Selecting a place to stay in Santorini is not always easy, more so if you consider the amount of options offered by the island. After our experience we believe that there are two very specific areas in which to stay in Santorini, especially if it is your first time on the island. Although both are well known and crowded, Oía and Fira, are two of the jewels of Santorini and two of the places with the best hotels and restaurants on the island.
Here’s a selection of places to stay in Santorini and the best areas and hotels.
Places to stay in Santorini
There are plenty of options for finding a hotel in Santorini, although we always recommend staying in the west of the island, overlooking the caldera, in one of the most famous towns with better views: Oia, Imerovigli, Fira or Firostefani.
Oia, the best place to stay in Santorini (and the most expensive)
Located in the western part of the island, which is the best as it overlooks the caldera, Oia is the most iconic and well known place on the island and of course one of the best places to stay in Santorini but also the most expensive.
This is where you can find the famous postcard pictures of Santorini, such as those of the blue domes or some of the hotels with infinity pools, which are so characteristic of these Greek islands. This is also the place where you can experience some of the most impressive sunsets in the world.
Although we always recommend renting a car in Santorini, in Oia there is a bus that makes stops at the most important points of the island as Fira, Firostefani or the airport, which can be a great option if you do not want to travel frequently to the interior of the island.
Another attraction is the old port area, although you should know that you will have to get off and then climb over 200 steps or take a transport to get there. But there is a reward, and that is the view and a small cove, Ammoudi Bay, where you can spend some unforgettable hours.
Please don’t ever use the donkeys they offer to make this journey! It is very important to be part of responsible tourism and not to participate in these kinds of activities with animals.
The price of accommodation in Oía is usually 150-200 euros per night, although in low season you can find hotels at a lower price. In high season prices tend to shoot up.
Recommended hotels in Oía
Here are the most recommended options that we have found to stay in Chora, taking into account the quality/price ratio:
- The Arches
- Top Oia
- Caldera Premium Villas
Fira, another of the best places to sleep in Santorini
Fira or Thira, is the capital of Santorini and as such another of the best places to sleep in Santorini. Here, besides finding a wide range of accommodation and restaurants, you will find more affordable hotels and the best transport options to move around the island. Perfect if you do not want to rent a car on the island.
Besides this, the area is a real wonder and it’s where you can find another of the typical postcards of Santorini, where you can see the white village hanging from a cliff almost 300 meters above sea level.
And if you like shopping, Fira is also one of the most important places on the island to go shopping, as it has a wide range of places where you can buy handicrafts, souvenirs or clothes, among many other things.
The price of accommodation at Fira is usually 80-100 euros a night, although there are luxury accommodations, especially those with views of the caldera, which far exceed that figure and also some cheaper ones, especially if you book in advance.
Recommended hotels in Fira
- Callia Retreat Suites – Adults Only
- Ifestos Villa
- Nonis Apartments
Firostefani, our favourite are to stay in Santorini
Located next to Fira, Firostefani is another town in the western part of the island, overlooking the caldera. In addition to having a unique view of the caldera, the place is much quieter and you can go walking to Fira, along the coast, with exceptional views.
Here, we also found a unique accommodation in Santorini, Gaby Apartments, which although not a luxury accommodation, has a privileged location, being also the only place in Santorini where you can be right next to the famous Greek Orthodox Church with the blue dome.
Moreover, if you stay here you can make the trek from Firostefani to Oia or the one that goes from Firostefani to Imerovigli and its fascinating church and return by public transport.
The price of accommodation in Firostefani is usually 80-100 euros a night, although there are luxury accommodations, especially those overlooking the caldera, which far exceed that figure.
Recommended hotels in Firostefani
- Gaby Apartments
- Hotel Mylos
- Alta Vista Suites
Imerovigli, one of the most peaceful areas of the island
If you want to be close to everything and at the same time in a quiet place with exceptional views, Imerovigli is the perfect place to stay in Santorini. Known for being another of the most charming villages in the western part of the island, overlooking the caldera, this small town does not have as many hotels or restaurants, but in return it offers tranquility and the proximity to Ekklisia Theoskepasti, a beautiful church, which we would say, in the most incredible location we have ever seen.
The price of accommodation in Imerovigli is usually 60-80 euros a night, although as in the other areas we have mentioned, there are more expensive accommodations with views of the caldera and some cheaper ones, located in the interior.
Recommended hotels in Imerovigli
- Artemisia Apartment
- Abelonas Retreat
Kamari, the best option if you want to stay at the beach
Although for us Santorini does not stand out for its beaches and we think it is a mistake to stay in this area if it is your first visit to the island, in case you want to stay in Santorini on the beach, we recommend you to do here.
Don’t forget that these are black sand beaches, of volcanic origin and are not the typical postcard paradise beaches. There is a good number of hotels and restaurants here, as it is one of the most famous areas of Santorini and there is a bus connection to other parts of the island.
The price of accommodation in Imerovigli is usually 50 euros.
Recommended hotels in Kamari
- Makris Beach Hotel
- Alexandra Hotel
- Acqua Vatos Santorini Hotel
After our experience we can say that when we return to Santorini we will stay again in Firostefani, in the same hotel, or we would look for a hotel in Oia, with private swimming pool. In addition to all the accommodation options that we have recommended in this post, if you want to enjoy an unforgettable stay, these options, we believe, are the best to enjoy a few unique days on the island.
- Volcano View by Caldera Collection
- Katikies Hotel – The Leading Hotels of the World