a VirtualTourist member from Kolkata (Calcutta)
Hi! Am planning a 2 day trip to Santorini in early June as part of a Greek vacation - would be travelling with my wife & 12-yr old son. Since we have only 2 days, where shld we base ourselves - Fira or Oia? We would be arriving by ferry from Crete & would be moving to Mykonos from Santorini. Our main objective is to enjoy the breathtaking sunset that Santorini is famous for.
If you travel with a 12 year old then i would suggest Fira as there are a few more things to do there for someone that age.
The island is very small. We stayed in both but I guess Fira is better. Check my Santorini guide on VirtualTourist for all details. I am sure you will get much help through the guide and get in touch in case you have any other question.
You have indeed chosen the best destination.
Fira is more central and staying there makes it easier to get to other parts of the island than Oia, which is at the far end.
Both Oia and Fira are good choices....Fira will be more crowded, being the main town.
I suggest that you hire a small car, which will give you the options of exploring the island. The views of the coastline are magnificent, but inland is really interesting too. Oia has good sunset views.
We stayed at Imorovegli, which is kind of halfway between Fira and Oia- and loved it, We had lovely views of the caldera, and the sunsets were. spectacular. Its possible to walk to Fira from Imorovegli, a lovely cliffside 10min walk. However, Oia is further from where we stayed than Fira.
Fira , we found, was more 'commercial' than Oia or Imorovegli
From my experience there, it doesn't really matter and, while the sunset is good, it's overrated in my opinion. If you want a fantastic sunset, try the Australian outback. Cheers, Ian
I would suggest stay in Fira, take the bus to Oia ... and do not join the throng of lemmings who rush to Oia for the sunset -- they jam the rimside paths, no place to sit, jostling each other for camera angles, and then the whole crowd tries to get on ONE bus afterwards ... the sunset exists along the west of the entire island ... as it does on all the wonderful Greek islands ... so you'll enjoy sundown whenever you're facing west with a good view. Last 2 times in Santorini we stayed in Firostephani, actually, north edge of Fira, a 15-minute walk to the central Fira square, but out of the crush of Cruise-crowds. Many hotels with good views, less pricey than Oia, some with pools if it's in your budget. Look at Sunset Hotel, Hotel Mylos, Villa Ilias, Blue Dolphins.
I recommend close to Fira, we stayed 10 minutes walk out of Fira, less croweded, a spectactular walk into Fira.
Oia is at the end of the island, so Fira is more central. We hired a car for a day which allowed us to see the whole island, little traffic, mostly anoying motor bikes.
Suggest you visit the pages of VT members who have replied, check out their photos and tips and it should help your choice.
I guess it depends upon what you are doing in the other islands, too. We stayed in a cave house in Oia- because we had never done that before! It was great. We sat on our own "patio" and watched the sunsets. Do you want two days of quiet? A local beach one can walk to? Souvenir shops? A need for new memory cards or batteries? It is all relative to your need. How much activity does your 12 year old need? One small commercial- We loved the Santorini Mou - a Greek Tavern on the edge of Oia. (Finikia, Oia - www.santorinimou.com) Mihalis and his girlfriend, Milena, run the place. The food is good, the atmosphere is fun, and setting is brilliant. We went three nights- each night Mihalis and his friends played their instruments and sang. The whole restaurant was up dancing. Great memories.
Thanks a lot for your inputs. The cave house you mentioned sounds very interesting - are they to be found only in Oia or can one find similarly interesting accomodation in Fira too?
I agree with most everyone here. I would do Fira. Its always fun to rent atv's and head over to Oia for a day trip. Its easy and fun and your son would love that! It is one of my most memorable times in Greece.
As you are visiting the islands early June, you will find out it's a period not too crowded.So you can find good prices in everything. Hotel and car rental. The island is small, just choose the place that you like most and....nothing alse matters. If there is a cruise to volcano in June, i believe you will like it. Probably for a 12-yr child Fira is a better place.
Several of my friends as well as my son and his wife have stayed in a cave house in Imerovigli. Here is the link: http://www.villalukas.gr/rooms.html You may give my name as a reference and ask the owner to arrange for a rental car to pick you up at the port and bring you directly to your room. There is no extra cost for the pickup service and you will then have a car to drive around the island on your own. I believe the rental is something like 30 Euros per day. Be sure that you have an International Driver's license and a credit card. I will be staying here with other VT members in May. I recommend this place because many of the rooms and cave rooms are on very steep walk-ways. Carrying luggage and having a 12 year old tagging along in the heat, can be very challenging. Villa Lucas is ideal for a small family as your and you will have complete cooking facilities, a fantastic view of the sunset and only a few minutes drive to both Fira and Oia. You will also find the prices extremely...and I mean extremely good bargin for what you will have! Also, let them know you are coming from Virtual Tourist, as others, as I've mentioned have stayed there.
Hi. It seems Fira is the best option for us - so that's where we have decided to base ourselves. Can someone suggest a good hotel with a great view - our budget is approx. E200 per night. Does one get cave hotels overlooking the sea in Fira?
Have come across 2 hotels - any suggestions on which one is better: El Greco or Tzekos? Or for that matter Santorini Princess?
Ok... here's the final shortlist of hotels in Santorini. I have focussed on Fira based on all the advice received in this forum. It would really help if someone could give me feedback based on distance from Fira town and of course the caldera view from the hotels:
1) El Greco; 2) Tzekos Villa; 3) Villa Renos; 3) Aigialos Hotel; 4) Petit Palace; 5)Panorama Boutique; 6) Aria Suites and 7) Astra Suites.