Where to Stay in Santorini: 6 Best Towns & Hotels [2024 Guide]

Are you planning a trip to the stunning island of Santorini and looking for the best areas to stay? You are in the right place!

While the island is quite small, deciding where to stay in Santorini can be overwhelming with so many options. Each town has its own charm and offers different experiences, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your travel style.

After visiting Santorini three times already (and currently planning a fourth), I had the chance to stay in many different towns and hotels.

Based on my personal experience, I have put together this handy guide to help you find the best place to stay in Santorini. Let’s get into it!

*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*

Overview of Where to Stay in Santorini

Santorini is famous for its picturesque whitewashed towns perched on top of dramatic cliffs, offering breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. There are three main towns to choose from: Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli.

Oia is the most famous place on the island, known for its stunning sunsets, luxury hotels, and beautiful blue domes.

Fira is the capital of Santorini and has a more lively atmosphere with restaurants, bars, and shops. Imerovigli is a quiet town located between Oia and Fira, offering a peaceful getaway with incredible views.

If you’re looking for a beach getaway, the best place to stay in Santorini is on the southeastern coast in Kamari or Perissa. These towns have black sand beaches and a more laid-back vibe.

Finally, if you want to experience the local culture and avoid the crowds, consider staying in one of the smaller towns like Pyrgos or Megalochori. These villages offer a more authentic Santorini experience with traditional architecture and local restaurants.

AreaRecommended Hotel
Oia (luxury hotels, stunning views, sunset spot)Kaleidoscope Cave Houses
Fira (central location, shopping and dining options, nightlife)Aroma Suites
Imerovigli (luxury hotels, quiet and peaceful atmosphere)Kasimatis by La Perla
Kamari and Perissa (black sand beaches, budget-friendly options) Costa Grand Resort & Spa
Pyrgos (traditional village experience, great for couples)Nova Luxury Suites
Megalochori (authentic local life, wineries) Grand View - Megalochori Santorini

Map of the Best Towns and Hotels to Stay in Santorini

Below you can find a customized map that includes the best places to stay in Santorini, including our recommended hotels for each town for every budget.

How to use this map: This map is fully interactive, so you can move around, zoom in/zoom out, and click on the icons. If you want to see a larger map, click on the bracket in the upper right corner. To see more details and the different layers, click on the tab in the upper left corner. If you want to save it for later, click on the star icon next to the name of the map. Then simply open Google Maps either on your desktop or phone, go to ‘Saved’/’Maps’, and open the map whenever you need it.

Best Places to Stay in Santorini

1. Oia – Best for stunning sunset views and luxury hotels

Girl in blue dress at the famous blue dome in Santorini

Oia is one of the most popular towns in Santorini, and for a good reason. If you’re thinking of those postcard-perfect pictures of Santorini, they were most likely taken in Oia.

The town is known for its breathtaking sunsets and luxurious hotels perched on the caldera, and it’s also home to some of the most iconic blue-domed churches in Santorini.

For such a small town, there are actually quite a bit of things to do in Oia. You can wander around the charming alleys, visit the Maritime Museum, or enjoy a romantic dinner at one of the best restaurants in Santorini with amazing caldera views.

If you’re up for a little workout, you can hike down to Ammoudi Bay, which is a small fishing village with an idyllic port and some of the best seafood restaurants on the island.

Ammoudi Bay, Santorini
Ammoudi Bay

You also can’t miss visiting Oia Castle to witness that famous Santorini sunset. Just make sure to arrive early as it gets crowded quickly, especially during the summer months.

Talking about crowds, maybe this is the biggest downside of staying in Oia. During the day, the town is filled with tourists from cruise ships, and sometimes you can’t even walk through the narrow streets without getting stuck in a crowd.

Sunset time is even worse, as everyone gathers in the same spots to watch the sun go down.

On the bright side, most people leave after sunset and the mornings are usually very peaceful too, so if you decide to stay in Oia, you can experience the town in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Another downside of Oia is that it’s the most expensive town in Santorini (okay, maybe it’s a tie with Imerovigli), so if you’re on a budget, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

But if you want to treat yourself to a luxurious stay with stunning panoramic views and romantic vibes, Oia is definitely one of the best places to stay in Santorini.

There are also regular buses from Oia to Fira and other parts of the island, making it easy to explore more of Santorini.

However, since Oia is located on the northernmost tip of Santorini, it can take quite long to reach other towns and attractions.

Pros and cons of staying in Oia


  • Stunning caldera and sunset views
  • Luxury hotels with private plunge pools and jacuzzies 
  • Beautiful blue-domed churches
  • Plenty of restaurants, shops, and things to do


  • Very crowded during the day and sunset time
  • One of the most expensive places to stay in Santorini
  • Can take long to reach other parts of the island due to its location

Best places to stay in Oia

Where we stayed in Oia:

  • Santorini Secret Suites & Spa (luxury): This is where we stayed on our recent trip to Santorini, and it was incredible. The hotel is located just a few minutes from the center of Oia, offering stunning views and a peaceful atmosphere. The hotel rooms are simply amazing – we had a private suite with a jacuzzi and caldera view and it was like staying in our own little paradise.
  • Marco’s Rooms (budget): We stayed here on our first trip when we were traveling on a stricter budget. It’s one of the cheapest options in the center of Oia with very basic rooms, but the location is amazing. I feel like it’s okay for a night or two, but if you’re staying longer, I’d recommend splurging on a nicer hotel.

Other highly-rated hotels in Oia:

2. Fira – Best for a lively atmosphere and central location

Sunset in Fira, Santorini

Fira is the capital of Santorini, located in the center of the island. I love Fira because it’s always bustling with life and it caters to all types of travelers.

Since it’s the largest town on the island, there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious. It’s really great because no matter what your budget is, you will find something that suits your needs.

Fira is also a great place to base yourself if you want to explore different parts of the island. It’s the main bus hub, making it easy to reach other towns and attractions by public transport.

And thanks to its location in the middle of the island, you can reach both the northern and southern parts of Santorini in reasonable time.

Besides being a transportation hub, there are also plenty of things to do in Fira. You can visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera (if you only visit one museum in Santorini, let it be this one!), take a cable car ride to the old port, or simply wander around the charming alleys and enjoy a cup of Greek coffee.

In terms of nightlife, Fira is definitely the place to be. There are numerous bars and clubs where you can dance until the early hours of the morning. You can also watch a movie under the stars at the Volkan Cinema (most of the time they show Mamma Mia).

If you’re wondering where to stay in Santorini for a lively atmosphere and central location, Fira is the perfect choice!

Volkan Cinema in Fira, Santorini

Pros and cons of staying in Fira


  • Central location for exploring the island
  • Main bus hub for transportation around the island
  • Wide range of accommodation options
  • Lively atmosphere with plenty of things to do


  • Can get crowded during peak season
  • Much louder and busier than other towns on the island

Best places to stay in Fira

Where we stayed in Fira:

  • Villa Bordeaux (luxury): With only four luxury suites, this hotel offers a private and luxurious stay in the heart of Fira. Two of the rooms have their own hot tubs overlooking the caldera and there’s also a really epic infinity pool with an amazing view. You can read our full review of Villa Bordeaux here.
  • Golden Grey Goose (mid-range): If you’re looking for a great apartment in the center of Fira, this is it! The rooms are spacious and modern, and there’s also a hot tub on the terrace and a full kitchen if you want to cook your own meals.
  • City Break (budget): Located right in the center of Fira, this budget-friendly hotel offers comfortable private rooms with all the necessary amenities. The courtyard is also very cute!
  • Petros Villa (budget): Another great budget option in Fira, with a central location and charming rooms. As a bonus, they also have an outdoor swimming pool.
City Break Hotel in Santorini
City Break

Other highly-rated hotels in Fira:

3. Imerovigli – Best for a romantic getaway and stunning views

Girl sitting on the roof at Imer Villas Santorini

Imerovigli is the highest point on the caldera, located just above Fira. It’s known as the “balcony of the Aegean” because it offers some of the most breathtaking views in Santorini.

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, Imerovigli is definitely the place. It’s quietest among all the caldera towns on the island so it’s one of the best areas to stay in Santorini for honeymooners.

It’s also known for its high-end luxury cave hotels and villas, so if you’re looking to splash the cash on an unforgettable vacation, Imerovigli is one of the top contenders.

As you can probably tell, it’s not the best place to stay in Santorini if you’re on a budget, however, there are still some more affordable accommodation options available.

In terms of activities, one of the best things to do in Imerovigli is visiting the Skaros Rock, a volcanic rock formation that used to be an important part of the island’s defense system. There’s also a beautiful blue-domed church near the rock, perfect for some Insta-worthy photos.

There are a handful of restaurants and bars in Imerovigli, but for a wider variety, you can easily walk to Fira or take a short taxi ride.

One of the most annoying things about Imerovigli is the numerous flying dress photoshoots that happen here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on flying dress photoshoots – I’ve also done one myself and it was an amazing experience!

But it’s getting really out of hand and when multiple photoshoots are happening at the same time, the streets can get quite crowded and chaotic.

Last time we were staying right in front of the most popular blue-domed church at Imer Villas and people were constantly lining up in front of our hotel to take photos.

Besides that, Imerovigli is a beautiful and peaceful place to stay in Santorini with unforgettable views of the caldera.

Pros and cons of staying in Imerovigli


  • Stunning views from the highest point on the caldera
  • Perfect for a romantic getaway with less crowds
  • High-end luxury accommodation options
  • Close to Fira for more dining and entertainment choices


  • More expensive than other towns on the island
  • Crowded with flying dress photoshoots at times

Best places to stay in Imerovigli

Where we stayed in Imerovigli:

  • Kasimatis by La Perla (mid-range): This boutique hotel offers stunning views of the caldera and their suites with private hot tubs are an absolute dream. I loved having breakfast on the balcony overlooking the sea and they also have a beautiful pool area.
  • Imer Villas (mid-range): If you’re looking for the absolute best views in Imerovigli, you have to stay at these villas. Each of the units can accommodate up to 5 people and they are located right in front of the most famous blue-domed church in Imerovigli.

Other highly-rated hotels in Imerovigli:

4. Kamari & Perissa – Best for a beach vacation

Kamari Beach, Santorini
Kamari Beach

If you’re looking for a more traditional beach vacation, then the towns of Kamari and Perissa are your best bet. Situated on the southeastern coast of Santorini, these towns offer black sand beaches and plenty of water activities.

Perissa Beach is generally longer and wider, so if you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax, head there. On the other hand, Kamari Beach is more popular and a bit more lively, but both beaches have plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas available for rent.

Many restaurants and bars line the beaches, making them perfect for grabbing a bite to eat or enjoying a refreshing drink while soaking up the sun.

In terms of accommodation, there are plenty of options in both towns ranging from budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts. Most of the hotels here are situated along the beachfront, offering stunning sea views.

Although Kamari and Perissa are right next to each other when you look at the map, they are not connected by a coastal road as a big mountain range separates them. So if you’re planning on visiting both towns, you will have to drive around 25 minutes from one to the other.

Speaking of the mountain range, if you’re into history, you absolutely need to visit Ancient Thira located on the top of the mountain between Kamari and Perissa. The views from here are breathtaking and you can explore the ruins of an ancient Greek city.

Another great thing to do is to visit Profiti Ilias Monastery, the highest point on Santorini. It’s a bit of a drive from Kamari and Perissa, but the views are worth it and you can also learn about the history of the monastery.

As the beaches are quite far from the caldera towns, it’s best to stay in Kamari or Perissa if you plan on spending most of your time at the beach or if it’s not your first time visiting Santorini.

Pros and cons of staying in Kamari & Perissa


  • Beautiful black sand beaches
  • More budget-friendly accommodation options
  • Historical sites nearby, such as Ancient Thira and Profiti Ilias Monastery


  • Far from the caldera side and the iconic views of Santorini
  • More crowded and lively compared to other towns on the island

Best places to stay in Kamari & Perissa

Best hotels to stay in Kamari:

Best hotels to stay in Perissa:

5. Pyrgos – Best for a quiet and authentic experience

Blue domed church in Pyrgos Santorini

Located in the center of Santorini, Pyrgos is often overlooked by tourists but it’s definitely worth a visit.

This picturesque village is one of my favorite places on the island and it offers a more authentic and quiet experience compared to other towns.

So if you’re wondering where to stay in Santorini for some peace and relaxation, Pyrgos should definitely be on your list!

Pyrgos is a traditional village with whitewashed buildings and blue-domed churches. I absolutely love wandering around its narrow streets and getting lost in its charm. But you have to be prepared for many ups and downs as the village is built on a hill.

One of the highlights of Pyrgos is its famous Venetian castle, Pyrgos Kallistis Castle. It’s located at the top of the village and offers stunning views of the island. Make sure to visit during sunset for a truly magical experience.

View from Pyrgos Castle
View from Pyrgos Castle

In terms of accommodations, Pyrgos might be small but it packs in a punch with its boutique hotels and luxurious villas. Some of the luxury hotels can easily rival with the ones in Oia and Fira, but for lower prices.

Pyrgos is located in the middle of the island, making it a great base for exploring all the different areas of Santorini. It’s also close to the airport and the ferry port, so you won’t have to travel far when arriving or departing the island.

There are frequent bus connections but I would recommend having a rental car if you plan to stay in Pyrgos, as it makes exploring the island much easier.

Pros and cons of staying in Pyrgos


  • Authentic and traditional atmosphere
  • Stunning views from the Venetian castle
  • Central location for easy access to other parts of Santorini


  • Not as many restaurant and nightlife options compared to other towns
  • Lots of uphill walking on narrow streets

Best places to stay in Pyrgos

6. Megalochori – Best for experiencing local life

Vedema Resort in Megalochori, Santorini

Megalochori is another hidden gem on the island of Santorini which I would absolutely recommend visiting. This traditional village has managed to maintain its charm and local way of life despite the increasing tourism on the island.

Located in the southern part of Santorini, close to the ferry port, Megalochori offers a more peaceful and genuine experience compared to the bustling towns of Oia and Fira.

The village is surrounded by vineyards and offers breathtaking views of the sea and caldera. It’s also home to some of the best wineries on the island, so make sure to do a wine tasting tour while you’re here.

Megalochori is one of the best places to stay in Santorini for those looking to experience the local way of life. It’s a very small town so there are not a lot of things to do, but that’s also part of its charm.

If you have a car, you can easily explore other parts of the island from Megalochori. Within a 15-minute drive, you can reach Fira, the capital of Santorini, the black sand beaches of Kamari and Perissa, the famous Red Beach, and the Akrotiri Archeological Site.

Pros and cons of staying in Megalochori


  • Authentic and local experience
  • Stunning views of the sea and caldera
  • Close to many attractions on the island
  • Excellent wineries for wine-tasting tours


  • Limited options for restaurants and nightlife
  • Not as many hotel options compared to other towns
  • Having a car is recommended for easier exploration

Best places to stay in Megalochori

Where we stayed in Megalochori:

  • Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort (luxury): The resort is built around a 400-year-old winery and it’s absolutely stunning. The suites are spacious and beautifully designed and I loved the hot tub and the huge infinity pool overlooking the vineyards and Profitis Ilias Mountain.

Other highly-rated hotels in Megalochori:

Planning a trip to Santorini?

Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about Santorini. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!

Hotel Guides:

Travel Guides:

Other Amazing Destinations in Greece: Athens | Mykonos | Milos | Naxos | Paros

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