fira or oia
Fira or Oia? Should I stay in the capital or in the artistic village? Those are the questions many travelers ask themselves before coming to Santorini Island. Therefore we will present and analyze different perspectives so that you can make the decision more easily. Check members of Onar Hotels Collections in Santorini as well.
First of all, you should know that the atmosphere is a little bit different in both villages. Fira is the capital of Santorini and therefore it features more “commercial” activities. On the other hand Oia has more “touristic” environment. Those are the initial insights for you to take under your consideration. Of course, we are not saying that Fira is not “design” for tourists. On the contrary, it is. However, the difference we are referring to, can be “felt” up close and cannot be described.
The unique aspect of Fira is its teleferik or aerial tramway. It connects Fira with the famous old port. From there you can take a boat towards volcano. In Oia however, the uniqueness is presented by the architecture and the old castle from where you can enjoy the sunset view.
As a capital of the island, Fira is the biggest settlement of Santorini. You will find everything here. Luxurious as well as cheap accommodations, numerous shops, taverns, restaurants and spa. Due to the fact that in Fira you will find the main local bus line station, it is easy to get anywhere from here. If you are staying elsewhere, e.g. Oia, you must get to Fira first in order to go to e.g. Perissa or Red Beach. This is one of the advantages the capital of Santorini has. Fira is built on the cliffs as well. Therefore, you can imagine the view you will admire from here. Its elevation is higher than Oia’s and the view is more panoramic. This could be an important factor for your decision to stay in Fira or Oia.
Like we mentioned above, Fira features the well-known old port. It is called like that due to the fact that it is the previous main port of Santorini. There are two way to get to the port. First of all by aerial tramway. It is fast and restful. Second way to reach the port is by using the stairs. Of course, we suggest it only to athletes, especially the climbing! Volcano is one of the main attractions of the island and you can take a daily cruise from there. However, the fact that you can take a boat towards the volcano should not be the reason to think Fira or Oia. That is because you can do so from Oia as well.
Due to its location, Fira inspires trekking to Firostefani and Imerovigli. In fact, there is an impressive trail along the cliffs, starting from the capital. You can use it to reach Imerovigli and it is something we suggest you do. Additionally, you will take breath-taking photos along the way. It is also easier to reach from Fira the south coast of Santorini, where the famous beaches are located. Red beach, Perissa Agios Georgios are just few of them.
As you probably already know, Oia is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Therefore, you can take this fact under your consideration when choosing Fira or Oia. Due to the location of Oia, the village is built at lower elevation than Oia. So all boats and ferries passing below will be significantly closer to you.
This unique village features many hotels and traditional houses. Most of them offer top luxury and high quality services. You will have the opportunity to choose between a suite with volcano view and a room with sunset view. However, we always say that sunset view lasts only few minutes but volcano view is 24/7. Therefore, in our opinion, it is better to have a room with volcano view. You can always walk few minutes to see the sunset. Additionally, volcano view from Oia is accompanied by Imerovigli view. This is quite impressive, especially during the night when all the lights are on. So, this is another aspect to consider when thinking if you should stay in Fira or Oia.
Since we were talking about boat trip to volcano, you can participate in one from Oia as well. Two ports are used for this activity: Ammoudi and Armeni.
Ammoudi is an interesting place and quite famous too. A picturesque port right below the impressive cliffs of Oia, features few top seafood restaurants. To reach it you can use the stairs or the road which goes behind Oia. Our suggestion here is to walk down the stairs, as it is impressive, and use a taxi to return to Oia.