Where to Stay in Santorini
This is the big question for
many people. Should we stay at the beach and visit
the towns of Thira and Oia and the fantastic views
of the volcano, or should we stay on the volcano
and make the trek to the beach by bus, taxi,
rental car or motor-bike? First of all let me say
that almost everyone wants to stay in Thira and Oia. They
have seen the pictures and imagine waking each day
to a glorious view. But if you have children this
is not practical. Who wants to stay somewhere that
you are on edge all the time because you imagine
your kids falling off a 1000 foot cliff? Not me.
Plus kids usually want to go to the beach and
getting them there on a daily basis can be a
strain. But if you are staying at the beach what
if you want to make the nightly visits to Thira?
Another hassle. So it is a matter of making the
choice of whether you want to be near the beach
and rely on public transportation or a rental car
or bike to see the sunsets and experience the
nightlife or do you want to stay in the cliff side
towns and take the trek to the beach.
Many people e-mail me in disbelief at the cost of some of the caldera view hotels on Santorini, ready to cancel their trips because they think the island is unaffordable. It's nonsense. The most popular hotels on Santorini, the ones most highly rated on Tripadvisor, the ones that people feel they have
to stay at, are no better than less expensive hotels which don't have the same presence on Tripadvisor. The hotels popularity on that site drive up the rates and if you want to pay a thousand euros or more for the same view that someone else is paying two hundred euros for then be my guest. As long as you know the price does not reflect the quality of the hotel but its popularity on Tripadvisor. For my money the Volcano View Villas
Hotel offers an incredible view of the caldera, very nice rooms and excellent service, a couple swimming pools, a bar and restaurant and because it is outside of Thira and not in the middle of all the hubbub it offers something else. Peace. Some might say they would rather be in town, and I understand. But on our first night we took a taxi to Imerovigli and it cost all of 7 euros. We could have taken the free hotel shuttle that goes to Fira at ten o’clock or walked on the sidewalk that goes
there. But if you can't afford a taxi then why are you even thinking about caldera view. Of course we decided to rent a car the next day because if you really want to see the island you need one, so the location of the hotel did not matter, in fact it was better because we did not have to worry about parking.
So from my experience I would say that the Volcano View Villas
Hotel is the place to stay if you want caldera view but don't want to go broke paying for it. I think you will be pretty impressed with the hotel, maybe stunned would be a better word. When we sent my daughter there a day ahead of us her SMS upon arrival was "OMG!" I think that was one of the more precise one-word reviews I have ever read because that is what I said when I arrived as well. Many of the guests sat on their balconies with a bottle of wine, watched the sunset,
and then had a quiet dinner at the hotel restaurant. I understand. If you are looking at something profoundly beautiful do you want to be surrounded by a bunch of tourists talking about their golf game or what they bought today? I had the foresight to bring my binoculars and every day I was able to watch the arrival of several giant cruise ships which anchored below and ferried passengers to the shore. Plus the ferry port is below as well and I could watch the boats sail in and out at all hours of the day
and night. For me this is entertainment.
So if you have money to burn go stay at Katikies or Andronis Luxury Suites. But I would stay at the Hotel Volcano View Villas and
take the money I saved and ship home crates of Santorini wine to my friends. By the way all the above photos were taken from my balcony.
If you are not convinced and the money is just dead weight in your pocket and you want to spend it then I suggest the
Volcano View VIP Villas
are five stylish, individually designed
luxury villas, each with its private
swimming pool and a balcony with a
breath-taking view of the caldera. For those who want a villa, home or something like you might find on Air BnB where you can at least cook breakfast I suggest going to my Santorini Villas Page or using the Hotel Search option to find hotels, rooms or apartments with kitchens.
Most likely by the time you read this the hotel you want will be full, as will many other popular Santorini hotels. If you are having trouble finding availability at any hotel try Fantasy Travel's Hotel Request form and maybe they can get you the hotel you want or something similar.
Santorini Hotels: Best of the Rest
Santorini is a popular island. The most popular island in Greece if not the world. And these are among the most popular hotels. Which means if you want to stay in one of them you have to book it before the other ten million who want to stay there do. If a hotel you like is not available use Matt's
Create-an-itinerary Form and in the comments section request that particular hotel. Otherwise the hotel pages will tell you what other hotels are similar in the area, and which, if any, are available. The hotels listed below start with the more expensive ones, most of which have caldera view and swimming pools. These are followed by the cheaper ones, some of which have pools and caldera view, and then the hotels on the beach, mostly in Perissa and Kamari, which most of them have pools but no caldera
view, because there is no caldera to view. But if you are a family you may be a lot happier being able to walk to the beach, rather than take a bus, taxi, or walk down 5 million steps and then back up again.
Pay to Play Caldera View Hotels
Lilium Santorini Villas
Asteras Villas is in the town of Fira, at the top of the caldera cliffs, looking down towards the endless Aegean Sea and just a few steps away from the main pebbled street. Lilium Santorini Villas also has an amazing view and is highly regarded by people who have stayed there. Tzekos Villas offers a swimming pool and 22 rooms in the traditional Cycladic style. Though they call themselves villas they are really hotels. Aperto
Suites is a high end luxury hotel with caldera view and a pool for adults only, a favorite with honeymooners, as are Amity Suites.
The 4-star Tholos Resort is in Imerovigli, one of the most beautiful villages in Santorini, on the cliff of the Caldera. Nearby is the luxurious Senses Boutique Hotel,
and the Andromeda Villas and Spa Resort. If you can live without a swimming pool there is the Ikia Kriton.
Nearby in Firostefani on the cliff of the caldera, the Cycladic-style Agali Houses features a swimming pool and panoramic views of the sea and the volcano.
In Oia the Hyperion Villas have an unobstructed caldera view in a quiet area and are two private villas with pool/jaccuzi. Notably one villa is where they filmed Summer Lovers. The Elea Resort - Adults Only features an outdoor pool and views of the sea and an on-site restaurant. With an outdoor pool and sun terrace, the famous Canaves Oia
Sunday Suites is located on the cliffs of Oía. Marizan Caves & Villas are in the highest spot of Oia, right at the edge of the Caldera (cliff), overlooking the sunset and the Aegean Sea. Perched on the cliffs of Oia, 300 feet above the blue waters of the Aegean, Katikies Hotel offers a rooftop restaurant and its famous infinity pools.
Enjoying panoramic views of the volcano and the Aegean Sea from Akrotiri, the 5-star Ambassador Santorini Luxury Villas & Suites features elegant accommodations, each with a private pool. For those looking for a beautiful private house on the caldera with a spectacular view of Fira, Oia,and all the caldera villages as well as the famous Santorini sunset see the Hemera Holiday Home which is also in Akrotiri.
These are among the most popular hotels in Santorini and chances are unless you are very lucky or very early they are booked already. But you can find other hotels by using the search options on Booking.com's Santorini Hotels Search. And because the travel agencies reserve rooms months before the season even started you may find yourself in one of these hard to get hotels by booking a Greek Island Package through Fantasy Travel or using Fantasy Travel's Hotel Request form.
More Economical Santorini Hotels
If you are looking economical hotels and rooms your best bet is away from the main towns, or at least not on the caldera. However there are some hotels that do have caldera views that won't force you to come home from Greece wondering how you will ever pay off your credit card. For 100 euros or less a night I recommend Kiklamino Studios and Apartments and Georgis Apartments and Vrachia Studios in Oia. Also Christos Apartments offers accommodations with kitchenette and sea-view balcony right by the castle of Oia. In Fira try the Tataki Hotel, Anatoli Hotel, Asterolithos, and the Antonia Apartments. The
in Oia has what comes close to caldera view rooms
for under 100 euros a night. I say they come close because they don't face the center of the Volcano but are off to the side, but the view is still spectacular. Also the Delfini Rooms in Oia comes highly recommended. Keep in mind that if you want caldera view you will probably have to climb some steps somewhere along the way. If you don't like steps then the small Ellinon Thea Hotel has an entrance at street level and the rooms and balconies face the caldera with a splendid view. No steps to climb.
For the price it would be tough to beat the Kalimera Hotel in Akrotiri which is highly praised by their guests and by Dolphin Hellas Travel. But there is no caldera view. You have to
cross the street
to see it. The archaeological site of Akrotiri is nearby as is Red Beach but it is quite a hike. You will need a car if you stay here. In general you can get more hotel for your money in Akrotiri and the town is relatively unspoiled, at least by Santorini standards. Other hotels in Akrotiri include the Sigal Villa, which has a caldera view and a pool, and the Akrothea Suites and Villas which has a caldera view and no pool, and the Adamastos which has a pool but no caldera view, and the Akrotiri Hotel which has neither a caldera view nor a pool but is close to the beach and is cheap.
These are all good value for the money hotels, which means they may not even be available by the time you read this. But if they are full use the alternative hotels suggested on the booking site or check the map for something nearby or use the Santorini Hotel Search. You can also use Fantasy Travel's Hotel Request form
Best of the Beach Hotels
Aqua Blue Hotel
If you want to stay on the beach because you
have kids, or you like beaches or you heard somewhere that the beach hotels are a lot cheaper than the caldera view hotels then you might consider one of these. In Kamari Beach the Salini Hotel is economical and highly recommended as are the Hotel Matina , Nissia Apartments, Hippocampus Hotel, Hotel
Sunshine, Kalya Suites and Studios, Alexandria Hotel and Hotel Strogili which all have swimming pools, and Dolphins
Apartments, which does not have a pool. But do you really need a pool if your hotel is right on the beach? If not then you should also consider Kamarela Studios. The Poseidon Beach Hotel has a pool and it is right on the beach if you want the best of both worlds.
In Perissa Beach recommended hotels include Samson's Village, Stelios Place, Pasethei Studios, and Artemis Perissa which are all near the beach and most of them have pools. Casa del Mar is a 2 minute walk from
the beach and the Selada Beach Hotel is right on the beach, both highly rated and inexpensive. If you are looking for something special by the beach and are not that particular whether it is economical or not the Aqua Blue Hotel on
Perissa Beach, has a pool, hot tub and fitness center. The Aeolis Residence Holiday House is a beautiful 5-bedroom home with a swimming pool larger than most of the hotel swimming pools on the island. It is a few steps away from the beach, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars and the owner is known for being helpful and hospitable and has great reviews.
Perivolos is actually the same beach as Perissa but is less built up and in my opinion the best place to stay if you want to stay at the beach. We stayed at the Smaragdi Hotel which was about 100 yards from the sea and the line of restaurants, cafes, beach chairs and umbrellas which you can use just by ordering a meal or a drink from whatever business owns them. The
hotel is a clean, well run, family owned and run and everyone is very friendly. There is a pool, bar and restaurant and they play great music (Motown, 60's classics, etc). This is a very good hotel, as good as many of the hotels people are paying 600 euros a night for the caldera view but a double will cost less than 100 euros.
In Monolithos, which is a beach town near the airport Memories Beach Hotel and Scorpios Beach Hotel both have pools and are a few steps from the sea.
Louis Studios and the popular Anna Traditional Apartments are in Agia Paraskevis which is also near the airport, in between Monolithos and Kamari. Villa Michalis is a 4 minute walk to Vlychada Beach and has an outdoor pool and a restaurant.
The family owned Anema Residence (above photo) is actually several villas overlooking the Aegean Sea with stunning views of the islands of Anafi and Amorgos and a short walk from the black sand beach of Vourvoulos and several fish tavernas. Perfect for couples, family holidays with children, wedding parties, yoga groups, or a group of friends looking for spacious areas, large gardens with fruit and olive trees, comfort and privacy. They even do weddings.
Charming and totally independent Sienna Resort is located 4 km from Fira, near Exo Gialos beach with a majestic sunrise view. The complex consists of 6 private villas surrounded by well-maintained greenery and flowerbeds. All villas boast private entrance and secluded inner terrace. Also a private swimming pool for each villa with sundeck and umbrellas. Sienna Resort is the perfect accommodation for a single family with children or 2 couples looking for a little privacy outside the hustle and bustle of the centre. It is also ideal for honeymooners searching to create that special retreat that only seclusion can offer.
These are all for the most part small family run hotels with 15 to 20 rooms. Many of them you will feel like you are a guest of a Greek family, which is how most hotels are in Greece. If they are full use the alternative hotel suggestions or the maps to find something nearby within your budget. Or use the Santorini Hotel Search. You can also use Fantasy Travel's Hotel Request form
Hotels for Honeymooners
Most newlyweds and couples stay
in Fira or Oia as well as Firostefani and
Imerovigli which are all large towns on the rim of
the volcano where you can find hotels suspended in
space that even have swimming pools. Hotels as
well as food and beverages are a little (or a lot)
more expensive in Oia and Thira, particularly if
you want to be in a room overlooking the caldera.
Like most places in Greece with a little effort
and some assistance you can find good deals at
hotels that are not on prime real-estate or even
specials at the well known hotels. The newly
restored cave villas, the
Alexander Hotel is worth looking into if
you are looking for 5-star luxury in a very
romantic setting. If you are looking for something really special and have money to spend on your honeymoon or weekend escape with a beautiful movie star check out the Dreams Luxury Suites on the cliffs of Imerovigli(photo). With a seasonal outdoor pool and sun terrace, Carpe Diem
Exclusive Boutique Resort is located in Pírgos and is famous for its personalized service. You can also get celebrity treatment along with spectacular romantic views at Canaves Suites and Spa or the Canaves
Oia Hotel or the Andronis Boutique Hotel, all in Oia. But honestly if this is your honeymoon do you really want to be poking around looking for hotels and booking ferries and hoping it all works out? Wouldn't it be smarter to put your plans in the hands of a professional who will make sure that everything is perfect and may have
availability at hotels that are booked full on the hotel booking sites? My suggestion it to visit Fantasy Travel's Honeymoon page.
How about just showing up?
There are people who come to
the port to rent rooms on the island. The days of
the little old ladies advertising a room in their
house are over. They have been replaced by
professionals whose job it is to get you to a
hotel and they are paid by the head. They are
and the word means
harpoon. You can find cheap rooms and if
you are a backpacker this is a hit or miss
situation because if the room is lousy you can
leave and wander around and find something else or
even go to Perissa Campsite. Many hotels are outside of town or some distance from the beach and you have to walk on roads that were not meant to be shared by automobiles and pedestrians. Also in July and August it is entirely possible that you will show up on Santorini and find nothing available.
If you are a
family, honeymooners or a little older you can
find accommodations to suit your budget by working
with a reliable Greek travel agency like Fantasy Travel. In the end
when you factor in things like ferry schedules and
the information you can get from the agencies you
come out way ahead. A knowledgeable travel agent
will know the best place for you to stay out of
the hundreds of hotels on Santorini. They also
receive better rates with hotels they book in
advance (called commitment) and can offer bargain
prices at certain times since they would rather
put you in the room they have already paid for and break even then have it empty and lose money.
For more hotels see Booking.com's Santorini Hotels Search
More Santorini Hotel Information
To search for hotels by category, price, location and book without using a travel agency see Booking.com's Santorini Hotels Search. To find a room in a hotel that is supposedly booked
full use Fantasy Travel's Hotel Request form
For Villas on Santorini visit Matt's Greek Villas in Santorini Page
To get assistance with hotels, ferries, tours and transfers try Matt's Create-an-itinerary form which enables you to choose your islands, your budget, the number of days you want to spend in each place and the method of transportation and get a price from a reliable Greek travel agency with no obligation to purchase.
If you have a question about hotels, villas or anything contact Matt
Be sure to ask your travel agent or the hotel about transfers from the port or airport. Santorini is not the kind of place you can just show up and easily find your hotel like smaller Greek islands.