Ways to Avoid the Tourist Crowds in Santorini

by | Apr 9, 2020 | Santorini island

Want to find out the ways to avoid the tourist crowds in Santorini? With 10.000 visitors per day during the summer, Santorini may be victim of its own success. Even though that Santorini has a lot of issue, Santorini is still a spectacular island to behold. Rampant construction continues. Santorini`s networks and infrastructure are pushed to the limit. So here are a few ways you can avoid the crowds during your vacation in Santorini.


Avoid the peak season

Santorini’s peak season is mid-June until September. The villages with their pretty paved pathways at the Cliffside are packed with thousands of visitors. All the visitors are whipping out their smartphones to take the exact same picture.

To avoid the crowded streets of the island, we can visit Santorini outside of peak season, from April to early June, or from September to November.Unlike other Cycladic islands, Santorini doesn`t boast many easy-to-reach beaches. While the beaches may not be particularly enjoyable from November to April, the sights and sunsets definitely still are (and without the masses). One of the best experiences in that period is Santorni Easter with its unique traditions that create a magical setting.


Avoid the tourist crowds in Santorini- Switch up your sunset spot

While the sunset from Oia Village is a must-see at least once in your lifetime, you don`t have to admire the sunset view from the fortress of Oia with thousands of visitors. Many other locations are available to watch the sunset with fewer people.

If you leave Oia instead and walk for 10 minutes on the path towards Fira, you will reach the beautiful Church of Mikros Profitis Ilias. There the sunset view is equally spectacular. Admire the small white houses and blue domes of Oia at the entrance to the village, before the desalination plant. Enjoy a stunning sunset with a panoramic view for the whole island from the fortress of Pyrgos


Sunrise Snapshots

Although the sunset steals all the glory, the sunrise on Santorini is just as spectacular. Set your alarm clock for the early hours. When the island is still asleep, make your way up to Mt Profitis Ilias.

From a ledge near the monastery of the same name, you will be able to take some amazing photos as the sun rises behind the island Anafi. Explore hidden beaches near the airport or Kamari beach to enjoy the sunset. Also you can have an early swim. Start early and you will have Santorini all to yourself


Village – Hopping

Avoid the tourist crowds in Santorini, by exploring the ”Hidden villages”. Lose yourself in labyrinthine alleys. Make your way up to the fortified medieval districts, or kastelli, such as Pyrgos, Emporio, Exo Gonia, Vothonas and Megalochori. All those villages have the same narrow streets, blue-domed churches, colorful houses and pleasant cafés by the square.

But if the caldera view really is non-negotiable, Firostefani and Imerovigli are equally beautiful and less crowded than Oia. They offer the most fantastic views of the caldera. You may want to take a part in our private tours to explore the “Traditional Santorini” far from the hustle and the bustle.


Keep Walking

The island`s most scenic trail is the one that connects Fira and Oia. The hike from “Fira to Oia” is a beautiful walk that lasts approximately three and a half hours. It depends on walking speed. Try doing it in the morning to avoid the crowds, others walkers, and have the path to yourself, If, however, you are looking for the road less traveled, try a walking tour of the inland countryside: follow the old path that connects “Pyrgos to Emporio village“.

Another alternative to avoid the crowds in Santorini is to try the hike from “Imerovigli to Skaros” and Fira. The hike is about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) and leads to the Chapel Agia Irini on Skaros Rock. From there, enjoy the view over the whole caldera.


Less crowded beaches

Avoiding the crowds in Santorini may not be easy. Perissa and Kamari, two black sand beaches are some of the most popular beaches on the island. They are usually crowded during the summer. For quieter swims, head to Vlychada, where fine black sand and pebbles awaits. Sunbeds and umbrellas occupy one part of the beach, but further down are relatively quieter corners. If you prefer unspoiled natural beauty far from the tourist crowds, they are plenty of beaches free of loungers, beach umbrellas and bars.

Katharos (in the northwest), with sand small pebbles, is a great choice for basking until dusk. It offers a wonderful view of the sunset. For even more tranquility, Koloumbos beach in the northern part of the island has black and red pebbles. There is as well as a huge rock formation offering shade in the heat of the day.


It takes two to paddle

If you are in good physical condition and you want to avoid the crowds in Santorini, so it`s worth paddling in the caldera. In the caldera (south –west) you will find yourself in a truly surreal setting.

But there will be surprises as well: for one thing, you are likely to run into plenty of members of the animal kingdom, including the Eleonora`s falcon, shoals of fish, sea turtles and as you reach the shore, partridges and rabbits


Find your own secret gems

Discover a different side of Santorini with our “tailor-made tours“, from that which is usually presented to tourists. Not only you will escape the crowds in Santorini but you will explore the real life of the locals. A visit to the Yiannis Nomikos Estate is amply rewarding.  You can purchase, directly from the source, pure products such as extra virgin olive oil or sun-dried Santorini tomatoes, or capers, or pistachios, salted or plain. You can also learn a lot about the island`s food plants. So if you are a food or wine enhusiast you can choose among Santorini cooking class or a unique wine tour.

Another place where you can avoid the crowds in Santorini is the old Tomato Factory. Once, the factory processed one of Santorini`s most famous agricultural products, the local cherry tomato. The owner has transformed it into the Tomato Industrial Museum. The museum has very few visitors before noon. Before leaving, go for a walk on Vlychada Beach, which at that time is almost deserted.

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