Where to stay in Santorini – Best areas, hotels in Santorini
If you are planning a trip to Santorini, one of the most popular islands in Greece, it is important to know the best areas to stay. It is an island that develops on several levels, with white villages and panoramic views. To ensure that your visit is a success, it is essential to know which are the best areas to stay on the island.
Santorini is an archipelago made up of several islands located in the Aegean Sea. The main island, Santorini, is the most populous with a population of approximately 14,000 people. In addition to Santorini, the archipelago also includes Thirasia, a small island, and four deserted islets called Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. This volcanic archipelago is part of the Cyclades, a group of beautiful islands that receive thousands of tourists every year.
Santorini has a moderate climate, with mild winters and hot, windy summers. There is little rain, mainly in December and January.
During the year the climate is pleasant, however, in winter the activity in Santorini decreases, with fewer options for entertainment and accommodation in the low season, but it is very vibrant the rest of the year.
The island is small and has beaches, charming towns, bars and magical places that are worth visiting. Distances between destinations are short.
Where to stay in Santorini? Santorini is one of the most visited islands in Greece, which is why you will find a large number of hotels, Bed&Breakfasts and apartments to sleep in. Many resorts and hotels with incredible views over the Caldera to admire the sunset.
In this post we will see the best areas to stay in Santorini and some hotel and apartment recommendations.
- Cities to sleep in Santorini – Best areas
- Recommendations before booking accommodation in Santorini
- What is the best month to visit Santorini?
- More about Santorini and other Greek destinations
Cities to sleep in Santorini – Best areas
Santorini has a very particular shape, with two well-defined and different sides: A cliff on one side (the edge of the caldera) that gradually descends to the beaches on the other side of the island.
The caldera area is the most famous for its views and sunsets, while the other side is ideal for enjoying the beaches, tranquility and nature.
The most popular option is to stay along the Caldera. It is a good option and what I recommend because it is the view that makes Santorini unique. There are 3 main cities along the Caldera: Fira, Imerovigli and Oia. Let's see the main advantages of each one:
Fira: it is the main city of Santorini, with a large number of restaurants, shops, bars, and a lot of nightlife. In addition to magnificent views. It is the best option if you travel in low season.
Imerovigli: super quiet town. It is the town in the highest area of Santorini, it offers the best views. You can get there by bus, by taxi or by walking about 25 minutes from Fira. It offers a large number of luxury hotels and resorts, as well as good, romantic and cozy restaurants.
Oia: Another of Santorini's main towns, it offers many restaurants and hotels, luxury shops, but little nightlife. Magnificent views and sunsets, in fact it is known as "The place to see the best sunsets in Santorini".
If what you want is to enjoy the beaches, it is best to sleep in one of the 2 main cities: Kamari and Perissa (Perivolos beach is an extension of Perissa). Kamari is more developed and has more shops, bars, hotels and restaurants. Perissa has a slightly better beach. I recommend Kamari if you want more dining and shopping options, plus Kamari is closer to Fira (Thira). There is a boat that travels between Kamari and Perissa, so it is easy to enjoy both beaches in one day.
Where to stay in Fira? Best hotels and apartments
Fira (Thira) is the largest city on the island of Santorini. The caldera view from Fira is spectacular, but sunset views will often be hampered by the presence of Thirassia, a small island west of Santorini. Fira is the center of restaurants, shops and nightlife, it is also very well connected so the rest of the towns are just a bus ride away. If you are in Santorini to party and hit the clubs, you will spend a lot of time in Fira.
Fira is one of the most famous towns in Santorini, the center of parties and sunsets. From above you can enjoy this wonderful Greek island!.
Where to stay in Oía? Best hotels and apartments
Oia is considered the most romantic and enchanting town on Santorini, with its alleyways and stunning views around every corner. Tourists gather in Oia every afternoon, sitting on the steps and rooftops, to admire the sunset. Although Imerovigli could have better views, the magic of Oia is the city, the people, the wine and the surroundings. There are many places to have a drink until late at night, but to dance and have fun, you have to go to Fira. The drive from Oia to Fira (in either direction) takes about 2 hours and is one of the most magical moments of a visit to Santorini.
Where to stay in Imerovigli?
Imerovigli offers the best views as it is located at a higher elevation compared to the rest of the cities along the caldera, guaranteeing better views of both the sunset and the volcano. While sunset views from Fira can sometimes be hampered by neighboring islands, most Imerovigli hotels have a clear view of the sunset. This is the quietest of the 3 mentioned cities and does not offer any kind of nightlife. It has the most luxurious and exclusive hotels and resorts on the entire island. You can also find hostels and pensions with good prices. It has a good number of apartments and aparthotels, excellent if you are traveling with your family, children or friends.
Where to stay in Kamari?
Kamari has a wonderful beachfront promenade and many restaurants. It's a 15-minute bus ride from Fira, making executing day trips to the caldera towns easy. It is a wide and quiet beach, where you can enjoy with your family. Hotel prices are usually cheaper since most tourists want to sleep on the other side of the island. That is why sleeping in Kamari is the best option if you are looking for cheap hotels in Santorini. Another advantage of sleeping in Kamari is the proximity to the Santorini Airport (about 5 km), very convenient to arrive or leave.
Where to stay in Perissa?
Perissa beach has nicer sand than Kamari and a more relaxed atmosphere than Kamari. It is also further from Fira than Kamari, which makes visiting the caldera take longer. Of the cities mentioned, it is the cheapest option to stay in Santorini and offers the simplest hotels, such as campsites, 1 or 2 star hotels. It is an ideal area if you are looking for good prices, beaches, nature and few tourists. Next to Perissa is the town of Perivolos where you can also find good hotels at a good price.
Recommendations before booking accommodation in Santorini
Santorini is a very visited island during the summer, so I recommend you book in advance, even several months before. It is usually quite difficult to find good hotels in high season. If you want to live the atmosphere, enjoy the panoramic view and the best hotels in Santorini, booking 6 to 4 months in advance is best.
It is always advisable to read the opinions and comments very well before booking. Most of the problems that a hotel can have are mentioned.
It is also important to read the hotel and payment conditions well. If there are extra costs such as final cleaning (for apartments), breakfast included, tourist tax, among others. Check-in and check-out times, transfer service to the airport or port, private or shared bathroom. In short, read the conditions well before booking.
What is the best month to visit Santorini?
The best months to visit Santorini are from May to the end of October. The high season runs from mid-June to the end of August. If you don't feel like sunbathing and don't mind a bit of gray skies, then March, April and November can be good times to visit Santorini. The caldera towns have a longer tourist season, with shops, restaurants and hotels beginning to close in early November. Most hotels are open from March 1 to November 15. In recent years, more hotels and restaurants remain open year-round as off-season travel has increased. The low season months are December, January and February, there are few tourists, many hotels and restaurants are closed, Fira is the only city with a little more movement.
More about Santorini and other Greek destinations
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