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Where to Stay in Santorini: Our 2024 Guide to The Best Places

Where to Stay in Santorini: Our 2024 Guide to The Best Places

Where to Stay in Santorini: Our 2024 Guide to The Best Places

 

Santorini was one destination that literally took our breath away. When we stepped out of the taxi to overlook the whitewashed buildings plunging down the caldera, we gasped at its beauty. Few Greek Islands are as well-known or as beautiful as Santorini. Famous for cave hotels with plunge pools in the rooms and infinity pools overlooking the caldera, Santorini has quickly become the most visited island in Greece. Two million tourists flock to the island every year, which has resulted in an astounding number of hotels and resorts. If you’re unsure of where to stay in Santorini, we have a complete breakdown of the best places to stay and the best hotels in Santorini.

Best Places To Stay In Santorini

Visiting Santorini for the first time can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know much about the island. I know that we were overwhelmed trying to decide on the best area to stay in, Santorini, so we stayed at the beach in Oia, Imerovigli, and Fira. With our car rental, we managed to get around. During our day trips, we discovered more places to stay and made a note for our next visit, and to help you decide where to stay in Santorini, we’ve broken down the best areas.

Whether you want to stay close to historic attractions or find a hotel on the beach, we’ve also included hotels in every price range, so there’s an option for everyone. From the best budget hostels on the island to the most lavish resorts with private pools and hot tubs, Santorini caters to everyone. And this guide on where to stay in Santorini features at least a few hotels that will cater to your every need!

1. Oia

Oia is the quintessential Santorini town, known for its famous Santorini sunset views looking over the Aegean Sea, whitewashed houses, and blue-domed churches. It’s a good place for a first Santorini trip if you want to discover all the iconic sights and have easy access to the rest of the island. Also, Oia is the hotspot for luxury hotel stays and the best island area if you want to be pampered throughout your stay and have a private swimming pool in your cave hotel room.

We think a private swimming pool might be necessary because Oia doesn’t have the best beaches. The famous town is located high atop a cliff with magnificent caldera views. It’s quite a bit of a walk from the hotel to the shore, but beaches are not why people stay in Oia. Oia attracts couples seeking a romantic vacation with private balconies, plunge pools, luxurious Cocomat beds, and infinity pools overlooking the Aegean Sea.

Oia can be very crowded, as most cruise tours that visit Santorini make a point of stopping in Oia, so having a luxury hotel to hide away in is essential. This is a picturesque village that everyone wants to see, so you’ll want to hide in luxury during the day.

Luxury: Andronis Luxury Suites

Out of all the small luxury hotels in Santorini, Andronis Luxury Suites takes the cake as far as I’m concerned. If you want to live it up on the Greek island, nothing screams luxury as much as the suites in this fabulous hotel. It features a seasonal outdoor pool, private balconies, an on-site restaurant, and an excellent wellness center with yoga and fitness classes. Not to mention the amazing caldera views from the infinity pool.

Each guest suite has a private pool or private hot tub just a few steps from your bed. The smaller suites feature hot tubs, while the villas and bigger suites feature fantastic infinity pools. Each suite also has a private terrace and a sleek ensuite bathroom. The wardrobe space in the suites is generous, which I really appreciate, especially for longer stays.

All the guest suites are decorated with modern furnishings and exposed marble and stone. Other room amenities include a flat-screen TV, coffee machine, free Wi-Fi, a dedicated seating area, and air conditioning. Of course, breakfast is included in the nightly rate, and you can enjoy it in the comfort of your lovely room, as we did.

Mid-Range: Ducato Di Oia

where to stay in santorini ducato di oia
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Ducato Di Oia is a great four-star hotel five minutes from the famous Castle of Oia (the best sunset view on Santorini). The rooms feature sleek and modern furnishings and decor, which make the place airy and spacious. Also, there’s lots of exposed rock and concrete in the rooms, so you’ll feel like you’re staying inside a cave in Santorini. Breakfast is included in the room rate and everyone gets access to free WiFi.

This hotel offers many different room types, from classic double rooms to luxury suites. Some suites even have indoor plunge pools, which is a lifesaver if you’re anything like me and have a very annoying sun allergy. Enjoy chilling in the pool in complete privacy while marveling at the magical Caldera views through the convenient windows.

Every hotel room at Ducato Di Oia has an ensuite bathroom, seating area, TV, and a coffee machine. As for the other amenities, this hotel offers room service and a communal pool. But there’s no fitness center, spa, or restaurant on-site, so keep that in mind.

Budget: Central Hostel Oia

If you want to experience Oia without breaking the bank, consider staying at Central Hostel Oia. It’s one of the cheapest options in this amazing town, and its location is pretty good for exploring the island. The hostel is next to the main road in Oia, and a bus stop is directly in front of it.

Many excellent eateries are available near the accommodation, but you won’t experience those magical Santorini views from your room. Central Hostel Oia features mixed dormitories with bunk beds and spacious shared bathrooms. Everything is extra clean, which is always a big plus in our book, especially when sharing the space with strangers.

The dormitories and common rooms are decorated with modern furnishings, most of which are white. Breakfast isn’t included in the nightly rate, but there is a spacious kitchen where guests can prepare meals. The hostel is also air-conditioned, and all guests can access free Wi-Fi.

View from Andronis Luxury Suites in Oia Santorini
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Pros of Staying in Oia

Best for luxury hotels and plenty of accommodation options Good public transport connections to the rest of the island  Lots of touristy things to do  Great local restaurants

Cons of Staying in Oia

The town is almost always crowded  Fewer options for cheap hotels Not great for a beach vacation

2. Imerovigli

Views from hotel in Imerovigli, Santorini
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Where to Stay in Santorini: Our 2024 Guide to The Best Places 35

Imerovigli is the highest of the caldera town. This clifftop village features traditional cave houses, incredible panoramic views from Fira to Oia.

It is best known for its boutique hotels, many offering wonderful scenic vistas from their rooms. Choose this village if you like the idea of staying at a boutique hotel with a hot tub in the room but aren’t keen on the prices of similar resorts in Oia and Fira.

In addition to bettersome of the best hotels in Santorini, Imerovigli is a good place to stay because of its interesting landmarks, great local restaurants, and location on the island. It is within walking distance of Thera and very close to the airport. You could even hike from the village to Oia—it would take just under two hours, and you’d enjoy surreal views the entire time.

However, there are no beaches in Imerovigli or within a short walking distance. You would have to take a car (we rented a car when staying in Imerogvigli, and they are very affordable) or ride public transport every time you want to hit the beach, which is certainly something to keep in mind. Also, there aren’t as many things to do in the village, so it’s not my top choice for travelers who love being out and exploring.

Luxury: Iconic Santorini

Iconic Cave Hotel is one of the best cave hotels in Santorini
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Iconic Santorini is a boutique hotel with exceptional views of the Caldera islands. The five-star hotel features rooms with swimming pools, very comfortable beds, and an on-site restaurant with great local food. And because Imerovigli is right next to Fira, you’re just a short walk away from some of the island’s most popular tourist attractions.

Whether you book the cheapest room or the most luxurious suite, you’ll have your own private terrace to enjoy the panoramic views. Most suites have a private plunge pool or hot tub, and guests who stay in a room without one can enjoy the shared infinity pool.

All rooms have a private bathroom, coffee/tea maker, TV, and air conditioning. The most expensive suites feature private indoor and outdoor pools for the most luxurious experience. Breakfast is included in the nightly rate of all rooms and delivered to the table just outside your room. This hotel has a spa center and a more traditional gym with exercise equipment.

Mid-Range: Tholos Resort

where to stay in santorini imerovigli midrange
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Tholos Resort is a four-star hotel with sweeping views of the volcano and designer rooms. It’s a fantastic option for travelers who prefer unique hotels because every room at the Tholos is a work of art. Enjoy the unique architecture that prioritizes comfort and functionality and emphasizes local art and culture.

The resort also offers a swimming pool and an on-site restaurant with outdoor seating. The views from the restaurant tables are fantastic and will make any meal taste just a little better. Of course, thanks to the 18-hour room service, you can also enjoy the food in the privacy of your suite if you prefer.

Room options range from small suites for couples to villas with indoor pools, so there’s something for everyone. Remember that the smaller suites have a doorless walk-in shower close to the bed, so they’re not a great option if you’re traveling with friends and want privacy.

Budget: Meroviglia Boutique Hotel

Views from hotel in Imerovigli, Santorini
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Meroviglia Boutique Hotel is an excellent three-star hotel perfect for travelers on a tighter budget. In the off-season, you can even have a private plunge pool in your room for roughly $250.

Standard rooms are significantly cheaper, especially considering all the amenities. All the guest rooms feature sleek, modern furnishings and decor, and the cheaper rooms have a shared pool.

Meroviglia is a short walking distance from Fira, about 20 minutes if you take your time. The bus stop is very close to the hotel, as are many great local restaurants. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, and breakfast is included even in the cheapest nightly rates, which is great for the price point. All the rooms have a TV, balcony with amazing views of the Aegean Sea, and a private bathroom, but I must point out that the sink isn’t always in the bathroom, which isn’t ideal.

Where to stay in Santorini Alta Vista Suites
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Pros of Staying in Imerovigli

Great for boutique hotel stays  Close to the airport Walking distance to Fira

Cons of Staying in Imerovigli

No beaches in or around the village  Fewer budget accommodation options  Not too many things to do in the town

3. Fira/Thera

things to do greece fira 1
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Where to Stay in Santorini: Our 2024 Guide to The Best Places 36

Fira or Thera is the capital of Santorini, located in the island’s center. It’s one of the most popular towns and a great place to stay for first-time visitors. Just remember that Fira is as busy as Oia and is best experienced in the off-season when the crowds are the smallest.

If you’re not bothered by the crowds, you will have a great time in the island’s capital. The town offers plenty of touristy things to do, including the iconic blue-domed church with the three bells. It’s also very close to the airport, and the central location means you can be virtually anywhere on the island in under half an hour. If you have a car in Santorini, you can easily explore the entire island from Fira.

The crowds shouldn’t be an issue if you plan to stay at the hotel most of the time since the town has some excellent resorts that offer complete privacy. But they could be an issue if you want to get out and explore as much as possible, especially if you plan on visiting the beaches. No beaches in Santorini are within walking distance of Thera, and the town isn’t the best option if you want to go for a swim in the sea.

Luxury: Katikies Garden Santorini

Where to stay in Santorini Fira
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Katikies Garden Santorini is one of the best hotels in Fira. The five-star hotel is in the center of the town, so just a short walk from all of Fira’s top attractions. All the rooms boast sleek modern furnishings, and I love that there’s a pop of color inside every room so it’s not at all monotonous.

The suites offer views of the inner courtyard or the sea, and all but one are equipped with a hot tub or a private pool. If you’re going to spring for this fancy hotel, go for a room with at least a hot tub to thoroughly enjoy your stay. By far, the best room is the luxurious suite with a pool in the private garden, where you can enjoy ultimate privacy during your stay in Santorini.

The hotel rooms are equipped with everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel. They have a desk, a seating area, a very comfortable bed, a TV, and a spacious private bathroom. All guests are welcome to use the outdoor infinity pool, which offers a spectacular view of Santorini’s rooftops and some remarkably comfortable lounge beds.

Mid-Range: Winery Hotel 1870

Best Cave Hotels Santorini Greece Marizan Villas
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Winery Hotel 1870 is a posh hotel set inside an old 19th-century winery. It is in the center of Fira, so you would be super close to all of the top attractions in the town, as well as all the best local bars and restaurants.

The hotel is fabulous, with gorgeous and spacious rooms. Most are situated around the hotel pool, so you can practically jump into the pool from the room. I like how all the room doors open to the pool because it means you’re never more than a couple of steps away from anything you might need. However, you need to block off the view with shutters to enjoy complete privacy in your room.

And for travelers who don’t like the idea of sharing, the Wintery Hotel 1870 offers rooms with private pools inside. All the suites have spacious ensuite bathrooms, a desk, a seating area, and a coffee machine. The only thing I don’t love about the rooms is that the wardrobe area is small and meant for hangers, and I could see the place getting (very) messy if I were getting ready for a night out, especially on a girl’s trip.

Budget: Afrodete Hotel

where to stay in santorini Afrodete Hotel
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The Afrodete Hotel is a budget option in Fira, close to Firostefani Central Square. The location is great because the hotel is super close to affordable local eateries and shops, as well as popular landmarks in Fira.

Come here in the off-season, and you’ll pay only $30 per person for a double room. The rates are significantly more expensive in peak season, but it’s still a solid deal for such a central location in Fira. The hotel rooms are actually nice; they’re decorated with modern and colorful furnishings, and it’s clear that a lot of thought went into their design and decor.

All the rooms have a small seating area, a desk, a minifridge, a private bathroom, an electric kettle, and a flat-screen TV. The hotel even has a pool, but it’s very small and not really suitable for proper swimming. But it will do if you just want to relax in the water for a little while and enjoy the panoramic view of Santorini’s rooftops.

Where to stay in Santorini Fira vs Oia
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Pros of Staying in Fira/Thera

Lots of options for hotels  Many landmarks and tourist attractions  Close to the airport  Easy access to other towns on the island by public transport

Cons of Staying in Fira/Thera

Very crowded  Pricey accommodation  No beaches

4. Perissa

Where to find cheap hotels in Santorini
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Perissa is one of the best beach towns in Santorini and a great place to stay if you want a traditional beach vacation. Choose this town for the beautiful black sand beach, excellent resorts, and countless beach restaurants and beach bars. Perissa is also very close to Ancient Thera, and hiking trails lead you from the village to the historic ruins.

Another thing I love about this town in Santorini is that it has hotels for everyone’s budget. Whether you’re looking for a cheap room or a high-end resort, Perissa has plenty of options. But that’s also the biggest issue I have with this location; it’s mostly hotels and resorts, and there are few touristy things to do in the town.

The upside is that Perissa is roughly a 20-minute from Akrotiri and Fira, so you can easily pop over to the next town to explore landmarks and historic attractions. You could even hike into Kamari over the Mesa Vouno mountain; it would take maybe an hour and a half, and it would be an epic experience for all outdoor lovers in Santorini.

Luxury: Aqua Blue Beach Hotel

Aqua Blue Beach Hotel is an excellent five-star hotel with a beachfront location. Featuring modern rooms, three swimming pools, and an excellent wellness center, the hotel is a great option for tourists who want to be pampered during their stay in Santorini. Relax on the beds by the pool or head down to the private area on Perissa Beach to fully enjoy your stay.

Sunbeds are included in the room’s cost, so you can lounge on the beach as much as you like. The hotel also has a buffet restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner and a lounge bar by the pool that offers cold and refreshing drinks all day long. Breakfast and free Wi-Fi are also included in the nightly rate.

All the guest rooms feature a TV, desk, and air conditioning, but only the bigger rooms have a separate seating area. The studio and family apartments also include kitchenettes. The contemporary decor of the rooms is nice, but frankly, it’s a bit too basic for my taste. I like that there’s a pop of color in all the rooms, but I would prefer for the design to reflect the vibe of the island a bit more.

Mid-Range: Anastasia Princess Luxury Residence

Black sand beaches in Perissa, Santorini
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Where to Stay in Santorini: Our 2024 Guide to The Best Places 37

Anastasia Princess Luxury Beach Residence is an adults-only beachfront hotel. Choose from five types of suites, which range from a classic studio to an executive suite with a plunge pool in the room. All guests also have access to the hotel’s three swimming pools and can make use of the on-site spa and wellness center.

The hotel is right next to the beach, with a sprawling lounge reserved just for their guests. Service is available even on the beach, so whether you need a fresh towel or a cold drink, you can get it without moving an inch. The suites are contemporary and equipped with everything you might need during your stay. Every suite has a private bathroom, seating area, and even a small kitchen area with a fridge and a coffee maker.

The shared spaces are all beautifully decorated, and there’s plenty of room for all the guests to be comfortable without feeling like they’re forced to mingle with strangers. One thing to note is that this hotel doesn’t have an on-site restaurant, but that shouldn’t be an issue because there are loads of local eateries nearby.

Budget: The Best

The Best is a three-star hotel in Perissa with very affordable nightly rates. Come here in the off-season and you can get a room for as little as $65! The rates double in the high season, but the hotel is still fairly affordable by Santorini standards. The rooms at The Best Hotel are honestly nothing special. You get all the basic amenities, including a comfortable double bed, private bathroom, kettle, desk, and TV.

All rooms also have either a patio or a terrace, so you can enjoy relaxing outdoors in the evenings. But that’s pretty much it, and I have to say that the furnishings could stand to be updated a little. As for the shared spaces, the hotel has three swimming pools and a bar. Unfortunately, there’s no restaurant on-site, but the place is super close to dozens of great and cheap local eateries.

Also, This hotel isn’t located directly on the beach but just down the road. It doesn’t have loungers and sun umbrellas for guests, but you can put down a towel on a secluded area of the beach or spring for the beach bar’s sunbeds. Overall, it’s a good place to stay for a cheap beach vacation in Santorini, but I would not recommend it to people who expect a lot more than just a place to spend the night.

best Things to do in Santorini Greece Perissa
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Pros of Staying in Perissa

Great for beach vacations Not as crowded as the main tourist hotspots Affordable local restaurants Close to historic attractions

Cons of Staying in Perissa

Few things to do in the village  Quite far from Fira and Oia  Large sections of Perissa Beach are reserved by hotels

5. Akrotiri

Where to stay in Santorini Akrotiri Red Beach
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Akrotiri is a village on the southwestern tip of Santorini. Stay here if you can’t decide between unspoiled beaches and historic attractions because Akrotiri has both. Nearby beaches in Akrotiri include Red Beach, White Beach and Caldera Beach. We visited these beaches on a sunset cruise which was wonderful.

Also, the crowds here are much smaller than in Fira Town or Oia, making it my favorite part of Santorini. The only downside is that it’s quite far from Oia, and you’d have to travel for a while to reach the towns and villages in the northern part of the island.

But that’s fine because there’s so much to do and see in Akrotiri. It’s home to the Akrotiri lighthouse, the ruins of a Venetian castle, and the archaeological site of the prehistoric town of Akrotiri. Some of the island’s best beaches are in this area, including the famous Red Beach and the Black Beach.

Akrotiri village is quite small, and I’ve decided to include all the hotels and resorts in this region of Santorini, not just in the village. This means that you’ll see some fabulous secluded hotels where you can enjoy ultimate privacy.

Luxury: Phos The Boutique

Phos The Boutique is probably my top choice of all the hotels in Santorini. It’s in a secluded area of Akrotiri, and there’s nothing in the immediate surroundings. If you love privacy and want to feel like you’re staying in the middle of nowhere, this is a great option. However, it makes sense to stay at this hotel only if you plan on renting a car in Santorini or if you’re okay with taking the hotel’s luxury VIP transfers.

The beach is just a two-minute drive from the hotel, and the Akrotiri village is another 5 minutes. The hotel has an excellent restaurant where you can enjoy romantic candlelit dinners, and you technically don’t have to leave the premises if you don’t want to. As for the hotel amenities, the main selling point is that every suite at Phos The Boutique has a private infinity pool with a bed in the pool.

The suites are airy and spacious, with separate living and sleeping quarters. Every suite has a private bathroom, balcony, and patio. All the rooms are decorated with modern furnishings, and everything at the hotel is top-notch. Breakfast is served a la carte, and guests can enjoy it in the room or in their private pool, which is definitely the preferred option. Overall, for pure hedonism and luxury, there’s hardly a better hotel in all of Santorini.

Mid-Range: Hotel Goulielmos

Hotel Goulielmos is a nice four-star hotel in a rural area of Akrotiri. The clifftop hotel offers panoramic views of the Caldera and easy access to a nearby beach. It’s also just a short drive from the main Akrotiri village with seasonal shops and restaurants.

The hotel rooms feature a nice blend of modern and traditional Greek decor, with contemporary accents in the rooms but more traditional style in the ensuite bathrooms. All the rooms have a small balcony or terrace, a desk, and a flat-screen TV. The bigger rooms also include a seating area, and many of the pricier rooms feature either a pool or a hot tub.

As for the other amenities, Hotel Goulielmos offers a shared pool and an on-site restaurant. The pool is somewhat small, but comfortable loungers and sunbeds surround it. A buffet breakfast is included in the nightly rate, and guests can eat lunch or dinner at the hotel restaurant which serves traditional Mediterranean cuisine. It’s worth noting that this hotel doesn’t have a fitness center or a spa.

Budget: Caldera Romantica Hotel

Caldera Romantica Hotel is an excellent option for a budget stay in Akrotiri. It’s just outside the Akrotiri village, easily accessible by car or a 20-minute walk. The hotel rooms are exceptionally nice and look like they belong in a much more expensive hotel.

Every room has a comfortable double bed, a balcony, a private bathroom, a desk, and a TV. All guests have access to the outdoor pool, which offers sweeping views of the caldera. There’s also a lounge area by the pool, and you could spend your entire days here just relaxing and having the time of your life.

The hotel also features an on-site restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. I love that the indoor area of the restaurant features glass walls, so you can still enjoy beautiful caldera views with your meals. Breakfast is included in all nightly rates and there’s even a snack bar by the pool that serves light meals and drinks.

best Things to do in Santorini Greece Akrotiri Lighthouse
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Pros of Staying in Akrotiri

Best for Santorini’s historic attractions Easy access to secluded beaches  Hotels are more affordable Not very crowded

Cons of Staying in Akrotiri

Fewer restaurants and bars Quite far from other towns on the island  It’s harder to get around without a vehicle

6. Kamari

Best Places to stay in Kamari, Santorini
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Consider staying in Kamari if you want to be close to one of Santorini’s best beaches. The village is best known for Paralia Kamari, a black sand and pebble beach lined with loungers, sun umbrellas, and beach bars.

Kamari is quite popular with tourists in Santorini, so it features hotels and resorts in every price range. Also, the village offers easy access to other towns in Santorini as it’s just a 15-minute ride from Fira, and Perissa is accessible on hikes over Mesa Vouno. Stay here for endless options for fun and exciting ways of exploring Santorini.

Additionally, Kamari is one of the villages closest to the airport and it’s up to you to decide whether that’s a pro or a con. You can be at the hotel no longer than 10 minutes after you land and go through passport control, but it also means that planes often fly low over the village and make a lot of noise.

Luxury: Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort

where to stay in santorini kamari luxury
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Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort is the best luxury resort in Kamari. Featuring spacious rooms with super comfortable beds and pristine ensuite bathrooms, this adults-only hotel is an excellent choice for a romantic Santorini vacation.

All rooms have flat-screen TVs, private terraces or balconies, and coffee machines. Guests can enjoy the two extensive pools, including a large outdoor pool, which is surrounded by comfortable loungers and sun umbrellas. The hotel also boasts a fitness center, a spa, and two excellent restaurants.

The resort reserves an area of Kamari Beach for its guests, offering loungers and sun umbrellas that are included in your stay. It’s worth noting that the resort isn’t beachfront; it’s only two minutes away from the beach, but I reckon it’s something you’d want to know before booking your stay.

Mid-Range: Tamarix Del Mar Suites

Best place to stay in Santorini for Families Perissa
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Tamarix Del Mar Suites is another five-star hotel in Kamari, but its rates are significantly lower than those of the luxury resorts. A night in the off-season starts at around $150-200, which is a really good deal for such a high-end hotel in Santorini. The low rate is for basic double rooms, and it includes breakfast.

The complex was renovated to resemble a miniature village in Santorini, so there’s lots of white and blue. Hotel buildings all resemble endearing Greek houses, and it’s just a lovely vibe to wake up to each morning. The Greek charm seeps into the individual suites as well, in the form of colorful accents and textured walls.

This fabulous hotel also offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, as well as a separate children’s pool. It’s got a nice spa and wellness center, gym area, and an on-site restaurant. The guest rooms all have ensuite bathrooms, roomy seating areas, and a small private kitchen.

Budget: Alesahne Beach Hotel

Alesahne Beach Hotel is an affordable three-star hotel a stone’s throw away from Kamari Beach. It offers nice – but small – rooms with balconies and ensuite bathrooms. All the guest rooms have a desk area, but it’s important to note that the only seating area in the smaller rooms is the chairs on the balcony.

The bigger rooms feature a small seating area separate from the bedroom and breakfast is included in all stays. Coffee makers and flat-screen TVs are also available in all the guest rooms.

This hotel has a private section on Kamari Beach reserved only for its guests, and sunbeds are included in the nightly rate. There’s also an outdoor pool for guests who prefer to stay closer to their room, as well as an on-site restaurant.

Pros of Staying in Kamari

Great town for beach stays  Hotels and resorts are cheaper  Easy access to other destinations on the island

Cons of Staying in Kamari

Planes fly low over the village Fewer tourist attractions  No Caldera views

Where is the best place to stay in Santorini for the first time?

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Fira and Oia are generally the best places to stay in Santorini for a first trip, as long as you don’t mind the crowds. The two towns have the most tourist attractions, but neither is a top destination if you’re primarily interested in easy beach access.

What part of Santorini is best to stay?

Map of where to stay in Santorini by town
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Oia is the best part of Santorini to stay in if you want to visit popular landmarks and those spectacular sunset views. But if you want easy access to a lovely beach, Perissa and Kamari are better destinations.

Is it better to stay in Fira or Oia?

Walking the streets of Oia Santorini
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Oia is better for luxury hotel stays, but Fira is better if you want to explore the rest of the island. Both towns are great for a first trip to Santorini and offer excellent hotels and scenic Caldera views.

Where to avoid staying in Santorini?

Where to stay in Santorini Oia Town
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Avoid the villages in the central area of the island. While they usually offer cheaper accommodation and a chance to explore attractions off the beaten path, they’re quite far from anything of interest on the island.

It would take a while to get to the beach or a touristy town or village, and you’d either have to take public transport or pay for costly private transfers.

Consider Akrotiri instead. The town is known for its archeological ruins, the Akrotiri lighthouse, and easy access to beautiful beaches. Also, Akrotiri has some of the best cheap hotels in Santorini, and it’s a top option for affordable stays away from Santorini’s busiest towns. It encompasses most of the southwestern tip of Santorini, and you can choose between hotels smack dab in the middle of the village or secluded resorts in remote areas.

Sunset view of caldera from Fira Santorini
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Although Oia and Fira are the best towns on the island, they can be very crowded, so those looking for a quiet vacation may not enjoy it. Although when you can hide away in a luxury cave hotel away from it all, it is heavenly.

Instead, opt for a smaller village like Imerovigli or Finikia and take day trips to the bigger towns. The same goes for Perissa and Kamari—if you’re not specifically looking for beachfront resorts, these aren’t the best places in Santorini.

Is one or two days enough to visit Santorini?

Witewashed streets of Pyrgos Santorini
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One day in Santorini is definitely not enough. Two days in Santorini can be enough to experience some of the island’s highlights, but it certainly won’t cover everything this enchanting destination has to offer. We recommend at least three nights in Santorini to see some of the highlights of Oia, Fira, and to take a wine tour, sunset cruise or to see its beaches.

How to Get to Santorini

where to stay in santorini how to get there
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You can fly into Santorini airport or take the ferry to Santorini. Daily flights leave Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) and take 40 minutes to get to the island. Once there you can catch a taxi to your hotel.

Ferries also operate daily to Santorini from the Piraeus in Athens. Santorini is also connected by ferry to other Greek Islands. We flew from Athens to Santorini and then continued on the Crete by ferry.

Getting Around Santorini

Best Car Rental in Santorini
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Driving around Santorini is not only a great way to explore the forgotten villages away from Oia, but it will save you time and patience. Check out the best car rental prices here.

Santorini has a decent public bus network that services all the major villages on the island. But unless you are in Fira, you’ll be restricted by the limited offerings, especially if you wish to go to the East Coast.

In peak season, you’ll be sharing the buses, not just with locals but with a mass of travelers who all have the same idea as you. If you want to see all of Santorini and it fits the budget, we recommend picking a car up for the trip.

Best Time to Visit Santorini

The busiest times to visit Santorini are during the summer months. This is the best weather as Santorini has a Mediterranean climate but is also the most crowded with cruise ships. However, if you are staying in a luxury hotel or a boutique hotel with a private pool, you may not care about the crowds. You can relax at the pool bar away from the crowds and wait for the cruise ships to leave.

If you are staying in one of the beach towns, the best weather is from June to September.

To avoid the crowds, you should visit in shoulder season, either September and October or April and May. We visited in October, and the weather was still very warm.

Why We Love Santorini

We love Santorini because it’s an idyllic island that epitomizes everything we know and love about Greece. It’s the top destination in the Cyclades for those magical cave hotels, stunning Caldera views, and postcard-worthy photographs. Santorini is the island of terraced whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches, which you’ve likely seen many times in all the promotional materials for Greek tourism.

It’s the perfect place for a late summer vacation, whether you want to spend all your time relaxing by the pool or hiking from one village to the next. There are so many fun and interesting things to do in Santorini that there’s no way anyone could be bored there. Explore the ruins of ancient towns, go scuba diving, tour the wineries, and ride horses on sandy black beaches. The possibilities are endless, and I’m positive you’ll fall in love with Santorini as much as we did when you stepped foot on the island.

Plan Your Next Vacation to Santorini With These Resources

 

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