Christmas in Santorini, Greece

by | Dec 4, 2023 | Tours

Enjoy Christmas in the picturesque island of Santorini, which takes on a different festive atmosphere. Santorini, known for its summer charm, can also offer an equally unique and unforgettable experience for locals and visitors during Christmas. Christmas in Santorini combines traditional Greek customs with the island’s exceptional natural beauty. Villages like Oia and Fira are full of Christmas decorations and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Whether walking through the narrow streets or enjoying the panoramic view, the spirit of Christmas permeates every corner of Santorini. It thus offers an unforgettable and moving experience for those looking to get to know this different but equally enchanting side of the island. Is it worth coming to Santorini during the Christmas period? Your first thought might be, probably not, because the weather is not as great as the summer months. That’s true, but on the other hand, prices, especially hotel prices, are so much lower, usually 50-70%, which is a massive difference. During summer, famous hotels and villas with Caldera views start at around 600 euros a night! But prices can be 150-200 Euros per night between November and March. So, coming to Santorini during Christmas isn’t that bad.

Weather, Transportation & Accommodation during Christmas in Santorini

The weather temperatures are usually around 10 and 15 degrees and rarely below 10 degrees. So, it’s not that cold and pretty enjoyable. The island is windier than in the summer, and considering the rain, the average is four to five days of rain per month. As you can see, the weather isn’t that bad! During the winter, the water temperature is around 17 degrees, which is definitely a little chilly. Then again, we know many people who keep swimming in the sea throughout the entire winter. Getting to Santorini is actually very easy because both planes and ferries are operating on a daily basis. Many hotels and restaurants are open during Christmas, so you won’t have a problem finding your accommodation and going out for food or drinks.

Before showing up to a restaurant or café, you can give them a phone call to see if they are open. The buses on the island are still running, but instead of having one bus every 20 or 30 minutes, it’s more like one every hour or every two hours. You can visit the official website of Santorini’s public transportation to find timetables. A better solution is to rent a car, at much lower prices than the summer period, starting at 30-40 euros per day.

Things to do at Christmas in Santorini

Now, let’s see what you can see or do in Santorini during the winter. Nothing changes. Concerning sightseeing in villages, you’ll still be able to wander around the alleys. It’s the best time of the year to do that because there will be less people clogging up. Some of the best private tours during Christmas are:

Hiking tours

Fira to Oia Hiking tour. Explore the wonders of Santorini through hiking tours, an ideal choice for nature enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in the island’s beauty. The walking tour from Fira to Oia stands out as the most picturesque route, offering numerous unexpected delights. Prepare yourself for an awe-inspiring experience as we drive you to the meeting point in Fira, marking the beginning of our excursion along the Caldera cliffside. Traverse the charming villages of Firostefani, Imerovigli, and, ultimately, Oia. In essence, the Santorini hiking tour from Fira to Oia covers a distance of nearly 10km or 6 miles. Throughout most of the trail, you will find yourself walking near the edge of the Caldera, adding to the scenic charm of the experience.

Hiking at Skaros Rock. Tailored for hiking enthusiasts who relish exploration and walking while appreciating an authentic local experience, these private guided tours offer a unique opportunity. Venture beyond the bustling crowds to discover Santorini’s hidden gems, navigating ancient paths and charming cobblestone alleys. Opting for this hiking tour means strolling along the edge of Santorini’s stunning Caldera and passing through Fira, Firostefani, and Imerovigli villages, providing ample opportunities to capture breathtaking views. Traversing these picturesque villages characterized by their distinctive whitewashed houses, the journey includes pauses at panoramic viewpoints and encounters with small private churches along the way. Most of the route is paved with stone and interspersed with dirt track sections. The entire hike typically spans around 3 hours, depending on your walking pace and the number of breaks you take.

Aroma of Santorini

Are you currently in Santorini? Fantastic! It’s time to heighten your senses. Opt for the Aroma of Santorini half-day private tour (4 hours) and explore a captivating corner of Santorini with a local, welcoming, and knowledgeable guide. The tour starts at the village of Melagochori and takes you later to Argyros Winery, an exceptional venue perfect for understanding the vinification process. Delve into indigenous grape varieties while savoring local wines. Next, the journey leads to Firostefani settlement, offering a stunning Caldera view distinct from that in Fira. Capture moments at the renowned little white church with the blue dome. Subsequently, prepare to be captivated by the charms of Oia’s Village, renowned as the most photographed location in Greece.

Traditional Santorini

Uncover the mysteries of Traditional Santorini in a span of 6 hours. Immerse yourself in a crucial half-day tour of Santorini accompanied by our amiable local guides. Undoubtedly, Santorini stands out as the world’s most enchanting island! Imagine traditional whitewashed houses perched on the volcanic cliff edge, crowned with blue dome roofs and adorned with beautiful bougainvillea, overlooking the deep blue Aegean Sea, a quintessential Greek travel dream. Explore the charming villages, including Pyrgos and Firostefani, each offering a magnificent perspective of the volcano. Additionally, discover Oia, the island’s most renowned village. Indulge in a tasting of three unique locally-produced wines. Following this, savor your lunch at one of the restaurants or taverns suspended above the Aegean, providing a mesmerizing view. Lift your glass to toast to this extraordinary Santorini experience that will stay with you for a lifetime!

Santorini wine tours

It would be a genuinely missed opportunity to visit Santorini without immersing yourself in a wine tour that showcases a vibrant array of unique and authentically local grape varieties. Immerse yourself in the Santorini wine tour experience, exploring the island’s key attractions and participating in an informative 4-hour winemaking tour. The wine-tasting session offers a chance to sample various indigenous wines. Simultaneously, it provides insights into food pairings, guiding you on which wine complements various dishes. Accompanied by a platter featuring a curated selection of cheeses, bread, breadsticks, cold cuts, and traditional Greek delicacies, the experience is enriched.

Hidden Villages

Uncover the hidden gems embedded in the historical fabric of numerous villages during our exclusive Hidden Villages tour. This 6-hour private expedition, guided by a seasoned expert, unveils Santorini’s traditional essence, steering you away from the well-trodden paths. Delve into concealed treasures like churches, local fish taverns, and restaurants, immersing yourself in the cultural tapestry. Embark on a journey through the villages of Megalochori and Mesa Gonia, each adorned with numerous small white houses, sprawling vineyards, and charming churches. Beyond savoring the award-winning wines of Santorini, delve into the intricacies of local viticulture methods. Progress to Emporio village, featuring narrow walkways and picturesque houses, including a unique Venetian castle with a defensive tower dating back to the Middle Ages, distinguishing it from other villages. Concluding our adventure is a visit to the volcanic beach of Perivolos, boasting an expansive stretch of black sand, perfect for enjoying the summertime festivities on this distinctive beach!

Tailor-made tours

Our diverse array of compact tours spans every corner of Santorini, allowing you to unravel the island’s marvels with the guidance of seasoned professionals. Tailored to accommodate various preferences, tour durations (4 hours tailor made tour, 6 hours tailor made tour), interests, and budgets, our private guided tours offer flexibility to match your exclusive desires, ensuring an unforgettable holiday experience. Entrust us with the expertise and organization, leaving you the simple task of selecting the experience you wish to immerse yourself in.

Santorini panoramic

Embark on a full-day journey at the Aegean’s equivalent of Pompeii, unfolding in the Santorini Panoramic tour that spans six hours. Guided by a seasoned private guide from Golden Ibex, your exploration begins with the Akrotiri excavation. On this globally significant Prehistoric site, volcanic ashes have impeccably preserved intricate two and three-story structures adorned with stunning Minoan frescoes. Following this, ascend to the island’s zenith at the mountain of Profitis Ilias, reaching 567 meters above sea level. Revel in panoramic vistas encompassing the entire island, extending all the way to the village of Oia. The tour further unveils the traditional village of Pyrgos, the highest in Santorini and a UNESCO-protected settlement since 1995. Atop the hill, explore the remnants of Kasteli Castle, one of the five ‘Kastelia’ scattered across Santorini’s landscape.

The holiday spirit of Santorini

Christmas in Santorini reflects the warmth and hospitality of the island, even during the winter months. Locals welcome visitors with open arms, creating a sense of community. Every aspect of the island radiates joy, from shops selling handmade crafts and local delicacies to cozy cafes that provide shelter from the winter weather. The spirit of the Christmas holidays in Santorini is a celebration that unites people from every corner of the world. The charm of Santorini extends beyond the glittering lights and festive decorations. It lies in the genuine smiles of the locals and the warmth they offer to visitors during this special time of year. The island’s churches, steeped in history, become focal meeting points for locals and visitors during the holiday season. The Christmas Eve worship hymns, accompanied by the stirring melodies of traditional carols, create a truly peaceful atmosphere. This ancient tradition reminds us of the spiritual significance of Christmas in Santorini. Of course, Santorini’s Christmas traditions extend beyond the church. Families gather to prepare and share traditional dishes passed down from generation to generation. The smells of cinnamon, honey, and roasting meat fill the air. The festive markets offer a glimpse into the island’s cultural heritage and a unique opportunity to participate in the timeless traditions that define Christmas in Santorini.

Journey to the Christmas Kitchen of Santorini

Get to know Santorini’s traditional Christmas cuisine with the island’s rich culinary heritage during the holiday season. Each dish tells a story from the past, bringing to life the flavors that define Greek holidays. As Christmas approaches, Santorini’s kitchens come alive with the preparation of traditional dishes that hold a special place in the hearts of the locals. Local fava beans, tomato meatballs, pumpkin meatballs, spicy aubergine salad, sun-dried tomatoes, white fried aubergines, lunza in visanto (dessert wine) with sugar and fennel seeds, roasted pork and lamb with aromatic herbs, spinach & cheese pies, kourabiedes, and melomakarona, embody the essence of Christmas in Santorini. In addition to savory and sweet delights, Christmas-themed wine tastings at the island’s renowned wineries offer a unique opportunity to experience Santorini’s famous vintages. As you enjoy the local wines, you will discover that Santorini’s Christmas cuisine is a cultural journey that invites you to taste the culinary identity of the island.

Memories for a lifetime

Santorini is full of Christmas decorations that make every corner magical. From the charming streets of Oia to the bustling squares of Fira, the island is filled with sparkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere combined with the deep blue hues of the Aegean. Christmas decorations include Christmas trees with sparkling ornaments, creating a picturesque backdrop. Wander through the shops and boutiques and take a piece of Santorini’s holiday spirit with you. So, is it worth coming to Santorini during Christmas? We would say yes because the weather is still very decent, meaning it will be delightful to stroll around Oia and other Villages without the summer crowds. Also, everything is so much cheaper during the winter! Hotels lower their prices the same for restaurants and car rentals, and of course, you can still have most of our private tours. Whether you’re exploring the decorated alleys, photographing the windmills against the backdrop of twinkling lights, or simply enjoying the festive atmosphere, Christmas in Santorini is a magical experience that will stay in your memory for years to come.

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