Where to Stay in Santorini

GreeceSantorini › Best Towns
Updated: June 27, 2024
By Santorini Dave

My Favorite Santorini Hotels

• Fira: Athina
• Oia: KatikiesCanaves
• Imerovigli: GraceAstra
• Firostefani: Tsitouras
• Beach: Istoria
• For Families: Aria
• For Couples: Aenaon
• Best Pool: Nous
• Midrange: EnigmaKavalari

An infinity pool and restaurant overlook the caldera, sea, and volcano in Santorini, Greece

Grace is my favorite hotel in Imerovigli – the highest town on Santorini’s caldera.

The Best Areas to Stay in Santorini

See Also

Best Hotels in Santorini
Best Family Hotels in Santorini
Santorini Maps

The volcanic island of Santorini is most loved for its dramatic landscapes and breathtaking views over the caldera, especially during sunset. To best absorb the legendary scenery, we recommend travelers stay on the northwestern side of the island in one of the four villages built on the side of the caldera’s rim: the capital Fira, relaxed Firostefani, romantic Imerovigli, and upscale Oia. Each village has pros and cons, but most visitors, especially first-timers to Santorini, will want to stay in one of these four towns. It’s easy to walk between Fira, Firostefani, and Imerovigli, but Oia is a two-hour hike (or 20 minutes by bus or taxi) north of Imerovigli on a separate part of the island. The hike between these four villages is one of the highlights of a Santorini visit.

A woman and two teenagers have breakfast on a pebbled terrace with a view to the caldera and sea in Santorini, Greece

My wife and our two boys eating breakfast on the front patio of Oia Mansion.

Of course, these popular villages tend to be crowded, especially during summer. To avoid the crowds while still taking in the caldera views, stay in the stretch between Imerovigli and Oia or stay south of Fira in the cliffside hotels near Akrotiri, Megalochori, or Mesaria. If you stay in these more secluded spaces, we recommend renting a car to get around, as hotels along the southern rim of the caldera are more isolated without much in walking distance (which is fine if you just want to spend most of your time by a pool enjoying the caldera views).

In most other island destinations, the beachfront would be the most prized and expensive real estate. But in Santorini, where the caldera is the main draw, the beaches are more affordable with hotels here offering larger rooms and much more privacy than those along the caldera. Kamari, Perissa, and Perivolos are the most popular beach towns on the island, with plenty of restaurants, beach clubs, water sports centers, an open-air cinema, and even a water taxi connecting the beaches. Most of Santorini’s beaches are composed of black sand and pebbles and are situated along the eastern and southeastern coast of the island.

The traditional, mountain village of Pyrgos is another excellent choice for a romantic atmosphere and sunsets, plus panoramic views over the whole island from its perch at one of the highest points in Santorini. Another traditional village, Megalochori, sits in the heart of Santorini’s wine region with an alluring village center to explore. Emporio is an incredible village made up of an intriguing maze of pedestrian-only pathways built into the walls of a Venetian castle. Mesaria is centrally located on the island with more affordable accommodations and restaurants most popular with locals. To really escape the crowds, take the ferry to Thirassia and stay on the small island across from Santorini that forms the western ring of the caldera.

A vibrant red-orange sunset over the sea with islands in the background and vineyards and houses in the foreground.

The sunset view from Pyrgos, the village with the highest elevation on the island.

The main villages (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia) are located on the western edge of the island, perched on the caldera cliff, and look out towards the volcano and Thirassia Island. Compared to the beach towns, caldera towns are trendier, the restaurants better, the clubs more sophisticated, and the hotels more luxurious – though the past few years have seen some exciting, high-end hotels opening up on the beaches, too. The beach towns (and the central villages for that matter) are more relaxed, less expensive, and have a feel closer to that of other Greek islands. Pub grub is the rule at most (but not all) of the restaurants along the beaches. If you do stay at a beach hotel, Fira and the caldera are only 20 to 30 minutes away by car, while Oia is an additional 20 minutes away. The island is small, so it’s easy to stay in one area and explore another. Many families prefer to stay in the beach areas for the kid-friendly hotels, restaurants, and activities and because the flatter landscape is easier and safer to navigate for children and those pushing strollers than the caldera’s sheer cliffs and seemingly endless stairways.

Of any destination in Europe, Santorini is the one place where splurging on a great hotel is money well spent. In many hotspots (Paris, London, Rome), travelers spend the majority of their days out and about. But in Santorini, with those incredible views, it’s common for people to spend a good chunk of their holiday lounging on their decks and gazing out into the caldera. Santorini is known for its fantastic hotels and the best luxury hotels on Santorini are essentially boutique hotels – small, privately-owned hotels. There are very few large, impersonal chain hotels in Santorini, and there are no all-inclusive hotels or mega-resorts.

The Best Places to Stay in Santorini

The sun almost setting over the sea with a pool and sun loungers in the foreground at a hotel in Santorini

Almost sunset by the pool at the new Domes Novos in Oia.

Inside a maisonette suite with a mix of traditional and modern furniture, a stairway leading to the loft, and a vaulted ceiling at a hotel in Santorini

Our villa at Aria Suites in Fira. A great place for families, couples, or a small group looking for side-by-side villas.

Two of Santorin's iconic blue domes on white church buildings overlooking the caldera and sea in Oia Santorini

Jaw-dropping view of Oia’s iconic domes and the caldera from our suite at Oia Spirit when we stayed there.

Whitewashed walls, barrel-vaulted ceiling, and marble floors with a blue bathroom in a hotel suite in Santorini

Our room at Anteliz Suites in Firostefani.

Breakfast with a view of Skaros Rock and the caldera at a hotel in Santorini

Our balcony at Astra Suites in Imerovigli.

A two-story villa with a private pool, terrace, and pergola at a hotel in Santorini

Our suite and private pool at Sea Breeze Beach Resort in Perivolos.

The Best Areas in Santorini for…

Photo of Santorini's four largest villages, the volcano, and the caldera, all labeled for orientation

All of the cliffside towns – Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia – have fantastic caldera and sunset views.

  • Best Places in Santorini for Couples: Oia and Imerovigli
    With its sweeping views, cliffside footpaths, and iconic blue-domed churches, romance abounds in Santorini. Still, the villages of Oia and Imerovigli are the most suited for romantic getaways, honeymoons, and weddings. Oia is the most glamorous village on the island, with a wide marble path running for much of its length, the ruins of a 15th-century castle, and stunning sunsets at its western end. Imerovigli is a quieter village dotted with picturesque churches, filled with wonderful restaurants, and perched at the highest point on the caldera’s edge, offering the best sunset views on the island.
  • Best Place in Santorini for First-Timers: Fira
    Santorini is a small island with a reliable bus system. It’s easy to stay in one area and enjoy the entire island, even if you’re visiting without a car. That said, first-time visitors will have the easiest time exploring the island by staying in Fira. The capital of Santorini, Fira is the island’s social, commercial, and transportation hub and the largest village on the caldera. Endless restaurants, bars, shops, and iconic domed churches and bell towers are built right into the cliffside in a picturesque maze of narrow lanes and stairways with sweeping views over the caldera, especially lovely at sunset. Attractions include The Archaeological Museum of Thera, The Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Gyzi Megaron (Gizi Mansion), and the landmark Holy Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral that sits on the main pedestrian path at the top of the caldera. Many of the island’s best restaurants are here, ready to serve local specialties, like fava, tomatokeftedes, and of course Santorinian wine. All of Santorini’s nightclubs (and most of its bars) are here, with upscale cocktail lounges on the caldera and more raucous pubs and dance clubs in a tangle of backstreets. Fira is also home to the main bus station; all bus routes begin and end here. If you don’t plan on renting a car, Fira is by far the best place to stay to get out and explore the red and black beaches, wine country, ancient ruins, and traditional villages.

  • Best Place in Santorini for Nightlife: Fira
    The vast majority of bars, lounges, and clubs in Santorini are located in Fira. High-end lounges and bars tend to be near the caldera where patrons can sip local wine and cocktails while taking in a colorful sunset over the sea. Farther inland in Fira are casual bars, dives, and nightclubs for stiff drinks, loud music, and all night dancing until 5:00 a.m. or later during the high season.
  • Best Places in Santorini for Shopping: Fira and Oia
    Fira is the capital and largest village on the island with a wide range of shops to suit all tastes and budgets selling everything from gold jewelry to women’s fashions, from whimsical souvenirs to locally-sourced, organic foods. Shops tend to be inland away from the caldera in a bustling tangle of narrow footpaths, though a few shops are scattered down the caldera cliff in between restaurants and bars. Shops stay open well into the night in Fira. Oia also has plenty of shopping, mostly in high-end fashion boutiques featuring Greek and international designer labels, though there are plenty of spaces here to buy local art, handmade crafts, wine, and thoughtful souvenirs.
  • Best Places in Santorini for Sunsets: Imerovigli, Fira, Firostefani, Akrotiri, Oia, and Pyrgos
    Though Santorini is known for its unparalleled sunsets, not everywhere on the island enjoys an unobstructed view of the sun sinking behind the sea. The single best area in Santorini for sunsets is Imerovigli, facing west at the highest point along the caldera. Firostefani and Fira also enjoy west-facing views of the sun setting over the caldera, but the vantage point is a little lower and the horizon not as expansive. Akrotiri hotels that are in the village will not have sunset views, but those on the caldera will. The lighthouse on the western tip of Akrotiri Peninsula offers gorgeous views of the sunset and much thinner crowds than the other caldera villages. Pyrgos sits at the highest elevation of all the villages and offers panoramic views over the whole island for sunsets and sunrises. Most of Oia faces south overlooking the caldera but without a view of the sunset. There are several hotels at the west end of Oia with clear views of the sunset over the Aegean Sea, but these hotels do not have caldera views.
An infinity pool overlooking the caldera and volcanoes in Santorini

The fantastic Tsitouras Collection in Firostefani.

  • Best Places in Santorini for Caldera Views: Oia, Imerovigli, Fira, Firostefani, Akrotiri
    The four most popular villages for travelers – Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Fira – all offer gorgeous views of the caldera. Hotels, restaurants, and shops in these villages are stacked in multiple levels hand-carved into the cliffside like a honeycomb, so that almost every place has an excellent view of the caldera below. At the south end of the island, the heart of Akrotiri village sits inland from the caldera, but many hotels are built along the caldera’s edge just a short walk or drive away from the town. The Akrotiri lighthouse at the far western point of the island is the most peaceful place to watch the sunset.
  • Best Places in Santorini for Restaurants: Imerovigli and Oia
    There are amazing restaurants island-wide, but some of the best are in Imerovigli and Oia. Imerovigli offers two of the top fine dining restaurants with caldera views, Athenian House and La Maison, plus casual favorites in the village center, Avocado and Anogi. Oia is another wonderful village for dining. Walk down to Ammoudi Bay, below the Oia castle ruins, for the freshest seafood on the island in a casual, waterfront setting. All the restaurants in Ammoudi Bay are wonderful, but Ammoudi Fish Tavern is our favorite. Other standouts in Oia include Elinikon (great food and sunset views) and Candouni (excellent food, no view, live Greek music).
  • Best Places in Santorini for Families: Fira, Oia, Perissa, and Kamari
    Fira wins out for sheer variety of kid-friendly hotels, crowd-pleasing tavernas, and fun things to do to keep little ones entertained. Plus, its central location makes it a perfect home base for exploring the rest of the island. Oia is also a fantastic option for families, with myriad hotels, restaurants, and shops lining its marble pathway (wide and smooth, easy for strollers). The beach towns of Kamari and Perissa make for wonderful family getaways, with excellent swimming, casual restaurants, and hotels with larger than average rooms and suites. Kamari edges out Perissa slightly by offering an open-air cinema and mini golf.
Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia, all illuminated at night above the caldera in Santorini

Looking north into the caldera and towards the four most popular Santorini towns: Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia.

View of Oia village and the caldera facing three more clifftop villages in the background in Santorini

Looking south into the caldera from the medieval castle ruins in Oia towards Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Fira.

  • Best Places in Santorini for the Beach: Kamari, Perissa, and Perivolos
    The best options for beach vacations are in Kamari, Perissa, and Perivolos. All feature excellent hotels, plenty of restaurants, umbrella and sunbed rentals, water sports centers, and great swimming. Like most beaches in Santorini, these feature black, volcanic sand, gentle waves, and refreshing water. Mesa Vouno, a large hill with ancient ruins on top, separates Kamari (to the north) and Perissa (to the south), though a water taxi runs several times a day to connect the two beaches. Perivolos is an extension of Perissa, just a short walk south. All three beaches are only about 20 to 30 minutes from Fira by car or bus.
  • Best Places in Santorini to Avoid Crowds: Pyrgos, Imerovigli, Akrotiri and Thirassia
    The traditional village of Pyrgos is set in the mountains of central Santorini with narrow lanes winding around centuries-old churches, attractive small shops, and a handful of restaurants. Many hotels in Pyrgos offer rooms with private pools or jacuzzis and astonishing views over the island from its second highest point (only the mountain peak, Profitis Ilias, is higher). Along the caldera, the areas just north of Imerovigli and to the east and west of Akrotiri village offer the most peace and serenity. But to truly get away from it all, take the ferry to Thirassia, the island just across the caldera from Santorini (less than two kilometers from Oia) and remarkably untouched by tourism. Thirassia has few hotels and restaurants but an abundance of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and magnificent sunrises.
  • Best Places in Santorini for Budget Stays: Fira, Firostefani, Kamari, Perissa, Mesaria
    Being the capital and largest village, Fira is the best option for travelers on a budget. Fira has a wide range of affordable hotels within walking distance of the caldera, excellent restaurants, nightlife, shops, museums, and some of the island’s most recognizable landmarks. It is also the transportation hub of the island; all bus routes to the beaches, Akrotiri ruins, villages, wineries, ports, and the airport begin in Fira, so a rental car is not necessary for travelers here. Firostefani is another great option, offering easy access to the caldera and the conveniences of Fira but thinner crowds and a little more distance from the nightlife. Kamari and Perissa both offer excellent budget hotels, casual restaurants, and lovely beaches with regular bus service to Fira and the caldera. Mesaria is another affordable alternative. It’s western fringe sits on the caldera with luxury hotels offering stunning views at a fraction of the cost of the northern villages; the trade off is that there is not much within walking distance and infrequent bus service. Mesaria’s village center is inland from the caldera with a range of budget-friendly hotels, authentic tavernas, and frequent bus service to Fira, Kamari Beach, Perissa Beach, and Vlychada Beach. For stays without a car rental or relying too heavily on taxis and Ubers, Fira and central Mesaria offer the most frequent bus service.
  • Best Places in Santorini for a Local Vibe: Emporio, Mesaria, Pyrgos, Megalochori, and Finikia
    There are only a few people who call Santorini their home year-round, and the majority of them live in Emporio. Here you’ll find a maze of alleyways peppered with tavernas, kafenia (traditional coffeehouses), and only a handful of family-run hotels. Mesaria, another local stronghold, feels a little more modern than Emporio but remains blissfully free of tourists for much of the year and boasts some outstanding food (dining under the shade trees on the patio of Pentozali makes for a memorable night out). The mountain village Pyrgos offers a glimpse into the old Santorini, with a warren of footpaths and stairways weaving through clutches of churches, tavernas, and traditionally built homes, though few locals live here full-time. At the base of the mountain, Santorini’s wine country spreads out and around Megalochori, with a charming main square with restaurants, cafes, and shops. Finikia is a tiny yet densely-built village, formerly home to farmers and vineyard workers, with a few great restaurants and traditional cave houses packed along incredibly narrow walking paths (there are no roads wide enough for cars here). From Finikia, it’s just a 10-minute walk to Oia and the caldera’s edge for sunsets, shopping, and more dining options.

Map of Santorini Towns & Beaches

Map of where to stay in Santorini.

Best Places in Santorini for Tourists


View of Fira village with the caldera, sea, and boats below in Santorini
Fira is the island’s largest town and one of the most picturesque spots in all of Greece. Like Oia, Imerovigli, and Firostefani, it’s perched on the caldera cliff and has marvelous views of the volcano. Fira has the most restaurants, shops, and hotels and is the center of Santorini’s nightlife. It’s the hub of Santorini’s bus network so you can get pretty much anywhere on the island with just one bus ride. If you like action, shopping, lots of choices for where to eat, and dance clubs, then this is where you’ll want to be. If you want peace and quiet then you’ll likely find Fira busy, hectic, and touristy. (That said, if you’re just a little off the main street it’s pretty quiet.) Fira has many hotels with wonderful caldera views but also a large number set back from the cliff and without a view, which means they’re cheaper and makes Fira a good choice for travelers on a budget. The closest beach to Fira is Kamari, about 20 minutes away by bus.


View of some hotels in Firostefani above the caldera with Skaros Rock and Imerovigli in the distance in Santorini
A ten-minute walk along the footpath north from Fira is Firostefani, literally meaning the “crown of Fira.” As a sort of extension of the capital, there is no exact place where Firostefani begins and Fira ends, though most will agree it happens near Volkan on the Rocks and Anteliz Suites. From its elevation, Firostefani offers slightly better views over the caldera and volcanoes than Fira. If you want to be close to the action and nightlife but don’t want crowds, then Firostefani is a perfect alternative. There are a handful of restaurants, cafes, a bakery, and a couple of markets but no bars or nightclubs in in Firostefani. The Fira bus station is about a 20-minute walk away (or a quick bus ride away) with connections all over the island, so renting a car is not necessary here.


View of hotels and swimming pools over the caldera with Oia and Thirassia in the distance
Set at the highest point along the caldera, Imerovigli offers the island’s best sunset views, unimpeded by any neighboring islands – which isn’t always the case in Fira and Firostefani. Imerovigli is the quietest and most romantic of the four main villages along the caldera. There are several fantastic restaurants in Imerovigli, and the past couple of years has seen a handful of low key wine bars and upscale lounges open here. Still there are no raucus, all-night bars or clubs in Imerovigli. The village is a 20 to 30-minute walk from Fira (or a very short taxi, Uber, or bus ride). Parking is difficult, unless your hotel has it’s own lot. But renting a car is not necessary here.


View from above Oia's blue domes and bell tower with the caldera below and Thirassia in the distance
Oia is Santorini’s most picturesque town and has many of the island’s best hotels. It’s located at the northern tip of the island and is famous for fabulous sunset views at the western end of the village. The town is busy through the day up until sunset (when it’s packed in high season) but then gets quiet quickly after the sun goes down. There’s lots of high-end shopping, upscale restaurants, and a handful of stylish cocktail bars. The southern part of Oia (where most hotels are) looks into the caldera but not the sunset. The western part (with fewer hotels and restaurants) has sunset views toward the Aegean Sea but does not face the caldera. The wijalk 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.


The whitewashed lighthouse in Akrotiri reflecting the colors of the sunset in Santorini
Akrotiri is a catchall name for the village, ruins, and southern peninsula of Santorini. The village itself is quite small, with just a few restaurants, chapels, and the ruins of a Venetian castle. From the village it’s only a 15-minute walk to the archaeological site of the Prehistoric Town of Akrotiri, a Bronze-Age Minoan settlement well-preserved by the ash of a volcanic eruption (like Pompeii). Prehistoric Akrotiri was once believed to have inspired the Atlantis legend due in part to the ancient inhabitants’ use of relatively advanced technology. The Akrotiri Peninsula is also home to several of Santorini’s best beaches, including Red Beach, White Beach, Vlychada Beach, and Caldera Beach. At its western tip is a lighthouse (the quietest and most romantic sunset viewpoint on the island), while a handful of great restaurants are spread throughout the area. A car is strongly recommended here, as most hotels, restaurants, beaches, and attractions are fairly spread out over the peninsula. The bus from Akrotiri to Fira takes about 20 minutes. Add a second 20-minute bus ride (change buses in Fira) to reach Oia.


A private pool in front of a stone-built hotel suite with views of the caldera and Thirassia in the distance
Pyrgos is the most charming of Santorini’s traditional villages. From its mountaintop perch at the second-highest point on the island, it offers panoramic sunset views over the whole of Santorini. Most of Pyrgos is designed for pedestrian use only with its maze-like footpaths dotted with excellent restaurants, local boutiques, picturesque churches, and the ruins of a Venetian castle. Its foothills are brimming with vineyards, many offering tours and tasting rooms. This is an ideal place to stay for seclusion and tranquility. Buses to Fira and Perissa run hourly for most of the day, but we recommend renting a car when staying in Pyrgos.

Kamari Beach

On the black beach with blue sea lined with rows of sunbeds and thatched umbrellas in Santorini
Kamari has a wonderful family-friendly atmosphere, a pedestrian beach-front walkway, and plenty of good restaurants (but not many really great ones). Visitors will find an open-air cinema here, which makes for a fun night out. Like most Santorini beaches, Kamari has a black sand and pebble mix with cool, refreshing, deep blue water. Kamari is connected via boat taxi to Perissa several times a day during the high season. It’s a 15-minute bus ride to Fira making day trips to the caldera easy. To get to Oia, switch buses in Fira and ride another 20 minutes.

Perissa and Perivolos Beaches

Colorful beach boardwalk leading from the sand to the sea with sunbeds and umbrellas
Perissa Beach has finer sand than Kamari, but it’s farther from Fira, which makes visiting the caldera a bit more time-consuming. A few luxury hotels and upscale restaurants have opened here, though there are still plenty of great, affordable hotels, casual restaurants, and beach bars all along the pedestrian-friendly beachfront road. Perivolos Beach is an extension of Perissa Beach. There’s no defining border between the two towns (Perissa is the northern busier section, Perivolos is the southern quieter section) and the name Perissa is often used for the whole strip. Perivolos also has some new luxury hotels opening up, as well as a mix of fine dining and casual restaurants and beach clubs, especially at the south end of the strip, known as Agios Georgios Beach. Buses to Fira run regularly but often include meandering loops to Vlychada and Pyrgos that can add a lot of time to your trip. It’s best to rent a car if staying here.


A centuries-old bell tower crosses a pedestrian lane in front of a church in a traditional village in Santorini
In the heart of Santorini’s wine region, Megalochori is a picturesque village known for its traditional architecture and plethora of vineyards and wineries. Once the largest village on the island, Megalochori dates back to the 1600s, and you’ll still find some of the cave houses from this era here, along with neoclassical mansions, and centuries-old churches. The village center with its family-run tavernas, tasting rooms, and handicraft workshops is set back about a 10-minute walk from the caldera’s edge. The village’s best hotels pepper the landscape from the main square to the caldera (many here offering spectacular sunset views over the volcanoes). There are regular buses from Megalochori to Fira, Perissa, and Akrotiri, but renting a car makes island exploration easier.


Distinctive, cave-style homes with exterior staircases on a narrow footpath in Santorini
Emporio is the most populous village in Santorini with gorgeous traditional architecture, though it is only infrequently visited by tourists. Its name literally means “commerce” in Greek (think of an “emporium” in Engish), which denotes its historic importance as the center for commercial activity on the island. This medieval stronghold is believed to date back to the 14th century, beginning with an enormous castle made of volcanic mortar and built at the base of Profitis Ilias Mountain. To protect against pirate raids, thick-walled, cave-style houses (many still inhabited) were built around the castle, one right against another, connected by archways and bridges, to create a fortified wall. Footpaths are designed for a single person to pass through at a time. In Emporio, you’ll find a medieval tower, unusual old churches, traditional kafenia, and casual tavernas catering to local tastes. Perissa Beach is nearby, and Fira is about a 20-minute drive a way. Renting a car is strongly recommended for stays in Emporio, though there is regular bus service here.


A stone-built church and eagle-topped statue in the foreground and the white and blue-dome of another church in the background in a village in Santorini
A slightly more “modern” village (dating to the 17th century), Mesaria sits almost in the center of the island. The western fringes face out over the caldera directly toward the Nea Kameni volcano; here you’ll find some incredible luxury hotels and villas with astounding sunset views. The village center is about 500 meters inland (a 1.5 km drive along the winding roads). Surrounded by vineyards, Mesaria features a bustling core of boxy, Cycladic houses, lovely churches, and neoclassical mansions, including Argyros Mansion, the only restored mansion of this era in Santorini that is open to visitors. Accommodation and dining runs the gamut from luxury stays and fine dining on the caldera to boutique hotels, casual tavernas, and grill houses in the village center. For travelers who prefer not to rent a car, central Mesaria (not the caldera side) is the second-best connected area on the island, after the capital Fira. Buses stop regularly in Mesaria on the way to Fira, Kamari Beach, Perissa Beach, and Vlychada Beach. However, a rental car does make it much easier to visit Oia village and the Akrotiri Archaeological Site.


White and pastel homes and churches with a single palm tree and view to the sea in a village in Santorini
Charming Finikia is a teeny village with only 50 inhabitants, perched to the east just outside of Oia. Hotels on the caldera south of Finikia often market themselves as part of Oia, though the village of Finikia is quite distinct from the larger, more crowded, and much more expensive Oia. This is an ideal spot to stay for ease of access to the dining, sunset views, shopping, and attractions of Oia while avoiding the noise and crowds that its renown brings. Finikia has its own charms, too. Traditionally home to the farmers who worked the nearby vineyards, Finikia features cobblestone pathways, authentic cave houses, and native fruit gardens. Profitis Ilias Church on the caldera’s edge, about a 15-minute walk from the village center, is a wonderful viewpoint, while Agia Matrona Church houses the village’s namesake (a palm tree) and offers an eye-catching bell tower and views toward the north beaches and Aegean Sea. Domaine Sigalas, one of Santorini’s best wineries, is about a 15-minute walk from the village center, while Baxedes Beach is about 20 minutes away on foot. The village center is pedestrian-only, and the public parking lot is impossibly small. The marble path in Oia begins about a 15-minute walk from central Finikia. To get to Fira, take the Oia-bound bus and stay on board when it stops at the Oia bus station; from there it’s about 25-minutes to Fira.


The wilderness of Thirassia, covered in low-lying shrubs with cliffs, a the caldera spreading below, and Oia village in Santorini in the distance
To escape the crowds, look no further than Thirassia. This rustic island only one nautical mile from Oia’s port was once a part of Santorini, until the eruption in 1500 BC that created the caldera. Almost untouched by tourism, Thirassia remains mostly wild with just a few paved roads and plenty of footpaths and trails connecting its sparsely populated villages. There are a handful of family-run tavernas in the main clifftop town, Manolas, and two black volcanic beaches at Riva and Ormos Korfou. You’ll also find the colorful, meticulously maintained Church of the Virgin Mary contrasting with its surroundings in the abandoned cave village of Agrilia. Ferries are the main mode of transportation to Thirassia from Santorini. From Oia, passengers (no cars) can take the 10-minute journey on a traditional boat, which stops first at Riva and then at Ormos Korfou. This ferry usually runs three times a day: 8:00, 12:30, and 17:20. Ferries from Athinios (the main port of Santorini) to Riva can transport cars, but they only run four days a week. Ferry schedules change seasonally and annually, so check with your hotel for the latest ferry timetable.

Santorini Towns & Beaches – Best Area to Stay

Santorini is a small island 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, taxi, or Uber. 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 better bases.

The Santorini 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. 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, but also not as good (though there are exceptions).

As for Oia or Fira, both towns are very touristy but in different ways. Oia is more romantic, picturesque, and generally has more luxurious hotels and higher-end restaurants. After the sunset, Oia gets very quiet. Fira has the nightlife and lively restaurants and a range of high-end and budget accommodations. 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 great 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 or Uber in Fira.

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

Aerial view over Oia village with white hotels, blue pools, and boats on the caldera in Santorini

Golden hour over the village of Oia. Photo taken while we were on a Santorini helicopter tour.

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About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at

  1. First Time for Couple

    Hi Dave
    Fantastic wealth of information!

    I am looking to travel to Santorini in September for my birthday on the 22nd of September. What is the weather usually like? Is there much nightlife in Fira? Are many tours still operating in late September?
    As it’s our first time (couple), where would be best to stay?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      September has great weather, still warm enough for the beach but (usually) not crazy hot like July and August. Fira has the most nightlife of any town on Santorini and is the place to stay for clubs and bars, which are an easy walk from most hotels. Without a doubt, all tours will be running in September.

  2. Good Hotel in Fira

    Hi Dave,

    Looking for a hotel in Fira and came across Iriana Suites. Looks very nice with great reviews on What’s your thoughts on this place?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Great hotel and pretty affordable considering location and amenities. Lots of steps from here up to the town square, but that comes with the cliffside location and caldera views.

  3. Cosmopolitan or Aria?

    This site has been an amazing resource as I plan a late June trip with my 20 year old son. Deciding between Cosmopolitan and Aria, which would you recommend?

    Jennifer Robinson

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you’re a family or able to afford the villas (family or not), go with Aria. If you’re a couple or solo, go with Cosmopolitan.

  4. Katikies vs Grace Santorini

    Hi Dave,
    First, I want to thank you for such an incredible review! Honestly, this is the most thorough and well-put-together overview I’ve seen when researching vacation destinations.

    My question: My wife and I are celebrating our anniversary in Santorini, and neither of us have been to Greece. We really want a super nice hotel with beautiful views and great service. We’re torn between Katikies in Oia and Grace. I know they are in different areas, so it’s a tough comparison. But I’m wondering what you think is the better hotel? Thanks again!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both are fantastic hotels. Katikies is a little trendier and has more privacy. Grace has better views and a much larger pool and deck. I hope that helps.

  5. Staying in Fira or Imerovigli

    Hi Dave,

    Can you share your thoughts on the Gold Suites in Imerovigli vs the Katikies Garden Hotel in Fira? My wife and are looking for great views of the caldera and close accessibility (walking distance) to restaurants and shops.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Gold Suites sits right on the caldera’s edge in the highest village on the caldera with amazing views. Katikies Garden is set a little back from the caldera’s edge with views from the infinity pool, but rooms have either garden or sunrise sea views (over the Aegean not the caldera). So, Gold Suites has the better views, and it’s in the heart of Imerovigli near restaurants and shops. That said, there is less to walk to in Imerovigli vs Fira, which has the most shops, dining, nightlife, and attractions of any village in Santorini and is the transportation hub of the island, so Katikies Garden is the better walking location.

  6. Santorini Hotel for 3 Adults

    Hi Dave
    Do you have any recommendations for three adults coming in late August? We’d like adults-only, all with proper beds (no sofa beds), and a pool. Ideally, somewhere with some restaurants nearby, but we are happy to get public transport around the island.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Many hotels on the caldera are “adults-only” for safety reasons (lots of stairs, sheer cliffs, and no way to easily move around with a stroller). However, this usually means ages 12 and over, not truly “adults only.” The main thing to look for is a room or suite with two separate sleeping areas (nothing open-plan) to guarantee two real beds. Hotels in walkable areas that may fit the bill are Grace (14+ years, 2-bedroom suite or villa), Canaves Oia Suites (18+, a few suite and villa options), and Kivotos (18+, villas). All of these hotels have pools.

  7. Santorini Hotel for Solo Female

    Picked my hotels in Mykonos and Athens studying your blogs but am stuck when it comes to Santorini this July. Single female traveler who wants the caldera views but will also want to go out and would like to be either walking distance without a steep hill on the way back or a hotel with a reliable shuttle service to Fira town. Where should I stay?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Cosmopolitan Suites has incredible caldera views, a central location close to everything, and almost no steps or climb to get into town. It’s a very short walk to restaurants and nightlife so you needn’t worry about a long walk down alleys or footpaths late at night if alone.

  8. Astra Suites, Above Blue Suites, or Absolute Bliss

    Hi Dave, this is such a great blog – really helpful insight. Myself and my wife are looking to visit Santorini and we are trying to work out which hotel to stay at. I am struggling to work out whether Astra Suites, Above Blue Suites, or Absolute Bliss would be better to stay at? Ideally we want a restaurant on-site and a pool and a nice comfortable place to say – more likely to venture out to restaurants and beaches so does not need to biggest resort but comfortable enough? Any suggestions would be welcome :)

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      For what you’re looking for, Astra would be best.

  9. Where to Stay in Santorini for Solo Traveler

    Hi Dave! This is literally the most impressive travel blog I’ve ever seen. I can’t even believe there is so much info!! I am a solo female traveler and am looking to be in Santorini mid-September before heading to Athens. I can spend two or three days and really want to stay somewhere walkable. I’m kind of in the mid-budget range, but could maybe splurge for a night. I’d absolutely love your opinion on things for solo travelers to see and where to stay. Thanks so much for all the fantastic content, keep up the excellent work!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Fira, Firostefani, and Imerovigli are all connected by a path along the caldera. Staying here offers lots of walkable opportunities to explore the views of the volcano and caldera. Akrotiri is another highlight and easily enjoyed by a solo traveler.

  10. Two Weeks in Santorini

    Is 2 weeks too long on Santorini? We’re looking at coming next summer and would like to come and chill out. We’re happy to be in a villa or hotel and don’t mind moving accommodation during the stay to get different experiences.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      With two weeks I usually recommend visitors hit a different island for the second week. But you could easily fill two weeks on Santorini with a range of things to do – especially if you’re spending days by the pool or on the beach. Split your time between Oia, Imerovigli, Fira, and Perissa.

  11. Best Area To Stay in Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for all the great information! We will be in Santorini in June for our Honeymoon and I wanted to get your thoughts on choosing between Mystique and Vedema. We will be staying solely on Marriott points at either location, so cost is really not an issue as it is the same amount to stay at each. We will be there for 4 nights, would you recommend one or the other? Or stay at each hotel for 2 nights each? I am not sure it will be worth the hassle of switching hotels but I am having trouble deciding which one after reading many positives and negatives of each. I appreciate your help!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      They have very different feels. Vedema is a luxury boutique resort in a small village (Megalochori) without caldera views but walking distance to great wineries and untouristy restaurants. Mystique is a boutique hotel in the quiet section of Oia with magical caldera views. Walking distance to lots of shops and restaurants and views of the sunset. Hope that helps.

  12. Namaste Villa in Oia

    Hi Dave, we are going to Santorini from June 8-10. There are 5 of us traveling, 2 adults, and 3 teenagers (ages 14 and 16). We were looking at staying at Namaste Suites Oia. Could you give us some input on this villa? Is it in a good location? Or if you have any recommendations on hotels in Oia that could accommodate all of us? We would like to have a pool/jacuzzi. We want the kids to have an amazing, memorable, and fabulous trip!

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Great place in a great location – right in the heart of Oia and steps from sunset views. It is a busy area during the sunset. Shops and restaurants just up the hill.

  13. Imerovigli or Kamari

    Hi Dave,
    Your site is awesome! My wife & I are planning to stay on Santorini for 3 nights in June 2020 (yes I know it’s a bit short notice but circumstances). Anyway, I don’t see Andromeda Villas hotel on your site but it has high reviews on and the price fits in our budget. Do you have any comments on this property? Also, we are in our 60’s and my wife has mild knee issues and we are a bit concerned with how many steps and how much incline we will have to navigate in the Imerovigli area? Would we be better to stay down in Kamari or Perissa area? Several of your recommended hotels are available. Thanks for any insight. Gregg

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If avoiding stairs is your primary concern, then yes, Kamari and Perissa are far better. But they don’t have caldera views. Andromeda has incredible views. There are also two elevators to help with getting up and down the cliff.

  14. Is Santorini Expensive?

    Do you have any tips for visiting Santorini on a budget? And what’s the minimum you can spend per day (per person) and still enjoy the island?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, Santorini can be a very expensive island. There’s almost no limit to what you can spend per day if staying in a top luxury hotel along the caldera, taking helicopter tours, and eating at the best restaurants. But if you watch what you spend, where you stay, and where you eat it can be visited very affordably. The single best tip for saving money is to stay at hotels and eat at restaurants that are not along the caldera. This will immediately cut your expenses in half (and maybe more than that). Many hotels include a free breakfast. Certainly, at budget hotels, this will be a modest buffet with bread, cheese, yogurt, and coffee but it can save a lot of money. For lunch, eat a gyro or souvlaki. Delicious and cheap. For dinner find places on the main streets back from caldera. These won’t be fancy but can still be great and are usually very good value. Good luck!

  15. Good Santorini Hotel with View

    We are planning to be in Santorini during early September of this year. Any thoughts regarding Remvi Suites vs Santorini View Studios?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both of these hotels are good value options with cave-style architecture and excellent caldera views in Firostefani. Remvi Suites’ accommodations are just a little bit more modern and luxurious than what you’ll find at Santorini View, plus they have a wonderful restaurant onsite (complimentary breakfast served here daily), and they are closer to the heart of the village, the bus stop, and the capital Fira. Santorini View is in a slightly quieter area and has a slightly better view; complimentary breakfast is served directly to each room daily. For stays of 3 nights or more, Santorini View offers free round trip port or airport transfers.

  16. Santorini Airport Transportation

    Hi Dave!
    Do you recommend taking a taxi from the Santorini airport to hotel or reserving a private transfer? If a private option, are there any companies you would recommend? If a taxi, what is the average cost/ ease of catching a taxi?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It depends on the time of day and how busy the airport is, but in general, as long as you’re not in a super hurry, taxis will be available. (That can be different if it’s very late at night.) Taxi is usually much cheap than private transfer. Expect a taxi fare of 20€ to 40€ depending on where you’re going. If you do want a private transfer then check with your hotel as they might pick you up for free.

  17. Hotel for Santorini Honeymoon

    Hi Dave!

    First of all your blog is amazing and extremely informative.

    We are only going to be in Santorini for two nights and wanted to know what would be the best option for us between Chromata Junior Suite, Nefali Suite at Dreams Luxury, Room at Katikies Hotel, Katikies Villa, Nefeli Homes (Grand View Maisonette with tub), Porto Fira Villas (Split Level Villa with Caldera View and Tub) or others. Almost all of these hotels only have one room left so it’s difficult to decide.

    There are so many beautiful options to choose from and I have points that I can use on the booking, to make it more affordable. I’m just trying to get the most value out of the stay – happy to spend more if its actually worth it. I really want something unique and special with jaw-dropping views for us to remember forever.

    Also, we keep Kosher so restaurants/free breakfast doesn’t really make a difference for us?

    Thank you very much for your help!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Since restaurants and breakfasts are not a factor, then you need a hotel with gorgeous rooms, outstanding facilities, and amazing views, which you will find at the Katikies properties: Katikies Hotel, Villa Katikies, and Chromata Santorini. Katikies Hotel is the most luxurious of the three. Even their standard double rooms are spacious, elegantly appointed, and offer private terraces with spectacular views over the caldera. Katikies Hotel’s amenities are second to none with 3 gorgeous infinity pools, 2 spa treatment rooms, and incredibly personalized service.
      Nearby Villa Katikies, a 3-minute walk from the main hotel, offers similar views, personalized service, and outdoor jacuzzis in all room types, but the only usable amenity for you onsite would be the pool. It’s not quite as glamorous as the main hotel, but it is a great value option and does grant access to the facilities at Katikies Hotel if you don’t mind the walk.
      Both Katikies Hotel and Villa Katikies are in Oia with sweeping caldera views, but they do not have direct sunset views. Chromata, their sister property in Imerovigli, has phenomenal sunset views from each room, an incredible caldera view infinity pool. This is more trendy but less refined than Katikies Hotel.
      Also, guests from any of the Katikies properties (the 3 above, plus Kirini and Sun Rocks) have access to the facilities and restaurants of any of their sister properties. So you can stay at Katikies Hotel and visit Chromata for the sunset or Kirini for the full service spa.

  18. Views, Hot tubs, Family Friendly Place To Stay in Oia

    Hi Dave,

    I was enjoying your blog while researching where to stay with my family.

    We will be coming to Santorini in early May for 4 nights. My wife and I with our 6 year old daughter (well-behaved), and also bringing my mother who would prefer a separate bedroom if possible. Our daughter can either sleep on the bed with her, or share the bed with us, or sleep on a sofa or something.

    We were thinking Oia would be the nicest experience. And we really want a nice view, with preferably a hot tub on the patio. Also, my mom can’t spend too much time in direct sun, so an option for shade is nice.

    We looked at your recommendations and also did our own research and found what seems like a nice place but wanted to ask your opinion. The reason for concern is that it’s a little bit tucked back, and I think the view might be very constricted and tight because of this. I don’t think we will be able to see the sunset from this view, which would be nice to have.

    It’s Ifestio Villas – they have 2 villas on top of each other which both seem like they could work – Villa Hercules and Villa Agis.

    Could you possibly offer your opinion on these?

    FYI, my favorite place might be the Aspaki 2-bedroom cave, but it’s twice the price! There’s also an off-chance that my sister and her 1-year old will be joining us at the last minute, and it would be nice to have space to accommodate them just in case (though I won’t plan around this), and the ifestio villas offer that option.

    Thanks very much!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Ifestio is very nice but does not have sunset views – for that you’ll have to walk about 5 minutes. The 2-bedroom Cave Suite with Private Pool at Aspaki is absolutely wonderful but also does not have sunset views. Though both have caldera views – which I prefer. If you want a sunset view the nicest suite in Oia is the Deluxe Pool Villa at Art Maisons Oia Castle. Amazing!

  19. Europe and Santorini in Spring

    Hi Dave,

    Your blog is the best place for all the information about Europe and especially Santorini. I am planning my honeymoon trip to Europe from February 25 to March 6. The cities to be included in the trip will be Venice, Rome, Paris, and Santorini. Will it be a good time to visit Europe and cover major attractions in these cities? Please advise me on the possibilities of each city and things to keep in mind if the trip can be planned.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The weather can be anything from cool and cloudy to warm and sunny (though still not swimming weather) so be prepared for a wide-range of temperatures. Typically it’s a great time to visit if you’re into walking, sightseeing, and exploring.

  20. Staying in Akrotiri

    Hi Dave,

    Can you tell me more about Akrotiri? Would you recommend staying on that part of the island?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are two parts of Akrotiri: a small village with a few shops, restaurants, and 2-star and 3-star hotels. It’s good value but not a lot here. The other area is north of the village along the caldera. There are several 4-star and 5-star hotels in this area. They are isolated (not walking distance to much of anything) but have wonderful views of the caldera. They’re fine if you only want to hang by the pool during your stay. But if you want to experience Santorini then Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, or Oia are far better choices.

  21. Staying in Karterados

    Hi Dave.
    Love your site! Thank you for so much information.
    I am traveling to Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini soon with a group of 5 and it has become very difficult to plan due to budget. I was wondering what you think of the town of Karterados? Is it safe, easy to access in regards to transportation and landmarks of Santorini? Otherwise, I will continue searching. Thank you

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Karterados is a fine town with good local restaurants and a friendly vibe. It’s a 20 minute walk into Fira (with sidewalks most of the way). Buses pass about every 30 minutes on there way between Fira and Kamari.

  22. Itinerary for Greek Islands

    Hi Dave,

    What a great site, has really helped us to chose our accommodation in Santorini – otherwise we would have had no idea where was best. We finally decided on the vallas sunset apartment in Firostefani which will suit our requirements.

    We are travelling for 3 weeks and visiting the following

    Arriving in Mykonos staying for 3 nights.
    Then Paros staying for 4 nights.
    Then Naxos for 4 nights.
    Then Santorini for 3 nights.
    Then Crete for 7 days where we will meet up with family and friends. Travel home from there.

    We were thinking of cutting down Paros and Naxos and visiting Ios – but thought we may be trying to squeeze in too much – what do you think?
    We have booked the Seajet from Santorini to Rethymon (only seems to go twice a week) ahead as we have a hotel already booked in Rethymon and meeting our daughters there so needed to get that sorted.
    Would you recommend booking the ferry service ahead for Mykonos to Paros and Paros to Naxos or should we able to book when we get there?
    And one last question… How far is the beach from where we are staying in Firostefani – can we get a bus?

    Thank you in advance for your help – will certainly be recommending you to our friends traveling.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would stick with your current itinerary. You’ve got a lot of islands there (and a lot of ferry trips), no need to add Ios. And yes, I’d probably book ferry tickets in advance. It’s easy to do with FerryHopper (unlike in the past) and if you’re visiting in summer sell-outs are possible (though rare). The best swimming beach in Santorini is Perissa and it’s a 20 to 30 minute bus ride from Fira. You can catch the bus in Firostefani and then switch in Fira, or just walk down to Fira and bus from there to Perissa.

  23. Oia Hotel with Views and Infinity Pool


    Absolutely love your site. We are planning a trip to Santorini this July for our 10-year anniversary and I have narrowed down the hotels to:
    Santorini Secrets Suites and Spa
    Alta Mare by Andronis
    Charisma Suites

    We are looking for:
    Gorgeous views
    Awesome infinity pool
    Great service
    Some privacy
    Easy walk to the center of Oia
    A patio with a tub would be great too

    Which hotel would you recommend?

    Thank you in advance for your response.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      All are great hotels so you won’t be disappointed. Santorini Secrets has the most infinity-like pool. Perivolas has the most privacy and largest pool but is a good walk to the center of town. Alta Mare and Santorini Secrets are the most central. Alta Mare has the least privacy. Charisma has a lot of privacy, is small and charming, but lots of steps up to street level. Charisma is the only one with a sunset view. The others have true caldera views (which I prefer).

  24. Fira Hotels Located Close To Each Other

    I’m having my wedding in Santorini next year, I’m trying to find a cluster of hotels in Fira on the caldera side for people to stay in. Since the hotels are generally small, I’m looking for a good few that are around each other and may offer different price ranges. Any ideas?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      These hotels are all on the caldera in Fira and basically right beside each other (2 minute walk at most). Bars and restaurants are a 3 minute walk (or climb) away.
      Cori Rigas Suites
      Porto Fira Suites
      Kavalari Hotel
      Keti Hotel

  25. Santorini in April / Santorini View Hotel

    Hi Dave,

    I’ve never come across a more comprehensive and detailed blog. Kudos!

    Me and wife are going to be in Santorini from April 26-29th.
    – What is the weather like ? Would be need jackets ?
    – We booked: Santorini View Firostefani Caldera from What do you think ?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      April usually has clear skies and warmish weather – but not hot enough to swim. A light jacket is good to have. Santorini View Hotel has great views and a good location – a short walk to many restaurants, 15 minute walk to Fira.

  26. Splitting Time Between Oia and Imerovigli

    Hi Dave, your blog is incredibly helpful! For our honeymoon, if we are spending 5 nights in Santorini do you recommend doing 3 nights in Imerovigli and 2 nights in Oia? We’d like to spend some time in both locations and wondering if it makes sense to break our stay up that way versus traveling from one to the other?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, 3 nights in Imerovigli and 2 in Oia. Sounds great. You really do get a different experience by staying in different places. I think you’ll appreciate that you did it that way even though you do lose a little time by switching hotels. One thing I always do is plan a tour on a hotel-switch day. It’s a little counter-intuitive but it forces you to get out and experience something on the switch day as opposed to having it be a lost day. There’s, of course, a bit of hassle involved (you’ll have to have your bags all packed and be out of the room before you go on your tour – then get your old hotel to hold them until your return) but it’s worth it if you’re worried about the lost time. Then the days you’re not switching you feel like you have all to yourselves.

  27. Astarte Suites in Santorini

    Hi Dave we are interested in Astarte Suites. Do you have any input on that hotel? Is it close to anything? We love the look of the rooms/the view but we are also looking for something close to restaurants,etc.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There is very little close to Astarte Suites – just a couple of tavernas – otherwise you need to taxi, bus, or drive to Fira and other towns (about a 15 minute drive). Stay here for quiet and solitude not for being close to the action.

  28. Inexpensive Santorini Hotel with View

    Hi Dave, you are so helpful! My fiance and I are going to Santorini in July for out honeymoon, we are staying for 3 days and then traveling to Mykonos, and we would LOVE some advice. We want a hotel with a nice view but that is also close to restaurants/things to do! Looking to spend less than $400 a night. Any suggestions or advice on hotel and must-do things would be amazing.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Your best bet is Hotel Kavalari in Fira. Great views at reasonable prices and close to lots of shops, restaurants, and nightlife.

  29. Santorini Villas with Nice View

    I’m thinking of renting a small villa, 1 or 2 bedroom, on Santorini in April or May for one month. Nice views, walkable, secure. Your suggestions?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The villas at Aria Suites are absolutely wonderful. Can not recommend them enough.

  30. Hotel with View, Pool, and Pool Bar for less than $400

    Hey Dave! We’ll be in Santorini for three days (late May/early June) for the beginning of our honeymoon. I’d really like somewhere with a pool with a view and a pool bar but was also hoping for a private hot tub. Was hoping to spend less than $400 a night. Is there anywhere that has both of those things in our budget?
    Anna Tarrant

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Maybe Tholos.

  31. Staying in Akrotiri

    Hi Dave

    Have booked a flight to Santorini October 18 for one week. Have seen a new boutique hotel advertised in Akrotiri but Akrotiri is not mentioned in your towns to stay. Is there a reason for this?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Too isolated from Santorini’s main towns. (It’s fine if you want to hang by the pool all day.)

  32. Itinerary for Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Athens

    Hi Dave,

    Wondering if you can help out with my itinerary. My husband and I are planning to travel to Greece next August. We are in our early 40s….Well, I’ll be celebrating my 40th. We love the beach and mostly want to relax, but also don’t mind having a couple of nights of dancing, partying, etc. We were thinking of going for 9 days. We are flying from Boston to Athens (simply because it’s the cheapest), and staying one night. Then hoping to go to Mykonos and Santorini for a few days each. We thought we might be able to fit in one more stop. Perhaps Paros or Naxos? So my questions are:
    1) Would 9 days allow this schedule? If not, how many days do you suggest (also of course factoring what we lose in travel time)
    2) If we do in fact have time for an additional stop, which is better to visit Paros or Naxos?
    3) Can we get to all of these places via ferry?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Santorini deserves 3 full days at least. Naxos, Paros, Mykonos need at least 2 full days. If you have 9 days away from Boston, that’s going to mean 7 full days in Greece. 1 of those is in Athens, and then ferry time so you’ll do best to stick to Santorini and Mykonos. If you added one or two more days you could squeeze in Naxos or Paros (Naxos is more traditional, Paros more trendy and boutiquish). Yes, easy to get to all with ferry but you might want to fly back from Santorini to Athens to save time (it’s the farthest island from Athens).

  33. Tholos Resort in Santorini

    Hi Dave,
    I just booked Tholos resort in Imerovigili although it was not on your list it looks amazing. How is this hotel in comparison to your lists? Budget friendly, somewhat luxury, villa/boutique style?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Tholos Resort is wonderful. Recently refurbished, incredible views. Similar to Astra Suites (and similar locations) but just a half-star down in the luxury category and the pool a little smaller. Good choice.

  34. Luna Rossa Apartments in Santorini

    Hey Dave. Quick question. After weeks of researching and overanalysis I finally booked (prepaid) for a studio rental at Luna Rossa through I trust this site but find that the lack of reviews and an accurate address for map locating is a bit concerning. Are you able to confirm that this is a legit place and we are all set? Greatly appreciate your help?

    Luna Rossa Apartments – Eparx odos Firon Oias Imerovigli, Vourvoulos, 84700, Greece.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Luna Rossa is located exactly where the map shows. On the road between Imerovigli and Oia, directly across from Cavo Tagoo. It’s not on the caldera but does have sunset views from the rooftop of the Deluxe Apartment. There’s a bus stop across the street with buses to Fira and Oia.

  35. Using Flipkey and Airbnb for Santorini

    Dave, really impressive blog – well done! We’re heading to Santorini and would like to stay in the traditional cave style, would like a patio with a great/wide caldera view, and don’t need the fancy hotel-things like breakfast etc etc. I’ve been looking on,, etc and now see less hotel-y villas/caves on flipkey, but sometimes it’s so hard to tell if they’re in the right place or have great expansive views, etc. For example, Villa Calliope. Thoughts on if that is in a good area, the view, etc?

    Also, more generally, do you have any recommendations for us in terms of how to evaluate Santorini Villas on flipkey/airbnb other than scanning pictures, reading reviews on tripadvisor when they’re there (which btw is it odd if a property has zero reviews on tripadvisor?)? Many thanks in advance

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Villa Calliope looks to have a great location in central Oia. There have been cases of fraud on Santorini (with people renting out villas that either didn’t exist or are just pictures of a hotel room re-posted as a private villa). If you can find the same listing on multiple websites (Airbnb, Flipkey, VRBO, Tripadvisor) – and it all looks consistent and legit then I’d feel pretty good about booking it. The gold standard is as the verification process is more robust – whereas I could post a rental on Airbnb in about 5 minutes.

  36. Staying in Vourvoulos

    Hi Dave,

    Is Vourvoulos a good place to stay with kids/teens?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It’s not terrible, but no I wouldn’t say it was a “good place” for kids/teens. It’s not walking distance to much of anything so you’d want a rental car if you stayed there.

  37. Santorini Hotel with No Steps

    Hi Dave – I’d love to stay in Santorini in one of the Caldera towns but I have difficulty managing too many steps. Can you see any way around this? Are there any hotels which are on the same level as the main shops/ restaurants etc with not too many steps to negotiate for bedrooms, etc.? Or is it a pipe dream?

    Thanks – hopefully !

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hotels with few steps in Fira: Cosmopolitan (the best view), Atlantis (fewest steps, good value, not all rooms have views), Aria Suites (most luxurious, the villas are brand new and beautiful with great views).

  38. Cheap Town to Stay on Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    I love your website! I’m trying to figure out where to stay in Santorini when I go in June, and I’m looking at Perissa because it seems those are the best deals. However, I know I want to travel around the island by bus, and looking at the bus schedule, it seems that buses stop running around 20:00. Is this the same in the summer as well? Budget is most important, but accessibility is as well…I don’t have to stay in the nicest place, but do want to be able to get around! If I want to stay for the sunset in Oia, or if I want to go out in Fira, would I be able to take a late bus back to Perissa?

    Also, keeping budget and bus accessibility in mind, are there any other areas you recommend that are cheaper and have good bus service, even if they aren’t on the caldera? Or perhaps areas you would suggest I avoid considering I will need to take a bus everywhere?

    Last question, would it be possible to taxi from Oia to Perissa if necessary? Or is it cost prohibitive?

    Thank you!!!!

    Julia B.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you want cheap and a central location then the best town to stay in is Karterados. It’s walking distance to Fira (2km) and buses to southern Santorini go right by the town on the main road. Karterados has some good markets and inexpensive tavernas. It’s much more convenient than Perissa for exploring the caldera towns. Buses will run later than 8pm in summer (to beaches and elsewhere) but the latest buses are always the Oia-Fira route. So you should always be able to get back to Fira and then worst-case you have to walk from there to your hotel.

  39. Celestia Grand in Fira

    Hey Dave – Great site, making our planning for first trip to Santorini so much easier!! Question – I don’t see you mention Celestia Grand in Fira anywhere on the site. It’s #2 rated on TripAdvisor and wondering what you opinion is. We’re planning an anniversary trip and want something special. Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Celestia Grand is a wonderful luxury hotel (many of the villas/suites have private pools and hot tub). The one drawback (for me) is the location. It’s located a 30 minute walk south of Fira with very little around it. If you have a rental car or just want to sit by the pool and enjoy the caldera views then it’s a superb choice. But I enjoy staying in one of the lively towns along the caldera.

  40. Is Kamari Good for Romantic Honeymoon?

    Hello dave
    We want to come to santorini for a honeymoon the travel agency gave us the Mediteranian Hotal at Kamari but I wanted to know is Kamari close to Fira and Oia for a walk or it’s most in taxi or bus? We want romance, nightlife, and within walking distance. Thank you for you’re blog it really helps.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Like I always say, don’t use travel agents – they don’t know what they’re talking about and only promote hotels that they have pre-arranged deals with. Kamari is a relaxing beach town but does not have the magic, romance, views, nightlife, or fine dining of the caldera towns: Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia. Stay on the caldera to have the type of honeymoon that I think you’re dreaming of.

  41. Honeymoon on Santorini

    Hello Dave,

    I like the idea of this website, you are doing a great job!

    I am planning to travel to Santorini on my honeymoon in April, what I am really looking for are best views, romantic atmosphere, some night life, and a couple of days in a suite with a private pool (really private, no one can see us).
    The travel agency offers me Pyrgos for 2 nights in Orizontes Hotel Villas then Astro Palace in Fira. Personally, I don’t think this will be the best plan only because I think Imerovigli and Oia are better.

    What are your suggestions that fits my plan?

    Thanks in advance, Ahmad

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      First rule is to ignore travel agents. They’re awful. (Not awful people, but they know nothing about Santorini or the hotels they’re recommending.) Oia and Imerovigli are indeed the most romantic towns. But the room with the most privacy of any hotel is the cave suite at Keti in Fira.

  42. HomeAway Rental on Santorini

    Great website. Thanks. I am looking at a house rental on Home Away. It is called Aegagras Caldera near the town of Megalochori. Is this location even worth considering? We will be renting a car so we can see the rest of the island, but even so, it is off the beaten track. What do you think? Thanks

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, it’s a long way from anything and there’s not much (nothing, really) within walking distance. If you hop in your car and are gone for the day then it’s not going to make much difference but personally, I like being closer to the activity of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, or Oia.

  43. 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.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert (owned by is great and has the most high-end selection.

  44. 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  45. 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.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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. 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.

  46. 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!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  47. Aigialos Hotel in Fira

    Hi Dave!

    My brother and I are planning a trip to Santorini in July of 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!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  48. 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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 Emporio (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.

  49. Judy Walker

    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

  50. 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!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I slightly prefer Fira to Oia – but both are great. In Fira I highly recommend Kavalari Hotel and Nefeles Luxury Suites. Both have great views, are very central, and meet your budget requirements.

  51. 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!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Sunny Villas is a great hotel, not too expensive, wonderful hotel, cave suites, and incredible views.

  52. 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.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  53. 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 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!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  54. Which Towns in Santorini and Naxos

    We are planning a trip to Greece in August. 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.
    Paul Dolan

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  55. 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?
    Jan Herwitz

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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. 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.

  56. 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, 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) 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.
    Aditya Grover

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  57. 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  58. Santorini 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!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  59. 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?

    Shreyas Mehta

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That sounds like the perfect amount of days in each place.

  60. Where To Stay in Santorini in Winter

    Hi Dave

    Your website really is a great resource. I’m going to be in Santorini in January 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.)

  61. 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.)

  62. Santorini over New Years

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

    Aileen Lee

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  63. 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 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?



    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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 Dave The Hotel Expert

          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 Damigos Caldera World. Both have rooms with caldera views and not many steps, and taxis can pull relatively close to the hotel.

  64. Katikies, Perivolas, Canaves Luxury Hotels in Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    Staying in Santorini for 3 nights May 31 to June 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!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  65. 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!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.)

  66. 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, that it is only two minutes walk from the centre. Also, is the centre of Fira level? Perhaps you can advise other hotels/apartments if you think the King Thiras not suitable.

    Any hotel advice you can give would be most appreciated.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  67. Mesaria in Santorini

    What about staying in Mesaria? A couple places that look fairly nice on have shown up. What is your opinion of that area?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  68. Large Villa for Rent in Santorini

    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!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Villa Oia Mansion has huge decks (two), wonderful sunset views, a large jacuzzi, and full kitchen. It comfortably sleeps 8 people.

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