As the energetic metropolitan centre of Santorini Island, Fira personifies modern Greece with its nature, nightlife, art, dining and spectacular views of the Santorini Caldera from dramatic cliffs. Beneath the cliffs, the main port welcomes travellers, who can ride a donkey to the summit or take a cable car up to town.
Things to do in Thera
Alleys overflow with cosy cafes and bars, while whitewashed cathedrals and museums offer local culture. To see wall paintings, ceramics, weapons and marble statues from the Bronze Age Akrotiri settlement, stop by the Museum of Prehistoric Thira. The Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, built in 1827, showcases elaborate frescoes.
At MATI Art Gallery, you’ll enjoy sculptures by acclaimed artist Yorgos Kypris, along with hand-designed jewellery and paintings. Small boutiques define the shopping scene, with fashionable hand-sewn clothing at “the White” and glassworks and silver jewellery at Art of the Loom.
Diners gravitate toward the cliffs for surreal views of the caldera at places such as 1500 BC, where you can indulge in royal crab legs and braised lobster. For traditional Greek home cooking, head over to Theoni’s Kitchen on Dekigala Street and indulge in mouth-watering moussaka and grilled eggplant.
In the wine-centric islands of Greece, it’s no surprise to find cultural venues such as the Wine Museum Koutsoyannopoulos tucked into a labyrinthic cave about eight metres below the earth’s surface. You’ll learn about the history of Greek wine, sample island wines and even take part in a barefoot grape-stomping experience.
Getting around Thera
With narrow streets and compact squares, catching taxis, renting a quad bike and walking are popular transportation options. You can pick up a rental car at Santorini International Airport, about a 10-minute drive away. The primary bus station for the island is in Fira, giving you plenty of routes.