What comes to your mind when you think of Santorini? Well, for me, Santorini is all about those postcard-perfect towns with white houses and blue domes that overlook the sea. For once, I could say that those pictures on Instagram do not lie: Santorini is gorgeous in real life! It’s definitely one of the most beautiful islands in Greece.
If you’re visiting Santorini for the first time, you might feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes to deciding actually where to stay in Santorini. The island has basically two different sides with many towns to stay in, so you need to pay attention which one you choose. To make your decision easier, in this post I collected all the best places to stay in Santorini with pros and cons for each areas.
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Overview of Where to Stay in Santorini
Santorini (officially known as Thira) is part of the Cycladic island group on the Aegean Sea, located roughly halfway between Athens and Crete. This crescent-shaped island has seen several volcanic eruptions and is known for its beautiful caldera and volcano views.
Santorini is home to 15 towns and villages in total. The popular ones including Oia, Fira, Imerovigli and Firostefani, lie on the caldera-edge clifftop towards the west of the island. Fira is the island’s capital, while Firostefani is the highest point at the caldera edge. The eastern part of the island is blessed with black sand beaches like Kamari and Perissa. The island’s interior is lined with traditional villages like Pyrgos and Megalochori that are dotted with vineyards.
Owing to such vast topography in such a small area on the island, one might easily get confused while looking for the best places to stay in Santorini. Here is a compilation of the best locations to stay in Santorini with some insights and tips to help you make the right decision.
Below you can find a quick overview of the best places to stay in Santorini with hotel recommendations for each area.
|AREA||BEST FOR||RECOMMENDED HOTEL||MORE HOTELS|
|Oia||Family-friendly, Caldera views, Photography||Prime Suites||More hotels in Oia|
|Fira||Nightlife, Shopping||Theoxenia Boutique Hotel||More hotels in Fira|
|Imerovigli||Honeymoon, Restaurants||San Antonio - Small Luxury Hotels of the World||More hotels in Imerovigli|
|Firostefani||Budget-friendly, Sunsets||Ira Hotel & Spa||More hotels in Firostefani|
|Kamari||Beach, Family-friendly, Restaurants||Makris Beach Hotel||More hotels in Kamari|
|Perissa||Beach, Family-friendly, Nightlife||Meltemi Village Hotel||More hotels in Perissa|
|Pyrgos||Local feel, Seclusion||Alunia Incognito Suites - Adults Only||More hotels in Pyrgos|
|Akrotiri||Budget-friendly, Caldera views||Kalestesia Suites||More hotels in Akrotiri|
|Megalochori||Local vibes, History, Local food||Caldera's Dolphin Suites||More hotels in Megalochori|
Best Places to Stay in Santorini
Wondering where to stay in Santorini? Don’t worry, I got you covered! In this article you will find all the best places to stay in Santorini together with a bunch of useful information about each towns, pros and cons, and some hotel recommendations. If you’re a visual type, you can use the below map for getting familiar with each towns mentioned in this article. Let’s dive right in!
1. Oia – Best place to stay in Santorini for first-timers
Located on the north-western tip of the island, Oia is definitely the most popular town in Santorini. If you’re looking for that postcard perfect view with the blue domes and the white washed houses, you definitely need to include Oia in your Santorini itinerary. Oia provides the best views of the caldera and you can find many of the most famous Santorini Instagram spots here, along with some of the best sunset spots in Santorini.
Oia is the second largest town on the island and since its really popular among visitors, it’s also one of the most expensive part of Santorini as well. However, if you want to have the best views and you don’t mind paying the price for it, then Oia is undoubtedly one of the best areas to stay in Santorini for you.
If you’re staying in Oia, you can’t miss visiting Oia Castle for the sunset, hiking down to Ammoudi Bay for swimming and exploring the town’s charming churches. Adventurous souls can also hike from Oia to Fira and enjoy the glorious views on the way.
Pros and cons of staying in Oia
- Provides stunning caldera and sunset views
- You will get an opportunity to stay in cave-like hotels
- Restaurants and accommodations are pretty expensive
- There is no nightlife as everything closes early
Best places to stay in Oia
LUXURY – Kima Villas Suites
Swimming in the outdoor pool and enjoying the view of the volcano is just another day at Kima Villas Suites in Oia. All suites have a private balcony and free Wi-Fi.
MID-RANGE – Prime Suites
Prime Suites offers a collection of individually decorated suites and studios on the top of the cliff, in Oia Village. Guests enjoy stunning sea views from private or shared terraces or balconies, some with hot tubs.
BUDGET – Laokasti Villas
The Laokasti Villas in Oia is a traditionally styled complex consisted of of 17 spacious and comfortable hotel studios, apartments and villas. The complex includes well-designed hotel facilities and offers excellent services.
2. Fira – Best place to stay in Santorini for vibrant nightlife
Located opposite to the volcano on the island’s western cliff, Fira is the capital of Santorini and also the largest town on the island. If you prefer staying in a lively area with many things to do like shopping, countless choices for eating and drinking, and nightlife, then Fira is arguably the best area to stay in Santorini for you.
Fira is also the central transportation hub so you can hop on the local buses that can take you almost anywhere on the island. Take a walk through the narrow, winding alleyways and staircases, hike down the 587 steps from Fira to the Old Port, admire the stunning caldera views, and visit the Kontochori village that houses the local folklore museum. Oh, and don’t forget to catch a sunset from one of the many amazing bars or restaurants on the caldera!
Pros and cons of staying in Fira
- The area is known for its vibrant nightlife and shopping
- Easy access to all other places on the island through the central bus station
- The town is bustling and crowded
Best places to stay in Fira
LUXURY – Volcano View by Caldera Collection
Standing majestically on the edge of the cliffs, Volcano View boasts a restaurant with Caldera view, and 3 swimming pools overlooking the volcano, the sea and the famous Santorini sunset. All guestrooms have a private balcony or terrace overlooking the sea and the volcano.
MID-RANGE – Theoxenia Boutique Hotel
Theoxenia enjoys a central location at Fira, in the famous cliffs. Overlooking the volcano or the town, Theoxenia offers free WiFi access throughout the property. Fitted with double glazed windows, all air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a minibar and a satellite TV.
BUDGET – Galatia Villas
Set in a quiet location, just a 10-minute walk from the center of Fira, the Greek-style Galatia Villas offers a welcoming lounge, and spacious, air conditioned rooms. The well-furnished guest rooms and studios feature a balcony or offer access to the courtyard.
3. Imerovigli – Best town to stay in Santorini for high-end luxury
Imerovigli is a cute little town, located just 3.5 km (2 miles) away from Fira on a higher cliff. It is basically a continuation of Fira and has one of the best’ balconies’ on the island.
Imerovigli is the quietest among all the caldera towns on the island so it’s definitely one of the best areas to stay in Santorini for honeymooners. As the town is located on the high cliff, the sunset views are not impeded by neighbouring areas. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also hike the Skaros Rock for panoramic views.
Pros and cons of staying in Imerovigli
- Beautiful, peaceful and relaxing area
- Several accommodation choices with infinity pools
- Less number of shops, bars and restaurants in this area
- The most expensive area on the island
Best places to stay in Imerovigli
LUXURY – Cocoon Suites
Offering panoramic views over the Aegean Sea and the volcano, Cocoon Suites offers accommodation with hot tubs or plunge pools, located in Imerovigli. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar, as well as in-room candlelit dinners with organic meals made with local produce.
MID-RANGE – San Antonio – Small Luxury Hotels of the World
Enjoying a secluded location, in the outskirts of Imerovigli, with stunning sea views, San Antonio features a Spa and an infinity pool amidst exotic gardens. Free WiFi is available in all areas. San Antonio hotel suites are romantically decorated and enjoy views of the Caldera from their veranda.
BUDGET – Casa Bianca
The Casa Bianca is a small boutique-style property offering stylish accommodation in the centre of Imerovigli village. A continental breakfast is included in the price and can be served on your private balcony or veranda each morning.
4. Firostefani – Best place to stay in Santorini for budget-travellers
Firostefani is a small town sandwiched between Fira and Imerovigli. It is the best area to stay in Santorini if you want to be close to the vibrant lifestyle of Fira and enjoy the caldera views at a low-budget.
Firostefani offers fantastic views of the caldera, has some great restaurants and bars, and is calmer than the neighbouring town of Fira. The town is located on the highest point of the capital (Fira) and is also known as the ‘Crown of Fira’. You can visit the Agios Nikolaos female monastery and a couple of museums housed in this area while staying here.
Pros and cons of staying in Firostefani
- Ideal for travellers looking for a calm place to stay with a caldera view
- Cheap accommodations are available for budget-friendly travellers
- You will have to climb too many stairs every time you plan to move out of your hotel
Best places to stay in Firostefani
LUXURY – Dana Villas & Infinity Suites
Situated in a peaceful area outside Fira’s centre, Dana Villas offer viewsof the volcano and the famous Santorini sunset. The elegant rooms are decorated in the traditional Cycladic style. Dana Villas offers a variety of well-appointed suites and villas.
MID-RANGE – Ira Hotel & Spa
Set on the slopes of Santorini’s caldera, Ira Hotel is located in the village of Firostefani, within walking distance of Fira, the island’s capital. It features a spa centre, a restaurant and a swimming pool with pool bar boasting magnificent sea views.
BUDGET – Afrodete Hotel
The Cycladic-style Afrodete Hotel is situated in Firostefani, a small hill at Santorini’s capital Fira. It features a hydro-massage tub and views of the Aegean Sea and the island of Anafi. The uniquely decorated bright rooms at Afrodete are air-conditioned. Each has its own bathroom, fridge and TV.
5. Kamari – Best area to stay in Santorini for beach lovers
Kamari is located at the south-eastern end of Santorini. It is known for its beautiful black sand beaches and pedestrian beachfront walkway. The beach is an excellent spot for swimming and snorkelling. A lot of trendy restaurants, taverns, cafes and bars line the Kamari beach shore.
This beach town is a 15-minute bus ride from Fira so day trips to the caldera towns can be easily made while staying in Kamari. It is among the best areas to stay in Santorini for tourists travelling with kids and family.
Pros and cons of staying in Kamari
- Cheaper than the caldera towns
- Ideal for seniors who cannot climb the staircases of the western areas
- The area is lively only during summer months, most shops and restaurants are closed during winter
Best places to stay in Kamari
LUXURY – Tamarix Del Mar Suites
Tamarix Del Mar is a lovely, pleasant hotel just a short walk from the beautiful black-sand beach of Kamari. Facilities include both an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, a gym, and a restaurant.
MID-RANGE – Makris Beach Hotel
Overlooking the black pebble beach of Kamari, this charming apart-hotel offers rooms with sea or garden view. Featuring arched roofs and white-washed walls, the welcoming apartments include a seating area with sofa and a dining table.
BUDGET – Armonia
Family-run hotel Armonia is located in Kamari. Highlights include its outdoor pool, pool bar and short, 46 m distance from the resort’s Blue Flag beach. Free Wi-Fi is available in public hotel areas.
6. Perissa – Best place to stay in Santorini for family-friendly holidays
Perissa is located south of Kamari and the town also has a beautiful black sand beach that is well-organised with sun beds and umbrellas. Perivolos, which is an extension of Perissa beach, is shaping up to be the most luxurious beachfront area in Santorini. There are plenty of water activities available for kids at Perissa beach and this area also boasts of a vibrant nightlife.
The area of Perissa and Perivolos is definitely one of the best places to stay in Santorini for beach bars and beach restaurants and the area also appeal to tourists for all types of budgets. You can also visit the largest church in Santorini, the Church of Holy Cross, and hike up the Mesa Vouno mountain to explore the ancient town of Thera.
Pros and cons of staying in Perissa
- Located close to the airport
- Offers stunning views of the sunrise
- You will be on the other side of caldera and the best views if you opt to stay here
Best places to stay in Perissa
Located in Perissa, in Santorini, the adult-only, Cycladic-style Anastasia Princess Hotel & Suites offers a private swimming pool. The black, sandy beach of Perissa is just one minute walk.
MID-RANGE – Meltemi Village Hotel
Meltemi Village Hotel is conveniently located only 350 metres from the black sandy beach of Perissa, right in the middle of the area’s main activities. The newly built suites with outdoor, refreshing whirlpool are designed for privacy and comfort.
BUDGET – Roula Villa Studios & Apartments
Roulla Villa, located just a short walk from Perissa Beach, offers a large outdoor pool with hot tub facilities and weekly Greek theme nights. Each of its comfortable rooms features private bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen.
7. Pyrgos – Best town to stay in Santorini for seclusion and tranquillity
Pyrgos, also known as Pyrgos Kallistis, is an old, fortified village situated on the west coast, about 8 km (5 miles) southeast of Fira, the capital of Santorini. The village is at the highest point of Santorini and offers panoramic views of the entire island all the way up to Oia.
On the top of the hill, there are remains of the Kasteli Castle ruins and beautiful churches, surrounding which there is a memorial plaque commemorating those who died in World War II. Pyrgos is one of the only villages of Santorini that is untouched by tourism, making it the best area to stay in Santorini for tourists looking for some seclusion and tranquillity.
There are a few wineries and good bars and restaurants in the area where you could spend your time admiring the views. You can easily get to Fira from Pyrgos within 10 minutes by car, and you can also reach Oia in around 30 minutes.
Pros and cons of staying in Pyrgos
- Attractive winding lanes, neoclassical mansions and sun-drenched vineyards can be found in this area
- You can get incredible panoramic views of the island
- There is no nightlife in this area
- Less touristy
Best places to stay in Pyrgos
LUXURY – Skyfall Suites – Adults Only
Located in the scenic village of Pyrgos Kallistis, Skyfall Suites offers Cycladic-style accommodation with private pools or outdoor hot tubs. It also includes an a la carte restaurant preparing lights meals and it is 6 km from Santorini Airport.
MID-RANGE – Alunia Incognito Suites – Adults Only
Situated on the outskirts of Pyrgos, Alunia Incognito Suites-Adults Only offers accommodation just 500 m from the centre of the village. All suites feature a private plunge pool. Staff on site can arrange airport transfers. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.
BUDGET – Impressive One
Featuring an outdoor pool and a sun terrace, Impressive One lies within 1 km from the centre of Pirgos Village in Santorini. It offers elegantly decorated accommodation with free WiFi access and balcony or patio. Free private parking is available on site.
8. Akrotiri – Best place to stay in Santorini for off-the-beaten-path experience
Located right at the southern edge of the island, Akrotiri is one of the best places to stay in Santorini where you can have caldera views without putting a hole in your pocket. It houses archaeological ruins and a lighthouse.
Although it is a bit far from the famous beaches of Kamari and Perissa, it is close to some of the best beaches in Santorini like the Red beach, White beach and Caldera beach. You can get a unique sunset view from the Akrotiri lighthouse.
The village has several family-run taverns and restaurants. Since most tourists just visit the Akrotiri ruins, the rest of the village is very secluded, making it the best area to stay in Santorini for honeymooners seeking total privacy.
Pros and cons of staying in Akrotiri
- The charming village gives a local Greek island feel
- The nearby beaches are quiet, secluded yet beautiful
- Far away from the beaches and popular towns like Oia and Fira
Best places to stay in Akrotiri
LUXURY – Neptune Luxury Suites
Boasting unobstructed views of the Caldera, volcano and the Aegean Sea, the 5-star Neptune Luxury Suites consists of elegant suites with a pool or plunge pool. It is only a 10-minute’ walk from the excavations of ancient Akrotiri.
MID-RANGE – Kalestesia Suites
Boasting a unique location atop of Akrotiri Hill, Kalestesia Suites overlook the volcano, the Caldera and almost the whole of Santorini. Features include a pool bar-restaurant and a swimming pool with sunbeds and sunshades for adults and children.
BUDGET – Caldera Romantica
Located at the village of Akrotiri, Caldera Romantica offers a restaurant with caldera views and a pool with large sun terrace. It features air-conditioned rooms with veranda and free WiFi. The famous Kokkini Paralia Beach is 2 km away.
9. Megalochori – Best area to stay in Santorini for experiencing local life
Megalochori is a village located more inland and provides the most authentic look at local life in Santorini. It is amongst the best areas to stay in Santorini if you have had enough of the caldera views of the west and beaches of the east and want to spend a quiet time in the vineyards.
Several vineyards and wineries surrounding Megalochori offer wine tasting tours. The village is one of the oldest in Santorini and it also houses a lot of old white Cycladic churches. The locals have restored traditional buildings in their original state in this tiny village, making it amongst the best locations to stay in Santorini for photography.
Megalochori can be reached via a steep road with amazing views of the caldera and Agios Nikolaos’ churches and Our Lady of Plaka perched on the cliffside.
Pros and cons of staying in Megalochori
- You can get a taste of the authentic Greek life while staying in Megalochori
- Several vineyards offering wine tasting tours
- There is no nightlife and very few restaurants
Best places to stay in Megalochori
LUXURY – Suites of the Gods Cave Spa Hotel
Featuring breathtaking views of the caldera, volcano and Santorini, this luxurious boutique hotel offers exclusive spa facilities with complimentary à la carte breakfast, free internet access and free parking.
MID-RANGE – Caldera’s Dolphin Suites
Located in Megalochori Village, Caldera’s Dolphin boasts a heated outdoor pool with sunbeds and a pool bar. Featuring free Wi-Fi, the spacious accommodation looks out onto the caldera and Aegean Sea from its balcony.
BUDGET – Hotel Star Santorini
Star Hotel lies just 50 m from the caldera, in the traditional settlement of Megalochori in Santorini. Leisure options include 2 outdoor pools, a poolside snack bar and a hot tub. Perissa Beach is around 3 km away.
So now you know exactly where to stay in Santorini! Although Santorini is a pretty small island, it’s still pretty challenging to choose the perfect base for your trip. I hope you liked this article about the best places in Santorini and you managed to find the perfect accommodation for your trip to Santorini!
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Do you know some other great towns to stay in Santorini that I should include in this list? Let me know in the comments!
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