Planning a trip can be complicated, especially to iconic destinations like Santorini Greece. One of the most important decisions you will need to make is where to stay. Should you choose Oia, famous for one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets, or possibly Thira, where the action is? Or perhaps a less touristy location but still exceptionally appealing? In this post, you will learn why to stay in Imerovigli during your trip to Santorini and what to expect from Imerovigli hotels. 

Imerovigli as seen from a hiking trail to Skaros Rock.
Imerovigli, as seen from a hiking trail to Skaros Rock.


In my years of traveling, I booked hundreds of hotels. Usually, I was focusing on price as the primary filter, but in a unique location like Santorini, I decided to get it all. I wanted a view to die for. After all, this is what Santorini is about.

Imerovigli hotels. Grace Hotel, Auberge Resort overlooking Skaros Rock and the caldera.
Grace Hotel, Auberge Resort overlooking Skaros Rock and the caldera. The rates start at $600 and go well over $1000 per night. This is not where I stayed! 

What you need to know about Santorini before picking your hotel:

Santorini is small. The length of the island is 16 km (10 miles), and its width is up to 5 km (3 miles). Its population is close to 16000, while a yearly number of visitors reaches 2 million!

In high season, cruise ships bring tons of visitors daily and drop them off in Fira – the main village or Thira.

Roads are narrow and winding, not dangerous for driving but dangerous for walking.

Parking is extremely limited and difficult.

Can't decide where to stay in Santorini? Is Imerogvli better than Oia or Thira? Learn about Santorini hotels and why to stay in Imerovigli. #santorinihotels #imeroviglisantorini

Most of the hotels do not have designated parking spots.

You can find a beautiful sunset in other places than the famous Oia.

Nefeli Homes Santorini.
Nefeli Homes Santorini.

Santorini is not a beach destination. The beaches of Santorini are small, mostly rocky, hard to get to, and overcrowded in season. You will want a pool at your hotel.

Summers can get very hot – up to 31°C (88°F). Most of the hotels provide air conditioning and lots of shade.

Why to stay in Imerovigli Santorini - beautiful sunset.
You will find many gorgeous places to witness the sunset in Santorini other than in Oia.

What to take into consideration when looking for hotels in Santorini?

Santorini is like no other place on earth. Its whitewashed cave houses and hotels are a vital part of the landscape. For that reason, visiting the island and staying in anything else seems like missing the point.

This is why, when searching for my Santorini accommodation, I focused only on cave hotels with stunning views.

The infinity pool at Grace Hotel in Imerovigli Santorini.
Grace Hotel. Some of the best Santorini hotels are located in Imerovigli.

I also wanted to stay away from the crowds and be centrally located to visit other parts of the island. With saving on food on beverages in mind, I was looking for a walking distance to a grocery store. I was also hoping for take-out restaurants with a local vibe.

Why to stay in Imerovigli Santorini:

Imerovigli delivers the best views of the caldera.

Some of the best Santorini’s sunset spots are located there.

Why to stay in Imerovigli Santorini - a sun terrace overlooking the caldera.
Not particularly a beach destination, Santorini compensates sun-seekers with stunning pools and terraces.

Imerovigli does not get as crowded as Thira or Oia.

Some of Santorini’s most beautiful hotels are located here.

Imerovigli Santorini - a view of the caldera through the wildflowers.
Hiking to Skaros Rock. Imerovigli is the best destination in Santorini if you look for nature.

With a take-out place and a grocery store nearby, you can save on food and beverages. You can have a meal at your hotel for a fraction of what you would pay eating out. And the view will not be any lesser!

Imerovigli is perfectly located for hiking to Skaros Rock.

Skaros Rock on the right and a hardly visible hiking trail leading to it
Skaros Rock on the right and a hardly visible hiking trail leading to it.

You can hike from Imerovigli to Oia, which is one of the most rewarding experiences in Santorini. Stay for the sunset in Oia and take a taxi or a bus back.

If you need more action, you can easily take a walk from Imerovigli to busy Thira. This is where cruise ships tourists arrive. You will find many restaurants and shops there. The place is nice to visit, but then it feels even better to return to peaceful Imerovigli.

Imerovigli, not as famous as Oia, stand on its own as a stunning destination - the view.
Imerovigli, not as famous as Oia, stands on its own as a stunning destination.

From Imerovigli, you can easily take a public bus to other villages of Santorini.

There are tour operators available in Imerovigli if you decide to take a land or boat day trip.

You can also rent a car there to discover the less touristy parts of the island.

View of the cliffs of Imerovigli.
Visit in spring to fully enjoy the beauty of Imerovigli Santorini.

Hotels in Imerovigli

One thing that most of the hotels in Imerovigli have in common is amazing views of the caldera. A caldera is the remains of a volcanic eruption. Santorini is essentially the rim of an old volcano, filled with water.

A sun terrace in Imerovigli.
One of the beautiful terraces in Imerovigli.

Many hotels in Imerovigli offer beautiful pools and outdoor areas overlooking the caldera. You can easily spend the whole day at your hotel and be satisfied with just that.

Nefeli Homes Santorini, take-out dinner with a view.
Nefeli Homes Santorini, take-out dinner with a view. 25 Euros for 4, with wine! 

Hotels in Santorini concentrate on the outside areas and the views, but the rooms will not disappoint. In cave hotels, rooms and suites are built into the cliffside. Some may not have daylight at all. Still, they offer everything you need for a comfortable stay.

Night views of Imerovigli Santorini.
Night views of Imerovigli Santorini.

Nefeli Homes Santorini

I chose Nefeli Homes as a base for my spring trip to Santorini. (See: Is Spring is a Good Time to Visit Santorini?). I loved that the hotel offered many different outdoor areas sharing the same fantastic view.

Infinity pool at Nefeli Homes Santorini.
The infinity pool at Nefeli Homes Santorini.

My friends and I stayed in a two-room apartment with a little kitchenette.  The unit was very clean, simply but tastefully decorated, and of course with its own outdoor sitting area, which was the part of the unit.

Breakfast area at Nefeli Homes Imerovigli Santorini.
Breakfast area at Nefeli Homes.

Breakfast was included in the price and offered: fresh fruit, yogurt, bread, pastries, hard-boiled eggs, and slices of ham and cheese, not a vide variety definitely enough to fill you up.

Tasty breakfast with a view at Nefeli homes Santorini.
Tasty breakfast at Nefeli Homes.

The staff of Nefeli Homes also did not disappoint. Everyone spoke good English so communication was easy. Our room was cleaned every day and all our needs were met, including helping with sightseeing recommendations.

Sun terrace at Nefeli Homes Imerovigli Greece.At the top of the world at Nefeli Homes.

Comparing Imerovigli to other most popular locations for Santorini hotels:

Is it better to stay in Oia or Imerovigli?

I was seriously considering staying in Oia, but I am glad that I did not. It is situated on the end of the caldera, so not centrally located if you want to explore other parts of Santorini.

Oia is the most famous part of the island. It offers amazing views with a spectacular sunset, but that comes with crowds and prices.

Nice pool near Oia Santorini, as seen from a hiking trail.
Entering Oia Santorini. I wanted to take a dip at that pool after 9 kilometers of hiking!

The shops and restaurants in Oia are nice to explore, but it takes no more than 3 hours, including dining, to check them out. Then what is left is crowds, even in the shoulder season. I definitely preferred Imerovigli with its relaxed vibe.

An outdoor dining in Oia Santorini.
Outdoor dining in Oia Santorini.

Is it better to stay in Thira or Imerovigli?

I crossed off beautiful Thira quickly as a possible location for my accommodation in Santorini. Fira, the name of the main village, is where cruise ships drop off their passengers.

Thira offers lots of shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants, but it gets overpowered with tourists. It does not even fell authentic. If you are looking for relaxation, Imerovigli wins!

Thira looks beautiful as sunset if you manage to stay away from the crowds.
Thira looks beautiful as sunset if you manage to stay away from the crowds.

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