Choosing where to stay on Santorini can be tricky. Everyone has seen the perfect Instagram photos of the romantic sweeping vistas at sunset but then the media are also full of tales of woe about cruise ships and crowds. How do you know where to stay and when? And prices can be pretty steep if you want a view and especially if you want a pool. Here’s an overview of where to stay on Santorini as well as some places that we personally recommend.
Choosing accommodation largely comes down budget. This article focuses on the excellent hotels on the island but there are some exceptional Airbnbs on Santorini as well. The higher your budget the better the location and the view, but you don’t have to sell a kidney to enjoy a few nights on this magical place. There is a lot to do on Santorini and there’s nowhere like it on earth – it’s worth it!
Fira is the capital of Santorini and the largest town. It is located on the western side of the island, on the Caldera of the volcano.
It is the busiest part of the island with tour buses and groups and even a large department store as well as high street shopping. It is also where you will find most of the nightclubs and backpackers are as well as services such as banks, the hospital and government agencies, even McDonalds.
There is a variety of accommodation in Fira from backpackers through to 5 star luxury and many have great views of the Caldera. Families, groups and young people in particular like to stay here.
You can access Fira by foot or cable car from the Port or by road from the Airport.
recommended hotels in Fira
Recommended Budget hotel : Antonia Apartments
Recommended mid-range hotel : Kavalari Hotel
Recommended Luxury hotel: Petit Palace Suites and Hotel
Imerovigli is just north of Fira and as it is built in the style of an ampitheatre it is often referred to as the “balcony to the Aegean”.
It is an especially high point on the island and right on the Caldera so almost all houses and hotels have incredible views in all directions. Its an easy 15 walk into Fira or a longer one, up to an hour, into Oia.
There are a number of cafes, tavernas and shops but its is not as busy or as lively as Oia or Fira. It’s very popular with couples and Honeymooners.
recommended hotels in Imerovigli
Recommended Budget hotel : Villa Happening
Recommended mid-range hotel : Veranda View
Recommended Luxury hotel: San Antonio – A Small Luxury Hotel of the World
Considered the most beautiful and certainly the most photographed place on Santorini Oia ( pronounced Ee-a) is a narrow village at the northern tip of the island where people congregate each day, often in great numbers, to witness the sunset.
Oia has numerous blue domes churches, high-end boutiques, quirky bookstores, and excellent tavernas so it’s no wonder it is so popular.
There are many high end hotels and villas mostly set into the cliffs as cave hotels. The sunsets truly are magnificent and provided you stay in and enjoy your accommodation whilst the cruise ships are in port in the middle of the day it can be a wonderful place to stay.
You will need road transport from the Airport of Ferry port.
recommended hotels in Oia
Recommended Budget hotel : Kiklamino studios and apartments
Recommended mid-range hotel : Fileria Suites
Recommended Luxury hotel: Canaves Oia opitime – Small Luxury Hotels of the World
Further reading : Extraordinary Oia accommodation
Kamari is a village on the east coast of Santorini quite close to the airport. This is probably the most popular beach on Santorini as it is well serviced with a cafe lined boulevard and many shops and restaurants. There are also some interesting ancient ruins to explore. The beach has black sand but is generally calm and patrolled in Summer.
There are numerous sunbeds, water activities and other services which is why Kamari is very popular with families.
As Kamari does not face the Caldera and the famous views prices are a lot less than the western side of the island. It is also walking distance along a beachfront trail to the next beach to the south, Perissa.
recommended hotels in Kamari
Recommended Budget hotel : Oscar Hotel
Recommended mid-range hotel : Santellini Boutique Hotel
Recommended Luxury hotel: Bellonias Villas
Airbnb on Santorini
Airbnb have opened up a lot of other possibilities on Santorini and, of course, many places around the world. If you are travelling in a group or perhaps looking for something a little different then you may find an Airbnb on Santorini is better for you than a hotel.
It’s possible to find entire houses for rent on the platform as well as converted windmills, cave restorations, beach houses and even boats.
Read about our favourite Airbnbs on Santorini or use this search box to find your dream accommodation!