You are planning to visit the Cyclades for the holidays and you do not know where to spend your nights? Here are the best places to stay in Santorini!
Situated in the Aegean Sea, Santorini is an emblematic Greek island, and one of the 250 islands of the Cyclades. Its beauty leaves its visitors speechless. An iconic gem of the Mediterranean, Santorini is the most charming of tourist destinations in Greece, but it is also the most visited. Accommodation in Santorini can therefore be expensive. You might as well be warned right away: during the summer, rates are high. Alternatively, choose to stay in Santorini during the mid and low seasons.
The scenery is by all means exceptional: white-painted villages dotted with blue domes perched atop volcanic cliffs, panoramas offering fabulous views of the islands and the ancient cities of Théra or Akrotiri, mazes of steep and narrow cobbled streets running across a breathtaking caldera. One of the most beautiful panoramas in the world, it is also a profitable business. Santorini – famous for having the best sunset in the world – welcomes 70,000 tourists a day over a surface area of only 76 km²… If mass tourism does not frighten you, find out below about the best places to stay in Santorini.
Photo credit: Flickr – Juan Salmoral
The main town of the Santorini archipelago, Fira is located in the centre of the caldera. Fira is home to an array of shops, restaurants, bars, luxury boutiques, jewellery shops, and nightclubs. If you don’t mind overcrowded areas, this is the best place to stay in Santorini. Here, the tourism industry is in full swing all year round, and for good reason: perched atop a black rocky peak, the city majestically overlooks the Aegean Sea and the caldera. In Firostefani, an ancient village that merged with Fira, contemplate the traditional houses and enjoy the view of the caldera and the Néa Kaméni volcano. If you’re planning to stay in Fira, you’ll find many hotels lining the slopes of the city, at variable rates.
Photo credit: Flickr – Kali
The wonders of this crescent moon shaped island – resulting from an enormous volcanic eruption which occured around 1600 BC – are particularly visible in Oia. This village, perched on the north western side of the island, is known to be Santorini’s most beautiful location. It’s also a quieter place, conducive to romantic evenings where one can enjoy a glass of local wine – another specialty of Santorini – while watching the magical sunset. However, note that you’ll have to queue to take your best pictures of the sunset. In the village of Oia, accommodation is plentiful but don’t expect to find a cheap youth hostel. If you decide to stay in the charming village of Oia, you might as well pay the high price: it’s only really worthwhile if you stay on the top of the cliff!
Photo credit: Flickr – Alexander Russy
If accommodation rates seem too high in Fira and Oia, then Imerovigli offers a pleasant compromise: equidistant from the two, you will enjoy an even more sumptuous view because the altitude of the village of Imerovigli is even higher than in Fira or Oia. The atmosphere is calm, relaxed, residential, and relatively protected from mass tourism. So it’s a good idea to stay in Imerovigli if you are looking for peace and quiet.
Photo credit: Flickr – Kali
Santorini from the inside, how does that sound? Pyrgos is a quiet, peaceful, authentic and charming village, nestled at the foot of the island’s highest peak. It offers beautiful views on both coasts of the island. In Pyrgos (or Pirgos), don’t miss the monastery of Profitis Ilias, in the southwestern part of Santorini. It’s a good choice to stay in Santorini if you’re more of a hiker than a fan of romantic seaside diners. If you choose to stay in Pyrgos, you’ll find many hotels along the main road of the village.
Main photo credit : Flickr – Ben & Gab
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