A legit hidden gem.
You probably haven’t heard of Emporio, it’s certainly not a name that comes to mind when you plan a trip to Santorini. This little village, however, instantly became our favorite as soon as we checked into our village. Located 20-minutes away by car from the hills of Oia, here are important reasons why we think you need to stay in Emporio and love it as much as we did.
1. It’s a hidden gem.
Emporio won’t be the first name that people talk about in Santorini, nor would you have known about it without further research. Its discretion is the main reason why we fell in love with this quiet and tranquil area. Unless you prefer to cram with crowds of tourists in Fira or Oia, the vibe in Emporio is far more laidback and obscure but in a truly enticing way.
2. It’s way more affordable.
A night in Oia at a hotel or Airbnb may cost up to $3,000, meanwhile the same space and standard in Emporio can be less than $100/night. The difference might be the view of the Caldera in Oia versus the view of villages, donkeys chilling at the foot of the mountains. Another factor might be that staying in Oia or Fira can get you to main shopping boutiques and famous restaurants without driving, whereas Emporio is about 20 minutes away from most popular areas. Hence, we highly recommend renting a car. For us, we didn’t mind staying further to veer away from tourists. Spending less on lodging was a bonus!
3. It’s authentic.
Santorini can be VERY touristy, and it’s a downfall. For travelers like us, who prefer to discover local favorites rather than rolling with the pack, we loved how authentic Emporio was. It was a treat waking up every morning and sip on a cup of joe at the Barbershop Cafe, or walk pass by Greek men parking their motorcycles against white cubic houses. Eavesdropping on a group of local women sitting in front of their doorsteps, despite that we couldn’t understand a single word. This couldn’t have happened in Oia.
4. Jacuzzi & donkey views.
The view of the Caldera might be what most people opt for, and you sure won’t get that in Emporio. But when we first saw the view in our Airbnb: DONKEYS! caught our eyes. They were merely accessories to a landscape of local village houses at the bottom of the hill, many with clothes drying in sea air. Our Airbnb came with a jacuzzi built inside the bathroom, which also encompassed windows that look out to the calming landscape.
Photos: Wendy Hung
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