Looking for the best places to stay in Santorini? You just found them!
With its iconic white houses, dramatic cliffs and unique island vibe, Santorini is one of the most popular destinations in the world, and it’s easy to see why.
Thousands of travellers flock to Santorini every day, to discover this famous and magical Greek island. It’s not a big island, but there are lots of different areas to stay in Santorini.
Each town in Santorini has its own distinctive vibe, and is best suited for different types of travellers and budgets. Some areas will work better for families, others for couples, and others for budget travellers.
Regardless of your travel mood and style, in this guide I have outlined the six best areas to stay in Santorini, explaining what you can expect and who they’re best suited for, as well as some hotel suggestions for each budget.
So what are you waiting for, let’s dive in and find the perfect place to stay in Santorini for you!
- 1 Where to stay in Santorini at a glance
- 2 6 Best areas to stay in Santorini
- 2.1 Fira – best place to stay in Santorini for nightlife
- 2.2 Karterados – best area to stay in Santorini for budget travellers
- 2.3 Imerovigli – Where to stay in Santorini for couples & honeymoons
- 2.4 Oia – Iconic place to stay in Santorini for luxury
- 2.5 Kamari – best place to stay in Santorini for families & beach lovers
- 2.6 Pyrgos – Best town to stay in Santorini for off the beaten track & local experience
Where to stay in Santorini at a glance
Due to the geology of the island, there’s a bit of variety in choosing the best part of Santorini to stay for you.
There are cliff views, high-up towns surrounded by vineyards and coastal beach towns – but there’s rarely (if ever) a combination of all three. So choose carefully!
Fira – best place for nightlife: With its bars and restaurants, Fira is bursting at the seams with nightlife options. There’s never a dull moment in this coastal town.
Karterados – best place for budget travellers: Karterodos is the best place to stay in Santorini if you want Fira within walking distance, but without the Fira prices (or the noise levels).
Imerovigli – best place for couples / honeymoons: Stunning and high end, but can it come with a hefty price tag. It’s the best town to stay in Santorini if you want some real Cycladic romance and views to match.
Oia – best place for luxury: Wondering where to stay in Santorini for those iconic Insta-worthy accommodation and stunning views? That would be Oia.
Kamari – best place for families & beach lovers: Santorini isn’t just for couples. Family-friendly Kamari, with its Blue Flag beach and plenty of amenities, proves that.
Pyrgos – Best place for off the beaten track & local experience: Inland Pyrgos may not be on a cliff, or near a beach, but it’s the best location to stay in Santorini to lap up the long history of the island.
6 Best areas to stay in Santorini
Fira – best place to stay in Santorini for nightlife
Fira is the place to be on Santorini. This is the main town on the island, known as much for its nightlife – thanks to a slew of bars and restaurants – as it is for its incredible caldera views.
Getting around is a breeze from Fira thanks to the public buses that weave their way through the town. The downside? The nightlife – if you’re not here for the nightlife, that is.
Fira can get very crowded and sometimes very loud. However, the town remains very pretty.
Come here out of season, for example, and you’ll see a very different town: Cycladic houses with blue windows and white-washed walls. There’s plenty of charm and endless wanderings to be had.
Here are some cool places to stay in Fira for every budget.
Budget – Porto Castello: Fira is great if you want to find affordable accommodation, just as it is the best area to stay in Santorini for nightlife. This place is the ideal base for your budget travel needs.
Located just a minute’s walk from the beach, it’s a family-run property with an outdoor pool and free breakfast every morning. You can’t go wrong.
Mid-range – Caldera View Apartment: The name says it all: the views across the caldera from this old-world villa are completely mesmerising.
For one thing, the sunsets from here are nothing short of amazing. Inside, you’ll find a kitchen and lounge area in a tastefully decorated space. Ideal for a relaxing getaway.
Luxury – Kalisti Hotel and Suites: Perfectly located very close to the main street of Fira, and therefore surrounded by shops and restaurants, this hotel is good for those who really want to be among the action.
It’s also just a two-minute walk from some beautiful views, too. Rooms here (some with private plunge pools) are clean and polished, while the staff are professional and super friendly.
Karterados – best area to stay in Santorini for budget travellers
Around a 15 to 20 minutes’ walk from Fira, you’ll find the village of Karterados.
Close though it may be to the main town on the island, things here are considerably cheaper – and considerably quieter too.
Altogether, Karterados has a more local feel with a few shops, pizzerias, tavernas on a main street. If you don’t like things busy, it’s a great alternative to Fira.
The affordability factor here also makes it good for budget travellers who want to be close to the transport hub of Fira, but who don’t want to spend loads on accommodation or be in the heart of the party scene.
If you have a tight Santorini itinerary, staying in Karterados makes things easier as you’re close to the buses of Fira. Plus, why wouldn’t you want to stay here? It’s utterly charming.
Here are some cool places to stay in Karterados for every budget.
Budget – Artemis Village: This peaceful, family-run holiday resort provides a relaxing place to stay in Karterados.
Rooms here are pared back but clean and modern, featuring wood floors, small kitchenettes (a bonus) and thankfully, air-conditioning.
Rooms also come with their own balconies where you can gaze out over the village and the sea beyond. The swimming pool here is another major plus.
Mid-range – June Twenty Suites: The perfect place for a relaxing break, June Twenty Suites is a modern and stylish accommodation option.
Here you can choose to stay in a suite with either a private hot tub or a private pool, in rooms that have a Cycladic, cave-esque feel to them. They feature small kitchens and lounge areas – oh, and they’re very chic, too.
Luxury – Married in the Morning Villa: If you’re looking for a truly special place to stay in Santorini, look further than this gorgeously designed villa.
Featuring its own private outdoor pool, six bedrooms, beautiful bathrooms, clipped lawns and even an onsite chapel (if you feel like getting hitched), there’s a lot missing from this high-end option.
Imerovigli – Where to stay in Santorini for couples & honeymoons
Possibly the most scenic of Santorini’s towns, charming Imerovigli clings to the highest cliff on the island with the wide open caldera 300 metres below. You don’t get much more of a romantic spot on Santorini than this.
It’s fairly quiet, and feels far from the crowds of Pyrgos and Fira. Accommodation here tends to be more polished and focused on romantic breaks or honeymoons.
I’d even go as far as to say it’s the best area to stay in Santorini for couples.
My tip, though, would be to choose your hotel away from the main road; you don’t want people constantly walking past and taking pictures of the admittedly charming buildings while you’re trying to chill in the pool.
Here are some truly gorgeous properties in Imerovigli for every budget.
Budget – Villa Happening: With its white-washed walls and sea-blue doors and windows, this is a traditional Santorini villa throughout and through.
Located in the central square of Imerovigli, staying here means lapping up those magnificent caldera and cliff views from your very own private balcony.
Mid-range – Euphemus’ Landing: This is one of Santorini’s traditional cave villas, set right into the rock of the island itself.
But it couldn’t be further from what you’re imagining with the word “cave” – it’s stunning. Think pared back design, white-washed walls and a rooftop with a view to remember. It even has its own private pool.
Luxury – Whisper of the Sea Villa: Wondering where to stay in Santorini for your honeymoon? Or maybe you just want a really romantic place to stay.
Either way, the whimsically named Whisper of the Sea is a self-confessed “haven of elegance”.
This place blends traditional Cycladic architecture with modern amenities and style, so you can while away the days soaking up the sun on your own private terrace or lounging in the infinity pool that seems to dangle over the caldera.
Oia – Iconic place to stay in Santorini for luxury
Oia is without doubt the most famous spot in Santorini. Everything here is all about being picture perfect and luxurious.
It’s a hotbed for those Instagram-worthy cave hotels with infinity pools and sea views you may have seen during your scrolling.
This luxuriousness is paired with its location: perched high up on a cliff, overlooking the caldera with the island of Thirassia in the distance, always stunning regardless of how many days you spend in Santorini.
The downside is the lack of any real beach, with 300 steps down to the water’s edge instead. And there’s another downside, which is crowds.
Yes, unfortunately Oia can get very busy. However, as long as you choose the right hotel – one where you can get your own private view of that iconic Oia sunset – then you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Here are some amazing places to stay in Oia, Santorini, for every budget.
Budget – Vrachia Studios & Apartments: If you’re wondering where to stay in Oia, Santorini, and you’re on a budget, don’t worry: there are affordable options here. Vrachia Studios & Apartments is one of them.
The accommodation itself may be on the modest side compared to other places, but the views are still magnificent and having your own small kitchen helps keep costs extra low.
Mid-range – White Cave Villas: White Canvas Villas comprises a selection of guest rooms in a cave-style setting. Think white-washed walls and curving ceilings, glistening turquoise pools and incredible views.
The breakfast on offer here is noteworthy in its deliciousness.
Luxury – Abyss Oia: Looking for luxury in Oia? Look no further than Abyss.
Each room here has been carefully curated for ultimate luxury, and many have their own private pools. The simple yet elegant design allows the caldera views to take centre stage.
Kamari – best place to stay in Santorini for families & beach lovers
The seaside town of Kamari comes with one bonus compared to many of the cliff-located towns on Santorini: it has a long, Blue Flag black-sand beach.
So if you like being by the beach, it’ll be hard to beat this place.
The main strip backing the beach – featuring beach clubs, loungers and umbrellas – is packed with restaurants and bars, as well as shops, and there’s an overall family-friendly atmosphere going on here.
In fact, most of the hotels in Kamari are set up for families.
And another bonus? The town is close to the airport, making it convenient for short stays (or to avoid long journeys after a long flight).
Here are some of the best places to stay in Kamari, Santorini, for every budget.
Budget – Alexandra Hotel: This charming hotel is located just a five-minute walk from Kamari Beach itself.
All of the rooms here come with a private balcony or garden, and some of them have self-catering facilities to keep things even more budget-friendly.
There’s a buffet breakfast served daily, plus a snack bar outside if you get hungry poolside.
Mid-range – Smy Mediterranean White: Spread out across 10 acres, this mid-range option has a huge selection of rooms for guests to choose from.
Think double rooms with private balconies all the way to suites with their own private pools; there’s something for everyone. What’s more the rooms are effortlessly chic, a mix of tradition and modern style.
Luxury – Santorini Kastelli Resort: Leave your stress at home and spend your vacation unwinding at this beautiful resort.
Tucked away down a secluded street, but still only two minutes from the beach, this five-star resort boasts two swimming pools, a spa and a poolside bar and restaurant.
Pyrgos – Best town to stay in Santorini for off the beaten track & local experience
The inland town of Pyrgos may not have a beach, but it does have one major plus: almost 360-degree panoramic views across the island, all the way to the caldera, the cliffs and Fira.
Surrounded by vineyards, Pyrgos is the highest village on the island and was once the capital of Santorini.
A cute town all in all, Pyrgos has retained much of its historic charm, with white-washed houses and cobbled streets, making it very picturesque.
Here, you can have an altogether more local experience, lower prices and fewer tourists.
I listed below some unique places to stay in Pyrgos for every budget.
With the amenities of Pyrgos in easy reach from here, guests opt for a variety of different apartment sizes, each equipped with self-catering facilities.
Mid-range – Pyrgos Panorama: There’s plenty of retro appeal at this six-bedroom villa in Pyrgos.
Surrounded by the rolling hills and vineyards just outside the centre of town, this place is a design-lover’s dream, a mix of Cycladic tradition, vintage furnishings and mid-century colour pops.
Luxury – The Grape Stomper: Set just below the old Venetian castle, this villa was once used for wine production back in the day but is now simply a stunner of a place to stay in Pyrgos.
There’s cave-esque rooms, Insta-ready bathrooms and nods to the history of the building throughout.
Final thoughts on Santorini, where to stay
There you have it, the ultimate guide on where to stay in Santorini! Have you been to Santorini before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!
Santorini is a magical destination. There is no denying that it’s very touristy and busy, but with such unique sights, it’s only bound to be the case.
Given the geographical formation of the island, each town and area has a distinctive vibe and is best suited for a specific type of traveller or holiday.
Families might prefer staying in Kamari, close to the beach, whilst couples might prefer staying in the iconic and romantic Oia. Whatever your travel style, I tried to include Santorini hotel suggestions for every budget.
I hope this guide will help you choose the best area to stay in Santorini for your travel style and holiday! If you have any questions, just pop them in the comments below!