Now that you have decided Santorini is your next travel destination (great choice, btw), there is one more question pending to be answered – Where to stay in Santorini.
But, first things first – some basic information about the island and where is what.
Accommodation in Santorini can be categorized in two groups:
- Areas with cliffside views (typical Santorini views, no direct access to the beach) – more expensive – Fira, Oia, Firostefani, Imerovigli or Pyrgos.
- Coastal towns (direct access to the beach, no typical Santorini cliffside views) – cheaper, budget options – Kamari, Perissa, Perivolos.
Depending on which is your priority, you can chose typical Santorini accommodation with spectacular views in Fira, Oia, Firostefani, Imerovigli or Pyrgos or you can chose beach accommodation in some of the coastal towns: Kamari, Perissa, Perivolos.
In this map we put together some of the most common places where to stay in Santorini, with a brief explanation about each one of these towns and accommodation options that they offer.
WHERE TO STAY IN SANTORINI
Fira is the capital of Santorini and the largest city on the island.
It is famous by it’s iconic cliffside views of the volcano caldera, picturesque white houses and blue domed churches.
It’s s the center of all the happening, cultural and nightlife and, of course, tourism.
Fira is one of the most crowded towns in Santorini where you can find a lot of people all around, all the time…
In Fira you can find the biggest variety of bars, restaurants, social events etc.
Ideal for going out & parties, shopping and, of course, photo sessions.
Staying in Fira might be the best option for people who seeks dynamic vacation, lot of movement and don’t mind crowds on the streets. Also, if you are interested in photography, Fira offers some incredible views of the volcano caldera.
As for the nightlife – if that is something that interests you, Fira may be the best place (and maybe the only place on the island) that offers party atmosphere.
As for accommodation options, here you can find both high end boutique hotels with typical white cave houses, infinity pools and breathtaking panoramic views.
However, Fira is big enough and offers as well, budget accommodation on the other side of the city (not on the cliffside) where you won’t have the typical views but, you will still enjoy all the advantages of being in the most centric place of the island.
In case you don’t see yourself in such a busy and crowded environment (some call it “too touristy”) + you want to be close to the beach – Fira may not be your choice.
Fira doesn’t have direct access to the beach, so, if you would want to go to one, the closest beach would be Kamari beach (some 8km away).
Accommodation prices from 40 eur to several hundreds eur per night.
Firostefani is a small town located close to Fira (some 1 km away).
Compared to the nearby Fira, Firostefani offers much more tranquil atmosphere, it’s less crowded and doesn’t offer any nightlife activity.
It is ideal for those who want to be very close to Fira and all the action happening there, but prefer having relaxed moments in a laid back ambient.
As for the views, in Firostefani you can enjoy typical “Santorini views” – similar to Fira but, with less crowds.
In around 15 min on foot, you can step from a quite oasis to all the hustle of the capital and that is the biggest advantage of staying in Firostefani.
There are several restaurants, a couple of markets but, in case you are interested in nightlife, you can find that in the nearby Fira.
The prices go from 70 eur to over 1000 eur per night
Imerovigli is upscale village, located on a clifftop overlooking caldera islands. It is said to be the quietest town in Santorini so, if you are looking for calm and peaceful place, this is the one.
Here you can find fancy boutique hotels, incredible infinity pools, fine-dining restaurants etc. No bars or any sort of nightlife.
As it is located on the higher part of the cliff (about 300 meters above sea level), it is also known as the “Balcony to the Aegean”.
Most of the frequent visitors of Santorini, say that Imerovigli is their favorite place to stay.
Accommodation prices go from around 110 eur per night up to more than 1000 eur per night.
Oia is, definitely, one of the most popular and most visited towns in Santorini.
It offers famous cliffside views with beautiful white cave-houses, infinity pools and it is famous as one of the best sunset locations in the world.
Since it is one of the most visited towns in Santorini, Oia streets are crowded with tourists during the whole summer season. Here you can find plenty of accommodation options (mostly expensive ones), fancy bars and restaurants, art galleries’, shopping…
Oia is, as well, the most popular place for taking photos. Here you can find agencies offering professional photo sessions in a typical Santorini setting. It is popular mostly by couples who do pre-wedding or honeymoon photo sessions here.
Since the ambient in Oia is absolutely magical and sunsets are like from another planet, you can, with no effort, make incredible photos even if you are not professional photographer.
There is no direct access to the beach so if you are looking for relaxing and quite beach time, Oia may not be the right place.
On the contrary, if you like to be in the center of all the hustle, don’t mind crowds and waiting in the line for your perfect photo moment, than Oia is the right choice.
For staying in Oia, you would, first of all, need to book your accommodation well in advance, since it is the most wanted place to stay for the majority of tourists.
Secondly, prices are rather on the higher end so there are almost no budget accommodation options.
The cheapest you could find would be around 90 – 100 eur per night and the prices go up to who knows where.
*** Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia are some of the most visited and most popular places to stay in Santorini and, in the majority of the cases oriented to fancier stuff. Accommodation options in these towns are rather on the higher scale and not for budget travelers.
Pyrgos is one of our favorite villages in Santorini and, even though we haven’t stayed in Pyrgos, we totally see us booking our next stay in Santorini, right there in this charming little village.
It is located at the highest point on the island, and it offers panoramic sunset views that are not from this world.
Its maze-like narrow streets dotted with bars, restaurants, local souvenir stores, blue-domed churches, and the ruins of a Venetian castle, makes Pyrgos a real fairy-tale place.
The ambient of the village is quiet and relaxed. It is a non-touristy village so, if you are looking to avoid crowds of tourists and enjoy peaceful vacation, Pyrgos is your place.
Unlike other “popular” towns, here you will be seeing more locals than tourists and therefore, it gets additional points for authenticity.
From the central square, you can take a bus to Fira and other towns.
Being on the highest point of the cliff, you will be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views and unforgettable sunsets.
There is no beach access so, for that, you would need to travel to some of the nearby beach towns.
Accommodation prices vary from 90 eur to above 1000 eur per night.
Kamari is a typical coastal town, with long and wide beach and a café-lined promenade.
The beach in Kamari is volcanic black sand beach and it’s equipped with all the amenities (sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, beach bars…)
It does not offer the famous “Santorini views” since it is not located on the cliff, but it has direct access to the beach.
Here you can find much cheaper accommodation options than in Fira, Oia and other “popular towns”. This means that you can get a nice room or even the whole apartment on the beachfront, for much better price than in “popular cliffside towns” (Oia, Fira, Firostefani…).
Even though it does not offer the panoramic cliffside views, Kamari is a charming little town where you can find plenty of things to do – watersport, boat trips, excursions to the nearby villages…or simply enjoying at the beach.
As for the beach – most of the beach bars offer free sunbeds and umbrellas if you consume some drink or food at their place.
You can find plenty of excellent restaurants serving freshly prepared sea food and typical Greek plates, at affordable prices.
As for the nightlife – it is not a party place like Fira for example but, there are several good bars that make great cocktails and a nice atmosphere.
If you are traveling on a budget and/or prefer staying close to the beach, Kamari may be your best option.
From Kamari you can easily reach any of other towns and villages by bus, car, motorbike…
Accommodation prices go from 50 eur to around 450 eur per night.
**We spent part of our trip in Kamari at Nostos Beach Apartments and, as we were happy with our stay, we recommend it as a greet “value for money” option.
Perissa is another of our favorite places to stay in Santorini.
The environment is, somewhat similar to Kamari – Perissa is a small village with direct exit to a long and wide black sand beach.
There is a typical beach promenade with lots of bars and restaurants along where you can try typical Greek food, and enjoy some refreshing drinks in a laid back atmosphere.
The beach in Perissa is black sand beach, long, wide and fully equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, toilets & showers, beach bars and restaurants and plenty of watersport facilities.
Accommodation in Perissa is considerably cheaper than in the areas that have caldera views (Oia, Fira, Firostefani, Pyrgos, Imerovigli…) so it’s a great place for family trips or for those who travel on budget.
Great thing about Perissa is that, apart from budget accommodation options, there are also several new fancy boutique hotels that offer typical “Santorini accommodation” (white cave houses, private jacuzzi/swimming pool etc.).
In our case, when speaking about accommodation in Santorini, our preference was being close to the beach rather than having the famous “Santorini cliffside views”. Still, we wanted that “Santorini feeling” – white cave house with a private jacuzzi.
In Perissa you can find all that – a beach on your doorstep and a typical Santorini cave house suite – so Perissa was our top choice.
As for the accommodation options, there are even couple of hostels that offer rooms as of 25 eur per night.
Standard budget room close to the beach would cost from around 60 eur per night.
Some fancier options such as suite with plunge pool or private jacuzzi on the beachfront would cost from around 250 eur per night.
**We spent part of our trip in Perissa in a beautiful boutique hotel where we enjoyed in the most amazing suite with a private outdoor jacuzzi.
**We would highly recommend this hotel – Anastasia Princess Luxury Residence & Spa as a great couple or honeymoon accommodation for a complete relaxation and the best Santorini experience.
**The hotels offers rooms and suites with private plunge pool or jacuzzi, all kinds of massages and spa treatments, 2 large swimming pools, cocktail bar at the pool area and it’s adults only.
The last place on our list of best places where to stay in Santorini is Perivolos.
Perivolos is a small coastal village located near Perissa.
Perivolos Beach is, actually an extension of Perissa Beach so the two places (Perisa and Perivolos) are quite similar and within short walking distance between them.
The beach is, similar to the one in Perisa, a black sand beach, equipped and organized (wc, showers, sunbeds, umbrellas etc.) and with plenty of beach bars and restaurants all along.
Here you can find some newly open luxury hotels, some fine dining restaurants and upscale beach clubs, especially at the south end of the beach strip.
Out of all coastal towns in Santorini, Perivolos would be the fanciest and the most luxurious one where you can find gorgeous beachfront villas and boutique hotels.
Accommodation prices vary from around 50 eur per night (budget options), and between 200 eur and 500 eur per night for a suite with private hot tub.
If you are traveling to Santorini for the first time and can’t decide where to stay, why not staying in two or tree different places?
We like to do that whenever we are in a new place as staying in different places gives us opportunity to explore more.
Want to know what there is to do in Santorini?
What are the main attractions and places you should not miss visiting?
Read our complete guide on Best things to do in Santorini and get some ideas for your Santorini trip.
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