Justin Foulkes


Santorini’s main town of Fira is a vibrant place, having bounced back since the 1956 earthquake. Its caldera edge is layered with swish hotels, cave houses and infinity pools, all backed by a warren of narrow streets packed with shops, more bars and restaurants. And people.

Admittedly, the admiring masses cannot diminish the impact of Fira’s stupendous landscape beyond. Views over the multicoloured cliffs are breathtaking, and come sunset, crowds gather at the caldera edge for the greatest free show on earth. Behind the cliffs, however, the prices of fame are exposed: frenetic vehicular activity, meandering pedestrians along the roads (there are few pavements), and frenzied development.

Fira sprawls north and merges into two more villages: Firostefani (about a 15-minute walk from Fira) and posher Imerovigli (about a half-hour walk from Fira).

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Fira.