Before heading to Santorini I researched endlessly for information on which town would be the best location for my base. After reviewing different opinions, from many different blogs, I felt none the more equipped to decide so I literally just chose one.
First let me start off by saying that the three main towns are not very far from each other. You can get from Oia to Fira in about 25 minutes on the public bus. The cost is 2 euros. The buses come every 15 to 20 minutes making it extremely convenient to get around .
Another recommendation is to book your hotel accommodations far in advance. The beach side hotels with amazing infinity pools overlooking the caldera that flood your social media timelines sell out quickly. Waiting the last minute not only makes it more difficult to obtain but it also makes it a lot more expensive.
Fira – Fira town is definitely the place to be if you are looking for great night life after your day of exploration. Bars overlooking the caldera such as Tango have been in operation for years and are popular night life destinations. Due to the shops and restaurants in the main square not closing until approx 12:00 am. late night shopping and a stroll through the town makes for a laid back but eventful evening. In my opinion, this is NOT the place to stay if you are visiting Santorini for its romantic charm.
Oia - Oia is a beautifully quaint town with everything in close proximity. Restaurants, Bars, shopping, everything! Oia contains the perfect mix of romanticism and nightlife, enjoy strolls through the town with beautiful views of the caldera all around during the day and switch it up for a night out on the town in the evening. Because Oia is a small town and an extremely popular destination it can feel like you never have the place to yourself.
Like most, I’m sure you have read that this is the “go to” spot to experience the prominent Santorini sunset. Through truly breathtaking, watching the sunset in Oia can prove to be a tedious feat. The streets are literally overflowing with tourists making it impossible to fully enjoy the experience. It is literally crowded with thousands of people scattering around trying to find the perfect location with the best view. When you do find the perfect spot, it requires you to be in position approximately 1.5 hours in advance to be at the front of the crowd. There are plenty of other places to watch the sunset without the hassle of fighting for a view.
Imerovigli- This was my absolute favorite town to photograph. I spent the day getting lost through the pathways with breathtaking views of the caldera on every corner. Upon arrival I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of tourists, It was almost as if I had the place all to myself! Not only can you experience epic views of sunset but you can do it from anywhere and without the crowd that accompanies it. Imerogvigli is centrally located in between Oia and Fira making visiting either of them an easy trek. Take a cab, walk or a 15 minute bus ride. Here you can have the option of enjoying Santorini at your own leisure in serenity then heading out of the town when you want to experience the night life.
**Other locations to consider- Firostefani , Perissa , Monolithos **