The best hotels in Santorini to book now that Greece is open to US travelers

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  • Greece is reopening to US travelers and expects a big return in tourists this summer.
  • The Greek Islands are among the most beautiful places to visit in Greece, especially Santorini.
  • The best hotels in Santorini boast dramatic views, private pools, beaches, and suites for families.

With the recent announcement that Greece will open to travelers this summer with proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, now is the time to plan a visit to one of the country’s gems, Santorini.

The island is best known for its iconic, whitewashed clifftop towns that offer striking panoramas of the world-famous caldera, a crescent-shaped bay with volcanic islands peeking out from the glittering blue Aegean Sea. 

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“Santorini, and the Greek islands in general, are ideal for post-pandemic travel because most services take place outside and visitors won’t spend a lot of time indoors or in closed spaces with others,” says Mina Agnos, president of Travelive, a luxury travel firm that has been sending mainly US-based clients to the island for 20 years.

“Now is also a great time to visit Santorini since there will be fewer cruises this season and we expect the crowd sizes to be much smaller than in the past,” she said.  

That’s great news for travelers looking to stay in the popular, caldera-fronting villages of Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Fira. Typically, these areas see a surge of summer crowds, making now a unique time to visit before the majority of travelers return in full.

With expert input, we compiled top hotels based on value, location, as well as amenities such as private pools. And keep reading for tips on the best places to stay, how to find cheap deals, and what to know about travel restrictions in Greece.

The best hotels on Santorini were selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Hotels are located all over the island in popular towns that offer dramatic caldera and sea views, close proximity to popular tourist attractions, and beachfront access.
  2. Every hotel offers rooms with coveted perks such as cave-style architecture, cliffside rooms with Aegean views, private pools, or jetted tubs.
  3. Hotels are small or intimate properties to avoid crowds and encourage social distancing.
  4. Hotels cater to a wide range of travelers, from couples to families. 
  5. Each has a rating of 8.9 or above with a plethora of positive reviews and is highly rated on other trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor.
  6. Hotels range in price from $97 to $809 per night to suit a range of budgets, depending on the season, though, keep in mind most island hotels operate only from May to mid-October.
  7. All have COVID-19 protocols and procedures in place, which we’ve noted with each listing. 

Browse all the best hotels in Santorini below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

  • The best hotels in Santorini
  • More on our methodology for the best Santorini hotels
  • FAQ: The best Santorini hotels
  • More of the best hotels in Europe

Here are the best hotels on Santorini, sorted by starting price from low to high

Book Winery Hotel 1870

Category: Budget

Area: Fira

Typical starting/peak prices: $97/$287

Best for: Couples, families, groups

On-site amenities: Heated outdoor pool, pool bar, breakfast service

Pros: This charming hotel offers stylish design and a top-notch, central location at affordable rates.

Cons: There are no caldera or sea views and most rooms face the pool, so there’s less privacy. There is no on-site restaurant. 

You don’t need to sacrifice location or great design for a lower price point at this all-suite hotel, housed in a former winery in the heart of Fira.

Entry-level Cozy Suites for two are outfitted with sleek, contemporary furnishings, marble bathrooms, and a double bed, and feature traditional touches like wooden doors and windows. Upgrade to an Executive Suite for about $30 more per night and you’ll get a private terrace with a hot tub. The Premier Suite, with its natural cave walls, is particularly stunning. 

Family Suites offer two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, while sprawling, dual-level Queen and King suites feature dramatic curving, vaulted ceilings plus indoor hot tubs or plunge pools. 

Step outside the hotel and you’re surrounded by all the restaurants, bars, and nightlife of the island’s capital.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Aria Suites & Villas

Book Aria Suites & Villas

Category: Boutique

Area: Fira

Typical starting/peak prices: $195/$760

Best for: Couples, families, groups

On-site amenities: Pool with pool bar, spa, and breakfast service available in rooms

Pros:  The hotel’s hilltop location means there are fewer steps to navigate on the property, making it ideal for kids or those with mobility issues. Plus it’s an easy stroll to Fira, with its shopping and nightlife. The hotel also has a slightly longer season than many Santorini hotels, opening in April, when you can take advantage of lower rates.

Cons: There is no on-site restaurant but the pool bar does serve snacks. Rooms are pricey in the summer high season, so consider booking in spring or fall for a better value.

This boutique property is located in one of the highest spots of Fira, which means unlike many hotels in the area, it doesn’t require a steep climb to reach all the buzzy nightlife and shopping of Santorini’s capital. It’s also one of the few Fira hotels that is family-friendly, without the multitudes of stairs found in many of the cliffside hotels here. 

There are six individually designed, modern suites named after famous operas that start at a wonderfully spacious 678 square feet, and feature separate living and sleeping areas, King-sized beds, and terraces with sea and caldera views. La Boheme offers a second loft bedroom with a Queen-sized bed that’s great for families.

There are also four villas, located a short distance from the main hotel, which offer even more space, plus indoor and outdoor hot tubs with incredible caldera views. Those staying in the villas can also access a rooftop hot tub, though you will need to climb a steep set of stairs to reach it. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Rocabella Santorini

Book Rocabella Santorini

Category: Boutique

Area: Imerovígli

Typical starting/peak prices: $213/$279

Best for: Couples, small groups

On-site amenities: A contemporary Greek restaurant, 2 bars, 3 pools, spa, gym, boutique

Pros: The hotel boasts three pools for its 42 accommodations, making it easy to practice social distancing. Unlike many Santorini hotels, Rocabella is open year-round.

Cons: Entry-level rooms lack views and an upgrade means a steep hike in price. Low walls between terraces provide less privacy than might be desired. 

Offering sublime caldera views at a far gentler entry-level price point, this boutique hotel sits atop a cliff on the outskirts of Imerovígli, about a mile from bustling Fira and a 10-minute drive to Oia.

Though it has just 42 rooms and suites, the property boasts three pools — a large infinity pool plus two smaller pools on separate levels — ensuring guests won’t have to jostle for a sun lounger. 

The Cycladic-style hotel features sleek, minimalist interiors with all-white walls and furnishings and touches of warm wood. All rooms have private outdoor space but the lowest category lacks Aegean views. It’s a steep increase of around $200 per night to upgrade to those with sea or caldera views, or with private plunge pools.  

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Dana Villas & Infinity Suites

Book Dana Villas & Infinity Suites

Category: Luxury

Area: Firostefani

Typical starting/peak prices: $225/$411

Best for: Couples, families, small groups

On-site amenities: Restaurant, lounge, spa, outdoor infinity pool, indoor pool

Pros: Every room boasts caldera views and upgrading to the uber-luxury Infinity Suites nets outstanding private indoor/outdoor pools.

Cons: With its cliffside location, be prepared to climb lots of stairs. Rooms near the pool and lounge can be noisy. Some outdoor terraces lack privacy, as you can see the neighboring terrace.

Perched on the edge of the caldera in Firostefani village, this cave-style hotel has a blissfully quiet setting, yet is within walking distance of all the vibrant nightlife of Fira, Santorini’s capital.

The recently renovated 29-room property is spread across two levels, with the original rooms and suites of Dana Villas on the lower level and the Infinity Suites above. 

Every accommodation features a terrace and fantastic caldera, volcano, and sea views, but the Infinity Suites are a big leap in terms of luxury. Every suite has a private pool and many have indoor/outdoor heated pools carved into caves or running river-style from the room to the cliff’s edge. 

The hotel is a particular favorite of honeymooning couples, and its event spaces frequently host weddings, but families are also welcome. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Antoperla Luxury Hotel & Spa

Book Antoperla Luxury Hotel & Spa

Category: Boutique

Area: Perissa

Typical starting/peak prices: $229/$410

Best for: Couples, families, small groups

On-site amenities: Indoor/outdoor Mediterranean restaurant, 2 seasonal outdoor pools (one for adults, one for children), pool bar, a holistic spa with sauna and hammam, fitness center, private beach area

Pros: Close proximity to the long, wide black-sand beach of Perissa is the main draw of this hotel.

Cons: Though it’s directly across from the beach, rooms lack sea views. All the pools and jetted tubs, including private ones, are unheated, which is fine for summer, but too chilly to use in the off-season. 

Located on the southeastern side of Santorini, this family-friendly hotel sits just across from Perissa’s famously wide, black-sand beach. The setting is quiet and peaceful, but it’s close to many seaside restaurants and 15 minutes by foot to the bar and nightlife scene in coastal Perivolos.

Rooms and suites are simple, modern, all-white affairs with touches of soft gray and blue. All have outdoor space and some feature outdoor jetted tubs or private plunge pools. Entry-level Superior Doubles are on the cozy side and suitable only for couples, while split-level suites offer separate sleeping areas on each floor, making them ideal for families.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

KETI Hotel

Book KETI Hotel

Category: Boutique

Area: Fira

Typical starting/peak prices: $238/$282

Best for: Couples, small groups

On-site amenities: Breakfast room, jetted pool, sun deck 

Pros: The same fantastic caldera, Aegean, and volcano views as many higher-end Fira hotels, but at much cheaper prices. The hotel is also a short walk to the capital’s central square and its restaurants, bars, and nightlife.   

Cons: There are limited amenities with only a small, unheated communal whirlpool and no on-site restaurant. You’ll need to climb a steep set of stairs to get to Fira.

All of Fira’s vibrant nightlife, shopping, and dining is just a five-minute walk from this well-priced, small-scale hotel, tucked away on the left edge of the caldera.

Its nine whitewashed rooms and suites are minimalist in style, with tasteful, contemporary furnishings and sleek stone bathrooms. All have private or semi-private balconies offering gorgeous Aegean, volcano, and caldera views. 

While Superior rooms with double beds are perfectly comfortable, the larger Cave House suite is better suited to a romantic getaway, with a King-sized bed, arched doorways, and two balconies with marvelous views. For a real splurge, book the King Suite, with volcano and sunset views right from the built-in bed or from the heated hot tub on the balcony.  

Expect little in the way of amenities here — just a small, unheated communal whirlpool and no restaurant. But the hotel serves an excellent breakfast (included in the rate) inside or out on the large deck overlooking the Aegean.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Bellonias Villas

Book Bellonias Villas

Category: Boutique

Area: Kamari

Typical starting/peak prices: $265/$387

Best for: Couples, families

On-site amenities: Pool, Jacuzzi, bar, gym, private beach area with free use of paddleboards

Pros: This all-suite seaside hotel sits across from the island’s famous black-sand beaches. It features a private beach with sun loungers and drinks service, plus a large outdoor pool with views of the sea and surrounding mountains.

Cons: Rooms lack private pools and only the highest-category Honeymoon Suite has a hot tub.

Just steps from the black volcanic sands of Kamari on the island’s peaceful east coast, this stylish but unpretentious all-suite hotel is ideal for a low-key beach getaway. 

While the buildings resemble Greece’s typical whitewashed Cycladic architecture, the interior is wholly contemporary, with chic black and white furnishings, cement floors, and warm wood and stone accents. 

The 26 suites come in a variety of sizes and configurations, starting with the entry-level Luxury for Less rooms which measure a cozy 215 square feet. Upgrading to a Studio Suite gives you more breathing room and all have kitchenettes and outdoor space, with larger suites offering separate dining areas and sea views.  

COVID-19 procedures include: Social distancing and cleaning measures to protect guests and staff in the pool, restaurant, gym, and private beach. Increased time between check-out, room cleaning, and check-in of the next guests; self-parking only.

CAPE 9 Exclusive Villas & Suites

Book CAPE 9 Exclusive Villas & Suites

Category: Boutique

Area: Akrotiri

Typical starting/peak prices: $318/$472

Best for: Couples, families, small groups

On-site amenities: Outdoor pool, restaurant facilities with in-room delivery, spa services

Pros: Privacy is assured within the huge rooms and sprawling villas, each with its own private plunge pool, and all have wonderful sea and sunset views.  

Cons: Dining is limited to in-room delivery and there is no bar, although every room has its own mini bar with a selection of local wines. Akrotiri has limited nightlife, so you’ll need to head to Fira or Oia, which are about a half-hour drive away.

Less developed than Oia, Fira, and Imerovígli, Akrotiri is a great option for travelers seeking a quieter stay on the caldera.

This chic nine-room hotel has a peaceful rural location with fantastic views over the caldera and the sea. Plus, it’s a short drive to Caldera Beach, which has some of the island’s best diving, and Red Beach, surrounded by striking red cliffs. 

All of the modern, whitewashed suites and villas are wonderfully private with large patios and private plunge pools. Suites are enormous, measuring 645 square feet, with separate seating and sleeping areas. Superior rooms have better, more unobstructed sea views for about $50 more per night. Superior Family villas are ideal for families or small groups, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms spread across two levels, plus direct access to a large, semi-private pool. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

San Antonio

Book San Antonio

Category: Luxury

Area: Imerovigli

Typical starting/peak prices: $340/$641

Best for: Couples

On-site amenities: Outdoor infinity pool, bar, gourmet restaurant, spa 

Pros: This secluded, cliffside hotel features top-notch caldera and Aegean views from every room.

Cons: The location might be a bit isolated for some; it’s about a 10-minute drive or bus ride to Imerovigli village and 20 minutes to Oia.

Peace and calm reign at this secluded, adults-only hotel on the outskirts of Imerovigli. Built into the volcanic rocks of the caldera, the hotel, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, features a striking design, starting with a long tunnel carved into the mountain that leads to the reception area. Rock walls zig-zag down the cliff, interspersed with lovely flowering gardens, ending at the infinity pool, glassed-in restaurant, and bar/lounge all with panoramic caldera views. 

Every room has a terrace with views of the caldera and the sparkling blue Aegean below. Suites take things up a notch with private verandas and outdoor hot tubs that hug the edge of the sprawling verandas. Many are decorated in a classic style that feels more continental than Mediterranean, with curving Louis-style chairs and floral, toile, and gingham accents. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Iconic Santorini

Book Iconic Santorini

Category: Boutique

Area: Imerovigli

Typical starting/peak prices: $355/$960

Best for: Couples

On-site amenities: Outdoor infinity pool with jetted tub, gym, spa, restaurant

Pros:  A boutique haven of cave suites with unbeatable caldera views, no matter which room you choose. 

Cons: As it’s set on a steep hillside, be prepared to go up and down lots of stairs.

Carved into the volcanic cliffs overlooking the caldera with spectacular vistas of the Aegean and the volcanic islands beyond, this boutique, adults-only hotel is a top choice for those looking to experience classic, cave-style architecture.

Spread across five levels, the vertical layout ensures that every room and suite has the same stellar view from its private terrace. Trading up means you’re literally going higher up the cliff and gaining more space and amenities, from jetted private plunge pools to sprawling terraces with nothing between you and the deep blue sea.

Wherever you are in the hotel, the views are fantastic, from the rooms to the Pergola Restaurant, which focuses on local cuisine and wines, to the infinity pool and sun terrace.

COVID-19 procedures are available here. 

Carpe Diem Santorini

Book Carpe Diem Santorini

Category: Luxury

Area: Pyrgos

Typical starting/peak prices: $400/$978

Best for: Couples

On-site amenities: Spa, infinity pool, 2 restaurants, 24/7 butler service

Pros: Each of the enormous suites has its own private pool, ensuring plenty of privacy. 

Cons: The hotel is a bit remote and you’ll need a car or taxi to reach the beach and other island attractions. 

With a maximum of two people allowed per room, this luxury hotel caters to couples and honeymooners seeking a secluded, romantic getaway.

The hotel is intimate in size, with just 10 suites, but they are huge, even before you consider their private terraces with pools. The smallest measures 485 square feet, with a nearly equal amount of outdoor space, and all have great views overlooking the vineyard-dotted countryside to the sea beyond. An infinity pool, spa, and two restaurants, including the signature Exaltis with panoramic sunset vistas, and 24/7 butler service round out the luxe offerings.

The peaceful setting is just down the road from sleepy Pyrgos, the highest village on the island, whose charming medieval alleys are dotted with wine bars and tavernas. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa

Book Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa

Category: Luxury

Area: Oia

Typical starting/peak prices: $401/$837

Best for: Couples, small groups

On-site amenities: Five infinity outdoor pools, spa with sauna, steam room and heated indoor pool; fitness center, pool bar, restaurant serving Cretan specialties

Pros: Multiple outdoor pools plus personal hot tubs or private pools in all the suites and villas ensure plenty of privacy in this chic, adults-only retreat. It’s also just a short stroll from the popular fishing village of Oia. 

Cons: The resort lacks caldera views but the sea and sunset vistas are fantastic. Rates are high and soar even higher in the summer months.

With a whopping five infinity pools, each surrounded by a small cluster of suites, this upscale, adults-only resort makes it easy to practice social distancing. 

Each of the 65 whitewashed suites and villas has extended verandas with heated hot tubs. Most have Aegean views and several come with their own pools for added privacy.

Boho-chic furnishings, earth-toned textiles, and ethnic rugs decorate the beautifully designed suites, all with custom-made King-sized beds and kitchenettes with a dining area. Entry-level Pool Front Suites lack sea views, so consider upgrading to a Junior Suite for about $75 more per night. Rooms featuring sunset vistas over Oia will run even higher.  

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Istoria Hotel

Book Istoria Hotel

Category: Design

Area: Perivolos

Typical starting/peak prices: $471/$711

Best for: Couples

On-site amenities: Restaurant with modern Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, infinity pool, Jacuzzi, pool bar, spa, private beach area

Pros: Set right on a coveted black-sand beach, this hotel counts 12 design-led suites, many of which have direct sea views. The sprawling infinity pool is an added bonus.  

Cons: If you have children under 14, you’ll have to look elsewhere as this is an adults-only hotel. There are no caldera views. Cocktails and snacks are expensive. 

Ideal for beach and design-lovers alike, this contemporary architectural gem is a member of Marriott’s Design Hotels and sits directly on Perivolos, one of the best stretches of the island’s famous black-sand beaches.

Interiors are a chic combination of old and new, with antique wood ceilings and preserved stone columns from the original equestrian estate blended with sleek modern furnishings and natural elements like terracotta and marble. 

The centerpiece is a green-tiled infinity pool that stretches 108 feet with a sunken pool bar where guests can sip on expertly mixed cocktails. Dine beneath canvas sails with your toes in the sand at Mr. E Restaurant, serving modern Greek and Mediterranean cuisine created with seasonal ingredients and local seafood. 

The 12 suites combine natural and earthy materials with contemporary minimalist decor. All have terraces and those on the upper floors offer direct or side sea views, which face east over the Aegean. Recit, Conte, and Storia Suites have outdoor hot tubs, while the ground-level Tarina Suite has a private pool (though it lacks sea views).

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Vedema, A Luxury Collection Resort

Book Vedema, A Luxury Collection Resort

Category: Boutique

Area: Megalohori

Typical starting/peak prices: $483/$580

Best for: Families, couples

On-site amenities: Spa, fitness center, 2 outdoor pools, Jacuzzi, 2 bars, 2 restaurants with indoor and terrace dining, plus a private dining space serving gourmet tasting menus

Pros: Thoroughly renovated in 2020, the hotel feels brand new, and its quaint vineyard setting, overlooking the charming medieval village of Megalohori, puts you far from tourist crowds.

Cons: Getting to the beach requires driving or a 15-minute shuttle bus ride, though guests do have access to a full-service beach club on Perivolos. While all rooms have outdoor space, those in the lowest category face the inner courtyard so you’ll need to upgrade for better views. 

Located on the western side of the island deep in wine country, this boutique hideaway from Marriott’s Luxury Collection combines five-star services with a relaxing, family-friendly vibe.

Abutting the quaint medieval town of Megalohori, the resort mimics a traditional Cycladic village with white-washed buildings connected by stone walkways, interspersed with flowering gardens and olive trees. At its heart is a 400-year-old winery, whose ancient, arched stone walls now house the signature Alati Restaurant, featuring produce from its on-site organic garden. 

The resort just completed a thorough renovation and all 59 one- and two-bedroom suites and villas have an earth-hued color palette and new decor, furniture, and forged cement bathrooms. The restaurants, pool, and common areas have also been redesigned and the hotel added a second pool and pool bar overlooking the vineyards. 

Consider upgrading from the entry-level Dorian Suite to the new Ionian category, with views of the village or surrounding vineyards, for about $60 more per night. If you want Aegean vistas from your room, you’ll have to splurge on the pricey Olympian villa.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Andronis Arcadia Hotel

Book Andronis Arcadia Hotel

Category: Luxury

Area: Oia

Typical starting/peak prices: $542/$983

Best for: Couples, families, groups

On-site amenities: Infinity pool, spa, fitness center, bar, one Greek and one Asian-themed restaurant

Pros: A five-star resort that caters to families is a rarity on the island, especially in Oia, and this one is packed with kid-friendly activities, plus an enormous infinity pool overlooking the Aegean. It’s just a 10-minute walk to the central square.

Cons: Set on a sloping hill below Oia, the resort has no caldera views, but glorious sunsets over the sea more than make up for it.

One of Santorini’s few luxury family-friendly properties, this Preferred Hotels & Resorts member has a big range of activities tailored for children, including yoga, cooking lessons, tennis, photo safaris, and even kid’s spa treatments. The location is within walking distance of Oia, the island’s most famous village, but just far enough to escape the crowds.

The resort’s minimal whitewashed design resembles a traditional Greek village, and interiors are similar in style with neutral tones, curated local artwork, and furniture crafted from locally sourced materials. Accommodations cater to every type of traveler, with all rooms featuring a private plunge pool and fantastic sunset views over the Aegean. 

The open-plan Sunset Suites are ideal for couples, while the tri-level, two-bedroom Family Suites can accommodate families or small groups. For even more privacy, there are two- and four-bedroom villas, plus a sprawling six-bedroom Eden Villa with two pools.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

OMMA Santorini

Book OMMA Santorini

Category: Luxury

Area: Imerovigli

Typical starting/peak prices: $809/$900

Best for: Couples, families, groups

On-site amenities: Restaurant with modern Greek cuisine from a Michelin-starred chef, 2 large infinity pools, pool bar, spa, gym

Pros: The hilltop setting provides stunning, 360-degree views of both the caldera and Aegean Sea, and its double-level infinity pool is one of the largest on the island. Rooms are serene and many feature sea or caldera views and private plunge pools. 

Cons: You’ll pay handsomely here, especially for rooms with premium views and pools. The rugged drive up to the hotel is not for the faint of heart. The closest beach is in Kamari, about a half-hour drive.

Officially opening on June 1, following a brief soft launch in 2019, this luxury hotel benefits from its secluded hilltop location with panoramic views of both the caldera and the Aegean Sea — and no other properties in sight.

Adding to the exclusive feel is its intimate size. There are just 25 rooms and suites and five villas on nearly 1.5 acres. At the heart of the resort is an enormous dual-level infinity pool with the island’s iconic caldera as its backdrop. Rounding out the posh offerings are a spa featuring Elemis products, and OMMA Restaurant, with a Mediterranean menu created by a Michelin-starred chef.

Rooms are understated with whitewashed walls, glossy white floors, and touches of gray and black. All have King-sized beds and private balconies; those with sea views are about $100 more per night and caldera views are even pricier. The Maisonette is ideal for families or two couples, with two bedrooms and bathrooms on separate levels, plus a private plunge pool. 

COVID-19 procedures include: Social distancing in the pool and dining areas, temperature checks on arrival, disinfected key cards, and frequent cleaning protocols per WHO standards. 

More on our methodology for the best Santorini hotels

In addition to the criteria outlined above, we also considered the following factors:

Expert sources: I am a Europe-based travel writer and consulted with Santorini travel experts, quoted in this article, as well as locals intimately familiar with the island’s hotels.

Price: We only accepted starting room rates in low season under $809 per night. This typically means spring or fall dates.

Amenities: We chose hotels on Santorini that offered strong value through amenities such as spacious rooms with great views and perks like private outdoor space or private pools and hot tubs, as well as hotel-wide pools, private beach areas, spas, and other attractive on-site offerings.

Location: The best hotels on Santorini represent a range of areas that speak to different traveler needs and interests. 

Guests: We chose the best hotels in Santorini that would appeal to couples, families, friends, and more so you can pick the best hotel for your trip.

Past reviews: We researched guest reviews and ratings on trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor and, and others to ensure that the experiences of others were overwhelmingly positive.

COVID-19 safety: In a post-pandemic world, we only selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of guests with new strict new cleaning policies.

FAQ: The best Santorini hotels

Where is Santorini?

Santorini is located in the southern part of the Cyclades, an island group in Greece’s Aegean Sea.

How do I get to Santorini?

You can get to Santorini by plane (Santorini/Thira International Airport, JTR) or by ferry from the mainland (Piraeus port) in Athens or from other islands including Mykonos, Paros, and Naxos.

Which is the best area to stay in Santorini? 

“I would recommend splurging on a caldera property for a few nights, then staying on the beach in Perissa or Perivolos to have a different island experience,” says social media influencer Anna Skoog Mavridis, who has split her time between Santorini and Athens for the past 17 years and regularly stages fashion shoots at area hotels. 

Another option is staying in Santorini’s largely undiscovered interior, carpeted with vineyards and dotted with medieval towns. “Villages like Megalohori are authentically Greek, with wonderful, traditional tavernas, and show a unique side of the island that many don’t know about,” says Skoog Mavridis. 

For the best views of Santorini’s caldera — a partially submerged volcano in the Aegean framed on three sides by dramatic cliffs — as well as its famous sunsets, opt for properties on the island’s west side. The picturesque clifftop towns of Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Fira offer the best of both and also have most of the island’s hotels, bars, cafes, and restaurants. You can also enjoy great sunsets from the less-developed area around Akrotiri, at the island’s southern end.

It’s important to note that Santorini, unlike Mykonos, isn’t a beach destination. Its caldera-side towns are situated on cliffs that plunge directly into the sea, with no beaches below. However, the southeast coast is home to a long strip of beautiful black-sand beaches, with many hotels at friendlier price points in the coastal towns of Perissa, Perivolos, and Kamari. 

What is there to do on Santorini? 

The villages of Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Fira offer plenty of opportunities to dine, drink, shop, or simply stroll the steep streets and soak up the gorgeous architecture, followed by one of Santorini’s famed sunsets.

Relax on black-sand beaches on the island’s east side, or head to Caldera Beach, which offers several diving centers.

There are many quaint medieval villages as well as wineries located inland that are worth exploring and history buffs can visit one of the most important archaeological sites in the Aegean, the ancient settlement of Akrotiri, or the Archaeological Museum of Thera in Fira.

The more intrepid can hike along the rim of the caldera, on a trail that stretches from Fira to Oia, or hop on a local boat to nearby Nea Kameni island and hike the volcano.

Is Santorini good for families?

When booking family vacations on Santorini, hotel selection is key. “Properties outside of Oia, with more outside spaces and fewer stairs, are better suited to children, as well as those with mobility issues,” says Agnos, who notes that many island hotels, especially in Oia, have age restrictions.

“Parents may have to adjust their expectations, since luxury, views, and romance may not be available in totality in some of the more family-friendly hotels.”

Is Fira or Oia better?

“Oia has many of the best hotels, and for honeymooners and couples seeking romance, it’s a top choice for luxury, service, and views,” says Agnos.

If you want those same great views and amenities but at a lower price point, Agnos suggests looking at properties in Fira, Firostefani, or Imerovigli, or in more off-the-radar locations such as Akrotiri.  

What are the cheapest and most expensive times to visit Santorini? 

Summer (June to August) is the high season when hotel rates soar and availability is limited. Spring and fall offer lower prices and fewer crowds. Keep in mind that most hotels, restaurants, and bars operate seasonally, from May until mid-October.

Some properties do stay open for a longer season or year-round, mainly in Oia or the capital, Fira, but the weather can be cool and rainy and hotel pools usually are not heated. 

What are Greece travel restrictions?

Greece will open to travelers this summer with proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test.

If you are vaccinated, can you travel?

The CDC recently said people who are vaccinated can travel safely, though their current recommendations are for travel within the US.

Where can Americans travel right now?

Here are 12 countries where Americans can travel right now and skip restrictive entry requirements. 

Are hotels safe? 

Most hotels on Santorini have opened for the season or will open by June 1.

Hotels and other tourist accommodations on the island and throughout Greece must obtain and display a “Health First” certification seal, meaning that the property meets the Greek government guidelines for Covid safety protocols to keep guests as safe as possible. You can read more about these safety measures, which also apply to dining and cultural establishments, here. 

For more on hotel safety during COVID, read our reporting on what experts say you need to know.

More of the best hotels in Europe

  • The best hotels in Berlin
  • The best hotels in Barcelona
  • The best hotels in Paris
  • The best hotels in London
  • The best hotels in Amsterdam

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