Where to stay in Santorini

A brief guide on how to choose where to stay in Santorini

Santorini is a favorite vacation destination from people all over the globe. The main reason it gets millions of visitors and tourists each year, is none other than its amazing volcanic landscape which in turn is responsible for some of the most breathtaking sunsets in the world. It’s no wonder that Santorini is one of the most photographed places in the world year after year. Santorini, other than her beautiful places, amazing food and friendly people is also extremely known for the large amount of car rental companies. Since so many tourists go there every year from all over the world, there is a high demand for car rentals so people can drive around the island and not only be able to be comfortable in their vacations but also explore the island as much as possible.

Most people that visit Santorini however tend to have a small problem, or rather a dilemma: where should they stay? Well, the answer to this question depends on quite a few factors and in this article, we will try to provide you with all the information you will need to book the right place to stay before booking your trip to this amazingly beautiful island.

Santorini’s geography

So, let’s start from the beginning. If there is one thing that you should know about Santorini, it’s the fact that it is a rather small island. In fact, a lot of people actually walk from one end of the island to the other! There is however another factor regarding the island’s topography that will definitely affect how you stay and what you will pay for your lodging: which side of the island will you choose to stay on.

Santorini basically has two sides: one side of the island overlooks the caldera and is the one that is the most popular and photographed, while the other faces away from the caldera and although its topography is still volcanic, it’s not that different than that of other islands in the Cyclades complex. So, the biggest dilemma is picking which side you will be staying on, let’s see the pros and cons of each side. If you are interested in exploring the whole island and it’s scenery you might want to consider Santorini car rental agencies and do it by car.

Caldera side

Like we said earlier, the island’s gorgeous caldera is what makes it unique and the reason for its popularity. Simply put, nothing can be compared to admiring the island’s scenic sunsets from the balcony of your hotel room which in all probability will be built right on the caldera’s cliff face. If you are looking for a truly unique stay during your vacation and for the full “Santorini experience”, then the caldera side is the one for you, provided you can afford it of course.

As you can probably guess, the rates for rooms overlooking the caldera can be ridiculously expensive, especially if you factor in the fact that most of the rooms and hotels built on the caldera offer five star quality accommodations and luxury. Believe it or not, the rates for room son the caldera are usually in the high 3 digit region and they can easily 4 digits during the high season. So, let’s just say that the full “Santorini experience” isn’t exactly for everyone. With that being said, if you intend to stay on the caldera side then the villages of Fyra, Oia and Imerovigli is the best choices.

The non-caldera side

It goes without saying that if you choose to stay on the island’s other side, you will miss on the caldera view, your stay however will be much cheaper. Rates on the northern side of the island are just a fraction of even the lowest rate of a room overlooking the caldera. The same goes for restaurants and beach bars.

Now, you might be thinking that you will have to sacrifice the beauty of the caldera just so you could make your vacation more affordable, but that is not the case. The island is home to tens of car rental agencies and as such, the rates tend to be pretty low, especially if you book a car from a local firm, because they tend to offer the best deals. Combine that fact with the island’s relatively small size and you can drive to pretty much any point of Santorini within a few minutes and without having to depend on the bus routes and other means of public transport! In other words, renting a car will allow you to enjoy everything the island has to offer and to soak in all of its beauty – and all that at your leisure – without having to pay an arm and a leg for the privilege.

The villages of Perissa, Kamari and Emporio are definitely the right choice for those looking to enjoy Santorini without spending a fortune.