Santorini villages cater to the tastes and needs of the most demanding visitors
Santorini’s commercial development is focused on the caldera-edge clifftops in the island’s west, with large clusters of whitewashed buildings nesting at dizzying heights. Fira, the island’s busy capital, sprawls north into villages called Firostefani (about a 15-minute walk from Fira) and Imerovigli (the highest point of the caldera edge, about a half-hour walk from Fira).
Stay in Imerovigli, the village with the unique sunset
A path running through these villages is lined with upmarket hotels and villas to rent, restaurant terraces and endless photo opportunities.These three conjoined settlements draw most visitors, together with the stunning and quite exclusive village of Oia in Santorini’s north. Santorini’s east coast is lesser known than the celebrated, elevated west coast.
Here, the caldera-edge heights have sloped down to sea level, and volcanic-sand beaches and resorts offer a very different drawcard. East-coast resorts such as Kamari and Perissa have a more traditional (and more affordable) island-holiday appeal: sunlounger-filled beaches, water sports, bars and taverna-lined promenades.