We are travelling to Santorini mid to late September, and as yet, I have not booked accommodation as I am trying to choose between the towns of Oia, Fira or Imerovigli. I have read reviews for each area, particularly relating to wether one area is more relaxing, less touristy. We are early 50's, appreciate a more laid back, casual environment, and particularly appreciate an area with a nice town for shopping and cosy restaurants. Can anyone provide advice on each of these areas. I am leaning towards Imerovigli, less touristy and less 'party' town !! Any advice?
Fira is the island's social/commercial center and as such is very busy all the time. Cruise ships debark their passengers there and street traffic can get manic. On the bright side there are lots of shops and restaurants there, some quite reasonably-priced, although availability is a challenge because of their popularity.
Imerovigli has the best overall caldera/sunset views and is certainly the quietest of the villages you're considering. The tradeoff is that there are very few shops and restaurants there. Fira is closer to Imerovigli than Oia and has all that you require but unless you use the bus or rent a car you will be walking uphill 1.5 miles or more from Fira back to your hotel in Imerovigli.
Oia is the most beautiful village and there are plenty of shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants there. There is no party-type nightlife, it's limited to a few mellow bars and cafes. You can escape the crowds if you choose your hotel wisely and are fit enough to do some step-climbing. If you tell me your maximum daily room budget in EURO as well as the type of accomodation you prefer (basic room, studio, apartment, B&B, full-service hotel, etc.) I can help you find something. Sometimes even the less-expensive options offer a simple breakfast for an additional fee.
Looks like you're in good hands. I did not see Imerovigli on my own visit.
I'm looking forward to the recommendations here. We will be on Santorini roughly 16 - 20 Oct, about a month later than the OP.
Thanks Lee for your very informative and comprehensive advice. I think from your descriptions, Oia sounds like our style, I am looking at around €200- €250 per night, either a studio or villa, only 1 Br necessary, and a Caldera view would be high on the wish list. If breakfast was included that would be a bonus! Thanks again, you sound like you are well travelled!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Check Alta Mare Villas, Rimida Villas, Strogili Houses, Filotera Villas, Kima Villas, Old Oia Houses, Onar Villas, Caldera Villas, La Perla Villas, Aethrio Hotel, Golden Sunset Villas, Lava Oia's, Onar Villas, Angel Cave Houses, Nostos Apartments, Villa Ariadni, Chroma Suites, Helianthus Suites and Oia Sunset Villas. No, I don't have a favorite.
I fortunately secured a booking at Nostos Apartments in Oia for the dates we wanted. Some of the others mentioned were fully booked, so extremely lucky, great reviews on trip advisor and it appears to be close to the town centre whilst still having amazing views of the Caldera. Thanks again for your advice.
I'm glad you found one in Oia. You'll love it there. Enjoy!