Where To Stay:
- Fira – in the action. restaurants, shops, nightlife.
- Oia – is your spot if your are seeking breath taking views and nice dinners overlooking the sunset. It is filled with many places to shop and tiny restaurants overlooking the water. Oia can get VERY crowded during high season. (*Remember most of Oia is accessible only by foot. If you have mobility issues, or pack 5 suitcases, this might be a challenge for you).
- Imerovigli – quiet and romantic area. Less crowded the Oia, but with great views!
- Perissa & Kamari Beach – Nice area for a beach getaway. Only about a 20 minute drive to both Fira and Oia. Lots of authentic family owned Greek hotels and restaurants.
- My Choice: Depending on what you are going to Santorini for, I would highly recommend staying on the beach somewhere. The people and atmosphere are amazing, and there is always something to do. Rent a vehicle and head up to Thira or Oia for dinner. (Best of both worlds!!) Hotels on the beach are a little bit more cost effective, and who doesn’t like jumping out of bed onto a beautiful beach into the Mediterranean.
- Known to have beautiful views of both the sunset and caldera (the volcano island across from Santorini)
- Firas views of the sunset are obstructed by smaller islands,however it has great views of the caldera and ocean. The sunset still glistens along the water, and it is a lively place to visit in the evenings.
- The views from Oia are generally the most sought after. If you head to the northwest side of Oia, here you will get the best view of an unobstructed sunset, however it is important to arrive about an hour early as the maze of walk ways get VERY crowded. You could opt for dinner here, however be aware this WILL cost you a more than average.
What to do in Santorini
- Go on a boat tour of the volcano and nearby islands..
- Do the hike from Fira to Oia along the caldera. (Bring good walking shoes)
- Visit the beach!
- Watch the sunset from Oia.
Beaches in Santorini
The red beach is a beautiful beach that is made up of red and black pebbles. It is a little bit of a hike from the parking lot, so I definitely recommend walking shoes. It’s not accessible by bus only your own transportation or by a water taxi from Kamari Beach.
Kamari Beach is the famous beach resort area of Santorini. Tons of small family owned hotels, restaurants, night clubs, and shops. It’s a black sand beach and has beach rentals for approx 6-20Euro (depending on low/high season). Because its such a busy beach, you’ll find all of your water sports, and diving shops here as well. You can also take a water taxi from Kamari Beach over to the red beach!
Perissa Beach is a busy beach in the high summer season with its beautiful black sand. It is well organized with restaurants and hotels lining the beach. Beach rentals are similar to Kamari (6-20Euro).
Agios Georgios Beach
Agios Georgios is a Tourist friendly and famous black sand beach that attracts large crowds in the summer. The beach is lined with restaurants and taverns and there are a ton of hotels in this area as well. (You can usually use the restaurant beach chairs if you eat lunch/dinner there!). There are also a ton of activities to do around here both in and out of the water. Shop, jet ski, scuba, book excursions. Great place to visit with the family.
Other tips for Santorini
- Book early – hotels are small and therefor they fill up fast! Make sure to book well in advance.
- Book excursions there.There are so many, and doing a little shopping will let you find the exact one you want at a good price.
- Rent an ATV moped or car! The island is so small that almost everyone rents either an ATV or car.To get around from one side of the island to the other is only about 30 minutes, however Santorini has many hills/mountains. I saw a ton of moped and ATV accidents as people aren’t used to driving these types of vehicles. If you are not comfortable on an ATV I would opt for a car. ATV’s run at about 30-40Euro a day(+gas), and cars are about 60Euro. (Much lower prices if you book consecutive days).