• Location: Wonderful location in quiet Firostefani, with spectacular caldera views.
• Map • Video review
• Hotel website: belvederesantorini.com
• Hotel phone: +30 22860 25496
• Check prices on Booking.com
Belvedere – Upscale, family-friendly hotel in a quiet neighborhood with a pool and unobstructed views over the volcanoes to Thirassia and Skaros Rock.
A casual luxury hotel, Belvedere is perfectly situated on the caldera’s edge overlooking the volcanoes in a tranquil yet accessible neighborhood. Its large pool is fronted by a sundeck with sweeping views, and boasts poolside service for drinks and snacks all day. Contemporary rooms and suites are well-appointed in neutrals and white to emphasize the blue shades of the Mediterranean. Several amazing restaurants, bars, and attractions sit steps away from the hotel, though the immediate area remains quiet at night.
Belvedere – Location
Absolutely gorgeous location in Firostefani, with spectacular views over the caldera to the volcanoes, Thirassia and Aspronisi islands, and Akrotiri. The hotel sits in a quiet neighborhood with several excellent restaurants nearby, and is just a short walk to romantic Imerovigli and the capital Fira.
• How to Get There:
The hotel sits above the caldera in Firostefani, not far off the main road connecting Fira and Oia, making it easy to reach by bus, taxi, or driving yourself. It is approximately 8km from the Athinios ferry port and the Santorini Airport to the hotel, though they are in different directions.
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 Firostefani, however; buses from both locations go to Fira, where you must then board the Fira-Imerovigli bus, which stops at Firostefani – the entire trip from the port or airport to Firostefani will take at least an hour and cost about €5 in total. Tickets are purchased on the bus, in cash only. The bus stop is just 3 minutes away on foot near St. Gerasimos Church, and the walk from there to the hotel entrance is mostly flat, easy to navigate with luggage.
Taxis are also available from the port or airport, though there are only about 25 taxis serving the whole island, so there is often a wait; schedule a ride through a private car service in advance 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 or ferry port to Belvedere will both cost roughly €25. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more – about $45 (or €37), but is worth it to avoid the wait and for the convenience of paying ahead.
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. Upon arrival in Firostafani, there is free parking in the lot at Belvedere’s sister property, Santorini Palace (a major perk) (5-minute walk).
Map of Belvedere
Belvedere – The Basics
- Ages: All ages are allowed at the hotel. Guests tend to be couples celebrating a romantic occasion; usually a honeymoon, anniversary, or birthday.
- 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 there is East Breeze, just a few meters from the cliffs (12-minute drive). The north end has a small harbor and another great beach bar and restaurant called Yalos (9-minute drive). From the hotel, it’s a short 4.1 km drive to the north end or 5.9 km to the south end, where the cliffs are.
- View: Most rooms and suites have sweeping caldera views over the volcanoes and toward the sunset. 5 of their 31 units have interior views of the hotel.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Parking: Free parking nearby at their sister property, Santorini Palace, about 5 minutes away on foot.
- Extras: Wine cellar.
- When to Book: The hotel is open from April 1 to November 1. Reserve at least 4 months in advance (6 months is better) for stays during high season from June through September, and about 3 months in advance for the low and shoulder seasons.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +30 22860 25496
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: belvederesantorini.com
Belvedere – Amenities
- Pool: Large, unheated pool with a sundeck and plenty of loungers that overlook the caldera.
- Spa: No spa onsite, but guests have access and free transfers to and from Lotus Spa at their sister property El Greco. 24-minute walk.
- Fitness Center: No gym onsite, but guests have access to the fitness center at their sister property El Greco, less than 2 km away.
- For Disabled Guests: This is a caldera hotel with lots of steps and no elevator. Not suitable for guests with mobility issues.
- For Families: This is an all-ages property and offers babysitting service on request. The pool offers a wide view over the caldera but is set back from the edge, so it’s safer for little ones. VIP Suites are suitable for groups of up to 4.
- Activities: The concierge is happy to arrange boat tours and excursions to nearby islands, wine tours and tastings, and visits to the ruins at Akrotiri.
Belvedere – Food and Drink
- Lounge/Bar: The Pool Bar is open all day, from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., serving fantastic cocktails, a full breakfast, and a wide selection of light bites. The wine list emphasizes the best labels from Santorini, Greece, and beyond.
- Breakfast: A complimentary buffet breakfast is served at the pool bar every morning from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. with a wide range of pastries, cereals, fruit, meats, and coffee.
- Room Service: Available all day from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Belvedere – Rooms
- Room Types: Superior Room • Junior Suite • VIP Suite
- Smoking Rooms: The hotel does not allow smoking in any of their rooms. Smoking is allowed on the private terraces and in the outdoor common areas.
- Best Room: The VIP Suite is the best room category. Divided over 2 levels, these 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom suites offer a queen bed upstairs and a sofa bed downstairs with a living room, a bathroom with a rain shower, panoramic views from the balcony, and an entrance near the wine cellar.
- For Families: This is an all-ages hotel with babysitting services and suites for up to 4 guests. The VIP Suite, described above, is the best option for families of 4. Larger groups will need to book an additional room.
Belvedere – Local Transport
- Walking: The hotel is located near the main square of Firostefani, above the caldera, and on the Oia-Fira hiking trail, with amazing restaurants, bars, shops, and attractions just a few meters away. Easy access to all dining and attractions in romantic Imerovigli as well as the nightlife and shopping in bustling Fira; both villages are within 15 minutes of the hotel.
- Bus: The nearest bus stop is a 3-minute walk from the hotel, near the parking lot at St. Gerasimos. Buses here serve all of the major villages and beaches on the island, often with a change in Fira 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 in Fira, about 16 minutes south. There is often a wait here as there are only 25 taxis serving the entire island (with guests from about 1,000 hotels, villas, and Airbnbs). Book ahead to avoid the wait, and have the driver meet you near the hotel instead. There will be a small surcharge for advance reservations and for carrying luggage, usually just a couple of Euros. The average rate from Firostefani to the airport or port is around €25.
- 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.
Belvedere – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Aktaion: The oldest taverna on the island, Aktaion has been serving authentic Santorinian flavors since 1922. 2-minute walk.
- Da Vinci Restaurant: Fantastic Italian restaurant with spectacular caldera views. 5-minute walk.
- Pelican Kipos: Stellar, wine-centric restaurant with over 600 varieties of local and international wines in a charming garden setting. Wine tastings and cellar tours available daily. 13-minute walk.
- Argo Restaurant: Argo features a rich menu of Santorinian and Mediterranean flavors with modern, international influences. With amazing views over the caldera, this is a popular spot for sunset dining. Reserve in advance to ensure a view table. 14-minute walk.
- Lucky’s Souvlakis: Hands-down the very best gyros in Santorini. Eating at Lucky’s is an absolute must when in Santorini. Authentic, filling, and affordable. 14-minute walk.
- La Maison: Contemporary, Greek fine dining with sweeping caldera views. Food, wine, and service are all phenomenal. 15-minute walk.
- 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. 22-minute walk.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Volkan on the Rocks: Great brewpub in Firostefani with amazing views and an outdoor cinema. 5-minute walk.
- Kira Thira Jazz Bar: A Santorinian standby since 1976, Kira Thira is a cozy, casual bar with fantastic sangria, strong drinks, and an eclectic selection of music. 13-minute walk.
- Tango Champagne and Cocktail Bar: Refined lounge with a romantic vibe and picture-perfect sunset views. 14-minute walk.
- Tropical Bar: Great cocktails and a magnificent view make this a popular spot for catching the sunset. The drinks menu strips down to basic offerings after sundown, but at happy hours (9:00 to 11:00p.m.), all cocktails are half price. Aussies take note: they sell VB here. 14-minute walk.
- MoMix: Half bar, half mad science lab, MoMix (short for Molecular Mixology) creates wild cocktails served in test tubes, as edible bites, or in bubble form. 15-minute walk.
- PK Cocktail Bar: The best bar in Santorini, PK Cocktail Bar offers superb sunset views, creative cocktails, and 3 levels of seating in the caldera. 15-minute walk.
- Buddha Bar Beach: Upscale cocktail bar, restaurant, and shisha lounge with views over Skaros Rock to the caldera. Pricey but on point. 21-minute walk.
Best Nearby Cafes
- Galini Café: Super friendly, all-day café with superb coffee and amazing views. Best loved for their breakfasts and brunch, especially the crepes, bennies, and French toast. 2-minute walk.
- To Briki: Fantastic café, the best place to try traditional Greek coffee. Breakfasts are superb, and the sunset views are gorgeous. 3-minute walk.
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Under a Fig Tree: Upscale boutique featuring Greek-designed fashion, accessories, and swimwear right on the Oia-Fira trail. 10-minute walk.
- Little Dot: Trendy boutique offering men’s and women’s street, surf, and swim wear. 11-minute walk.
- Pegasus Boutique: Next to the hotel of the same name, this little boutique offers clothing, shoes, swimwear, and accessories by Greek designers. 13-minute walk.
- White House Santorini: Specialty shop for all-white summer garb for men, women, and children. Located across the walking path from Idol Restaurant in Fira. 13-minute walk.
- Ammos: This shop has 2 locations in Fira, 1 in Kamari, and 1 in Oia. All offer a wide selection of international and Greek brands. 13-minute walk to either of the Fira locations.
- Noi: Upscale women’s boutique offering elegant summer clothing, shoes, and accessories on Santorini’s famous Gold Street. 13-minute walk.
- Caldera Jewelry/Golden Santorini: Right across from Noi, Golden Santorini/Caldera Jewelry has offered fine gold and precious stone jewelry since 1976. 14-minute walk.
- Spicy Boutique and The Lace: These sister boutiques are located right next door to each other in the heart of Fira. Both shops sell Greek-designed women’s clothing and accessories. Spicy offers edgier styles, while The Lace caters toward a femme crowd. 14-minute walk.
- The White: Across from Spicy, The White is a luxury boutique selling hand-crafted clothing and footwear by Santorinian designer Sophia H. 14-minute walk.
- Drakkar Santorini: International and Greek designer-brand clothing for women. 14-minute walk.
- Nick the Greek: One of the oldest jewelry shops in Santorini, Nick the Greek sells fine gold jewelry and luxury watches from Greek and international brands. 15-minute walk.
- Koukla: Eclectic, artsy jewelry in a range of styles and prices. 15-minute walk.
- 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 5 hours (add about an hour for a detour at Skaros Rock when you head north); heading south to the trail’s end in Fira, near Keti Hotel, takes about 20 minutes. 1-minute walk from the hotel.
- St. Gerasimos Church: This blue-domed church is the most recognizable landmark in Firostefani. Many tours meet here as their starting point, and the village’s main parking lot is here. 3-minute walk.
- St Mark the Evangelist: One of only a few Catholic churches in Santorini, St. Mark is recognizable by its colorful bell tower. It’s right next to The Tsitouras Collection. 5-minute walk.
- Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral: This imposing cathedral dominates the main square in Fira. Fully renovated after the ’56 earthquake, this landmark church is surrounded by a series of grand archways, and is adorned with frescoed walls and ceilings inside in gold and vivid colors. 16-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. 31-minute walk.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Mini Market Sigalas: Small market with a good selection of staples, snacks, and wine near St. Gerasimos Church. 4-minute walk.
- Creta Alpha Market: Convenience store with a decent range of drinks, food, and sundries. 5-minute walk.
- Green Market Organics: Small but well-stocked grocery store in Fira with specialty items (gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan, etc.), organic, and local products. 18-minute walk.
Belvedere – The Hotel