The 5 best and worst things about Santorini
There are not many places in the world that take your breath away by the time you arrive at your destination, but Santorini is certainly one of them. You will be amazed at the multicolored cliffs that are cleverly placed for tourists to enjoy the amazing views of the Caldera. It’s a great incentive for millions of travelers to arrive each year, whether it’s for a romantic honeymoon or just to spend a week with friends or family in the sun. However, no place in the world is perfect, and before visiting Santorini, it may also be better to be warned about its main drawbacks, which may scare some people. Here are the 5 best and 5 worst things about Santorini.
5 best things about Santorini
1. Beautiful views
It goes without saying that the views you will see are impressive from most points on the island. If you stay in places like Oia, Imerovigli, Fira or Firostefani, all you have to do is turn your head to the side and take in the views of the Caldera. There are not just a few places to witness a spectacular sight, they are at every point of your journey. Just walking through these villages will be the highlight of your trip, and that’s before you even consider watching the sunset in Oia, or taking the hike to Oia or Skaros Rock. Those three things are obviously worth doing, as you’ll find yourself taking photo after photo after photo. Not just walking, but if you have enough funds, you can stay in a hotel that has these views from your hotel room, balcony or pool, and this is what people think when they come to Santorini. When it comes to beautiful views, it really does have an infamous reputation around the world, and rightfully so.
2. Exquisite Hotels and Restaurants
This comes into play with the beautiful views mentioned above, but many of the hotels and restaurants are cliffside and make your vacation a dream. For restaurants, the service, the quality of the food, the views are all impeccable. Lots of variation in the type of food to eat, be it Greek or international food. Plus, whether you’re an avid seafood lover, meat lover, or even a vegetarian, Santorini has you covered. When it comes to hotels, the thing that strikes me as a hotel guest is that you feel like whatever hotel room you stay in, you’re isolated with an unreal view. Unlike the time you spend outside of your hotel room, it’s just you and the view. No obstructions. You won’t tend to see many other people, and the island’s overcrowding doesn’t feel that way when you’re in your hotel, as fewer people are usually accommodated. Let’s not forget that you also have the luxury of the pool during your stay, it is never busy.
While many people love to stay in their hotel and soak in the pool all day, for most people, myself included, it can get boring after a few days. If you want to explore and go on excursions, there are plenty of things to do on the small island. As mentioned above, if you like hiking, the hikes to Skaros Rock (in Imerovigli) or the long hike from Imerovigli to Oia are well worth it. Keep in mind that the hike is about 2.5 hours long, and it’s best to avoid doing this during peak sunlight hours or you’ll simply get exhausted, speaking from experience. Other day trips include a boat trip to the nearby volcano and a chance to swim in hot springs. There are also many wineries on the island, so the wine tasting is a nice break from all the wine… I’m talking about the cocktails you’ll be drinking while eating on the island. There are many places to see throughout the island, such as the Ammoudi bay and castle in Oia, the monastery of the prophet Elijah, and the Greek ruins of Akrotiri in the south of the island. There is a lot to do, and everything is very close.
Blue skies and sunshine are almost part of the furniture in Santorini. It is at night an island that has a warm climate throughout the year, and can be quite cold during the winter months of December and January. However, the rest of the year, the weather is perfect for tourists. Clouds are almost non-existent during the summer months and rain is also unheard of. It’s usually never too hot (33+ as an example) when you’re there, as it’s the perfect temperature for swimming in your pool during the day and going for a walk at night.
Although there are plenty of car rental places out there, not everyone has the perfect holiday when they have to worry about driving on the wrong side of the road on short winding roads with other impatient Greek drivers, so luckily the buses are fantastic at the island. The main bus station is in Fira and it can literally take you everywhere on the island. Buses between the four hot sports, the airport and the seaport arrive regularly and are easy to drive. Also, a nice touch, which is not just Santorini, is that there are two employees on the bus, one to take you and the other to take your money. There are no problems getting on or off the bus, and it is relatively easy. Also, because the island is so small, you won’t expect to be on a bus longer than 45 minutes to wherever you want to travel. Nice and easy to travel smoothly on the island without having to worry about renting a car. That said, transport is not essential to all places, as it is ideal to walk between towns and villages depending on where you are staying.
Okay, you’re convinced. Do you want to book that trip to Santorini? Then take a look at Santorini hotels here.
But, before you do that, please consider reading on and seeing what I really didn’t like about Santorini and may or may not agree with some of the points, but I’m sure some of you will relate and be completely taken aback. .
The 5 worst things about Santorini
There is an ugly side to being too pretty, and the island is a victim of that. As I mentioned in the pros, the beauty of Santorini has a reputation that can only be rivaled by a few other places on this planet, but this attracts tourists from all over the world and given the size of the island, it fills up quickly! Year after year, it seems to be getting worse, and there are too many people there for the size of the island. The airport (I’ll come back to that later), the sights, the sunset in Oia, the tours, the buses, the bars, the castle. Just everything. Too many people, and its overcrowding can be claustrophobic. Everyone would love a secluded romantic getaway, and aside from time in your hotel room, you won’t get that experience here. Possibly the best views with Ammoudi bay, castle and sunset, Oia is always crowded and the cute little streets with shops are just a nightmare to walk around and taking a photo anywhere in Oia will be interrupted by several people.
Well, you can’t expect to go to one of the world’s hot spots and not expect to pay a few bucks, but Santorini is way too expensive. You will get a better investment in other islands of Greece, such as Paros, Naxos or even Mykonos. That’s why I think it’s an ideal place for celebrities like soccer players and models to go on a trip, but for us normal people, it’s a lot of money! Staying in hotels with any kind of decent view will cost you an arm and a leg, and even hotels that don’t have a view will put a big dent in your bank balance. The point of staying on the island is to stay in one of the four city/town hot spots, but good luck finding any type of hotel for under £100 a night for a room, even for the most basic hotel or villa without the sight Same for restaurants, and don’t get me started on the alcoholic beverages. Cocktails for £12-£20 a pop!? No, not for me. I get it, it’s a beautiful view of the island, but there’s a line and you just crossed it. If you want to find cheap food and cheap bars, they basically don’t exist, except for some fast food places in Fira square.
3. Lake of good beaches
I’m not saying that I visited Santorini expecting there to be beaches that are represented on many of the other islands in Greece, like the beaches in Mexico or Thailand. However, the island does not have good beaches and that is a fact. For many people, the beaches are a great attraction for people who visit the destination and, in particular, an island. Santorini has the ‘Red Beach’, which is not pleasant but also dangerous for visitors. Visually it looks good once you’re there, which is a challenge in itself, but if you don’t want to slip on rocks, you can swim in water that is far from clear and uncomfortable at all times. Having said that, it won’t stop people from coming, and it’s still packed! Other than this beach, there is literally nothing else that Santorini has to offer in terms of beaches, so if that’s your thing, you might want to reconsider.
The worst airport in the world. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but in the research for this article, I’m not surprised by the number of articles mentioning ‘worst airports in the world’ and individual reviews talking about their time at Santorini airport. Granted, you may only be there for a few hours on your way out, or if you’re lucky, you won’t see it at all. However, your time there will be the most awkward couple of hours of your life. You’re packed like sardines once you get through security, after waiting an hour to check your bags. There is no space to sit, move, walk and even breathe. It was a horrible experience and it was not unique. Luckily, if you get past all the people, there’s an upstairs that has some seats and you might be lucky enough to find one while you’re waiting for your flight.
5. Donkeys in the Old Port
Just a personal annoyance of mine, but I hate when animals are exploited for their entire lives by lazy rich tourists. There are 300 steps to go up and down to visit places like the old port and Ammoudi Bay, and although the normal person will have to walk and sweat, some people feel that it is necessary to sit on the back of a donkey and pay 5 euros for that privilege. Horses are visually unhappy, and you can imagine, going up and down 300 steps all day, with no time to relax, no shade to save you. Day after day after day. People may question this inclusion in the worst things about Santorini, but for me it has to be mentioned. This type of attraction is outdated and I hope people don’t pay for this!
Do you still want to book Santorini? Well, I don’t blame you. Everyone has their preferences, and I can’t deny that someone wants to visit these beautiful islands, but in every pretty face there is an ugly side.
Book hotels in Santorini here.
Have a great trip whenever you are traveling.