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Santorini Accommodation/Activities

We are planning to head to Santorini for about 5 days in May. We've been looking at places to say through VRBO, Airbnb and hotels online. Does anyone have any recommendations for a nice hotel to stay in in Santorini? Doesn't really matter if it's on the east or west side, just would prefer to spend less than $250-300 CAD/night (I'd prefer to be touring around the island, and not be hanging out in the hotel, so it doesn't have to be 5 star! But would love if it had a pool).

Also, if anyone has any ideas of some excursions, places to see, things to do, best places to eat, best place to rent a scooter etc, that would be greatly appreciated! Thank-you so much in advance :)

Posted by
998 posts

It is probably best to start thinking in terms of Euros not Canadian dollars that way everyone else doesn't have to do conversions. Today its 1.45 Cad to the Euro so your budget is really about 200 Euros.
For a first time visitor to Santorini I do recommend you find a hotel on the Caldera side with that view. We have stayed on the east side with ocean view and at one of the beaches but left both hotels for one with a Caldera view. Fira Firoestafani Igmorivilli and Oia all have that view. Be sure that the hotel is advertising a caldera view. A sea view is nice but may not be a Caldera view. It is expensive but for 200 euros a night you can probably get a reasonable moderate hotel.

I go to booking dot com enter my dates and the village you want to stay in and it gives price and availability and reviews.
If you find something in Oia you will really appreciate that caldera view because the whole village fills up with day trippers for the sunset. Watching it from your balcony without the crowds is priceless.

Don't miss the medieval city of Pyrgos which used to be the capital and just near Oia is the little village of Finikia. Time has simply stopped there.
And of course if you don't stay in Oia the sunset is worth the trip. By the way you can also get sunset from Fira and Firestofani but Oia gets all the hype.
Santorini http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632154800782/

Posted by
8293 posts

Santorini Palace has pool, has sunsets, has caldera view and a short walk to a bus stop.

Posted by
123 posts

With five days, you've got enough time to see quite a bit of the island. It's really fun to do an excursion out to the volcano and to Thirasia, the other part of the caldera. You can also do a wine tour as there are many great wineries scattered throughout the island, and the Santorini Wine Museum does a great event some nights with a tour, tasting, dinner and traditional music. I booked all of these excursions through a great little travel agency in Firostefani called Sun Marine Travel Services: http://www.sunmarine.gr/.

Posted by
2934 posts

There are just too many hotels in that price range to mention, especially when you don't specify where on the island you prefer. I think your best chance of finding something you can afford now since May is just around the corner is to use the filter system at www.booking.com You can search village by village or island-wide.

Posted by
20 posts

Hi,
We just reurned from Greece and spent 2 night on Santorini in a budget hotel with Caldera View in Firostephani. Ellinanon Theo has hot tubs, caldera view, but no pool. I highly recommend renting a car, or a scooter, if you're brave. You can se so much of the island with hardly any crowds on much of it. We rented by Santorini Holiday Cars and for 38E for 2 days we had a small older car and it was very satisfactory. By the time you wait for buses and pay hoel transfer you might as well rent a vehicle and have a lot of flexibility.
The top restaurants we liked were Tevrna Simos in Firostephani on the main road, where we had Greek salad for 2, roasted lamb shank with potatoes, moussaka, bread and 1/2 Liter of house wine. 29E plus tip! be forewarned that the portions of food tend to be HUGE all over Greece. Many places we ordered a Greek salad (or any salad) and it would easily have served 4 people. We also liked Salt and Pepper, also on the main road in Fira. Our dinner there came to 31E and they served a complimentary chocolate dessert.
We enjoyed Akrotiri Ruins, Pyrgos and the monastery on toop of the mountain Profit Ilias, Museum of Ancient Thira (Fira), and just driving around small villages off the beaten path.
It was a perfect time (mid-April) for weather and lack of crowds. Heaven! Enjoy!

Posted by
2876 posts

Thanks for your report Bobbie! I'm sure it will be helpful to many -- and am delighted you had a good time. April indeed is a fine time to visit Santorini.

Your report on meals & prices may surprise many, but it reflects the difference in pricing between tavernas right on the main road, which are in small unpretentious buildings, just looking out at the road, and cafes & tavernas perched on the rimside. Another Firostefani handmark, Taverna Aktaion, actually is th OLDEST continually-running Taverna on the island (since 1949 I think) ,and it has prices just as good as the ones quoted... and it's only 30 feet from the Rim-path view, an you can see sunsets from its 2 patio tables. In fact, the have 2 tiny tables right against the path parapet; I have a photo of a couple there, silhouetted against the sunset.

Your advice about huge portions of side dishes is emphasized in every Greek guidebook I know... but then so few people read guides any more, they depend only on websites on their phones. Ah well. The reason for this is, Greeks traditionally would never think of dining alone -- they always find friends or relatives when mealtime comes. Thus side dishes are MEANT for sharing .. a Greek salad will serve 2 or 3... similarly, dishes of Gigantes (beans in sauce), grape leaves, french fries, etc. When eating alone, or when not very hungry, I have a tip for all -- in your daybag or knapsack, bring along some ZIP-lock bags! I learned that one eve in Serifos, on the beach. Wanted a lttle something before my dinnerplate, saw that olives cost only €2, and ordered -- and the plate held THIRTY-EIGHT olives. After eating a dozen, I found a zip-loc in my bag and took the rest home, for picnics. Some tavernas now are beginning to stock foam "clamshell" containers for "take-away" of unconsumed food, but it's still not common. To sum, the safest way is to order a few things, and FIRST see the food-volume that appears, and only then add to your order mid-meal if you feel you want more.