Where to Stay in Santorini 🇬🇷 – Best Places to Stay + Hotels

With its iconic white-washed buildings, blue domed churches, and breathtaking sunsets, Santorini is one of Greece’s most beautiful and romantic islands. As such, it’s a hugely popular destination and accommodation can book up fast, especially in the busy summer months.

Choosing where to stay in Santorini depends on your budget and the type of experience you’re looking for. The island offers a wide range of options, from luxurious cliffside cave suites with private pools to more affordable hotels and Airbnbs tucked away in traditional villages.

In this article, we’ll outline the main neighborhoods and towns in Santorini, highlighting the pros and cons of each area. We’ll offer recommendations on the best places to stay in Santorini for different types of travelers and budgets—from honeymooners looking for romance to families traveling with kids.

5 Best Areas to Stay in Santorini: Quick Overview

👀 Best for the first time Fira
🌹 Best for honeymoon Oia
🗻 Best Caldera views Imerovigli
🍸 Best nightlife and beaches Perissa
💸 Where to Stay on a budget Pyrgos

Best Hotels in Santorini

Best Places to Stay in Santorini on the Map

1. Fira – Where to Stay in Santorini for the First Time

🌅 Stunning views: Charming neighborhood of Fira provides stunning views of the island’s famous sunsets and the Aegean Sea. As the capital and largest town on Santorini, Fira makes an ideal home base for exploring the island’s main attractions.

🏖️ Close beaches: The town is located just a 10 minute drive from the island’s popular black sand beaches. Visitors can also take advantage of Fira’s proximity to archaeological sites like Ancient Thira, situated on the southern tip of the island.

🏠 Whitewashed buildings: Within Fira itself, whitewashed buildings trimmed in Santorini’s signature blue domes cascade down the cliffside, providing endless photo opportunities. The town’s streets reveal classic Cycladic architecture and an array of local art galleries, jewelry boutiques, and souvenir shops. For dining, Fira offers excellent tavernas serving fresh Greek fare along with upscale restaurants specializing in Mediterranean fusion cuisine.

🎨 Cultural attractions: When strolling through town, pop into the various art galleries and museums showcasing Cycladic culture and artifacts. The Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral is also worth a visit to marvel at the blue and white interior and panoramic sea views. At night, enjoy Fira’s lively nightlife scene along 25 Martiou.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable streets: Getting around Fira is easy on foot, but be prepared for the many stairs and steep walkways interconnecting the town. You can also utilize the cable car down to the old port below. Drivers should prepare for narrow, congested streets with limited parking.

The town strikes an balance between peaceful Cycladic charm and cosmopolitan energy. Overall, Fira’s stunning mix of scenery, history, cuisine, and energy makes it the perfect base for experiencing the very best Santorini has to offer.

All hotels in Fira →

Where to stay in Fira?

Expensive hotels:

  • Katikies Garden Santorini – an elegant hotel with chic rooms, private pools and spectacular views of the Caldera.
  • Nefeles Luxury Suites – luxury suites with panoramic views of the volcano, high-end service and private surroundings.
  • Orama Hotel & Spa – a fashionable hotel with exquisite design, excellent cuisine and a luxurious spa.

Medium price range:

  • Aria Lito Mansion – an elegant boutique hotel in traditional Cycladic style with comfortable rooms and warm hospitality.
  • Anatoli Hotel & Spa – a cosy hotel in a picturesque location with excellent service, good cuisine and a pleasant spa.
  • Hotel Mylos – a charming hotel with an authentic atmosphere and a warm welcome.

Inexpensive hotels:

  • Golden Star – a simple and inexpensive hotel with clean rooms, good location and friendly staff.
  • Wisteria Apartments – comfortable apartments at a reasonable price with kitchen and terraces, ideal for families.
  • Villa Koronios – a guest house with a homely atmosphere, modest rooms and warm Greek hospitality.

2. Oia – Best Area in Santorini for Honeymoon

🌄 Breathtaking village: Considered one of the most beautiful destinations in Greece, Oia enchants visitors with its charming cobblestone streets, Instagram-worthy views, and luxurious cave hotels carved into the volcanic rock.

📸 Picture perfect: The heart of the village is located along the cliff’s edge, with a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets lined with shops, art galleries, restaurants and hotels. Meandering through the alleys reveals breathtaking vistas around every corner. Make sure to stop at the magnificent red-domed Oia Cathedral for sunset, when the light paints the caldera in sensational colors.

🏖️ Seaside adventures: Several scenic footpaths lead from Oia to the volcanic black and red beaches below. Follow the 300 steps down to Armeni Bay for a refreshing swim or hike further to Ammoudi Bay, home to waterfront tavernas with fresh seafood. From Ammoudi, you can also take a boat tour of the caldera to see the island from the water.

🚌 Well-connected: Oia is located just 11 km north of Fira, the island’s capital. Frequent local buses run between them, making it easy to visit both towns. The main road connecting Oia and Fira is lined with more excellent viewpoints like the one at Castle of Agios Nikolaos.

Though it can get crowded during peak times, Oia’s magnificence makes it a must-see for any visit to Santorini. Just be sure to bring your camera!

All hotels in Oia →

Where to stay in Oia?

Expensive Hotels:

  • Canaves Oia Suites & Spa – a luxury hotel with panoramic views of the caldera, infinity pool and spa.
  • Art Maisons Oia Castle – exquisite apartments in traditional Cypriot style with views of the Aegean Sea.
  • Abyss – a minimalist boutique hotel with designer interiors and a heated pool.

Medium price range:

  • Myst Boutique Hotel – a cosy traditional-style boutique hotel with views of the caldera and a high level of service.
  • North Wind Luxury Suites – spacious modern-style suites with panoramic terraces and Jacuzzi.
  • Horizon Aeifos Suites – elegant rooms with swimming pool, terraces and spectacular views of the volcano.

3. Imerovigli – Where to Stay in Santorini for the Best Caldera Views

🏞 Great views: Nestled on the highest point of the caldera in Santorini, Imerovigli is a charming village known for its breathtaking views. Located between the bustling towns of Fira and Oia, Imerovigli provides easy access to the island’s main attractions while retaining a quiet, relaxed vibe.

🚶‍♂️ Wander & explore: In Imerovigli itself, cobblestone walkways invite exploration by foot. Meander through the village to take in the iconic Cycladic architecture and stunning vistas of the volcanic island. Make sure to stop at the most photographed church in Santorini, Anastasi Church, with its bright blue dome set against the Caldera cliffs.

🏨 Cave hotels & dining: While smaller than Fira and Oia, Imerovigli has a good selection of luxury cave hotels, cliffside pools, and fine dining with spectacular views. Relax at a balcony restaurant like La Maison, sipping Greek wine as you watch the sunset over the Aegean Sea. Or sample fresh seafood and modern Mediterranean cuisine at high-end restaurants like Blue Dolphins.

🛍 Shops & treats: When you want a break from the sun, there are wonderful shops selling art, jewelry, and crafts as well as peaceful, Greek patisseries to stop for coffee or sweet treats.

🚍 Well-connected: Public transportation like buses and taxis can conveniently take you from Imerovigli to popular spots like the island’s famous black sand beaches, the Santorini caldera, and the archaeological sites of ancient Akrotiri. The village is also within walking distance to Fira, the capital of Santorini.

With its incredible views, and proximity to Santorini’s top sights, Imerovigli is a delightful area for experiencing the beauty and culture of this iconic Aegean island.

All hotels in Imerovigli →

Where to stay in Imerovigli?

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price range:

  • Amber Light Villas – a complex of elegant villas and apartments with private pools and spectacular views of the caldera.
  • Abelonas Retreat – a traditional Cycladic-style boutique hotel with volcano views, private pools and personalised service.
  • Kasimatis by La Perla – a sleek Mediterranean-style hotel with infinity pool and panoramic views.

Inexpensive hotels:

  • Luna Rossa – family-style guest house with spacious rooms, garden and shared kitchen at an affordable price.
  • Erato Apartments – small budget apartments with kitchens and balconies in a quiet neighbourhood.
  • Nefeli Homes – homely hotels with a friendly atmosphere and simple rooms at a reasonable price.

4. Perissa – Where to Stay in Santorini for Nightlife & Beaches

🌊 Beach destination: Located on the southeastern coast of Santorini, Perissa is one of the island’s most popular beach destinations. With its long stretch of black sand beach and lively beach bars, Perissa offers a more relaxed alternative to the busier towns of Fira and Oia.

Perissa
Perissa
Perissa
Perissa
Perissa
Perissa

🏖️ Sunny shoreline: The star attraction of Perissa is its picturesque black sand beach, created by the island’s volcanic origins. The beach is well organized with sun beds and umbrellas available for rent. The sparkling waters are perfect for swimming and water sports. Beachgoers can enjoy the dramatic backdrop of the Mesa Vouno mountain rising behind the shoreline.

🍹 Lively bars: Dotting the beachfront are lively beach bars like Del Mar and Mamakarou playing music and serving cocktails late into the night. Family-friendly restaurants along the boardwalk serve fresh Greek cuisine with a sea view.

🛍️ Beach shops: A short walk inland leads to stores selling beach essentials, souvenirs and Greek products. Archaeology buffs can also visit the ancient site of Thera, just a 10 minute walk from Perissa’s beach.

✈️ Very convenient: Perissa is conveniently located about a 25 minute drive from Santorini Airport, making it easy to reach upon arrival. The town is also served by regular local buses that connect to other parts of the island. Within Perissa itself, the beachfront is pedestrianized with all the restaurants, bars, shops and hotels clustered along the coastal road, making it very walkable.

With its laidback vibe and long sandy beach overlooking volcanic scenery, Perissa offers the ideal sunny Greek island experience.

All hotels in Perissa →

Where to stay in Perissa?

Luxury Hotels:

Medium price range:

Budget hotels:

  • Youth hostel Anna – simple and inexpensive hostel with a friendly atmosphere, great for young people.
  • SUN -RISE – a guest house with basic facilities at an affordable price.
  • Villa Markos – modest rooms at reasonable prices, a good option for budget travellers.

5. Akrotiri – Time to Visit Santorini Historic Centre

💡 Ancient find: The charming Akrotiri neighborhood is located on the southwestern tip of Santorini, known for its ancient ruins. Despite its small size, Akrotiri packs quite a punch when it comes to sightseeing opportunities.

🏛️ Buried city: One of the main highlights is the archaeological site of Ancient Akrotiri, just a short walk from the village center. This Bronze Age settlement was buried under volcanic ash from the massive eruption around 1600 BC that collapsed the center of Santorini. Excavations have uncovered beautifully preserved frescoes, houses, squares and streets that provide a unique window into that civilization. History buffs could spend hours wandering the site.

🌅 Stunning sunsets: After exploring the ruins, head to the south side of Akrotiri to find the most spectacular sunset views on the island from the coastal cliffs. The vibrant colors as the sun dips below the caldera are simply magical. This is a prime spot for photos or just taking in the breathtaking panorama.

🏠 Cycladic charm: The town itself has an authentic Cycladic charm, with whitewashed buildings and blue-domed churches dotted along meandering cobblestone streets. Quaint shops sell local handicrafts, art galleries exhibit paintings inspired by the island’s beauty, and inviting tavernas serve fresh seafood on breezy

With its ancient sites, dramatic views and relaxed pace of life, Akrotiri is the perfect base for experiencing the natural wonder and history of stunning Santorini.

All hotels in Akrotiri →

Where to stay in Akrotiri?

Luxury hotels:

  • Ambassador Aegean Luxury Hotel & Suites – a premium luxury hotel with exquisite design, panoramic views of the caldera and first-class service.
  • Astarte Suites – elegant contemporary style suites with views of the volcano, private pool and high level of comfort.
  • Melidonia Suites – chic rooms with private pools and breathtaking panoramas of the Aegean Sea.

Medium price range:

Inexpensive hotels:

  • Rodakas Hotel – small cosy hotel with warm Greek hospitality, modest rooms and reasonable prices.
  • Paradise Resort – a simple resort with a swimming pool, ideal for inexpensive family holidays.
  • Caldera Romantica Hotel – romantic budget hotel with spectacular views of the caldera, modest facilities.

6. Megalochori – Where to Stay in Santorini for Families

🪔 Explore local lifestyle: Nestled in the heart of Santorini lies the charming village of Megalochori, a picturesque neighborhood perfect for tourists looking to experience authentic Greek island life.

⌚ Great location: Megalochori is conveniently situated just a 10-15 minute drive from Santorini’s capital Fira, making it easily accessible for those staying in other parts of the island. Several public buses run daily between Fira and Megalochori, dropping visitors off right in the heart of the village. Those with rental cars or ATVs will appreciate Megalochori’s proximity to popular destinations like Akrotiri, the Red Beach, and ancient Thira.

👀 There’s a lot to see: Wandering the whitewashed stone streets flanked by bright pink bougainvillea, visitors will discover a labyrinth of cute churches, traditional tavernas, and locally-owned shops. For fantastic panoramic views, follow the footpath up to the old windmill perched atop the hill. Make sure to pop into one of the family-run wineries to taste the famous, full-bodied assyrtiko wine.

⌛ Slow-paced: The pace of life in Megalochori moves slower than in busier parts of the island. Spending time here allows visitors to experience authentic island culture and engage with the warm, friendly locals. Don’t miss the charming central square, where you can sit at an outdoor cafe and watch life unfold against the stunning caldera backdrop.

Though it flies under the radar, Megalochori’s beauty and tranquility make it a perfect base for those looking to experience Santorini like a local.

All hotels in Megalochori →

Where to stay in Megalochori?

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price range:

7. Pyrgos – Where to Stay on a Budget

🧘🏻‍♂️ Away from the crowds: Village of Pyrgos provides a delightful escape from the bustling crowds of the island’s main towns. Despite its small size, Pyrgos packs plenty of character and heritage as one of the oldest Medieval settlements on Santorini.

⛪️ Sacred sites: Meandering through the pedestrian-friendly alleys reveals gorgeous churches like the hilltop Prophet Elias Monastery and the blue-domed Church of Christ. After visiting Pyrgos’ landmarks, take a break at one of the cafés on the main square to sample local wines and watch the sunset over the caldera.

🍷 Local wines: Meandering through the village you’ll happen upon Brusco, a welcoming local wine bar offering tastings of indigenous Greek varietals like Assyrtiko and Vinsanto.

🍅 Tomato haven: In addition to its views, Pyrgos is known for its mouthwatering tomatoes thanks to the ideal growing conditions. Be sure to try the sun-kissed, vine-ripened tomatoes that are considered some of the tastiest in the Cyclades. Near the end of summer, the annual Tomato Festival offers visitors the chance to taste juicy tomato delicacies while enjoying lively music and entertainment. For a unique memento, pick up a bottle of tomato paste from the cooperative, or explore the intriguing Tomato Industrial Museum to learn about the island’s tomato history.

The hilltop location of this neighborhood provides easy access to major tourist sites while maintaining its own unique character.

All hotels in Pyrgos →

Where to stay in Pyrgos?

Medium price range:

  • Voreina Gallery Suites – stylish apartments with modern interior design and impressive views of the volcano, located in a quiet area of Pyrgos.
  • Aegean Blue Suites – a cosy Mediterranean-style hotel with panoramic views of the Caldera, offering rooms with kitchenette and Wi-Fi.
  • Nova Luxury Suites – excellent apartments with exquisite design and views of the volcano, equipped with a swimming pool and terrace.

Inexpensive hotels:

Fira or Oia: Which Part of Santorini is The Best

Choosing between Fira and Oia can be tough, since both are stunning parts of Santorini with their own unique charm.

The advantages of Fira include:

  • Convenient location
  • Lively atmosphere
  • More budget friendly
  • Wider variety of shopping
  • Dramatic caldera views

Reasons some prefer Oia include:

  • Breathtaking scenery
  • Romantic atmosphere
  • Luxury accommodations
  • Good dining options
  • Fewer crowds

So in summary, Fira offers convenience and liveliness while Oia is more of a relaxing, romantic escape with extraordinary scenery. It depends on the experience you’re looking for while visiting Santorini.

What is the best time to visit Santorini?

The best time to visit Santorini depends on what you want to experience and what’s most important to you.

⛅ For great weather, late spring and early fall are ideal. Temperatures are pleasantly warm, in the low to mid 20s Celsius, with sunny skies and cooler breezes. The summer crowds haven’t arrived yet in spring or have started to leave in fall. However, the water will be too cold for swimming before June or after September.

🌆 To enjoy the famous Santorini sunsets, anytime from April to September is good. The days are long enough that you can still see the sunset after dinner. Late summer is peak season for sunsets, but also the most crowded and expensive time to visit.

🧘🏻‍♀️ If you want to avoid the biggest crowds and expense, late April, May, September, and October are your best options. The weather is still beautiful, most attractions are open, but hotels and flights won’t be booked solid.

No matter when you go, booking accommodations and activities well in advance is wise. The island is small and gets very busy in peak season.

Other Questions about Trip to Santorini

Where to avoid staying in Santorini?

I’d avoid staying in Kamari or Perissa if you want a more authentic Santorini experience. While nice beaches, they are overrun with tourists and lack the island’s iconic scenery.

What are the safest areas in Santorini?

The safest and most scenic areas are in Fira, Imerovigli, and Oia. Stay somewhere with a caldera or volcano view for jaw-dropping sunsets! Firostefani and Megalochori are charming too.

Where do celebs stay in Santorini?

Celebrities often rent luxury private villas in Firostefani or Oia for privacy. But some hotels like Katikies Hotel attract celebrity sightings due to luxurious cliffside suites overlooking the caldera.

Where to stay in Santorini first time?

For first-timers, I suggest staying in Fira it’s the island’s lively capital with nightlife, restaurants and easy bus access to attractions. Imerovigli is also great for breathtaking views within walking distance of Fira.

How to stay in Santorini for cheap?

To save money, stay in Fira rooms further from the caldera or smaller hotels in Imerovigli. Avoid Oia as it’s pricier. Also travel outside peak summer season for lower rates.