Where to stay in Santorini! The complete guide to the best neighborhoods, top attractions, and hotels for every budget.
Let's be honest, is there any place in the world quite like Santorini?
We've all seen it, the picturesque villages dotted with white and blue buildings overlooking a never ending view of the ocean. Santorini is one of the most popular destinations in the world and for good reason - it's drop dead gorgeous.
Everything about Santorini is beautiful and exotic. For a first timer, its luxurious appeal may also seem a bit out of reach. The good news is that no matter what your budget is, there are plenty of options for where to stay in Santorini.
Let's dive into the best places to stay in Santorini based on your budget, travel style, and what you're looking to experience on the island. If you are planning a trip to Santorini, you will not be disappointed will all the island has to offer.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Where to Stay in Santorini, Greece: The Best Villages
You might come to Santorini for the initial appeal you've seen all over social media and travel sites. Santorini is all about the views, the hot Greek sun, and an amazing culture to experience and explore.
Whether it is your first time to Santorini or you're a seasoned pro at traveling this region of Greece, there are always new and exciting things to discover on the island.
Let's explore some of the island's unique and most popular villages to find the best place to stay in Santorini for YOU.
If you're looking for the epitome of excitement and action in a Santorini vacation, look no further than Oia. This oceanfront village in Santorini is by far the most visited part of the island and one of the best places to stay in Santorini.
Oia is known for its breathtaking views, so it's no surprise that this area is one of the most photographed throughout all of Santorini. If you are looking for the best Instagrammable spots on the island, Oia is a must stop on your Santorini itinerary.
Make sure to stop by the Byzantine Castle Ruins or the Oia Castle to shoot some photos.
Oia is the second largest village on the island and after you see a sunset there you'll never see a sunset the same way again. It's also the perfect place to stay for anyone traveling on their honeymoon and looking for the most romantic areas in Santorini.
Named after the biggest attraction of the area, Sunset is a popular restaurant for all those visiting Oia. Make sure to order some of their fresh and local seafood dishes for a taste of the regional cuisine.
Another restaurant in Santorini to take in the stunning views of the caldera is Pelekanos Restaurant. Try some traditional Greek food while enjoying the beautiful scenery. If you're looking for a fast and casual option for Greek food, head over to Pitogyros for some of the best gyros in town.
Where to Stay in Oia
The Arches - Everything you'd hope for in a Santorini accommodation without the huge price tag, The Arches Hotel is located within one of Santorini's famed white buildings.
The interior decor embraces the popularity of this style with clean, white furnishings throughout all the guest rooms. There is also an outdoor sun terrace to enjoy the Greek weather and beautiful views.
For those traveling from the airport, a shuttle is available at an additional cost. This is a great option for those who want to truly get a feel for Santorini without spending too much on a hotel.
Armeni Luxury Villas - This accommodation is what Santorini dreams are made of. Villas in this hotel come with their own private pool or hot tub, and the type of oceanfront view you can't really get anywhere else besides Santorini.
Interior furnishings are all white and windows frame the beautiful scenery. There is also an outdoor terrace to enjoy and take advantage of the prime location. If you are looking for an affordable romantic hotel in Santorini, this is a good choice.
The Dream Santorini - A beautiful luxury accommodation in the heart of Oia. Each guest room at The Dream Santorini is a Greek cave house that comes with a separate kitchen, living room, and bedroom.
Each guest unit also has an outdoor hot tub and the interior colors are muted so they don't take away from the bright colors of the outdoor views. The Dream Santorini is one of the best hotels in Santorini and a unique accommodation in Greece that is worth the extra splurge.
If you are coming to Santorini for the nightlife, check out the village of Fira. Fira is hands down the most popular area of Santorini for its nightclubs and bars. It tends to draw in a younger crowd who is looking for an endless night of cocktails, music, and dancing.
Fira is often considered the best place to stay in Santorini, and one of the best places to stay in Greece, if you're looking for a social atmosphere and a central location with breathtaking views.
Fira is Santorini's biggest village and with that comes the most attractions. Even though Fira is known for its nightlife scene, there are also plenty of things to see and do during the day that don't involve partying.
The village of Fira has the highest concentration of shopping and restaurants on the island. Spend the day walking through the picturesque parts of Fira for local shops and traditional Greek cuisine.
Argo is a wonderful and casual restaurant to enjoy Greek food in Fira. It has an outdoor space which is perfect for taking in the atmosphere of the island.
If you're looking for a fancier evening out with stunning sunset views, head over to Volcano Blue for a delicious seafood meal. For those who want to truly experience the nightlife in Fira, dance your heart out at Enigma Club.
Where to Stay in Fira
Asimina Hotel - A budget-friendly option in Fira. The furnishings and decor of this Santorini hotel are simple and standard. If you are looking for a hotel room that just provides the basics, this hotel is a good pick.
Travelers who stay at the Asimina Hotel might be much more interested in spending their money on excursions or experiences, rather than a place to sleep. The hotel is located in the middle of Fira, near many shops, restaurants, and points of interest.
Athina Luxury Suites - An idyllic Santorini accommodation in the heart of Fira, Athina Luxury Suites is located on top of a cliff overlooking the caldera and beautiful ocean views. This hotel is stylish and modern with traditional white furnishings throughout each guest room.
The hotel features an outdoor pool, hot tub, and spa and wellness center, as well as a restaurant for those who want to dine in. There is also a sun terrace which is the perfect place to admire the Santorini scenery.
Stay at this hotel for its luxurious amenities without completeley splurging on one of Santorini's high end properties.
Aigialos Luxury Traditional Settlement - A unique hotel in Fira. The Aigialos Luxury Traditional Settlement features guest rooms furnished with white decor and balconies that take advantage of the Aegean Sea views. They also offer complimentary room service at any time of the day.
For those who want to stay in complete luxury, the Aigialos Luxury Traditional Settlement is a top choice in Fira. It is one of the best options for where to stay in Santorini if you want to be in the center of all the action and enjoy a luxury stay while you're at it.
If you want a little more laid back atmosphere than all the excitement in Fira, head over to Perissa. It is located on the other side of the island is known for its good beaches and more subdued vibe.
Although there aren't sweeping views of the caldera, this part of Santorini still has wonderful oceanfront scenery. It can be considered the best area to stay in Santorini for its beaches alone.
A couple of the top attractions in Perissa are the Perissa Black Sand Beach and Ancient Thera, which is a mountain top location known for its ancient Greek ruins.
Even though Perissa isn't on the radar for some travelers, there are still plenty of delicious Santorini restaurants to take advantage of in the village.
If you're looking for a popular restaurant with various vegetarian options, try out Tranquilo. Apollon Restaurant is a mouth watering Greek Taverna in Perissa. Another option on Perissa Beach with great seafood is Acropolis Restaurant.
Where to Stay in Perissa
Stelios Place - A family run hotel in Perissa, guest rooms at Stelios Place are cozy and furnished with simple decor. Family rooms are available, which is perfect for those who are traveling in bigger groups.
An outdoor pool and free airport shuttle are some of the main features of this property, as well as a restaurant and bar onsite. Stelios Place is a prime hotel with a small price tag in the heart of Perissa, and one of the cheap hotels in Santorini that is walking distance to the beach.
Anastasia Princess Luxury Hotel & Suites - The perfect spot to relax and unwind in Perissa, Anastasia Princess Luxury Hotel is an adults only hotel that has stylish guest rooms decorated to reflect the overall aesthetic of Santorini.
An outdoor infinity pool is one of the main attractions of this hotel, along with its quick access to Perissa Black Sand Beach. Guests can enjoy a garden, sun terrace, and barbecue facilities onsite. An airport shuttle is also available for guests of the hotel.
Aqua Blue Beach Hotel - An outstanding luxury accommodation directly on Perissa Beach. Aqua Blue Beach Hotel has a private beach and guest rooms that are spacious and modern.
In true Santorini fashion, the whole hotel is furnished in white with touches of blue. A restaurant is located on the property, as well as a library for those who want to take a book to the beach.
Aqua Blue Beach Hotel is an ideal hotel if you are looking for a more relaxed Santorini vacation with easy beach access.
Imerovigli is one of the most laid back and tranquil parts of Santorini. If you are looking for the type of relaxing vacation away from the large crowds, make sure to check out this Santorini village.
Although Imerovigli makes it feel like you're a world away from all the tourists in Fira or Oia, it is only a short distance to those popular nearby towns. Anyone staying in Imerovigli can easily explore the bigger towns of Santorini, but have the luxury of staying on a quieter part of the island.
Imerovigli has one of the best, if not the best, views of the famous Santorini sunset. This village is located on the caldera, but unlike other parts of Santorini, Imerovigli has unobstructed views because it is perched higher atop the mountainside.
When you're not busy sitting in awe of the views, visit the nearby Museum of Prehistoric Thera and Archeological Museum of Thera.
Since Imerovigli is in a quieter area of Santorini, there isn't much in terms of bars and nightlife. However, there are a handful of delicious restaurants to choose from.
If you're looking for a fancy night out, have dinner at La Maison. Le Moustache offers stunning panoramic views and fresh seafood entrees. Avocado is a casual restaurant with a wine list full of local Santorini wines.
Where to Stay in Imerovigli
Senses Boutique Hotel - Although Senses Boutique Hotel is a cheaper accommodation, it definitely doesn't feel like it. This hotel is located atop a high volcanic cliff and has sweeping views of the Aegean Sea.
The hotel has guest rooms that are traditionally all white, but also some rooms that are all green. There is an outdoor swimming pool facing the Aegean Sea and a breakfast basket is served to each guest room daily.
For those who want to stay in and enjoy the tranquility, there is a sun terrace available as well as board games for entertainment. When deciding where to stay in Santorini without spending a ton of money, this hotel is a great option.
Tholos Resort - A mid-range accommodation in Imerovigli that takes full advantage of its prime real estate. Travelers stay at Tholos Resort for its comfortable guest rooms with private balconies overlooking the Santorini landscape.
The hotel features a sun terrace and bar located at the pool, as well as a restaurant that serves breakfast, or delivers it to your room. Tholos Resort is an ideal place to stay if you're looking for a dose of tranquility with amazing views.
Chromata, The Leading Hotels of the World - A luxury option in Imerovigli, Chromata Hotel has a fine dining restaurant, bar, and spa and wellness center onsite.
The hotel also features an infinity pool that sits high above the coastline, opening up to magnificent views of the island and the sea.
Chromata Hotel has guest rooms that are mainly furnished with white decor and furniture. It is an adults only hotel and the perfect stay for those who want some rest and relaxation in quiet surroundings. This hotel can be considered the best hotel in Santorini for its tranquility.
Kamari is located on the eastern side of Santorini and is an ideal area for families and those who are looking for a more relaxed atmosphere and access to swimming at the beach.
For travelers exploring the area, make sure to spend some time underwater since this part of the island has plenty of snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Afterwards, take a walk along the beach on Kamari's pedestrian only walkway.
Although it's not as central as the other villages on this list, you can easily take a bus to other parts of Santorini, including Oia and Fira, from Kamari.
Build up an appetite while you're at the beach and grab some food at beachside restaurant Almira. Alismari is one of the popular restaurants on Kamari Beach to enjoy Greek cuisine and the relaxing environment. For those looking for vegan options, head over to Navy's.
Where to Stay in Kamari
Makris Beach Hotel - A cozy accommodation in Kamari, Makris Beach Hotel is an apart-hotel style option that is located in close proximity to Kamari Beach. Each guest room is styled with a homestyle type of decor and has a separate living area with a couch and dining table.
The hotel has a restaurant, bar, and wellness center onsite and breakfast is served to your room every morning. Makris Beach Hotel is perfect for those who want easy access to the beach without spending a lot of money.
Santorini Reflexions Sea - A Kamari hotel that is ideal for its location right on Kamari Beach. Even though this property is on the smaller side, it has beautiful architecture throughout the building and gives you a more boutique hotel experience.
Guest rooms come with the basic furnishings, plus a kitchenette and refrigerator, and the decor is mostly all white. The Santorini Reflexions Sea also has a pool to enjoy, when you're not too busy relaxing on the black sand of Kamari Beach.
RK Beach Hotel - One of the top notch hotel accommodations in Kamari. The lobby and guest rooms of this hotel have a more modern feel to them with artistic decor. The RK Beach Hotel is centrally located in Kamari and guests can enjoy the easy access straight to Kamari Beach.
There is also a beautiful pool at the hotel, along with a restaurant and bar onsite. RK Beach Hotel has a bigger property compared to other hotels in Kamari and will have you feeling relaxed, whether you spend your time at the pool or on the beach.
If you are still trying to decide where to stay in Santorini and want to be near the beach, the RK Beach Hotel is one of your best bets.
How to Get Around Santorini
Santorini is best explored on foot. Walking through the small alleys and winding streets of Santorini is easily one of the best ways to discover the sights of the island. The villages around Santorini are relatively small, so you won't necessarily need a lot of transportation to see things within each village.
If you are looking to explore many different villages across the island, the best form of public transportation to use is the bus. The bus system in Santorini is the KTEL.
The KTEL's main hub is from Fira. Since Fira is the capital city of Santorini, all the routes come through this town. If you want to get to any other major towns in Santorini, you will have to come to Fira first.
Even though the bus is one of the main ways of getting from one village to another, it doesn't run as frequently as in other major cities across the world. The bus operates once per hour, so make sure you are at the bus stop on time, or else you might be waiting a while for the next one.
If you want to use public transportation, the best time to visit Santorini is in the peak season because the bus system becomes a bit less frequent during the off season. The fare depends on the destination, but generally it will be between $2.10 to $2.80 per fare.
Another popular way of getting around Santorini is by taxi. Traveling between some of the main towns, including Fira and Oia, have a fixed rate. It is generally understood that you can agree on a price before starting the taxi ride to your destination.
Top 10 Sights to See in Santorini
Santorini's top attractions will more than likely keep you outdoors. The magnificent views that can be seen in many of Santorini's major villages are some of the top reasons people visit the island.
Get ready to enjoy the nature of cliffside vistas and the Aegean Sea as you make your way through some of Santorini's top attractions.
Watch the Sunset
It's not often that something as simple as a sunset makes it into a city's top attractions, but then again, not many places are quite like Santorini.
Catching the sunset daily is one of the most popular things you can do as a visitor to Santorini. The natural cliffside location of major towns like Oia and Fira each have a number of places to watch the sunset from.
Pictures of Santorini sunsets are what might draw tourists in during peak season, and rightfully so. There is simply no way you can visit Santorini without enjoying its nightly show as the sun disappears behind the Aegean Sea.
Make sure you have your camera ready because the sunsets in Santorini will take your breath away.
Recommended Tour: Oia Sunset and Traditional Villages Tour in Santorini
This is the type of attraction perfect for those who want a bit of adventure. Visiting Ancient Thera means you'll have to hike up a steep trail, so make sure you're ready for it and wear comfortable shoes. Along the way, you'll see ancient ruins from the island.
It's important to note that this hike isn't for everyone and can sometimes be difficult. Some areas are not smooth, but you'll be rewarded once you reach the top and see the views looking out to nearby Kamari and Perissa Beach.
Akrotiri Archeological Site
The Akrotiri Archeological Site is one of the most important attractions in Santorini. Visit this site to see the ruins of the ancient city of Akrotiri, which was destroyed from a volcanic eruption in in 1700 B.C.
You will have a chance to walk through the ruins and see many ancient artifacts of the old city. It is a great way to explore the ancient past of Santorini and understand how much of an effect volcanos can have in this region of Greece.
Recommended Tour: Ancient Akrotiri and Santorini Wineries Tour
Amoudi Bay is located just below the town of Oia and is one of the most beautiful spots across the island. To reach Amoudi Bay, you'll have to hike down the cliff, which is slightly difficult but well worth it. As an added bonus, this small area has some traditional Greek tavernas at the bottom.
It is the perfect place to enjoy stunning seaside views. Since this area is really only accessible by hiking down from Oia, it may not draw much attention from travelers who don't want to venture down the cliff. This gives you the chance to enjoy a quieter meal in a beautiful destination.
Museum of Prehistoric Thira
If you're looking to do something other than spend time outdoors and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Santorini, visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thira. It is a small museum that houses artifacts from ancient Santorini.
The museum is a good representation of the history of the island and gives visitors an understanding of the island's past. It won't take long to explore this attraction, maybe only about 30 minutes to an hour, but it is a great educational experience during your trip.
Hike from Fira to Oia
A hike from Fira to Oia is one of the best ways to see the western part of Santorini. The hike is a decent distance and takes anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on how fast or slow you want to take it.
This hike takes you along the side of many famous villages, including Fira, Firostefani, and Oia, and the views of the caldera and the Aegean Sea are undeniably amazing. This half day excursion is one of the top attractions of Santorini and one that can't be missed if you're up for the trek.
Oia Castle, also known as the Castle of Agios Nikolaos, is one of the best spots in all of Santorini to see the sunset. This castle was founded back in the 15th century and served as a watchpoint for the island. It is now a top attraction in Oia and many visitors each evening come to the castle for sunset views.
Take a Sunset Cruise
What's better than enjoying a Santorini sunset from Oia? Enjoying it from the sea.
You can find dozens of different sunset cruise options across Santorini, and some boats even offer cocktails and wine or barbecues and full dinners on board.
Taking a sunset cruise gives you a different perspective of Santorini. Of course this type of excursion comes with a higher cost, but, for some, it is money well spent to enjoy an evening at sea during the most beautiful time of day in Santorini.
Recommended Tour: Santorini Sunset Catamaran Cruise with BBQ and Drinks
Hop on a Cable Car
Taking a cable car ride from Fira is a fun way to seeing Santorini from the sky. The cable car route goes from the major town of Fira to the Old Port.
When you get off at the Old Port, you'll be able to wander through some tourist shops, grab a few souvenirs, and dine at local restaurants. Although it might be a bit touristy, it's still worth it even just for the spectacular views from the ride.
Visit the Red Sand Beach
The variety of beaches across Santorini gives travelers a unique way of experiencing a beach vacation in Greece. Make your way to the Red Sand Beach, which is located near the Akrotiri village.
It is one of the most visited beaches in Santorini because of its unique red sand. There are beach chairs and umbrellas available and the surrounding cliffs make the scenery even more dramatic.
3 Best Day Trips from Santorini
It's easy to get trapped in the magical lure of Santorini's landscape and never leave. The feel of this popular Greek island destination is full of tranquility and beautiful seaside scenery.
I don't blame you if you never want to leave Santorini, but if you have the itch to travel a bit while you're staying in Santorini, there are quite a few other nearby areas that are worthy of a visit.
Thirassia Island was once a part of Santorini itself, but is now a destination on its own. Catch a boat ride to the island from one of Santorini's major ports.
The most popular way to get to Thirassia Island is to hop on the ferry from Oia, which only takes 10 minutes.
The main town on Thirassia Island is Manolas and the island is particularly known for its beautiful beaches. This type of day trip from Santorini is perfect for those who want to escape the crowds and relax in a quieter beachside area.
Some of the beaches on Thirassia Island have black sand and wonderful views of nearby Oia.
Walk through the local streets of Thirassia Island and marvel at the traditional Greek architecture of the island. Even though it is a small destination, it is known to have a great number of churches, take a look at some of them as you explore the island.
You won't need to leave the main island to visit Megalochori. This town is located in the south west area of Santorini and is home to some of the most traditional Greek homes and pricier mansions.
This Santorini day trip is great for those who want to visit a quieter part of the island without hopping on a ferry to go elsewhere.
From Megalochori, you can visit Santorini's nearby farms and vineyards. Taste locally produced Santorini wine and have some delicious farm to table meals on this part of the island.
Have you ever wanted to walk through an active volcano? If the answer is yes, take a day trip to Nea Kameni.
This island is close to Santorini and gives travelers a totally different experience from the typical day in Fira or Oia. This day trip is perfect for adventurers who want to hike through a volcanic island.
Make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes and that you're ready to walk because you'll be doing a lot of that in Nea Kameni.
Take time to explore the area and learn about the history of the active volcano. You'll also have plenty of opportunities to take amazing panoramic photos once you reach the top of the volcano.
What to Pack for Santorini
- The Complete Guide for Where to Stay in Santorini for Every Budget - September 22, 2019
- The Ultimate Guide for Where to Stay in Singapore for Every Budget - September 7, 2019
- The Complete Guide for Where to Stay in Austin for Every Budget - September 6, 2019