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Where To Stay In Santorini for first time visitors

A comprehensive guide on finding the best accommodation in Santorini

Where to stay in Santorini

Wondering where to stay in Santorini? Rich in heritage and tradition, Santorini (known as Thera in Greek) is one of Greece’s most desirable islands for a relaxed, scenic getaway.

Once a volcanic island until 1610 BC, a major explosion caused the centre of the island to dip and formed the famous caldera creating one of the most iconic views in the world today. The island offers so much for the visitor, from a maze of narrow streets to wander around, iconic blue and white buildings, views of the Mediterranean Sea, black sand beaches, and ancient sites to explore.

You’re bound to see the famous Santorini cats lazing in the sun and it’s easy to join them with countless outdoor bars and cafes to people watch from. One of the most romantic spots, Santorini is perfect for honeymooning couples but has plenty to offer everyone else and if you love to party the choice between the capital Fira or the infamous beach parties of Perivolos will be a challenge.

Winemaking is still a traditional trade in Santorini and one of the best things you can do on the island is to visit one of the many wineries, have a drink and enjoy the local way of life.

The Best Areas To Stay In Santorini

Best for the lively capital

Fira

Where To Stay In Santorini - Fira
  • Walk the famous 9km hike from Fira to Oira for some incredible scenery
  • Enjoy a sunset meal overlooking the Santorini Caldera
  • Ride the cable car to the Old Fort
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Best for Traditional & Quiet

Firostefani

Where To Stay In Santorini - Firostefani
  • Climb Skaros Rock, an old fortress and get a view of Imerovigli
  • Visit the female monastery and folklore museum of Agios Nikolaos
  • Learn about Ancient History at the Museum of Prehistoric Thira
More DetailsCheck Top Hotel

Best for a remote getaway

Imerovigli

Where To Stay In Santorini - Imerovigli
  • Watch the amazing sunset from Profitis Ilias Hilltop for an Oia alternative
  • Visit Mezzo Restaurant for views of Skaros Rock
  • Hike the trails to Fira and Oia
More DetailsCheck Top Hotel

Best for Luxury

Oia

Where To Stay In Santorini - Oia
  • Visit the Atlantis Bookshop for rare books and a beautiful view
  • Head to Amoudi Bay for swimming and traditional food
  • Visit one of the iconic Santorini blue domed churches
More DetailsCheck Top Hotel

Best for Families

Kamari

Where To Stay In Santorini - Kamari
  • See a Movie at the Open Air Cinema
  • Visit the below ground Santorini Wine Museum
  • Explore the unique Art Space Winery, combining wine and art
More DetailsCheck Top Hotel

Best for the Black Beach

Perissa

Where To Stay In Santorini - Perissa
  • Catch the bus to Akrotiri Lighthouse
  • Enjoy quirky cocktails at Yazz Bar
  • Eat your way around the many tavernas
More DetailsCheck Top Hotel

Best for Beach Parties

Perivolos

Where To Stay In Santorini - Perivolos
  • Devour a fresh seafood dinner at one of the beachfront tavernas
  • Drink in the unique Taxidi Bar, an ex-tomato factory
  • Enjoy vegetarian and vegan food with a view at Tranquilo
More DetailsCheck Top Hotel

Where To Stay In Santorini for first time visitors - Contents

Where to stay in Santorini

Although, a small island the landscape on offer varies greatly as you go around and some of the most uniquely luxurious hotels in Greece are based here including cliff side accommodation actually built into the Caldera.

While the North and South peninsulas offer some of the most spectacular views on the island, the East and West offer resorts, beaches, and fun water-based activities. With over a dozen marked walking routes including the magnificent walk from Fira to Oita, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and see the whole island and if you don’t fancy walking then the bus routes from Fira are extensive.

Choosing where to stay in Santorini, one of the world’s most photogenic islands is never going to be easy but here are the main areas and what you can get up to there.

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Where To Stay In Santorini for first time visitors

Where To Stay In Santorini for first time visitors

Fira

Where to stay in Santorini - Stay in Fira for the lively capital

The capital city of Santoini, Fira is a great place for first time visitors who want to immerse themselves in the island’s relaxed lifestyle.

Great for shopping, restaurants and nightlife and the nearby beaches are perfect to get you tan.

Why stay in Fira

With plenty of accommodation to choose from and everything on your doorstep, the largest town in Santorini has a lot to offer visitors to the island. The real heart of the island and where the old settlement of Akritori is located, whether you want to party the night away or spend days relaxing in the sunshine you can easily do it here.

The sunset views are breathtaking and from here you reach everywhere else on the island since all public transport starts and ends in Fira. If you enjoy shopping, then most of the island's boutiques are located here as well as the famous restaurants and bars. For first-timers in the island or anyone who wants easy access to everything, Santorini has to offer then the bustling Fira is your best choice.

Things to do in Fira

  • Walk the famous 9km hike from Fira to Oira for some incredible scenery
  • Enjoy a sunset meal overlooking the Santorini Caldera
  • Ride the cable car to the Old Fort
  • Catch a boat from Fira to hike on the volcanic island Nea Kameni
  • Relax in the hot springs on Nea Kameni
  • Stroll the promenade for the best sunset view
  • Head down and drink at the famous Santo Winery
  • Visit the Art of the Loom gallery for Greek artefacts
  • Catch the bus to the Akrotiri Archaeological Site and the nearby Red Beach
  • Dance the night away at the popular Franco’s bar for cocktails and music with a view

Where to Stay in Fira

Alizea Villas & SuitesCheck Alizea Villas & Suites on Booking.com

Alizea Villas & Suites

Featuring a pool, the Cycladic-style Villa Alizea is just 550 yards from the centre of Fira in Santorini. Each of the air-conditioned rooms at Alizea Villa has a flat-screen TV and a fridge. All rooms include a private, furnished balcony while some feature Aegean Sea views.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Costa Marina Villas

Costa Marina Villas is a guesthouse that is located 200 yards from the central square of Fira, the capital of Santorini. Great emphasis has been placed on the traditional island architecture and furniture. Costa Marina rooms include free Wi-Fi, hairdryer, air conditioning, fridge and electric kettle.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Platia

Platia is an adult-only property set in the main square of Fira Town, within walking distance of the Caldera, various shops and restaurants. Opening to a balcony with town views, all air-conditioned rooms come with a smart TV, a coffee machine, a kettle and a fridge. They also have a private bathroom with bathrobes, slippers and free toiletries.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Firostefani

Where to stay in Santorini - Stay in Firostefani for a quieter, traditional spot close to Fira

Firostefani is the perfect place to stay if you are after relaxation and don’t want the evening partying to disturb you. Super close to the capital, Firostefani offers you the comfort of restaurants, bars within walking distance, combined with all the amazing beaches but without the hassle of the noisy nightlife.

Why stay in Firostefani

A perfect option for people who want to be near Fira but also want a quieter pace of life, you can walk to Fira from Firostefani village via a beautiful direct path in just over ten minutes. The area itself offers gorgeous Caldera views similar to Fira, has a wide range of boutique hotels to choose from, and offers enough local restaurants, bakeries, and shopping to keep you busy.

There’s a lack of nightlife so evenings are a lot quieter than elsewhere on the island but you’re close enough that you still enjoy all the action and transport options of Fira. For a more authentic Santorini experience and the opportunity to find some hidden gems, then you can’t do better than Firostefani.

Things to do in Firostefani

  • Climb Skaros Rock, an old fortress and get a view of Imerovigli
  • Visit the female monastery and folklore museum of Agios Nikolaos
  • Learn about Ancient History at the Museum of Prehistoric Thira
  • Wander the alleys and take pictures of the Caldera

Where to Stay in Firostefani

Villa FotiniCheck Villa Fotini on Booking.com

Villa Fotini

Situated in Firostefani, between famous Fira and scenic Imerovigli, this traditional pension is just 20 yards from Santorini’s famous sunset spot. Busses to Oia stop right across from the property. Villa Fotini features air-conditioned rooms with private balconies. All guest rooms are equipped with TV, refrigerator, and en suite bathroom. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Argonaftes

Located in the scenic town of Firostefani, the adult-only Argonaftes villa offers traditional Cycladic-style units, some facing east with a sea-view balcony. Breakfast is served on the terrace surrounded by colourful flowers. Rooms and apartments at Argonaftes are decorated with paintings made by the owner. Each air-conditioned unit is equipped with a TV, mini fridge and hairdryer. Some also include a kitchenette with a dining area. Some units are located in a windmill like tower.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Remvi Suites

Located in Firostefani, one of the most beautiful spots of the famous Santorini cliffs, Remvi Suites offers panoramic views to the volcano, the caldera and the Aegean Sea. Opening to private verandas, all spacious and tastefully decorated guestrooms offer air conditioning and are equipped with satellite TV and balcony with a view to the volcano.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Imerovigli

Where to stay in Santorini - Stay in Imerovigli for a remote getaway

If Firostefani is still too busy for you, why don’t you try Imerovigli, a sleepy town just 20 mins walk from Fira. In exchange for leaving the busy city behind, you will be rewarded with outstanding views of the bay.

Why stay in Imerovigli

Imerovigli is the quietest town in Santorini and a perfect spot for a private and idyllic getaway. Close to Fira, just 2km away on the local bus or around twenty-five minutes’ walk it’s one of the most expensive places to stay on the island but the payoff is breath-taking views of the caldera lagoons and sunset scenes that are unmatched elsewhere on the island. Many of the hotels are built into the cliff with views of the volcano and offer free shuttles into Fira so you can really make the most of Santorini’s dynamic nature and town combination. You’re most likely to see romantic couples on their honeymoon strolling around this area enjoying the total remoteness. There are a small number of restaurants to enjoy here but no nightlife or major attractions so make use of the buses to Fira.

Things to do in Imerovigli

  • Watch the amazing sunset from Profitis Ilias Hilltop for an Oia alternative
  • Visit Mezzo Restaurant for views of Skaros Rock, the caldera and authentic cuisine
  • Hike the trails to Fira and Oia

Where to Stay in Imerovigli

Andronis Concept Wellness ResortCheck Andronis Concept Wellness Resort on Booking.com

Andronis Concept Wellness Resort

Situated on a hillside position with stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea, Andronis Concept Wellness Resort is peacefully set in Imerovigli. Facing the endless view on the Aegean sunset and the volcano, all minimal suites at Andronis Concept Wellness Resort all luxurious and minimal feature bright and comfortable interiors. Each features its own private swimming pool overlooking the azure Aegean Sea. All suites boast a living room with a flat-screen, satellite TV. Each includes a private bathroom.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Xenones Filotera

Not far from Fira’s centre, and a few kilometres away from Kamari beach, Xenones Filotera offers Cycladic hospitality with hot tub in the picturesque Imerovigli. The soundproofed villas and studios offer space, comfort and endless views to the Aegean Sea or the volcano. Each is fully equipped with a sitting area, bathroom and balcony. Xenones Filotera serves a la carte breakfast, delicious local dishes prepared with fresh produce from the hotel’s organic farm, or special request meals.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Caldera's Memories

Caldera's Memories is positioned on the edge of Santorini's Caldera cliffs in Imerovigli. It offers well-appointed apartments with free wireless internet access and continental breakfast included. Each of the traditional apartments has a comfortable lounge area. Air conditioning is included and guests can enjoy views of Santorini and the caldera from their private balcony or terrace.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Oia

Where to stay in Santorini - Stay in Oia for luxury with incredible sunsets

Who wouldn’t want to experience Santorini in luxury? If your wallet can handle it, Oia, the small town perched on the farthest Northern corner of Santorini is the perfect spot. When you book your accommodation, make sure you have a terrace which faces the sunset. You don’t want to miss the breathtaking views.

Why stay in Oia

Oia is the area most of the pictures of Santorini are taken, it’s one of the most scenic parts of the island and is well suited to couples on a getaway or people who want breath-taking views every time they leave their hotel.

It gets incredibly busy every evening when buses of people from Fira arrive to catch the incredible sunsets here but is very quiet most of the day and a perfect place to wander with narrow alleyways and winding staircases at each turn.

Accommodation in the area is generally more expensive and there are some beautiful luxury options here so choose Oia if you’re looking for that special getaway. There’s no nightlife in the area and it generally offers quite a sleepy pace of life but there’s no shortage of restaurants and high-end shopping to keep you busy.

Oia is also just a short bus ride to Fira, making it perfect for people who want to be near the action but mostly want a quiet beach escape.

Things to do in Oia

  • Visit the Atlantis Bookshop for rare books and a beautiful view
  • Head to Amoudi Bay for swimming and traditional food
  • Visit one of the iconic Santorini blue domed churches
  • Visit the nearby Sigalas WineryExplore the fifteenth-century Agios Nikolaos
  • Devour gyros at the local favourite Pita Gyros
  • Take a sunset cruise around the island
  • Visit Lolita’s Gelato for weird and wonderful flavours

Where to Stay in Oia

Andronis Luxury SuitesCheck Andronis Luxury Suites on Booking.com

Andronis Luxury Suites

Nestled in the Caldera cliff with a view of the volcano, the surrounding islands and the Aegean Sea, this hotel combines classic luxury with modern minimal style. A healthy and natural lifestyle defines Andronis Luxury Suites. The concept extends from the massage room and luxury spa to the Mediterranean restaurant. Savour cuisine that is freshly prepared using only bio-organic ingredients.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Alonistra Oia Houses

Located 0.6 miles from the centre of Oia in Foinikia Village, Alonistra Oia Houses enjoys panoramic sunset and Aegean Sea views. Built in Cycladic style, it features a garden and a sun terrace. Opening to a balcony, every self-catering holiday house comes with air conditioning, and a kitchenette including a mini oven, fridge and dining table. They also have a bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Enalion White Suites Oia

Enalion White Suites Oia offers air-conditioned rooms with a flat-screen smart TV, a terrace and/or balcony with sea or city views. There is also a kitchenette, equipped with a minibar. Every unit comes with a private bathroom with a bath or shower and slippers. Towels are available. Each suite comes with an outdoor private jetted tub located on the balcony with a view to the Caldera

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Kamari

Where to Stay in Santorini - Kamari best for families

With its long beach and many activities, Kamari is a great spot if you are travelling as a family to Santorini. The town is more budget friendly but still full of restaurants and bars with ample shopping opportunities.

Why stay in Kamari

A beautiful family-friendly village and much cheaper than other areas in Santorini, the main attraction is the famous Kamari Beach and the pedestrianised beach-front walk dotted with bars, restaurants, and shopping.

You’ll find small, family-run Greek tavernas and authentic restaurants dotted around. Many restaurants will even deliver food to your deckchair on the beach.

Always within easy walking distance of the sea, it’s ideal for people who want to enjoy water-based activities and have plenty to do waterside.

The pebble-beach isn’t the most scenic on the island but being only fifteen minutes from Fira by bus and thirty-five minute to Oia, this budget-friendly area is in a great location with more than enough.

Things to do in Kamari

  • See a Movie at the Open Air Cinema
  • Visit the below ground Santorini Wine Museum
  • Explore the unique Art Space Winery, combining wine and art
  • Visit the famous Donkey Brewery on the road between Fira and Kamari
  • Explore the Ancient Thera ruins between Kamari and Perissa
  • Visit the ancient village of Pygros
  • Watch live Greek dance performances at Dimitri’s Restaurant

Where to Stay in Kamari

Santellini HotelCheck Santellini Hotel on Booking.com

Santellini Hotel

Offering an outdoor pool and a sun terrace with sun loungers and parasols, Santellini Hotel is located in Kamari and provides air-conditioned accommodation with free WiFi access. A bar is at the guests' disposal, and a sandy beach is only a few steps away. Each unit here comprises a balcony with a view of the garden. A flat-screen TV, a safe and a fridge are provided as well. The private bathrooms are fitted with a shower and a hairdryer.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Chez Sophie

Chez Sophie is situated on the island of Santorini. This villa complex offers rooms with stunning sea or mountain views. Kamari beach is just 100 yards away from Chez Sophie. Each room is equipped with a veranda overlooking the sea or the mountain. Some rooms include a hot tub.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Selini Ηotel

Offering an outdoor pool and sun terrace, Selini Ηotel is situated in Kamari, 150 yards from the Black Beach. Guests can enjoy the on-site snack bar. Fira Town is a 15-minute drive away. Opening to a balcony with sea views, all air-conditioned rooms at Selini Hotel feature a flat-screen TV and a safety box, a fridge and a bathroom with a shower.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Perissa

Where to Stay in Santorini - Perissa and the famous Black Beach

With it’s 3km long iconic Black Beach, Perissa is also a great place for families. Many budget friendly accommodation is available while there are plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes.

If you want to dive, Perissa has many diving schools where you can quickly learn how to dive and take to the open waters to check out the mesmerising underwater world.

Why stay in Perissa

Family friendly, Perissa and Perivolos beach (also known as The Black Beach due to the sand) are basically the same long beach, which has much nicer sand than Kamari.

Perissa also popular with backpackers. You will find hostels in this town, catering for the backpacker crowd.

Lined with restaurants, pizzerias, cafes, and cute bars, this area is no stranger to beach parties There are also plenty of water sport based activities, diving schools, and surfing so there’s plenty to do in the area making it an entertaining place to stay It is quite far from Fira and Oia so if you’re planning to spend a lot of time there then it’s worth bearing that in mind.

This area is particularly quiet out of season and offers some good accommodation deals.

Things to do in Perissa

  • Catch the bus to Akrotiri Lighthouse
  • Enjoy quirky cocktails at Yazz Bar
  • Eat your way around the many tavernas
  • Visit the Santorini Dive Center for easy access to the volcanic dive spots
  • Wander the church of Timios Stavros
  • Have fun at the Santorini Water Park

Where to Stay in Perissa

Sellada Beach HotelCheck Sellada Beach Hotel on Booking.com

Sellada Beach Hotel

Facing the Cretan Sea, this Cycladic-style resort hotel is located right on Perissa Beach and provides guests with traditional accommodation on the island of Santorini. Close to the neighbouring towns of Perivolos and Kamari, Sellada Beach Hotel includes only a small number of guest rooms and apartments.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Stelios Place

Family-run Stelios Place is located in Perissa, 30 yards from the black, sandy beach. It offers air-conditioned rooms with private balconies and an outdoor pool with sun loungers. All rooms offer free Wi-Fi access, TV and fridge. Safety deposit boxes and daily maid service are standard in all of Stelios’s accommodation.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Fenix collection

Fenix collection is situated in Perissa and features a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a garden. With a terrace, the property also has a shared lounge. The property is located 650 yards from Ancient Thera. Every room comes with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. The rooms include air conditioning, and certain rooms are fitted with a balcony.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Perivolos

Where to Stay in Santorini - Stay in Perivolos for the best beach parties

Walking distance from Perissa, Perivolos is a great location for those who don’t fancy sleeping at night. With it’s live music scene, Perivolos is famous for it’s lineup of local and international DJs.

With its budget friendly accommodation and awesome party scene, Perivolos is attracting a young, energetic crowd.

Why stay in Perivolos

Located on the south-east coast of the island and a popular backdrop for weddings, Perivolos has a youthful vibe and offers a multitude of drinking, eating, and shopping options.

Much like the other beach areas (Kamari and Perissa), staying at Perivolos offers far more budget-friendly accommodation making it very popular with young people and families.

Perivolos also has a cosmopolitan side making it ideal for anyone looking for a resort-style getaway. Featuring the liveliest beach resort on the island and the most beachside bars - Perivolos still has more relaxed vibe than Perissa just 3 km away.

Sun beds and umbrellas are available free and there’s even wifi on the beach. Local and international DJs play in the area making every evening a party and granting an idyllic place to rest the next day.

Things to do in Perivolos

  • Devour a fresh seafood dinner at one of the beachfront tavernas
  • Drink in the unique Taxidi Bar, an ex-tomato factory
  • Enjoy vegetarian and vegan food with a view at Tranquilo
  • Walk the whole coast from Perivolos to Perissa

Where to Stay in Perivolos

Santo Miramare Beach ResortCheck Santo Miramare Beach Resort on Booking.com

Santo Miramare Beach Resort

This seaside resort is right on the famous cosmopolitan beach of Perivolos on the south-eastern side of Santorini. It has the biggest pools area from all hotels in Perivolos - Perissa and its private area on the black sandy beach of Perivolos with sun beds and umbrellas free for hotel clients. The hotel is located near the tourist village of Perissa with its handful of shops and tavernas, and long beach with Mesa Vouna rock looming out of the sea.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Glykeria Mini Suites

The Cycladic-style Glykeria Mini Suites is a family-run complex on Agios Georgios Beach in Santorini. It features a bar and elegant accommodation with free Wi-Fi and a balcony or patio. Featuring calming colours and modern furnishings, all the air-conditioned accommodation at the Glykeria Mini Suites include an LCD TV. Each has a fridge, hairdryer and toiletries. Some come with views of the Aegean Sea or the mountains.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Casa Del Mar

Offering a sun terrace and views of the sea, Casa Del Mar is set on the famous black sandy beach of Perivolos in the Santorini Region. The rooms include a flat-screen TV, a kettle and a private bathroom.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

We hope you have found the perfect accommodation on this beautiful island. After your visit, don't forget to share your tips with other readers in the comments section below.

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