The best places to stay in Santorini

Planning a getaway to the jewel of the Cyclades? Discover our tips and favorites for choosing where to stay in Santorini.

When you think of the Cyclades, it’s usually the breathtaking scenery of Santorini that springs to mind. The contrast between the rugged brown cliffs, the deeply reflecting water and the white and blue houses is striking.

These riches make it one of Greece ‘s most popular destinations, attracting large numbers of tourists every year.

To help you enjoy an unforgettable stay on the island, we’ve selected the best places to stay in Santorini. We’re sure you’ll find something to suit you!

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Where to stay?

Santorini has two very different faces: the caldera side and the beach side. First of all, here are their respective strengths, to guide your search.

Caldera side

Visiter Santorin : Oia

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Dima Andrei Lucian

It’s on the west coast that you’ll find the picture-postcard landscapes that fuel the imagination associated with Santorini. You’ll enjoy incredible views of the caldera, as well as splendid sunsets.

You’ll also discover some of the island’s most beautiful villages, from the unmissable Oia to the capital, Fira. Keep in mind, however, that prices on the caldera side are particularly high, as this is the most popular area for accommodation on Santorini.

Beach side

Belle vue panoramique sur la mer méditerranée, la caldera et le volcan. Architecture blanche traditionnelle de l'île de Santorin, Thira, Grèce. Navire de croisière en mer bleue.

Photo credit: Shutterstock – losbkru

The southeast shore is a good alternative for accommodation on Santorini. Firstly, prices are considerably lower than on the caldera side.

Secondly, and more importantly, this coast also has its own treasures, including the island’s characteristic dark sandy beaches. It’s ideal for visitors looking for a relaxing vacation in pretty seaside villages.

For breathtaking views

Imagine the caldera bathed in the rosy light of a sublime sunset… Here are the most beautiful villages where to stay in Santorini to enjoy this unforgettable spectacle.


Fira, loger à Santorin

Photo credit: Flickr – Juan Salmoral

Nestling in the heart of the coastline that encircles the caldera, the island’s capital offers a magnificent viewpoint. In particular, there’s a bird’s-eye view of the « new volcano » (Nea Kameni).

Fira is also an ideal starting point for discovering the landscape from a different angle, thanks to a boat trip. Accommodation in Fira is plentiful and relatively expensive.

If possible, choose accommodation in the hills with a terrace where you can enjoy the sunsets while sipping a glass of ouzo.

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Oia, loger à Santorin

Photo credit: Flickr – Kali

At the northern tip of the island, perched on an impressive cliff, lies Oia, the second largest town. Often described as Santorini’s most beautiful village, Oia offers superb views of the caldera.

In fact, the traditional houses themselves form a splendid landscape, punctuated by blue domes and immaculate bell towers. Staying in Oia allows you to take advantage of these assets outside of rush hour.

However, this is not an option for everyone, as Oia is home to many luxury accommodations.

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Imerovigli, loger à Santorin

Photo credit: Flickr – Alexander Russy

Of all the villages on Santorini, Imerovigli is said to have the best view. Its name, in fact, derives from the word « vigla », meaning « view » or « watch ».

At Imerovigli, the view of the caldera is breathtaking, giving you a sense of grandeur. What’s more, the village faces one of Santorini’s symbols, the rock of Skaros and its ruined fortress.

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Firostefani loger à Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock –

The pretty, quiet village of Firostefani is a 10-minute walk from Fira. Nestled in the hills, it offers a bird’s-eye view of both the caldera and the capital.

What’s more, the atmosphere in the village has remained more traditional and less hectic than in Fira. For these reasons, and thanks to its many hotels, Firostefani is an excellent choice of village to stay in Santorini.

For a lively nightlife


Fira by night

Fira by night Photo credit: Flickr – Maik-T. Šebenik

Santorini’s capital, Fira, is also its beating heart. The many visitors mingle with the 1,600 locals who live here year-round.

The town is full of bars and restaurants, as well as a few clubs. It’s undoubtedly the best place to go out in Santorini.

With its many boutiques, Fira will also delight shopping enthusiasts. For night owls and those seeking excitement, Fira is the perfect place to stay in Santorini.


Oia by night

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Aetherial Images

With its lively atmosphere, beautiful Oia is home to many bars and restaurants. If you don’t mind the crowds, don’t miss the Sun Spirit Cocktail Bar and its breathtaking view.

Oia will appeal not only to shoppers, but also to art lovers. Indeed, many artists have fallen in love with the village, to the point of settling here and opening galleries.

Perissa and Perivolos


Photo credit: Shutterstock – Aerial-motion

Along the beaches, too, you’ll find some particularly lively villages. Perissa and Perivolos are among them. These pleasant seaside resorts attract many visitors thanks to their black sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.

For those dreaming of a relaxing yet lively vacation, these are great places to stay in Santorini. There are numerous hotels, bars and restaurants, as well as charming traditional tavernas.

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For a romantic getaway

With its delightful landscapes and legendary sunsets, Santorini is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway.


Oia se loger à Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – MarinaD_37

In this context too, Oia tops the list of the best places to stay in Santorini. Why not treat yourself to a room in one of the village’s beautiful hotels?



Photo credit: Shutterstock – cge2010

The village has everything you need for a perfect holiday for two: superb views, a romantic atmosphere and good restaurants. On top of that, you’ll enjoy a certain tranquility that’s rare on Santorini.



Photo credit: Shutterstock – Photographer253

Further south, Megalochori is an unspoilt traditional village. Perched on a hill, it is surrounded by vineyards, some of which are open to visitors. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway in Santorini away from the hustle and bustle, you won’t be disappointed. At Megalochori, you’ll discover a different side of the island.

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Thirassia croisière autour de Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Elenarts

Thirassia is an islet in the heart of the caldera, facing Santorini. Only 150 inhabitants live on this 9 km² block of rock. What could be more magical and romantic than to feel away from the world? There is little accommodation on Thirassia, but it’s well worth the effort to find the perfect place to stay.

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For a family holiday

Santorini is perfect for an active yet relaxing family vacation.

Kamari, Perissa, Perivolos


Photo credit: Shutterstock – Ververidis Vasilis

The beach villages are a great choice for families looking for accommodation on Santorini. Kamari, Perissa and Perivolos are ideal, of course, for lovers of swimming and water sports. But they also offer other possibilities, such as a visit to the nearby ancient site of Thera.

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Visiter Santorin : Fira

Photo credit: Shutterstock – kavalenkava

If you want to make the most of your family vacation on Santorini, there’s no better place to stay than Fira. Indeed, the capital’s central location and bus routes make it easy to visit the whole island. Fira is also the perfect starting point for boat excursions to the caldera and surrounding islets.

For authentic vacations

Other, more confidential nuggets are hidden inland.



Photo credit: Shutterstock – Tomasz Wozniak

Emporio is a large village in the south of the island. Its carefully renovated architecture bears a strong medieval imprint. Largely ignored by tourists, Emporio is nevertheless not lacking in charm or points of interest.

There’s a medieval fortress and beautiful churches. Stay in one of Emporio’s many rental villas and you’ll be within easy reach of the southern beaches.

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Photo credit: Shutterstock – Nicola Pulham

From the top of its hill, Pyrgos offers a beautiful panorama of the island. More authentic than the villages on the coast, Pyrgos lets you discover the hidden side of Santorini.

You’ll be close to the Mesa Vouno mountain, which will delight hiking enthusiasts. The village is also home to the remains of a medieval castle.

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Editor’s selection

At Generation Voyage, we like to get off the beaten track. Some of the places mentioned here are real favorites for us, and here’s why.

First of all, Imerovigli won us over completely. With its picturesque houses and superb panorama, it’s the quintessential Santorini village. At the same time, it’s still relatively unspoilt, making it an excellent alternative to Oia.

Next, we were more than seduced by Megalochori. In this beautiful village, one of the most traditional on the island, you can experience Santorini in a different way, away from the crowds. Whether in the lively central square or in the vineyards, you can reconnect with the history of the place and feel like a local!

We hope these tips have helped you find your way around and find the ideal place to stay in Santorini. Whichever option you choose, your stay on this fascinating island should be rich in emotion.