So you’re thinking of visiting the number one destination in Greece, but where is the best place to stay in Santorini? The most picture perfect of all the Greek islands, the island itself is a beautiful creation of nature. A famed caldera with magnificent views offering hotels on the steep cliff faces and boutique apartments amidst the winding streets. Whether it’s a honeymoon, anniversary, a first-time visit or a returning one, you’ll want to make sure you pick the best area to stay in Santorini.
The two most popular towns to choose from are Fira and Oia. Both are good options, and offer by far the best views across the caldera. I’ll explore the best of both later on. Imerovogli, is another great option for views of the volcano. It has a quieter vibe to the other two, yet offers the same level of luxury and dining. Lastly, consider Kamari and Perissa, located on the opposite side of the island. These seaside villages offer easy access to the best beaches and sea views, albeit without the caldera.
Where to stay in Santorini for the best views
Santorini is famous for its unique natural beauty. Add to that, its charming and minimalist Cycladic architecture and you’ll struggle to find a better view in Greece… or the world for that matter. The steep cliffs form a natural amphitheatre, with the stage being one of the most stunning panoramas you’ll set eyes on.
The crescent shape of the island looks inward towards the caldera. A sunken volcano filled by the Aegean sea, the most southern of all the Cyclades islands. The views from the towns of Oia, Fira and Imerovogli look across the basin. From these towns you’ll see two distinct islands; the volcanic peak of Nea Kameni and Therasia a little further in the distance.
There are countless hotels in the towns of Oia, Fira and Imervogli. Unsurprisingly, the majority cater to high-end luxury rather than cheap and cheerful. However, look a little further inland and you can find some reasonable prices. We’ll explore budget friendly places to stay later on… if you can get by without an infinity pool!
Where to stay in Oia – The most luxurious
Oia sits on the northern tip of the main island of Santorini. Chic hotels, boutique shops and elegant restaurants line the cobbled streets and hug the cliff face. Here you will find the most lush hotels and suites on the whole island. With some of the best views to match.
If you’re looking for one of the most luxurious hotels on the island, then look no further than Canaves Oia Suites. The spa hotel offers sensational vistas across the caldera. It feels secluded and tranquil yet still within easy reach of Oia’s restaurants and shops.
Where to stay in Fira – The most lively
Fira is the capital of Santorini. It’s definitely the place to stay if you want to be right in the middle of all the action. And for all of its liveliness and entertainment on your doorstep, it doesn’t lose any of its beauty and charm. Located in the centre of the caldera side, this town has great views across the volcano with Nea Kameni and Therasia visible on the horizon.
Right in the heart of Fira, hanging off the steep volcano cliff ridge with views across the island, check out Anteliz suites. The rooms are finished to a very high standard throughout, capturing the Santorinian charm, whilst the open yet secluded terrace is hard to beat for the sunset.
Where to stay in Imerovigli – The most romantic
For a slightly more relaxed setting, Imerovigli is one of the most romantic areas of Santorini. What started off as a quiet village just moments away from central Fira, this village is now known as one of the best places to stay on the island with a host of boutique hotels, perfect for honeymooners and couples.
The exclusive boutique Grace Hotel in Imerovigli is one of the best in Santorini. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better sea view in Greece, with stunning panoramas from the rooms, restaurant and infinity pool. The staff, service and attention to detail are second to none.
Where to stay in Santorini for the best beaches
If, like many people visiting Greece, you plan to spend much of your well earned holiday time sunning yourself on the beach, then consider staying on the eastern side of Santorini. Away from the caldera view, moments from the airport, you will find the best beaches in Santorini. And the best part is, with it being such a small island, getting around Santorini is easy.
Where to stay in Kamari
Kamari is the most popular of the seaside towns. Well equipped with resorts and hotels, tavernas, bars and minimarkets. It has all the amenities you might expect on a Greek island. And more than enough to keep those long summer days filled and entertained.
Located a few minutes walk from Kamari beach, Santorini Kastelli Resort is an excellent hotel choice for couples and families. Here you’ll find great service and a relaxed atmosphere, a nice change to the busy streets of Oia and Fira, yet still with a good selection of tavernas and bars close by.
Where to stay in Perissa and Perivolos
The rather more quiet seaside villages of Perissa and Perivolos are just south of Kamari. A great option for those who prefer a little more peace and tranquillity. And although there is still a good selection of restaurants and bars, don’t expect any parties lasting late into the night. The beaches are very well organised, with sunbeds, umbrellas and bars and a host of watersports. However, it’s the black sand beaches that are unique to this part of the island.
Anastasia Princess Luxury Residence & Spa in Perissa is perfect for those looking to indulge in a Santorini getaway away from the excessive crowds. The decor is typically modern, clean and uber Cycladic.
Orabel Suites Santorini is a boutique hotel with simply great sea or pool views from every room. Its two pools, private jacuzzis and poolside bar will keep you content all day. Modern and chic, cycladic design along with all the home luxuries expected of a Santorinian hotel make this a great place to stay on the island.
Where to stay in Santorini on a honeymoon or anniversary
One of the top destinations for honeymooners, it should come as no surprise that Santorini has an abundance of luxury and boutique hotels. Those eager to part with their money in exchange for five-star luxury, attentive service and super romantic surroundings need look no further than this small island and it’s densely packed honeymoon spots.
The most popular areas for honeymooners are Oia and Imerovigli. For good reason too, as the caldera views and private plunge pools are a simply irresistible combination for couples and newlyweds. Their location on the ‘balcony’ of the caldera creates an unbeatable panorama of the island.
Canaves are a luxury brand that have a number of suites, hotels and villas located around Oia. Be sure to check Canaves Oia Hotels, Canaves Oia Suites and Epitome if you are looking to celebrate a special occasion.
Where to stay in Santorini on a budget
Away from the caldera, on the other side of the island, you will find hotels and apartments for a fraction of the price. The seaside villages mentioned above have a much better range of accommodation prices, including budget hotels and apartments.
If you’re looking to visit Santorini without spending a fortune, then check out this post on visiting the Greek islands on budget. You’ll find some good tips including how to travel and when to go for the best deals on hotels.
Santorini is a small island, so organising day trips to explore other towns and areas is simple. Renting a car is the best way of doing this, and twenty minutes is all you need to get to the caldera side of the island to spend an evening exploring and dining.
If you are intent on spending your vacation on the caldera, but not overly precious in having the seaview out of your hotel window or having a plunge pool on your private balcony, then there are some budget friendlier hotels to be found. Look further inland, in the towns of Fira and Oia, and you will find hotels at a reasonable price whilst still being in the heart of Santorini.