How To Book Hotels in Greece

How To Book Hotels in Greece and the Greek Islands

  • Book far in advance for the most popular islands (Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete). Many of the best hotels are fully booked 6 months in advance.
  • Map your hotel and pay close attention to location. On most islands, you want to be walking distance from the main towns not out in the middle of nowhere.
  • Use street view to get a sense of what’s immediately around the hotel.
  • Check to see if the hotel is adults-only or family-friendly. Many hotels are either kid-friendly or the exact opposite.
  • If you’re traveling as a big group or staying for longer than a week contact the hotel directly to enquire about special deals.

Q. What is the best website for booking hotels in Greece?

Booking.com – My current favorite for booking hotels. Free cancelations for most hotels makes it easy to plan a trip. Great rates too. The verified reviews on the site make it especially valuable. It also has good maps (most of the time) and detailed pages on individual destinations.

Booking.com island pages: Santorini HotelsMykonos HotelsAthens HotelsCrete Hotels

Hotelscombined.com – Good for finding last minute deals in Greece.

Both Booking.com and Hotelscombined have been around for years and are very reliable.

I typically use these sites to find the hotels with the best rates and then phone or email them directly to see if they’ll match the price I found online. About half the time they’ll offer the same rate. And even when they don’t you can ask detailed questions about any concerns you might have which can be helpful if you’re traveling with kids or a large group. Also, if you’re a member of a hotel rewards program then you’re more likely to get points if you book directly rather than through Booking.com or Hotelscombined (though whether that’s worth paying a little more is obviously dependent on the details).

Booking your hotel in advance is absolutely mandatory if you’re visiting Santorini or Mykonos between June and September – or any Greek island in July and August. For May and October booking just a few days in advance is usually fine. On other islands showing up without a hotel can be half the fun but that doesn’t apply to Santorini which is incredibly popular from June to September.

And one very important note: If you want to stay at one of the best hotels in Santorini or best hotels in Mykonos then you do need to book very far in advance to ensure you get a room. I recently spoke to the manager at Grace Santorini (September 2016) and she said they are taking reservations for 2017. And for weddings people are enquiring about 2018 and 2019.

For certain, there are many exceptions and it never hurts to look for last minute availability. But if you have your heart set on a particular hotel then you should book as far in advance as possible (i.e. 4 to 8 months before your trip).

If you do arrive on Santorini without a hotel reservation during high season take anything you can find for the first night and then look around for a better place once you’ve put down your bags. If there are hotel owners meeting your ferry at the port they’re an easy way to get a place to stay and a free ride into town. Be aware if they say you’re staying “right in Fira” you’re still probably going to be outside the town a little way (often in Karterados). If you’re really concerned about location get them to point to the hotel on a map. Almost all of these hotel owners are legitimate and trustworthy, though, as I say, they will fudge a little on the true location of their hotel.

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10 Questions and Comments

  1. Greek Ferries

    Hey Dave:
    just booked some hotels through your booking site for Greece.
    Here is my question: I’m really terrified of ferries and was wondering if the big ferry from Naxos to Santorini on the Blue Star ferries is large enough that you do not feel the motion or the waves?
    Dee

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      The Blue Star is a big solid ferry that generally has a very smooth ride. That said, you will still feel the roll of the waves. If the sea is rough it can be a rough ride. The good news is it’s a short trip from Naxos to Santorini and goes quickly.

  2. When To Book Hotels for September Trip to Greece

    Flying to Greece in late September 2017- not sure when to book hotels?
    Jazmin Perez

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      If you’re looking for 4 or 5 star hotels (especially in Santorini) then book as soon as possible. If you’re more focused on budget and mid-range hotels then book by May or June.

  3. Which Santorini Town for Young Kids

    Hi Dave,

    We plan on visiting Santorini at the end of May for 3 nights with our 2 girls (ages 3 and 1). What town do you recommend staying in with young children?

    Thank you,
    Sue

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Oia is the easiest to get around with young kids. There’s a long flat pathway that is stroller-friendly. Fira would be the 2nd most kid-friendly (of the caldera towns).

  4. Anamnesis City Spa

    Hi Dave,
    We will be arriving by cruise ship at the end of August for 3 nights. It looks like the ships tender close to Fira. Since we are only staying 3 days/3 nights, it seems to make sense to stay in Fira, which seems quite central with good access to other parts of the island and close to the airport.

    The Anamnesis City Spa gets good reviews so we are considering this hotel. Any thoughts? Or, can you recommend a similar hotel in the same area that might be better. We would like to spend around 100 Euro per night and a pool would be great.

    We would like to be close to the city centre and the bus station.

    Approximately how much is a taxi from Fira to Oia. And from Fira to the airport.

    Thanks
    Wendy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Anamnesis City Spa is nice. Nothing luxurious and no caldera views but good value and a very short walk to Fira’s views, shops, and restaurants. Taxi from Fira to Oia will be 15€ to 20€. Taxi from Fira to the airport will be 12€ to 18€.

  5. Airbnb in Santorini

    Is Airbnb good for booking rooms on Santorini? We are looking for a suite with a great view of the caldera. 4 or 5 star. Close to restaurants and a little nightlife.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Airbnb has some, but not a lot of selection for Santorini. It’s generally good for saving money but not getting a place with a view. For the best views and proximity to the main towns, hotels are where you want to stay.

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