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Fira vs Oia

We are going to Santorini in October and we will spend 5 days in Santorini.
We can't decide which of these two towns to stay in.
We are looking for beautiful sunsets, beautiful sites, but we are looking for a quieter less tourist-hectic local.
Suggestions or personal thoughts would be appreciated.

Posted by
2416 posts

October … probably quite serene … the cruise-ship scene even slows down … elsewhere in the islands, things are almost shutting down, Santorini slows a lot. If you want some activity in the Evening, most is going on in Fira Town, which will have more restaurants still going, and some music. Have you considered Firostephani? This is really the north end of Fira Town -- never has ANY Cruise crowds during the Day yet so convenient because you can walk to/from Fira in 15 minutes or so (no taxis needed), yet . ANd right on the main road of FIrostephani is the bus stop to get to Oia & back. And despite the ongoing Travel Channel videos about the Sunset in Oia, believe it or not, the sun goes down all along the entire west side of Santorini. Amazing. I myself have enjoyed many a sunset … from Fira's Volcano cafe, from the rooftop terrace of Taverna Stami there, from a wicker loveseat on the roof terrace of Sunset Hotel, from the porch of FIrostephani's Taverna Aktaion ( oldest restaurant on the entire isle, 1922) … and it was ALL good…. quiet, uncrowded, serene. What these experiences did not have were jostling tourists and the tiresome standing (nowhere to sit) along the rim side parapet in Oia for the sunset, one September I remember. Of course, it's a lovely view too from a private sunset balcony in an Oia hotel … but we seek beauty on a budget. This is just to say, if you pick the right hotel, you'll be pleased.

Posted by
2796 posts

Being an unabashed Santorini lover I will say that if you want to stay in the most beautiful and romantic village on the island, that would be Oia, without question. Yes, there are some very expensive hotels in Oia, but there are also some great bargains to be had as well if you're willing to seek them out. With just a little imagination and willingness to do a minimum amount of walking, hiking or step-climbing there are some secluded spots in Oia where you can sit in peace and watch the sunset away from the crowd. There are also a couple of mellow bars for that, along with some really good restaurants for a meal to go along with the sunset. and below Oia is Amoudi Bay where you'll find some seafront tavernas on the wharf where you can sit and enjoy a meal and/or the sunset. The Lioyerma Cafe/Pool is a great place to swim and sit and have a drink at sunset, and all you pay for is the drink. Hotel rates will be low in October and Oia will certainly be less hectic than Fira most of the day when the tour buses are not active. Mornings and evenings are particularly wonderful, so peaceful and timeless. You can use the filter system at http://www.booking.com to search for a hotel according to your needs and budget, and if you want to share your maximum daily room budget, expressed in Euro, I will be happy to make some suggestions.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you Lee

You are being very helpful and supportive.

Posted by
10 posts

Lee...
We would like to take you up on your kind offer.
If you have some suggestions I would be delighted to look at them.

Posted by
10 posts

Lee.
Oops. Forgot to tell you the budget.
$250 Cdn a night. So about 160 Euros.

Posted by
2796 posts

In Fira check Scirocco Apartments, Loucas Hotel, Enigma Apartments, Hotel Kavalari, Villa Ilias, Hotel Keti, Porto Fira Suites and Tzekos Villas. In Oia check Strogili Houses, Rimida Villas, Filotera Villas, Atrina Houses, Delfini Hotel, Caldera Villas, Laokasti Villas, Anemomilos Hotel, Alexander's Boutique Hotel, Lucky Homes, Lena's House, Chelidonia Villas, Golden Sunset Villas, Theodora Suites and Fotinos Houses.

Posted by
17 posts

We haven't stayed here yet, but are booked for Filotera Villas in Oia in June. Check out their reviews on Trip Advisor...excellent. And recommended by Rick Steves. And they have been excellent in responding to our emails/questions/changes to our plans. We'll be traveling for several weeks through three countries in June/July, and I think I'm most looking forward to staying here...sounds like a wonderful place for some R&R. Having a small pool/hot tub and great view was a priority, so this place fits the bill perfectly.

Posted by
1 posts

Lee, thanks for the review. I'm in debate between Oia and Fira. Do you suggest any of the suggested hotels that you recommend for a small intimate yet classy wedding overlooking the sunset? My Fiancé and I plan on getting married next year during late August or September and need a venue. please help if you can. Much thanks.

Posted by
2796 posts

Which venue you choose should be convenient for all your guests to reach. Some hotels on the list I provided are far down the cliff, great for privacy and romance but not so great to get to in the scorching heat or for anyone with mobility problems. Some on the list aren't really set up for weddings and aren't full-service hotels but instead are quiet, self-catering rooms, studios or apartments.

Not knowing the size of your wedding party or your budget for such an event, and not being a wedding planner with the necessary knowledge base, I'm not qualified to be making suggestions. I think you need to do a search for Santorini wedding planners and have them help you find something. Just make sure they live and work on the island and aren't just "middle-men" from another country. The TripAdvisor Santorini forum has tons of past postings regarding weddings and wedding planners. Start there. Another critical reason you need a wedding planner is to help you take care of the complicated paperwork. Unless you speak Greek and you're willing to spend a couple of weeks there making all the necessary connections you can't do it by yourselves.