04 Mar Santorini in winter
What about Santorini in winter? History, unique landscapes, and, of course, great wine is not just for summer on Santorini.
Five years ago, you would be hard-pressed to find 30 hotels on Santorini that stayed open in winter. This year, there were 150 that did. The island enjoys the largest tourist season in Greece, and its wintertime visitors will discover different charms.
Establishing Santorini as a year-round destination was a goal pursued by the Municipal Authority and aided by the decision made by Aegean Airlines to put at least two return flights per day from Athens. Social media influencers are garnering thousands of “likes” with their shots of its sunsets and gorgeous meals set to the backdrop of the caldera.
The tourism industry continues to purr along-generating wealth and thousands of jobs.
People from all over Greece are moving to the island for work, bringing their families with them and some creating families there: the school-age population grows by some 150 children a year. Each year, more and more business owners, mainly in Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia, decide to remain open, even in the heart of winter-that is December through February. There are also off-season dining options in Fira, Oia, Pyrgos, and elsewhere. Finally, some wineries stay open, too; they may be few in number but more than enough to handle the winter crowd.
The demographics of those visiting Santorini in winter-time are different. As a rule, winter visitors are older, with large numbers coming from India and China.
Santorini in Winter: WHAT BRINGS THESE VISITORS HERE?
It is their desire to see one of the most beautiful islands globally without the summer hustle and bustle.
If you are into long walks, sunny winter days are ideal for setting off along the Fira- Imerovigli – Oia Village route.
On the way, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the caldera in all its glory, to admire the unique architecture of the settlements along its rim, and to take in the natural beauty around you, including local plants and volcanic rocks. This walk takes about three hours. Choose to begin this route early in the morning to avoid the heat or late afternoon to enjoy the sunset.
Another good option is to visit the long stretch of “black” beaches that run from Perissa to Perivolos. There is a rare sight to behold the dark volcanic sand, and even feels different when you walk on it. Vlychada Beach, a landscape of stunning geological formations sculpted out of the lava, is also nearby.
THE TOWN: AN ADVANCED SOCIETY
Yes! Santorini in winter has many hidden treasures. A visit to Akrotiri’s site is an all-season must, but it is incredibly convenient on rainy days thanks to its bioclimatic roof. The ash from the 1614 BC volcanic eruption buried this prehistoric town, preserving it for posterity. With the digging and the decoding of the finds in full swing, the real town that was coming to light step by step seemed even more awe-inspiring than mythical Atlantis. Its resident’s moral bankruptcy damned her to her cataclysmic destruction, as stated in Plato’s writings.
The prehistoric town, especially during its heyday in the 17th century B.C., appears to have been constructed and developed harmoniously, with people and the environment being at the forefront. The prehistoric town at Akrotiri expands our knowledge of the Aegean civilization fascinatingly and decisively. The number of exhibits and the quality of the information found is unique thanks to the volcanic ash that covered and preserved the town.
The study of the prehistoric city has revealed:
- A port with significant naval influence
- Squares and roads
- Water supply& sewerage networks
- Multi-story anti-seismic buildings equipped with a sophisticated ventilation and lighting systems
- Building complexes
- Public buildings and services
- All-time great works of art.
Walking through these ruins, you will feel as though you have been transported some 3,600 years back in time.
On unusually cold and windy days, you can seek refuge in one of the open wineries. Santorini’s ascendancy over the Greek wine scene is widely recognized by wine experts around the world. No wine list from New York to London is considered complete without at least one Santorini label. As world-class sommeliers, rain praise once reserved for classic French regions like Burgundy or Loire on the island’s wine, and every producer runs out of stock within a few months of each new release.
As with every significant success, there is, of course, no single factor that caused it. In Santorini’s case, contributing elements include its terroir; the great native Assyrtiko grape and the style of wines it yields; the reliability of that style; the limited yield; the high average quality; and conditions on the global wine scene. What’s more, the island’s own incredible beauty and popularity make it a thriving wine tourism market.
Sample some famous Santorini wines with our tour Food and Wine, and don’t forget to try the gold-hued Vinsanto as well. This sweet local wine is made from white grapes sun-dried for several days and then matured for years in oaken barrels.
Helpful hints when visiting Santorini in Winter
- Book a Santorini private tour. Our various guided tours cover all the regions of Santorini. With the help of professional Tour guides, you can explore the wonders of this island to suit every budget. Our private tours can encompass your every aspiration and can be tailored to your exclusive preferences and needs for unforgettable holidays on the island.
- Santorini in winter needs warm clothes. Though the temperature may not fall to very low single digits, evenings tend to be quite chilly.
- Be sure to bring comfortable shoes.
- Each year from February on, Santorini starts preparing for the summer season. Before you book, to ensure peace and quiet, ask if any construction projects are slated to take place near your hotel.