Santorini barely needs an introduction. Its whitewashed walls and blue-domed churches grace the pinterest boards of just about every travel lover. Santorini does, however, need a bit of debunking. Being one of the most popular destinations in the world certainly raises a lot of questions. Is it overrated? Too Crowded? Overpriced? After spending a week exploring its labyrinthine towns, trying all of the cocktails and watching all of the sunsets (tough gig hey), I have put together my experiences to answer all of these questions and more. For a comprehensive guide to this Greek beauty read on…
Quick facts about Santorini
- Santorini (Greek name Thira) is the largest island in the Cyclades group. It lies approximately 200km off the southeast coast of Greece, in the Aegean Sea.
- The curved island forms one side of a volcanic caldera (crater) after an eruption destroyed the original singular island.
- The local currency is Euro and you should set aside 35 of them for a taxi ride from the airport unless you want to take the bus (more on that later).
- Dry season lasts from April to October with temps reaching up to 29 degrees celsius in July and August. We traveled there in September which is off-peak and found the temp to be perfect, in the mid-twenties.
It’s no secret that accommodation in Santorini can be incredibly expensive but there are some ways around the huge costs. We stayed in two different locations and types of accommodation during our week there. Firstly, in a private villa in Imerovigli and secondly, in an Airbnb listing in Oia. This gave me a varied insight into the accommodation options which will be useful to first-time visitors.
You will often see accommodation described as ‘cave style’. These are traditionally constructed buildings with curved ceilings, built in to the rock. Don’t be deterred by the term. Pretty much every building on Santorini is ‘cave style’ and fits in beautifully with the islands aesthetic.
For group holidays or longer stays there are a lot of private villas available in Oia, Imerovigli and Fira. When splitting the cost between two or three couples they can become more affordable than luxury hotels. We stayed in Villa Gaia in Imerovigli which can accommodate 6 people with 3 private bathrooms. Villas are perfect if you want to do a bit of cooking and have your own outdoor space to soak up the views. We spent a few afternoons enjoying the sunset from the balcony and plunge pool which was much more relaxing than battling the crowds. If you want to stay in Oia keep in mind that THOUSANDS of people crowd the footpaths at sunset so having your own outdoor space is a real bonus. If you are the kind of traveler who rarely spends any time in their accommodation then you might want to consider a cosier option which will leave you with more Euros for a glass of bubbles.
Hotel Aqua Blue
Perissa, 56778, Santorini