Santorini’s Enchanting Villages: Where to Stay for an Unforgettable Getaway

Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 miles) southeast of Greece’s mainland. It’s the largest of this group of islands, and perhaps its most popular.

Santorini was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. It left a massive caldera.

The island’s key villages are Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Perissa, Kamari and Firostefani.

Perched on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea, the brunt of tourism on the island is centered around the caldera towns (Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, and Firostefani).  These are known for their sparklingly white cubic houses and blue-domed churches. They’re a picture perfect sight that’s been immortalized on many postcards.

Santorini is incredibly beautiful, making it a popular destination for honeymooners, cruise liners and a luxury getaway. 

That doesn’t mean it’s not affordable. 

But, because the island is smaller, it can get annoyingly crowded.

It’s important to plan your trip well, know when to go and where to stay.

Traveler Tip: The shoulder season during April & September/October is a great way to save money traveling to Santorini!

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Santorini's Villages

Oia. If you’ve ever seen a postcard from Santorini, this is the town. The famous blue domes in all their insta-worthy glory. Situated on the northwestern tip of the island, Oia is Santorini’s most picturesque town and offers some of its best sunset views. It’s the most visually striking village on the island and one of its most romantic.

Hotels here are the most expensive not just in Santorini, but in all of Greece. If you want to go all out and have a truly memorable stay, then Oia is probably where you’ll want to be.

Imerovigli is a picturesque village situated at the north of Santorini, only 3.5 km away from the capital of Fira. It is a continuation of Fira and one of the most beautiful balconies of the island, as located on a higher cliff. Imerovigli is the quietest among the four caldera towns and a popular place to stay for honeymooners. Like Oia, it’s one of the island’s most romantic and offers spectacular views of the sunset.

Akrotiri is located next to the famous Red Beach. It was built at the southeastern side of the island. Akrotiri was originally a Minoan settlement and today is one of the major tourist attractions and the most important archeological site of Santorini. Still unspoilt by mass tourism, Akrotiri offers one of the most calm spots on the island.

The Minoan town was destroyed due to a massive volcanic eruption around 1600 BC. Nowadays, the picturesque streets, the two-story buildings, the lovely murals and plenty of tools witness the way of life of the Minoan civilization.

Fira is the capital of Santorini and it’s the busiest town on the island. It has the biggest number of hotels, shops, restaurants, and bars, and plenty of nightclubs. If you’re looking to party it up in Santorini, then this is probably where you’ll want to be. The clubs stay open late and offer a lot of opportunity to hang with locals and other island go-ers. If you fancy a cocktail on the balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea, there are many places for that as well.

Kamari is a seaside village, situated on the southeastern coast of Santorini, at the north foot of Mesa Vouno mountain, a few kilometers away from the capital. You can access it without difficulty by bus, taxi or rental car. Its name comes from a small arch, which was part of an ancient sanctuary dedicated to Poseidon, standing on the south end of the beach.

The village has modern infrastructure with a plethora of amenities and holds the airport of Santorini. There is a long promenade for a pleasant stroll overflowing with shops, restaurants, taverns and cafe-bars where you can relax and enjoy the sea breeze.

Perissa Perissa is a coastal village, located on the southeastern edge of the island, 13 kilometers away from the capital. It lies on the south base of Mesa Vouno mountain and is believed to be the place where the ancient city of Elefsina used to stand.

The reason most visitors come to Perissa is to take pleasure in the extraordinary beach, which is characterized by deep, dark blue waters and black lava sand. It is fully-organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars, lifeguards and a playground and it has received the Blue Flag Award. On top of that, there are water sports facilities, diving centers, a water park and a beach volley area to boost your experience.

Santorini Hotels & Apartment Finder

Use this unique map to find hotels, hostels and apartments spread across various sites like, VRBO, Expedia, Agoda, Trivago and

The Best Santorini Hotels & AirBnbs

GREAT HOTEL – Villa Lukas in Imerovigil With a stay at Villa Lukas in Santorini, you’ll be steps from the Caldera and Aegean Islands.

Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, luggage storage, and laundry facilities.

Did I mention that the VIEWS are STUNNING!

BUDGET – Bella Santorini is a great choice for your beach stay in Santorini, putting you near activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, and parasailing. The outdoor pool provides fun for everyone, and guests can also take advantage of a spa tub.

The coffee shop/cafe is a great spot for a bite to eat and cold drinks are served at the bar/lounge. A rooftop terrace, a poolside bar, and a children’s pool are other highlights at this hotel. 

BEST VALUE – Kavalari Hotel Santorini, if you are looking for the best “VALUE” hotel in Santorini, this is the clear-cut answer.

Amazing views, center of town, within walking distance to rooftop bars and restaurants, shopping, rental cars, ATV, etc.

Oh and the breakfast on the patio is fantastic!

Overall, this hotel is a great value!

#1 LUXURY HOTEL- Nestled in a prime location on the caldera’s edge, Art Maisons Oia Castle presents a remarkable setting with breathtaking vistas of the Aegean Sea. This enchanting Santorini retreat offers a harmonious blend of traditional charm and refined accommodations, showcasing the world’s most renowned sunset.

At Art Maisons Oia Castle, guests will discover a captivating fusion of architectural design influenced by the volcanic landscape, modern comforts, and authentic Cycladic style. Each suite embodies the essence of Cycladic architecture, exuding an understated elegance and luxurious ambiance. Stay connected with complimentary internet access, available throughout the entire property.

Book Your Trip Now!

Below are my favorite companies I use time and time again when I book my travel. 

  • Rakuten – Get the Best Coupons & Promo Codes at places like, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline and many more. Sign Up for a Free Account with Rakuten to Save Today!
  • Chase Travel Portal – If you have a Chase account, this is by far the best way to book travel and earn miles/points while doing so. If you don’t have a Chase account, I highly suggest getting the best travel rewards credit card in the Chase Sapphire Prefered
  • CapitalOne Travel – In my opinion, the second best travel rewards credit card. Use the CapitalOne travel portal to book airfare, hotels and rental cars using your points & miles.
  • HomeStay – Homestay is a popular form of hospitality and lodging whereby visitors share a residence with a local of the city to which they are traveling.
  • SkyScanner – Skyscanner is a great flight search engine which searches a lot of different airlines, including many of the budget carriers that larger sites miss. While I always start with Momondo, I use this site too as a way to compare prices.
  • – Booking probably has the widest selection of budget accommodation in the world. In our studies, they constantly found the cheapest rooms. I also like their easy-to-use interface and no-money-down policy.
  • RocketMiles – Book hotels on Rocketmiles and earn thousands of miles and points per night on every booking. Or, earn gift cards for your favorite purchases.
  • Selina Hostel – This is the best hostel accommodation in the world. Their unique CoLive stays, artwork and location are the best. Not to mention, they are a great value travel brand!

For companies, check out my favorite travel companies section that includes even more of my favorite travel companies that will help you value travel!

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