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.
Where you stay in Santorini often gets down to budget. Places along the Caldera are the most expensive and for good reason as this is where you will enjoy some of the most iconic views in the world. Many people think of Caldera views and Blue Church Domes the minute Santorini comes to mind and that is why the town of Oia is so sought after.
But there is a lot of more things to do in Santorini so it can pay to look at all the main towns and villages – you’ll be surprised just how much they all have to offer.
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How to get to Santorini and more
See our Santorini Page for articles on:
3 days in Santorini – a complete itinerary
How to have the perfect Santorini Honeymoon
The best Apartments, Villas and Airbnbs
The most AMAZING Oia accommodation
Popular Neighbourhoods in Santorini
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 Old Harbour ( for tavernas and boat trips) or by road from the Airport and Port.
recommended hotels in Fira
Recommended mid-range hotel : Fanari Vista Suites are in an unbeatable location with stunning caldera views and hot tubs in many rooms.
Recommended Luxury hotel: White Ark have chic, modern villas with infinity pools and views to die for while Villa Murat is an exceptional 4-bedroom villa that can sleep up to 12 people in private luxury.
image credit @Vulla Murat
Imerovigli is just north of Fira and as it is built in the style of an amphitheatre 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. It’s 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 it 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 : Agave Santorini Design Hotel is exceptional value for money given its location, views and reputation. Another great choice is Aghios Artemios Traditional Houses which have spacious, 2-bedroom suites that can sleep 5 people.
Recommended mid-range hotel : Cilon Suites have cave rooms with stunning views and outdoor hot-tubs while Windmill Villas are 2-bedroom villas in converted windmills which makes for a super unique and fun stay on the island.
Recommended Luxury hotel: Cavo Tagoo is one of the most instagrammed hotels on Santorini and is on the top over every honeymooners list.
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 or Ferry port.
recommended hotels in Oia
Recommended Budget hotel: Ianthe Apartments and Villas have well-priced rooms with nice views and are located right on the main pedestrian street while Aspa Villas have hot tubs and are great value for money.
Recommended Luxury hotel: Iconic Canaves Oia opitime – Small Luxury Hotels of the Worldis one of the most desired hotels in Greece and popular with celebrities and well-heeled honeymooners.
Further reading : Extraordinary Oia accommodation
image credit@ Myst Boutique Hotel
Kamari and Perissa
Kamari and Perissa are villages on the east coast of Santorini quite close to the airport. These are the most popular beaches on Santorini and the only ones you can actually stay at. They are well-serviced cafes and tavernas 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.
Kamari is particularly popular with families with numerous sunbeds, water activities and other services. Perissa is on the other side of the hill and further south and is a bit quieter with a long beach.
Kamari and Perissa do not face the Caldera and the famous views so prices are a lot less than the western side of the island.
recommended hotels in Kamari and Perissa
Recommended Budget hotel: Sunray Lodgings have comfortable, well-equipped rooms just a short stroll to the beach in Kamari. In Perissa The Best certainly lives up to its name with great value rooms right near the beach and with a rooftop terrace too.
Recommended Luxury hotel: Damma Luxury Villas is a wonderful 4-bedroom beachfront Villa that can sleep 8 and is a great choice for groups. For couples or singles we love Incognito Beach Villas who have stunning 1 bedroom pool villas.
Incognito Pool Villas
Situated in the interior of the island in a central position Pyrgos is a traditional Greek village surrounded by vineyards with views across the island from many vantage points.
Here you may not get the iconic caldera views nor be by the beach but you will love the narrow alleyways full of wine bars, galleries, tavernas and shops. In the main square, you will find locals playing backgammon and drinking Greek coffee and the locals congregating after church on Sundays. It is also home to Pyrgos Kasteli, the best preserved of the five Venetian castles on Santorini and a great spot to explore.
Not only is it one of the most authentic parts of the island but it is also one of the most affordable. We think this is one of the best hidden gems in Greece and certainly Santorini.
recommended hotels in Pyrgos
Recommended Budget hotel : Aroma Cavas apartments have wide terrace, great views and can sleep 4 people.
Families and Groups: Book a couple of adjoining cave suites at Morning Star Traditional Houses or how about an entire Villa? White Orchid Villa can sleep 10 people in 3 bedrooms with a big pool and panormic views of the island.
Skyfall Suites, Pyrgos
Megalochori is located south of Fira on the Caldera, facing West.
It is much less developed than its northern neighbours and is still an authentic village and home to many Santorini locals.
There are a number of shops and great tavernas and a handful of hotels that offer good value accommodation as well as a few, fairly new, luxury resorts. It’s also quite close to some of the best wineries on the island.
You won’t have the vistas of villas and hotels spilling down the cliffs and the iconic blue-domed churches but the view of the caldera is panoramic in many spots and the views at nights of the lights sparkling in Oia and Fira is still very pretty.
recommended hotels in Megalochori
Akrotiri is the town at the south-western tip of Santorini and is also where you can find one of the most important archeological sites in Greece.
Akrotiri (Ancient site)was a Cycladic Bronze Age that was destroyed in the Theran eruption sometime in the 16th century BC the ash preserved the remains of a number of incredible frescoes and many artefacts and artworks. The settlement is thought by many to be the inspiration for Plato‘s story of Atlantis and it is considered Greece’s version of Pompeii.
If you are visiting Santorini then Akrotiri is not to be missed. It is also possible to stay nearby.
Like Megalochori this part of Santorini is still largely undeveloped and fairly quiet. You won’t get all the shops and restaurants but nor will you have the crowds or the price tags. The views from many hotels are still amazing too.
recommended hotels in Akrotiri
Recommended Budget hotel: Apanemo Hotel is a traditional village-style apartment complex built facing the Caldera and is excellent value
Recommended mid-range hotel: Santo Castello has wonderful one-bedroom pool villas that can sleep up to 4 people.
Best for groups and families in Akrotiri: The Zen Villa is a stunning 3 bedroom villa with a great pool and sweeping caldera views that can sleep 10 people easily.
Affordable hotels with Caldera views
Despite the sheer volume of accommodation choices on Santorini it can still be hard to find somewhere on a budget with a caldera view.
There are less-developed neighbourhoods at the southern end of the island and are a great option. You may not get the iconic blue church domes and fancy restaurants on your doorstep but you can get very beautiful views that are unaffected by modern architecture or development.
Vineyard Hill have lovely rooms as well as 2 bedroom apartments with views north over the caldera and, rolling lawn which is rare and could be great for families with small children. Akrotiri Hotel is a charming small hotel and a short stroll to the archeology site that sits high above famous Red Beach.
It is still possible to find something in the popular towns of Fira, Imerovigli and Oia.
Mare Nostrum Santo in Oia have spacious one-bedroom apartments that can sleep 4 people while Ianthe Apartments & Villa offers a shared outdoor swimming pool and self-catering accommodation with a patio or terrace in a great location.
Positioned in between Oia and Fira, Artemisia Apartment Caldera offers rooms with spacious verandas enjoying spectacular views of the Caldera and the volcano.
Santorini hotels for families and groups
Finding somewhere to stay on Santorini for families and groups can also be tricky but it’s certainly not impossible. Many Greek hotels allow 3 in a room and family rooms sleeping up to 6 are not uncommon.
If you’re on a tight budget check out Loukas and Emmas Eco Houses in Perissa. They are self-contained, cycladic style apartments, close to the beach and guests can use the pool and facilities of their sister property close by.
The Windmill Villas is a complex of Santorinian windmills converted to fully furnished villas, each with a swimming pool and only 800 m from the caldera. They sleep 5 in 2 bedrooms and are a super fun and unique option for your family.
White Orchid Villa is in the traditional interior village of Pyrgos which is fast becoming the most fashionable place to be. The villa is high on the hill with sweeping views across the island and can sleep up to 10 in affordable luxury.
For a bit of a splurge it’s hard to beat 270 Oias View, a modern 4 bedroom Villa with amazing views, or chic, stylish Armenaki who have 2-bedroom/2 bathroom apartments with infinity pools. Both in Oia.
Best Santorini hotels for people with limited mobility
It’s no secret that Santorini has a lot of hills, cliffs and steps. People love the fact that many hotels spill down the side of the Caldera which makes for great views and photos but it can mean accessing some of these places requires the skill of a Mountain Goat.
There are, however, certain locations and hotels that are suitable for people with limited mobility and/or fitness. These are located on the flatter parts of the island and often near, or on, the main roads making them easy to access directly from cars and taxis.
Top Oia Apartments are located at the flattest part of Oia and are right next to a nice, flat town square. They have an apartment on the ground floor that is fully wheelchair accessible including a roll in shower, and it has great views of the area and direct access to the main, paved, shopping promenade.
Aeifos Boutique Hotel in Imerovigli also have rooms with full wheelchair access and great sea views and they can sleep up to 3 people. Even Bedspot Hostel in Fira has wheelchair access rooms, which is fantastic to see.
If you are looking for somewhere near the beach then you can’t go past Amara Suites in Kamari who have beautiful, ground floor suites with spas and private courtyards too to enjoy breakfast.
For people who are mobile but would prefer as few stairs as possible, Atrina Canava 1894 is located right off the main pedestrian strip and only a 3-minute walk along it to the road. The suites are also very private and most have hot tubs and amazing views. Further along the same lane is Andronis Boutique Hotel which also has few stairs to access and is less than 100 metres from the road and carpark.
In Fira your want to be close enough to a road for your hire car or taxi to access but not on the main road with its tour buses and chaos. Le Petit Greek ticks that box, and has amazing Caldera views and beautiful rooms. Villa Renos Hotel is another and is right on one of the main pedestrian streets.
Apartments and Airbnbs in 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. Be sure to factor in the cost of breakfast, transfers and even things like luggage storage and cleaning as those things are important on vacation and can add up quickly. Also check cancellation policies very carefully!
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 to find your dream accommodation!