All Articles 6 best towns and areas to stay in Santorini

6 best towns and areas to stay in Santorini

A man Looking out to the Mediterranean Sea from Oia Village Santorini
Image: Taine Noble / Unsplash
Wendy Ng
By Wendy Ng19 Aug 2022 4 minutes read

Santorini is the most well-known Greek island with its postcard-perfect scenery of whitewashed villages with sapphire blue domes and rustic windmills. This island paradise deserves a multi-day trip and it’s the place to splurge on your hotel stays for the once-in-lifetime experience of waking up to the view of Santorini’s caldera.

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family vacation with the kids, you can choose from an impressive selection of places to stay in Santorini, ranging from boutique hotels to beach resorts. To help you plan a perfect trip, we’ve put together a list of the best places to stay in Santorini.

1. Fira

Fira, Greece
Image: Chris Lawton / Unsplash

Best for: Shopaholics and night owls

Santorini’s biggest village Fira is the best starting point for your island exploration. The island’s transportation hub, Fira is just 4 miles from Santorini International Airport and near the ports in Santorini. Santorini Old Port is easily accessible at the foot of Fira and the New Port (Athinios) is just a 20-minute bus ride away. The island’s main bus station is here, too.

In the main shopping strip, you’ll be dazzled by a wide variety of stores selling souvenirs, local fabrics, and artworks. Fira is the heart of Santorini’s nightlife as the bustling village is packed with rooftop restaurants, bars, and clubs. After shopping and partying, spend some time learning about the island’s fascinating history at the outstanding Museum of Prehistoric Thira.

Best places to stay

Indulge in boutique hotels with premium caldera-facing rooms and pools at Athina Luxury Suites and Anteliz Suites. Family-run properties like Hotel Villa Renos and Scirocco Apartments have traditional “cave rooms” with private balconies.

2. Oia

Oia, in Greece
Image: Philip Jahn / Unsplash

Best for: Couples

Oia used to be the island’s most prosperous town as it was the first arrival point for ships. Today, the alluring village boasts the best views in Santorini. It’s not surprising that couples flock to Oia’s iconic spots for their honeymoons, wedding ceremonies and photoshoots.

Oia is one of the best places to enjoy the famous Santorini sunset. The Castle of St Nicholas is the backdrop for the spectacular sunset show. Hike down to Amoudi Bay, perched at the foot of Oia, to take a sunset cruise and enjoy local seafood at the waterfront restaurants.

Best places to stay

Check into the intimate Canaves Oia Suites for personalized services and the posh Charisma Suites that grants you awe-inspiring views of the caldera sunset.

3. Imerovigli

Imerovigli, Greece
Image: Dino Demopoulos / Unsplash

Best for: Families

Nestled between Fira and Oia, Imerovigli has more affordable lodging options. If you’re traveling with your family and children, Imerovigli is a great base as it’s less crowded but you can still enjoy sweeping vistas of the Santorini caldera.

Get lost in the maze of cobbled streets lined with local shops. Visit the Panagia Theoskepasti Chapel and Anastasis Church; both places are great for family excursions. Check out Skaros Rock, the remnants of a medieval fortress, and try climbing parts of the ancient rock if your group is up for an outdoor adventure.

Best places to stay

The family-friendly Andronis Concept Wellness Resort is a one-stop stay for families, with its spacious rooms, multiple pools, yoga and spa programs for kids, and tennis court. Santorini Princess is another top-notch hotel with its well-furnished rooms and concierge service.

4. Akrotiri

A couple standing in front of the Akrotiri lighthouse in Santorini
Image: DaBrick / Pixabay

Best for: History buffs

Hidden in the southwestern part of Santorini, Akrotiri is referred to as the “Greek Pompeii” as the settlement was once buried in volcanic ash. Here you can escape from the action of the major Santorini villages and slow down to uncover the secrets of Santorini’s past. A car is recommended for a stay in this town as the sights are scattered around the area.

The main attraction is the Akrotiri Archaeological Site which provides a glimpse into the life of the prehistoric settlers. Travel back in time as you examine the ancient structures and artifacts from the walkways built over the ruins. Delve deeper into Santorini’s history at the Venetian Castle of Akrotiri and Akrotiri Lighthouse. Other than historical spots, relax at the nearby beaches—Caldera Beach, Red Beach, and White Beach–that can be reached by taxi boats.

Best places to stay

The hotels in Akrotiri have expansive rooms and lavish facilities. Highly rated resorts like the Apanemo Hotel Suites and Ambassador Aegean Luxury Hotel Suites set the standards for luxurious travel.

5. Pyrgos

Pyrgos in Greece
Image: Vincent Giersch / Unsplash

Best for: Wine lovers and outdoor enthusiasts

Pyrgos is the highest village in Santorini that’s not been discovered by tourist groups yet but it commands stunning vistas of the island. This tranquil village is one of the most well-preserved areas in Santorini and it’s surrounded by great hiking trails and excellent vineyards.

Pyrgos is home to traditional houses and atmospheric streets centered around Pyrgos Castle. Located at the foot of the Profitis Ilias Mountain, Pyrgos is the starting point for a hike up to the highest point of Santorini at Monastery of Profitis Ilias, where you can marvel at the panorama of the island. Wine lovers are in for a treat as Pyrgos is the gateway to the finest vineyards in Santorini. Don’t miss the Santo Winery which serves high-quality Santorini wine plus mesmerizing sunset views from its terrace.

Best places to stay

Pamper yourself with a stay at Carpe Diem Santorini, an exclusive boutique resort. Voreina Suites and Zannos Melathron offer thoughtful services delivered with the famous Santorini hospitality.

6. Perissa Beach

Perissa black sand beach in Santorini
Image: Pat_Photographies / Pixabay

Best for: Beach lovers

Perissa Beach is an ideal seaside resort for a laidback island stay. Framed by Mount Mesa Vouno, the beach is one of the more famous black sand beaches in Santorini. The beach’s unique mixture of black volcanic rocks and pebbles attracts beach lovers from around the world.

Enjoy a full beach day or even a few days soaking in the sun and sea. Other than swimming and sunbathing, experience a different side of the Aegean Sea with sea sports like snorkeling, jet skiing, and even parasailing. Stroll to Perivolos Beach, an extension of Perissa Beach, that’s also well-organized with amenities like beach chairs, shower facilities, and restaurants.

Best places to stay

Perissa Beach has more options for budget travelers as the hotels don’t face the caldera but you’ll have beachfront views instead. A couple of our Travelers’ Choice beach resorts include Anastasia Princess Luxury Residence at Perissa Beach and Istoria Hotel at Perivolos Beach.

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Wendy Ng
Wendy is a content creator who writes about her travel experiences to escape from her city life in Singapore. Her writing journey started when she had the once-in-lifetime opportunity to live and teach in Okinawa and circumvent the world with Peace Boat. A compulsive-obsessive traveler and culture enthusiast, she believes that when we know more, we travel better. Or in true foodie spirit, when we eat more, we travel better.