Santorini (officially called Thira) is part of Greece and it’s an island located 200 km from the mainland, in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, full of beautiful cliffs and wonderful white houses with blue roofs. Santorini is one of the most visited spots in the entire Greece! It’s a picture-perfect holiday destination that offers something for all types of travelers out there, from an amazing gastronomy to unforgettable sunsets and views of the sea, superb beaches, nightlife and everything in-between.
Now that you decided to take a trip to this amazing destination, the next thing you’ll have to figure out is where to stay in Santorini. Well, this decision isn’t an easy one, as you’ll have to prioritize your interests: do you want to stay on the beach or do you want to stay in one of the towns on the cliff, along the caldera? Depending on your answer, there are different areas and places where you can stay and I’ll help you by making this decision easier!
Are you ready? Let’s go!
- If you’re in a hurry…
- 1. Along the Santorini caldera
- 2. At the beach
- Best apartments in Santorini, Greece
If you’re in a hurry…
The best area to stay in Santorini for first-time travelers is Oia. This is a charming village on the cliff, with gorgeous views of the caldera and the volcano, full of amazing restaurants and the place where you’ll see some of the most beautiful sunsets during your ultimate vacation!
If you’d prefer staying on the beach instead, then I recommend Kamari.
For those of you in a hurry, I have selected the best Santorini hotels out there, both on the beach and on the cliff, with caldera views:
Which area should you choose?
First of all, here is a map of Santorini with all the areas I’m recommending in this post, so you can clearly visualize them:
Now, as I mentioned above, the first and foremost decision you’ll have to make is if you want to stay in one of the villages on the cliff or if you want to be on the beach. The hotels located on the cliff offer beautiful views of the caldera (a large cauldron-like hollow created after a volcano erupts).
The beautiful beaches of Santorini are all located on the Eastern coast, while the villages are located on the Western part, on the caldera cliff and they have amazing views of the volcano. Here are a couple of things that will make your decision easier:
- Villages (Fira, Oia, Imerovigli and Firostefani) – better restaurants, better nightlife, superb views, many luxurious hotels and hotels that have an infinity pool
- Beaches (Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos) – more affordable, a chill atmosphere similar to the traditional Greek islands
My recommendation is to pick one of the towns along the caldera if you’re dreaming of a typical Santorini vacation, as this is the asset that makes this destination so special and this is most probably the place you’ll be seeing in all the famous postcard-like pictures on the internet. But I must add that the decision you’ll be making isn’t extremely crucial, as you can get from the villages to the beach in less than half an hour, especially if you have rented a car for your stay, as Santorini is not a big island. Of course, you can also get there by bus or taxi.
In order to make your decision even easier, I have created a list of personalized recommendations which you can find below, depending on your itinerary and travel preferences:
- Best areas to stay in Santorini for luxury: Oia
- Where to stay in Santorini for budget travelers: Perissa
- Where to stay in Santorini for families: any of the beach options (Kamari, Perissa or Perivolos)
- Where to stay in Santorini for nightlife: Fira
- Where to stay in Santorini for the best sunset view: Oia or Imerovigli
- Where to stay in Santorini for a honeymoon: Imerovigli
I think that things are definitely clearer for you now, so after you’ve made your choice, scroll down to find my accommodation recommendations for Santorini below, all grouped by budget:
1. Along the Santorini caldera
There are 4 main Santorini towns on the cliff along the caldera, all of them with a unique vibe, advantages and disadvantages. Below I will talk about each of them in detail and I’ll give you my hotel recommendations, all grouped by budget for your convenience!
NOTE: A caldera is a large cauldron-like hollow created after a volcano erupts.
1.1. Oia – Where to stay in Santorini for the first time
Although any of the 4 towns located along the caldera are equally excellent choices for first-time visitors to Santorini, I definitely recommend Oia as being THE best one out there, as it’s the most beautiful one (at least in my opinion) and it has the widest choice of accommodations!
Oia is located in the North-Western part of the island and it’s a great choice if you want to have gorgeous views of the sunset, countless activities to do during the day and a bit more peace and quiet during the evening and night. There is only one bar in the town, but you’ll have tons of options for restaurants and shops.
Oia is a two-kilometers long town where you’ll find plenty of accommodation options for all budgets out there, from luxury villas with infinity pools to charming, budget apartments. Scroll down to find the best ones I have selected for your stay:
Luxury (US$180 and up)
- Andronis Luxury Suites – Are you looking for the ultimate luxurious stay in Santorini? If the answer is yes, then this is one of the best hotels out there for you. It offers a 5-star service, incredible views, an infinity pool and more. I would definitely recommend it for a spoiled stay!
- Charisma Suites – If you’re on the search for a superb villa that has its own private pool and the best view in Santorini, you just found it! This accommodation is simply awesome and it awaits with a pool bar, free Wi-Fi and many other cool perks!
Middle-priced (US$130 – US$180)
- Anchor Suites – Here’s another one on my list of best places to stay that offer a great value for the money you’ll be paying. This is actually a super cool 3-star apartment that has an outdoor pool, a bar and superb rooms with balconies.
- Santo Margarita – In case you didn’t find the ideal mid-range property for your stay yet, here’s another great choice! This awesome apartment in the city is simple but extremely comfy and it has a pool, free Wi-Fi and everything in-between.
Budget (up to US$130)
- Hotel Paradisos Oia – In case you’re looking for a pleasant budget stay in Santorini, I can definitely recommend this property! It has a cute garden, great views, a very good breakfast served each morning and all the rooms have either a balcony or a terrace.
- Vrachia Studios & Apartments – This cool beachfront apartment is another excellent choice for all travelers that are on a tight budget that still want to be in one of the best towns in Santorini. Just check out the pictures and facilities, you may love it!
1.2. Fira – Where to stay in Santorini for nightlife
Fira is the largest town and the capital of Santorini, located on the caldera cliff, which can only mean one thing: the views here are simply superb!
One of the best things about Fira is that it has countless options for great restaurants, cafes, clubs, shops, supermarkets and, of course, accommodations for all tastes and budgets. Another great thing about this town is that it’s very well connected to the rest of the island, so you can reach any other point or beach by bus in only one ride.
The only downside I can think of when talking about Fira is that it’s very vibrant and touristy, so if you’re looking for a secluded getaway, this might not be the best option for you. But if you like being in the middle of the action and dancing the night away, look no further than this beautiful town! Plus, if you choose to stay in Fira, you’ll also be pretty close to Kamari Beach (the closest beach to Fira) – only 20 minutes away if you take a bus.
If you feel like Fira is the right place for you, here are the best hotels I have selected for you there:
Luxury (US$160 and up)
- Aria Suites & Villas – In case you’re on the search for the best upscale hotel in Santorini, Fira, check out this one! This 4-star hotel has an amazing pool, luxurious suites and superb decor!
- Lilium Santorini Villa – Here’s another one on my list of excellent villas in Santorini, Fira! If an impeccable 5-star service is what you’re searching for, then you should definitely book a room here, as you’ll surely love the infinity pool and the unforgettable views over the Aegean Sea!
Middle-priced (US$100 – US$160)
- Platia – Do you want to stay in one of the best mid-range hotels in Fira? No worries, I think I found the best one for you! This amazing hotel awaits with free Wi-Fi, clean rooms, concierge service and more!
- Costa Marina Villas – Here’s another one of the best places to stay if convenience is what you’re looking for! This beautiful guest house is only 200m from the main square in Fira and 400m from the Archaeological Museum of Thera – so cool!
Budget (up to US$100)
- Bedspot Hostel – Are you on a very tight budget but still want to enjoy a great vacation in Fira, the capital of Santorini? Don’t you worry, just check out this amazing hostel! Some of the best advantages of staying here include access to a shared kitchen, a shared lounge, free Wi-Fi and more.
- Lefteris Traditional Rooms – For those of you looking for cheap hotels in Santorini, Fira, this one’s for you! This beautiful guest house offers panoramic views over the sea, free Wi-Fi and super nice air-conditioned rooms.
1.3. Imerovigli – Where to stay in Santorini for a honeymoon
Are you traveling to Santorini for your honeymoon? Then Imerovigli, also known as the “balcony to the Aegean”, is your choice!
If you’re looking for the most romantic, secluded and intimate town along the caldera, then I definitely recommend Imerovigli. This is also the place that offers THE best sunset views out there that overlook the Aegean Sea, so it’s definitely a great choice for a relaxed vacation!
Now, I must inform you that Imerovigli doesn’t have a lot of restaurant choices (but those that are there are pretty good, I must admit!) and there are no bars and no clubs there either. This means that it’s definitely a great place for a calm getaway! But the hotel choices here are amazing (especially if you’re looking for luxury) and they cater for all types of interests and budgets!
That being said, here are the best hotels I have hand-picked for the best stay:
Luxury (US$170 and up)
- Grace Hotel Santorini, Auberge Resorts Collection – In case you’re on the search for beautiful Santorini boutique hotels, then I can surely recommend this one! It’s a 5-star property that offers luxurious suites, postcard-worthy views on the balconies and everything in-between!
- San Antonio – Small Luxury Hotels of the World – This amazing 4-star hotel is definitely one of the best places to stay on the island of Santorini! The location is pretty secluded, so this accommodation is great for couples looking for some peace of mind as well!
Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)
- Athiri Santorini Family Friendly Hotel – For those of you looking for great mid-range hotels with sunset views and the advantage of seeing the Aegean Sea right from the window! The sun terrace is pretty great, as well as the free Wi-Fi and the white-washed rooms!
- Luna Rossa – This one’s a great place to stay if you don’t want to spend a ton of money but still enjoy some breathtaking views of the caldera and the rest of the island! It’s a very beautiful apartment that has a garden, free parking and an outdoor hot tub as well.
Budget (up to US$110)
- Merovigliosso – Here’s a great place for all those travelers that are on a tight budget but still want to watch the sunset in Santorini Imerovigli! The apartments here have a shared kitchen, a super nice decor and other nice facilities.
- Rhapsody Apartments – For those of you that didn’t find the best budget accommodation on the island for their stay yet, this one’s for you! By the way, staying here means you’ll be surrounded by vineyards and olive trees – so nice!
Firostefani is, probably, the most underrated caldera town in Santorini but an amazing choice for all types of travelers out there!
If you’d like to reach Fira, Firostefani is located very close to it (only 15 minutes away by foot) and it can be actually considered an “extension” of the capital – so it’s a great choice if you want to be close to the main hub of the island but avoid the hustle and bustle and the crowds of tourists.
Firostefani has amazing views as well (just like all the other 3 towns I am recommending above), some very good restaurant and cafe choices but, again, no clubs, pubs or bars. Again, I definitely recommend this area for all those travelers looking for a calm getaway.
The hotels in this town are located along the main street, which is also a great shopping spot where you’ll find anything you might need! If you feel like Firostefani is the place for you, scroll down to find my recommendations for accommodation in Santorini for this place. By the way, the hotels here are a bit cheaper than in Fira!
Luxury (US$160 and up)
- Aerino Villa – This is one of the best places to stay on the island if a complete luxury treatment is what you’re looking for! This upscale guest house has stunning views, beautiful rooms, an exceptional breakfast and more!
- Homeric Poems – Do you want to enjoy some great Aegean Sea during your stay? Then take a look at this place, it’s simply amazing! Plus, if you want to explore Fira as well, it’s only a 15-minute walk away by foot from this accommodation!
Middle-priced (US$100 – US$160)
- Reverie Santorini Hotel – This cool aparthotel has some very good reviews and it offers stunning views of the caldera as well. Some other advantages of staying here include free Wi-Fi, free parking and a kitchenette that you can use.
- Alonia Studios – If good mid-range hotels are what you’re looking for, then this amazing apartment is an excellent choice! The staff can also provide car rental services and they also have free public parking.
Budget (up to US$100)
- Afrodete Hotel – Here’s a stylish place for you in case you’re traveling to the island on a tight budget! It’s a super nice and clean hotel with simple and comfortable rooms, perfect for a pleasant night’s sleep!
- Argonaftes – In case you didn’t find the ideal budget place on the island for your stay, check out this one, I’m sure you’ll love it! This cool guesthouse has some unbeatable prices. Needless to add it has some pretty cool balcony views and the rooms are super spacious!
2. At the beach
Although this part of Santorini is not that popular among tourists as the towns on the cliff, the beaches on the Eastern coast are the perfect spots if you’re dreaming of a relaxed holiday during which you’ll be soaking in the sun all day long! The beaches here have beautiful dark grey volcanic sands and they’re full of cool beach clubs and cute tavernas.
Scroll down to find my top 3 beach recommendations in Santorini:
2.1. Kamari – Where to stay in Santorini with a family
Kamari is one of the most beautiful beaches in Santorini and it’s the perfect choice for families looking for a laid-back atmosphere!
There are tons of amazing restaurants, cafes, taverns and shops along Kamari Beach and one of the top things to do here is to take a stroll on the beach-front alley. The beach here is very beautiful and made of pebbles and black sand, and the water is simply amazing.
In terms of convenience, Kamari Beach is only 15 minutes away from Fira by bus (the capital and the hotspot of the island), so no worries about getting to explore both sides of Santorini! By the way, Kamari is also the place where Santorini Airport is located, so this is the place where you’ll land if you plan on going to the island by plane.
By the way, compared to the towns along the cliff, Kamari is more modern and it has plenty of contemporary buildings. If think this is the place for you, here are the best hotels in Kamari to choose from:
Luxury (US$170 and up)
- Santorini Kastelli Resort – This one’s definitely one of the best places to stay in Santorini Kamari! Staying here means you’ll be walking distance to the beach (2 minutes away) and that you’ll benefit from 2 swimming pools, a poolside bar restaurant, a spa and more.
- Joanna Villas – This family friendly accommodation offers one of the best experiences on the island! Some of the best things about staying here include a cute garden, private terrace, a paddling pool and many other cool perks!
Middle-priced (US$100 – US$170)
- Anassa Deluxe Suites – Here’s another cool family friendly accommodation, this one in the mid-range category. It offers a 4-star service, self-catered units, pool, gardens, private kitchenettes and more.
- Hippocampus Hotel – For those of you that want a mid-range accommodation on this side of the island, this one’s for you! This is definitely one of the best middle-priced hotels on the beach (50m away from it) and one of the best things about it is that it’s environmentally friendly.
Budget (up to US$100)
- Chez Sophie – Are you on a tight budget? Then this is surely the best place to stay in Kamari! Each room has a veranda from where you can see either the sea or the mountains; plus, the property offers free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool swimming area and more!
- Sea & Sun Villa – Here’s another great budget place on the island, located walking distance from the famous Black Beach. Some of the best things here are the free Wi-Fi and the great location, close to many restaurants, bars and shops.
2.2. Perissa – Where to stay in Santorini on a budget
Are you traveling to Santorini on a tight budget? Perissa is the right place for you, with plenty of affordable accommodations and superb beaches!
Perissa Beach is located further away from Fira, which can be a bit of a downside, but the sand (a gorgeous black sand) is much better. But no worries, you can always rent a car or even a scooter if you’re planning on exploring the other sides of Santorini!
In terms of accommodation, as I said, Perissa caters for all types of budgets out there and you can find everything your heart desires from upscale villas to hostels and guest houses. In terms of restaurants, you’ll have plenty of choices as well, from tavernas to upscale food places for all preferences. There is also a water park here, so it’s pretty great for families with children as well!
Most of the hotels here are located super close to the beach (and by super close I mean 5 minutes away) and below I have selected the best ones for you:
Luxury (US$140 and up)
- Anastasia Princess Luxury Residence & Suites – In case you’re on the search for a superb, luxurious place to stay, then I’m pretty sure this one’s for you! It has incredible reviews, a private swimming pool, spacious rooms, a very good breakfast and more!
- Antoperla Luxury Hotel & Spa – Here’s the best place to stay in case you didn’t find your dream hotel for a spoiled getaway! This 5-star hotel has some very cool facilities including a great location 100m away from the Black Beach, an outdoor pool and other modern amenities.
Middle-priced (US$60 – US$140)
- Stelios Place – This cool aparthotel is my recommendation for all those of you looking for a great mid-range place in Santorini. One bonus advantage here is that it’s pet-friendly – so nice! I’m sure you’ll enjoy your stay here!
- Margarenia Studios – Here’s another great aparthotel that has everything you might need for a pleasant stay, including an outdoor pool and free parking. Even if you stay in Perissa, Perivolos Beach is also super close in case you want to explore it as well!
Budget (up to US$60)
- Spiridoula Villa – If you’re traveling to Perissa on a very tight budget, no worries, as this is one of the best places to stay for you! It’s a super cute apartment that has different rooms that you can choose from, all of them with either a balcony or a terrace. Plus, the prices are simply unbeatable!
- Philoxenia Hotel & Studios – Here’s another super affordable family-run hotel (with a swimming pool!) located very close to the beach in Perissa (5 min walking to be exact). Just check the prices here, you will be pleasantly surprised!
Perivolos is located super close to Perissa (3 km from it) and it can be considered literally an “extension” of it, while also being a great option if you’re looking for beautiful, luxurious beachfront hotels!
One of the best things about Perivolos is that it has a wide range of restaurants (did anyone say seafood?!), cafes and pubs, all of them located super close to the beach. Another cool advantage is that you can try some exciting water sports here, from scuba diving to jet ski – so great!
Plus, Perivolos is full of great bars and clubs so it’s a great destination if you’re interested in dancing the night away and listening to the coolest international DJs! Which can only mean one thing: I definitely recommend Perivolos to all youngsters out there!
If you have decided to stay in Perivolos, scroll down to find my hand-picked hotel recommendations for this area:
Luxury (US$160 and up)
- Orabel Suites Santorini – Are you looking for your dream luxury hotel in Perivolos? This one’s the best place to stay for you, I promise! The rooms are super bright and nicely decorated and some other cool perks here include a swimming pool, a poolside bar, incredible views and more!
- Petri Suites – Here’s another superb option if you want to be within walking distance to Perivolos Beach (only 300m away!) and enjoy the ultimate luxurious stay! An outdoor pool, a bar, a garden, free Wi-Fi – these are just some of the cool facilities on-site!
Middle-priced (US$100 – US$160)
- Marillia Village – This is surely the best place to stay if you’re looking for an aparthotel that offers a very good value for the money you’ll be paying! During your stay you can relax in the pool, admire the gorgeous views or just spend some time in the cute garden – I’m sure you’ll like your stay here!
- Bella Santorini – Here’s another great middle-priced hotel on the coastline of Santorini island! Just take a look at the pictures, you’ll see that the pool is simply incredible and this alone is super inviting!
Budget (up to US$100)
- Smaragdi Hotel – This one is surely the best place to stay if you’re traveling to Perivolos Beach on a budget! It offers a great 3-star service and an unbeatable location, only 50m from the beautiful black beach!
- Nostos Studios – Here’s a great apartment that offers some very good prices and an excellent service! The cozy studios here all have a private balcony and they’re sparkling clean!
Best apartments in Santorini, Greece
Even though Santorini is a great destination for superb hotels and villas, there might be some of you that prefer staying in an apartment for various reasons. For example, apartments are a great choice for bigger groups of travelers that want to stay in the same place, for example families or big groups of friends.
Luckily for you, Santorini doesn’t lack plenty of Airbnb options and below I have selected the best ones I could find in Oia, my top recommendation for travelers going to Santorini for the first time:
Luxury (US$200 and up)
- Nova Luxury Suites – Super new and stylish, this is the best place for you if you’re planning a luxurious getaway in the heart of Santorini! It’s a very beautiful house with gorgeous views of the sunset! Make sure to book a suite with a swimming pool!
- Villa Emerald. Watch Sunsets From a Heated Hot Tub and Pool – Of course you can enjoy a luxurious stay even if you’re choosing an apartment over a hotel – this one’s the perfect example! It’s superbly decorated and it’s just great for a maximum of 6 guests that want to stay in Oia!
Middle-priced (US$150 – US$200)
- The Studio – This one’s an ideal choice if you’re dreaming of experiencing a true local vibe! It’s a private room in a house, great for 2 travelers.
- The Blue-Volcano View – This private room is simple but very comfy and it can easily become your home away from home during your vacation in Santorini!
Budget (up to US$150)
- Lovely House at Oia village center – If you’re on a budget, make sure you take a look at this place – it’s a beautiful cycladic house that will offer one of the best affordable experiences in Oia.
- Oia’s Sunset Studio for 2 pax – This is another great choice for two travelers that are planning on exploring everything that Santorini offers! It’s a nice and sparkling private room with beautiful decor!
BONUS: Most instagrammable Santorini villas with breathtaking views
Are you looking to take that postcard-like Santorini shot for your Instagram page? No worries, I got you! Scroll down to find my list of the most instagrammable Santorini villas that offer unforgettable views and tons of photo opportunities:
- Infinity Suites & Dana Villas – You can also check out this video to get a better idea of how cool this place is!
- Sophia Luxury Suites – This one has awesome cave suites and cave pools, plus some breathtaking views over the Aegean Sea!
- Canaves Oia Epitome – Just check out the pictures to see the infinity pool here – so cool!
- Grace Hotel Santorini, Auberge Resorts Collection – Incredible views and a 5-course champagne breakfast – need I say more?
- Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel – This one’s super beautiful with many sea-facing terraces!
Phew, you have reached the end of my complete guide on Santorini accommodation! I hope everything’s more clear to you now and maybe you already found the ideal hotel for your stay in Santorini, am I right?
In this post I have told you everything you need to know about the best areas and the best Santorini hotels on the island – from the 4 superb towns along the caldera (Fira, Oia, Imerovigli and Firostefani) to the beach spots (Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos). I’ve also recommended some great apartments on the island, so you basically have everything you might need here!
Are you travelling to Greece, Santorini soon? Do you have any other questions or concerns? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll gladly help! And here you can find all our posts on Greece for even more inspiration!
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