The dream of a lifetime for many around the world, Santorini is an island situated 200 kilometers southeast of Greece mainland. Located on the Aegean Sea, the island is the most-visited tourist destination in the country. Officially known as Thira, Santorini is characterized by its once-devastating-now-impressive volcanic caldera, and of course, the picture-perfect sunsets.
One of the most beautiful places on earth, Santorini’s history is quite a contrast to its present-day charm. An aftermath of one of the worst volcanic eruptions in human history, the Minoan eruption that took place approximately 3,600 years ago, the island is considered to be the most active volcanic epicenter in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc. Ranked the top island in the world by several established travel magazines and websites, including the US News, BBC, and Travel + Leisure Magazine, Santorini welcomes approximately 2 million visitors every year.
Santorini’s top location also makes it rank among some of the most expensive places to visit, however, with a little research, you could easily find a hotel to suit your budget and style of travel. So, whether you are a luxury vacationer or a budget traveler, take a look below at some of the most popular neighborhoods on the island and decide where to stay in Santorini on your dream vacation.
A small coastal town on the northwestern tip of Santorini, Oia spreads approximately two kilometers along the northern edge of the famous Caldera that forms the island. An extremely photogenic town, Oia is an interesting maze of cafes, restaurants, small shops, and white-washed accommodation facilities. The most famous village in the entire island, Oia is popular among visitors all across the world for its picturesque views and postcard-perfect sunsets. Charming houses, sun-bathed verandas, and blue-domed churches stand scattered around the neighborhood. The Maritime Museum, with its small library and a collection of various maritime-related items, is a notable attraction in the area. Home to several art galleries, Oia sits 300 steps above the port of Ammoudi. From the post, you can take a boat for an excursion to the island of Thirassia.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Sailing tour across the Caldera, Swimming in Ammoudi Bay, Ekklisia Panagia Platsani Church, Byzantine Castle Ruins, Naftiko Mousio, and Armeni Bay.
- Anemoessa Villa – A short distance from the beach and from the center, Anemoessa Villa offers traditionally furnished apartment units and studios with a private balcony that overlooks the Aegean Sea. The stunning outdoor pool is the perfect place to enjoy a homemade breakfast, take a swim, and enjoy a magnificent Santorini sunset. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
- Caldera Premium Villas – Situated on the cliff in the center of Oia, Caldera Premium Villas feature wonderfully-decorated studios, rooms, and suites with modern amenities and a Cycladic décor. The outdoor pool at the property overlooks the volcano and the sea and is a great place to enjoy the surroundings. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
- Georgis Apartments – Consisting of 11 beautifully-designed studio and apartment units, Georgis Apartments offers comfortable accommodation with kitchenette, air-conditioning, and Wi-Fi. Guests can have their luggage carried on donkeys in true Santorini style. The property also features a swimming pool and free parking. A fabulous complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
A couple of kilometers from the capital of Fira, Imerovigli is yet another picturesque village in Santorini, known especially for its range of resorts and hotels that cater to couples and honeymooners. Often regarded as a continuation of the capital, Imerovigli has one of the best “balconies” on the island. Once the location for spotting pirate ships by locals, the village now offers unparalleled views of the caldera. One of the recognized traditional settlements on the island, the village is home to many traditional houses, cafes, and taverns that overlook the caldera and the Aegean Sea. Scaros, an enormous rock in front of the village, was once home to a 13th-century castle, but all that remains of it after the earthquake is the gigantic hill. Known as the ultimate romantic getaway, Imerovigli is home to many chapels and churches (in case, you were looking for a destination wedding).
Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially honeymooners.
Other Highlights: Santorini eruption, Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Archaeological Museum of Thera, Megaro Gizi, and Mati Art Gallery.
- Pantheon Deluxe Villas – Nestled on the edge of the caldera, Pantheon Deluxe Villas offer spacious and elegant suites, studios, and villas fitted with up-to-date amenities such as satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, in-room safe, and a seating and dining area. Selected units come with a private hot tub. Guests can enjoy dining at the gourmet restaurant on-site or request the chef to prepare a special menu for them at their private villa. Suitable for all kinds of luxury travelers.
- Santorini Princess SPA Hotel – Boasting a world-class spa and wellness center with a sauna, a hot tub, and multiple treatment rooms, Santorini Princess SPA Hotel is among the top luxurious accommodation options on the island of Santorini. The outdoor pool and sun terrace offers remarkable views of the Aegean Sea. Mediterranean and Greek delicacies can be relished at the on-site restaurant. An exceptional complimentary breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of luxury travelers.
- Absolute Bliss – One of the most sought-after properties in Imerovigli, Absolute Bliss is a romantic accommodation facility perched atop the highest point of black volcanic rock on the island. Boasting breathtaking views of the caldera and authentic Greek hospitality, the property is essentially designed keeping couples and honeymooners in mind. Enjoy a bottle of complimentary wine as you check in to your spacious suite and admire the views of your surroundings from the private balcony. Perfect for couples.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful capitals in the world, Fira is the biggest and the most urbanized settlement on the island of Santorini. Located opposite the island and the two volcanic islands, namely Palaia Kameni and Nea Kameni, Fira offers a great combination of pristine beauty along with ample shopping, dining, and nightlife. Take a walk along the alleys to admire stunning views of the Caldera and at night, find yourself dancing to enchanting Greek tunes around the same streets. Needless to say, the area is dotted with several restaurants, cafés, clubs, and bars. In fact, Fira is home to the most prominent dining and entertainment scene in Santorini. Supermarkets, gift shops, and apparel stores take care of all your shopping needs. Megaro Gyzi Cultural Center hosts a range of cultural events, including theatrical performances and concerts. Kontochori Village, located a short distance from Fira, is home to the Folklore Museum that comprises six rooms of collectibles dedicated to life in the 20th century.
Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially the young.
Other Highlights: Three Bells of Fira, Santorini eruption, Skaros Rock, Santozeum, Fira Theotokopoulou Main Square, and Anastasi Church.
- Costa Marina Villas – A minutes’ walk from the beach, Costa Marina Villas features well-appointed guestrooms with TV, free Wi-Fi, and private bathroom. Featuring traditional island architecture, the property is only a couple of hundred meters from the center of Fira. Free private parking is available on-site. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
- Lilium Santorini Villa – Perched on the edge of the caldera, Lilium Santorini Villa is a lavish property with guestrooms overlooking the volcano and the Aegean Sea. The pool at the premises features hydro massage facilities which is perfect for guests who wish to unwind themselves from the chaos of their regular life back home. The on-site full-service spa is where you can enjoy a variety of massages and beauty treatments. The property’s restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Kavalari Hotel – Located on the top of the caldera, the hotel boasts panoramic views of the old port and the neighboring sea. Decorated in typical Cycladic style, the guestrooms here are embellished with local products and open out to a shared patio. Guests can start their day with a sumptuous complimentary breakfast on the sun terrace. The front desk staff can help arrange for babysitting services and give you tips on local excursions and sightseeing. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
Often overlooked due to its larger counterpart, the capital of Fira, Firostefani is a beautiful village north of Fira with spectacular views of the caldera and the Aegean Sea. Literally implying the “crown of Fira” in Greek, the village derives its names from its position on the highest point of the capital. Wal around the narrow paths to explore this serene village and take a moment to soak in the astounding views of the Santorini Volcano. A traditional village, Firostefani is home to a handful of cozy diners and charming cafes. The Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, also famous as the historic female monastery, lies between the villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli and is home to a couple of museums and the unique icon of one of the Saints it is dedicated to.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Akrotiri, Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Ekklisia Theoskepasti hiking trail, Parque Natural Geológico Nacional De Nea Kameni, and Catholic Cathedral Church of Saint John The Baptist.
- Santorini View Firostefani Caldera – Featuring a sun terrace with views of the sea and the caldera, Santorini View Firostefani Caldera offers wonderfully-appointed guestrooms with simple furnishing, satellite TV, kitchenette with tea/coffee maker, safety deposit box, and an ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Additionally, guests can enjoy a delightful complimentary breakfast daily. Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
- Sunset Hotel – Named aptly after the outstanding sunsets that can be witnessed from the hotel’s terrace, the property is situated on the sea coast and is famous for its wonderful location. Guestrooms at the property come with cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and private bathroom with free toiletries. The large terrace is a perfect breakfast spot for guests and can also be used for enjoying sunsets. For rejuvenation, you could either relax in the hot tub or book a invigorating massage therapy. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Agali Houses – Located in the heart of Firostefani village and on top of the Caldera cliff, Agali Houses features a well-furnished sun terrace and a swimming pool with striking vistas of the Aegean Sea and the volcano. When not relaxing in their fully-equipped rooms or suites, guests can enjoy a cocktail at the bar or catch on some reading at the on-site library. Massages can be arranged on request. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
Situated on the northern foot of Mesa Vouno and the southeastern coast of Santorini, Kamari is a seaside village which is known for its family-friendly vibe. Home to Santorini airport, the village has a contemporary infrastructure and plenty of modern amenities and services. A long promenade swarmed with taverns, restaurants, café-bars, and shops welcome visitors from all around the world while the most notable attraction, Kamari beach, allows for a perfect day out in the vicinity of this award-winning coastline. Crystal clear waters, surrounding mountains, well-organized deck chairs and umbrellas, and unique black sand and pebbles make the beach a great spot any time of the year. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling is extremely popular in the area.
Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially families with kids.
Other Highlights: Ancient Thera, Open Air Cinema, Wine Tour, Santorini Food Tour, and Scuba Diving.
- Makris Hotel – A stone’s throw away from the beach, Makris Hotel overlooks the prominent black pebble beach and offers charming guestrooms with arched roofs, white-washed walls, and a well-equipped kitchenette. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Sunbeds and umbrellas can be rented for a nominal charge. Guests can enjoy local delicacies and wines at the on-site restaurant. Suitable for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
- Sigalas Beach Hotel – Boasting a freshwater pool, a pool bar, and classic Cycladic-style décor, Sigalas Beach Hotel is a minutes’ walking distance from the beach. Adorned in blue and white hues, the rooms at the property come with satellite TV, refrigerator, kitchenette, and ensuite bathroom. The pet-friendly hotel also features an admirable outdoor pool. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Afroditi Venus Beach Hotel & Spa – Flaunting a private beach, a spa and wellness center, an outdoor pool with shaded sun terrace, and multiple dining facilities, Afroditi Venus Beach Hotel & Spa offers accommodation in the heart of Kamari. Guests can make use of the free private parking space and the on-site ATM machine. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
Located on what reportedly used to be the ancient city of Elefsina, Perissa is a coastal village on the southeastern edge of Santorini and is most noted for its astonishing beach. Characterized by black lava sand and deep blue waters, the beach here is well-organized with sunbeds and umbrellas, and a few beach bars. Additional facilities such as lifeguards, diving centers, a beach volleyball area, a playground, and a water park are available at this Blue Flag Awarded beach. Together with the beach of Perivolos, Perissa offers some of the liveliest nightclubs and restaurants on the island. While here, it is an absolute must to make your way up the Mesa Vouno mountains to visit the ruins of the Ancient town of Thera and the many distinguished monuments that remain till date. Museum of The Minerals and Fossils of Thera, a museum established in 2006, is dedicated to a fascinating collection of fossils and minerals not only from Greece but from all corners of the world, some of which date as far back as 1.5 million years ago. The Church of Holy Cross, one of the largest in Santorini, impressively stands in the central square of Perissa.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Kamari Beach, Moni Profiti Ilia, Basilica of Agia Irini, Prophet Elias, Ekklisia Panagia Katefiani, and Mésa Vounó.
- Veggera Hotel – Located on Santorini’s most popular beach, Veggera Hotel is a 4-star property with traditional rooms and maisonettes designed in Cycladic and neoclassic style. All units feature a satellite TV and a private balcony with unprecedented views of the Aegean Sea. Additional facilities at the hotel include a fully-equipped fitness center, 3 swimming pools, a hot tub, and an on-site restaurant specializing in Greek cuisine. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
- Meltemi Village Hotel – A short walk from the beach, the hotel features well-furnished guestrooms and suites fitted with satellite TV, balcony/terrace, and ensuite bathroom. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Guests at the hotel can make use of the well-equipped fitness center, the refreshing swimming pool, and the well-manicured gardens. The on-site restaurant and bar is a perfect way to end the evening. Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
- Privee Santorini – A gentle stroll away from the famed black pebble beach of Perissa, Privee Santorini offers Cycladic-style, stone-built accommodation units with spacious balconies, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, and ensuite bathroom with bathtubs and free toiletries. All units come with built-in speakers and USB switches. Guests can enjoy the refreshing pool and the pleasant bar and restaurant. Great for all kinds of travelers.
A couple of kilometers away from the capital of Fira, Karterados is a panoramic village known for its natural landscapes, intriguing architecture, and abundance of budget-friendly accommodation options. Surrounded by innumerable vineyards, this wonderful Mediterranean village offers a range of modern facilities such as lively bars, artsy cafes, and ethnic taverns. One of the largest sea captain villages during the 19th-century, Karterados is home to a traditional windmill and a plaque that commemorates the soldiers who lost their lives in World War II. Like all other villages on the island, Karterados also sports plenty of beautiful churches but Agios Nikolaos, with its unmatched location, is the most prominent of all. The neighborhood also offers a great opportunity to admire 19th-century stone-built houses and glorious Greek mansions that once belonged to the shipowners who lived in the village.
Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially the young and the budget travelers.
Other Highlights: Santorini eruption, Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Archaeological Museum of Thera, Megaro Gizi, Catholic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Baptist, and Folklore Museum.
- Maistros Village – Guests at the Maistros Village should expect nothing less than being treated like a celebrity for it is one of the most opulent hotels in Santorini. Featuring spacious rooms and split-level apartment units, the property welcomes its guests to enjoy their world-class service, the huge pool with a sun terrace, and snacks and refreshments at the poolside bar. Airport transfers and excursions can be arranged at an extra charge. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members each.
- Villa Manos – Boasting a delightful bar and restaurant and an outdoor pool with stone-paved sun terrace, this traditional, family-run property features well-appointed guestrooms equipped with TV, refrigerator, and private bathroom. Selected rooms also have a balcony. Airport shuttle service can be arranged for an extra charge. Suitable for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.
- Hotel Olympia – Set within a traditional Cycladic ambiance and architecture, Hotel Olympia is only a few hundred meters from the bustling Fira neighborhood and yet is peaceful and serene. Within walking distance of numerous shops and restaurants, the property features comfortable guestrooms with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, safety deposit box, and private bathroom. The property features a spacious outdoor pool with lounge chairs. An optional breakfast is available daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.