Where to stay in Santorini


Santorini, the gem of the Aegean Sea, captivates travelers with its stunning caldera views, iconic white-washed buildings, and mesmerizing sunsets. The island offers a variety of accommodations that cater to different tastes and budgets, each with its distinct charm and drawbacks. As you plan your trip, consider what you're looking for: do you want to be at the heart of the nightlife, enjoy a quiet beach retreat, or immerse yourself in the local culture and history? This guide provides an honest look at Santorini's diverse areas so you can find the perfect place to stay, considering each town's unique characteristics and atmosphere.

  • Oia

    • πŸ’Ž luxury
    • πŸ’• romantic
    • picturesque
    • πŸ₯‚ upscale
    • 🀼 crowded

    Oia is famed for its magnificent sunsets and luxurious accommodations. This area is one of the most picturesque, with iconic blue-domed churches and panoramic views. Although it's perfect for a romantic getaway, Oia is one of the most expensive areas and can be overcrowded with tourists during sunset. Limited parking and pedestrian-only paths add challenges for those with mobility issues or with lots of luggage.

  • Fira

    • 🍷 nightlife
    • πŸ›οΈ shopping
    • 🍝 food
    • πŸ₯‚ upscale

    Fira, the bustling capital of Santorini, offers spectacular caldera views and is the island's nightlife hub. It's filled with restaurants, shops, and bars and is centrally located, making it a convenient base for exploring the island. However, it can get very crowded and noisy, especially in peak season, which may deter those seeking peace and tranquility. Accommodation tends to be on the pricier side due to its popularity and views.

  • Kamari

    • πŸ–οΈ beach
    • relaxed
    • πŸ“Έ touristy
    • affordable

    Kamari is known for its long black pebble beach and relaxed atmosphere. It's a great choice for beach lovers and those looking for a wide selection of seafront cafes, restaurants, and bars without the steep caldera cliffs. Kamari is less expensive than the caldera towns but can be quite touristy in the high season. It's also a bit removed from the island's main attractions, which requires some travel.

  • Perissa

    • πŸ–οΈ beach
    • 🦭 laid-back
    • affordable
    • 🍷 nightlife

    Perissa is another beach option characterized by its black volcanic sand and laid-back vibe. It has a good selection of tavernas, bars, and water sports facilities. It tends to be more affordable than Fira and Oia, making it a good choice for budget travelers. However, its location means you're further away from the island’s top sightseeing spots, and it can feel isolated from the quintessential Santorini experience.

  • Akrotiri

    • πŸ›οΈ historic
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🎭 culture
    • remote

    Akrotiri is a quieter, more remote area known for its historical significance, housing the ancient Minoan settlement ruins. It offers a more authentic feel of Santorini and is ideal for travelers interested in history and culture. However, there are fewer amenities and dining options, and it's far from the island's nightlife. The views are beautiful, but Akrotiri doesn't have the dramatic caldera vistas found in Fira or Oia.

  • Athinios Port

    • transportation
    • functional
    • non-touristic

    Athinios Port is the main port of Santorini, where ferries and cruise ships dock. It's not typically considered a tourist area for stays, as it's more functional than scenic. The area can be quite bustling when boats arrive or depart, but otherwise, it is relatively quiet. It offers convenient access to transportation but lacks the charm and views that define Santorini. It is suitable for travelers who prioritize practicality over aesthetics.

  • Thirasia

    • 🧘 quiet
    • off-the-beaten-path
    • 🌳 serene
    • limited-amenities

    Thirasia is Santorini's untapped sibling, offering a peaceful escape from the tourist crowds. It provides a glimpse into what Santorini was like decades ago, with a small population and limited tourist facilities. Thirasia is ideal for adventurers looking to go off the beaten path, but the lack of amenities and infrequent transportation can be impractical for some visitors. Expect basic accommodations and a very quiet stay.