Where To Stay On Santorini

Updated: December 1, 2016

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Q. What are the best places to stay in Santorini?

  • Best hotels: Grace Santorini and Katikies
  • Most romantic: Oia or Imerovigli
  • Best views: Oia or Imerovigli – but Fira and Firostefani have wonderful views too
  • Best shopping: Fira
  • Best for honeymoon: Imerovigli (quiet and romantic), Fira (nightlife), Oia (a bit of both)
  • Best clubs and nightlife on Santorini: Fira
  • Best restaurants on Santorini: Imerovigli
  • Best beach town on Santorini: Kamari (wonderful swimming, lots of restaurants)
  • Best sunsets on Santorini: Imerovigli
  • Best for peace and solitude: Imerovigli
  • Best place to stay on a budget: Firostefani (if you want a caldera view) or Fira (if you don’t need a view)
  • Best for families: Fira (the most to do), Oia (the fewest stairs of any caldera town and the most stroller friendly), or Kamari (great swimming, kid-friendly vibe)

View of Imerovigli from Homeric Poems in Firostefani.

The first and most basic decision that needs to be made is do you want to stay at the beach or in the towns along the caldera? The beaches are situated along the eastern coast of the island. The towns (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia) are located on the western edge of the island, are perched on the caldera cliff, and look out towards the volcano.

The caldera towns are trendier, the restaurants better, the clubs more sophisticated, and the hotels more luxurious. The beach towns are more relaxed, less expensive, and have a feel closer to the other Greek islands. Pub grub is the rule at most (but not all) of the restaurants along the beaches.

I strongly recommend that you stay in one of the caldera towns as this is what makes Santorini so special – the incredible views and almost surreal setting. But to each their own. If you do stay at one of the beach towns Fira and caldera is only 20 to 30 minutes away. Oia is an additional 20 minutes.

Fira

View of Fira and the caldera from Hotel Keti.

Fira is the island’s largest town and one of the most picturesque spots in all of Greece. Fira has the most restaurants, shops, and hotels and is the center of Santorini’s nightlife. If you like action, lots of choice for where to eat, and the most-happening clubs then this is where you’ll want to be. If you want peace and solitude then it’s not the best choice. (That said, if you’re just a little off the main street it’s pretty quiet.) Many of the hotels and restaurants in Fira have stunning views of the caldera.

Best Hotel in Fira: Aria Suites

Firostefani

View from Tsitouras Collection of the caldera.

Firostefani is a short 10 minute walk along the footpath from Fira. If you want to be close to the action of Fira but don’t want the crowds then Firostefani is great. Views are equally wonderful in Firostefani.

Best Hotel in Firostefani: Tsitouras Collection

Imerovigli

View of the caldera and Skaros Rock from Grace Santorini in Imerovigli.

Imerovigli is Santorini’s quietest town along the caldera and has the island’s best sunset views.. The cliff is higher here and the view of the sunset is unimpeded by any neighboring islands – which isn’t always the case in Fira and Firostefani. Imerovigli is a 20 to 30 minute walk from Fira (or a very short bus or taxi ride). Imerovigli doesn’t have a lot of restaurants, but the ones that are here are all very good to great.

Best Hotel in Imerovigli: Astra Suites or Grace Santorini

Oia

View of Oia and the caldera from Perivolos Hotel.

Oia is Santorini’s most romantic town and has some of the island’s best hotels. It’s located at the northern tip of the island and is famous for its fabulous sunset views. The town is busy through the day up until sunset (when it’s packed in high season) but then grows much quieter. There are many restaurants in Oia but no nightlife to speak of. The southern portion of Oia looks into the caldera. The northern portion does not have views of the caldera but does have perfect sunset views. (Only a few Oia hotels have unimpeded sunset views.) The walk from Oia to Fira is beautiful but takes several hours so for the most part Oia is a taxi or bus ride away from the hub of the island.

Best Hotel in Oia: Perivolos or Katikies

The Island & Beaches

Santorini is small and getting from one town or beach to the next is quick and easy so you don’t have to feel limited by the place you pick. (It’s less than 30 minutes from Fira to the beaches by bus or taxi. 20 minutes longer from Oia to the beaches.)

Obviously, if you’re primarily looking to spend time lying on a beach then stay there and commute to Fira and Oia for sunsets and dinner. If you’re more interested in shopping, eating, and sightseeing then Fira, Oia, Firostefani, and Imerovigli are a better base.

The beach towns are fun, full, and busy from June to September. The weather is great for swimming from late May to early October. Outside of these months the beach towns will be very quiet and the weather usually isn’t consistently warm enough for swimming.

If you’re looking to save money then the beach towns offer better value for the money. Restaurants in Oia, Imerovigli, and Fira are also quite expensive (though there are cheaper options away from the views of the caldera). The beaches tend towards pub food that is not so pricey – though there are many exceptions.

As for Oia or Fira, both towns are very touristy but in different ways. Oia is quieter, more romantic, generally has more expensive hotels, and higher-end restaurants. After the sunset, Oia gets very quiet. Fira has the nightlife and lively restaurants. Fira is also closer to most of the beaches.

Fira itself can be quite busy (especially when a cruise ship or two are in port – though cruise passengers will return to their ships by late afternoon) so if you’re looking for peace and quiet but still want to be near the restaurants and nightlife then Firostefani and Imerovigli are good options. Both towns are uphill from Fira so the walk into town is easy and relaxing. If you find the uphill walk back to your hotel too taxing after a large dinner it’s easy to find a cab in Fira.

Similar to the beach towns, if you’re visiting outside of April to October then Oia will be very quiet – with many shops and restaurants closing from November to March. If you’re visiting Santorini in winter then Fira is by far the best choice.

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161 Questions and Comments

  1. Best website for Booking a Santorini Villa

    Hi Dave

    Great website.

    Which websites would you recommend for booking a villa? Only looked on Airbnb so far.

    Olivia

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Villas.com (owned by booking.com) is great and has the most high-end selection.

  2. Best Place to Stay on Santorini

    Hi there, I’m really starting to get my head round Santorini thanks to you. I’m looking to book to stay here July 17. I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind.

    I am 30 and my gf is 29. We are looking to visit for 5 nights and are happy to have the hussle and bustle of Fira but be able to chill away from it with sea views.

    I’ve provisionally booked to stay in Villa Maria Damigou in Firostefani. It is £720 for 5 nights. Is this good value? Prices seem all over the place, hard to get a handle on. A pool would be nice but I’d sacrifice it for the views.

    Also would this be a good location for seeing things and having decent views?

    Kind regards, James Fitz

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Villa Maria Damigou has a great location (easy walk to both Imerovigli and Fira). Some rooms have views, some don’t – I imagine at that price you’ve got the rooms without views, which are fine. If you want a pool Villa Ilias is right next door and has a small pool with views.

  3. Santo Miramare Resort in Perivolos

    Hi Dave, we are thinking of going to Santorini for the first time in September, wanting plenty of restaurants and bars in walking distance. We have seen a hotel called Santo Miramare Resort in Perivolos would like to know what you think of this area and hotel please, will be staying for two weeks. Thanks and great blog.

    Tracy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      The beach is nice here and there are some good restaurants nearby but for any sort of scene you’ll need to go to Perissa which is a 20 minute walk north. (You can see the general area around the hotel on Google Maps.) With 2 weeks I would definitely recommend splitting your time between here and somewhere along the caldera (preferably) or even Kamari which is closer to the caldera towns.

  4. Ambassador Hotel in Akrotiri

    Hi Dave! My fiancé and I are getting married and honeymooning in Santorini in late July. We were considering the Ambassador Suites in Akrotiri, but wondering if it would be an inconvenient area of the island to stay. We plan to have our ceremony on the balcony of our hotel. Do you have suggestions of better hotels/parts of the island for this? Or do you think Akrotiri and the Ambassador would be fine? Thanks for all of the wonderful information!
    Kristin

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      It’s a nice hotel and the views for your ceremony will be wonderful. That said, it is a little isolated. There’s very little within walking distance so for romantic meals, shopping, and nightlife you’ll be taking the taxi to Fira (or beyond). If you’re happy staying by your pool and relaxing then this is a fine choice.

  5. Aigialos Hotel in Fira

    Hi Dave!

    My brother and I are planning a trip to Santorini in July of 2016 for our parents’ anniversary. Its our first time and we are trying to be budget conscious but also make this a great trip. We are looking at Aigialos Niche Residences & Suites – do you recommend this? We want to make sure there are not too many steps to climb, but it has great views and also close proximity to the center of the town. Do you also happen to know if there is a swimming pool – we couldn’t find on the website!

    Your feedback will be very helpful – thank you!

    Jeannie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Aigialos is very nice. It has a small pool, good for a dip but you’re not going to hang out poolside for the afternoon. Location is good and close to central Fira. There are steps but by Fira standards I wouldn’t say a lot.

  6. Using AirBnb for Santorini

    Wow, Now you have me worried, I have 5 adults in my group, We want to stay for 3 nights with some room to move around.
    I wanted to use the airbnb site, but you say that they are shady.
    Do you still stand on that opinion?
    Thoughts on these?
    Luxury Villa Santorini and Fira Apartment

    Lynda Miller

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I didn’t call AirBnb shady – just that one listing. But I will say that AirBnb is not great for Santorini. The best views and locations all belong to the hotels and it’s hard to determine where exactly a rental is located (and location is huge for Santorini). For the two you listed neither have views of the volcano. They have “sea views” which means they look to the east and not towards the caldera. The first is in Emborio (a quiet town that’s a 20 minute drive from Fira) and the second is in Fira (with probably a bit of an uphill walk to get to the town center and caldera foot path). Both look like fine places though.

  7. Judy Walker

    Dave
    We are going to Santorini and want to stay in Fira or Firastefani. We are looking to stay in any of the following hotels, leaning towards Cliff Side Suites .Do you know it or any of the others and which is best for location, views and hotel standards?
    Cori rigas suites
    Panorama boutique hotel
    Nomikos villas
    Infinity collection fira
    Cliff side suites
    Efterpi villas

  8. Tran

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for the very helpful and insightful website!

    I am deciding to stay in Fira or Oia in June this year for our honeymoon. We’re struggling to decide on where we want to stay!

    I am after a hotel with a beautiful view of the caldera with lovely sunset views.
    I had looked at Lilium and Enigma and was leaning towards Lilium (for its decor) but it appears Lilium is away from the main town of Fira so would be a hassle going into town? My partner and I are young and would like to easily be able to go get food, shop and walk around.

    It appears Oia is a good option for beautiful sunset views but my question is, does it offer just as breath-taking caldera views as Fira? My priority is stunning caldera view over sunset. Also, is Oia away from the hustle and bustle? But i’ve heard many good things about Oia which is why I am torn!

    What hotels could you recommend for a budget of around 250euros/night? and whether we should stay in Fira or Oia?

    Our preference in order of priority is:

    1) Stunning views of Caldera
    2) Close proximity to shops, restaurants, etc
    3) Beautiful Sunset views

    Thanks so much!

  9. Santorini for 8 Days in the Summer

    Hey Dave,

    This site has been an invaluable resource in preparing for the Santorini leg of our honeymoon! I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a boat charter? I was looking at doing either a private sailboat or power boat charter for a half day for my fiance and I while spending hopefully less than 1000 euros. Any thoughts?

    Also, I was thinking about renting a car for a few days during our trip to explore the countryside… what is the parking situation like in Oia? We are planning to be at Santorini Secret for the duration of the trip and was wondering if it would be difficult to park near the hotel?

    Thanks in advance!
    Eric

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      For chartering a boat:
      How to Charter a Yacht or Boat on Santorini.

      For parking in Oia:
      Yes it’s busy and parking can be tricky but you’ll always be able to find a place. There is nearly always parking down this street in Oia. It’s the turn off to Tholos and Baxedes (you can see the street sign in blue) – and if drive past the garbage you see on the right there will be space to park. But if you do indeed stay at Santorini Secret, they have free parking for guests so give them a call (+30 22860 27337) as you pull into town and they’ll tell you where to go.

  10. Cave Hotel with Caldera View that Accepts Children

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for an absolutely amazing website — this has been a ton of help helping me understand the layout of Santorini and where we might and might not want to stay. Can you give me a couple of particular hotel recommendations? We will be travelling with our daughter (10) and after having read all the information, I think we want to stay in Firostefani or Imerovgli, as they will hopefully be quieter than Fira but still close in. What we’re looking for, in order of importance, is (1) a hotel that accepts children, (2) a cave hotel, (3) not more than 300 Euros a night, max, (4) that is fairly quiet and private but (5) still has a caldera view. We do NOT need a pool or bar or anything really fancy. Is this too much to ask for, or are there any hotels that might work for us?

    Thanks so much!
    Angela

  11. Remezzo or White in Imerovigli

    Hi Dave,

    My husband and I are heading to Santorini for May 24th – May 29th. Do you think 5 nights is a good amount of time? I really want to stay in Imerovigli as it seems to suite us best.

    I am looking at either Remezzo or White for hotels. Which would you recommend?

    Thank you so much for your recommendations. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks 🙂
    Caroline

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Both are great. Remezzo has more privacy. They are just a few minutes walk from each other but White has more people passing by and peering into your personal space. But it also feels more a part of the village with the lanes winding around the property, so there’s a tradeoff. Fantastic views from both. 5 nights is perfect for Santorini.

  12. AirBnb on Santorini

    Hi Dave –

    Great, informative website for a first timer heading to Santorini for one leg of my upcoming honeymoon. My fiance and I are younger, so leaning towards staying in Fira to be close to public transportation and the nightlife. I found a few good options through Air BnB. Any tips while using these types of sites? I am concerned that we won’t know exactly what we are going to get when booking through Air BnB as opposed to booking through a hotel. Here is an example of one of the potential suites that interested me. Thanks in advance for everything!

    Scott Durco

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Yes, that looks like a shady listing to me. Partly because it’s really Nefeles Luxury Suites in Fira. They’ve taken the pictures from the website and the description (with some misspellings) and reposted it. It’s just about always better to book through Booking.com or the hotel directly. But in any case, Airbnb doesn’t work very well for the Greek Islands.

  13. Great Pre-Wedding Hotel

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you so much for this amazing site. As others have stated, I wish you had a site for many other locations.

    So, here’s the thing: My sister is getting married this summer and before they say “I do” her and her fiance are doing a pre-wedding trip that will be right before their bachelor/bachelorette parties.

    My parents and I wanted to give them a gift and were hoping to stay within $3,000. I have found some places that would be able to work in this price range, but still need a lot of help. Looking for June 22-27,2016 and was thinking Imerovigli would be a great location, but after reading your replies to other travelers it seems that it might not be as lively. They are both 26 years old and love to eat and have a good time. I am afraid Imerovigli might get too sleepy for them.

    If in Imerovigli, are there specific 5 star hotels you suggest? I was looking at Dreams Suites (either Nefeli Jacuzzi Suite or Villa Iaokasi, which do you suggest), Sophia Luxury Suites, or San Antonio Suites? Would love to be able to afford the Grace Hotel, but I think that’s a bit too expensive. Also, what do you think of Chromata?

    If in Fira, what are your best recommendations? The requirements would be updated decor, direct water views, and if possible private pool or jacuzzi. Close to restaurants and night life.

    If you can reply within the next couple days, it would mean a lot. Her bridal shower is 5 days away.

    Thank you!
    Dee

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Imerovigli is my favorite town on Santorini and that’s where I’d recommend. Sophia Suites would be my top choice of the ones you mention unless you were looking for something very secluded and quiet, in which case go with San Antonio (but there’s almost nothing within walking distance). In Fira, the choices for 5 star hotels are much more limited but my favorite would be Cosmopolitan Suites.

  14. Which Towns in Santorini and Naxos

    We are planning a trip to Greece in August 2016. We are planning to stay three nights in Santorini and three nights in Naxos. Which town on each of the islands do you think would be best for our group which consists of husband and wife in their mid 50’s, two daughters and theirs husbands all about 30 years old and a mother 70 years old. Some beach time, restaurants are important, nightlife but not disco type until maybe midnight.
    Thanks,
    Paul Dolan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      On Santorini, since you want access to some nightlife, then you want to be in Fira or Firostefani (unless you don’t mind taking a taxi back in the late evening in which case it really doesn’t matter where you stay between Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, or Oia). In Naxos, Naxos Town is my favorite place to stay – easy access to several beaches and where you’ll find the best restaurants on the island.

  15. Sunny Villas or Ira Hotel

    Help us decide: Firostefani or Imerovigli.
    Hi Dave,
    We’re from San Francisco USA, and will end our Greek trip (September) in Santorini after a week in Crete. We’re down to two hotels that fit our needs and budget: Sunny Villas in Imerovigli, or Ira Hotel in Firostefani. Sunny Villas looks a bit more “wow”, whereas Ira seems to be in a bit of a better location. We’re only on the island for two days, not interested in shopping; just enjoying the views, maybe “walking the path” one of the day, sitting around a pool, and not walking too far to get our lunch or dinner meals.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Jan Herwitz

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Both are very nice with good locations and restaurants within a short walk. Sunny Villas is close to more of my favorites but this isn’t a huge difference (and they serve a simple breakfast at Mezzo which is a wonderful little restaurant with great views). The two hotels are about a 12 minute walk from each other. Ira Hotel has more privacy while Sunny Villas has a more direct sunset view. Sunny Villas has more steps to get to the hotel, while Ira has some multi-level rooms that have tricky steps within the suite. I’d lean towards Sunny Villas but both are good moderately-priced hotels.

  16. Athens, Mykonos, Santorini for Anniversary

    Dear Dave
    At the outset, let me thank you for the advice you gave me for my trip to Greece 6 months back. We followed your advice and had an amazing time in your beautiful country.

    Now, I’m planning a trip for my Mom-Dad (both in their early 50’s) in May 2016, who will be celebrating their 30th Wedding anniversary there.
    Their anniversary falls on 9th of May and the maximum time they can spare is one week. So, accordingly, I thought of following two options:
    OPTION 1:
    – 6th May – Arrive in Athens and stay one night at Electra Palace
    – 7th May – Fly to Mykonos and stay for the weekend (7th and 8th) at Poseidon
    – 9th May – Sail by Ferry to Santorini and stay at Andronis Luxury Suites in Oia for 2 nights
    – 11th May – Fly back to Athens and stay one night
    – 12th May – Fly Back home

    OPTION 2:
    – 8th May – Arrive in Athens and stay one night at Electra Palace
    – 9th May – Fly to Santorini and stay at Andronis Luxury Suites in Oia for 2 nights
    – 11th May – Sail by Ferry to Mykonos and stay for 2 nights at Poseidon
    – 13th May – Fly back to Athens and stay one night
    – 14th May – Fly Back home

    Kindly help with the following:
    1. Whether this time of the year (May 2016) is good for visiting Mykonos (considering “weather for beaches” as well as “party scene”)?

    2. If you say the time is good, is it better to arrive in Mykonos during weekend (OPTION 1 above) or weekdays are equally good (OPTION 2 above) ? I want them to be in Santorini from 9th to 11th May, so that they celebrate their anniversary there. So I’m confused whether they should visit Mykonos before or after Santorini. Coming later will mean a little more towards the mid-of-May (warmer weather) and coming earlier will mean being there on Saturday & Sunday. Kindly suggest.

    3. Are the properties chosen at these locations good, or do you suggest some other instead?

    Kindly help me with the above queries, I want their anniversary to be memorable in every which way.
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Regards
    Aditya Grover

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Both are fine but I’d lean towards option 2 as the ferry journey is substantially shorter between Athens and Mykonos than between Athens and Santorini – so flying Athens to Santorini is a good choice. Mykonos will be a little busier on weekends but no great difference – it’s still pretty quiet in May. Everything is open but there isn’t any rocking nightlife or large parties. Weather in May should be nice but they should be prepared for cool weather just in case.

  17. Oia with a Toddler

    HI Dave
    I love your site. I had a query though – I want to visit santorini in April and I have a a very active 14 month toddler. I would love to stay in Oia and would prefer the caldera side of the island to stay in but I am worried about his safety regarding the steps and the pavements. Is it risky?
    I would like to know about the weather in April? Will it rain?
    Thanks a lot 🙂
    Somna Nikhil

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Oia is the best caldera town for young children. It has the fewest steps and the main foot path that runs for almost a KM is mostly flat and even stroller-friendly for the most part. There are tricky parts and steep steps in places all around the village but in general I would not call it “risky”. April is a transition month from the grey rainy weather of winter to the sunny clear skies of summer so you should expect (and plan for) both.

  18. Grace or Astra?

    Hi Dave,

    My boyfriend and I are booking a trip in June. We are debating between Astra Suites and Grace Santorini (junior or honeymoon suite). Astra Suites has incredible reviews but we can’t help but thinking that the rooms look a bit dated (a little 70s style?). What are we missing that we don’t see in the pictures? We love the look/decor of the rooms at Katikies but don’t want to stay in Oia. Do the rooms not do Astra justice? Do you prefer the rooms at Astra or Grace? Which hotel do you prefer as a whole? Let me know your thoughts, thanks so much! And thanks for having such an incredibly helpful website!

    -Sarah

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      You’re right, the rooms at Grace are more luxurious and has a much larger pool. It’s usually a little more expensive than Astra but if budget is not an issue then I’d go with Grace. Both have wonderful views and are only a 2 minute walk from each other.

  19. How Many Days in Santorini, Naxos, and Athens

    Hey Dave,

    Great website!
    `
    I’m looking to spend 2 weeks in Greece and looking to break it up by Athens (2 days), Santorini (6 days), Naxos (4 days). Would you shift around any of the distribution of the days?

    Thanks,
    Shreyas Mehta

  20. Santorini in winter

    Hi Dave

    Your website really is a great resource. I’m going to be in Santorini in January 2016 and was just wondering if the town is going to be completely dead? A friend and I were thinking of staying at Alexander Boutique Hotel just outside Oia, but do you think it would be better to stay in Fira instead? Will we still be able to see the famed sunsets in January and should we bother taking this into account when booking our accommodation? Where would you recommend staying for a perfect caldera view and sunset in Oia or Fira? Will there be any nightlife at all and will the beach towns and restaurants at the Amoudi Bay definitely be closed? Could you recommend things to do during Santorini’s ‘down time’? And also a ridiculously good place for delicious seafood? Lots of questions, I know!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I would stay in Fira and if you did stay in Oia it would be best to stay closer to the main area. (Unless you’re really after quiet and seclusion and then it’s a fine choice.)

  21. Germany, Santorini, Athens

    Dave, Thank you very much in advance. This site is a gem! I am planning my honeymoon for next Sept. we will be coming from the United States via Oktoberfest in Munich for 2/3 days. We have Santorini as a must of our two island tour. We are considering for our second island Sifnos, Naxos or Folegandros. We will also spend a day or two in Athens before returning to the states. Please suggest a logical itinerary for minimal hassle. We arrive in Munich 9/21 and can fly via Athens to Santorini or Naxos on 9/23 or directly to Santorini 9/24. Depending on which day we arrive in Greece … We will have either 8 or 9 true days before our travel day home on 10/3. Thank you, Brendan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I would fly directly to Santorini on the 24th and save yourself the hassle of going through Athens and transiting to Santorini (since you’ll already be hitting Athens on the return). Then Blue Star Ferry to Naxos on the 28 or 29th. Then Blue Star Ferry on the 1st to Athens. (If your flight leaves late on the 3rd, giving you the whole day, you could leave Naxos on the 2nd instead.)

  22. Santorini over New Years

    Hi Dave, I am planning to visit Santorini between 31th December ~ 2 January 2016, will it a bad time to visit?

    Regards,
    Aileen Lee

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I wouldn’t call it a bad time but it will be very quiet. Weather could be cold, grey, and rainy or might be spring-like, there’s no way to know. Stay in Fira if you do go.

  23. Scirocco Apartments in Santorini

    Hi there,
    Just came across your site – am thrilled to find a real person to ask!
    Coming for a wedding in beginning of June 2016 and need about 7 rooms – all of various abilities and sizes (I know, tricky). We are speaking to Scirocco Apartments and they seem to have some great rooms.
    Any advice if we do go with them or other hotels/apartments you would recommend?

    Thanks!

    Rebecca

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Scirocco is great value for what you get. Nice pool and amazing views. Lots of steps to get from the hotel up to Fira’s main street – so not for anyone with mobility issues.

      1. Rebecca

        Thanks – so is there no other way to get into town or could we get taxis? There are some older folks in our group. Would you recommend another place under $200/night where we could book multiple rooms?

        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

          The hotel is down the cliff of the caldera, so no, there is no other way up to the town besides the steps. Two less expensive hotels in Firostefani you should check are Villa Ilias and Hotel Maria Damigou. Both have rooms with caldera views and not many steps, and taxis can pull relatively close to the hotel.

  24. Katikies, Perivolas, Canaves

    Hi Dave,

    Staying in Santorini for 3 nights 5/31-6/3. Which hotel would you pick between: Katikies, Perivolas, or Canaves. They all look amazing so think the deciding factors would be 1. Are any of them adults only 2. Which has best sunset views and 3. Which has the nicest basic room (if we don’t splurge for a suite).

    Thanks for your help! Might have a few questions on Naxos vs Paros as well!
    Kristin

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      1. None of them allow children younger than twelve or thirteen. 2. None of them have direct sunset views, though from Perivolas you’ll see the moon set for the longest duration before setting over the town. From Katikies and Canaves it’s a 10 minute walk to the north tip of Oia where you can watch the sunset. From Perivolas, you’re best to walk the other way (towards Imerovigli) where you can get a great sunset view in about a 10 minute walk. 3. I’d say Perivolas has the best basic room (it’s also smaller than Canaves and Katikies and has fewer rooms). The only drawback to Perivolas is that it’s in the section of Oia that is beyond the end of the main foot path, so you need to walk on the road for a minute or two before re-finding the path.

  25. King Thiras Hotel / Limited Mobility

    First, I must say what a great site! Thank you for the time and effort you put into answering eveyones’ questions.

    A friend and I will be in Santorini in June and I am making all the arrangments. Fira is my choice as it is near to public transport, etc. My friend suffers with swollen legs in the heat and although she can manage a few steps, a lot all the time would be an effort. She was very fit and active until chemotherapy. I have booked at King Thiras Hotel which I can cancel without fee. I am now concerned that this hotel is only reached by many steps. I have read conflicting reviews about this, ie that it is only two minutes walk from the centre, etc. Also, is the centre of Fira level? Perhaps you can advise other hotels/apartments if you think the King Thiras not suitable.

    After our Santorini visit we are going Paros and onward to Rhodes. Blue Ferries give conflicting times the ferry leaves Santorini, ie 0.55, 02.30 and 03.20. However, none of these times are good for two senior women to be waiting at the ferry port! I think there may be a ferry from Syros to Rhodes leavng at 22.50 but I cannot see any ferry links between Paros and Syros. Perhaps I am too early to be looking for the end of June 2016?

    Any advice you can give would be most appreciated.

    Susan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      The hotel itself is pretty good for accessing without steps. A car can pull right up to the front door and you can get to the caldera views with a just a short walk and not much up and down. And you can get to a few restaurants (some with views) within a few minutes walk. So in that sense, good. But if you wanted to do much else – shopping or a wider choice of restaurants – then you’d be looking at a long walk (for someone in your friends’ condition) to Fira down a steep path with many steps. (Of course, you could have a taxi take you to Fira instead.) There are 2 hotels right in the center of the main shopping area in Fira that are in a more lively area – The Atlantis and the Aressana Spa Hotel, but they will be more expensive than the King Thiras.

      You’re right. Ferry schedules for the summer of 2016 are not out yet and won’t be for some time (February/March at the earliest), so be patient. Rhodes is a wonderful island but I would suggest thinking of switching it for another Cycladic island – or even Crete – as they are much easier to get to and require a shorter ferry ride (with more frequency). If you’re committed to Rhodes then you might want to consider flying Paros-Athens-Rhodes.

  26. San Antonio Suites in Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    We booked our honeymoon for San Antonio Suites in Imerovigli next August, what do you make of this hotel? Are there restaurants nearby and entertainment? Also is it walking distance to the busier resorts? Thanks! Brilliant site!

    Nikki

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      San Antonio is a wonderful hotel with great views – but it is isolated from the main towns. There is not much nearby. You’re a 30 minute walk to Imerovigli and 1 hour to Oia – both incredibly beautiful walks. There’s a bus stop just up the road with buses heading to both Oia and Fira (opposite directions). Stay here if you want a quiet, peaceful honeymoon. Not so great for hitting lots of restaurants or nightlife. (There are always taxis too but they can be hard to get when you need them.)

      1. Nikki

        I didn’t realise it was so quiet maybe been hasty in booking so quickly ?. What about La Mer in Kamari? Says it is a 5 star but that is not clear from looking at pictures …..

        Thanks
        Nikki

        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

          La Mer is very nice in a good location – restaurants and beach are a 3 minute walk away. It’s luxury but not the sort of pampered luxury you’ll get at the caldera hotels. What makes Santorini so special are the views of the volcano and the towns along the caldera so I always encourage people to stay there (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia).

  27. Hotel for 2 Families

    Hi Dave,

    We are in a quandary. Travelling to Santorini in 2016 with a family of five and another family of four. Youngest child is eleven, two boys sixteen, eldest two are twenty. We would like to cater to the demands of the youngest to the eldest. Is this possible on Santorini? Breakfast a must, good pool, prefer a pool bar with decent food (not fries only) and at least two bedrooms with a good tavern or two in the surrounds. Have stayed in Fira (with less children) and happy to try elsewhere. Oh…did I mention wanting value for money? Help…Paul.

    Paul

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Try El Greco Resort a short walk outside of Fira. Suites sleep 5 and have a separate bedroom on the 2nd level. Nice pool but no caldera view directly from the hotel (it’s across the street).

  28. Enigma Apartments & Suites or Anastasis Apartments

    Dave – love your site, thanks for all the recommendations. Will be traveling to Santorini for our honeymoon in September 2016 after renting a catamaran to sail around the isles for 7 days. Thinking about 3 or 4 nights in Santorini, staying at Enigma Apartments & Suites or Anastasis Apartments (or both). Any opinions on either? Thanks.
    Karl

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      These are very different hotels but they complement each other well so a few nights at both would be perfect. Enigma is right in the heart of Fira. As you walk up from the rooms and exit the entrance you’re in the middle of the buzz. Good restaurants are all around you (Ouzeri is great and less than a minute away) and there are 5 or 6 great nightclubs within a 5 minute walk. The rooms here have a lot of character and are built into the cliff. Anastais is a 10 minute walk north of Imerovigli. It’s right on the path that leads to Oia. It’s quiet and has a great pool. There are other hotels around it but not much else. Suites are probably a little larger on average but perhaps a little less character. Both hotels are top notch and I’d be shocked if you regretted staying at either.

  29. Visiting Santorini in November

    Hi, I’m planning to go to Santorini. I’m flying from San Francisco, California. Would November be a good time to go?
    Lyn

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      November is a good time for sightseeing but not going to the beach. Early November is better than late November when the winter rains start to kick in.

  30. Fira in Early March

    Hi Dave,

    How is the weather in the first week of March in Fira? Would you recommend to go to Santorini in March? Thanks

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      March can be very nice as long as you don’t want to swim or sunbath as there is no chance of that. But if you’re there to sightsee and enjoy the views and walks it can be perfect. (But bring warm clothes and be prepared for rain.)

  31. How Much for Food on Santorini?

    Dave, how much would you say we should budget on to eat lunch and dinner on the island 5 days? My estimate was about 80 euros for the 2 of us. Per day. I figure we can eat less than that most days and still splurge on the nicer places a couple times. What would your guess be? Do you think that is a fairly realistic estimate?
    Thanks in advance for your insight. I have found your site incredibly helpful!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      80 euros should be fine for lunch and dinner for 2. You can, of course, easily spend more but that’s definitely realistic. You get better value by eating at restaurants without a view (but it’s fun to eat at least a few meals overlooking the caldera). Eat lunch at Lucky’s Souvlaki once or twice then splurge at night – it’s delicious and just a couple euros for lunch.

  32. Mesaria in Santorini

    What about the town of Mesaria? A couple places that look fairly nice on booking.com have shown up. What is your opinion of that area?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Mesaria is about 2 miles south of Fira. I don’t think any of the hotels listed as Mesaria will have caldera views but they are good value. You’d probably want to rent a car if you stayed here though there are buses and you can walk to Fira if you wanted. There’s not a lot around here but it’s not a terrible area by any means.

  33. Large Villa for Space for Group

    Hi Dave,
    Do you have any recommendations for a place to hold a yoga retreat? Ideally it would have enough space on a deck or in a room inside for anywhere between 10-16 people.
    Thank you!
    Lauren

  34. Ifestio Villas or Aliko Suites

    Hi Dave,

    Do you have any recommendations between Ifestio Villas and Aliko Suites for a couple? Are you familiar with the two accommodations?

    Thanks!
    Sam

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Both have great views but I think Aliko might have the slightly more impressive one – a direct view of the volcano. But Ifestio is tucked away in one of the more surreal sections of Oia with the village all around it. It’s great. So, I guess it’s view vs surroundings. Ifestio has more shops and restaurants within, say, 5 minutes walk. Whereas, Aliko is walking distance (20 minutes) to Fira where you’ll find lots of shopping and nightlife (much more than Oia).

  35. Santorini in Late November

    Hi.

    I am going to Santorini with my wife in late November and I love just walking around and seeing the great views.

    You said in winter alot of shops and restraunts are closed .. do you think that will effect our trip?
    Because we love to see the shops and go to many restaurants.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      The views and walks are still great in late November – they never go away. But there can be rain and clouds, so be prepared. Most shops and restaurants will be closed by the end of November but still a few open – certainly plenty of places to eat.

  36. Where To Stay in Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    Your site is brilliant for first-timers. My mum and I are coming to visit Santorini at the beginning of October. We’re looking for somewhere peaceful but with amenities neaby. I’m torn between looking to stay in Fira (more restaurants and shops etc) and Oia (quieter and amazing views). Which would you recommend for a first-time? We’re basically looking for a wonderfully relaxing holiday but we do want to immerse ourselves in the culture and be able to see as many sites as we can. Am I right in thinking we’re better off staying in the cliff tops and travelling down to the beach? Rather than staying at the beach. Sorry for all the questions but any advice you can give would be fab 🙂 Thanks!

    Clare Gent

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Yes, definitely stay along the caldera (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, or Oia) and not at the beaches. It seems like you have a good feel for Fira vs Oia – you just have to decide which scene you prefer.

  37. Athens, Santorini, Crete, and Paris

    Hi Dave,

    First off your site has helped me completely finalize (and change) so many details of our honeymoon. Thank you so much for the valuable insight. My husband and I are traveling for our honeymoon Sept. 25-Oct. 7 in Greece.

    We are staying in Athens for two nights. I have the St. George Lycabettus boutique hotel booked, but I am considering switching to Divani Palace Acropolis. Which would you recommend?

    Then we travel to Santorini where I have Ikies Traditional Houses booked for two nights, then Belvedere booked for 3 nights. Is there another place you would recommend instead of Belvedere if we are already doing Ikies (that room is non refundable)?

    After that we are heading to Crete for 4 days. Is there another way to travel from Santorini to Crete – other than Ferry?

    We are staying in Rimondi Boutique Hotels in Rethymnon. Would you recommend we get a car during our stay in Crete?

    Off to Paris after that. I wish you had a blog about Paris! 🙂 Thank you in advance!!
    Best,
    Erika

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      The St George and Divani are both nice hotels with a similar level of luxury (both quality 4 star hotels, but not 5 star). The big difference is location. St George is half-way up Lycabettus hill (a good climb if you walk) and a 15 to 20 minute walk from the Plaka. There are trendy cafes and restaurants a short walk away. Divani is just below the Acropolis, but on the opposite side of the hill from the Plaka. It’s in a non-touristy neighborhood but cafes, restaurants, and shops are a short walk away. The excellent Acropolis Museum is very close. If you want to do and see a lot in Athens then the Divani is better. If you want to retreat to a more refined area then the St George. I imagine if you stay at the St George you’ll end up taking a fair number of taxis.

      On Santorini, Ikies (quiet, secluded) and the Belvedere (more central, more restaurants nearby) complement each other well. I’d stick with those. Very nice.

      In Late September, to get from Santorini to Crete, there’s only ferry and flights via Athens. Renting a car is a good idea if you want to get out of the main towns and see some smaller villages and the countryside.I’d do it for at least one day but don’t feel you need a rental car for the whole visit. With 4 days I would recommend a night or two in Chania (much nicer than Rethymno).

      I recently spend two weeks in Paris. For something a little less typical I highly recommend the Paris By Mouth walking tours. Lots of fun, great food, small groups (max 7). They’re really great.

  38. Staying in Karterados?

    Hi Dave,
    We have never been to Santorini and booked a hotel for end of august that is located in Karterados. Was that a mistake? How is the area and is it far from Fira, Oia, and great views?
    Thanks!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      It’s a 15 minute walk from Karterados to Fira and caldera views. From there you’d get a bus to Oia that takes about 20 minutes. Obviously this takes less time if you have a rental car to get around the island.

  39. Should We Rent A Car When Staying at Vedema Resort

    Hi Dave! Great site, I think I’ve read every page twice 🙂 My husband and I are honeymooning in Greece and have 4 days in Santorini to start, from Sept 2-6. We’re staying at the Vedema resort and are wondering whether we’ll need to rent a car….planning to hit all the points you highlight (Oia, Fira, Imerovigli, beaches, etc) as well as take a boat tour. Advice on the car rental as well as a boat recommendation are appreciated! We’re hoping to see the caldera and hot springs and are wondering whether to do a full day tour, sunset tour – or both!

    Thank you so much – plan to bookmark your site and use it our entire visit!

    ~Alyssa Tomback

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Yes, renting a car is highly recommended to be able to get around the island from where you’re located. The easiest way is to ask your hotel to get a car for you. It doesn’t cost much more than seeking out a rental agency and they deliver right to your hotel door.

  40. Aura in Firostefani or Kima Villa, Thiera in Oia

    Hi Dave! Going to Santorini for our honeymoon in September and looking for a room with a view and private hot tub. Trying to decide between Aura in Firostefani, Kima Villa in Oia, and Thiera in Oia. Thiera looks interesting because its the cheapest between the three but there were no reviews on it at booking.com. Please let us know your thoughts. Thanks!
    Stephanie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I would go with Kima Villa but you should decide where you want to stay (Oia or Firostefani) before picking a hotel.

  41. Anemomilos Hotel in Oia

    Just like everyone here, I can’t decide where to stay!
    First time in Santorini, want a caldera view on a tight budget. Staying 4 nights from 9-13 October 2015. I like the look of Anemomilos Hotel and Apartments in Oia, although reviews say it’s not on the Caldera. However, some say the caldera is just across the road. Will Oia still be lively in October?
    Or, should we plump for Firostefani or Imerovigli?
    We’re a couple – aged 44 and 55, reasonably active so can walk, but my other half gets a bit fed up walking back to a hotel in the evening… you say taxis are scarce this year?
    Anne

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I stayed a few nights at Anemomilos 2 or 3 weeks back and quite liked it. It’s on the opposite side of the road from the caldera without any direct caldera views. It does have a very nice pool with nice views looking east (not the caldera). It’s about a 10 to 15 minute walk to central Oia and the area where you watch the sunset. A basic breakfast (toast/fruit/coffee) is included.

  42. Nefeli Homes vs Villa Irini

    Hi Dave,

    Great site! Really helpful!

    My girlfriend and I are looking to spend 4 nights in Santorini in Mid September this year. We are trying to decide whether to stay at Nefeli Homes? or Villa Irini Fira?

    Villa Irini is more expensive, but looks more private. We are wondering which one you would recommend? And whether it is worth the extra money to stay in Villa Irini Fira?

    We are 25, not big partiers, not there to party, just in Santorini to experience the views and sun!

    Thanks!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Villa Irini is the better value (larger suites and better pool) but it is quite isolated. A good 30 minute walk from Fira with few restaurants nearby. Nefeli Homes is in Imerovigli with an equally great view (looking south into the caldera instead of north into the caldera like Villa Irini). Imerovigli is one of the quieter villages but there are still 8 to 10 great restaurants within a 5 minute walk. If you really want seclusion then go with Villa Irini but my choice would be Nefeli.

  43. Prices and Debit Cards during Greek Crisis

    Hi Dave we are travelling to Santorini tomorrow, can you tell us whether anything major has changed due to the problems in Greece at the moment. How is it affecting the tourists. Will the prices for food and drink go up dramatically, can you still use debit cards in Greece?

    We plan to take cash but just wanted an idea of what’s in store for us when we get there.

    Thanks,
    Andrea Tully

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Food and drink prices have been cheaper this year than I can ever remember. Debit and credit cards are fine to use. No lineups at ATMs and no problem getting cash anywhere in Greece. (But bringing a good supply of Euros on arrival is always a good idea.)

  44. Cruises to Santorini and Mykonos

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your information!
    My husband and I plan to travel to Greece on the third week of August. I want to know that travel from Athens to Mykonos and Santorini should be with flight or Cruise? If with cruise, which cruise lines are famous and luxury? How long it takes from Athens? Should we go first step to Mykonos or Santorini? how many days will be enough visiting around Mykonos and Santorini? Should we buy the flight tickets or cruise tickets for all trips? Can we buy separate tickets for flights and cruise? Thanks!
    Sandar

  45. Canaves Sunset View

    Dave,
    Love the website, very informative!
    My husband and I are planning a trip to Santorini for next May, 2016. We are really interested in staying in Oia, at Canaves. Do you know if we will have a sunset view from Canaves in late May? Or will we need to go to a different part of the island?
    Thanks so much for your help.
    Meghan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Canaves does not have a direct sunset view. You will see the sun set over the town but not into the sea. A sunset viewing area is a 10 minute walk from Canaves.

  46. Hotels for Young Kids in Oia

    Hi,
    I am going to Santorini in the first week of July and I want to stay in Oia. We are a couple with an infant (2 1/2 years). I am really finding it hard to find a hotel cuz all good ones like Katikies and Canaves are either booked or don’t allow kids between 2yrs to 13yrs. plz suggest as to how safe is it to travel to oia with an infant.
    shraddha sachdeva

  47. Luggage Storage on Santorini

    Hello Dave,
    Thanks for keeping a wonderful informative website about Santorini. Me & my wife are reaching Santorini at 7 AM on 20 June 2015 by air. However we have a hotel booking at Oia from 14:00 hrs. I asked the hotel if early check-in is possible, however they are fully booked. Can you suggest some option where I can store my luggage temporarily before moving to hotel in Oia?
    Kaushik Basu

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Even if you can’t check in early at your hotel you should always be able to store your luggage with the hotel. Then explore Oia for the day and return at 14:00 to check in.

  48. Greek Islands with 21 Year Old

    Hi Dave, Awesome website. Very informative. Need some advice re our 6 day stay in Santorini and Mykonos. We fly into the former and out of the latter. I am planning 4 days for Santorini and 2 days for Mykonos. Should I split our stay equally for 3 days in each place or should we do 2 days each in Santorini and Mykonos and one other island? I am a mom taking my 21 year old on her graduation trip. We are big foodies, like sightseeing and shopping. What would your recommendation be and where do you think we could stay so my daughter can hang out ( safely) with young adults her age ( 21 )?
    Thanks.
    Lynn Vaz

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      4 days on Santorini and 2 days on Mykonos is how I would split it. But Santorini and Mykonos both have slightly older crowds and not a lot of college-aged kids (or not enough to have any hangout or town be their scene) so you may want to add an island like Ios that attracts a younger college/backpacker crowd. There is definitely a party scene on Ios (which may not be what you’re looking for) but nothing crazy and I’d certainly call it safe. Great beaches on Ios too. Then you could do 2 days each on the 3 islands which is hurried but fine.

  49. Turkey to Santorini

    Hi Dave, thanks so much for the great info on your website. My husband and are travelling from Bodrum on September 8th and have booked a flight at midnight on the 15th to Venice from Santorini. We were thinking of spending 3 nights in Santorini and are interested in suggestions of stopovers from Bodrum to Santorini. I have looked at Patmos (remote), Kos or Rhodes and then will ferry to Santorini. Keen not to waste too much time travelling. We would also like to do a day trip of sailing from Santorini. Would it be better to have a shorter stopover and spend four nights in Santorini? Thanks, Kim and Nick

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      In September there is a Blue Star ferry that leaves Rhodes at 4pm, stops in Kos, then gets to Santorini about midnight. It runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That’s pretty much the only ferry. So either island will do but I much prefer Rhodes – more to see, great beaches. Though Kos is better if you want to do some cycling.

  50. Finikia or Akrotiri?

    Hi Dave, what do you think of staying in Finikia (Fava EcoSuites) or Akrotiri (Maison des Lys or Avante Garde)? My boyfriend and I are coming to Santorini for 1 week in July. For the first 4 nights we’re staying at Filotera Suites in Oia, but I’m struggling to find anything for our next 3 nights (preferably in Oia or Imerovigli). Since we’re splurging on Filotera, we’d like the next 3 nights to be more affordable (under 300 euros). We’re open to Airbnb or hotel as long as we have privacy, amazing views and a beautiful room. You get more bang for your buck in less popular towns… but is it worth it?
    Vanessa

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I would much rather stay in Finikia (an easy walk from Oia) than Akrotiri, which is a long way from anything (beyond Red Beach and the Akrotiri Archaeological site – both great but not worth more than one visit each). But you’re already staying in Oia so then moving to Finikia is going to feel not as central but nothing really new either. I’d try to look for something in Firostefani. You should be able to find something as cheap as Fava Suites but in a new part of the island. That said, there is a bus stop in Finikia and you’re only 12 to 15 minutes away from Fira so it’s still a nice spot if nothing else works out.

  51. Location of Splendour Resort

    Hi Dave

    Great site. Thanks for the information. We just booked 5 nights at Splendour Resort thinking it had views of the Caldera and was located on the west side of the Island between Imerovigli and Fira (as shown on their website and booking.com). Google maps however is showing it as being closer to the airport in the middle of the island, and some reviews on TripAdvisor are suggesting it is in the centre of the island.

    It seems to me now that any views are of the East side of the island, but the conflicting maps make it unclear as to where this hotel actually is.

    Is it walking distance to Fira restaurants etc? Is it located on the west side?

    Thanks
    Nev.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      The Booking.com map has the location right. It’s in Firostefani but does not have views of the caldera. The sea views are of the east side of the island. It can be deceiving with location. It’s located on the west side of the island but if it’s inland just a little (as it is) then it won’t have views into the caldera. It’s a 10 minute walk to Fira (downhill) and about 20 minutes back from Fira (uphill).

  52. Villa Aesthesis in Fira

    Hi Dave,

    Your website is incredibly helpful. It’s very much appreciated. Do you know anything about the Villa Aesthesis?

    We’re looking for a great view, relatively close to restaurants and shopping.

    Regards,
    Matt

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      It’s in a quieter section of Fira but only a 3 to 5 minute walk to shops, restaurants, and central area. Great views of caldera.

  53. Booking Vacation Rental

    Hi Dave, AMAZING WEBSITE!

    I have a really specific, panicky question I’m not sure if you’re able to help with! After extensive research, including your great site, we found a place called Thea Studios in Oia (not the one in Fira). It looks great and we’ve been offered great rates. HOWEVER – it’s not bookable on any major online booking site, and the person who’s written to me is called Torun Karvounis, from Karvounis Group / Karvounis Travel. She says that she and her husband are employed by Thea Studios to manage the accommodation and take bookings on their behalf. She’s asking for 50% deposit by paypal or credit card. I’ve asked for some kind of contact / cancellation form and she’s sent me a basic word document.

    What would you advise?! Is this kind of thing legitimate and safe, or am I right to be worried about fraud in any way? Sorry, appreciate this might not be something you’d have any idea on, and I am particularly spooked as recently there was a whole thing in the news about travel fraud and innocent couples turning up to find themselves out of pocket with nowhere to stay!

    Thanks in advance,
    Steve Goodman

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I would not book a vacation rental that did not use Booking.com, Flipkey, VRBO, AirBnb – or a similar service. They’re likely fine but not worth the uncertainty and anxiety.

  54. Asma Suites on Santorini

    Hi Dave

    Here’s hoping you can help. We’ve booked our flights to Santorini for mid-June, not realising that the majority of nice hotels/apartments are fully booked. We’ve just noticed a place in Fira called Asma Suites. They look new as they have only appeared on all the hotel sites as of 31/03/2015. Do you know anything about them?

    Many thanks!!
    Anita

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I do not know of Asma Suites but by the looks of the pictures they appear to be central Fira – a bit towards the southern side of the town (so close to shops and restaurants). Couldn’t say much more.

  55. Where To Go in Santorini and Greece

    Hi Dave!

    I sure am happy I stumbled on your website. My husband and I are planning a trip to Greece in May, and just feel overwhelmed with options on where to go/stay! We fly into Athens on May 17th and need to be back on the 23rd, as we have an early flight out the next morning. But between then, we want to explore some! I want to see the beautiful architecture of Santorini, but we want a somewhat “off the beaten path” trip as well. Relaxing beach time, maybe some hiking, just as much of a “local” experience as we can have. It seems we should stay on the east side of the island and have day trips to the western side. Do you have any recommendations for us?

    Thank you!
    Allison

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      It’s much better to stay on the west side of Santorini as that’s where the real magic of Santorini is found – along the caldera. It’s also where Fira is (the hub of the island’s bus routes which makes getting to the outer corners of the island easy). If you do want to experience local and traditional culture along with beaches and hikes it’s best to visit a less popular island (Naxos is a good choice). On Santorini Pyrgos is a lovely traditional village with great restaurants (and nearby Exo Gonia) but it’s not really on the east coast of the island anyways and is just as easy to reach from Fira (actually it’s easiest if you’re coming from Fira by bus).

  56. Hotel for 3 Adults without Steep Stairs

    Hi Dave,
    I need recommendation on accommodation 29 July to 1 Aug (3 nights) – the conditions are NO steep stairs, NOT in the main area, budget below 700 Euros for 3 adults, view is not necessary, close to bus stops (if possible). Is it true that caved hotel have an unpleasant smell to it? What are your top 3 recommended restaurants?

    Thank you!
    Pauline

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Villa Agnadi meets all of these criteria. It’s unusual for a cave hotel to have an unpleasant smell. Recommended restaurants: Metaxy Mas in Exo Gonia, To Ouzeri in Fira, Taverna Katina in Amoudi.

  57. San Antonio Resort/Best Restaurant in Santorini

    Hello Dave, my husband and I will be visiting Santorini for a couple of days only then off to Mykonos. The plan is to pamper ourselves in Santorini and leave all the craziness to Mykonos. I decided on staying at Imerovigli’s San Antonio. I think it’s good to be in between Fira and Oia incase we decide visiting any of them. What do you think? Do you recommend another hotel instead? What’s the best restaurant in Santorini?
    Dalia

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      The San Antonio is wonderful and a great place to unwind and relax but it is a good distance from Imerovigli. It’s out on its own in between Imerovigli and Oia without much around it. There is a bus stop nearby.

      If I could eat at only one restaurant it would be Metaxy Mas in Exo Gonia.

  58. Hotel for Pregnant Women – Not Hilly

    Dave! I need your help. I’ve wanted to go to Santorin for years but live in Australia now. I’m heading to the UK for a visit in July and want to hop over for a few days… BUT I’ll be almost 7 months pregnant. I’m worried I’ll be too hot, or it’ll be too hilly. I want to stay in Oia but can you tell me if any of the towns are easier to get around than others? I’m looking for views and a romantic setting, I’d love my own pool so I don’t feel like a whale and I would like to visit one beach while I’m there – which would you suggest? Thanks in advance 🙂
    Rachael

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Oia is good as there are fewer steps and much of it is enjoyed by walking on a fairly level path/sidewalk. That said, most hotels have plenty of steps to access the rooms. A hotel with not many steps in Oia is the Aspaki. Another great hotel (this one in Firosefani) which is easily accessed with few steps is Tsitouras Collection. Both have incredible views of the caldera.

  59. Hotels for Large Wedding in Santorini

    Hi Dave.

    Firstly, thank you so much for your page it is FANTASTIC!

    Was hoping you could give me some advice. I am getting married in Santorini and have quite a few guests attending. I am hoping to have everyone stay as close together (location wise) as possible. Could you recommend some of the larger hotels for me and my guests to stay in.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Katikies, Canaves Suites, and Canaves Hotel are basically right beside each other (the hotel is slightly separated – you need to walk along the road for 1 minute to get to it from Katikies or Canaves Suites). They are not big hotels but compared to other hotels in Santorini they do have a large number of suites (27, 22, and 17 respectively).

  60. Canaves or Filotera Suites?

    Hi Dave, we are planning our honeymoon to Oia in August. We want a caldera view and a private jacuzzi. We are looking for a secluded balcony, but haven’t had much luck. Which is fine, we understand all the hotels are packed on top of each other.

    We are deciding between a jacuzzi suite at the Canaves SUITES property and a jacuzzi suite at Filotera.

    We understand that Filotera is under construction. And so many of the tripadvisor reviews are outdated. Do you have any information to share with us about the new and improved Filotera?

    Do you think it is worth the extra money to stay at Canaves?

    Thanks so much! We have really enjoyed your website. It is so useful!

    Molly

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Filotera is closer to the center Oia and thus a little busier on the path overlooking the hotel. Canaves has more privacy and is in a quieter section of the footpath – though still not far from the town square. Renovations at Filotera will be done by the end of March and they will open April 1.

  61. Oia in April

    I am visiting Santorini April 16-19. We want to stay in Oia though understand that it will be quieter than Fira would be. What restaurants will be open during that time in Oia? Will we have to go to Fira to eat? Thanks! Alice

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      There will definitely be plenty of restaurant open by mid-April – probably close to all of them. No need to go to Fira to find great food.

  62. Hotel for Toddler in Santorini

    Active 1 year old, parents and grandparents.

    Hi Dave, thanks so much for your wonderful site! It is very helpful. I watched your youtube clip too and it really helped narrow down the options on which town to stay in.
    My husband and I are travelling to Santorini in July with our baby who will be 1 that month and my parents who are 67 and 70. I find it hard finding a suitable place for us to stay. Our baby is very active and fearless and crawls everywhere. My parents will look after her most of the time so my husband and I can have some time to ourselves (belated honeymoon). I don’t want my parents to have to stress over little Matilda climbing over a wall and falling down. Do you know of any nice 2 bedroom villas in Firostefani or Imerovigli with 1) caldera views, 2) safe for toddlers 3) enough privacy for us and our parents? Thanks so much in advance for your help. 🙂
    Viktoria

  63. Budget Hotel with Caldera Views

    Hi, my girlfriend and I are looking for somewhere to stay. Say if this is impossible but ideally we would like a place with a view onto the caldera, private balcony would be nice – preferably in firostefani or imerovigli – not really fussed about mod cons just a nice location (we won’t have a car), nice view… Is this possible on a budget of around £100 a night (we plan to go in the first half of September)?

  64. Budget Hotel with Caldera Views

    Hi Dave,

    This is an excellent blog and a great help for first-timers to Santorini. Like everyone else, I’m still debating on where to stay. We are 2 couples with kids and looking for budget hotels with caldera views. The 3 that I like and which fit our budget are Blue Dolphins (Firostefani), Zoe Cave Houses (Oia) and El Greco (Fira). Since we are traveling in April end (26th-29th) do you think swimming would be possible? (then we’ll prefer ones with pools).
    This is a dream vacation for us and help in deciding on a hotel with good views would be really great.

    Thanks,
    Mani
    India

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      All are good hotels. Zoe doesn’t have sunset views. El Greco doesn’t have caldera views (there’s a busy street in between the cliff and El Greco). El Greco is the most resort like with a very nice pool.

  65. Which Islands in Greece for 6 Days

    Hi Dave, awesome blog I’m obsessed! My girlfriends and I have a bit of a dilemma (of the first world variety it’s not a real issue!) – a few of us are Greece first timers and almost all reviews point to definitely seeing Santorini. We only have 6 days in Greece and it’s two girls 30th birthdays so we want a mix of party and relaxing (because we’re now officially old). The girls who have been to Santorini before are suggesting Crete as an alternative or Rhodes (we need somewhere with an airport). My long winded question is would you suggest splitting our 6 days (sant + another island with an airport) or are Crete/Rhodes good Santorini alternatives in terms of mixing party/ relaxing? Thanks for your help!

    Courtney

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      It’s hard to combine Santorini with Rhodes as there are no flights and the ferry trip is long. Crete is a better choice as it’s only 2 hours away by ferry (no flights). But Crete is a big island and doesn’t lend itself to 3 day visits – but you can make it work if that’s what you want. Naxos (great beaches, little nightlife), Paros (good beaches, some nightlife), Mykonos (great beaches, great nightlife), and Ios (great beaches, great nightlife, younger crowd) are other islands that are a short ferry trip from Santorini and have airports (except Ios) with flights back to Athens.

  66. Oia or Imerovigli

    Dave
    We are still debating between staying in Imerovigli or Oia (3 nights). We are looking for a room with a nice balcony and, of course, a great view. Imerovigli, though it has great views, may be too isolated. Oia is the most picturesque town, but may be too crowded. It’s hard to decide.

    We’ve narrowed our focus to two properties in Imerovigli, Remezzo Villas and Absolute Bliss (hate the name, but it looks nice). In Oia we are looking at Atrina Traditional Houses.

    Do you have any thoughts or recommendations on these properties?
    Thanks.
    Tom Moffitt

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      All are great hotels. Atrina probably the nicest of the lot but slightly prefer views from the Imerovigli hotels (Atrina won’t have a direct sunset view). Imerovigli is quieter but also closer (walking distance) to Fira so there’s a tradeoff. From Oia you’re taking a 20 minute bus or taxi ride to go anywhere else.

  67. Hotels with Private Pool/Jacuzzi/Balcony

    Hello Dave,

    Firstly, wow. What an incredible insight into this amazing island.

    My husband and I are travelling from the 28.06 – 10.07 this year and I was hoping for some advise.

    We are simply after some much needed down time and time with one another.

    Santorini seems to hold the most amazing views so accomodation for our first 3 nights would need to include views from the balcony with a private spa pool/jacuzzi. Any recommendations please? We are not looking for cheap but ideally not wanting to pay over £1500 for the 3 nights.

    Where to next? Mykonos? Milos? Naxos? Paros? We love the beach so thats preferable. Not interested in night life. Hoping to hire a boat and spend the day on the ocean? We fly in and out of Santorini so its where we will start and end the holiday. Important not to be rushing around and more than happy to only stay at 2 islands.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Tammy

    Thanking you in advance for your help.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Check out Absolute Bliss in Imerovigli and Esperas in Oia.

      If you’re looking for beaches all 4 of those islands are good (Mykonos and Naxos the best). Naxos and Milos have the least nightlife of the 4. Taking a boat excursion around the island is one of the must-dos on Milos – so keep that in mind.

  68. Athens, Santorini, Naxos, Paros in May

    Hi Dave,

    Awesome website with meticulous details. Helped me a lot.

    We are 4 friends making a trip to Greece for 12 days, during the last 2 weeks of May. We will be visiting Santorini (4 days) to Naxos (3 days) to Paros (3 days) and finally Athens (2 days).
    We prefer to spend more in the islands with good views and in solitude than in busy places. Request your help on the below.

    1. Please suggest if the no of days at each place is good enough or any suggestions to change?
    2. Is the order of visiting the places OK?
    3. In Santorini – between Oia and Imerovigli, which one would you suggest for us? Will Oia be crowded late May?
    4. We want to have the experience of a ferry ride between one of the islands. For sure, blue star to avoid bumpy rides. Which leg of our journey could we opt for a ferry ?

    Thank you,
    Kavya

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      1. Paros – Naxos – Santorini or Santorini – Naxos – Paros (that’s the direction the Blue Star runs).
      2. Yes.
      3. Imerovigli is quieter but closer (walking distance) to Fira where most of the nightlife and shopping is. Oia has more going on and more restaurants but is a 20 minute bus ride from Fira. If you stay out late (past midnight) you’ll have to take a taxi back to Oia.
      4. I assume you’re flying the legs that you’re not ferrying. There are no flights between those 3 islands (so you’d need to go via Athens if you did want to fly). So fly between Athens and Santorini and between Paros and Athens. Ferry between Santorini and Naxos, and Naxos and Paros.

      1. Kavya

        Thanks a lot, Dave. That helps.

        One question though – This is the no of days we planned across islands. Is it ok? Or any changes you would suggest?

        Santorini – 5 days
        Naxos – 3 days
        Paros – 2 days
        Athens – 2 days

        Would you suggest to move one day from Santorini to Paros?

        Regards,
        Kavya

  69. Stay in Oia, Imerovigli, or Firostefani

    Hi Dave,
    Fantastic website well done.
    We are planning a trip to Santorini end of May for 4 nights but are very confused where to stay we are a couple and we are confused between Oia, Imerovigli and Firostefani.

    Can you please recommend a place with best views and mid range price.
    It our dream destination so want to have a memorable holiday your help will be appreciated.
    Cheers
    Sundeep

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      In summary, Imerovigli for a romantic and quiet atmosphere, Oia for a romantic but lively atmosphere, Firostefani for beautiful views within walking distance of (very lively) Fira.

  70. Adamis Majesty Suites in Fira

    Hi Dave,
    We are scheduled and booked Adamis Majesty Suites in Fira for 4 nights (coming from Mykonos). We are a family of 3 – with a 4yr old. I booked Adamis based on reviews – so still not sure if that is the best option especially it is very difficult to find a hotel in Fira that accomodates 3 in a room. I just want to make sure that this a good place to experience Santorini.

    Thanks,
    Leah B

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Nice hotel with great views. Very close to Fira shops and restaurants.

  71. Staying in Pirgos

    Terrific info. on Santorini. We will be visiting this summer 2 days and Staying in Pirgos. Do you think this is a good choice? None of us have ever been to Santorini. We’re 7 and are wondering do we need to rent a car or can we get around with out? Also what do you suggest we make sure we see, since we’re only there a few days then we’re off to Crete, for 8 days.

    Jo-Ann

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Pyrgos is a nice quiet village but it is not on the caldera. Most people want to stay along the caldera to enjoy the incredible views of the volcano, cliffs, and neighboring islands. And that’s what I recommend. But if you wanted to avoid the crowds and still stay in a pretty town then Pyrgos is perfectly fine. Yes, you will probably need a rental car if staying there. There are buses but if you’re going anywhere other than Fira it makes for a lengthy journey. Walking along the caldera between Fira and Oia (or some section of it) is the highlight of any trip to Santorini.

  72. Hotel in Imerovigli for Single

    Hi Dave,
    I am doing a GAP Adventures sailing tour (Santorini to Santorini) and spending a few days exploring Santorini before the tour begins.
    I will be travelling solo, am 22 years old and cannot wait to experience the sunset and amazing views! I am wondering if there is a hotel you could recommend for me where I won’t feel like I’m crashing people’s honeymoons (ie not over-the-top-romantic) since I will be on my own! Preferably in Imerovigli for the views 🙂 thanks!

    Georgie

  73. Staying in Megalochori

    Hi Dave,
    Great blog. I am visiting in late March. My wife, I and two kids. I have booked a place in Megalochori which looks wonderful. However, with the kids, can’t do a lot of walking. Would you say it’s a good choice? Or should I book in a different area. Our first time in Santorini, so want the whole feel.
    Thanks in advance,
    Sujoy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Megalochori is a nice little village with a handful of local (and good) restaurants. It is a little out of the way from most sights and the other villages which is great if you want a low key and quiet place to stay but does mean you’ll be taking a taxi or will need a rental car to get to other spots around the island. As far as the village itself, yes, it’s no trouble walking around and the town’s restaurants are within walking distance of each other.

  74. Santorini Hotel for Family of 5/Perissa or Fira

    Hi Dave
    Fantastic blog thank you for all the useful information. We are island hopping in late August for 16 days starting in Santorini for approx 4 days with our 3 university aged children and need somewhere with plenty of nightlife which points to Fira or Firostefani although our holiday agent is suggesting Perissa. My view is that as its our first time in Santorini we should be aiming for a cadera view but not sure if we can do this on a accomodation budget of approximately 350 euros per night as ideally we would like a pool to cool off in. Any advice would be much appreciated. Sue.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Definitely stay in Fira. Perissa is a good drive from the caldera towns (especially Oia). There’s not a lot around there. Good swimming but that can be found in other spots and is not why you come to Santorini anyways. The reason your travel agent is promoting Perissa is because they have deals with hotels there (most package deals involve stays in Kamari and Perissa) and thus want to get into one of those hotels.

      There are not a lot of places with large suites and a pool for that budget. Take a look at Kastro Suites in Fira.

  75. Where to Stay over Easter

    I am planning a trip in April, most likely over Easter. Planning to go to Pyrgos on Friday the 10th. If we are there the 10th-Tuesday the 14th, where would you recommend staying? I know it will be slow, but we’d love to experience the Easter celebrations and experience the views and culture of Santorini. Amy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Stay in Fira. Will have the most open and is central to getting around the island (and to Pyrgos).

  76. Caldera View Hotel with 3 Year Old

    Hi Dave,
    It is my first brush with Santorini and I am speechless. From your view it looks further enticing. Now here is my issue. We are three adults and one child (3 yr old). I will love to stay in a hotel with Caldera view but most of the hotels that I see are unprotected in terms of grills, or balcony ..I mean that even have waist level boundries, if you know what I mean .. with a little and a very naughty son in tow isnt it a challange ?
    There is no point in visiting Santorini and not staying at a place not overlooking Caldera.. so what do I do? Is there a place which is kid friendly? What shall i do, please help. I plan to visit in April.

    Regards,
    Vishal

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      There are not many hotels on the caldera that allow children. One that does is Aria Suites in Fira. It has good views of the caldera but it’s set back from the cliff so no worries about going straight over the edge.

  77. Best Beach Town

    Hi Dave

    What area would you recommend for 2 x couples in mid 20’s to stay wanting quiet relaxed days on the beach with good restaurants and a few bars at night?

    Phil

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Kamari or Perissa. Kamari has more nightlife and restaurants. Perissa has a slightly nicer beach but not as much to do. The swimming at both is great.

  78. Most Central Location for Seeing The Island

    We have 2 days/3 nights on Santorini in late May. We’ve heard great things about the island from friends and really want to get out and see the sights. Where would be the best place to stay to be sure we get to the places we want to see.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Fira is the most central town for seeing the island. It’s the hub for all bus routes and the closest caldera town to the beaches and the south of the island (Ancient Thira and Akrotiiri).

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