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Fira is the capital of Santorini and the largest town of the island. It is located at the west in a distance of 10km from the main port of Athinios. It seems like it is hanging between the sea and the sky, as it is perched on the east caldera rim, 260m over the sea. The great panoramic view of the ancient volcano is one of the highlights of town. 

In the beginning of the 19th century the capital moved from Pyrgos to Fira. During the earthquake of 1956 a big part destroyed, but luckily many of the typical 18th century houses survived and the town has been rebuilt, based on the famous Cycladic architecture enriched by Venetian influences. Locals call the barrel roofed cave houses "Skafta" as they were created centuries ago by digging the caves in the cliff. The basic architectural characteristic is the absence of straight lines, as everything is in curves. 
Today, Fira is a modern place, with a huge selection of hotels, restaurants, shops, cafes, bars and clubs to satisfy almost all likings and needs. The main square is Plateia Theotokopoulou where many people meet before going out at night. Here is also the centre of all buses and taxis. The visit to the picturesque market of Fira is a pleasant walk where you may notice the cobbled with the black lava stone streets.

And if you want to know better the culture of the island you may visit the Archaeological Museum where are exhibited findings from excavations to Akrotiri and Mesa Vouno and the Megaron Gyzi Museum accommodated in a 17th-century mansion, with fascinating collection of photos of Fira before and after the earthquake of 1956. Also don't miss to visit some of the churches and monasteries such as Agios Minas, the cathedral of Hypapandi, the cathedral of Christ, the monastery of Panagia ton DominikanidonPanagia tou Rodariou and the Catholic Cathedral.

The port of Fira is used only for cruise boats. From here, you can have a tour by boat to the volcano of Nea and Palia Kameni. To reach the harbour you may carried by a donkey or use the cable railroad (teleferic). For those who want to test their strength there is always the option of climbing the 600 steps leading to the port.
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