Travel Guides

The Complete Santorini, Greece Travel Guide

April 9, 2017

The best Airbnb to stay in while visiting Oia, Santorini, Greece

Santorini is one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever visited. The island itself is a caldera (volcanic crater), and the half moon shape of the island makes for some amazing photos! I couldn’t get enough of the traditional white cave houses perched over the crystal clear blue water, and the incredible sunsets which draw out both locals and tourists each night. Not to mention the island’s local tavernas which serve fresh, delicious greek food literally inches from the ocean. The famous town of Oia really is picture perfect — it’s like stepping into a postcard. You won’t want to leave!

The best Airbnb to stay in while visiting Oia, Santorini, Greece The best Airbnb to stay in while visiting Oia, Santorini, Greece Pink, white and blue buildings of oia, santorini, greeceCliff jumping at Agios Nikolaos Oia Santorini GreeceFresh octopus in oia, santorini, greece


needed to take it all in

Where to Stay

  • Airbnb – Oia is the place to be. We rented a traditional cave house perched overlooking the ocean there, and it was incredible. There’s plenty of similar houses to choose from on Airbnb no matter what your budget, or you can stay in the one we found.
The best Airbnb to stay in while visiting Oia, Santorini, Greece

Our cave house Airbnb in Oia

  • Caldera Villas – an easy choice if pool time is essential for you. The terrace at the Caldera Villas also has stunning ocean views, and they often run deals on their rooms and suites.
  • Charisma Suites – for a direct view of the sunset each night, book your stay here and prepare to be pampered. If it looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it on Instagram…

Where to Eat

  • Sunset Ammoudi Taverna – easily one of my favorite meals on the island. The fresh octopus and fish are pulled directly from the bay the restaurant is sitting on. The best part — you can dive right in the water after lunch!
The best greek food in Ammoudi Bay - oia, santorini, greece

One of my favorite meals at Ammoudi Sunset Taverna, right next to the water

  • Lolita’s Gelato – you can’t miss this popular spot for the tastiest gelato and ice cream on the island. I couldn’t get enough of their pistachio ice cream.
  • Sunset Restaurant – for the best sunset view, reserve a table early on the upstairs patio here and watch the crowds queue up below for an unforgettable evening.
Sunset Restaurant in Oia, Santorini, Greece

Our table at Sunset Restaurant

  • Pito Gyros – the perfect spot for a casual lunch of tasty Gyros and fries.
  • Floga – consistently delicious, fresh dishes are served at Floga — and the views don’t disappoint either.

Where to Go

  • Ammoudi Bay — I suggest heading down to Ammoudi for a leisurely afternoon starting with lunch. Around the corner is Agios Nikolaos rock, which is a great spot for cliff diving and sunbathing. Facing the water, head left down the path past the restaurants until you see it!
Best restaurants in Ammoudi Bay, Oia, Santorini Greece

The quaint town of Ammoudi Bay

  • Red Beach — this unique red sand beach is situated at the bottom of the island. My tip: go in the late afternoon once the crowds have cleared, for a sunset dip. Note: many beaches on Santorini are rocky, so don’t be afraid to lounge rather than swim.
  • Fira Town — lined with boutiques overlooking the ocean, it’s easy to spend an afternoon here wandering the quaint streets and hunting for products from local designers.
  • Byzantine Castle Ruins – for beautiful views of Oia and beyond, I suggest visiting this spot and exploring the beautiful winding streets nearby.
Picture perfect pastels in Oia, Santorini, Greece

The picture-perfect town of Oia

  • Perissa Black Sand Beach — this beach is famous for its black sand. There are also plenty of nearby tavernas where you can grab lunch and go back to soaking up the sun.

What to Do

  • Rent an ATV — I was skeptical at first, but this really is the best way to see the island. We even found a hidden beach (without anyone on it!) because it was so easy to explore the smaller roads.
  • Hike from Fira to Oia — this two and a half hour hike features beautiful views of the ocean. If a long trek isn’t in your plans, visit Skaros Rock instead and stroll towards Oia or explore the small paths leading downhill – you never know what you’ll find!
From Fira to Oia, Santorini, Greece

A shot from our engagement photo session, on the hiking path from Fira to Oia (photo: Melanie Nedelko)

  • Go shopping — there are no shortage of shops in Oia or Fira, so don’t forget to take home some gifts for your friends and family (and yourself!).
  • Visit the Akrotiri Ruins — check out the preserved remains of this ancient greek settlement, which are said to have inspired Plato’s story of Atlantis.
  • Relax and unwind – the Greeks are all about maintaining an easy, comfortable way of life. Enjoy the views, have a leisurely lunch, and take a nap. You’ll feel like a local in no time.
The most romantic Airbnb to stay in while visiting Oia, Santorini, Greece

Relaxing on our terrace in Oia

What to Bring

  • Sandals – these are essential for the walking streets in and around Oia and Fira.
  • Blue and white clothing – take a tip from the locals!
  • Swimsuits – lots and lots of them.

Swimming at Agios Nikolaos Oia Santorini Greece

Caldera views stay in Oia, Santorini, Greece

It’s so easy to fall in love with the beauty of Santorini. I can’t wait to go back one day…

Where do you want to go this summer? We need honeymoon ideas!

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  • Reply Shenna April 12, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I fell in love with the blog post and the place!! This is the first time I stumbled upon your blog, and I already love it! I should definitely save Santorini Greece on my bucket list. This has got to be on my tablet. Question though, is it fairly affordable there?

    • Reply - Selena April 27, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Can’t believe I missed this comment — thanks so much Shenna! That’s so great to hear. It’s much more affordable if you can go during the off season (we went in May and received a deal in our Airbnb, but going even earlier or end summer you could probably do it even cheaper than us). Staying outside of Oia will definitely save some $$, but if you can stay there — I would do it ;).

  • Reply Therie April 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Amazing photos! I’m in love with the cave houses in Greece especially those with overgrowing bougainvilleas in them. So photogenic!

    • Reply - Selena April 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Those are my favorite too. 🙂 Thank you!

  • Reply Sara + Pat April 24, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Super helpful article!

    • Reply - Selena April 24, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      So glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Reply Nick Stamoulis April 25, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    These are awesome photos although photos can never do it justice! There’s nothing like seeing Santorini in person. Especially the sunsets!

    • Reply - Selena April 25, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks Nick! Totally agree — Santorini is breathtaking.

  • Reply Ronald April 28, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Thanks for this message. I absolutely loved dating my wife in Santorini. This was an amazing time. I just hated the summer crowds. We ended up in Crete for 10 days and spent 3 in Santorini. Glad we did less in Santorini. Oia was an amazing place to be but we ended up staying on another part of the island away from all the crowds. One day we’ll go back though and hit up a cave house. Thanks for the post!

    • Reply - Selena May 5, 2017 at 2:02 am

      Thanks Ronald! Luckily Santorini wasn’t too crowded when we were there early May. Definitely more than some of the previous destinations we visited in Greece, but still bearable. We’ll have to make it over to Crete next time. 🙂

  • Reply Lauren May 5, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Amazing post making me dream of going to Santorini hopefully one day!

    • Reply - Selena May 16, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks Lauren! Make it happen! 🙂

  • Reply Amalia June 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I’ve only been to Santorini once, but now this makes me want to go back! 😀

    • Reply - Selena August 25, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      We’d go back in a heartbeat too 🙂

  • Reply Khalid August 25, 2017 at 4:16 am

    Great post and information
    What do you think about Santorini in January?

    • Reply - Selena August 25, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Thanks Khalid! It’s fairly cold in Santorini in January and February, so if you want beach time I’d recommend a different time of the year. It’s also possible that a lot of places (restaurants, shops, etc) will be closed since it’s not close to the tourist season. If we went back, I’d try to visit in late September – the water is still warm, and it’s quieter since it’s the end of the summer holiday.


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