Santorini is one of those immense popular travel destinations in Greece. This picturesque island, famous for its stunning sunsets, the whitewashed houses and the blue-domed churches normally relies for 90% of its income on tourism. The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown has been dramatic for Santorini, but for me as a traveler, I enjoyed a more quiet, peaceful and laid-back Santorini.
Travel to Santorini, Greece
For me, it was the right moment to visit Santorini. I decided to travel to Santorini to beat the crowds and enjoy this gorgeous and peaceful place for its genuine beauty. In that way, I could also make a small contribution to save tourism.
While staying in Santorini I absolutely wanted to stay in Oia for a few nights and found the amazing ‘White Side Suites’, where I stayed in one of their traditional white cave houses offering mesmerizing views of Santorini’s sunset.
In this article, I will share a few reasons why you have to stay in Oia when visiting Santorini and why White Side Suites is the perfect place to stay in Oia.
Stay in White Side Suites, Oia Santorini
White Side Suites offers two white traditional cave houses, located on the cliff side on a perfect location in Oia. Both suites provide the luxury and comfort you’re looking for and offer sea view.
The suites are charming, decorated in calm tones and provide everything you need. Every suite can sleep up to 3 people (one double bed and a single bed).
The suites have a kitchenette, closet, air conditioning, WiFi, a comfortable bed and a flat screen TV. It’s perfect for couples or a group of friends.
From the terrace and balcony, you can enjoy the famous and stunning Santorini sunset with views of the Caldera. I recommend White Site Suites because these suites offer a great and peaceful opportunity to watch the sunset without the big crowds (which you will find if you watch the sunset from for example, Oia Castle).
Without a doubt White Side Suites will meet your expectations, as it offers a 5* view combined with reasonable rates (especially compared to other accommodations in Oia). The only thing you might miss is a jacuzzi, however this wasn’t on my wish list while staying in Oia.
Perfect Location of White Side Suites
The town of Oia is two kilometers long and you will find plenty of accommodation options varying from luxury villas with infinity pools to budget apartments and everything in between.
In my opinion, the best place to stay in Oia is the Western side, close to the most popular photo spots in Oia and near the famous Santorini sunset spot. The Western side, is also the area where you can find White Side Suites.
From White Side Suites, you can easily reach all photo spots in a couple of minutes. Examples are the Oia Bell Tower, the windmills, the magical 3 domes and the Oia Castle for sunset.
White Side Suites is also situated near the steps that lead down to Amoudi Bay, a great spot to go for a swim or eat fish in of the taverns.
Amazing Greek hospitality of White Side Suites
One of the main reasons I love traveling to Greece is the authentic Greek hospitality. Chris, the owner of White Side Suites, is absolutely raised with the authentic Greek values. He truly cares about his customers and gives high priority to hospitality.
Communication on point!
From the moment I contacted him, he was polite and willing to help with all our requests. He arranged a transfer, because we arrived at the port in the early morning and he was waiting at de drop-off point at 04.30 in the morning to welcome us. We already discussed that it was not possible to have an early check-in because there were still other customers in our suite, which was a great opportunity for us to photograph sunrise.
Luggage carry-service and storage
We were able to drop our luggage at the Mini Market he owns and went to Oia Castle to enjoy the peaceful silence of Santorini in the early morning.
Can you imagine having no people around on Oia Castle during sunrise? That is maybe the only advantage of the COVID-19 period for people who keep traveling: beating the crowds.
At the time the suite was ready, we met Chris at the Mini Market and he carried our luggage down to our White Side Suite for the next 4 nights. At the check-out he even brought our luggage all the way to the bus stop.
The owner did a quick room tour and referred to some complementary snacks, water and prosecco in the refrigerator. We immediately felt home because of his warm welcome.
During our stay, he contacted us several times by WhatsApp to check if everything was still fine and we received a few I love Santorini souvenirs when at the check-out. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Chis, the owner of White Side Suites. He succeeds to go above and beyond for every piece of job that he does!
Oia is a must stay (minimum of 2 nights)
Oia, Imerovigli, Fira and Firostefani are the four most popular places to stay in Santorini. I stayed in both Oia and Imerovigli. I definitely recommend staying in Oia for at least two or three nights. I think it’s the most beautiful town of Santorini and a must stay for first time visitors.
The most ‘instagrammable’ place in Santorini
The charming and popular village of Oia offers amazing views of the edge of the caldera, is full of amazing restaurants and is the best place to watch the beautiful Santorini sunset. Oia is the most photographed place in Santorini and includes the most ‘instagrammable’ spots of Santorini.
Beat the crowds by staying in Oia
Most people choose to visit Oia on a day trip or sometimes only for sunset. For that reason, it’s usually very crowded during the day till after sunset.
If you choose to stay in Oia, you can actually experience the charm of the village once the crowds have left. Watch the sunset from your own terrace and get up early to beat the crowds, you won’t regret it!
White Side Suites offers great value for money
One of the few downsides about staying in Oia is that it’s the most expensive area to stay in. However, this also depends on your needs. White Side Suites offers a great value-pricing. It offers a 5* luxury view combined with comfort for a reasonable price. Be aware that not all hotels offer stunning sea views or sunset views. White Side Suites definitely offers both. I loved the amazing view from the terrace during sunset.
Watching the famous sunset in Oia
Oia is best known for its white-washed houses, blue domed churches and its magical sunset. I love photographing sunsets. No wonder, Santorini was on my travel bucket list.
The most popular spot for sunset is at the Oia Castle, but it quickly gets crowded, even during COVID-19. From the Oia Castle you have a stunning view of the windmills and the whitewashed houses situated on the edge of the Caldera.
When the sun sets, you will see the gorgeous orange glow on the white houses before the sun disappears in the sea.
Another famous spot to watch sunset is at the steps that lead to Amoudi Bay. There are also plenty of restaurants to watch the sunset, for example restaurants in Amoudi Bay or one of the many rooftop terraces in Oia.
At White Side Suites we had the luxury to sit down at our own terrace, with a drink and some snacks while we peacefully enjoyed the sunset: my kind of luxury!
Interested in staying in White Side Suites?
I would choose White Side Suites again if returning to Oia. They offer a great value for money, so you won’t regret staying there.
Check the rates of White Side Suites below!
Questions about travel to Santorini?
I hope this blog was helpful for you, and you got a bit of an idea of staying in White Side Suites, on a perfect location in Oia. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about my stay in Oia at White Side Suites or Santorini in general. Comment below or sent a message on my Instagram @ourplanetinmylens.
This article is written by travel photographer Kim Paffen, part of the Traveltomtom team. She also wrote amazing Africa articles about Uganda, Madagascar and South Africa.