Old Port of Fira | Santorini | The Gate to Cable Car and Volcano Excursions
George Papadellis | SG Head
Santorini, with its iconic sunsets, breathtaking caldera views, and white-washed cliffside villages, is a Greek island paradise that has captured the hearts of travelers worldwide. While the island's postcard-worthy vistas and charming towns often steal the spotlight, there's an enchanting gem nestled at the base of the dramatic caldera cliffs that deserves its own moment in the sun – the Old Port Fira, also known as Gialos. In this article, we delve into the rich history, captivating attractions, and vibrant activities that make the Old Port Santorini a must-visit destination on your Santorini itinerary.
The Old Port of Fira
Situated in the Bay of Fira, the Old Port Thira is a hidden treasure that lies 275 meters (approximately 900 feet) below the bustling city of Fira, the capital of Santorini. Until recent decades, this port held a pivotal role as the island's primary commercial harbor. However, with the exponential rise in tourism, its purpose underwent a radical transformation. Today, the Old Port of Fira primarily caters to the needs of travelers arriving on cruise ships, adventurers exploring the island's volcanic wonders, and those seeking an unforgettable journey along the Aegean Sea.
Gateway to Treasures
The Old Port of Fira serves as the gateway to a myriad of adventures on Santorini. For many, it's the first glimpse of the island's captivating beauty as they disembark from cruise ships. From here, visitors can ascend to Fira town via two equally thrilling options – the cable car or the famous Fira steps. The cable car offers a swift and scenic ascent, providing panoramic views of the stunning caldera, while the 587 steps provide a more adventurous route for the energetic traveler. The journey to Fira is an experience in itself, promising awe-inspiring vistas at every turn.
The Port's Charm
The Old Port of Fira is more than just a transit point; it's a destination in its own right. Along the pier, a delightful array of coffee shops, souvenir boutiques, quaint tavernas, travel agencies, tour operators, and even wedding agencies await your discovery. Whether you're sipping a Greek coffee, perusing unique mementos, or planning your next adventure on Santorini, the Old Port offers a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
For the intrepid traveler, the Old Port of Fira opens the door to exciting excursions. Hop aboard one of the excursion boats that depart from the port to explore the volcanic wonders of Santorini. These boats will take you to the volcanic islands of Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni, where you can witness the raw power of nature and even take a dip in the rejuvenating hot springs. Additionally, day trips to the picturesque island of Thirassia and the charming village of Oia are readily available, promising unforgettable experiences and countless photo opportunities.
Embark to Discovery
The Old Port of Fira, with its rich history, captivating surroundings, and vibrant activities, is a quintessential part of the Santorini experience. As visitors arrive on these shores, they embark on a journey of discovery, both above and below the caldera cliffs. While the Old Port has transitioned from a bustling commercial hub to a haven for tourists, its allure remains timeless. So, whether you're disembarking from a cruise ship, ascending the steps to Fira, or simply savoring a Greek coffee along the pier, take a moment to appreciate the unique charm and natural beauty that define the Old Port of Fira, Santorini's hidden gem. Embrace the past, savor the present, and let the enchantment of this remarkable destination linger in your heart.