Where to stay in Santorini

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Where to stay in Santorini - 2023 Guide

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Where to Stay in Santorini? A Guide on Finding Your Perfect Accommodation

So, you finally have all the details sorted for your dream trip to Santorini, the most famous of Greek islands. You’ve made a list of all the exciting places and arranged how you’ll get around in town. But one important matter remains: where should you stay in Santorini? 

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We understand – it’s not an easy question to answer! After all, every village on this stunning island has its own unique charm. Its cobblestone streets are vibrant with color; its landscape is awe-inspiring with views that must be seen to be believed; and its unforgettable sunsets look like something out of a storybook.where to stay in santorini

When selecting where to stay  in Santorini, travelers should consider their own needs, desires, and travel style in order to get the most out of their visit. With so much splendor available, Santorini promises an unforgettable journey!


🇬🇷 Greece Travel Resources We Use: 


Best Place to Stay in Santorini: The Hotels on the Caldera Cliffs

Caldera is a wildly popular destination for travelers from all over the planet, and with good reason – it’s one of the most exquisite places on Earth. This 300-meter basin was formed by an immense volcanic eruption in 1600 BC that caused Santorini to sink into the depths of the Aegean Sea. 

For those visiting Santorini for the first time, there is no better way to relax and take in the gorgeous surroundings than by staying at a luxury hotel on the Caldera cliff. The unique geography of this stunning Greek island ensures that you’ll have access to infinity pools with views that seem never-endingwhere to stay in santorini

Make your luxurious holiday a reality by staying at one of the many luxury hotels with infinity pools that can be found in any of the six settlements around Caldera. The most exclusive hotels are situated in Fira, Oia, and Imerovigli the cliffside towns. But if you’re looking for something more affordable yet still breathtakingly beautiful, try Megalochori or Akrotiri.

For a truly remarkable voyage, Fira town is the island’s capital. Shoppers and nightlife-seekers alike relish in its unique shopping malls and bar clubs. Alternatively, experience luxury living within Oia’s upscale hotels, vibrant shops, and picturesque village vibes – all close to Ammoudi for extravagant feasts. 

Seeking a location of serenity and relaxation? Then Imerovigli is your ideal destination. Not only does it provide access to some of the most exquisite and luxurious hotels in Santorini, but it also has Megalochori – an isolated village nestled right in the core of the island. Want more options? Consider Firostefani, Perissa Beach, or Kamari Beach for a guaranteed tranquil experience.

Have you ever heard of the famous Santorini sunset and Caldera? Enjoy them both by visiting Akrotiri, a short journey away from Red Beach – especially if you have your own mode of transportation.

To aid you in selecting your ideal Santorini accommodation, we provide an exceptional selection of handpicked hotels with spectacular vistas from the Caldera cliff. Take a look, compare prices and find the perfect deal for your upcoming stay!

Best area to stay in Santorini?

Here are the best places to stay in Santorini:

  • For luxurious living: Look no further than the picturesque towns of Fira, Imerovigli, Firostefani, or Oia on the western side
  • If money is an issue: Perissa, Perivolos, or Kamari Beach are ideal. They won’t break the bank without compromising too much on quality. For more information read my article “How to Visit Santorini Affordably”
    where to stay in santorini
    View of sunset and windmill at Oia.

Where to stay in Santorini for first timers?

When traveling to Santorini, consider Fira or Imerovigli for your stay if you have the budget. 

Although Oia is famed for its stunning sunsets, it can get tourist-packed and overcrowded so avoid staying there. Fira has breathtaking views of the island and Aegean Sea as well as being a transportation hub whilst Perissa, Perivolos, and Kamari offer lovely beaches but no captivating backdrop.

Where should I stay, Oia or Fira?

If you are looking for a place to stay in Santorini, Fira is the way to go. It has far more options when it comes to hotels, and it’s also the capital of Santorini and an essential transportation hub with all its local buses. 

Best Places to Stay in Santorini?

When it comes to deciding where to stay in Santorini, the west coast is your best option. 

Here you will be able to experience unrivaled views of the volcano and Caldera while also catching the breathtaking sunset over this iconic island. In fact, 99.9999% of postcard-perfect shots from Santorini have been taken from here! 

The top destinations for travelers on this side include Fira (the lively hub), Imerovigli (for a more relaxing atmosphere), Firostefani (nearby Fira yet tranquil), or Oia – undoubtedly one of its most famous towns.

Should You Stay in Oia or Fira?

Are you seeking an unforgettable experience that combines unparalleled views of the volcano, Caldera, and sunset with a vibrant atmosphere filled with buzzing restaurants, bars, and shops? Then look no further than Fira – Santorini’s lively capital.

where to stay in santorini
View of Sunset from three bells church in Fira.

However, if you’re looking for breathtaking sunset views that come with throngs of people each night and don’t mind splurging on expensive hotels (Oia has some of the priciest accommodation options across Europe), then Oia should be your destination of choice.

Best Places for a Honeymoon in Santorini

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy your honeymoon with fewer crowds, Imerovigli is the perfect destination. Just like Oia, it boasts stunning sunset views and hotels or suites of equal quality – but without the mad rush to watch the famous Santorini sunset in July and August.

You’ll find some of the most romantic and tranquil hotels around, as well as resorts offering unparalleled service and amenities – all at a better price than those pricey pre-packaged honeymoon deals. 

Best Place for Families and Kids

Santorini is the perfect destination for everyone, not just romantic couples or honeymooners. Families can also enjoy a great vacation there with their kids – all they need to do is make sure that they stay close to Kamari Beach, Perissa Beach, and Perivolos Beach instead of on the west side where you get those amazing Caldera and sunset views. Even though it’s tempting, this area isn’t as family-friendly compared to other parts of Santorini. For more information read our article “Best Beaches for families in Santorini”

Why did I say that?

Not only are these beaches home to stunning views and crystal-clear waters, but there’s plenty of beach bars and nightlife too! If you’re traveling with little ones, then don’t worry—there are plenty of child-friendly areas as well. And what if your kids are a bit older? Well, then they’ll love taking part in all the exciting water sports available at both beaches.

where to stay in santorini
View of Kamari Beach

Best Place for Young Couples

For an unforgettable experience with your partner, you should base yourselves in Fira! 

It’s the beating heart of Santorini – with its lively nightlife, myriad shops, and convenient access to public transport making it a perfect home away from home. Also, by offering plenty of bus routes, it allows you to explore Santorini without the aid of a car or scooter.

Best Place for Caldera Views

Akrotiri is a remarkable destination for its spectacular sunset views, yet situated at a distance of 25 minutes from Fira. It’s the ideal choice if you appreciate having stunning scenery without paying the exorbitant prices of Oia or Imerovigli.

Best Place for Solo Travellers

If you’re traveling alone, I strongly encourage you to stay in Fira. 

It’s right in the heart of where all the excitement is and serves as an ideal transportation hub for getting around on Santorini. Spend your days exploring Perissa or Perivolos beach bars, or set out for a day hike – no matter what activity you choose, staying close to Fira will make it effortless when the time comes to move from one spot to another. 

Best Place for Seniors

For those traveling with seniors or individuals facing difficulty with mobility, I would highly suggest avoiding areas in the western part of the island such as Fira, Oia, Firostefani, and Imerovigli. Thousands of stairs surround these regions which can be overwhelming for seniors.

where to stay in santorini
View from Nobu Santorini.

Best Place for Nightlife

If you’re looking to stay as close to the nightlife of Santorini as possible, your best bet is Fira. 

While Perissa,  the beautiful black sand beach, might be a good option in the summer months (June-September) offering amazing beach bars, there’s really no comparison when it comes to nightlife; Oia has none – just restaurants. So if being near all the entertainment that Santorini has to offer at nighttime is what you want, definitely book your accommodations in Fira!

Best Place for Beaches

Without a doubt, Perissa/Perivolos beaches are the best place to experience the glorious clarity of Greek waters in Santorini. Not only do they boast an iconic black beach with exotic red volcanic pebbles and sand, but also have some of the most exceptional beach bars and beach restaurants on this island! On top of all that, you can find accommodation prices that are much lower than in other regions offering breathtaking views of caldera landscapes and Aegean Sea.

Best Place for the Winter in Santorini

If you’re looking for the prime spot to stay in Santorini during winter or the months of November – April, Fira is definitely it. With most other locations dormant this time of year, only Fira remains bustling and alive.

Best Place for Cheap Hotels in Santorini

If you’re looking for an affordable vacation in Santorini without compromising on quality, the key is to stay away from the more popular caldera and Aegean Sea view in Oia neighborhoods. Instead, head towards Perissa, Perivolos, or Kamari where prices are much lower than elsewhere due to less promotion. But this doesn’t mean that these areas don’t have amazing hotels — quite the contrary! When you choose a hotel in one of those places, not only will you be saving money but also getting excellent value as well as delicious restaurants too!

For those who are cost-conscious, Akrotiri is the ideal choice when staying in Santorini. Not only can you enjoy stunning caldera sunset views without breaking your budget, but these hotels are relatively new and haven’t been advertised as prominently as Oia has over the past two decades or so. Although it’s slightly further away from Fira (the main hub of the island) at 25 minutes by car, its beauty more than makes up for this small distance!

For more information read my article “Best Affordable Hotels in Santorini”

When visiting Akrotiri, you may wish to rent a car or motorbike in order to explore the island. Additionally, there is an accessible local bus service that connects Fira with other areas of the region. To score some great deals on accommodation, consider staying at Emporio and Pirgos villages.

where to stay in santorini
View of Traditional Emporeio Village.

If you’re seeking views more magical than Oia but still with plenty of charm, seek out Pirgos and Emporio. You will find lovely traditional houses dotting the landscape as well as winery accommodations at significantly lower prices! When scouting for budget-friendly lodgings in Santorini, look no further than Kamari, Perissa, Perivolos, or Pirgos & Emporio – I promise it’s worth it.

Where to Stay in Santorini if you don’t have a Car?

Exploring Santorini on four wheels can be a daunting experience, as you may face all sorts of obstacles. From donkeys to horses, ATV’s and even other drivers – driving in Santorini can be tricky due to its narrow roads covered with old asphalt without much side protection. 

If that sounds too difficult for your adventure preferences, then perhaps the best approach is not to rent a car and stay near Fira instead. Here you will find the main bus station and taxi terminal so getting around should not pose any problems at all!


If you long to stay in stunning Santorini, bear in mind that it is not an inexpensive destination. However, if you select one of the hotels located close to Perissa, Perivolos, and Kamari beaches, your trip will be memorable! Couples seeking to relish the captivating volcano and caldera views should book a place in Imerovigli; this area does not attract nearly as many tourists as Oia’s most iconic sunset spot.

Are you searching for a Santorini getaway with the kids? Make your way to Kamari Beach and Perissa Beach! With its sandy beaches, it’s perfect for little ones who would rather play than appreciate history. If you’d prefer to explore local hotspots such as nightclubs and shops, then Fira is ideal. 

Traveling to 🇬🇷 Greece soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Greece that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Greece. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Greece, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer from the airport and beetween destinations with Welcome Pickups. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Greece, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Greece. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.


Most frequent questions and answers

If you’re visiting Santorini, Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia are must-see locations! These areas encapsulate what makes Santorini so unique. Especially if it’s your initial trip to this destination, make sure to stay on the caldera side – that is where all the renowned landmarks await!

Oia is undeniably the most luxurious village on Santorini, with its romantic eateries and upscale boutiques. However, both it and Fira have some wonderful places to eat. While Oia definitely has more fine dining options for those looking for an unforgettable culinary experience, Fira offers plenty of casual restaurants that provide excellent meals at affordable prices.

Oia: the majestic town at Santorini’s northern tip. Here you can find some of the most beautiful hotels and stunning sunsets in all of Greece, making it a must-see destination for any traveler!