Where to stay in Santorini

Instantly recognisable from just one image, Santorini, a key destination for holidays in Greece, has a lot going for it – vast, dramatic landscapes, incredible beaches, a wonderful climate, and fantastic food. And as with most destinations, Santorini gets even better when you learn a bit more about it. Even though this volcanic island isn’t the largest of places to explore – it’s still incredibly important to know where to stay in Santorini. And that’s where we come in.

Fira

The island’s capital, Fira is the first destination most visitors research after booking their Santorini holiday. Being a capital city, Fira (or Thera in Greek) can offer plenty of cultural experiences, with numerous cafés, restaurants and tavernas providing traditional food and drink menus. Beyond the cuisine, it’s also a great place to stay for those who like to indulge in a bit of retail therapy – clothes, spices, knick-knacks – whatever you’re looking for, Fira’s shops should be able to supply it. 

Those searching for the best place to stay in Santorini will be hard-pressed to find many better options than Fira. Its old port offers a charming contrast to the city’s more modern boutiques, and is also the perfect place to while away an evening or two. You can even book excursions from the port – with one of the most popular being a trip out to the caldera, a feature resembling a volcanic cauldron. But if you’d rather stretch your sea-legs a little further, sailing the island’s coastline is also incredibly popular. And if you want to socialise and enjoy a drink in the evening, this could be the place for you!

Best for: café culture and excursions

How to get there: Santorini Airport is only 5.2 kilometres away. From there, you can take a bus or a taxi to Fira. The taxi is the quickest option, but the public bus is the cheapest option. All buses run through the main station in Fira, so you can get there from anywhere on the island.

Kamari

If you’re wondering where to stay for families on your Santorini holiday, you may have just found your answer. Kamari has a number of beaches where the kids can play and explore, each offering different coloured sands. Black, red, and white-sand beaches are all within easy reach of Kamari. Having been awarded Blue Flag certification, Kamari’s beaches are incredibly safe – meaning you won’t have to worry about your little ones when they dip their toes into the water. If your kids are slightly older, the water sports facilities here could be great activities to try out together. And the sheer number of café s and tavernas in the surrounding area means even the fussiest eaters will be catered for. 

Best for: families with children

How to get there: Santorini Airport is only 5.5 kilometres away. There are no direct buses between the airport and Kamari, but you can take a shuttle to Fira and from there a bus to Kamari. A taxi is the quickest option, taking around 10 minutes. The bus is the cheapest choice, although it can take up to 45 minutes depending on traffic.

Black Beach

Yes, there are beaches available all over Santorini, but Black Beach is the place you want to be if sand quality is your priority. Not only do its volcanic beaches offer the quintessential image of Santorini, you will also find it boasts acres of soft sand, a perfect bright-blue sea, loungers, parasols and every type of water-sporting activity under the sun. If you’re wondering where to stay for couples, you could do a lot worse than head for Black Beach. 

Sun-worshippers will find Black Beach the ideal spot to while away their days with a book in hand, while adrenalin-seekers can get their fix with jet skiing, scuba diving, and wind-surfing all on offer.

Best for: beach holidays

How to get there: Santorini Airport is 13.4 kilometres away from Perissa, where Black Beach is located. There is a shared shuttle bus from the airport that will take around 40 minutes. Alternatively, take a taxi to reach Perissa in less than half an hour.

Oia

They don’t come much prettier than Oia – which the locals rate the prettiest town in all of the Cyclades. Those searching for the perfect sunset snaps to post on Instagram should choose Oia as their base. Offering incredible views isn’t the town’s sole virtue because there are lots of great shopping opportunities on offer too. Even if you’re not staying here during your Santorini holiday, you’ll want to spend at least an evening in the town. This view is clearly shared by many holidaymakers on this Greek island – just observe the increased footfall in the town from 4pm onwards when the golden hour for photographers is fast approaching. 

Couples who enjoy a bit of romance or a honeymoon destination should find Oia a perfect destination. Numerous boutiques and artisan studios provide a magical backdrop to a holiday filled with wonderful little moments, while the dramatic cliffs offer some incredible options for an evening stroll.

Best for: couples and amateur photographers

How to get there: Santorini Airport is 16.3 kilometres away. There is a shuttle bus from the airport that will take around 45 minutes to reach Oia. A taxi, however, will only take 25 minutes, depending on traffic. As well as being more expensive, each taxi can only take up to 3 passengers.

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