Let me start off with one thing, Santorini is beautiful. However, it’s hugely over hyped! If you haven’t experienced Santorini, you probably think I’m mad. I mean, the Instagram pics look great don’t they? But comparing this volcanic island to some of the other islands in Greece, I wouldn’t part with the high prices coming here. I spent two days in Santorini during June 2018 and have come up with 5 reasons why you shouldn’t visit Santorini on holiday.
Tourists, Tourists, Tourists
This tiny island during the holiday season greets 15,000 new tourists a day. The population is only 9,000-10,000! The tourists ram the streets of Oia, you can barely move and can feel a little claustrophobic (especially during sunset!). I went out in Oia extremely early one day just so I could get the shot above. However, what may look like a peaceful image, in fact, hides the many tourists in front of me battling it out to take their famous idyllic Santorini picture. So don’t be fooled by the ‘sleepy’ aspect of Santorini, it doesn’t exist anymore!
Santorini is a Volcanic island and therefore, the sand is a grey/black colour. The beach water isn’t as luxurious as other islands like Milos or Samos, but the water is still much nicer than most European destinations. I personally do not like grey/black sand, the sand gets much hotter and there’s a lot of volcanic stone lurking about. In other words, not great for the feet! See the image below, there’s a huge difference between the waters and beaches of Santorini to Samos!
Santorini Is Extremely Overpriced
If you ever plan to book a holiday here, do not stay in Oia. Visit a resort or an Air B&B outside of Oia as it feels more like paradise out there. Apparently during peak season (June-August) prices for rooms can be as much as £500-1,000 a night! Crazy. Obviously, you can find cheaper accommodation on Air B&B so you will just have to do your research. During my stay, I actually visited a little town called Thira which was around a 5-10 minute drive from Oia, this seemed like more of a comfortable and reasonable place to stay. Oh and just to mention (and changing the subject slightly), whilst in Oia I paid €6.50 for a glass of orange juice! Mental.
Admittedly the actual streets of Oia were clean, but the surrounding areas were riddled with litter. Even from the tender boat from the cruise ship to the port, the ocean was full of plastic and rubbish. I can only imagine that this is due to the huge volumes of tourists that come every day. It’s such a shame, take away all of the tourists then I can only imagine a clean and peaceful little place.
I am a huge animal lover, so seeing these poor donkeys exposed to boiling temperatures with no shade is heartbreaking. These donkeys are considerably overworked too. Donkey rides are offered to tourists which can injure a donkey in many ways, for example, severe saddle sores (see below), dehydration, and burnt feet. These donkeys are expected to carry heavy weight (and people) up steep steps and hills! This is something that I’d highly avoid doing if you plan to visit Santorini.
So there we go guys, here are my 5 reasons why you should not visit Santorini on holiday. Santorini is great if you took away a few aspects, like putting a cap on the number of tourists that visit Santorini daily. During my Santorini stay, I was fortunate enough to be able to island hop around other islands; Mykonos, Crete, Milos, and Samos. This is why I have formed these opinions- as I have been able to compare Santorini against other Greek islands. If you are looking for a luxurious vacation in Greece wanting great beaches, food, culture, which is very affordable, I highly recommend visiting the islands of Samos and Milos. Samos and Milos are honestly two hidden gems of the Aegean sea- blog post to come!
Have you been to Santorini before? What were your thoughts? Much Love, Eltoria x