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Santorini Locations - Where to stay?

We are 4 travelers planning a trip to the Greek Islands - September 2019. We are active and are planning day trip to Delos Antiparos - Catamaran cruises - will want to rent a moped - car - looking for a nice location with a good view with easy access to restaurants and town. Don't want to stay too secluded or too quiet. I continue to read reviews, but not sure I have a clear understanding of these locations...Imperovigli - Fira or Firostefani. Trying not to spend more than $350 a night. Any advise would be appreciated....Thanks

JFK to Athens 2 nights
Ferry to Mykonos 3 nights - Town or beach
Ferry to Paro 3 nights
Ferry to Naxos 3 nights
Ferry to Santorini - 3 nights Imperovigli - Fira or Firostefani
Fly back to Athens -1 night

Posted by
2860 posts

Imerovigli is positioned at the highest elevation on the cliffs overlooking the caldera, thus the best overall sunset and caldera views. It's also nice and peaceful there. Firostefani is between Imerovigli and Fira but is mostly overlooked by view seekers and souvenir shoppers, making it an excellent location if you want easy walking-distance (15 minutes) access to Fira but want to avoid the crowds. Fira is the island's social/commercial hub. All the independent cruise shippers come ashore there so it gets very crowded. "All roads lead to Fira" so there's a lot of traffic. The island's main bus terminal is there. Just so you know there aren't any beaches on the side of the island with the caldera view. For that you'll have to go to Perissa/Perivolos, Kamari or Vlichada.

Use the filter system at www.booking.com to search for affordable accomodations village by village. Be advised that unless a hotel is showing 2 actual bedrooms on offer in one if their units it usually means that there's one bedroom with a queen or king bed and 2 daybeds in the living room area.

If you live outside the EU and you're going to be renting any sort of vehicle be sure to bring an International Driving Permit. If you live in the USA get it at your local AAA office, no test or membership required.

Posted by
703 posts

last year we stayed at firostefani and found it just right. with a nice walk back into fira, which is more 'touristy' and busy.
the views from firostefani were excellent.( bus stop close by and enough facilities) we walked to imerovigil, which is not far away, but it is more isolated ( from fira)
ask the hotel how many steps there are down to your room, if you are staying on the caldera side ( which is recommended) if you are not fit etc.
parts of fira would be a good option also, just not quite as good a view and busy.
hope this helps

Posted by
13 posts

We spent five nights in Firostefani September 2017. Fira seemed a little busier than Imperovigli and Firastefani, but not by very much. You can easily walk the rim of the caldera from Fira (southernmost town of the three) to Imerovigli (northernmost town of the three) and not be able to recognize when you're leaving one town and entering the next. We stayed in the Agali House and paid just a little less than your limit, but we stayed in a room overlooking the caldera and we had our own private balcony. That's exactly what we wanted and we accepting the cost. The English language is expansive or expressive enough to describe how beautiful and memorable it all was for us. The balcony became our excursion, in a way. In five nights, we had dinner at a restaurant only once. The other four nights, we got fried cheese, gyros, baklava, bottles of rose and sat on our balcony watching the sunset. The beauty about staying in a hotel like the Agali House that is draped down the side of the mountain, is that it's perfectly quiet and peaceful when you're in your hotel, but a walk up the stairs to the rim of the caldera and it's all commotion and activity. We booked our hotel a solid year in advance also. Safe travels and enjoy.
-Steve

Posted by
2798 posts

Another vote for Firostefani! We spend 4 nights at Dana Villas. It was 197 steps with an incredible caldera view! Short walk to Fira. The combination of both areas had a great vibe. We chose not to rent a car. Instead we walked or took public transportation.

Posted by
56 posts

Thanks - sounds good, we will probably rent a scooter or ATV or moped but will not drive at night...thanks again