The Best Holiday Apartments on the Greek Island of Santorini

Options abound for a self-catering holiday on Santorini
Options abound for a self-catering holiday on Santorini | Courtesy of Aegean Melody Suites / Expedia
Photo of Mark Nayler
21 December 2020

Self-catering holiday apartments are plentiful on the Greek island of Santorini, where one of earth’s biggest volcanoes once exploded. Here’s our pick of the best non-hotels in this rocky wonderland, including traditional Cycladic caves carved into the rock, suites in the clifftop towns of Thira and Oia, and peaceful inland accommodations far from the coastal crowds.

Aura Caves

Located a 10-minute stroll from the town of Thira, Aura Caves offers some of the coolest rooms without views on Santorini. The caves were originally excavated at the close of the 18th century as refuges from the bubbling volcano, but were severely damaged by the earthquake of 1956. A loving restoration in 2016 has resulted in two delightfully curvy apartments – one sleeping four, the other six – cut into the hillside, combining traditional design with four-star mod cons. Each has its own kitchen and stairs leading up to private terraces with pools, jacuzzis and sea views.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Beach towels
Express check-out
Terrace

Four Seasons Mansion

Self-catering accommodations at the Four Seasons Mansion are housed in an elegantly refurbished complex of caves and apartments that were part of a 19th-century winery. All come with their own fully equipped kitchens and terraces with sea views, and two (the Senior View and Grand Family apartments) have private outdoor jacuzzis. The Mansion’s location is another key draw: situated in the tranquil village of Vothonas, away from the busy coastal resorts, it’s only a 10-minute drive to Thira, the island’s capital, and even less to Santorini’s international airport.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Concierge services
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Smoke-free property

Sophia Oia View

Sophia Oia View’s luxury caves are found in the popular tourist town of Oia, on Santorini’s northernmost point. Accommodations range in size from the two-person Cave Rooms to a three-bedroom villa that sleeps nine, but all have private terraces with plunge pools and views of the sea and Santorini’s volcanic landscape. Oia itself is one of the island’s most-visited destinations, sought out for its cinematic sunsets and whitewashed cave dwellings. It’s connected to the capital of Thira by a 13km (8mi) clifftop path (allow three hours to walk it).

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Concierge services

Aegean Melody Suites

Aegean Melody Suites provides romantic self-catering accommodations outside the quiet village of Exomitis, on Santorini’s southern tip. The soothing blues of sky and sea dominate its three suites, all of which have private balconies with fizzing tubs and limitless views. When you’re not enjoying these in-room luxuries, explore the nearby beaches: the small cove of Exomitis is the closest and quietest, but the more spacious and lively black sands of Perissa and Perivolos are only a 10-minute drive up the east coast.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Terrace
Smoke-free property

Rimida Villas

Rimida Villas is situated just outside the touristic centre of Oia, so you’ll get a good night’s sleep but are still only a 10-minute walk from the town’s attractions and amenities. Its sea-view accommodations shun hard edges in favour of flowing Cycladic curves, and all but one have their own outdoor jacuzzis (there’s still an indoor hot tub in the Cave Villa, though). Other perks of a stay at the Rimida include breakfast brought to your door every morning, boat excursions to the volcano and surrounding islands and on-site massages.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Concierge services

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  • Villa Adriani

    Villa Adriani clings to the cliffs amidst the whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches of Oia, offering some of the best sunset views on Santorini. All its self-catering accommodations are west-facing – guaranteeing premium seats for nature’s early-evening spectacular – and have private terraces overlooking the caldera formed by the volcanic cauldron that’s created these islands over the millennia. Don’t miss the medieval Castle of Oia, a crumbling clifftop fortification located less than a five-minute walk from reception.

    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Outdoor pool
    Breakfast available (surcharge)
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Terrace
    Smoke-free property

    Dana Villas And Infinity Suites

    It’s all about the water at Thira’s four-star Dana Villas, which offers a selection of pool-orientated caves and apartments overlooking the caldera. Treat yourself to an Infinity Suite, and you’ll have at least a couple of swimming and chilling spaces to yourself, such as a sexily lit indoor plunge pool, an outdoor jacuzzi with unbroken views or a river pool ready to pour out over the cliffs. After a hard day’s soaking, sample vibrant Greek and Mediterranean dishes at Orkos, or sip cocktails around the Lounge Grand Terrace’s crater-shaped pool.

    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Outdoor pool
    Breakfast available (surcharge)
    Restaurant
    Full-service spa
    Beach towels
    Concierge services
    24-hour front desk
    Limo or Town Car service available
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Multilingual staff
    Terrace
    Smoke-free property

    Pasithea Suites

    Pasithea offers six self-catering suites in the village of Megalochori, in southwest Santorini. They’re rendered in the colourful Cycladic style, and most have furnished terraces with caldera views, hot tubs and/or indoor jacuzzis. Megalochori is known for its stellar wineries, two of which – Boutari and Gavalas – are within easy walking distance and offer tours and tastings. The nearest beaches are only accessible by a half-hour hike, but it’s worth it: both Plaka and Thermes offer hot springs and unforgettable views of the surrounding volcanic cliffs.

    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Express check-out
    Concierge services
    Terrace
    Smoke-free property

    Amaya Selection of Villas

    Oia’s stylish Amaya Villas are clustered around a 200-year-old windmill, one of the only buildings on Santorini to emerge unscathed from both World Wars and the earthquake of 1956. One is in the original building itself, and all seven have wraparound views of the caldera, terraces with open-air jacuzzis and kitchenettes in which to cook Greek classics, although you won’t have to worry about breakfast, which is brought to you every morning. Spots for incomparable sunset views and the centre of Oia are both minutes away on foot.

    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Concierge services
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Smoke-free property
    These recommendations were updated on December 21, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.