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Fira

The islands capital of Santorini, Fira (or also known as Thira) clings to the edge of a cliff, which is, in fact the rim of the crater. It is 900 feet above the landing port. You either take the donkeys or mules up the winding steps or the modern – day travelers prefer the cable car. Climbing the steps with the mule had been a tradition on Santorini until 1983 when the cable car made its appearance. The Swiss-made cable car, also known as the “teleferique” was installed as a gift from the wealthy Santorini ship owner Nomikos. This made things easier for tourists who had luggage to carry with them as the mules were overworked.

 

Fira is comparatively modern town, with houses built mostly during the 19th century when the old Venetian capital at Skaros became untenable due to earthquakes. The architecture is a jumble of Cycladic and Venetian, side by side, the similarities between the two being stark whiteness. The impact of Aegean tourism has made itself felt in Fira, judging from the abundance of taverns, hotels, discotheques and shops. It is the largest town on the island and has gained preference with travelers because it is central and access to other parts of Santorini is made from here.

 

From there you can indulge in some inspiring coastal walks. Wondering through the white cobbled streets of Fira, a town of about 2,000 inhabitants one gets the feel of the old world charm blended in with the modern day comforts. Santorini is essentially a beauty spot, an island whose cliffs seem to glow under an exceptionally clear light all day, but which at sunset glow red, evoking that vast explosion more than 3,000 years ago. After you have shopped a well earned rest awaits you in the many café's and ice cream parlour's relax and take in the amazing sites and sounds this wonderful capital has to offer. Thira is also the clubbing capital for those of you who can keep the pace.

 
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