Some of you who follow my Facebook page will already know I was vacationing on Santorini. I stayed there for a whole week (7 whole days), so I got the chance to really explore it (renting a scooter helped tons!)
I must say I was a bit reluctant to book this last-minute deal on Santorini. I sounded a bit cheesy and touristy, but a couple of bloggers whetted my appetite by posting some truly amazing photos of Santorini and I decided to give it a whirl.
I do not regret it as it really felt like being caught in a fairy-tale and dream-like post-card, but after a week of staring at sunsets and all that beauty, I left feeling like I’ve only touched a tip of an iceberg in terms of Greece’s mysterious and beautiful history and geography. If anyone is up for an in-depth exploration of Greek treasures in September, let me know!!
Hopefully a couple of pros and cons will explain how I felt about Santorini and maybe give you some useful insights.
Getting around & other practicalities
Another positive thing about the Santorini is that it feels really safe. Unlike some other touristy destinations like big urban areas with lots of crime, it appeared that Santorini is composed of tourists and those who rely on tourists for their living. So why would anybody bother stealing ?
AND, there were no mosquitos. There were no mosquitos! Not one, I kid you not. I am not sure why that is (maybe due tp its dry climate), because usually the destinations as south as this come with a complimentary bunch of these cute little fellas but not in Santorini 😉
Even though Santorini is undoubtedly a very touristy destination, it did not feel crowded at all, and we were there in the peak season. It wasn’t abandoned either. Just the right kind of crowded – for my taste, anyway.
Prices in Santorini are probably a bit higher compared to some other, less prominent Greek islands, but there are still some services or items that can be obtained cheaply. Some examples of prices:
Small beer: 2,50 – 3,00 €
Large beer: 4,50 €
Cocktails: from 9 €
Basic dishes like Pizza Marguerita / Spaghetti with tomato sauce: 6 €
Fancier main courses: 10-15 €
A glass of wine: 3-4 €
Gyros pita: 2-3
Soft drinks: 3-4 €
Frappe (Nescaffe with ice, the most common form of coffee): 3 €
Scoop of ice-cream: 2 €
Ticket for a local bus: 1,60 €
Last but not least, many of you must be wondering what it is like to travel in Greece with the crisis going on. Honestly, if I didn’t know about the crisis I wouldn’t notice anything special. Tourist infrastructure is fully functional and the majority of people you see there are anyway tourists. Lots of them are Greeks themselves, but nonetheless. People come there to enjoy the holiday and I bet the situation is similar in all predominantly touristy resorts. Only occasional depressed-looking faces remind you that not everything is as it should be, but overall, the waiters, shop assistants and other staff are, at least for the benefit of tourism income, braving the hard situation as best as they can.
For experience-hungry, I would recommend visiting Santorini for 2 or 3 days as nothing quite matches the unique views, finest examples of cycladic architecture and unique geology of the island. There are even some neolithic ruins to be explored in Akrotiri and some artefacts on display at the archeological museum of Fira. But after 2 or 3 days, I would suggest moving on to another island – there’s a lot to be covered in the near vicinity – Anafi, Ios, Naxos, even Crete is not that far off. On the other hand, if you are looking forward to some fine wining and dining, staying in one place and soaking up the sun on great beaches while watching memorable sunsets, and doing some fancy shopping in the evening, you will enjoy staying longer than that (especially if money is not such a big object).