Fira, the capital of Santorini, is built on the west side of the island over a precipitous rock 260 m high, but with a magnificent view to the sea. It is a beautiful city of about 1,600 inhabitants, with snow-white houses that shine under the sunlight, small picturesque, pebbled streets and steps, with vaults and arches. It has been inhabited for the past two centuries when it stopped being threatened by the pirate raids which inhibited settling near the sea. It is believed that its name comes from the word "pyrros" which means burning, or reddish, and is connected with the existing volcano.
The descent from the narrow cobbled street of the 500 steps to the old port is a unique experience offering the visitor the opportunity to admire the breathtaking view and the beauty of the city, especially in the evening. In the city, there is a series of beautiful churches and monasteries like that of Agios Minas, the cathedral of Hypapandi, the cathedral of Christ, the monastery of Panagia ton Dominikanidon and Panagia tou Rodariou, which has a small collection of ecclesiastical gems, paintings, documents and maps. In Fira, there is also an archaeological museum with remarkable exhibits from the excavations on the island. From Fira it is also worth visiting (by boat) the volcano of Nea and Palia Kameni.