Best towns to stay in Santorini

Which are the best towns to stay in Santorini?

Without a doubt, the two most spectacular and best towns to stay in Santorini are the main town of Fira and Oia. Both nestle on the cliff tops on the edge of the caldera on the western side of this beautiful crescent-shaped island and offer spectacular views over the waters of the caldera and the gorgeous sunsets.


Santorini (also known as Thira) is the southernmost island of the Greek Cyclades islands in the beautiful Aegean Sea. Santorini is a volcanic island, the result of a huge eruption in 1613BC which created the volcanic caldera – a spectacular semi-circular crater with steep cliffs, topped by the snowy whitewashed buildings of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigili and Oia. These are the best places to stay in Santorini because of their spectacular location. There is a long winding path from Fira down to sea level, where you can catch a boat excursion to the small islands and sulphur springs. If you feel weary, you can take a donkey ride back to the top – in time to enjoy the colourful nightlife!


Where to stay in Santorini, may well depend on your budget and resorts away from the Caldera are noticeably cheaper. The land on the rest of the island is gently sloping and fringed by beaches of black volcanic sand. On the south coast there are different coloured sands including the popular ‘Red Beach’. Perivolos, Perissa and Kamari are all good resorts to stay in the island’s east coast. Accommodation is more reasonably priced and is often in the traditionally styled, barrel-vaulted rooms.


Inland there are numerous villages to explore and vineyards. Santorini is well known for its wine and there are more than six wineries offering tours including the best known ‘Santo Wines’. The island has plenty of history too as it was once inhabited by the Minoans and a visit to the archaeological site at Akrotiri will reveal more! Akrotiri also has four great sandy beaches and some good hotels. Secret gems in Santorini include the Verdema Boutique Resort in Magalochori and the charming hilltop village of Pyrgos, with its panoramic views of the island. In recent years, the holiday season has extended, making it possible to visit this stunning island all year through….

Hotel   Avg price
Fanouris Condo
77€ - 92$
Kokkinos Villas
120€ - 143$
Hotel Thireas
159€ - 189$
Hotel   Avg price
San Antonio
349€ - 415$
Anteliz Suites
470€ - 559$
Aria Suites
634€ - 754$
Hotel   Avg price
248€ - 295$
Andronis Luxury Suites
615€ - 732$


If you are interested in where to stay in Santorini, you may also be interested in where to stay in Mykonos, where to stay in Athens, where to stay in Crete and where to stay in Cyprus.

Best towns and areas to stay in Santorini


FiraFira is a thriving hub of the island and is often buzzing with a mixture of locals and tourists. Those looking for a lively place to stay will enjoy Fira’s many galleries, museums, cathedrals and churches. Getting around Fira can be difficult, as you can only travel about on foot or by cable car, so it is not suitable for those who struggle to walk long distances. Couples looking for a romantic place to stay will be rewarded by spectacular sunsets down by Fira’s port, with dramatic views of the caldera and the beautiful blue domes that are synonymous with Santorini.


Accommodation is not cheap in any part of Santorini, with Fira being particularly expensive, making it the ideal place for people to stay if they are wanting a more luxurious holiday. Days can be spent relaxing on the beach or exploring the town and at night you can enjoy a long dinner at a traditional taverna, perhaps eating souvlaki and dolmades.



Hotels in Fira





OiaOia is perhaps the most beautiful town in Santorini, with its laid back outlook on life and stunning sunsets. Situated on top of a cliff, Oia enjoys panoramic views over the volcano of Palia and the island of Thirassia. The town is made up of traditional white washed houses and blue domes and is truly picture perfect as it proudly shows off its old world charm.


The village is very quiet and will suit those looking for a relaxing place to stay, with lazy days wandering around the town or taking in sites like the maritime museum taking up most of your days. The evenings are pretty special, as you drink a glass of wine or two as the sun sets then head to one of the small family run tavernas to enjoy a traditionally cooked meal, with fish a specialty in the area. Days can also be spent at the small Armenis beach or hopping on a boat over to Thirassia.



Hotels in Oia






Imerovigli, SantoriniThe beautiful upscale village of Imerovigili sits on the highest point of the caldera cliff at about 300 metres and has the most stunning panoramic views over the dark blue waters – no wonder it is nicknamed ‘the balcony of Santorini’. Situated just two kilometres from Fira, it is one of the best places to stay in Santorini with fine dining opportunities and upmarket boutiques. For the energetic, there is the dramatic caldera edge walk to Oia (about 7km) which is worth it for cocktails as the sun sets! The good news is that there is a bus service back!


The accommodation in Imerovigili is upmarket with spectacular views, making it one of the best resorts to stay in Santorini. The choice includes boutique hotels including the Cocoon Suites which are the stunning cave rooms, hewn into the cliff side and furnished with the most gorgeous natural materials. The Rocabella is one of the most popular hotels in Santorini with its traditional Greek architecture and quirky vibes. Many rooms have private plunge pools and there is a beautiful spa on site. Cavo Tagoo is where all the celebs stay as each room has a private pool or jacuzzi looking out over the caldera – wow!



Hotels in Imerovigli





Firostefani, SantoriniThe delightful village of Firostefani is in reality, an extension of the main town of Fira, as it takes just 15 minutes to walk along the caldera cliff path to reach the island’s main town – making it one of the best places to stay in Santorini. Firostefani sits high on the lip of the caldera and has almost a magical atmosphere, making it the best resort to stay in. Many visitors are content just to sit and gaze out over the stunning view of the wild beauty of the caldera. There are numerous narrow pathways in the village to wander along, with white-washed walls and tiny flower filled courtyards.


The small churches are beautiful too as they are white-washed with bright blue domes. There are little restaurants and coffee shops in the village plus a small mini market. Firostefani is a nice village to stay in and accommodation ranges from lavish hotels, comfortable suites and villas to more modest studios, but none come cheaply – especially in peak season. Firostefani is a tranquil place to stay, but if you want a more vibrant nightlife, Fira is just on the doorstep.



Hotels in Firostefani






PerissaThe small town of Perissa can be found on the South eastern part of the island and is famed for its dramatic 7 km stretch of beach, made up of volcanic black sand. Those looking for a quiet place to stay will enjoy a relaxing holiday in Perissa. You will not be truly secluded in Perissa, as there are plenty of traditional Greek taverns and wine bars to be found around the town and there is a steady flow of people enjoying the town nightlife, during the summer.


The beaches of Perissa attract surfers and water-sports enthusiasts, with its exposed waters and its long Blue Flag stretch of coastline. The clear waters are great for snorkelling, making Perissa an ideal spot for nature lovers. As well as luxury hotels and villas, Perissa has a good range of self catering accommodation, for those on a budget. Eateries include intimate tavernas and modern cafés, to large European style bars. You will never be short on things to do if you stay in Perissa.



Hotels in Perissa





PyrgosPyrgos is postcard pretty, with small white washed houses and churches combining to create a series of winding roads around the town. If you are looking for a pretty village, relaxed and friendly as you see on TV then Pyrgos is definitely the place to stay. A little bit of Greek heaven awaits you as you enter this inland village, tucking you away from the hustle and bustle of Thira and other surrounding towns.


There is no beach in Pyrgos but there are plenty of bars, restaurants and tavernas that you can stroll to if you want to get outside of your hotel complex. As with most places in Santorini, Pyrgos enjoys amazing sunsets that will warm even the coldest of hearts and, once again, views from every angle can be breathtaking. Because of its rural nature, Pyrgos attracts older couples who are wanting to get away from it all and is not suited to those wanting a more active holiday. Couples on honeymoon or a romantic break are often spotted in Pyros, due to its unique beauty and quiet pace of life.



Hotels in Pyrgos





KamariThe jagged cliffs of Kamari offer an amazing backdrop to the island’s spectacular sunsets, making it another great place to stay for couples. A Blue Flag beach attracts sun worshipers throughout the summer season, with lots of opportunities for beachside activities for when soaking up the sun gets a little too much. Kamari is the most sophisticated town in Santorini, with luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants lining the picturesque streets of the town.


Couples wanting a special treat make Kamari the place to stay for a holiday packed full of opportunities for rest and relaxation. When a change of pace is required, after sitting back and enjoying spa experiences and one to one hotel services, there are opportunities to explore ancient Greece. Above Kamari beach is the tabletop settlement of ancient Thira, dating back to the 9th century BC and full of temples, churches, theatres and a quaint main square. There are some great photo opportunities and views that you will find difficult to tear yourself away from.



Hotels in Kamari



The harbours throughout Santorini are often lined with swanky boats and yachts that are home to celebrities and fashionistas visiting the luxurious island. You can enjoy a taste of the high life yourself but can also relax in the warmth of a laid back Greek Island life. Wherever you choose to stay in Santorini, you are sure to be looked after like a King or Queen.