Esperas – Charming, cave-style suites with a pool and caldera sunset views.
Located in Oia, below the windmills and overlooking Ammoudi Bay, this picturesque hotel offers unobstructed sunset views over the caldera. Suites, studios, and houses are simply furnished in traditional, Greek style (white walls, rich blue accents, and dark woods). Many feature private jacuzzis and plunge pools, and most offer sunset views from their own private terraces. Their fantastic pool is half cave-style with seating inside, and half open to the sun. An a la carte breakfast is served to each room daily, while lunch, dinner, and cocktails are available at Ombra, with sweeping views and an authentic, local menu. Expect a warm welcome and exceptional care throughout.
Esperas – Location
• Area: Tranquil, quiet location in a pedestrian-only area at the western tip of Oia, underneath the windmills and above Ammoudi Bay. Walking distance to the castle ruins, Maritime Museum, the restaurants in Ammoudi, and the shopping and dining in central Oia.
• How to Get There: The hotel sits midway down the side of the caldera along one of Oia’s maze-like footpaths. It is easiest to have the staff here schedule transportation from the airport or port, so that someone can guide you to the entrance and assist with luggage. It is approximately 18km from the Athinios ferry port and the Santorini Airport to the hotel, though they are in different directions.
There are always buses waiting at the ferry port for every ferry arrival, as well as buses departing hourly from Santorini Airport. There are no direct buses from the port or airport to Oia, however; buses from both locations go to Fira, where you must then board a different bus to Oia – the entire trip from the port or airport to Oia will take at least an hour and cost about €5 in total. Tickets are purchased on the bus, in cash only. The Oia bus station is only 450m away from the hotel (though you should still arrange assistance through the hotel to meet you at the bus terminal and guide you to the entrance).
Taxis are also available from the port or airport, though there are only about 25 taxis serving the whole island, so there is often a wait; schedule a ride through a private car service in advance to avoid this (I use and recommend Welcome Pickups). Taxis on Santorini are not metered, so be sure to agree on a price with the driver before setting out. A taxi from the airport to Esperas will cost roughly €35 to €40. A taxi from the ferry port will cost around €35 to €40. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more – about $60 (or €50), but is worth it to avoid the wait and for the convenience of paying ahead.
For those who prefer to drive themselves, we recommend renting a car either at the airport on arrival, or in Fira. The road from the ferry port is steep and narrow, with many tricky switchbacks, large trucks, and buses. Leave that for the locals to navigate. We strongly recommend reserving a vehicle in advance, especially if you require automatic transmission. Upon arrival in Oia, there are a few free public parking lots within a 5 to 10-minute walk to the hotel, but be patient, as you may need to check a few lots before finding an open space.
Map of Esperas
Esperas – The Basics
- Ages: 18 years and older only (though this is somewhat flexible). Guests tend to be couples between 28 and 45 years old, mostly celebrating honeymoons and anniversaries.
- Beach: The closest swimming spot (though it is not a proper beach) is at Ammoudi Bay, the port immediately below Oia, about 500m (10-minute walk) from Esperas. This is a popular spot for swimming and cliff diving; though it’s too rocky and small to do much lounging. Ammoudi Bay is the main port of Oia, and is served by several spectacular seafood restaurants. It’s a steep trek down and back again, but it’s relatively easy to catch a cab at the bottom to bring you back up the hill. (Buy a snack at one of the restaurants and the waiter will be happy to call one for you.)
- View: All rooms face toward the caldera, and offer views of the Aegean Sea. Most of these offer full sunset views from their private terraces.
- Kitchen: Cave Suite and Esperas Suite both offer kitchenettes with 2-burner stove-tops. All rooms include a minibar, mini-fridge, kettle, and coffee/tea facilities.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: All 6 suites include either an outdoor jacuzzi or plunge pool.
- Extras: Pool, complimentary breakfast served to room, welcome wine on arrival, and a DVD library.
- When to Book: The hotel operates from mid-April until the end of October. Reserve at least 3 months in advance (4 months is better) for stays during high season from June through September, and about 2 months in advance for the low and shoulder seasons.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +30 22860 71501, +30 22860 71088
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: esperas-santorini.com
Esperas – Amenities
- Pool: Great pool with the front half open to the sun, and the back half sheltered inside 2 caves, both with recessed seating areas.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center.
- For Disabled Guests: This hotel is not accessible for anyone with mobility issues. Lots of stairs getting to and from the entrance, suites, and all facilities.
- For Families: Esperas is an adults-only property. Only ages 18 and older are allowed. There are no kid-friendly amenities.
- Activities: No activities onsite, though the staff can arrange tours, wine tastings, and sailing with outside vendors.
Esperas – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: Ombra Restaurant is located on the main level with the pool. Specializing in local and Mediterranean fine dining, the restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, snacks, and cocktails from 12 p.m. until 11 p.m. Décor is simple, and many tables overlook the caldera, offering sunset views. The restaurant is open to the public, so reserve in advance for the best tables. No kids menu. • $$$$.
- Bar: The Esperas Pool Bar is located inside Ombra Restaurant, and operates during the same hours, serving refreshing cocktails, local and Greek wine and beer, smoothies, and light bites.
- Breakfast: Complimentary. Order from the a la carte menu the night before, and it will be delivered to the room at the time of your choosing every morning to be enjoyed in-room or on your private terrace.
- Room Service: Always for breakfast, and available during normal restaurant hours from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Esperas Hotel – Rooms
- Room Types: Studios with Sea View • Superior Studios with Sunset View • Standard House with Sea View • Superior Houses with Sea View • Cave Suite with Outdoor Jacuzzi • Esperas Suite with Sea View and Plunge Pool • Honeymoon Suite with Sea View and Outdoor Jacuzzi • Superior Suite with Sunset View and Plunge Pool • Honeymoon Suite with Sea View and Plunge Pool
- Smoking Rooms: Smoking is not allowed indoors, but is allowed in the outdoor areas.
- Best Room: The Honeymoon Suites (whether Plunge Pool or Jacuzzi option) are the best rooms for romantic getaways, with large terraces boasting sunset views over the caldera from the private pools or jacuzzis.
- For Families: Esperas is an adults-only hotel for ages 18 and older only. Though there are no family rooms for children, there are rooms for larger groups. The best room is the Esperas Suite, which sleeps up to 6 guests. This room offers 1 king bed in the main bedroom, a 1-queen loft, plus 2 single beds (one in its own small room and the other, a daybed, in the living room), and a well-equipped kitchenette with a 2-burner stove-top.
Esperas – Local Transport
- Walking: The hotel is located in the western point of Oia, walking distance to the area’s best restaurants, shopping, and sights. Ammoudi Bay is accessible via a steep and winding path, easy to descend the 500m down, but arduous going back up; many people taxi back to the top. The heart of Oia, with its fine dining, luxury boutiques, and a few bars is only a 10-minute walk from the hotel, while the castle is only 4 minutes away.
- Bus: The Oia Bus Terminal is only 450m away, and serves all of the major villages and beaches on the island. Tickets are bought on board, and range from €1.80 to €2.50 per person in the daytime, depending on the route. Night buses (12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) run less frequently and cost a little more, from €2.30 to €3.10. Buses can get very crowded, especially during the high season, so much so that they often fill to capacity and are unable to take on more passengers. There are only 23 public buses serving the island.
- Taxis: The nearest taxi stand is at Stathmos Taxi, uphill and about 500m east near the Oia Bus Terminal, but there is often a wait as there are only 25 taxis serving the entire island (with guests from about 1,000 hotels, villas, and Airbnbs). Book in advance to avoid the wait, plus you can choose a closer pickup point. There will be a small surcharge for advanced reservations and for carrying luggage, usually just a couple of Euros. The average rate from Oia to Fira is €20, and from Oia to the airport runs about €35 to €40.
- Scooters/Motorcycles: Scooters are the main mode of transportation for the locals, but if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, it can be very dangerous. The roads here are zigzagging, hilly, narrow, and have sheer drop-offs with no guardrails and no street lights in most areas. Lots of dirt roads and potholes.
- ATVs/Quads: ATVs are a fun and popular mode of transportation with tourists, but for the locals stuck driving behind them, they move too slowly and hold up traffic in an area where getting around is already a hassle. For those who don’t ride quads regularly (i.e. most people), they can be dangerous at high speeds and on turns. Crashing your ATV is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation.
Esperas – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Lotza: Simple, honest Greek comfort food with stunning caldera views. 3-minute walk.
- Roka: Authentic, Santorinian menu with solid dishes, especially the meatballs and octopus. 5-minute walk.
- Candouni: Cozy, family-owned restaurant with live, Greek music and absolutely delicious food. 6-minute walk.
- PitoGyros: Hands-down, the best gyros in Oia. Seating is limited. 8-minute walk.
- Ammoudi Bay Restaurants: Each of these waterfront restaurants is phenomenal, offering the freshest fish on the island. The steep 10-minute walk down takes longer coming back up, but your waiter will be happy to call you a cab.
- Melitini: 100% Greek menu, using local Santorinian, Cycladic, and Greek ingredients only. 11-minute walk.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Marykay’s Bar/Hassapiko: The only real bar in Oia, this is the only spot for dancing in Oia, regularly hosting live bands and DJs. 3-minute walk.
- Sunset Sangria Bar: Chill spot for sangria, cocktails, and tapas with excellent sunset views (though not of the caldera). 6-minute walk.
- Fino Cocktail Bar & Restaurant: The best cocktails in Santorini. Plus inspired, Mediterranean food and an extensive wine list. 8-minute walk.
Best Nearby Cafes
- Vitrin Café Creperie: One of the best breakfasts on the island, plus AMAZING sunset views if you arrive early enough to snag a table. 1-minute walk.
- Meteor: Excellent coffee and breakfast with sweeping caldera views, though a little on the pricey side. 3-minute walk.
- Passaggio: The best coffee in Santorini, solid breakfast, killer cocktails, and pretty okay sunset views from the balcony, just a little back from the caldera. 13-minute walk.
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- Atlantis Books: Widely considered to be the best bookstore in the world. Nat Geo calls it a “Destination of a Lifetime”. 3-minute walk.
- B.Loose: Greek-made, casual linens for men and women. 3-minute walk.
- Steps to Art: Truly unique metal sculptures, replicas inspired by Akrotiri, and jewelry made with volcanic sand and watch parts. 4-minute walk.
- It’s a Beautiful Day: Greek-designed clothing and luxury-brand accessories. 4-minute walk.
- Spilia Cave Greek Clothing: Handmade leather sandals, cotton and linen Greek clothes, located in one of the original living caves of Oia. 4-minute walk.
- Bligaki: Santorinian accessories, especially jewelry and bags, mostly handmade. 7-minute walk.
- BLOW by Labro: High-end designer boutique with unique pieces. 8-minute walk.
- Oia-Fira Hiking Trail: One of the top attractions on the island is this scenic 10.5 km hiking trail connecting Oia and Fira. A mix of sidewalk, cobblestones, and dirt trail, this route boasts gorgeous vistas the entire way. Hiking south to Fira, the full length of the path from the Byzantine Castle Ruins takes from 2 to 5 hours; Add about an hour for a detour at Skaros Rock in Imerovigli. 3-minute walk from the hotel.
- Maritime Museum: Small museum focused on Greek Naval and Santorinian seafaring history. Only €3 to enter. 2-minute walk.
- Museum of Ancient, Byzantine Musical Instruments: Faithful replicas of Greek instruments dating from the prehistoric through Byzantine eras. 4-minute walk.
- Castle of Agios Nikolaos (aka Oia Castle): The medieval castle ruins are the most popular sunset viewpoint on the island. 4-minute walk.
- Church of Panagia of Platsani: The most iconic church in Santorini, beautiful inside and out. 6-minute walk.
- Ammoudi Bay: Best known for its fresh fish restaurants, Ammoudi is the rocky port of Oia; boats sail to Thirassia and cruise the caldera from here. It’s an incredibly popular spot for cliff diving, and is one of the best places to swim on the island. 10-minute walk.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Mini Market: There is a small market up the hill directly above the hotel with drinks, snacks, and some basic items. 1-minute walk.
- Asteras Supermarket: Small, but solid selection with a surprising amount of fresh produce for its size, along with prepackaged deli cuts, snacks, beer, wine, and some beach gear. 8-minute walk.
- Elliniki Diatrofi Supermarket: Great selection of local cheeses, wine, liquor, fresh produce, and staples. Open until after midnight, sometimes as late as 2:00 a.m. 8-minute walk.
Esperas – The Hotel
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