I guess you are planning your vacation and you want everything to be perfect. If you are wondering what is the best place to stay in Santorini this guide will help you book the best one aligned with your needs and preferences.
What are the Best areas to stay in Santorini?
Well, every town has its pros and cons but there are some general guidelines depending on what you like the most.
You should stay in Oia if you are a romantic type, especially if you are visiting Santorini on your honeymoon. Oia has the most scenic views of Santorini if you want to relax and gaze at the best sunset you will ever see. It is ideal for families too, as it has the fewest stairs of any other caldera town.
Imerovigli is another famous destination for its spectacular views. If you want to experience the local cuisine at its best, Imerovigli has the best restaurants on Santorini. To be honest, Imerovigli fits perfectly with those who want to stay away for the masses and nightlife, just to relax and have a peaceful experience.
The most Cosmopolitan place is Fira. It is known for the best clubs and nightlife on Santorini and it offers many options in general. It is also the best site for shopping and probably your best choice if you are looking for the best place to stay in Santorini on a budget. Even if you will miss the view, you can always make your way to Imerovigli for a coffee during sunset.
Finally, Kamari is the ideal place for you if you want to enjoy your swimming being near the beach. Ideal if you are visiting Santorini with your kids!
Be sure to check our unique Santorini Villas and have the time of your life this summer!
Stay on the Western or Eastern Coast of Santorini?
The first thing you have to decide is: do you want to stay near the beach or you prefer the areas near the caldera? The beaches are located along the eastern coast of the island. The towns (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia) are established on the westerly edge of the Santorini, are touching the caldera cliff, and look out straight to the volcano.
The caldera towns are more popular, the restaurants more satisfying, the clubs more refined, and the villas more luxurious. The beach towns are more relaxed, less expensive, and have a character similar to the other Greek islands.
I fully encourage you to stay in one of the caldera towns as this is the main reason that you will love Santorini – the unimaginable views and nearly surreal surroundings. Whatever you decide do not get overly worried as Fira and caldera are only 20 to 30 minutes away. Oia is an additional 20 minutes.
Akrotiri is a different area that has great caldera views but most resorts here are quite isolated away from any towns and the walking distances are not a breeze. It might be perfect for you if you aim to spend most of your time by an infinity pool enjoying the caldera views.
Best Place to Stay in Santorini: Fira
Fira is Santorini’s largest town and one of the most scenic places in entire Greece. It has astonishing views of the volcano. Fira has almost everything combining the most restaurants, shopping spots, and hotels. It is also the heart of Santorini’s nightlife.
Santorini’s bus network is in Fira, so you can get almost wherever on the island with just one bus ride. If you want to have a variety of options, Fira is the place for you. If you want to avoid the masses and unwind then you will get overwhelmed. Fira has many hotels and resorts to stay but the cheap ones do not have access to the view. Keep that in mind. The most nearby swimming place to Fira is Kamari Beach which is about 20 minutes by bus or less if you rent a car.
Best Place to stay in Santorini: Firostefani
Firostefani is a quick 10-minute walk along the pathway from Fira. It is the ideal place if you want to have a bit of everything, meaning that you will have your privacy and you will be near to Fira at the same time. Don’t worry about the Views. They are evenly astonishing in Firostefani. You will find 10 to 12 restaurants in Firostefani, a bakery, and a few markets but neither bars or nightlife.
Imerovigli for best Views
Imerovigli is Santorini’s most tranquil town along the caldera and has the most excellent sunset views. The altitude is higher here and the prospect of the sunset is unrestrained. Imerovigli is a 20 to 30-minute distance from Fira on foot. While there are no bars or nightlife in Imerovigli, the ones that are established here are the greatest in the whole island.
Oia is Santorini’s most graphic town and has some of the island’s best resorts. It’s placed at the northern point of Santorini and is renowned for its superb sunset panoramas. The town is active throughout the day up to sunset. There are many shops and several restaurants in Oia but just one bar, you will love though (Mary Kay’s bar).
The southern part of Oia gazes into the caldera. The northern part has perfect sunset views. (Only a few Oia hotels have unlimited sunset views.) You will definitely need transportation from Oia to Fira as the distance is quite long but beautiful.
Stay in Kamari – Best for families
The Best Place to Stay in Santorini with your kids is Kamari. It has a pleasant family-friendly character, a pedestrian beach-front walkway, and lots of good eateries – not great ones It’s a 15-minute bus ride to Fira offering day trips to the caldera accessible. Kamari has a pebble beach but swimming is cooling and refreshing.
Even if Perissa beach is farther from Fira than Kamari, and makes visiting the caldera a bit more hassle, it has more sandy coastline. Nice for spending the whole day at the beach!
Perivolos the best beachfront area
Perivolos is next to Perissa Beach. Perivolos is much quieter though. It has some luxury hotels to stay, as well as some fine dining restaurants and great beach clubs. In a few lines: Perivolos is growing up to be the most elegant beachfront spot in Santorini.
Pyrgos for panoramic view
The most attractive traditional village of Santorini is Pyrgos. From its highest point, you can experience panoramic sunset views over the entire Santorini. Most of Pyrgos is pedestrian-only with its maze-like pathways filled with restaurants, local boutiques, scenic churches, and the wrecks of a Venetian castle. You will see vineyards on the hills, many offering tours, and tasting opportunities.
It is the best place to stay in Santorini if you need seclusion, tranquility, and experiencing local life. It’s about a 10-minute bus ride into Fira, in case you want more dining, nightlife, and shopping sometimes. To get to Oia you need to take a second 20-minutes bus ride.
Best Place to stay in Santorini: Akrotiri
The Akrotiri village is quite small, with only a few eateries, churches, and castle ruins. Within a 13-minute walk, you can get to the archaeological site of the Prehistoric Town of Akrotiri. This is a Bronze-Age Minoan village well-preserved by the ash of a volcanic eruption (like Pompeii). Prehistoric Akrotiri is believed by some to have inspired the Atlantis legend.
The Akrotiri Peninsula is also home to several of Santorini’s best beaches, including Red Beach, White Beach, Vlichada Beach, and Caldera Beach. At the western tip of the Akrotiri peninsula, there is a lighthouse – a unique spot to catch the sunset. You will enjoy eating at great restaurants that are spread throughout the area.
You will possibly need a car while staying on Akrotiri. A bus from Akrotiri to Fira approximately takes 20 minutes. Add as said before a second 20-minute bus ride to reach Oia.
Best Place to Stay in Santorini – Conclusion
Hope you enjoyed the ride! Make sure to make your experience in Santorini unforgettable and unique, buy staying in one of our Santorini Villas while enjoying the best of our services. Let’s sum up!
The most suitable area to stay if you are a couple and you desire to experience the amazing volcano and caldera views is definitely Imerovigli which isn’t flooded by tourists. They mostly go to Oia for the sunset.
Fira is also a great option if you want to be closer to the shops and the nightclubs.
If you are coming to Santorini with your children then it is probably better to stay near the beach. From there you can always visit the areas of the famous view whenever you feel like it. I am sure that children always like the beach more than just amazing views. That being said, prefer Kamari and Perissa.
Book your accommodation as soon as possible as most of our luxury villas are booked quite early!
You will not get disappointed… You will carry so many beautiful pictures in your mind eager to come back someday!
FAQS – Quick Answers
It depends on your needs and budget. These are your main choices so check our guide for more information:
You will find the best beaches in Perissa and Perivolos. Perissa has the most sandy coastline while Perivolos is growing to be the most elegant beachfront spot in Santorini. Kamari also is best for swimming if you don’t mind pebble beaches.