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Hotel and Sightseeing recommendations for Santorini?

My husband and I are planning a trip for our 20th anniversary to Santorini. We're planning for September because that's what seems to be most affordable/pleasant during the second half of the year. We will be flying into Athens and then flying to Santorini later that same day. We're looking at staying 5 nights (3 full days), then flying back to Athens for a couple days before heading home. I'm looking to figure out the following:

  1. Where should we stay? We are looking at Firostefani or Imerovigli, and definitely want a caldera view. We'd love a private hot tub, but will sacrifice that for a nicer hotel overall. We'd like to stay around $400 per night, so we know there may be some trade offs.

  2. What are the absolute must dos? We are very active and want to do the Fira-Oia hike, but don't have anything else that's a must do. We'd like to check out Fira and/or Oia in general, and we wouldn't mind some downtime just at a hotel poll with a great view too.

  3. Any restaurant suggestions or must visit restaurants on the island? No restrictions on type/price, just looking for general recommendations.

Thanks for your suggestions

Posted by
11355 posts

We hiked down to Amoudi Harbor, had a seafood lunch, and hiked back up to our hotel, Esperas. It was my favorite thing that we did on Santorini. I think the restaurant was Katrina’s or some other similar name.
What to do? Rent a car for a day to explore the rest of the island, the less touristed parts. There are some beaches on the other side of the island. Santorini is a small island, smaller than the other islands we visited.
Esperas had a pool.
Our highlight was a visit to ancient Akrotiri, the reason we returned to Santorini after it had reopened.

Posted by
3132 posts

Katina's has gone out of business but there is another restaurant in its place. I don't know the name. Most "foodies" consider Metaxi Mas in Exo Gonia to be the current best restaurant on the island.

Posted by
1387 posts

You might want to consider a visit to a winery. There are several on the island but we chose to go to the wine Museum which was a winery, so you can get into the tunnels where the wine used to be stored. Included in the price is a wine tasting,
Don't miss the Minoen site at Akrotiri. Its a great ancient site.
Here are some images of Santorini. The wine museum and Akrotiri are in the album.

Posted by
1652 posts

Definitely rent a car for a day to drive around the island. Visit the Akrotiri Archaeological site, red sand beach, and black sand beach.

We loved our dinner at Aktaion in Firestefani.

Posted by
870 posts

My recommendations would be:

Hotel: Lithies Traditional Homes in Firostefani; beautiful cave homes, stellar service from Maria and a terrific view

Restaurant: Aktaion in Firostefani

Winery tour and lunch overlooking the sea at Venetsanos Winery

Daytime cruise, snorkeling and lunch with Spiradakos Catamarans

Posted by
388 posts

Check out Absolute Bliss in Imerovigli. We stayed there last year and are returning this summer.
Fantastic location on the caldera, hot tubs in most of the rooms, and they serve an excellent breakfast.

The pedestrian path is right there so it's just a short walk to restaurants and taverna's. I second whoever recommended Aktaion

Posted by
325 posts

Our favorite adventure in Santorini was taking a cruise around the island to view different beaches/types of cliffs (from smooth black pebbles to limestone and others) and then into the caldera for sunset. You can swim in the water which has warm spots where the heat from vents still rises up. It was gorgeous, expensive and so worth it. We booked it through our hotel so I can't remember The name but there are probably several boats that do it.

Posted by
127 posts

I never thought I would chose Santorini as my Greece Island experience but after doing some research have decided Santorini it is! We enjoyed two nights on Hydra in April 2022 while participating in RS Greece tour. We enjoyed Hydra and it is the location on January’s RS 2024 calendar.

So keep percolating suggestions for Santorini ;

Has anyone managed a visit to Delos from Santorini?
Thank you

Posted by
3132 posts

Sallymoxley, there are no excursions to Delos from Santorini. For that you'd have to depart from either Mykonos, Naxos or Paros. I suppose if you were there when an early morning ferry to one of these islands was available you could make a daytrip out of it, but only if there was a late-returning ferry to Santorini, which is not impossible but is also not likely. Check

Posted by
464 posts

The cliffside walk from Oia to Fira is downhill, so I would recommend that direction rather than Fira to Oia. The scenery is specactular! We actually stayed in Oia and took the bus toward Fira and asked the driver to drop us off in Imerivigli and did the coastal walk from there. Within Oia it is lovely to walk along the promenade. Be sure to take a side street to see the Oia Castle ruins, the pretty windmills there and blue domed churches. Our favorite restaurants in Oia were Oia Gefsis for their dinner at sunset on the upper terrace, and Pelekanos, and Petrosia. We made dining reservations in advance, except for lunch. A highlight for us was taking the bus from Fira to Akrotiri to see the amazing archeological site.

Posted by
273 posts

It's been a while since I was there, but I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Dana Villas in Fira. It had everything you mentioned you were looking for, plus the views of the caldera are wonderful from the hot tubs. There are rooms with private hot tubs that overlook the caldera, but I did not require that. Breakfast brought to my room (I stayed there in February) was amazing. I hiked from Fira to Oia, it took me about 2 1/2 hours. I was basically alone on the trail that day, so I don't know if it's more crowded in other months. I also visited Akrotiri, and highly recommend it. There's a museum in Fira with some of the artifacts found there. I also visited a winery and had some very good wines. Santorini has a great climate and the right soil for it!
The sunset view from Oia is highly recommended. I didn't find it necessary to have a car there because I found a tour that included Akrotiri, a winery, and a couple of other sites, but I think driving there would be quite easy.

Posted by
166 posts

We stayed 3 nights at Adamant Suites (Firostefani) and it was incredible! Caldera view to die for, private hot tub on the patio, breakfast delivered daily, nice staff. Might be over your limit, I don’t recall the exact price. We had the opal suite. I will never forget the experience, and I have forgotten the cost. That might tell you all you need to know..