Today I am going to detail the best places to stay in Santorini. In doing so, I will give you the reasons why I, personally, love the villas I have chosen. You will also be able to visit our website, Exceptional Villas, for more images and information on each of the stunning properties. We feature many beautiful Santorini luxury villas in our ever growing portfolio and would be delighted to assist in recommending the perfect villa for you!
1. Erossea Villa
Erossea Villa is one of the best places to stay in Santorini for families and couples, alike. It is also, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful. There are many reasons as to why you should stay at this incredible property.
Located in the village of Imerovigli the villa is within walking distance to many lovely restaurants and shops. It is just 2.5 kilometres to Fira, the charming capital of the island. It is possible to walk along the beautiful stoned pedestrian path that is situated along most of the caldera. You won’t notice the walk because the views the whole way along the path are completely breath-taking.
We have included Erossea Villa in our list of the best places to stay in Santorini because it is simply gorgeous! The villa has 5 bedrooms and is set over two levels of the cliff side with the main bedrooms and living area built into the natural caves. Erossea Villa also has the best view of the Skaros Rock which was once the capital of Santorini and is steeped in history and beauty in equal measures. The villa is not only a really good size, the layout and décor are also really beautiful.
Furthermore, Erossea Villa features one of the best terraces on the whole island! It is the case with most Santorini villas whereby the pools and terraces are small and compact due to the limited space on the caldera. However, the unique pool terrace of Erossea Villa boasts a large space perfect for dining alfresco, taking a mid morning dip in the pool and just relaxing with loved ones.
Above all, the views from the terrace are spectacular!
Erossea is not only one of my favourite villas in Santorini or one of my favourite villas in Greece, but it is also one of my favourite villas in the world!
2. Villa Gaia
Villa Gaia is another property I would like to include in my list of the best places to stay in Santorini. Like many of the Santorini and caldera villas, it is set over several levels on the cliff face. You enter Villa Gaia via a sunbathing terrace and will, subsequently, be blown over by the delightful sea and volcano views.
Villa Gaia is a great place for a honeymoon or for families with older children. However, we do not recommend it for people with small children under 10 because of the steep steps and the fact that the bedrooms are separated from each other.
The charming roof terrace is where you will inevitably want to stop and stare at the view and possibly never want to leave! The next level down is the main living area with its two guest bedrooms. One more level down some steep and narrow steps is the master suite which has its own private plunge pool, living area and small kitchen.
There are lots of fabulous restaurants within walking distance, and Fira is just 20 minutes’ walk away. On my recent stay in Villa Gaia, we walked from the property to Oia. It took less than 2 hours, even with endless stops to take photos! It was one of the most beautiful walks I have ever taken, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
When we arrived at Oia, we were blessed with an absolutely stunning sunset.
Native Eco is a beautiful 4-bedroom villa nestled in the caldera in Santorini.
It is located in Imerovigli which is just 2 kilometres from the main town of Fira and 9 kilometres from Oia. What a brilliant location! Firstly, I love the location of this villa as you are so close to everything. For instance, there is a shop just around the corner which is ideal for getting groceries and delicious breakfast pastries. In addition, Estia Traditional Grill House is situated behind the villa and is a great choice for lunch or dinner with a view.
Above all, what I love most about this location is the beautiful walk to Fira. It takes about 30 minutes but can take much longer as there are so many great photo opportunities along the way! It is a safe walk and mainly flat. Most evenings I would walk to Fira to try out a great local restaurant. After that, I would get a taxi back to the villa, full from a delicious meal.
The villa itself is stunning and has typical Greek interiors. That is to say, white-washed walls, tiled floors and minimal décor. The lounge area of Native Eco Villa is extra special. This is where you can sit back and take in the amazing views on offer. I don’t think I will ever find a hot tub with a better view!
The villa is split into 2 levels which offer extra privacy for guests so it is an ideal villa for a family or 4 couples.
4. Villa Iokasti
Villa Iokasti is, in my opinion, the best place to stay for a romantic couple’s getaway. Santorini is known to be one of the best honeymoon destinations and a quick image search will quickly show why! Quaint villages, picture-perfect views and good food – what more do you need!
Firstly, Villa Iokasti has one of the best locations on the caldera, close to the lovely town of Fira. Secondly, it is beautifully decorated. Thirdly, it features a private pool and Jacuzzi with exquisite sea views. Most importantly, it has a very romantic feel and offers guests privacy for their stay.
The terrace of Villa Iokasti is stunning. This is where you might spend time chatting, enjoying the incredible view and the wonderful sunsets with an ice-cold glass of champagne in hand. The bedroom is really beautiful and has a small sitting area that leads directly to the terrace and pool area.
Michaela Residence is one of my favourite villas in Santorini.
It is not located along the caldera which is what makes this villa so unique. It offers space, peace, and privacy. Located in an elevated spot close to the village of Akrotiri, this villa offers a great place to relax with family and friends. Most importantly, it offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea and the Santorini volcano. The location is perfect as it means you are away from the crowded areas of Santorini, which can be quite intense in summer time.
I like to be away from it all, yet only a short drive from town.
The villa is located near the historic village of Akrotiri which offers a nice selection of local tavernas, cafes and restaurants. Another plus is you are 5 minutes’ drive from Apothiki Beach. One of the main reasons I like this villa so much is the lovely private courtyard which is ideal for enjoying morning coffee.
The infinity pool with large terrace and beautiful lounge area is also worth a mention; it is one of my favourite places to enjoy the beauty and incredible views.
Santorini is a volcanic island and has an almost perfect semi-circular shape on one side. The ridge along the semi-circle is called the caldera which stretches all the way from the most south-westerly point of Akrotiri to the most north-westerly point of Oia. At its highest point, close to the capital of Thera, it is 367 meters or 1204 feet from sea level. From here there is a pretty sheer drop to the sea.
The island is surrounded by the azure Aegean Sea and is situated approximately 200 kilometres southeast of Greece‘s mainland.
All along the cliff top are beautiful villages, hotels and villas. Consequently, the views from anywhere along the Santorini caldera are astonishingly beautiful. Many of the Santorini villas have been built into naturally occurring caves. Santorini is one of the most photographed places in the world and all for a good reason.
From just about every point on the caldera, it is possible to see the whole length of the caldera as well as the beautiful islands of Kameni, Thirisia and Aspronisi.
Where is best area to stay for you?
Having visited the island many times, I think that there is no bad place to stay along the caldera, but if you are a first-time visitor, it is nice to be within walking distance of one of the four beautiful towns – Fira, Oia, Imerovigli and Firostafani.
Almost all the Santorini luxury villas are located close to one of these towns. Fira is the capital of Santorini and is perfectly located in the centre of the caldera. As it is slightly larger than the other towns, with a population of 15,500, there is more to see and do here. Therefore, Fira is, in my opinion, the best place to stay in Santorini for families.
Oia, situated on the northwestern side, is world-famous for its incredible sunsets. Due to its romantic charm and delightful streets, Oia is the ideal place to stay for a couple or for a remarkable honeymoon trip.
In any blog about Santorini it is worth mentioning the sunset. The sunsets here are the best I have ever come across on my travels, and I travel a lot! Every evening, hordes of people make their way to Oia to find the best spot, have a cocktail, and revel in the spectacular event. The second the sun hits the sea, the whole town can be heard clapping and celebrating. For anyone who loves to travel, it should be on your bucket list to do at least once.
But Santorini is not just about sunsets, and there are lots of wonderful things to do that are off the beaten track.
You can take a look at our guides on the Highlights of Santorini to get a feel for the island prior to your trip.
We have also put together some useful information on Beaches and Boat Trips which are an absolute must when visiting the Greek island.
I would highly recommend the pleasant walk from Santorini Villas to The Top of Skaros Rock. Skaros Rock, also known as Fortress Skaros or Castle Skaros, is a rock formation and collection of ruins. Once the capital of Santorini, Skaros Rock is steeped in history and beauty in equal measures. A walk here at sunset is a delight and rater peaceful while others gather at Oia.
If you are looking to explore more of Greece, we feature properties on many islands. In particular, Mykonos is another beautiful island worth exploring and is less than 4 hours from Santorini by ferry. You can check out some of the Best Things to do in Mykonos that is sure to inspire a memorable trip!
Santorini is without a doubt one of the most special places on earth, for any avid traveller, I believe it should be close to the top of everyone’s bucket list!
At Exceptional Villas, we are lucky enough to visit Santorini on a regular basis and are happy to share with you our unbiased opinion on all the best luxury villas and the best places to stay in Santorini.
We love hearing from our readers so if we have missed one of your favourite spots, do let us know.
Feel free to leave a comment.