directing to the northwest, along the caldera, one can reach Nomikos Conference Centre where copies of the wall paintimgs found in Akrotiri, are hosted.


Nomikos Conference Centre Fira Santorini

Nomikos Conference Centre


Fira Catholic Convents at the french neighborhood

This neighborhood hosts also a Cathedral, Lazaristes’ Monastery, and the Dominican Convent which was founded in 1596. Initially, the Convent had been built on Sakros but was transferred to Fira in 1811 when the habitants of Skaros quit the castle and moved to the island. The church of the Convent is devoted to the Virgin of Rosary and it is located to the left wing of it. The architectural style consists of a combination of baroque and Cycladic elements.

Dominican Convent Fira Santorini

Dominican Convent

Some meters away, there is also one of the most important Convents of the island inhabited by the Sisters of Mercy in the past. Before the earth quake (1956) it housed a school, a hospital and the nuns’ surgery. Nowadays, a part of the Convent has been restored and it houses a guesthouse, a rug workshop and the offices of the Catholic parish of the island.

The area of the other side (to the south) is known as Kato (down) Fira and it is much less crowdy than the city centre. The buildings have been built perimetrically the two picturesque chapels of Saint Minas and Saint John. There is a narrow street from where one can see the old pumice mines.


Agios Minas church Fira Santorini

Agios Minas church