Where to Stay in Santorini in 2019
Deciding “Where to Stay in Santorini?” is not that easy, as you need to understand where are the best caldera views and which are the top villages to stay (Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Perissa). So, we decided to create a useful guide for you to help you find the best areas and hotels to stay in Santorini. This is part of our Kindle Guide: “Santorini in 3 Days, Travel Guide”, which you can get here.
Things to Keep in Mind about your stay in Santorini
- Fira (or Thira) is the capital of the island called Santorini.
- Santorini is a volcanic island. The best views and the best places and areas to stay are across its caldera, where the height is above 200 meters. Of course, these are the most expensive places as well.
- The villages on the caldera, with the best views, are Fira, Oia, Imerovigli.
- Oia is famous for its sunset and it is also a picturesque place to stay.
- The cheapest areas to stay in Santorini are Perissa village and Kamari village, as they are at the sea level and don’t offer great views.
- Driving from the northest part of Santorini (Oia village), to the southest part of Santorini (Akrotiri village), takes 45 minutes and it is around 25 kms. The roads are small, without lights during the evening and full of traffic during July and August, which is the peak season.
- Santorini’s peak season is August and July. However, the touristic season starts in March and ends in November.
- Best months to visit Santorini are September and early October, as there are fewer tourists than July and August, the temperature is still nice, the sea is warm and the sunset time still gives you enough time to explore the island.
- You should book your hotel at least a couple of months before your visit, to get the best prices and views.
- If it is your first time in Santorini, stay at Fira as it will make it easier for you to explore the whole island, go out in the evening, visit the beach in the noon and not having to worry about parking in the evening, as parking inside Fira is not allowed.
- Expect to pay at least 300 euros during July and August, for a decent hotel on the caldera, with nice views. Prices can get up to 2.000 euros per night. If you want to stay on a budget, you should go to Perissa or Kamari, where you can stay with 70-90 euros per night. But we believe that visiting Santorini is a once in a lifetime experience, and it worths spending some more bucks to get a hotel with nice views.
The Best Villages to Stay in Santorini: Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Perissa
There are four (4) main places where visitors stay in Santorini: Fira Village (the capital), Imerovigli Village (close to Fira), Oia (fantastic sunset) and Perissa (black beach, cheaper place to stay). However, you have to know that if you stay at these areas, you will not have the “I wake up, open my door and walk to the sea” type of staying, as they are up on the volcano’s caldera. All these areas offer great views but poor access to the sea.
Here are the pros and cons of each area to stay in Santorini:
Fira, Santorini: What you need to know about the area of Fira
Fira is the biggest village of Santorini Island and it is the capital of Santorini; Fira is also called “Thera”; it has the most visitors on the island, ranging from youngsters who want to party in the clubs of the village, to couples who enjoy the scenic views of the caldera and the fabulous restaurants and hotels. Fira is built on top of the volcanic caldera, so Fira doesn’t have a beach, and you will have to drive 10kms to get to a decent beach to swim, such as the Red Beach or Perivolos beach or Perissa beach.
Fira village is quite expensive and if you can save some money if you choose to stay at “Karterados” village, which is 3.5kms away from Fira village. Of course, you will have to drive to Fira every night (or get the bus), and you have to know that you will have to leave your car at the parking in the entrance of Fira and walk on foot (about 500m). Fira offers five(5) 5-star hotels and fifteen (15) 4-star hotels. Be careful! Not all the hotels in Fira offer caldera views.
Plus: Amazing views to the caldera and the volcano, excellent for romantic getaways, Great Hotels and Restaurants, all the nightlife of the island is here, the best shopping in Santorini is in Fira.
Cons: Expensive compared to Perissa, Perivolos, Karterados
Fira to Athinios Port: 8.6 km (20 minutes drive time)
Fira to Santorini Airport: 5.2 km (10 minutes drive time)
Fira to Perissa Beach: 12.3 km (20 minutes drive time)
Best Hotels in Fira
1. Cosmopolitan Suites Santorini (4*)
This is a four-stars hotel, which is located in Fira and offers amazing views to the volcano and the sea. During August, the price for a double room is around 520 euros per night. It has a 9.6 rating at Booking.com and offers excellent breakfast, service
Here is a view of the room at Cosmopolitan Suites:
One of the strongest points of this hotel is also its magnificent infinity pool:
2. Volcano View Hotel (5*)
Volcano View hotel is a five star hotel in Fira, which offers great caldera views to the volcano of Santorini and the sea of Aegean. Its price is north of 400 euros per night for a double room. It offers a swimming pool, great service and fantastic views from the rooms. Highly recommended if you can afford the price.
3. Aigialos Niche Residence Suites (5*)
A five-star hotel in Fira, with a price starting at 450 euros per night for a double room. It offers great views to the caldera and the volcano, excellent service, very good breakfast, a swimming pool, free wi-fi and an airport shuttle.
Imerovigli Village: All you need to know about the area of Imerovigli
Imerovigli is 2.6
So, how far is Imerovigli from Fira and Oia? Imerovigli is a couple of km away from Fira and 6 miles (9kms) away from Oia, which is around a 20 minutes drive.
Imerovigli offers six 5-star hotels and ten 4-star hotels.
Plus: Imerovigli is a great choice to stay in Santorini for your honeymoon or if you are a couple, as it is an ideal romantic place; it offers excellent restaurants and amazing caldera views
Cons: Limited options for nightlife, it doesn’t have a beach, one of the 3 most expensive areas in Santorini together with Fira and Oia.
Best Hotels in Imerovigli
Hotel Grace is a five-star boutique hotel in Imerovigli, with an infinity pool, caldera views from the rooms, excellent service. Some rooms have a separate plunge pool overlooking the sea. It also has a sea-view restaurant and a cocktail bar. It will set you back north of 600 euros per night. Grace hotel is 5 miles away from the Santorini Airport and it is 6.2 miles away from the port of Santorini (Athinios Port). It also offers a free airport shuttle.
2. Hotel Vasilicos in Imerovigli, Santorini (4*, around 500E/night)
Vasilicos hotel is a 4-stars hotel in Imerovigli, which offers excellent views to the volcano and the caldera and is a great choice for couples. Prices during August are around 500 to 600 euros per night. It has a rating of 9.6 on Booking.com
3. Santorini Princess SPA hotel in Imerovigli, Santorini (5*, 320e/night)
A five-star hotel, with an infinity pool, excellent service, well-designed rooms. Prices are around 320 euros for a double room in August. It has a rating of 9.7 on Booking.com.
Oia: All you need to know about the area of Oia, Santorini.
Oia is well known all over the world for its fantastic sunset. Oia is a beautiful village with small, white houses and famous restaurants. Oia is quite expensive to stay, though. It doesn’t offer any great beach to swim, and you will have to drive through a tiny and crowded road to get to Fira in the evening. Oia has thirteen 5-star hotels and seven 4-star hotels. Obviously, Oia is the most luxurious village in Santorini and here you can find hotel rooms, which are actually caves inside the caldera, which cost up to 3.000 euros per night.
Don’t worry, later on, we will let you know the best value hotels to stay in Oia. You should stay at Oia if you are on a honeymoon, or if you are looking for romance with your partner. It’s also a great place if you are a photography lover. Don’t stay at Oia if you are looking for parties and you want to spend a lot of time on the beach.
Best Hotels in Oia
Perissa: All you need to know about the area
Perissa is the cheapest place to stay on Santorini island. And it is by far the ugliest village of Santorini, compared to Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. The good things about staying at Perissa are the cheaper prices and the proximity to the beach life. Perissa offers the vast black beach (at least 5kms of a black sanded beach) and many great beach bars where you can relax and enjoy yourself. As we pointed out, the village doesn’t offer any scenic views, as it is on the sea level and not built on the caldera rocks (unlike Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli), and the village has nothing special to offer you regarding architecture and beauty.
Don’t stay at Perissa if you are on a honeymoon. Stay at Perissa if you are a bunch of friends or a couple, looking for the cheapest possible accommodation on the island.
Best Hotels in Perissa
Where to Stay in Santorini – Frequently Asked Questions:
– How Big is Santorini, Greece?
Santorini is only 18km in its length and 5kms wide. It is a small volcano island!
-Where is the port in Santorini?
Santorini has only one port and it is in the middle of the island, around 4 km away from Fira, which is the main village of the island. The name of the port is Athinios, and you can see it below.
– Where is it better to Stay, in Oia or in Fira?
Oia is more romantic, quieter and with fewer people than Fira. For a honeymoon, you should better stay at Oia. If you like parties, crowds, more fun, and action, you should stay at Fira. The drawback of staying at Oia is that it will take you longer to get to the south beaches of the island, as there are no beaches close to Oia. The roads are small and they get busy, so you are going to need at least 20 minutes more to get to the beach, than if you stay at Fira.
– Where to Stay in Santorini to Party?
You should stay in Fira Village. It is the most crowded place, with many bars and nightclubs. All the young people stay here, or close to Fira. If you don’t have the budget to stay inside Fira, try to stay in Karterados village, which is 4kms away.
– Is there an airport in Santorini?
Yes, there is a small airport in Santorini, around 7kms away from Fira, the main village of Santorini.
-Where to Stay in Santorini on a budget?
Santorini is expensive. The most budget-friendly places to stay are Perissa village and Karterados. During the high season, you will end up paying 50 to 60 euros per night for a very basic flat. Don’t expect to get good value for money in Santorini. Airbnb will not save you, as the rooms that are rented on Airbnb are also expensive.
-Where to Stay in Santorini on Honeymoon?
You should stay either in Oia village or in Imerovigli. You can visit Fira just for the views, but you will have a much more relaxed honeymoon if you stay at Oia or Imerovigli. The first choice would be Oia village in that case.
– Where is the nightlife in Santorini?
The nightlife in Santorini is only in one village, the Fira village, which is the biggest village on the island. So, if you ask yourself “Where to party in Santorini”, you should stay at Fira village.
– Which is closer to Athens? Mykonos or Santorini?
Mykonos is closer to Athens. You need another 3 hours with the boat to get from Mykonos to Santorini.
– When to visit Santorini?
The touristic period starts in March and ends in October. The high season is July and August. August is really crowded and the temperature is very high. The overall best months to visit Santorini are July, August, and September. The most expensive month to visit Santorini is August. The cheapest months are March, April, and October. The sea is at its warmest in August and September.
– How much are flights from Athens to Santorini?
If you get a low-cost airline (e.g. Ryanair or Easyjet) and book early enough, you might find a one-way ticket from Athens to Santorini at even 30 euros per person. The average price is around 80 euros for one person for a one-way ticket from Athens to Santorini. You can check all flights at www.viva.gr.
– Where did the Kardashians Stay in Santorini?
They stayed at the Andronis Hotel in Santorini. Funny question, but we got it sometimes, so we thought we should answer it!
-Why are Hotels in Santorini So Expensive?
Santorini is a volcano island and it is very far away from Athens. So, if you want to build a hotel, the cost is very high. Moreover, the local government construction office prohibits the construction of super big hotels, in order to keep the beautiful architecture of the island intact. You will not find 10-floor all-inclusive hotels with thousands of people in Santorini. Moreover, the cost of maintenance for the hotels is high as for example the island doesn’t have its own water supplies and each hotel has to bring water with ships and fill in its tanks, to serve its customers. Finally, Santorini has become really popular in the past 15 years and millions of visitors flee there. For all these reasons, the Hotels in Santorini are so expensive, especially during the high season.
– Which are the Most Expensive Areas to Stay in Santorini?
Oia Village, Imerovigli, and Fira Village are the three most expensive areas to stay in Santorini.
– Which are the cheapest areas to Stay in Santorini?
Kamari Village and Perissa village are the cheapest areas to stay in Santorini. Of course, you don’t get the views to the caldera that you can get when you stay at Oia, Fira or Imerovigli.
– Should I use Airbnb to stay in Santorini?
You could try finding an Airbnb accommodation for your stay in Santorini, but you will not find any great opportunities.Prices are high in Airbnb as well..Especially in July, August, and September that are the peak months for Santorini.
– Can I find a fantastic hotel with 50 euros per night in Santorini?
No. You cannot. If you go to Santorini in August and September, you should plan for a budget of 120E to 150E per night for a double room, as the minimum to get a beautiful scenic view to the caldera. Most probably you will need around 300 euros per night for a decent 4-star or 5-star hotel, with excellent views. With 50E per night, you can stay in small, plain rooms outside of Fira, usually at Perissa or Kamari and we would not recommend it. You come to Santorini for the views, so it worths paying something extra to enjoy them.
-Where to Stay in Santorini on a Budget?
If you are on a budget, the cheapest double room you can find in July/August is usually 40 to 50 euros for a very basic accommodation. No views, no breakfast and hopefully a clean room. You should avoid searching the villages of Oia, Imerovigli and the center of Fira for this type of budget accommodation and look at villages such as Vlychada, Perissa or Vorthos (a couple of km away from the airport of Santorini). Unfortunately, we cannot recommend any decent room at this price. We have stayed at more than 10 of them during the past years, but they are a basic type of accommodation and often we regretted not spending more to get a decent room with nice views.
-Where can I get a map of Santorini?
You can have a look at the villages and beaches of Santorini on the map below.Otherwise, you can always consult a google maps view of Santorini.
-Where are Santorini’s best views?
You can enjoy the best views of Santorini from 3 places: From Fira village, from Imerovigli village and Oia village. Of course, as Santorini is a volcano island, you should be on the edge of the caldera to get these fantastic views, which made this little gem island worldwide famous.
– Is it dangerous to drive in Santorini?
Santorini is a volcano island. The roads are really small and with bad lighting in the evening. It has many scooters, many cars, and many other strange vehicles on the road at every time of the day. We cannot say it is dangerous, as the speeds are low, but certainly, it is not a breeze to drive in Santorini. You should always take care. A lot of people choose to rent ATVs but we don’t recommend it. They are pretty dangerous, and you can get into an accident.
– Are the Rooms Big enough in the Hotels in Santorini?
No, they are not. The land is expensive on this volcano island, so don’t expect to get US size hotel rooms. The baths are usually small, and the rooms are just ok to fit in a double bed with some extra space. Of course, they make it up for you with the fantastic balconies that offer scenic views to the caldera.
– Anything I should be aware of before booking a hotel in Santorini?
You should know that sometimes, there is a strange smell coming from the volcano, which cannot be avoided. So, you may find yourself in a situation where you have a fantastic view of the caldera and a strange smell coming to you from the air…Unfortunately, you cannot avoid it, and it happens sometimes.
– Is it worth it to give 150E for a hotel in Santorini?
Usually, the level of service that you get from the hotel is much lower than the one you get at a Hilton chain hotel for the same price. But on the other side, it is expensive to keep a hotel in Santorini. The owners have to pay a lot for the land; they have to buy water as there are no natural water supplies in this volcano island, and the food is always imported. Santorini produces wines, tomatoes, and very few vegetables. The experience to stay at a hotel with this amazing views of the caldera is one in a lifetime, so we recommend that you bite the bullet and spend some more money for your stay in Santorini. You will not regret it, and it is guaranteed that you will break the “facebook likes” record, once you start posting your photos on the social media.
– What about Car Parking for my rent-a-car?
You should always take care if there is a parking area for your rented car at the hotel you are staying. Santorini is busy in summer, and you might lose a lot of time to park, so always pay attention to that.
– What additional packages, trips, excursions, do hotels in Santorini offer?
Hotels in Santorini are affiliated with many tour operators and they usually allow you to book different excursions. The most common ones are a trip to the volcano and a trip around Santorini island with a boat. They also offer wine tours to the local wineries and scuba diving trips.
– How far is the airport from Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Perissa?
Santorini is a small island, and you can transfer yourself from the airport to Fira in 15 minutes with a 15E taxi. Going to Oia will take 35 minutes.
– How early should I book my hotel to Santorini?
If you plan to visit Santorini in July and August, you should pre-book your hotel at least two months ago, to make sure that you get an excellent price for a nice hotel. Santorini has many hotels, and you will not suffer from finding a place to stay even in the busiest time. However, you may end up paying a lot of money if you book it at the last minute.
– When are the Busiest Months for Santorini?
August is the busiest month for Santorini. Then, it is July and September. Santorini has visitors starting from May until late October.
– When do Greeks visit Santorini?
The locals go to Santorini usually in July and August. Having said that, you will find out that 80% of the people on the island are tourists from other countries.
– When is it the best time to swim in Santorini?
July, August, and September are the best months for swimming in Santorini. June and October are usually ok, even though the sea is colder than in July and August.
-Can You Visit Santorini from Crete?
Yes, you can take the boat from Irakleio of Crete to Santorini and visit Santorini from Crete. The fastest ferry from Crete takes 2 hours to get you from Crete to Santorini and costs 68 euros per person. Below you can find the ferries traveling from Crete (Irakleio port) to Santorini.
-Can you visit Santorini from Rhodes (Rodos) island?
There is a boat that takes 15 hours and costs 29 euros that can take you from Rhodes island to Santorini. There is no direct flight from Rhodes to Santorini but you can take a flight that stops at Athens. Olympic air has a flight that will take you from Rhodes to Santorini via Athens, which costs around 120 euros per person and take in total 6 hours.
-Can you see Santorini in a day?
If you stretch your program, yes you can see the basics of Santorini in a day. If we suppose that you have at least 12 hours of light (e.g. from 08:00 in the morning to 20:00 in the evening), you can spend 3 hours in Oia during the sunset, 3 hours in Fira, 1 hour in Imerovigli, 3 hours swimming at a beach (e.g. at the Red beach or at Perissa beach), 2 hours for travelling between the places. You cannot visit the volcano if you only have one day, but you don’t miss anything spectacular.
The Best Tours to Book Before Your Arrive at Santorini
Here is the information on the best tours to book while you are in Santorini. We advise you to pre-book your tours, especially if you are traveling in the high Season time of July, August, September
The best site to book your tours and get a decent discount is GetyourGuide.
The best tours in Santorini are:
A four-hour tour that gets you to 3 wineries, in the countryside of Santorini. Wine tasting tips from experts.
The Catamaran will get you to the Red Beach and the White Beach to swim and snorkel. You see the sunset from the catamaran and enjoy a bbq dinner of grilled pork and Greek salad. Finally, it gets you through the Caldera and lets you swim in the hot spring waters.
This is an 8-hour tour which gets you to the volcano, to the small island called “Thirassia” and then to Oia village to see the sunset.
You get to visit some wineries in Santorini and learn how to cook Greek food from a Greek Chef. You get to try nine different Greek wines and you will a full dinner is also included.
You fly with a helicopter over Santorini, for 20, 40 or 60 minutes.
Read also our Blog posts on Santorini:
Santorini: 30 Frequent (and some Crazy) Questions about Your Next Trip to Santorini
How to Get from Santorini to Mykonos
Which is Closer to Athens, Mykonos or Santorini?
Perissa Beach Santorini – What You Need to Know about this Black Volcanic Beach
31 Awesome Artistic Photos You Can Shoot in Santorini
3 Days in Santorini Travel Guide – Best Things to Do in Santorini
If you want to get a detailed three days travel guide to Santorini, you can get it here