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First time to Santorini

We will be visiting Santorini for the first time next August. It will be our 45th wedding anniversary trip. I've been reading the posts here and I am getting totally confused as where to stay. We would like a central location walkable to shops and restaurants or short taxi ride. We are planning on four night. Also, once we get location settled any hotel suggestions? Restaurant suggestions? daytime sightseeing?

Thanks in advance

Posted by
23232 posts

Remember Santorini is a large island. So most of it will not be walkable from any single location. Fira is the town (city) most associated with Santorini and is the largest. If you stay there, everything in the town is reasonably walkable. The other area that is very popular but at the end of the island is Oia. That is where the great sunsets are. It is a smaller town but very very nice. To see the island you are going to need to use public buses or taxis. Get a good guidebook that covers Santorini and maybe a travel DVD from your local library to give you a better feel for the area and where you might want to stay.

Posted by
3119 posts

The island is not so large. It's only around 16 miles from end to end. The island has an excellent and inexpensive bus system but in August, because of how busy it will be there, the competition for seats on any bus will be fierce with lots of shoving and elbows flying. Getting around by taxi is convenient but expensive. Renting a car or ATV makes the best sense, although finding parking for a car in August will be a challenge.

Fira is the island's social/commercial center and is located on the cliff overlooking the caldera. With all the cruise ships and charter flights coming in August Fira will be a zoo. If you want a caldera view I recommend Imerovigli or Firostefani so you avoid the chaos. Imerovigli will be quiet but has the best overall caldera/sunset views. Oia is the most beautiful and romantic village. It will be very busy in August.

This map will help: http://www.motorinn.gr/sites/default/files/pictures/santorini-map.jpg (if needed, click on the map to enlarge it.)

The two main beach areas are Kamari and Perissa. Accomodations are less-expensive there overall. They are popular destinations with the charter flight/holiday companies so they will be very busy in August.

Accomodations range from €25/night to over €1600/night, so without knowing which village you choose and your budget making recommendatons at this time would be a waste of time. You have the option of using the filter system at www.booking.com to search for what's affordable to you.

As for activities, you can go to tripadvisor.com, find the Santorini forum and click on "Things to Do" at the top of the page in the green strip.

Posted by
27 posts

We were there in June for 2 nights and loved it. We were so happy we stayed in Imerovigli instead of Oia. Imerovigli was less expensive, has walkable footpaths to local town/restaurants and is even walkable to fira (25 minutes on footpath). We just took a taxi (or take a bus) to Oia for the day but it was INSANE with tourists. Go in the evening, not morning. Santorini is extremely expensive so book early. Imerovigli was magical and we'd wished we'd stayed longer. We stayed at Astra suites which was nice but next door was Grace which looked lovely. Also, Rick's recommended B&B seemed good. We just wanted a place with a small pool.