Beat The Crowds: Santorini
The island of Santorini is undoubtedly the most popular holiday destinations in Greece thanks to its stunning coastline, white washed cliff towns and mouthwatering food and wine.
Of course, with popularity comes crowds which can mean that your trip is spent battling against the tides of slow walkers, overbooked restaurants and busy beaches. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can beat the rush and enjoy the unspoilt scenes of Santorini in peace and quiet – exactly how a holiday should be spent.
Spend the morning in Oia
The Ammoudi Bay of Oia is famous for its beautiful sunset, which means it can quickly get overpopulated at night. The sunset is stunning at pretty much every point in Santorini, so skip the queues and visit in the morning when the town is sleepy and tourist free. There are plenty of tavernas to eat at, the hilltop views are gorgeous and the crystal clear sea is perfect for cooling off in as the temperature rises.
Visit the black beaches of Perissa
Known as the black sand village, Perissa is the perfect town to stop at for a day. The beaches may look like they are made of ash, but the sand is soft and heats up beautifully under the mediterranean sun. It is a lively town so if you’re there for the evening you can expect a good atmosphere, with most bars and restaurants offering music and cheap drinks. Bob’s Bar is a Perissa favourite and can get busy as the evening draws in, however during the day it is relatively quiet as tourists sunbathe.
Create your own tour
There are dozens of tours you can take part in in Santorini, from seeing the volcanos to bathing in the hot springs, as well as the more general boat tours. More often than not, these are overpriced, overcrowded and overrated. There are several places which you can hire a bike, car or scooter for a small price and, because Santorini is so small, you can easily cover the whole place in one day. Going it alone means you can explore off the beaten track, avoid tourists and find restaurants, attractions, film locations and Instagram-worthy scenery by yourself. If you explore in your first few days, you can make note of your favourite places and revisit throughout your holiday.
Visit the Kamari ruins
Kamari is a popular town due to its black beaches, wealth of restaurants and lively nightlife. It is also home to Ancient Thira, an area of sacred ruins which dates as far back as the Hellenistic era (323BC). The ruins stretch over a cliff edge, jutting out over the ocean with some incredible views to show for it. There is a faded stone temple and the remains of several buildings alongside fallen rocks and paving, and it is easy to imagine the structures that once stood proudly before time and weather eroded them.
The ruins can get busy during the day, not to mention unbearably hot, so spend the morning visiting the Kamari promenade and enjoy a late lunch at one of the idyllic restaurants before heading up and watching the sunset throw shapes over the stone ruins.
Despite the fact that Santorini is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the year, with a little planning it is easy to avoid the rush and enjoy the scenes at your own leisure.