Let’s get to know Santorini better
Where to stay
The first thing to know when wondering where to stay is that Santorini is a small island, so it doesn’t take long to get from one side of the island to the other.
There are two main sides to Santorini, the caldera side on the west coast (where you will find the pretty picturesque towns with white washed buildings and blue rooftops) and the beachside which is located in the east. Whether you decide to stay on the caldera side or the beachside depends on what you want out of your wedding holiday in Santorini. If you want to spend your days laid on the beach, eating and drinking on the seafront or enjoying water sports, then the beachside is the best place to stay. If you’re more interested in sightseeing, shopping and eating, walking and enjoying the amazing views, then the Caldera side is more suitable. Do note that if you’re staying on the beachside but want to enjoy the caldera restaurants and nightlife in the evening (or vice versa), then taxis or buses are available to get you from one side of the island to the other.
Do also note that transport can be arranged to and from your wedding for you and your guests, so as long as you don’t mind travelling, staying in the same resort as your wedding venue isn’t a must.
Oia is a charming, traditional village located on the northern tip of the island and is Santorini’s most picturesque town (it is the area you will see in most of the photographs!), famous for the amazing sunset views. There are many luxury hotels, high end restaurants and shops in Oia, but only one bar. The town gets very busy in the summer with tourists, so do note this if you choose to stay in Oia.
A little bit further down south to Oia located on the Caldera is the romantic village of Imerovigli. Imerovigli is located on a higher cliff which has views of the volcano, breathtaking sunsets and all round tranquillity. Imerovigli is home to some of the most beautiful hotels on the island and there are many restaurants and cafes with stunning views here.
Between Imerovigli and the capital of Fira is Firastephani village. The views are magnificent here and there are a selection of accommodation options, such as lavish hotels and villas. If you want to be close to the action of Fira but don’t want the crowds then Firostefani is ideal. There are a few restaurants, cafes and shops here, but no bars or nightlife.
Fira is the islands capital and the largest town on the island. Like Oia, Imerovigli, and Firostefani it’s perched on the caldera cliffside and boasts wonderful views of the volcano. Fira has a wide selection of restaurants, shops and hotels and is the centre of the islands nightlife. Fira is great if you want to be in the centre of all of the action. As well as hotels located on the Cliffside, Fira also offers a large selection of hotels and accommodation set back inland without a view and are a more cost effective option than staying in a Cliffside hotel.
Pyrgos is a charming, traditional village located 10 minutes drive away from Fira. From its mountaintop perch at the highest point on the island, it offers panoramic sunset views over the whole of Santorini. Most of the village is pedestrian only and there are restaurants, boutique shops, churches, vineyards and the ruins of a Venetian castle to be explored. If you want to live like a local and experience peace and tranquillity, Pyrgos is the place to stay.
Megalochori is another one of Santorini’s traditional villages with a small selection of luxury hotels and villas with a Caldera view, traditional cafes and restaurants offering local cuisine as well as historical buildings, landmarks and churches. The main square is the heart of the village, with lively residents creating a warm and friendly atmosphere. Megalochori also provides easy access to the remote beaches in the South, such as Thermi and Plaka.
Akrotiri is located on the southern peninsula of Santorini. Akrotiri village is quite small, with just a few restaurants, chapels and castle ruins, but the archaeological site of the Prehistoric Town of Akrotiri is home to some of the islands best beaches such as Red Beach, White Beach, Vlichada Beach, and Caldera Beach. In regards to hotels, these are all spread out across the peninsula as well as the beaches and restaurants, so a car is recommended if staying here.
Kamari is a beach resort located on the East side of the island and is very popular for families. There is a pedestrian beachfront walkway and plenty of good restaurants. Kamari beach is the most popular beach on the island and has been awarded the blue flag. The beach is black sand with pebbles and you will find many sun beds, umbrellas and a variety of water sports. Accommodation ranges from low cost studios and apartments to five star hotels, Kamari has something to suit every budget.
Perissa is next to Kamari but is smaller and has a beautiful black lava sand beach which has also been awarded the blue flag. Similarly to Kamari, Perissa is very family friendly and you will find sun beds, umbrellas and a variety of water sports on the beach as well as restaurants, bars, tavernas and cafes on the beachfront. There is a range of accommodation options from budget to 5*.