Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022

Where to stay in Santorini

Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022

What comes to mind when you think of Santorini? To me, Santorini is all about those postcard towns with white houses and blue domes overlooking the sea. For once, I can say that those Instagram photos don’t lie: Santorini is beautiful in real life! It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in Greece

If you’re visiting Santorini for the first time, you might feel a bit overwhelmed when deciding where to stay in Santorini. The island has two different sides with many towns to stay in, so you must pay attention to which one you choose.

In his post, I have compiled the best places to stay in Santorini with the pros and cons of each area.

Contents 

  • 0. Where to stay in Santorini
  • 1. Oia – The best place to stay in Santorini for first-timers
  • 2. Fira – The best place to stay in Santorini for its vibrant nightlife
  • 3. Imerovigli – The best town to stay in Santorini for its luxury
  • 4. Firostefani – The best place to stay in Santorini for budget travelers
  • 5. Kamari – The best area to stay in Santorini for beach lovers
  • 6. Perissa – The best place to stay in Santorini for a family vacation
  • 7. Pyrgos – The best town to stay in Santorini for its Isolation and tranquility
  • 8. Akrotiri – The best place to stay in Santorini for an unusual experience
  • 9. Megalochori – The best area to stay in Santorini to experience local life
Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022

Where to stay in Santorini

Santorini (officially known as Thira) is part of the Cyclades group of islands in the Aegean Sea and is located approximately halfway between Athens and Crete. This crescent-shaped island has undergone several volcanic eruptions and is known for its beautiful views of the Caldera and volcano.

Santorini is home to a total of 15 cities and towns. The most popular ones, such as Oia, Fira, Imerovigli, and Firostefani, are located on the top of the cliff at the edge of the Caldera, towards the island’s west. 

Fira is the island’s capital, while Firostefani is the highest point on the caldera rim. The eastern part of the island has black sand beaches such as Kamari and Perissa. In the island’s interior, there are traditional villages such as Pyrgos and Megalochori, dotted with vineyards.

Due to such a vast topography in such a small island area, one can quickly get confused when looking for the best places to stay in Santorini. Here is a compilation of the best places to stay in Santorini with some ideas and tips to help you make the right choice.

Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022
Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022

Before we start, a little summary in case you are in a hurry:

  1. Oia. Family, Caldera Views, Photography.
  • Recommended hotel: Prime Suites
  • More hotels in Oía
  1. Fair. Nightlife, Shopping.
  • Recommended hotel: Theoxenia Boutique Hotel
  • More hotels in Fira
  1. Imerovigli. Honeymoon, Restaurants.
  • Recommended Hotel: San Antonio – Small Luxury Hotels of the World
  • More hotels in Imerovigli
  1. Firostefani. Economic, sunrises.
  • Recommended hotel: Ira Hotel & Spa
  • More hotels in Firostefani
  1. Kamari Beach. Family, Restaurants.
  • Recommended hotel: Hotel Makris Beach
  • More hotels in Kamari
  1. Perissa beach. Family, Nightlife.
  • Recommended Hotel: Meltemi Village Hotel
  • More hotels in Perissa
  1. Pyrgos. Local sentiment, Isolation.
  • Recommended hotel: Almunia Incognito Suites – Adults Only
  • More hotels in Pyrgos
  1. Akrotiri. Economic, Caldera Views.
  • Recommended hotel: Kalestesia Suites
  • More hotels in Akrotíri
  1. Megalochory. Local atmosphere, History, Local food.
  • Recommended Hotel: Caldera’s Dolphin Suites
  • More hotels in Megalochori

Oia – The best place to stay in Santorini for first-timers

Located on the northwestern tip of the island, Oia is, without a doubt, the most famous town in Santorini. If you are looking for that postcard-perfect view with the blue domes and white houses, you must include Oia in your Santorini itinerary. Oia offers the best views of the Caldera, and here you can find many of Santorini’s most Instagrammable spots, plus some of the best places to watch the sunset in Santorini.

Oia is the second-largest city on the island, and, as it is very popular with visitors, it is also one of the most expensive parts of Santorini. However, if you want to have the best views and don’t mind paying the price, Oia is one of the best areas to stay in in Santorini.

If you’re staying in Oia, you can’t miss visiting Oia Castle to watch the sunset, head down to Ammoudi Bay to swim and explore the town’s charming churches. Adventurous souls can also hike from Oia to Fira and enjoy the glorious views.

Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022
Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022

Pros and cons of staying in Oia

pros

  • It offers stunning views of the Caldera and the sunset
  • You will have the opportunity to keep in cave-type hotels

Cons

  • Restaurants and accommodation are pretty expensive
  • No nightlife as everything closes early

Where to stay in Oía

Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022

Luxury | Kima Oia Suites

Swimming in the outdoor pool and enjoying the views of the volcano is another day at Kima Oia Suites in Oia. All suites have a private balcony and free WiFi.

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mid-range | Prime Suites

Prime Suites offers a collection of individually decorated suites and studios on top of the cliff in the village of Oia. Guests enjoy stunning ocean views from private or shared terraces or balconies, some with whirlpool tubs.

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Economic | Laokasti Villas

Oia’s Laokasti Villas is a traditional-style complex of 17 spacious and comfortable studios, apartments, and hotel villas. The complex includes well-designed hotel facilities and offers excellent services.

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Fira – The best place to stay in Santorini for its vibrant nightlife

Located in front of the volcano, on the western cliff of the island, Fira is the capital of Santorini and also the largest city on the island. If you prefer to stay in a lively area with plenty to do, such as shopping, countless eating and drinking options, and nightlife, Fira is possibly the best area to stay in Santorini.

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Fira is also the transport hub, so you can jump on the local buses that take you almost anywhere on the island. Stroll through the narrow winding alleys and stairways, descend the 587 steps from Fira to the Old Port, admire stunning views of the Caldera, and visit the village of Kontochori, which is home to the local folk museum. Oh, and don’t forget to watch the sunset from one of Caldera’s many excellent bars or restaurants.

Pros and cons of staying in Fira

pros

  • The area is known for its vibrant nightlife and shopping
  • Easy access to all other places on the island via the central bus station

Cons

  • The city is bustling and crowded

Where to stay in Fira

Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022
Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022

Luxury | Volcano View by Caldera Collection

Perched majestically on the cliffs, Volcano View features a Caldera-view restaurant and 3 pools with views of the volcano, sea, and Santorini’s famous sunset. All rooms have a private balcony or terrace with views of the sea and the volcano.

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mid-range | Theoxenia Boutique Hotel

Theoxenia enjoys a central location in Fira, on the famous cliffs. Theoxenia offers free WiFi access throughout the property with views of the volcano or the city. All air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a minibar and satellite TV.

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Economic | Galatia Villas

Situated in a quiet location, just a 10-minute walk from the center of Fira, the Greek-style Galatia Villas offers a cozy lounge and spacious, air-conditioned rooms. The well-furnished rooms and studios have a balcony or patio access.

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Imerovigli – The best town to stay in Santorini for its luxury

Imerovigli is a pretty little town, situated just 3.5 km (2 miles) from Fira, on a higher cliff. It continues Fira and has one of the best “balconies” on the island.

Imerovigli is the quietest of all the caldera towns on the island, making it one of the best areas to stay in Santorini for honeymooners. As the city is situated on a high cliff, views of the sunset are not hindered by neighboring areas. You can also climb the Rock of Skaros for panoramic views if you’re feeling adventurous.

Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022

Pros and cons of staying in Imerovigli

pros

  • Beautiful, quiet, and relaxing area
  • Various accommodation options with infinity pools

Cons

  • The fewer number of shops, bars, and restaurants in this area
  • The most expensive area of ​​the island

Where to stay in Imerovigli

Luxury | Cocoon Suites

Offering panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the volcano, Cocoon Suites provides accommodation with hot tubs or plunge pools located in Imerovigli. Guests can enjoy the hotel bar and in-room candlelight dinners with organic meals made from local produce.

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mid-range | San Antonio – Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Enjoying a secluded location, on the outskirts of Imerovigli, with stunning sea views, San Antonio boasts a Spa and infinity pool amidst exotic gardens. There is free WiFi in all areas. The suites at the San Antonio hotel have a romantic decorations and enjoy views of the Caldera from their veranda.

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Economic | white house

Casa Bianca is a small boutique-style property offering stylish accommodation in the center of Imerovigli village. Continental breakfast is included in the price and can be served each morning on your private balcony or veranda.

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Firostefani – The best place to stay in Santorini for budget travelers

Firostefani is a small town located 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 views of the Caldera on a budget.

Firostefani offers excellent views of the Caldera, has some great restaurants and bars, and is quieter than the neighboring town of Fira. The city is located at the highest point of the capital (Fira) and is also known as the “Crown of Fira.” You can visit the female monastery of Agios Nikolaos and a couple of museums in this area while staying here.

Pros and cons of staying at Firostefani

pros

  • Ideal for travelers looking for a quiet place to stay with views of the Caldera
  • There are cheap accommodations for budget travelers

Cons

  • You will have to climb too many stairs every time you want to leave the hotel

Where to stay in Firostefani

Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022
Where to stay in Santorini: Best Towns & Hotels 2022

Luxury | Dana Villas & Infinity Suites

Located in a quiet area outside the center of Fira, Villas Dana offer views of 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.

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mid-range | Ira Hotel & Spa

Situated on the slopes of Santorini’s Caldera, Hotel Ira is found in the village of Firostefani, a short drive from Fira, the island’s capital. It has a spa center, a restaurant, and a swimming pool with a pool bar with magnificent sea views.

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Economic | Hotel Afrodete

The Cycladic-style Hotel Afrodite is situated on Firostefani, a small hill in Santorini’s capital, Fira. It features a hot tub and views of the Aegean Sea and Anafi Island. The Afrodete’s bright, uniquely decorated rooms are air-conditioned. Each one has its bathroom, fridge, and TV.

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Kamari – The best area to stay in Santorini for beach lovers

Kamari is located in the extreme southeast of Santorini. It is known for its beautiful black sand beaches and pedestrian walkway facing the sea. A beach is an excellent place for swimming and snorkeling. On the shore of Kamari Beach, there are many trendy restaurants, taverns, cafes, and bars.

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This beach town is a 15-minute bus ride from Fira, so day trips to the caldera towns can quickly be taken while staying in Kamari. It is one of the best areas to stay in Santorini for tourists traveling with children and family.

Advantages and disadvantages of staying in Kamari

pros

  • Cheaper than the caldera cities
  • Ideal for the elderly who cannot climb the stairs in western areas

Cons

  • The area is lively only during the summer months; most shops and restaurants are closed during the winter

Where to stay in Kamari

Luxury | Tamarix Del Mar Suites

Tamarix Del Mar is a charming and friendly hotel, just a short walk from the beautiful black sand beach of Kamari. Facilities include one indoor and one outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi, a gym, and a restaurant.

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mid-range | Makris Beach Hotel

Overlooking Kamari’s black pebble beach, this charming apartment hotel offers rooms with sea or garden views. With arched ceilings and whitewashed walls, the cozy apartments include a sofa and dining table seating area.

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Economic | Horizon Resort

A 10-minute walk from the beach and central Kamari, Horizon features an outdoor pool surrounded by tropical gardens and free WiFi. All rooms have private balconies to enjoy the mountains, the sea, or the pool garden.

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Press – The best place to stay in Santorini for a family vacation

Perissa is located south of Kamari, and the city has a beautiful black sand beach that is well organized with sun loungers and umbrellas. Perivolos, an extension of Perissa beach, is shaping up to be the most luxurious beach area in Santorini. At Perissa Beach, there are many water activities for children, and this area also has a vibrant nightlife.

The Perissa and Perivolos area are undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Santorini for beach bars and restaurants. The site also attracts tourists of all kinds of budgets. You can also visit the largest church in Santorini, the Church of the Holy Cross, and climb the Mesa Vouno mountain to explore the ancient city of Thera.

Pros and cons of staying in Perissa

pros

  • It is located near the airport
  • It offers stunning sunrise views

Cons

  • You will be on the other side of the Caldera and have the best views if you choose to stay here

Where to stay in Perissa

Luxury | Anastasia Princess Luxury Residence & Suites

In Perissa, Santorini, the adults-only Cycladic-style Anastasia Princess Hotel & Suites, offers a private pool. The black sand beach of Perissa is just a minute’s walk away.

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mid-range | Meltemi Village Hotel

The Meltemi Village Hotel is conveniently located just 350 meters from the black sand beach of Perissa, right in the center of the main activities in the area. Newly built suites with a refreshing outdoor hot tub are designed for privacy and comfort.

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Economic | Roula Villa Studios & Apartments

Roula Villa, located just a short walk from Perissa Beach, offers a large outdoor pool with a Jacuzzi and weekly Greek theme nights. Each of its comfortable rooms has a private bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen.

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Pyrgos – The best town to stay in Santorini for its Isolation and tranquility

Pyrgos, also known as Pyrgos Kallistos, is an ancient fortified town located 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 as far as Oia.

On the top of the hill, there are remains of the ruins of the Kasteli castle and beautiful churches, around which there is a commemorative plaque for those killed in World War II. Pyrgos is one of the only towns in Santorini that has not been touched by tourism, making it the best area to stay in Santorini for tourists looking for a bit of seclusion and tranquility.

There are a few wineries and good bars and restaurants where you can spend time admiring the views in the area. You can easily reach Fira from Pyrgos in 10 minutes by car, and you can also reach Oia in about 30 minutes.

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Pros and cons of staying in Pyrgos

pros

  • In this area are attractive winding alleys, neoclassical mansions, and sun-drenched vineyards
  • You can get incredible panoramic views of the island

Cons

  • There is no nightlife in this area
  • It is less touristy

Where to stay in Pyrgos

Luxury | Skyfall Suites – Adults Only

Located in the picturesque village of Pyrgos Kallistis, Skyfall Suites offers Cycladic-style accommodation with private pools or outdoor hot tubs. It also includes an à la carte restaurant that prepares light meals and is 6 km from Santorini Airport.

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mid-range | Almunia Incognito Suites – Adults Only

Situated on the outskirts of Pyrgos, Almunia Incognito Suites – Adults Only offers accommodation just 500m from the town center. All suites have a private pool. Staff can arrange airport transfers. There is free WiFi throughout the property.

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Economic | Impressive One

Offering an outdoor pool and sun terrace, Impressive One is located 1 km from Pyrgos town center in Santorini. It offers elegantly decorated accommodation with free WiFi and a balcony or patio. Free private parking on site.

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Akrotiri – The best place to stay in Santorini for an unusual experience

Located right on the southern tip of the island, Akrotiri is one of the best places to stay in Santorini, where you can enjoy views of the Caldera without burning 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, such as Red Beach, White Beach, and Caldera beach. You can get a unique view of the sunset from the Akrotiri lighthouse.

The village has several taverns and family restaurants. As most tourists only visit the ruins of Akrotiri, the rest of the town is very isolated, making it the best area to stay in Santorini for honeymooners looking for complete privacy.

Pros and cons of staying in Akrotiri

pros

  • The charming village gives a local Greek island feel
  • Nearby beaches are quiet, secluded, and beautiful

Cons

  • It’s far from beaches and popular towns like Oia and Fira

Where to stay in Akrotíri

Luxury | Neptune Luxury Suites

With unobstructed views of the Caldera, the volcano, and the Aegean Sea, the 5-star Neptune Luxury Suites consist of elegant suites with swimming pools or plunge pools. It is only a 10-minute walk to the excavations of ancient Akrotiri.

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mid-range | Kalestesia Suites

Uniquely located on top of the Akrotiri hill, the Kalestesia Suites overlook the volcano, the Caldera, and Santorini. It has a bar, restaurant, and a swimming pool with sun loungers and parasols for adults and children.

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Economic | Romantic Caldera

Located in the village of Akrotiri, Caldera Romantica offers a restaurant with views of the Caldera and a swimming pool with a large sun terrace. It offers air-conditioned rooms with a balcony, as well as free WiFi. The famous Kokkini Paralia Beach is 2 km away. 

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Megalochori – The best area to stay in Santorini to experience local life

Megalochori is a further inland village and offers the most authentic insight into local life in Santorini. It is one of the best areas to stay in Santorini if ​​you have had enough of the views of the Caldera to the west and the beaches to the east and want to spend some quiet time in the vineyards.

Several vineyards and wineries around Megalochori offer wine tasting tours. The village is one of the oldest in Santorini and home to many old white Cycladic churches. The locals have restored the traditional buildings to their original state in this tiny village, making it one of the best places to stay in Santorini for photography.

Megalochori can be reached via a steep road with incredible views of the Caldera and the churches of Agios Nikolaos and Our Lady of Plaka perched on the cliff.

Pros and cons of staying in Megalochori

pros

  • You can get a taste of authentic Greek life while staying at Megalochori
  • Several vineyards offer wine tasting tours

Cons

  • There is no nightlife and very few restaurants

Where to stay in Megalochori

Luxury | Hotel Suites of the Gods Cave Spa

With stunning views of the Caldera, volcano, and Santorini, this luxurious boutique hotel offers exclusive spa facilities with complimentary a la carte breakfast, free internet access, and free parking.

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mid-range | Caldera’s Dolphin Suites

Located in the village of Megalochori, Caldera’s Dolphin features a heated outdoor pool with sun loungers and a swim-up bar. With free WiFi, the spacious accommodation has views of the Caldera and the Aegean Sea from its balcony.

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Economic | Hotel Star Santorini

Hotel Star is located just 50 meters from the Caldera, in the traditional settlement of Megalochori, in Santorini. Leisure options include 2 outdoor swimming pools, a poolside snack bar, and a hot tub. Perissa beach is about 3 km away.

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I hope you have found this guide on the best areas to stay in Santorini applicable. Book your accommodation and enjoy a wonderful stay.

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