Santorini – Where to Stay
Santorini – Where to Stay
Santorini – Where to Stay – Oia
When you think of Santorini do you envision the iconic image of white washed buildings clinging to the side of a mountain like I do? The sea sparkles in the distance and amidst the white buildings are sprinkled the blue domes of churches and the hot pink of bougainvillea.
The good news is that these amazing views exist. The bad news is that thousands of people want to see it – EVERYDAY.
The spots with these stunning images familiar to everyone the world over are in the town of Oia (EEE – ah). The hotels are swanky, expensive and right in the middle of this super crowded place. Tiny alley ways are gorgeous and at times during the day totally congested with people. Additionally, everything you touch will be more expensive here than in other spots on the island.
With expensive hotels and shops sometimes comes a snooty attitude. It experienced this when I paused on the pathway during our visit to Oia to admire a scarf. My well traveled and well behaved 11 year old son was near me. The saleslady did not approach to help or say hello, but instead glared at me and then at my son. Judging by the look on her face she was not happy to have a child around EVEN though that child didn’t say a word or touch a thing. I read her disgust and left without buying anything because we clearly weren’t welcome.
Sometimes you’ll encounter a lack of concern. When cruise ships literally bring thousands of customers to your shop every day, good customer service just doesn’t need to be a concern. No matter how rude your staff is…there will be thousands of customers again tomorrow.
If you stay in the stunningly beautiful Oia, be prepared to pay more. Enjoy the hotel views and amenities and pool during the middle of the day when floods of cruise ship visitors arrive. Explore the gorgeous town in the morning before and after they leave.
Oia is home to the world’s most famous sunsets. Enjoy being in the very best place to see it!
Santorini – Where to Stay – Fira
This town, Fira, is directly at the top of the road from the port. It is busy and a great hub from which to see the rest of the island. We chose this town for our stay and had a great time. We had amazing food, rented a car, explored the Prehistoric art museum and stayed at the warm, quiet and spacious Villa Anto.
Santorini – Where to Stay – Kamari
Still further from the noise of mass visitors to the island you’ll find Kamari. You’ll find all the things you need here like hotels, souvenirs, restaurant and beaches. All with less people!
Here you’ll find the most amazing bakery! We loved Milopetra bakery and found Irene, who was working that day, just delightful. She was helpful and explained all about the cookies we tried.
Kamari is near the airpot so if you fly it is an easy choice. The nearby beaches and views are from the outer edge of the island instead of the iconic views of the inside of the island. The truth is – the entire island is gorgeous!
Kamari is also near the ancient ruins of Akrotiri which is a really cool site to see! Preserved not unlike the Italian Pompeii, it is covered with a roof, so no matter the heat you can stroll and explore. Akrotiri is Greece’s version of Pompeii.
Santorini – Where to Stay – Our Choice
We recommend Villa Anto in Fira. (NOTE – It is pronounced Villa ANDO. We called it Villa Anto and the taxi driver was confused.) It is a few minutes walking away from the noise and hub bub of the city center of Fira. The rooms are new, very clean and have wonderful AC! We loved making coffee and tea in the kitchen each morning and watching the water while we sipped. I’m told the sunrise from the balcony is lovely but honestly we never woke up early enough to see it! I can say that the evenings were delightful.
Villa Anto (pronounced Villa ANDO)
Mesa Katikies, Fira
+30 698 709 4002
Let Alex, the industrious son of the owners, show you around or book a donkey ride excursion with his father’s donkeys. Relax around the pool and soak up some Greek sun. Try the local wine Vin Santo or the locally brewed beer Crazy Donkey!
We loved Santorini and so will you! If you are lucky enough to visit, enjoy these related posts!
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Natalie, The Educational Tourist