Travel

SANTORINI – The Truths and Expectations!

So we all think we know what to expect when visiting Santorini, but do we really? What are our expectations? Let’s talk more about the truth of what to expect while visiting Santorini.

Santorini the most famous Greek Island of all but just how magical is this Island? Does it live up to the expectations of its reputation? Is the sunset really the most breathtaking? Is it just like the photos everyone posts with white building and blue domes? All these questions about the truths and expectations of Santorini will be answered in more detail if you just continue to read…

Here I will talk about just that but much much more, so stick around and read about my experience and the truth about Santorini. Let’s move on to some knowledge about Santorini and then we can address the truths and expectations too!

Venetsanos Winery views of Santorini
Santorini views of Fira

ABOUT SANTORINI

Santorini is also known as Thira and is found in the southern Aegean Sea. It is the most southern island of the Cyclades group of islands.  This island’s unique volcanic properties have made the island really special. Not only does the soil help with a spectacular wine collection, it also has amazing healing properties in the sea around the active and non-active volcano.

Its shape is a crescent moon shape and this is due to an old, very old, eruption from the volcano. It is said that the Santorini was a volcano and that with one of the largest eruptions the island (which occurred somewhat 3600 years ago) it was left as a caldera surrounded by volcanic ash. Other theories are that the island was hit by a tsunami from Crete and that it took its shape from this incident. If you visit Santorini you too will see that the land is so rocky and the soil is like a volcano and ash that you too will believe that it was a volcano itself.

Shall we now proceed to the truths and expectations of Santorini? Do you want to see what the hype is about the sunset? Or maybe you want to see if it is as expensive as they all say? Or just maybe you are like me and just want to know what you are in for when you get there. Whatever it is here are the truths and expectations of Santorini…

TRUTHS and EXPECTATIONS

SUNSET IN OIA

The truth about the famous Sunset

The truth is Sunsets are always pretty no matter where you are in the world. They give a magical and amazing view to see. Ever country, city, island has its own unique view of the sunset that no other has. For me everyone has kind of over exaggerated the whole sunset in Oia BUT that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing. I mean the whole white washed buildings with a blue dome and an old windmill all with the winding cobble stone paths combined with the sun setting on the sea make one AH-MAZING view.

Expect it to be Expensive

Well of course it’s going to be an expensive island as it is 100% dependent on tourism. Any place that is touristy like Santorini will be expensive. This island is buzzing with life 8 months of the year only so they need to make enough money to last the whole year not just the months they are in business. Even though everything is expensive it doesn’t mean you can’t visit Santorini with a low budget.

Many places to visit like museums and archeological sites are not all that expensive. Also you do not have to eat out at restaurants every day, you could try fast food places and try eating where locals eat. Have in mind the prices are the same for tourists and locals wherever you go. Another tip is to stay at accommodation that is further away from the city center as it will be way cheaper.

WINE TASTEING IN VENETSANOS WINERY
Gyros in Santorini Fira

Food and Beverages expectations and truths

Both food and drinks are expensive all around this island. You will find great local wine and beer but again the prices will be high. It is worth paying to try it at least once though.  The best local wine I had was Venetsanos’ Santorini White Wine and you will also love Mythos beer. Unfortunately we could not find the Yellow Donkey Beer to try so if you have tried it, tell me in the comments below what your thoughts are on its taste.

As for food, local Greek food is everywhere! Please check prices before ordering and then go for it. Try to taste as much food as you can. Don’t forget to try traditional food the way they cook it in Santorini, for example Fava is made mainly in Santorini and they also have their own version of the Greek salad.

WANDERING THE STREETS OF SANTORINI AND EXPECTING JAW DROPPING VIEWS LIKE THIS

Expect Crowds!

Santorini is the most popular Greek island along with Mykonos so of course it will be overcrowded with people. During the summer months it gets so crazy that you feel your being pushed and shoved about. Santorini is especially crowded when 6-7 cruise ships dock and load off their passengers onto this tiny island.

Now this is the truth but you could always visit in non-peak seasons and get around this ugly truth of the crowds. My husband and I actually traveled for Easter, which was end of April and I feel it was the best decision we made. It was busy but not overcrowded and the weather was amazing too.

TThe expected views of Fira in Santorini

Truly HOT weather

The weather in summer is HOT, combine this with the busy streets full of tourists, then yes you will not have a great experience. During summer months you will definitely feel the heat and you will get burnt a lot easier as Santorini is at a higher altitude than most islands. So make sure to wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat!

Best weather to go and not be hot, bothered and sticky is during April-May and September-October. During these months it is warm during the day and sometimes cool at night. April and October tend to be colder in the evenings so you’ll need a light jacket or a cardigan.

OIA STATUE FOUND ALONG THE PROMENADE

Locals

There are hardly and locals left on this picturesque island. The locals who remain on the island all year round tend to be the older generation or families’ who’s business is all year round. The rest leave as soon as the season is over and they head back home which is commonly Athens.  Most of the locals are friendly and helpful but don’t get upset if they yell cos that’s normal for them! They are loud by nature and sometimes can seem to be rude too. Just ignore that and have fun!

The expectation and truth of OIA sunset
Sunset in Oia Santorini what to expect - no filters

More general knowledge

Santorini is truly a stunning and unique island to visit and explore even though it has many cons as mentioned above. I still feel that it is totally worth visiting this volcanic island. There is a way around most of the pointers mentioned and if you go with not so high expectations you will have an Ah-mazing time!

The white washed buildings are throughout the whole island and if you do explore at a pace you will see the blue domes but also some other gorgeous coloured buildings. There are many churches all around the island and don’t forget to talk with local folk to get an insider view and feeling of the real and true Santorini.

To capture a picture perfect photo of the blue domes you will have to climb onto the roofs of houses and hotels and this is something I didn’t want to do. Getting in trouble for a photo was not my idea of fun while on my holiday. While there were many people who did this I chose not to and I do not regret it.

Truth

I feel that people have made a huge deal about certain things in Santorini which have led to a certain expectation of Santorini being full of white washed buildings and blue domes, gorgeous and breathtaking sunset and charming cobblestone streets with cute stores and gorgeous views from every corner. While all this is true the actual real facts of all these favorable points come with a price! The price of crowds and a price tag of expensive places to eat drink and stay.

Even having all these things in mind I still feel that you should visit Santorini. It truly is magical and you will fall in love with the views and the sunset too! Just go with an open mind and don’t expect to see those perfect pictures everyone is posting everywhere.

Have you been to Santorini? Do you agree with my truths and expectations? Feel free to add anything in the comments below. Also please share with us your thoughts below.

You can also find more ideas for travel in Europe here , here and here.

Black sand beach in Santorini - Perissa
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14 Comments

    • D

      Well Emily when the times come to visit the beautiful destination, I hope you will refer to my post for help and inspiration. If you need any more help when the time comes let me know and I will be glad to help out any way I can.

      D, xo

  • Yolanda

    This is still on my bucket list. It’ll be pretty easy to get there though as my husband is Greek, but all the family are in Rhodes or Athens. Our plan is to build a home in Rhodes one day and we’ll be able to visit all the islands then! Gorgeous place 🙂

    • D

      Yolanda, this is such a great idea. From Rhodes you will have access to all of Greece AND Europe. I wish you all the best with this plan you guys have in place and if you get the chance to travel easier like this you should also check out Cyprus which is very close to Rhodes too! I live in Cyprus so if you have any questions or need help ust contact me.

      D, xo

    • D

      Jennifer, I hope you will get that opportunity soon to visit the places you want to go to. If you need and other info in regards to Santorini or any other place I have been to I would be glad to help any way I can.

      D, xo

  • Claire

    It has always been somewhere I’d like to visit as my father went many years ago and raves about it.

    This is a really great round up, I always love a bit of realism when it comes to reviews and this has it all but still makes it a place I want to visit. Thank you x

    • D

      Thank you Claire. I am so glad you found it to be real but yet still a place you want to go. I was not aiming to make people not want to go but to ust know the truth and find ways to deal with them or at least to know what to expect. I am so happy you loved my realism and I hope you get your chance to visit Santorini in your near future.

      D , xo

    • D

      My travel list keeps growing too, but thats ok! Though, I guess we might just have to go to a few places so we can get them off the list?! hahaha

      D, xo

  • Holly

    I have Santorini on my Travel Bucket List! Loved all your practical tips & suggestions for when visiting. Especially how busy it can get – I will definitely try an Plan our trip in the months you suggested!!

    • D

      Holly, I am so happy you found my post helpful. I do recommend you go off peak season as it would me much more enjoyable. If you have any other questions while your planning you could always drop me a message.

      D, xo

  • Phoebe

    I really enjoyed our visit in Satorini. We spent 3 days in Oia and 3 days in Fira. It was great and definitely not enough. The island is actually big enough to require more than a week. We are looking forward to visit again.

    • D

      I know what you mean about spending more than a week there. We did 4 full days and that was during our Greek easter and it was not enough. Both hubby and I hope to some day revisit but for now I think we will explore other places we have never been to.

      D, xo

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