Santorini has long been held in high regards as a tourist destination. Pictures of its clean, white hillside architecture against the glorious backdrop of pristine, blue sea have been taking the internet by storm for a considerable amount of time. However, there’s more to consider before one digs into their wallet for a vacation. Never fear: we have all the details you need to know to decide. Let’s get down to brass tacks:
Why should you visit Santorini, after all? Beyond the pictures, not much is known among the general public about it. Let’s start with one of its most unique features.
Food. Greek food is in a league all of its own. It presents a certain uniqueness and a refreshing change of pace (or taste?) from other European cuisine, and Santorini has it all, whether you have a hankering for street food or you want to sit down at a restaurant for a hearty meal. The food scene is also flexible in terms of price! Popular dishes include Gyros: rotisserie chicken or pork typically served with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce, wrapped up together in pita bread. Tomatokeftedes (or tomato fritters) is also worth a try. In general, any grilled meat in Santorini will not disappoint.
The Greek certainly know how to grill their meats.
There’s so much to do. Santorini has so much to offer for any kind of traveller. Looking for a romantic getaway with your significant other? There are hot springs and pools with absolutely mind blowing views to set the mood. How about an awesome outing with friends that you’ll be talking about for years to come? Hike up to the top of a volcanic island past lava formations and smoking craters. Or maybe you’re just a solo traveller looking for an adventure? Rent an ATV, and roam around: the whole of Santorini is at your fingertips. That is, if you don’t end up immersed in Santorinis nightlife and beach parties! The list just goes on and on…
It is the remnants of a volcano. Santorini and its group of islands are known as a caldera, which is sometimes formed when a volcano erupts. At the center of this caldera are two volcanic islands that still display volcanic properties, such as lava formations. It also formed volcanic hot springs which you can swim in. Santorini isn’t your normal island vacation, it is definitely one of a kind.
The two islands at the centre of the caldera, Palaia Kammeni and Nea Kammeni, exhibit various volcanic features such as lava formations.
Alright. We’ve told you why Santorini is an awesome holiday spot, but this still begs the big question: what’s there to see and do in Santorini? Santorini’s unique geography of hillside villages and volcanic features make it unlike any other. Here are some ways you can put that to good use:
Hike from Fira to Oia and stumble across tons of Instagram-worthy spots on the way:
Rent an ATV and zoom around to your heart’s content:
Lounge on the unique beaches of black sand and dip into the warm waters and hot springs of the islands:
The black sand is the result of volcanic ash.
Take photos of the picture perfect and white washed caldera villages during sunset:
Hopefully, our talk of Santorini has charmed you and you’re ready for a dreamy vacation in this Greek paradise. Don’t go packing your bags just yet though! The Santorini experience can be very different, depending on which time of the year you touch down there. Let’s break this down into three parts:
Peak Season: June to September. This is the absolute best time to visit Santorini in terms of weather. You’re guaranteed to soak up plenty of sun, and it is also the perfect window to dip into the sea for a swim. However, here’s the catch: as with the peak season of other countries, this is when Santorini is at its most crowded. Hotel prices go up, and the shops are always busy. However, if the tropical experience is an absolute must, avoiding August during the peak season might help as this is when Santorini gets the most crowded.
Off Season: November to March. If you aren’t picky about the finer details and just want to experience Santorini at its cheapest, the off season is your best bet. Hotel rates will be much cheaper during this time of the year. This is also a way to avoid the large crowds of the peak season. On the other hand, there is a chance that you might miss out on the sunny weather and run into some rain, instead.
To sum up, you should head to Santorini during June to September if great weather and fun in the sun is your top priority. However, if you want to avoid the tourist crowds, are traveling on a budget and have your eye out for good deals, you would do best in November to March.
What’s left? You could try and reap part of both seasons’ benefits by visiting in April, May or October. Santorini won’t be at maximum capacity like the peak season and the hotel rates won’t be as cheap as the off season, but you can soak up some of that sun for a good price and avoid most of the crowds doing it!
There you have it; a quick and easy guide to help you decide whether Santorini is going to be your next vacation spot. Already been there? Share your thoughts about this Greek utopia in the comments below!