Altana Heritage Suites & Villas in Imerovigli, Santorini

GreeceSantoriniHotels › Altana Heritage Suites Review
by Santorini Dave • Updated: July 8, 2021

Essentials
• Location: On the caldera in Imerovigli village
Map
• Hotel website: altana.gr
• Hotel phone: +30 22860 23240
Check prices on Booking.com

Altana Suites Hotel in Santorini.

The poolside terrace at Altana Heritage Suites in Imerovigli overlooks the caldera, volcanoes, and Akrotiri Peninsula.

Altana Heritage Suites – Luxurious boutique hotel in a restored 18th-century mansion with the highest pool on the caldera and panoramic views of caldera sunsets and Aegean sunrises.

This high-end boutique hotel features carefully renovated cave-style suites, a shared pool with sweeping views, and a kafeneion, traditional Greek coffeehouse and bar. All suites and villas include private terraces, most with private, outdoor, heated pools or jacuzzis. Set in an 18th-century sea captain’s mansion and adjacent 19th-century buildings, Altana Heritage Suites has been lovingly restored with the help of the local archaeological commission. Many of the items found in the excavations have been repurposed or incorporated into the decor. Located 400 meters above the caldera at the highest point in Imerovigli village near Skaros Rock, amazing restaurants, and the heart of the village.

The pool with volcano view at Altana Heritage Suites in Imerovigli, Santorini

Altana is home to the highest swimming pool on the island, with dazzling sunset views over the caldera toward the volcanoes.

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Altana Heritage Suites – Location

Area: Idyllic location at the highest point on the caldera and in Imerovigli for unparalleled sunset views. From Altana, it’s just a short walk to the Skaros Rock hiking trail, many of the island’s best fine and casual dining spots, and the picturesque heart of the village. But expect to do a little climbing getting back up to the hotel.

How to Get There: The hotel sits above the caldera near the village center, not far off the main road connecting Oia and Fira, making it easy to reach by taxi, rental car, or bus. It is approximately 8km from the Santorini Airport to Altana, and 12km from the ferry port.

There are always buses waiting at the ferry port for every ferry arrival, as well as buses departing hourly from Santorini Airport. There are no direct buses from the port or airport to Imerovigli, however; buses from both locations go to Fira, where you must then board a different bus to Imerovigli – the entire trip from the port or airport to Imerovigli will take around an hour and cost about €5 in total. Tickets are purchased on the bus, in cash only. The bus station in Imerovigli is only a 4-minute walk from Altana Heritage Suites, but the pathway to the hotel is a maze of stairs. If arriving by bus, arrange for someone to meet you nearby and guide you to the hotel.

Taxis are also available from the port or airport, though there are only about 25 taxis in total serving the whole island, so there can be a long wait; schedule ahead to avoid this (I use and recommend Welcome Pickups). Taxis on Santorini are not metered, so be sure to agree on a price with the driver before setting out. A taxi from the airport to Altana should be about €25 to €30, and a taxi from the ferry port to Altana around €30.

For those who prefer to drive themselves, we recommend renting a car either at the airport on arrival or in Fira. The road from the ferry port is steep and narrow, with many tricky switchbacks, large trucks, and buses. Leave that for the locals to navigate. We strongly recommend reserving a vehicle in advance, especially if you require automatic transmission. There is free parking a short walk from the hotel, near the Imerovigli Basketball Court, and another parking lot near the bus station. Imerovigli has the hardest-to-find parking in Santorini, so you may have to circle around a couple of times to find a spot.

Handy to: The Oia-Fira Hiking Trail, Anastasi Church (1-minute walk), Skaros Rock (11-minute walk).

After sunset at Altana Heritage Suites in Imerovigli, Santorini

A terrace with a view over the caldera to Thirassia Island after sunset.

Map of Altana Heritage Suites

Map of Altana Heritage Suites in Imerovigli.

Altana Heritage Suites – The Basics

  • Ages: Altana Heritage Suites allows guests 13 and older in all of the main hotel complex (made of 9 suites). Guests of all ages are allowed in their villas (7 villas on the property). There are no specific amenities or facilities for children, but families will enjoy kitchenettes in the suites and full kitchens in the spacious 1 and 2-bedroom villas sleeping up to 5 guests.
  • Beach: The nearest beach is Exo Gialos, a quiet, black sand beach with intriguing wind-sculpted cliffs at its southern end. The best beach bar and restaurant is East Breeze, just a few meters from the cliffs (15-minute drive). The north end has a small harbor, and another great beach bar and restaurant called Yalos (12-minute drive). From the hotel, it’s a short 4.5 km drive to the north end, or 7.3 km to the south end, where the cliffs are.
  • View: Panoramic sunset caldera views their privileged vantage point; most suites also have views of the Aegean sunrise from their balconies.
  • Kitchen: Most suites have kitchenettes; all villas have fully-equipped kitchens.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Studios, Private Studios, VIP Suites, Cave Villas, Superior Cave Villas, and Premium Cave Villas have heated, outdoor plunge pools; Honeymoon Suites have indoor jacuzzis.
  • Parking: The main parking area in Imerovigli is near the Basketball Court, and there is a small lot near Sunbird Rent-A-Car; both of these are free lots. Imerovigli has the hardest-to-find parking in Santorini, so you may have to circle around a couple of times to find a spot.
  • Extras: Arriving guests will receive a fruit platter accompanied by a 20-year-old vinsanto wine, yoga retreats (usually in October, private dining, cooking classes, wine tastings. Event planning and hosting, especially weddings, vow renewals, and proposals, but also barbeques, cocktail parties, and team building.
  • When to Book: The hotel is open from mid-April to November 1. Reserve at least 3 months in advance (5 months is better) for stays during high season from June through September, and about 2 months in advance for the low and shoulder seasons.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +30 30 22860 23240
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: altana.gr

Altana Heritage Suites – Amenities

  • Pool: Suite guests have access to the highest infinity pool in the caldera offers a bird’s eye view over the volcanoes, toward Skaros Rock, Thirassia, and Aspronisi, and from the tip of the Akrotiri Peninsula to the tip of Oia. Villa guests have their own private pools or jacuzzis. The main pool is unheated, while all private pools and jacuzzis are heated.
  • Spa: No spa on-site, but in-room spa treatments are available.
  • Fitness Center: No gym.
  • For Disabled Guests: This is a caldera hotel with lots of steps and no elevator. Not wheelchair accessible. But people with minor mobility issues have the option of booking one of the higher floor rooms with no stairs and easier access to the main footpath to town.
  • For Families: Guests over 13 years are allowed in the suites; guests of all ages are allowed in the villas. There are no specific amenities or facilities for children. Most guests tend to be couples on a romantic getaway.
  • Activities: Altana offers cooking classes, wine tastings, and private dining. There are plans in the works to incorporate tours of their own organic Altana Farm into their gastronomy program. Yoga retreats are held often in October. Private events can be arranged at their dreamy view terrace.

Altana Heritage Suites – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: Altana Bistro and Bar is a traditional kafeneion, a Greek coffee house and bar, serving breakfast for guests only and light fare, and craft cocktails to the public. The kafeneion is especially known for its impressive selection of Santorinian wines. The menu offers organic Greek fare, including lots of vegan and vegetarian options. Offerings change regularly, depending on what is fresh and in season at their organic farm. Though the atmosphere is casual, the hotel also presents gourmet experiences, including a “local flavors” degustation menu, cooking classes, wine tastings, and private dining served to each suite’s or villa’s sunset terrace. • $$.
  • Breakfast: Generally, breakfast is complimentary for suite guests or €15 per person for villa guests. Breakfast is served buffet-style at the kafeneion each morning from 8:30 until noon (though it can also be brought to each suite as late as 2:00 p.m. free of charge if arranged in advance). All jams, marmalades, breads, cakes, pies, and sweets are made in-house.
  • Room Service: Available for suite guests during restaurant hours, usually from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Altana Heritage Suites – Rooms

  • Room Types: Studio • Standard Apartment • Superior Apartment • Junior Suite • Superior Cave House Suite • VIP Suite • Honeymoon Suite • Private Studio • Superior Studio • Superior Cave House • Superior Cave Villa • Premium Cave Villa
  • Smoking Rooms: The hotel does not allow smoking in any of its room categories. It is allowed on the private outdoor terraces and in the outdoor common areas.
  • Best Room: For couples, the best choice is the VIP Suite. This 2-story, 1-bedroom suite offers 2 living rooms, a kitchenette, a cave-style bedroom and bathroom, and a private, heated outdoor plunge pool on its sun terrace with expansive caldera views.
  • For Families: Families that want the full amenities of the hotel should stay in the suite section, rather than the villas. The Superior Cave House Suite sleeps up to 5 guests with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, dining area, and kitchenette plus a terrace with an outdoor, heated, private plunge pool. Families interested in the self-catering villas should bool the Premium Cave Villa, the most spacious accommodation here with 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, full kitchen, living room, dining room, and an outdoor terrace with a private, heated, plunge pool.

Altana Heritage Suites – Local Transport

  • Walking: Altana is located in the heart of Imerovigli village at the highest point of the caldera just south of Skaros Rock. The village’s top restaurants, shops, and sights are all within a short 2 to 6-minute walk. The nightlife and shopping in Fira is just a 26-minute walk south through charming Firostefani village.
  • Bus: The nearest bus stop is in Imerovigli village, near Sunbird car rental and Posidonia Tavern, a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Buses that stop here go north to Oia and south to Firostefani and Fira. A transfer in Fira is required if heading to the airport, port, or beaches. Tickets are bought on board, and range from €1.80 to €2.50 per person in the daytime, depending on the route. Night buses (12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) run less frequently and cost a little more, from €2.30 to €3.10. Buses can get very crowded, especially during the high season, so much so that they often fill to capacity and are unable to take on more passengers. There are only 23 public buses serving the island.
  • Taxis: The nearest taxi stand is at Stathmos Taxi, all the way down in Fira, so not very practical. Plus, there is often a wait as there are only 25 taxis serving the entire island. Book taxis in advance to avoid waiting. The average rate from Imerovigli to Fira is roughly €10, and from Imerovigli to the airport or port is around €25 to €35.
  • Scooters/Motorcycles: Scooters are the main mode of transportation for the locals, but if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, it can be very dangerous. The roads here are zigzagging, hilly, narrow, and have sheer drop-offs with no guardrails and no street lights in most areas. Lots of dirt roads and potholes.
  • ATVs/Quads: ATVs are a fun and popular mode of transportation with tourists, but for the locals stuck driving behind them, they move too slowly and hold up traffic in an area where getting around is already a hassle. For those who don’t ride quads regularly (i.e. most people), they can be dangerous at high speeds and on turns. Crashing your ATV is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation.

Altana Heritage Suites – What’s Nearby?

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • The Athenian House: Elegant fine dining with spectacular sunset views. Contemporary and imaginative Greek dishes incorporate modern gastronomic techniques and locally-sourced ingredients. Most of all, they’re delicious. 2-minute walk.
  • Anogi: Al fresco dining with local specialties and classic Greek dishes. Rich flavors and large portions, so come hungry. 4-minute walk.
  • La Maison: Contemporary, Greek fine dining with sweeping caldera views. Food, wine, and service are all phenomenal. 5-minute walk.
  • Avocado: Traditional Greek menu, charming space, super friendly staff. Cycladic recipes and a fantastic selection of Santorinian wines. 6-minute walk.
  • Le Moustache: Elevated Greek and Mediterranean dining and excellent cocktails with panoramic sunset views over the caldera. 8-minute walk.
  • Da Vinci: Fantastic Italian restaurant with spectacular caldera views. 13-minute walk.
  • Aktaion: The oldest taverna on the island, Aktaion has been serving authentic Santorinian flavors since 1922. 14-minute walk.

Best Nearby Bars and Breweries

Best Nearby Cafes

  • Hlios Bakery: Good coffee, basic pastries, and deli sandwiches. Not exceptional, but they’re cheap and they deliver (cash only for deliveries). 5-minute walk.
  • To Briki: Fantastic café, the best place to try traditional Greek coffee. Breakfasts are superb and the sunset views are gorgeous. 13-minute walk.

Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops

  • Pegasus Boutique: Next to the hotel of the same name, this little boutique offers clothing, shoes, swimwear, and accessories by Greek designers. 6-minute walk.
  • Under a Fig Tree: Upscale boutique featuring Greek-designed fashion, accessories, and swimwear right on the Oia-Fira trail. 8-minute walk.

Nearby Attractions

  • Oia-Fira Hiking Trail: One of the top attractions on the island is this scenic 10.5 km hiking trail connecting Oia and Fira. A mix of sidewalk, cobblestones, and dirt trail, this route boasts gorgeous vistas the entire way. Hiking northwest, the full length of the path from the hotel to Oia Castle takes from 2 to 4 hours; heading south to the trail’s end in Fira, near Keti Hotel, takes about 30-40 minutes. Add about an hour for a detour at Skaros Rock either way. 1-minute walk from the hotel.
  • Agios Georgios Church: Small white church on a platform over the caldera, marking the start of the trail to Skaros Rock. Gorgeous, panoramic views from here. 1-minute walk.
  • Anastasi Church: The most picturesque, blue-domed church in Imerovigli offers gorgeous caldera views overlooking Skaros Rock. Popular for weddings and photo shoots. 1-minute walk.
  • Imerovigli Basketball Court: Not an attraction, but good to know. This is the main parking area in Imerovigli. 5-minute walk.
  • Skaros Rock: Impressive volcanic rock formation housing the ruins of a medieval castle and town, dating to 1207. The monastery at its base, Panagia Theoskepasti, is the only part of Skaros that is still active. 11-minute walk.

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

  • Supermarket Nissi: The friendliest market in the area, and usually the best prices in Imerovigli. 4-minute walk.
  • Jimmy’s Market Cava: Market and deli with a great selection (especially the wines) plus great coffee and breakfast sandwiches (more consistent and better quality breakfasts than Hlios, but they don’t deliver). 5-minute walk.

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