Santorini is a sight for sore eyes in the summertime. No doubt about that. But, Santorini is the Queen of the Cyclades, and as such, she knows how to create awe-inspiring feelings to its loving subjects. This means that you are in for a great surprise if you are considering a winter Santorini getaway. It may not be the best weather for sunbathing and swimming, but winter is definitely a superb time of the year to visit this picturesque island. Here is why!
- You skip the summer hordes of tourists
Santorini is visited by millions of travellers during the high season. Naturally, this means that you’ll be rubbing shoulders with packs of other visitors for a taste of the same thing – be it a sunset view, a walk to the infamous volcano and its imposing caldera, a mouth-watering Greek dish, a cocktail, or another. And, all that, under the blazing sun (at least, most of the time). Coming in winter, though, ensures cooler temps and much fewer crowds to accompany your endeavours.
- You get lower prices for everything
A winter Santorini escapade lacks nothing of the allure of a summer visit. What is missing, however, is the high prices that go along with the hot touristy season.Indeed, everything is cheaper after mid-October, from dining and touring to 5 star luxury accommodation. This, of course, does not mean that you get lesser quality services. Only a more inviting price tag attached to whatever it is that you want to enjoy and experience on the island!
- It’s the perfect time for sightseeing
If scenic hikes and visits to major attractions like the Hot Springs and the volcanic islands of Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni are a must for you, then a winter exploration will suit you like a glove. As you take your time and wander the amazing Santorini volcanic landscape and dramatic terrain, you will come across breathtaking panoramas and picture-perfect cliff-top views of the glistering Aegean Sea from the caldera rim, whitewashed rustic settlements, charming cave houses, and cobbled alleyways. Only, this time, you can close your eyes and take in all this profound beauty without being rushed by another visitor going after the same experience. And, if you end up at the Hot Springs, then why not spend some leisure time by the sulphur-rich healing waters before heading to the next point of attraction?
And, if all these are not enough, there are plenty of museums to excite you, including the Archaeological Museum of Santorini and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera (both at Fira), as well as the Folklore Museum of Emmanuel A. Lignos, the Museum of Minerals and Fossils, and the Naval Maritime Museum.
What else to do in Santorini in the winter:
- Join a local event (there is always something to celebrate in Santorini year-round!) and get a more authentic feel for Santorini.
- Visit the archaeological site of Akrotiri (a 17th-century extremely advanced settlement covered in volcanic ash during a destructive volcanic eruption of the past). Its significant findings include Bronze Era pottery, well-preserved frescoes, and other relics.
- Go wine-tasting, as Santorini produces some of the most internationally-acclaimed wines. Most wine-tasting tours also include full menus that you can savour while overlooking staggering seascapes next to the fireplace!
- Enjoy the local cuisine, and treat your palate with tastes that will explode in your mouth, such as the famous saganaki (fried cheese in pastry filo and topped with honey) and the tomato fritters the locals call tomatokeftedes!
Clearly, Santorini is much more than volcanic shores and crystalline waters. In fact, it remains a destination worth visiting even in the winter, especially if you fancy romance and beauty experienced at a more serene pace, away from bustling towns and tourist attractions.