Santorini is undeniably one the most preferred summer destinations among Europeans and not only. The Greek island in the heart of the Cyclades complex that is legendary for its romantic sunset views and unique morphology (shaped due to the intense volcanic activity of the previous centuries) is also home to an impressive range of accommodation options. With something to suit all requirements, budgets, and needs, the Queen of the Cyclades can present you with difficulties when trying to decide on the hotel that is just right for you. Here are some tips for first-timers to help untangle the knot.
- Most sought-after areas
If you want to live in the heart of all action and places that enjoy the most popularity (and crowds), then Oia, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Fira on the western side of Santorini are some of your best picks. They all provide captivating views over the Santorini volcano and the Caldera, as well as the shimmering Aegean Sea.
Just ensure the hotel you choose is located at the side of the Caldera. Just a few metres away (facing the other side) will prevent you from soaking up the pristine vistas mentioned above. Furthermore, check that your hotel room also offers spectacular panoramas. It would be such a pity to book a suite at a resort with heart-stopping views but not from your suite.
Also worth noting is the fact that all four areas are connected by a path (around 10 km long) – great fun for hikers!
- Determine your dream Santorini holidays
Answering this question will help you select a hotel in an area that can serve as a base for your island endeavours. What do you wish to experience while visiting Santorini? Explore the island using public transport? Then Fira is the best option as it is easier to get around from there. Get a taste of the lively night scene? Besides Fira, Imerovigli is full of cafes, restaurants, shops, and excellent nightlife. Prefer to give your vacation a more romantic vibe? Head to Oia, from where you can lay eyes on mind-blowing sunsets every single day.
- Budget-conscious or open for more luxurious stays?
As with every other summer destination, Santorini has a plethora of different accommodation options to please every pocket – deep or not. So, you can find from inexpensive and budget-friendly hotels and rooms to ultimately luxurious resorts enchanting with terraces overlooking the Aegean Sea, private pools, jacuzzis, and other world-class amenities.
The island capital and Karterados gather the most economical alternatives. However, do note that chances are you won’t get a caldera view. Imerovigli, on the flip side, is home to utterly elegant and stylish cave-style houses and lavish suites and villas that have served as backdrops to enumerable marriage proposals, Instagram posts, and fashion photoshoots.
- Want beach life and fun?
The majority of beaches are on the southeast and east side of Santorini. So, if you wish to spend most of your time on the beach, you can opt for a hotel, villa, studio, or apartment near Kamari beach, which is the most lively of all Santorini shores. A much quieter and longer option is Perissa Beach (also Perivolos or Black Beach on the other side of Perissa), featuring nice beach bars. Other popular beaches nearby are Vlychada and Red Beach, which are definitely not to be missed. The views and the landscape will reward you greatly. They also have a vibrant bar scene that goes far into the night. Now, if you desire some clubbing adventures, then Fira should be your first pick.
- Most romantic location?
That would be Imerovigli – honeymooners’ fav spot. Quieter and more isolated than its other popular sibling, Oia, Imerovigli has some of the best honeymoon resorts and hotels. Occupying a prestigious location on the highest point of the Caldera, it can make your heart stop with its views. After all, it is not referred to as the Balcony to the Aegean for no good reason! Home to upscale restaurants and luxury hotels, it offers relaxing and peaceful moments away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Santorini.
Even if you are not a newlywed, Imerovigli’s sunset views are powerful enough to rekindle your love and relight that fire between the two of you! Enjoy!