Fira, the capital of the Greek island of Santorini, lies perched on the rim of an ancient volcano. The core of the volcano falls away from the city's edge, and its caldera is filled with water that sparkles like a goblet of blue champagne.
Fira is a village rich with picturesque piety and riddled with dens of debauchery. The nightlife is wild with bar-hopping partiers, while the blue domed churches preside silently over the skyline. Two cathedrals, a Roman Catholic and a Greek Orthodox, coexist here. Devout history buffs may wish to visit the Megaron Gyzi Museum, which holds exhibits of religious iconography as well as local history. A donkey ride down the 600 winding steps along the cliff side brings visitors to Fira's port, GIALOS, where cruise ships release passengers to explore the village. Alternately, one can ride a cable car down the 900 foot drop to Fira's port. The area's rich history is celebrated at the Archeological Museum, which displays relics from the ancient city of Thira. Shoppers can hunt for baubles in Fira's numerous jewelry stores. Submarine tours provide a unique underwater experience for those who want to explore the depths of Santorini's caldera.