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Santorini- Best area to stay for Caldera Views but don't want to rent a car

We are 3 couples planning on staying on Santorini for 3 nights in Oct. We don't want to rent a car and don't want to take a cab everywhere. We don't want to stay where its very crowded, or cruise ships., which town would you suggest, we don't mind walking 20- 30 minutes to find dinner, nice village etc...If needed will hire a guide for the rest of the island..
Fantasy travel has recommended Volcano View Hotel, (car recommended) which is on the way to Pyrgos.

Thanks for your help,
Monica

Posted by
7998 posts

It is a very small island but a car would be helpful for some locations. Fanstasy Travel is well respected and should be able to fulfill your wishes.

Posted by
2951 posts

The Volcano View Hotel is away from where all the cruise shippers wander around so it will be quiet there, but there's almost nothing nearby in terms of shops or restaurants. It's also on a very busy road, although you will be down the cliff a bit, away from the traffic noise. You will have about a 1.6 mile walk into Fira for the shops and restaurants. As an alternative, and with an equally great sunset and caldera view, I suggest you take a look at Firostefani, which is only about a 15-minute stroll along the cliff from Fira but not somewhere the cruise shippers typically bother with. Use the filter system at www.booking.com to search for the sort of hotel you prefer at the price you want to pay. Or ask Fantasy Travel to come up with some new suggestions based on your requirements.

Posted by
92 posts

Thank you for the great info, does anyone have any hotel or Airbnb suggestions for Firostefani in the $200-$250 a night range?

Posted by
41 posts

Monica,
I made reservations for this October at Stefani Suites (Gaia Suite) for my husband and myself. It was 451 Euro for two nights with breakfast. Haven’t been there yet so can’t speak from experience but it looks great and has very good reviews.

Posted by
3331 posts

We stayed at the Ira Hotel & Spa, in Firostefani. I’m sure we paid less than $250/night, in May, for a spacious room with a separate living area with sofa and tv. A nice breakfast was included. We did not have a car. We could walk to Fira and took a public bus to Oia. Restaurants line the street along the way to Fira. We ate twice at one recommended by the hotel receptionist (sorry, I can’t remember the name). She also set us up with a whole day tour, visiting Akrotiri, Megalochori, and a winery. Oia was included; but by the time we were to go there, to catch the sunset, we were too tired. It was all done without a car, a good option for a short stay like yours.

Posted by
92 posts

Thanks again for all your advice, I am trying to use Fantasy travel for it all in Oct, but when I asked for several suggestions for hotels in Firostefani, 3 rooms, caldera view and with pool, not a 5 star resort, she said she had nothing there and offered place in Imerovigli,Meli Meli, no caldera view and looks like it's right on the road, she then said she found one in Firostefani, Santorini Palace a 5 star resort, reviews are not great and I don't see a caldera view. I did see a wonderful review here for Nikos Villas, which I contacted myself , they have 3 rooms but it's in Oia . I know Oia is beautiful but without a rental car is it a good base to see the island , is difficult to get around, enough restaurants to walk to, good bus service if we want to go to Fira for dinner etc. We plan on hiring a driver for tour of the island as we are a group of 6 people .

Sorry this is so long, but would love to hear your thoughts from everyone who has some much experience traveling here.
Thanks.

Posted by
2898 posts

Have you considered just looking at booking.com for Firostephani? YOu don't give specific dates (why not?) or one of us would do the work for you, putting in a "dummy booking" ... I cannot believe that one of the good Firostephani hotels does not have 3 rooms with caldera views from the rooms or at least from a common high terrace (such as Sunset hotel). Just for Example, others in a wide price range, Villa Ilias, Blue Dolphins, Mill House, Agnadema Apartments, Dana Villas Hotel, Vallas Apts, Nomikos Villas, Hotel Galini. If you don't find 3 rooms in 1 hotel, and are not "locked into" an exact 3 days, you might try tweaking your dates 1 day earlier, or one day later, or looking a 2 rooms in 1 hotel, and 1 in a hotel right next door. To get everything you want, starting at the time you have (i know I know but Santorini is different from all other islands), you need to exercise imagination & flexibility.

Posted by
2951 posts

Try Villa Ilias in Firostefani and Scirocco Apartments in Fira.

Posted by
92 posts

Sorry trying not to make it longer than it was. We are staying on Santorini, starting Oct 2-6, 4 nights need 3(double bed min rooms) or 2 bedroom apt or 2bedroom suites ok with another double room for 3rd couple. Thanks for great suggestion, loved Sunset rec, but booked as was Villa Llias
Found availability at Hotel Galini in Firistefani, Eden Villas in Imerovigli and Nikos Villas in Oia, with out a car , ok with buses, if we want a place where we can walk to lunch\dinner , easy to get around etc... any recommendations?

Posted by
1789 posts

We stayed in oia and loved it but very glad we had car for one day. You can not go anywhere past Fira without changing buses. That said we have good friends who stayed in oia for five nights without s car and were happy as clams. They took a sunset cruise, hiked part of the wAy to Fira and turned around. And I don’t know what else. Depends on what you are looking for I think. But my two cents is that with three couples you are better being more centrally located if you don’t want to rent a car. It would seem that at least one couple might get restless in oia.

Beth

Posted by
2898 posts

Of the 3, I would say Villa Galini. Firostephani is an easy 15-minute stroll to Fira town ... y ou can walk via the "rim path" going TO Fira (it's downhill) ... and coming back, there is a Flagstoned level path that is parallel to the main road ... it starts from the colonnade of a large church, it's between rows of private 1-2 story residences; ask your hoteliers to show you and/or mark it on the map.

The "beauty part" of Firostephani is that it's ignored by cruise crowds & bus-tour groups... they whizz right on by... so it's serene by day & night. To see OIA, there's a bus stop right on the main road; if you get the early bus (8 or 8:30) you'll have almost 2 hours to wander relatively uncrowded OIA lanes, and get some pictures in good morning light, before the throngs pour in, masses of confused looking people with nametags on, following guides with umbrellas or flags. When they show up, SCRAM.

OTHER SIGHTSEEING -- You can get a bus back to FIRA, and go to the small and GOOD museum, next to the Cathedral (the cruise crowds don't usually go there). If you're interested in the buried village of Akrotiri, you might google (or inquire here) about a guide; you'd probably have to pay for 2 hours if you meet the guide at the site -- could be €60 per hour. Alternative is to do some serious "homework" beforehand, because the signage is not great. NOTE: from Fira, you can easily take a bus to AKROTIRI ... & if you copy the timetable at the Fira "bus yard" you can time your stay to get a return bus ... it's also handy to have the cell phone # of a taxi service also. ANCIENT THIRA -- this is a great outing, doesn't really require a guide. Don't attempt to climb the whole thing; most time-efficient & cost-efficient would be to do a taxi to get there (at least to the high parking turn-around). From that point, it's about a 20-minute uphill scramble on a path, to the top. THere's a water fountain & a WC ... on a fine day, great place to have picnic with a view! Here's a good Map of ruins http://www.greeceprivatetours.com/ancient-thera-map.jpg and here's a Trip Advisor thread with me & some friends, https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g189433-i245-k3892417-Ancient_Thira_Kamari-Santorini_Cyclades_South_Aegean.html#28259953 with loads of tips, photos & links -- more about it than you want to know.

Posted by
92 posts

Thank you this so extremely helpful, really appreciate it...

Posted by
161 posts

Monica, We just stayed in a great airbnb in Firostefani. It is pretty new, quiet at night but a 10 minute walk to Fira. Two BR, kitchen, dining, bath with laundry, daily cleaning service and a very large balcony with lots of outdoor furniture and sea view. I highly recommend this place.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/12306546?s=51

Posted by
1018 posts

While that airbnb looks fantastic it has Aegean sea views not Caldera views. I think Monica stated they wanted caldera views. This however would be an excellent option for anyone on a budget who is willing to walk a bit to a viewing point. Its location also helps in managing cruse ship crowds who are not likely to wander into this part of Santorini.

Posted by
92 posts

Thank you, we have finally booked the Villa at Hotel Galini, great location, it looks fabulous and could not of done it with your wonderful advice.
We were trying to use Fantasy Travel for our entire trip, but she would not suggest anywhere in Firostefani and kept putting us in 5 star resorts, to far way from Fira, and on Naxos, she did the same. I guess they can only do so much. She also mentioned she could not help us book the fights to Santorini or ferries if she didn't book the hotels there, does that sound right?

Posted by
2898 posts

The agencies don't get any commissions from the airlines or ferry lines (as they once did, long ago), they only get commissions now from hotels & tours that register with them.... and sometimes the better=value hotels don't work with agencies LIke Fantasy, because they can fill their rooms with direct bookings, or online-only outfits, which charge a smaller percentage. I feel for agency people, they have to earn a living... but today with the internet, it's D-I-Y for best values and most choices. So, alas, it's the world of the Self-Starters now (and your friend probably won't even appreciate your efforts, she's living in the past).