Where to Stay in Santorini for Couples
Find your perfect base on Greece’s most romantic island
Santorini is a prime spot when it comes to romantic breaks, whether you’re heading off on the honeymoon, looking to pop the question, or just wanting to get away for a few days with your other half. You may be feeling the pressure to make sure your Santorini sojourn is the epitome of romance, but fear not: we here at Plum Guide are here to give you the lowdown on where to stay in Santorini for couples - and we are experts when it comes to this kind of thing. All that’s left for you both to do is decide whether to opt for the tranquil village of Pyrgos, the caldera views from stylish Oia, or the long sandy stretches of Perissa. Whichever you choose, get ready to be totally charmed by Santorini’s awe-inspiring scenery - the perfect setting for some romance.
As the island’s capital, Fira is the beating heart of Santorini. Its position, perched on a cliffside on the western edge of the caldera, means it boasts impressive views across the water to the islands of Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni. Back on land, Fira is a vision of near-radiant whitewashed houses and picturesque churches, all set against a backdrop of dramatic volcanic rock - did someone say couple’s photoshoot? A stay in Fira is something of a “two for one” deal - a gentle cable car ride brings you down to Fira’s old port, which lies at the foot of the cliffs below the main town and is home to a number of seaside eateries (there's also the potential to admire some impressive cruise ships). If you’re travelling off season and are still looking for somewhere with a little buzz, Fira is the place to be, while we recommend Firostefani (located just next door) for a peaceful stay.
We couldn’t possibly write a guide to where to stay in Santorini for couples without mentioning the island’s most famous, and wonderfully romantic, spot. The postcard-perfect sunset views from Oia, looking out over cascading whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches, is the quintessential Santorini scene. What’s more, Oia is flush with restaurants and bars, many with bougainvillaea-clad terraces perfect for an intimate date. This is the second-largest village on the island (after Fira), but the most visited - once you’ve experienced its windmills, caldera views, art galleries, and general Cycladic beauty, you’ll see why.
If your ideal couple’s break involves flowers, fascinating history, spectacular views, and wandering hand-in-hand along quaint cobblestone alleys, look no further than Imerovigli. Known as the “balcony to the Aegean”, the village is built on the highest point of the caldera cliffs - in fact, so good is the view that it was historically a strategic lookout, and was formerly the site of the 13th-century Skaros Venetian Fortress. A fairly short but extremely rewarding hike takes you from the village to the striking Skaros Rock - a rocky headland that was once home to the majestic castle, which was eventually toppled by an earthquake in the 1800s. Hike completed, refuel in one of Imerovigli’s excellent cafes and restaurants. We recommend traditional Greek fare at Anogi, and vino-fuelled sunsets at The Wine Bar.
Sipping wine alongside that special someone against a scenic backdrop of the caldera - what’s more romantic than that? Santorini has a 3,500-year winemaking history, with the village of Megalochori being the site of the island’s first modern winemaking facilities. As such, wine is a central part of local culture. In addition to sipping on some local varieties in the village’s tavernas, head to Boutari Winery to discover Santorini’s first public winery. If you only have time to visit one winery, though, consider making it the renowned Venetsanos. Offering both traditional Cycladic architecture and unforgettable views of the caldera from its terrace, Venetsanos focuses on Assyrtiko and Mandilaria grapes - there's also a menu of cheeses and other Greek treats to accompany your wine tasting.
When wondering where to stay in Santorini for couples, the clifftop villages of the island’s western coast are extremely worthy options. If you’d rather swap panoramas for pristine beaches, make a beeline for Perissa. In addition to one of the island’s best sandy stretches, Perissa is Santorini’s prime party spot. Set up on the beach in the morning to enjoy all the water sports you can imagine - from wakeboarding and banana boats to water skiing - before the cocktails start flowing and the party bursts into life. Hosting guest DJs and live music, Perissa’s beach bar scene even attracts celebrities, who are undoubtedly drawn by the soft black sands and clear waters. Looking for something a tad more laidback for a waterfront drink or two? Head down the bay to Perivolos (essentially an extension of the same beach) to enjoy the calm paddle-friendly shallows away from the party.
To discover a side to Santorini that few visitors see, make the charming inland village of Pyrgos your base. This traditional village is built around a well-preserved Venetian castle, designed to protect local residents from pirate attacks and invasions by hostile armies. Today, it offers visitors an altogether more peaceful (and pirate-free) atmosphere - picture a labyrinth of narrow streets and hidden courtyards, filled with tavernas, cafes, and quirky shops. Thanks to its status as the highest village in Santorini (its name, meaning ‘tower’ in Greek, seems an apt moniker), Pyrgos not only enjoys views of the Aegean, but also across vine-filled valleys. To keep the all-important balance between virtue and vice, follow a trip to the nearby Prophet Elias Monastery with a tasting at Santo winery.