Photo of Thira

About Thira

Thira is the town of cascading Cycladic white sugar cube buildings with the caldera view that probably pops into your head whenever you hear 'Santorini'. The cliffs here are steep and colourful, and many of the best places to stay in Thira perch on terraces and expand in whatever direction they can, often cutting into the rock in order to do so. Dramatic and beautiful, this is an incredibly spectacular spot to relax.

But peaceful and sleepy as it is, Thira is also geared up to show you a good time; with plenty for visitors to taste, try, see and buy. There's fine dining and wine-ing from local wineries, colourful beaches, interesting little boutiques amongst the winding lanes, and of course fascinating history and archaeology to come to terms with.

Thira's views are free, the beaches are free, and in amongst the flash restaurants are some affordable tavernas and cafes. There are also some excellent bakeries. Once you're out of the small tourist centre, prices will begin to look much more reasonable.

See Thira from below by hiring a boat, or by joining a sailing party and spending a relaxing afternoon bobbing on the waves. Tour a winery and taste the local tipples. Visit Thira's beautiful churches and appreciate their lovely art.

For something extra special how about taking a private tour of the volcano and hot springs? Or even a helicopter flight over the caldera? There's plenty to do near Thira - it's not all sleepy and peaceful!

What Not To Miss

  • As well as checking out the beaches, explore Santorini's impressive history at the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, which houses impressive finds from Ancient Thira and Akrotiri.
  • The site of Ancient Thira is also worth visiting for a different sort of day, it's atmospheric and sprawling, with Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine ruins.
  • Ancient Akrotiri is another fascinating place to stroll around. This Minoan city was buried under ash in the catastrophic eruption of 1613 BC.
  • Kids will also enjoy Thira's cable car, which takes you down to the Old Port where the cruise ships dock.
  • f you're looking for something low key to do, visit The Art Space gallery. It's housed in old wine caverns, so it's a cool and atmospheric break from the sunshine.

Don't forget that this place will be packed to the rafters during the peak summer months. So if you want to guarantee a room in one of the best places to stay in Thira in July or August, you'll need to book months in advance. Alternatively plan your trip in the quieter shoulder months, when you'll get more of this charming town to yourself!

The best places to stay in Thira

For romance

  • Zannos Melathron is a wonderful juxtaposition of an 18th century mansion and the traditional homes cut from caves most common on Santorini. The decor is in places elegant, and in places charmingly rustic, but it really works. Each room has its own private balcony, there's a lovely pool and fantastic Greek restaurant.
  • Mill Houses boasts gorgeous views, smart accommodation and a price-tag that won't break the bank - the ideal romantic getaway.

For families

  • The romantic white sugar cubes houses of Aigialos have enough beds to comfortably sleep four or five - though of course there are also smaller houses just for two. Plenty of Thira's accommodation could fit families, but doesn't allow under 12s. Aigialos on the other hand welcomes them, is near the beach, and has a big outdoor pool as well as excellent Mediterranean food.

For honeymooners

  • Every view in Thira is spectacular, but Sun Rocks has some of the very best you can enjoy from the comfort of your room or pool, or private hot tub. Rooms are pale, cool and chic, but it's the many small terraces and day areas dotted around which make this hotel feel intimate and romantic.
  • Tzekos Villas Hotel, dramatically set on the edge of the caldera, is a dreamy retreat. The rooms are classically Cycladic - plenty of whites and blues - and the views are to die for, of course.

Thira on a Budget

  • Thira's views look expensive, but they don't have to be. Not if you stay at Callia Retreat Suites which start from just €80 per night, including breakfast - most definitely one of the best places to stay in Thira if you've got a limited budget. Rooms are chic and white, whilst the pool is large, blue and inviting. Plus you're near the beaches as well as the town, and the views are superb.

For complete relaxation

  • Homeric Poems is one to book if you want to fly and flop with an unbeatable view. Built right on the cliff you don't even have to turn your head to enjoy the vista - it's spectacular in every direction. There's a great pool and cool, comfortable rooms. It's unfussy yet luxurious, with just the frills you really want and nothing more.
  • Aria Lito Mansion is a wonderfully peaceful spot, with chic contemporary rooms set in a lovely mid-20th century property. Spend the day by the pool before enjoying a massage in your room or even join in with a wine tasting session!

For an apartment or villa

  • If you'd prefer the fliexibility of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Best time to visit is during the summer months, from June to September - Thira is hottest in July and August, with the average temperature climbing to 26°C.
  • This however is peak season, so for a quieter and cheaper alternative consider visiting in May or October. when the sun is still warm, but the crowds have abated.
  • You can fly into Santorini International Airport before getting a bus or taxi to Thira.
  • If you'd like the freedom of having a car then have a look through all the options with our partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure which one's for you?

Best Hotels in Thira

  • Callia Retreat Suites Thira 17 rooms from £69

    Chic B&B in central Fira. Fantastic value, pretty all white rooms and suites, large swimming pool, and easy access to restaurant, sights and activities around. A great choice for a couple or family on a budget.

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Value chic
    Romantic Break
    Sights nearby  -  Located in the centre of Fira
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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  • Aria Lito Mansion Thira (Main Street) 16 rooms from £100

    A stylish retreat, in the heart of the city. This mid-1900's renovated mansion offers creatively designed rooms, with chic contemporary décor, and lovely views of the sea. An outdoor pool, a cosy garden space, in room massages and wine tastings add to the charm. A classy yet modern vibe.

    Total relaxation  -  In a quiet and peaceful setting, its the ideal place to enjoy some time out, sit back and relax by the pool or on the terraces.
    Romantic Break  -  A perfect couples getaway with its chic and comfortable interiors, great service and food.
    Local exploring  -  Ideally located close to the centre of town as well as the beaches.
    Local markets  -  Explore the town area with several restaurants, cafes and shops.
    Check Availability
  • Tzekos Villas Hotel Thira 25 rooms from £138

    Built amphitheatrically on the edge of the renowned Caldera in Santorini's capital, Tzekos Villas has breathtaking views over volcanic islets and the Aegean sea. Rooms are typically Cycladic - bright white interiors, tiled floors, with verandas overlooking the volcano. Peaceful and romantic.

    Romantic Break  -  Stunning views from which to watch the sunset
    Romantic  -  Private jacuzzis with breathtaking views
    Swimming Pool  -  With amazing views of the volcano
    Rooms with balcony/terrace  -  Each have a private veranda
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  • Villa Bordeaux Thira (847 00 Santorini) 4 rooms from £143

    A stunning hotel overlooking a pretty bay with elegant cream stone interiors featuring romantic arches and vaulted ceilings. The simple fresh design continues in the rooms, with pale furnishings, minimalist art and natural materials. Boasting a top-notch restaurant and terrace pool. Fabulous!

    Local exploring  -  Conveniently situated in the heart of lively Fira, with a choice of many nearby beaches and island sights to explore
    Great walks  -  Hike from Fira to Oia, walk up the island's active volcano or the Skaros Rock viewpoint hike is also beautiful
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the ancient village of Akrotiri and the ruins of Ancient Thera
    Restrictions on children  -  Children older than 13 are welcomed
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  • Athina Luxury Suites Thira (Santorini) 14 rooms from £177

    Perched on the cliffs of the caldera, these boutique suites make a luxurious pied-à-terre in Fira. The soft minimalism typical of contemporary Greek interior design is set off by wood accents and gold gilding. With a romantic restaurant overlooking the coast, this hotel is a dream couples' getaway.

    Beach Life  -  Set on the beautiful island of Santorini with sea views from every suite, book this hotel for a luxury seaside getaway
    Hideaway  -  Hideout in this pretty hillside hotel; with a bar, restaurant and spa services onsite, there's no reason to leave
    Romantic Break  -  The effortlessly chic suites and spectacular views make this hotel an idyllic destination for a romantic break
    Barefoot Luxury  -  For total relaxation.
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  • Zannos Melathron Thira 10 rooms from £208

    Sophisticated style and classical elegance in this 18th century mansion hotel. Sultry suites and some interconnecting rooms, cut from the cliff, have warm furnishings and private balconies. Fantastic Greek/Mediterranean restaurant, lovely pool, and lots to do in the villages and islands around.

    Foodies  -  Fantastic Greek cuisine.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic Break
    Honeymoons
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Relais & Chateaux, CN Traveller
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  • Aigialos Thira 16 rooms from £252

    Utterly romantic all white hotel with a collection of sugar cube houses on the cliff top. Each house, from super to mansion size, sleeps from 2 to 5 people. All have private balconies, white washed walls, and pastel blue furnishings. Lovely pool and Mediterranean restaurant.

    Views  -  Outstanding views of the caldera
    Honeymoons
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Romantic Break
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Fodors
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  • Homeric Poems Thira (Firostefani) 20 rooms from £290

    A sophisticated cliff side hotel all in white with views over the ocean. Lazy terraces, luxurious rooms and suites, all the mod cons, lovely pool and splashes of modern art. A fabulous spot for couples, honeymooners and families with older children.

    Honeymoons
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic Break
    Swimming Pool  -  Freshwater pool
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Sun Rocks Thira 17 rooms from £429

    A gorgeous hotel with wonderful day areas and terraces dotted around. Spectacular views, lovely restaurant, and creamy rooms. Intimate, very romantic, and oh so chic. A great spot for couples and honeymooners.

    Views  -  Fabulous sea and sunset views
    Luxury
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Romantic Break
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Small Luxury Hotels
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  • The Tsitouras Collection Thira (Santorini) 5 rooms from £601

    This luxury hotel is located on a thousand-foot cliff in Santorini, Greece. Individually designed suites boast elaborate, antique furniture and living space; doors open out onto a private verandah with sun loungers and sea views. Unwind in the infinity pool after an al fresco dinner; a VIP getaway.

    Local exploring  -  Set in close proximity to the Thira ferry, this hotel is in a great location for exploring on Santorini and local islands
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love this hotel's discreet touches; book a luxury suites for a romantic private terrace
    Beach Life  -  Set on a cliff overlooking the sea, this hotel is a great choice for a luxury beach break
    Sailing  -  Visit Santorini's volcano and Thirasia Island on a boat trip; stop off on Thirisia Island for a traditional meal
    Check Availability