Fira – Firostefani
Fira: The capital of the island
The western part of Fira, facing the Caldera, still maintains its unique color and beauty despite the intensive tourist exploitation and the dozens of clubs, bars, and shops. This is the pedestrian-only part of the town, a scenic area that you can explore by walking around the cobbled, narrow streets.
The best time for a peaceful wander around the town is in the afternoon. During that time you can enjoy every single picturesque corner of the settlement, from Kato Fira where the church of Aghios Minas is, to the Orthodox Metropolis of Ypapanti, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, and the Belloneio Cultural Centre, or, from northern Fira, where the catholic quarter and the Metropolis of Aghios Ioannis the Baptist are located, up to Megaro Gyzi.
The main cobbled street in northern Fira unwinds along the edge of the Caldera, passing through Firostefani and Imerovigli, and ends up at the northern end of the island, in Oia.
The cable car terminal is also located in northern Fira. It is there to facilitate your transport from the top of the cliff to the bay of Fira (the old port), the departure point for various boat tours to the volcano (Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni) and Thirasia island. For your return to Fira, besides the cable car option, you may also opt for the adventure of hiring a mule to carry you up the winding stairway to the town.
Head north along the main road and you will find Firostefani, only 1.5 km away from Fira. The view is equally magnificent as it is in Fira but the atmosphere is clearly quieter. It is a perfect choice for those who want to be close to the intense and cosmopolitan life of the capital, but not in the heart of it. The distance from Firostefani to Fira is not more than a 10-minute walk.
Walking up the road that passes in front of the cable car station you will see a neoclassic building with deep red color. It is Petros M. Nomikos Conference Centre, which hosts the majority of international scientific conferences that take place in Santorini, as well as many cultural events.