Thira is the town of cascading Cycladic white sugar cube buildings with the caldera view that probably pops into your head whenever you hear 'Santorini'. The cliffs here are steep and colourful, and many of the best places to stay in Thira perch on terraces and expand in whatever direction they can, often cutting into the rock in order to do so. Dramatic and beautiful, this is an incredibly spectacular spot to relax.
But peaceful and sleepy as it is, Thira is also geared up to show you a good time, with plenty for visitors to taste, try, see and buy. There's fine dining and wine-ing from local wineries, colourful beaches, interesting little boutiques amongst the winding lanes, and of course fascinating history and archaeology to come to terms with.
As well as exploring the beaches, explore Santorini's impressive history at the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, which houses impressive finds from Ancient Thira and Akrotiri.
The site of Ancient Thira is also worth visiting for a different sort of a day, it's atmospheric and sprawling, with Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine ruins. Ancient Akrotiri is also a fascinating place to stroll around. This Minoan city was buried under ash in the catastrophic eruption of 1613 BC.
Kids will also enjoy Thira's cable car, which takes you down to the Old Port where the cruise ships dock.
See Thira from below by hiring a boat, or joining a sailing party, and spend a relaxing afternoon bobbing on the waves? Tour a winery and taste the local tipples? Visit Thira's beautiful churches and appreciate their art?
If you're looking for something low key to do maybe a visit to a gallery may inspire? The Art Space is also housed in old wine caverns, so it's a cool and atmospheric break from the sunshine.
For something extra special take a private tour of the volcano and hot springs? Or a helicopter flight over the caldera?
Thira's views are free, the beaches are free, and in amongst the flash restaurants are some affordable tavernas and cafes. Once you're out of the small tourist centre, prices will begin to look much more reasonable. Thira also has some excellent bakeries.
Still not sure which one's for you? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay on Thira, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. For more choice have a look at all our hotels on Santorini.
Chic B&B in central Fira. Fantastic value, pretty all white rooms and suites, large swimming pool, and easy access to restaurant, sights and activities around. A great choice for a couple or family on a budget.
Sophisticated style and classical elegance in this 18th century mansion hotel. Sultry suites and some interconnecting rooms, cut from the cliff, have warm furnishings and private balconies. Fantastic Greek/Mediterranean restaurant, lovely pool, and lots to do in the villages and islands around.
Utterly romantic all white hotel with a collection of sugar cube houses on the cliff top. Each house, from super to mansion size, sleeps from 2 to 5 people. All have private balconies, white washed walls, and pastel blue furnishings. Lovely pool and Mediterranean restaurant.
A sophisticated cliff side hotel all in white with views over the ocean. Lazy terraces, luxurious rooms and suites, all the mod cons, lovely pool and splashes of modern art. A fabulous spot for couples, honeymooners and families with older children.
A gorgeous hotel with wonderful day areas and terraces dotted around. Spectacular views, lovely restaurant, and creamy rooms. Intimate, very romantic, and oh so chic. A great spot for couples and honeymooners.