Where to Stay in Santorini

Melina Thalassinou
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Key Takeaways

  • Santorini is famous for its unique cave-style hotels carved into volcanic cliffs. It also boasts a selection of luxury resorts and private villas with top-notch amenities, meaning that when wondering 'where to stay in Santorini' your answer is brimful of choices.
  • Consider staying in centrally located areas like Fira or Oia to have easy access to popular attractions, restaurants, shops, and nightlife.
  • If you prefer a beach vacation, staying in beachside areas like Kamari or Perissa can be a great choice. 
  • For a more authentic and offbeat experience, consider staying in lesser-known villages like Pyrgos or Megalochori.

A world of clear skies, azure waters, overflowing wine cups, and swimming pools awaits you in Santorini. But where is the best place to stay in Santorini?

The iconic whitewashed houses of Santorini cling to the caldera cliffside in the most spectacular fashion. This image has become the picture of luxury and refinement, promising an unforgettable break away from a hum-drum existence.

The island has an area of less than 80 square kilometers, but each village and settlement has a distinct flair and character, offering a unique take on island life. Understanding the layout and characteristics of each is key to figuring out where to stay in Santorini to experience the holiday of your dreams, even if your try to squeeze in as many day trips from Santorini as you can.

Oia: For Lovers and Luxury

sunset in oia santorini Cara Foto shutterstockOia, Santorini - credits: Cara Foto/Shutterstock.com

This is most likely the town that comes to mind when you imagine a quintessential Santorini village. Oia, pronounced EE-ya, sits on the northern tip of the island and is a place of great cultural significance.

Its one-of-a-kind layout of intricate alleys winding up and down the side of the caldera is listed as a historical monument along with major Greek attractions like the Acropolis.

These houses were first carved into volcanic rock more than 500 years ago and were home to seafaring sailors and captains. The iconic white paint not only serves an aesthetic purpose but also keeps the structures cool, as the black volcanic rock is a magnet for the scorching Mediterranean sun.

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Explore the many alleyways on foot to discover the charming hidden corners and outcrops that make Oia unique. There is a 300-step climb down to Ammoudi, the small seaside neighborhood below Oia that serves as the village's port. Here, clear waters splash against the harbor walls where boats wait to take you across the bay to Thirassia Island.

This is the most popular place in the Santorini area for breathtaking sunset views as the village faces directly west. Thousands of sunset seekers line the narrow streets around sunset hours in the hopes of capturing dreamy photos. The Venetian Castle of Oia is one of the best places to visit for an unforgettable sunset.

Oia has scores of boutique clothing shops and jewelers, as well as a few ceramic and souvenir shops. Most of them are concentrated around N. Nomikos Street, the main pedestrian walkway of Oia.

The village is also loaded with romantic restaurants on terraces overlooking the Aegean Sea. In addition, there is gourmet food aplenty, so strap in for a culinary experience of note in Oia. Not to mention that the hotels in Oia are some of the best you will find on the island.

After all, it is not by accident that Oia has gained worldwide recognition for being one of the top spots for a Santorini elopement.

Where to Stay in Oia

oia sunset santorini Mariia Boiko shutterstockOia sunset - credits: Mariia_Boiko/Shutterstock.com

Oia is a space of romance and luxury. Many cave dwellings have been transformed into boutique hotels where comfort and hospitality are the main priorities. The village does not have too much going on at night, so choose a hotel that offers a place for after-dinner drinks or is within walking distance of restaurants if you don't plan on turning in early.

Only hotels directly facing the west will have sunset views, but other romantic hotels in Santorini have splendid caldera views, so there will be something to feast your eyes on no matter where you stay. Of course, we cannot forget about the best hotels in Greece with infinity pools! Those will make you feel like royalty in no time!

At the entrance of the town is Ikies Boutique Hotel. It is a 15-minute walk from the center of Oia, so you are just far enough from the touristy town center. Rooms have private pools and terraces laid out in the traditional Cycladic fashion, where minimalism and tranquility reign supreme.

Katikies Hotel is another 5-star hotel where rooms have a private plunge pool, and the honeymoon suite even boasts a Jacuzzi. There is an excellent selection of restaurants in the vicinity, and the hotel's caldera views are unbeatable.

Canaves Oia Suites is one of the most luxurious places to stay in Santorini, Greece, and offers hand-picked experiences for guests. Everything from a trip on a private yacht to al-fresco dining and service on a secluded veranda is on offer.

There are even a few budget-friendlier options in Oia, and you will never have to forego an ounce of comfort. 'Dreamland Houses' is conveniently located in the heart of the village with easy access to all the most popular sites around. 

Georgis Apartments is half a mile from the town center and is one of the most affordable places to stay in Santorini. With both of these, you still get to experience the magic of Oia without breaking the bank.

Fira: The Heartbeat of Santorini

island of santorini Andrew Mayovskyy shutterstockFira, Santorini - credits: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com

Fira is the capital of the island and the most accessible place to stay on Santorini. The island's main transportation hub has easy access to the main ferry port and airport. This cosmopolitan town is where you will find affordable shops and restaurants and more mainstream offerings. Take a cable car up to Fira from the Old Port, or take the traditional mode of getting around Santorini and load your baggage on a donkey.

During the day, Fira town is as charming with a manageable pace as an island town, but at night, there is an energy about the town that is palpable. Santorini's nightlife, with its restaurants and nightclubs, is humming until the early hours of the morning as revelers indulge in Fira's infectious spirit.

There is no shortage of things to do in town, with many museums, shops, restaurants, and entertainment options around. In addition, both the Archaeological Museum of Thera and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera are in the town, offering the most comprehensive look at the island's fascinating history.

The iconic hiking path between Fira and Oia is also a must for adventure seekers. The 3-hour trail takes you along the caldera's rim with spoils of the best Santorini views imaginable.

Fira town still offers fantastic caldera views as well as views of Palaia Kameni and Nea Kameni, the two volcanic islands across the bay. The central Theotokopoulos square is the main shopping area with plenty of winding streets stretching out around.

Buses run regularly from Fira to all outskirts of the island at reasonable prices, so Fira offers the best places to stay in Santorini if you want to explore all the villages.

Where to stay in Fira

santorini landscape Netfalls Remy Musser shutterstockSantorini - credits: Netfalls_Remy_Musser/Shutterstock.com

Fira town is the largest on the island, with a population of almost 13,500 packed into a compact 11 square km area. It still offers the sought-after Cyclydic experience with café houses and luxury hotels abound, but there is a broader range of options for every budget.

Cosmopolitan Suites is one of the best hotels in Fira, Santorini, Greece, if you are looking for a mix of convenience and exclusivity. They offer only a few rooms and boast one of the best infinity pools on the island. Its boutique size is exclusive, but it is steps away from the town's best restaurants and hangouts.

For an even more luxurious experience, visit Athena Suites, where privacy and luxury go hand in hand. Rooms all have their own plunge pool, and the Royal Suite even has a capacity for six people. 

Anatoli Hotel is a charming family-run hotel built in a former winery. These rooms are perfect for families as they have larger configurations and kitchenettes. The hotel is also in a quieter neighborhood but only a 10-minute walk from the bustling heart of Fira.

Imerovigli: Quiet High-End Living

sunset at imerovigli santorini Georgios Tsichlis shutterstockImerovigli - credits: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

This attractive settlement sits on the highest point of the caldera, and many argue that this is actually the spot for the most spectacular sunset views. The neighborhood is quiet, with mostly hotels dotted against the cliffs. Here, you will dine in privacy or the comfort of your room and experience optimal rest and relaxation.

There is little to do in the region, so prepare to enjoy a time-out while staying at the luxurious hotels in Imerovigli. It is 3km from the Fira, and active souls enjoy the downhill hike.

There is another adrenaline-educing hike to Skaros Castelli along a narrow clifftop path. These ruins are a source of pride for the island, and Imerovigli was originally built on the slopes below the once-grand medieval castle.

It is between Oia and Fira, offering the best of both worlds. High-end luxury like Oia but slightly more affordable rates like in Fira. There are busses running past but finding a seat might prove challenging as the Fira to Oia route is the most popular on the island.

Where to Stay in Imerovigli

Santorini streets Feel good studio shutterstockSantorini streets - credits: Feel-good-studio/Shutterstock.com

In Santorini, accommodation tends to be on the expensive side, but the luxury is incomparable. This cluster of buildings has options for every budget, but panoramic views over the ocean are always on the cards.

Grace Santorini is one of the many adult-only places to stay in Santorini, Greece, except for their singular family villa with a private pool. It also has a phenomenal restaurant, so you won't need to leave the property to enjoy the freshest tastes of the Mediterranean. The hotel also has a direct view of the castle ruins, the perfect complement to the regal setting of the hotel. Large families will love Galaxy Suites' 3-bedroom private villa that offers a private plunge pool and hot tubs in the center of town.

Astra Suites is another hotel that is praised for its world-class dining experience. Their infinity pool spills over into never-ending views of the Aegean Sea, best served with a chilled glass of Santorinian wine. Spend your day tethered between a pampering spa experience and resplendent poolside lounging.

One of the most exclusive places to stay in Santorini is Aenaon Villas, with only six luxury suites. The stark contrast between the whitewashed cave dwellings and black volcanic boulders dotted across the property is a spectacular feature. In addition, the hotel sits right at the top edge of the caldera, giving the illusion that the hotel is floating in mid-air when lounging in the infinity pool.

Abelonas Retreat is one of the most prominent properties in Imerovigli, with several room configurations. There is something for everyone, from studios to suites and maisonettes, at this location.

For a unique stay, look at Windmill Villas. These spacious villas are built inside renovated windmills, an iconic part of the island's history. Each windmill villa has its own pool and a well-equipped kitchenette and dining area with an on-call chef and masseuse.

Akrotiri: For Remote Rest

akrotiri church santorini Mariia Boiko shutterstockAkrotiri Church - credits: Mariia_Boiko/Shutterstock.com

Santorini's dramatic cliffside hotels are more known for their views and iconic setting than the idyllic beach surroundings. However, in the south of Santorini, you can live close to the beach in Akrotiri.

Akrotiri lacks cave dwellings and blue-domed churches, but it doesn't make the settlement less attractive. Its proximity to the beach is its main allure, but the beach is unlike any other.

Red Beach is a major attraction in Santorini and sits on the island's southern edge. Although the beach attracts many visitors during the day, they quickly head north for the famous Santorini sunset, leaving Akrotiri quiet and tranquil.

This is the best area to stay in Santorini if you want to be close to the beach and enjoy a more remote location over a bustling tourist hotspot. It is also one of the cheaper areas on the island as it is further from the main attractions but I don't think this quiet town is not well worth a visit.

There are only a few convenience stores around, and the village offers a very traditional island experience. You can easily reach it by bus or taxi from Fira and Oia, so the center of the action is never too far from a quick 11km drive.

Where to stay in Akrotiri

dinner in santorini Santorines shutterstock 311738597Dinner in Santorini - credits: Santorines/Shutterstock.com

This tranquil corner of the island is for folks looking to find unbeatable relaxation. There is a wide variety of accommodation options with apartments, hotels, private villas, and suites in just about every price range.

Hemera Holiday Home Villa is the perfect lodging in Santorini, Greece, for a family or group of 6 people looking for a secluded experience. The private villa has a swimming pool and includes a modern home's comforts, wrapped up in a stunning traditional Cycladic building.

One of the best budget-friendly options on the island is Adamastos, a small compound on the outskirts of town. These buildings are secluded with a lovely garden and private pool enveloped by serenity.  

Many of the hotels and villas in Akrotiri are in private locations just outside of town, with no neighbors in sight. Arota Exclusive Villas is one such location, sitting right on the cliff's edge. The combination of their modern design and extensive spa facilities makes this the best place to unwind in luxury.

Firostefani: Best of Both Worlds

firostefani cge2010 shutterstockFirostefani - credits: cge2010/Shutterstock.com

Firostefani is the third of Santorini's four Cliffside villages, with white cave houses clinging to the rock face. It lies just north of Fira and has a vibrant shopping and nightlife scene akin to the popular villages around it. It is only a 20 min walk from Fira and can be reached on the caldera cliff hiking trail.

The village also enjoys marvelous caldera views with many magnificent mansions offering luxurious accommodations. It is also close to Agios Nikolas Monastery, one of the most popular cultural attractions in Santorini.

Firostefani packs a punch and ticks all the boxes for an unforgettable Santorini holiday. There are stunning views, a relaxing atmosphere, upscale restaurants, and some of the best luxury hotels in Santorini. Here you can also visit the oldest taverna in Santorini, Aktaion, which has been in operation since the 1920s.

This village also has cheap hotels located in the back streets, and commuting between Firostefani and Fira is a breeze. Moreover, you can enjoy lots of activities in a slightly quieter environment than in Fira, which makes it a perfect destination if you're visiting Santorini with kids.

Where to Stay in Firostefani

santorini swimming pool Netfalls Remy Musser shutterstock
Infinity pool in Santorini - credits: Netfalls_Remy_Musser-shutterstock.com

As one of the cliffside villages, it is essential to remember that stairs and accessibility concerns are ever-present. But this vertical layout also means many hotels have an outdoor pool or offer private terraces.

Dana Villas & Infinity Suites is one of the best honeymoon hotels around the island. The spectacular sunset views from your private heated pool are unbeatable, only made better by the lip-smacking cocktails served in your room.

Lounge under the pergola Agali Houses is a cluster of high-end apartments that are a stone's throw from Firostefani Square. The unforgettable sunsets across the famous caldera from their infinity pool are the main attractions, but the luxury setting perfectly complements this natural phenomenon.

Tsitouras Collection is one of the few family-friendly hotels in town and is built in a regal captain's mansion from 1780. The spacious houses and villa do not adhere to traditional Santornian aesthetics but instead focus on an opulent and comfortable mid-century take on luxury.

One of the best cheap hotels in the area is Blue Dolphin Apartments. Some rooms have their own private terrace, while the Hideaway Cave House has a kitchenette, and guests can enjoy a grand buffet breakfast to start the day right. It is on the northern edge of Firostefani with great views of the rest of the town from your hotel room. 

For a big group, look no further than Villa Ilias, which offers a massive 6-bedroom villa that sleeps 19 people. It is an affordable boutique hotel with a stunning swimming pool and pool bar and also offers guests a buffet breakfast with mouthwatering family recipes in the spread. In addition, the hotel is conveniently located only a short walk from amenities like the bus stop and shops.

Messaria: Wine Country

grape picking santorini Alexandros Michailidis shutterstockGrape-picking in Santorini - credits: Alexandros_Michailidis-shutterstock.com

You would be remiss in thinking that Santorini only offers accommodation around the edge of the famous caldera. Inland from the most noteworthy settlements sits equally charming villages where a slow pace of life is the only way to go.

Messaria is less than 4km from Fira and still has excellent ocean views as it is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Aegean Sea. However, the best part of this sleepy village is its proximity to Santorini's vineyards and wineries. Wines produced on the island have distinct characteristics thanks to the unique volcanic soil of Santorini.

The village has a pleasant atmosphere with local people going about their daily lives but still with various types of accommodation options around. Many hotels are much more affordable than their coastal counterparts, but you can reach most areas on the island in a flash by car or one of the frequent busses.

The village's main square is the perfect place to sit and sip on a cup of Greek coffee while watching the world go by. Many restored mansions, including the famous Argyros mansion, exemplify 19th-century neoclassical architecture.

Where to Stay in Messaria

Santorini Tavern Ikpro ShutterstockTavern in Santorini - credits: Ikpro/Shutterstock.com

A stay in Messaria brings many new opportunities to explore a different side of life in Santorini. There is a healthy mix of more recent developments and renovated buildings amongst the traditional houses that have been around for centuries.

One of these newer developments is Kallos Imar, conveniently located halfway between Fira town and Santorini airport. Guests are invited to join a community built on hospitality and traditional values while soaking in the 4-star luxury of their modern amenities.

To balance Cycladic architecture and remote luxury, book a stay at Celestia Grand. Their private thermal cave pools and 5-star hospitality all add to an unforgettable experience right at the edge of the caldera slope. 

Considering the village's central location, it is ideal for a family vacation in a big private villa. Aleria Premium Vilas has a massive 250 square meter villa with four bedrooms. The minimalist luxury is the perfect complement to the tranquil environment of Messaria.

Megalochori: Historic Charm

megalochori George Barker shutterstockMegalochori - credits: George_Barker/Shutterstock.com

Another inland village in Santorini that boasts buckets full of character and history is Megalochori. Much of the neighborhood seems fortified against intruders, but it all adds to the unique charm of the location.

Houses here are characterized by their high walls and massive wooden doors leading into atmospheric courtyards. In addition, the village has grand mansions, pirate hideaways, and vineyards ripe for exploring.

Megalochori Square is the central gathering place in town, with a labyrinth of cobbled roads shooting out from there. Here you can find a wealth of local tavernas, restaurants, and shops serving the local community.

The town is surrounded mainly by vineyards, but there are two remote beaches on the caldera side of the town, and they can only be reached by foot. Plaka beach and Thermi beach are usually devoid of crowds, and you will only find the odd adventurer looking for a refreshing dip after the rugged hike to the water.

Where to stay in Megalochori

thera santorini WitR shutterstockThera in Santorini - credits: WitR/Shutterstock.com

This iconic village has housed agricultural workers for centuries, and great care has been taken to preserve its historical roots. Here you will find attractive pricing options and many hotels with space for large groups and families.

Although the town has many hotels along its winding streets, you will see many grand hotel complexes on the caldera edge within walking distance from the town center. One of the resort moments from the center of town is Vedema Resort. Their spa and fine-dining restaurant are the stuff of legends.

Santorini Heritage Villas offers you the most authentic stay right in the heart of the village. The renovated villas feature all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay, surrounded by ample traditional touches. In addition, the private cobbled courtyard and pool offer a secret hideaway from the vibrant streets.

Pasithea Suites is another renovated location with heaps of personality. The structure was a captain's house in the 19th century but now takes on an earthy demeanor with warm tones, natural materials, and rich touches. 

On the cliffside, you can enjoy unbeatable caldera views from Alti Santorini Suites. Their heated plunge pools and private terraces offer optimal privacy and luxury. Alti combines traditional architecture with modern finishings to create the ultimate culmination of elegance.

Kamari: Black Sandy Beaches

kamari beach Zocchi Roberto shutterstockKamari beach - credits: Zocchi Roberto/Shutterstock.com

Santorini doesn't offer typical white sandy beaches like many other Greek islands, but the black volcanic sand around Kamari is a special treat in its own right. This village sits on the eastern side of the island and is worlds removed from the plunging cliffside of the western caldera.

Kamari beach is the largest and most popular beach on Santorini and offers tons of activities for the young and old. The blue flag beach has excellent snorkeling as well as waterbikes, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes. You can also lounge on the rows of sunbeds under umbrellas or under the trees.

It is an increasingly popular town with a wealth of dining options, shops, and amenities. Its warm and welcoming character, combined with the laid-back atmosphere, makes it the ideal place to unwind and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

At night the village comes alive as bars are bursting with patrons looking for a good time. In addition, there is a generous helping of DJs and musicians frequenting the promenade bars in Kamari, adding to the area's reputation as one of the most happening nightlife spots on Santorini.

Mesa Vouno serves as the dramatic backdrop to this bustling beach resort, and the crescent-shaped paved promenade is the best place to soak in the views. Most traffic is not allowed in the village during the summer months, and it has become a pedestrian paradise.

Where to stay in Kamari

wine glasses santoriniWineglasses in Santorini - credits: Shutterstock.com

Kamari is a resort town with plenty of family-friendly hotels and larger luxury accommodations. Almost everything is within walking distance of the beach and shops, and you can easily reach Fira by bus or taxi from your hotel.

Santorini Kastelli Resort is a self-contained destination with multiple pools, a tennis court, a restaurant, and various room sizes. it is also one of the best Santorini beach hotels. Start each day with a champagne breakfast or stroll the short way to the beach for an early morning dip.

If you prefer the idea of a private beach, Sigalas offers the perfect opportunity to get away from the lounging crowds. Some rooms have kitchenettes and can sleep anywhere from 2 to 7 people.

Santellini is one of the larger hotels in Kamari, with 26 spacious rooms. It is mere steps from Kamari beach and most of the major amenities in the village. The hotel was renovated only a few years ago, and all rooms strike a harmonious balance between modern comfort and traditional aesthetics. 

Costa Grand Resort and Spa offers an unforgettable A-list experience with its private beach and luxury rooms. Between the ample lounging opportunities and in-house spa, you will leave feeling rested and rejuvenated.

Perissa: Ancient Village with a Modern Twist

perissa Ververidis Vasilis shutterstockPerissa - credits: Ververidis_Vasilis/Shutterstock.com

Santorini has many marvelous ancient sites to visit, and Perissa is believed to have been built in the ancient city of Elefsina. It also has a spectacular black sand beach that has been awarded blue-flag status with a long list of amenities and activities to be enjoyed.

The village is also home to the Museum of Fossils and Minerals, where visitors can learn more about the island's prehistoric eras and natural value. Here you will also find a small waterpark with slides and pools to keep kids occupied for days.

The nightlife in Perissa is also always bursting with energy. Beach bars keep the party going well into the morning and often start up early in the afternoon for some daytime festivities. Perissa beach and Kamari beach are the hottest places for nightlife in Santorini apart from Fira.

The town is also home to the Church of the Holy Cross, the largest church on Santorini. It is on Perissa square, and its gigantic blue domes and white walls are unmissable.

Where to stay in Perissa

woman in thira santorini elenstudio depositphotosWoman in Thera - credits: elenstudio/Depositphotos.com

Perissa has many hotels offering great value for money, so people on a budget should look at the larger apartment complexes and hotels in the village.

Meltemi Village Hotel is an affordable hotel with lovely bright and airy rooms. It is only a 5-minute walk from the beach, but the palm-lined pool area has a vibrant tropical island feel. If you are lucky enough to snag one of the coveted suites, you are spoiled with a private outdoor jacuzzi.

Aqua Blue Hotel is one of the family-friendly hotels in Perissa and has a private beach area and two sparkling swimming pools. With a well-stocked pool bar and restaurant, you won't find much need to venture far from this comfortable location.

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The private beach experiences in Perissa are sought after, and Sellada Beach Hotel has made it even more coveted by extending its bar service to the beach. They have apartments, studios, and rooms, the first two of which have convenient kitchenettes.  

Anastasia Princess Hotel is an adult-only hotel close to Perissa beach. Rooms also feature kitchenettes, but the suites all have plunge pools and outdoor hot tubs to ramp up the luxury.

Perivolos: Party Central

santorini traveler Mariia Boiko shutterstockSantorini - credits: Mariia_Boiko/Shutterstock.com

Perivolos is a small settlement just 3km from Perissa beach and has a long list of vibrant beach bars and lively restaurants. This beachfront location has a popular summer social calendar where the party doesn't seem to stop.

Rows of the sunchairs line the volcanic black beach where music is ever-present. This is undoubtedly a party destination, so families beware. Volleyball games, beach bonfires, and cocktail parties are frequent features on this lively beach strip.

It's not all party all the time, though. There are ancient Hellenic ruins to visit nearby, and the hike up Mesa Vouno gives you an unforgettable view of the villages below and the bordering Aegean Sea.

Where to stay in Perivolos

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The town is small enough to reach everything on foot, and there are accommodation prices to suit almost any budget.

Istoria is one of the luxury hotels at the upper end of the beachfront properties in Perivolos. They have a holistic spa and renowned restaurant, Mr. E, but their infinity pool and all-day beach bar are the most iconic.

One of the best budget options on the east side of Santorini is the family-friendly Smaragdi Hotel. It is mere meters from the famous black beach of Perivolos and close to a shop and many restaurants and bars. The hotel keeps you in touch with beach life while simultaneously keeping you entertained around the pool and jacuzzi on the gorgeous property. 

Atlantis Beach Villa is another great boutique hotel in the famous town of Perivolos. It is one of the best hotels for quick access to restaurants and beach bars in one fell swoop. Enjoy a private terrace or the outdoor pool for both adults and children.

Pyrgos: The Hight of Elegance

pyrgos santorini cge2010 shutterstockPyrgos, Santorini - credits: cge2010/Shutterstock.com

There is a common misconception that this was once the island's capital. Still, Pyrgos has long since settled into its role as an elegant enclave with numerous luxury hotels soaking up the sweeping views.

The village is built at the island's highest point, with panoramic vistas over the vineyards and the Aegean Sea. Since the 90s, it has been a protected settlement, ensuring that its unique atmosphere remains unchanged.

The rustic cobbled alleyways winding up and down the hillside lead you to an assortment of small galleries and quaint shops. Around the main square, there are also plenty of taverns and coffee shops as well as a mini-market and restaurants.

It is one of the most underrated villages on the island and is only 4km from the capital of Fira. Yet here, you can enjoy views of the whole island, witnessing how the multiple scenery pieces merge spectacularly.

Pyrgos also has a selection of fine wineries where you can indulge in the proud wine tradition of Santorini. The Venetian Kasteli ruins are also on the hillside, one of the five esteemed ancient ruins on the island.

Here you can enjoy an unbeatable charming experience with lots of local influence.

Where to stay in Pyrgos

santorini zabara123 DepositphotosSantorini - credits: zabara123/Depositphotos.com

The famous sunsets from Pyrgos across the island and the caldera cliffs are unforgettable so book a stay at a luxury hotel on the hilltop of Pyrgos when visiting Santorini.

Art Hotel Santorini is one of the most unique places to stay in Santorini. Where shades of blue and white dominate most hotels, you will be pleasantly surprised by the red and metal finishes that feature heavily here. In addition, the red outdoor pool adds to the artistic atmosphere of this contemporary 4-star hotel.

Fully delve into the island's wine culture with a stay at Santorini Heights. The property has its own vineyard, and the luxury suites have either an outdoor hot tub or plunge pool from where you can bask in the glorious scenery. 

Luna Boutique Suites are four tranquil suites with uninterrupted views over the island. The pleasing earth tones and curved ceilings exude unbridled calmness, and the suites combine all the best design features from Santorini.

Emporio: Spacious Serenity

emporio Felix Lipov shutterstockEmporio - credits: Felix_Lipov-shutterstock.com

The biggest village on Santorini is often overlooked, but Emporio has a splendid setting that can hold a candle to any other village on the island. Its captivating medieval architecture gives the village a fortified aesthetic, a whole new take on Santorini.

The narrow alleys lead to boutique hotels, wine bars, sidewalk taverns, and upscale shops that all add to the vibrance of this town. It is in the south-central region and right on the main transport artery that moves tourists up and down the island.

Emporio blends all the building styles of Santorini with a balance of cave dwellings, whitewashed exteriors, fortified mansions, and the iconic blue-domed churches. At the top of the hill is another of the 15th-century fortresses of the island, and there are remnants of windmills dotted along the ridge too.

Both Perissa beach and Perivolos beach are only a couple of km from Emporio, and many lodgings offer sweeping views of the sea. The village is largely untouched by tourists, giving a small glimpse into what life used to look like on the island.

Where to Stay in Emporio

santorini couple in love Santorines shutterstockCouple in Santorini - credits: Santorines/Shutterstock.com

Emporio has nearly every shape and size of accommodation options, often much more affordable than the cliffside villages and certainly more spacious.

Black Rock Traditional Rooms is the perfect option for budget travelers. Each room sleeps three people comfortably and has a built-in kitchenette for all your basic hospitality needs. In addition, you can reach the beach within 2km and still enjoy incredible mountain and sea views.

Another spacious and economic offering is New Villa Katerina, with three stylish villas. Each comes with a hot tub and kitchenette and plenty of space to unwind on a private terrace. Each room is finished with earth tones and natural materials to round off the tranquil atmosphere. 

Kokos Traditional Houses stay with the theme of spacious serenity with large, well-equipped rooms surrounded by a rustic garden. Rooms even have dining areas and a lounge, and a hot tub for optimal relaxation after a scenic hike in the hills around town.

Finikia: Oia's Backyard

Santorini view sunset Kesu01 depositphotosSantorini sunset view - credits: Kesu01/Depositphotos.com

Unlike the cliffside dwellings of Oia, Finikia spreads inland a bit, with many properties having larger yards. Finikia is a very traditional neighborhood with many beautiful whitewashed buildings but also the addition of ochre facades.

This tiny village has only around 50 permanent inhabitants and is less than 1km from the buzzing center of Oia. It is perfectly preserved as a time capsule of olden-day Santorini and is a pedestrian-only village. So don't be startled by the sight of donkeys trotting through the alleys, carrying luggage or groceries around.

Don't be blinded by the idea of caldera views, as there are plenty of other worthwhile vistas on Santorini. For example, from Finikia, you can still see marvelous sunsets and enjoy sea views over the luminous vineyards.

Finikia is the place for a traditional cave hotel stay but minus the bustling crowds of the caldera villages.

Where to stay in Finikia

Santorini wine tasting Ludovic Farine shutterstockSantorini wine tasting - credits: Ludovic Farine/Shutterstock.com

Finikia has a great selection of boutique hotels and spacious apartments in every price range. In addition, it is only around a 10-minute walk from Oia, ensuring you are still close to all the most popular spots on the island.

Aperanto Suites implements a comfortable balance of traditional minimalism and contemporary design for an excellent all-around experience. Some rooms have private hot tubs, pools, and terraces, and the property has sweeping sea views.

Right at the village entrance sits Bonora Country Houses, a charming collection of cave houses with brilliant views of all sides of the island. This is the closest point to Oia, giving you quick access to the bustling tourist hub.

Elysian Santorini is a brand-new collection of villas in Finikia. Relax poolside with seemingly endless views over the vineyards and the sea, or wade in the restful waters of the indoor cave pool. These rooms are spacious, private, and impossibly comfortable, everything you need for the ultimate Santornin getaway.

Santorini offers the quintessential Greek island experience. Expect bewildering sunsets, charming small-town living, and a cornucopia of fine foods. Stay in one of the many Santorini hotels with caldera views and you won't regret it.

See our selection of Santorini tours to add to your itinerary when you arrive from Athens to Santorini

- Santorini sailing trip

- Santorini private tour with local driver-guide

- Santorini highlights a full-day tour

- Santorini sunset wine tour

Get in touch with our travel specialists to find out where in Santorini you should stay for the most unforgettable holiday. 

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