What are the best places to stay in Santorini, Greece? Fira, Oia, Akrotiri or Pyrgos villages? Where to stay in Santorini for couples, honeymoon, with family in budget hotels.
If you are a first-time visitor to this beautiful island and are trying to work out the best places to stay in Santorini, then it is important to first get an understanding of the geography of this stunning small island.
The best villages to stay on that side of the island are Fira where is the charming places in Santorini, Imerovigli (more quiet and seclusive), Firostefani (walking distance to Fira but more quiet) and of course the famous Oia town and also Pyrgos (spectacular settlement), Kamari and Perissa.
What is the best place to stay in Santorini?
This is definitely a difficult question to answer! Santorini has several villages that stick out for their unparalleled beauty, each in its own way.
Fira: No one can deny the unrepeatable beauty of the capital of Santorini, Fira. Ιt is built about 260 meters above sea level, with whitewashed houses suspended on the rim of the caldera bathed in the bright sun.
Oia: The same jaw-dropping view, breathtaking caldera and enviable architecture with marbled paths are offered in Oia village as well. Unlike Fira, Oia is a more picturesque and peaceful settlement but less cosmopolitan and crowded, apart from the sunset hour. Its sunset is famous worldwide since it constitutes a glittering sight that highlights the flawless surroundings.
Pyrgos: Another spectacular settlement is Pyrgos. It is built on the foot of Prophet Elias Mountain and being the highest village of the island it offers the most magnificent panoramic views. The fact that it mainly remains untouched of the touristic development along with its traditional character and the medieval characteristics makes it a very attractive choice.
What is a caldera view?
A caldera is a large volcanic crater. When I mentioned caldera view it is over looking the caldera which is in the sea. The hotel is built like most other buildings cliff side
What is the caldera view in Santorini?
Santorini island has three more islands, the part with caldera view, the beaches, and the rest of the island. The caldera view towns are Fira, Imerovigli, Firostefani and Oia perched so far above the sea that it may as well be a painting. This is the commercial part of Santorini. This part of the island brings in most of the money and is completely dependent on it’s image to attract the visitors.
Best area to stay in Santorini?
The best areas to stay in Santorini are the towns of Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, and Firostafani that are located along the caldera cliff on the western side of the island. All of these towns have wonderful views of the volcano and caldera. They each have different pros and cons, but for most visitors, they should stay in one of these four towns.
Most romantic towns in Santorini: Oia or Imerovigli
Best views: Oia or Imerovigli – but Fira and Firostefani have wonderful views too
Best shopping: Fira
Best for honeymoon: Imerovigli (quiet and romantic), Fira (nightlife), Oia (a bit of both)
Best clubs and nightlife on Santorini: Fira
Best restaurants on Santorini: Imerovigli
Best beach town on Santorini: Kamari (wonderful swimming, lots of restaurants)
Best sunsets on Santorini: Imerovigli
Best for peace and solitude: Imerovigli
Best place to stay on a budget: Firostefani (if you want a caldera view) or Fira (if you don’t need a view)
Best for families: Fira (the most to do), Oia (the fewest stairs of any caldera town and the most stroller friendly), or Kamari (great swimming, kid-friendly vibe)
Best hotels in Santorini: Grace Santorini and Katikies
Which area to stay in Santorini?
First of all, basic decision that you need to be made is do you want to stay at the beach or in the towns in Santorini? The beaches are situated along the eastern coast of the island. The towns (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia) are located on the western edge of the island, are perched on the caldera cliff, and look out towards the volcano.
Best area to stay in Santorini?
The best place to stay in Santorini is the west coast side that actually offers the best uninterrupted famous views of the volcano, the caldera and the sunset. If you have ever seen a picture of Santorini, 99% the photographer was sitting on the edge of the cliff of that west coast side.
Best Hotel in Fira: Cosmopolitan Suites
Best Hotel in Imerovigli: Grace Santorini
Best Hotel in Firostefani: Tsitouras Collection
Best Hotel in Oia: Maregio Suites
Best Hotel in Kamari: Santorini Crystal Blue Suites
Best Hotel in Perissa: Villa Kostas
Best Hotel in Pyrgos: Skyfall Suites – Adults Only
What town of Santorini is best to stay at? Fira or Oia?
If you want to be closer to night clubs, restaurants, the shops and the local buses that can take you almost anywhere on the island then stay in Fira.
You will get amazing volcano, caldera and sunset views and be where all the buzz is at the same time.
On the other hand, if you want to stay in a much quieter place without any nightlife and impressive shops, with a more artistic atmosphere that unfortunately every afternoon will get super crowded because of the people who will gather to admire the beautiful sunset then Oia is your place to stay.
Fira is better for the winter as it won’t be too empty. Oia is amazing but it has hordes of tourists. Better stay at Imerovigli that has amazing caldera views and the best hotels in Santorini.
Oia though is pretty quiet the rest of the day, even in the high season.
The Best Place for a Honeymoon
Our opinion, Santorini is the perfect place for a honeymoon.
Make no mistake, this place is both romantic and adventurous.
Seclusive but also full of energy and with lots of stuff to do.
Many people consider Oia as the perfect place for a honeymoon in Santorini.
You need a place with equally beautiful views, equally amazing hotels or suites but less touristic and crowded. That place is called Imerovigli my dear honeymooners.
If you cannot find something nice at Imerovigli try search the available hotels and rooms in Firostefani which is pretty close and also has some very impressive hotels and private rooms.
The Best Place for a Family with kids
Well…kids love to play on the beach, right? A day at the beach is a fun day for every child.
I honestly believe the Best Place for family holidays with kids in Santorini Is Kamari Beach.
The great thing about Kamari and Perissa/Perivolos places is that they are considerably cheaper than the places with the famous views (Fira, Oia, Firostefani and Imerovigli).
The Best Place for a Young Couple
If you are adventurous and you want to see the best of Santorini with your other half I believe you should stay at Fira.
Fira is the hub of the island and it has great nightlife, lots of shops and mainly it is the bus hub of the island.
The Best Place for Caldera Views (volcano views)
Fira, Firostefani , Imerovigli, Oia and Akrotiri all have the famous views to the caldera (which is the famous sea lagoon with the active volcano-island in it.
Akrotiri is awesome in my opinion but it is far away from….civilization (25mins drive from Fira…) but it’s still a great and possibly cheaper option if you want the amazing views but not willing to pay the price.
The Best Place for Nightlife
Apart from Fira there is literally no serious nightlife elsewhere on the island. Oia has literally no clubs or bars. Just restaurants.
Fira has the best clubs and bars of the island and if you are looking into crazy nightlife then you should stay as close as possible to Fira. If you stay anywhere else than Fira, then coming back home early morning might be tricky as there might not be any buses you can take or not that many available taxis around.
The Best Place for Beach Life
Hands down, the best area in Santorini to enjoy the amazing crystal clear greek waters is Perissa/Perivolos beaches. Even world famous DJ’s often play in Perissa’s beach bars.
The Best Place for Seniors and people with difficulty in mobility
If you are travelling with seniors or with people with difficulties in mobility in general, I would strongly advise to avoid the areas on the west side of the island such as Fira, Oia, Firostefani or Imerovigli. That doesn’t mean that even those people cannot enjoy the magnificent famous views but living on those areas would make a terrible holiday, honestly. On the other hand , I truly believe that staying in Kamari beach would be ideal in such a case.
Best Hotel in Kamari beach: Sunrise Studios
The Best Place for Solo Travellers Santorini is an amazing place and that makes it super attractive for solo travellers as it’s in the bucket list of many people from all over the world. We honestly believe that if you are a solo traveller you should stay at Fira because you will be where the buzz is.
The Best Place for Cheap Holidays
Santorini’s fame the last 10 years has skyrocketed the accommodation prices and that is why many people are really hesitating to visit the island.
If you want to get better prices in hotels and rooms you should stay at one of the beach areas where hotels are simpler and much much much much cheaper than the famous views areas. These are Perissa , Perivolos and Kamari.