Greece is a land truly cherished by gods, with beauty pleasing the senses aesthetically. Sprinkled with islands and beaches every step of the way, this country is a miracle destination that will open your eyes, your heart, and relax you down to your smallest bones and muscles.
Of course, there are a lot of destinations you might want to choose when you go to Greece – but Santorini is by far one of the single most popular ones. There are a thousand and one reasons to choose this place over any other beach in Greece (and maybe even around the world).
The rare natural beauty, the splendid appearance of the architecture of the place, the crystal-blue sea reflecting sunlight that’s both welcoming and mild – there’s simply no way you won’t fall in love with Santorini.
Where to stay in Santorini, though?
We have some tips for you – so read on and find out more.
First Things First: Decide What You Want
There are a million ways to visit Santorini and even more ways to fall in love with it. However, if you want the best experience of your life, you must first decide what you want.
Do you want beach accommodation that will be close to the sea?
Dreaming of a city escape in the cooler months of the year? Looking to party? Or maybe you are a foodie and want to make sure you are close to the very best eateries in Santorini?
You decide what are your priorities when it comes to visiting before you even start searching for places to stay in Santorini. The entire island stretches across more than 76 square kilometers – so, as you can imagine, there are plenty of accommodation options for all traveling styles and budgets.
Getting the Magazine View
If you want to wake up every morning to the blue and white view of Santorini you have seen in every magazine and online articles promoting this Greek destination, then you should head out towards Caldera, as this is where all these stunning photos are taken.
Some of the specific locations you might want to look into include Fira, Oia, Firostefani, Imerovigli, or Akrotiri, for example. This is where the most splendid Santorini sunsets happen!
The bad news is that having those breath-taking views means that you won’t be able to stay very close to the beach – it is technically impossible to meet both standards.
If you want to be close to the beach, look into Kamari, Perissa, or Perivolos, as these locations are closest to the beach.
Choose Your Season
Believe it or not, there are many people who visit Santorini during the cooler months of the year – and you do have plenty of reasons to do so too! If you are not particularly keen on experiencing the beaches of Santorini, visiting during the cooler months might be the smartest idea ever, as it might even be less expensive, depending on where you decide to stay.
If you want to visit Santorini during winter (from November to May), Fira is where you should be staying. This is the capital of the entire island, so you will most likely find plenty of people here (and you won’t feel too lonely).
If you want to visit Santorini during the summer months, Oia or any of the other aforementioned destinations might be best for you. Keep in mind that Oia is one of the busiest parts of Santorini – so if you want to avoid the crowds, you might want to skip the idea altogether.
Do keep in mind that if you want to be away from the crowds of tourists when the island is in full season (summertime), you might also want to check out smaller villages, like the Pyrgos or Emporio villages, for example. They are cozy, charming, and quiet – just what you need for an ultra-relaxing vacation!
Your Purpose There
Santorini has something for pretty much everyone – from those who want to explore the city and the surroundings to those who want to lay on the beach and simply melt in the welcoming sunlight of Greece.
If you are visiting with family, you probably want to avoid noisy locations. Santorini is not exactly a party destination like other beaches in Europe, but some areas might be busier than others.
Furthermore, you most likely want to be as close to the beach as possible, so that you don’t have to walk long distances with your kids. In these cases, it is recommended that you search for accommodation around Kamari, Perissa or Perivolos.
If you are going to Santorini on your honeymoon, you want romantic surroundings and definitely want your fair share of intimacy as well. Imerovigli tends to be dubbed as one of the most romantic options on the island – and there are many romantic hotels you can choose from in this area too!
Last, but not least, if you are a budget traveler, you will most probably want to search for the least expensive option. Many people live under the impression that Santorini is a slightly expensive destination, but that is not necessarily the case.
In general, if you want to save money on your accommodation in Santorini, it is recommended that you stay away from those magazine views we mentioned earlier. Therefore, it is probably best if you search for accommodation around Kamari, Perissa or Perivolos too.
Where to Find Accommodation
Being a tourist hotspot in Greece, Santorini is sprinkled with all kinds of accommodation you can imagine – from villas you can rent for the whole summer to small bed and breakfast hotels where you can simply lie down your head at night and enjoy a nice breakfast in the morning.
Since you are probably traveling pretty far away from home, our advice is to check with the reviews of the place you have chosen. Booking.com and Airbnb are excellent options – the first focus is more on hotels, while the latter focus is more on rentals. Both options can provide you with budget-friendly variants, as well as romantic or family-oriented accommodation.
As mentioned above, do read the reviews and try to find the negative ones as well – this will help you gain a better understanding of which option is best for you and how to make sure you pick the option which will make your vacation a dream come true!
Best Hotels in Each Area in Santorini
Now that you have decided which area of Santorini is best for you, it is time to decide which specific hotels are best in each of them as well.
According to user ratings on sites like Tripadvisor and Booking.com, the most popular hotels in each area in Santorini are as follows:
1. Fira: Kalisti Hotels & Suites
This hotel is quite luxurious and it sports rooms with a view, as well as a hot tub. Being located in the center of Fira, you will find it easy to reach a wide range of attractions here! Other great hotels in this area include Aressana Spa and Aigialos Hotel.
2. Oia: Mistique, A Luxury Hotel
As the name probably suggests, this truly is a luxurious hotel – so if you want to spend the kind of vacation that will be truly unforgettable, this is it! And if Mistique doesn’t suit your style, we recommend you try Andronis or the Oia Castle Luxury Suites.
3. Firostefani: Reverie
This hotel really feels like a dream come true, just as the name suggests. With a splendid view of the hills of Santorini, this place will definitely compliment your vacation to the point where it will be nearly magical! Other accommodation options in Firostefani include Galini Hotel and Homeric Poems, both of which are quite specific for Santorini and look amazing!
4. Imerovigli: Iconic
Also a hotel with a breathtaking view, Iconic is one of the very best places you can choose as accommodation in Santorini – and it has been frequently voted as one of the most popular ones in the specific area of Imerovigli too! Aqua Luxury and Kapari Natural Resort are two other very popular options in this area of Santorini too.
5. Akrotiri: Avant-Garde Suites
With an infinity pool that offers the most splendid view of Santorini, the Avant-Garde Suites are worthy of a fairytale – or at least a very romantic honeymoon for you and your loved one. Not your cup of tea? Look into Astarte Suites or the Goulielmos Hotel, then – both are absolutely lovely!
6. Kamari: Kastelli Resort
This place is perfect – not only is it located quite close to the beach, but it will also provide you with the option of sunbathing by the poolside as well. Lovely services! Kamari Beach Hotel and La Mer Deluxe Hotel & Spa are two other options you might want to check out too!
7. Perissa: The Best
The name is pretty self-explanatory, as you will find this hotel to provide the best experience for the money. Budget-friendly and cozy, this place is perfect for a wide range of tourists. If you are looking for something a bit more luxurious, the Anastasia Princess Luxury Hotel & Suites and the Meltemi Luxury Suites are also great choices in Perissa, Santorini.
8. Perivolos: Sea View
Again, the name of the hotel boasts its most powerful feature: a splendid view over the sea, coordinated with a luxurious ambiance and a splendid pool where you can relax every day of your vacation.
Mandilaria Studios and Bella Santorini are two other options very popular in Perivolos as well, so check them out when looking for accommodation!
Santorini is true heaven – one that bathes in sunlight and beauty, one that emanates grace and beauty through every single one of its pores.
From the amazing Greek food you absolutely need to experience to water activities and simply relaxing on picture-perfect beaches or soaking in the most stunning sunsets ever, there is something for everyone here.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from – the people of Santorini will welcome you with their arms wide open and their souls warm and cozy.
There are love and warmth all around – from the splendor of the views to the uniqueness of the architecture and to the impeccable services offered by restaurants and hotels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to stay in Oia or Fira?
Fira has more attractions than Oia, so being a traveler, it’s always recommended to stay where most attractions are.
What is the main town in Santorini?
Fira is the main town in Santorini with all main attractions, hotels, white-washed houses, and blue-domed churches, as well as its vibrant nightlife and shopping scene.
Is Oia and Fira the same?
No, Oia and Fira are two different towns on the island of Santorini, Greece.
Oia (also spelled Ia) is a small town on the northwest coast of Santorini, known for its stunning views of the Aegean Sea and its iconic blue-domed churches. Oia is popular with tourists for its picturesque streets, traditional architecture, and romantic sunset views.
On the other hand, Fira is Santorini’s capital and main town. It is located on the island’s western coast, on the edge of a cliff overlooking the caldera. Fira is a bustling town with various shops, restaurants, and nightlife options. It is also a popular base for visitors to Santorini, as it is convenient to other parts of the island and has good transportation connections.
How many days should I spend in Santorini?
3 to 5 days is a perfect time to spend in Santorini. Being a very small town, you can explore almost every part in 3-5 days.
Is it possible to walk from Fira to Oia?
The distance between Fira to Oia is approximately 14 km, so walking from one place to another is not advisable. If you love hiking, this trip can be enjoyable for you.
Are 7 days too long in Santorini?
Yes, 7 days is a little long trip in Santorini. 3-5 days is an ideal time.
Which is cheaper Oia or Fira?
These is no big difference in the hotel pricing of both towns.
What is the cheapest month to go to Santorini?
The cheapest time to visit Santorini generally tends to be in the shoulder season, which falls between the peak tourist season (usually May through October) and the off-season (November through April).
How much is a taxi from Oia to Fira?
It will cost approximately $40-50 to reach Fira from Oia.
How far apart are Oia and Fira?
Oia to Fira distance is 14.7 km. It will take approximately 15 minutes drive to reach from one place to another.