Fira is the capital city of Santorini island that is on the inner central part of the crescent shape of the island overlooking the volcano. Fira has a whitewashed Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral with frescoes by local artist Christoforos Asimis. Fira’s clifftop location affords views of Nea Kameni, a still-active volcanic island to the west. There is a gondola lift cable car operating at the top of the hill that gives amazing views of the Aegean and the caldera as well as many ancient beautiful churches to explore for free which make picturesque photos with the white villages and sea. Fira has a bumping nightlife with lots of restaurants and bars with sunset views on the cliff where the music pumps at night. Fira is the less tourist crowded and budget side of Santorini in comparison to Oia for all the same beauty.
How to get there
Taxi from airport to Fira
From the taxi stand outside the airport you get in line and grab a taxi. The taxi from the airport to Fira costs 20 euro and only takes around 15 minutes. The airport is closer technically to Fira than Oia the way the roads operate. The public bus comes to the airport and costs only 1.5 euro per person and goes to Fira Bus Station.
Bus schedule from Fira to Santorini Airport.
The service runs daily every week – including Sundays. There are 11 scheduled journeys departing from Fira at 05:30 am (first morning bus), 07:10 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 13:00 (01:00 pm), 14:00 (02:00 pm), 15:30 (03:30 pm) , 17:00 (05:00 pm), 18:00 (06:00pm), 20:00 (08:00 pm) (last evening bus).
Bus schedule from Santorini Airport to Fira
The service runs daily every week – including Sundays. There are 11 scheduled journeys departing from Santorini Airport to Fira at 06:10 am (first morning bus), 07:20 am, 10:10 am, 11:10 am, 12:10 pm, 13:10 (01:00 pm), 14:10 (02:10 pm), 16:40 (04:40 pm), 17:10 (05:10 pm), 18:10 (06:10 pm), 20:10 (08:10 pm) (last evening bus).
The public bus service does not run during the night.
Things to do
Explore White Village Fira
Fira is a beautiful town in the central part of the island tucked on the caldera with volcano views. This is a more quiet less packed tourist town than Oia in the north. Fira or Thera is a gorgeous area that is another white village that is picturesque. It is known for having the large orthodox white church as well as having the cable car for views of the island. This town has more of a nightlife than Oia with tons of bars and restaurants with amazing sea and cliffside views. There are lots of clubs and music going until late at night. Your cave hotel will block alot of the noise and will shock you.
Virgin Mary Orthodox Church-Three Bells of Fira
This is another beautiful church with ocean views on the cliffside. This is one of the blue domes of the city that stands out from the white village. This is a great picture spot of the city and island as well as local art and architecture that is historical.
Swim in a Cave Pool
The hotel I stayed at on the caldera had a beautiful cave pool that was well lit and relaxing as a break from the peak heat in August. There are lots of cave pools at different hotels and it is quite an experience. The best hotels have cave pools that lead outside into an outdoor pool that is sun and shaded as well. This one was just an indoor shaded cave pool.
Eat souvlaki at Lucky’s
Greek food is one of my favorites! The food was delicious and Souvlaki was one of my absolute favorites which is really just local gyro. Except it is different with fries inside and the sauce and fresh veggies is to die for. I ate this everyday when I was in Greece because it is the most budget meal you can get especially for lunch it is a great option. You can find spots all over the island that sell this and some are better than others. The gyros are some of the best of the island with great portion sizes and sides.
Hours: 11:30am-11pm daily
Pet the cute Donkeys
All over Fira there are cute donkeys dressed up with beads and colorful saddles. They are the pack mules of the steep and narrow city passages in the white village. They help people and their luggage get transported to where they need to go. They are also cute to pet and a staple part of the atmosphere and vibe of Fira in Greece.
Santorini Cable Car
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Last morning in Santorini was spent exploring Fira and heading down to the port… where the donkeys look pisssed off and the lines for the cable cars got long from the two cruise ships that arrived overnight! Poor donkeys trudging tourist up and down those stairs…. #santorini #santorinidonkeys #donkeys #colourfulboats #firaport #santorinicablecars #bucketlistitemchecked
The Santorini cable car is a gondola lift station at the top of the hill in Fira. The car takes you up and down the rock face of Fira on the Aegean sea ocean cliffside. The line moves very fast and the wait is no longer than 5-10 minutes even though it is a popular spot. The other option is descending a very long staircase and taking donkeys which is a much longer and less comfortable journey for you and the donkeys. This is a cheap tour to do with the most amazing views of the city and island.
Hours:1/4 – 30/4 7am-9pm every 20 minutes, 1/5 – 31/5 & 1/9 – 31/10 7 am to 10pm
Price: one way ticket 6 euros, 12 euros roundtrip for adults and kids 3 euros one way.
This is a gorgeous church found on the south side of Fira central that is walking distance to everything. This church was not too far from the hotel that I stayed in and it was lit up gorgeously at night with mass. The architecture is beautiful and is a dominant feature of downtown Fira. This is a free art museum essentially with the frescoes from a local artist inside. This is a beautiful piece of local art in the city to explore.
Santorini Souvenirs in Fira
Clothes & home decor at boutiques
Where to buy: Under a Fig Tree, Sand Lily Boutique, Koukla Art
Under a Fig Tree is a quaint boutique in a rock hillside cave store that sells local fashion linen clothes and purses. They sell swim wear and beach Greece fashion wear as well. Sand Lily Boutique is a boho modern store with lots of straw hats, beach bags and purses, linen dresses, kimonos and other fashion clothes. Koukla art is a local modern simplistic fashion jewelry that is cultural, some colorful fun things and a lot of natural staples.
Where to buy: Santo Wines Winery
Address: Pyrgos Kallistis 847 00, Greece
Volcanic scrub stones
Where to buy: Eruption Store Santorini
Address: Fira 84703, Greece
Where to buy: Olive Oil Poetry
Address: Pyrgos, Santorini, Greece, 84700
Website: Olive Oil Poetry
Price: 16 USD
Where to buy: Sandal Workshop
Website: Sandal Workshop
Address: Erithrou Stavrou, Thira 847 00, Greece
Price: starting from 28 USD
Where to eat
Lucky’s Souvlakis for Souvlaki is the place you need to try to eat local fresh gyros that will blow your mind. Falafeland is a healthy budget place that is delicious and includes vegan and vegetarian options. Solo Gelato is great for a treat as well as Our Corner as the top rated breakfast and brunch spot in town.
Where to stay
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This is a very bohemian trendy boutique hostel that is so modern and beautiful. This place has dorm bunks that are cheap as well as beautiful double rooms that are perfect privacy for couples. This hostel is in Fira but could be worth it for your stay.
Price: $62USD/night , BOOK HERE
This is a gorgeous traditional budget hostel in the traditional white villa cave houses that is modern, new, clean and the most killer deal in Greece for accommodations especially in Oia. If you are looking for a beautiful but budget spot this is the right place. There is the public pool lounge in Oia for free that you can use for the cliffside pool view vibes.
Price: $46USD/night , BOOK HERE
Santorini Youth Hostel Camping
This is a great budget camping spot in Fira right outside of town within walking distance. There is a big beautiful pool that comes with access to the grounds as well which is killer for the price. There are some hotels with no pool that are more expensive here. This is a camping slash hostel environment with tents you rent for the night with a bed inside. There are budget hostel rooms (bungalows) and tents to rent. The campsite is open from March 1st to November 30th.
Price: camping is 15 euro per person in high season, dorm hostel is 25 euros a person or 80 euros for a double room economy. This is all the high end of pricing from the peak season and the prices only go cheaper from here for low seasons. BOOK HERE.
Fira Backpackers Place
This is another cheap backpacking hosel in town. Fira as you can tell is definitely more the budget area to stay that has way more hostels and cheaper options available than all the 5 star luxury resorts of Oia. This is close to downtown in great location that is clean in a white villa.
Price: $35 USD/night , BOOK HERE
Santorini Reflexions Volcano Hotel
This is the hotel that I stayed at in Fira. The boutique hostels had not been built yet and this was my shot at staying in Greece on a budget. The one hostel in town the youth hostel that was built was all booked and so I got a killer deal on this hotel since they had a cancellation. There is an epic cave pool and really clean and modern white cave room villa accommodations with your own private seating veranda for most of the rooms. There is free breakfast and a quiet pace in a great walkable location.
Price: $200USD/night , BOOK HERE
Athina Luxury Suites
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Superior Suite – With outdoor jacuzzi: This is a newly built suite in 2019 with unique and fresh materials, minimal and luxurious decorations, a king size double bed and a totally private balcony with a large outdoor heated jacuzzi. #santorini #greece #travel #santorinigreece #summer #athinaluxurysuites #cyclades #europe #sea #island #love #travelphotography #sunset #greekislands #grecia #ig #greek #travelgram #visitgreece #travelblogger #vacation #islands #santoriniisland #picoftheday #instagood #thira #holiday #bhfyp
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This modern hotel with gorgeous decorated brand new modern villas sit on an infinity pool overlooking the ocean. There is a swim up pool bar and lots of sundeck lounge space. The hotel is on the village cliff top overlooking the Aegean Sea. The hotel is 6 minutes’ walk from the Museum of Prehistoric Thera and 8 minutes’ walk from the Santorini cable car. Many of the rooms have balconies with sea views. Some add whirlpool tubs, pull-out sofas, loft bedrooms and/or sitting areas. An upgraded suite offers a living room and a kitchen. Breakfast is free. There’s a cafe/bar with terrace dining, as well as an outdoor pool that has sea views and a bar.
Price: $400USD/night, BOOK HERE
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This is a gorgeous white villa 4 star hotel that has private pools and jacuzzis as well as verandas with each room. The white cave rooms are modern and include cave pools in some of the rooms. This is one of the nicest villas in Fira.
Price: $800USD/night, BOOK HERE