Santorini – Overrated or Worth It?

You’re planning your trip to the Greek Islands and start thinking – Is Santorini overrated? Is Santorini worth visiting? Is it one of those places you always hear about then are disappointed by it once there? Short answer: yes. Long answer… it depends on what you’re looking for.

I went to Santorini in spring… Seriously, it is as beautiful as the pictures people post all over the internet, but can also be as crowded as those pictures. Let’s demystify some of the common complaints and talk about how to experience Santorini and make sure it’s worth it.

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Overall  Thoughts on Touristy Places

I spent a week in Greece altogether, but 2 days in Santorini. There are so many incredible Greek Islands to visit, but Santorini was the one on my bucket list. We flew in via RyanAir and continued on to Mykonos via ferry from there. 

People always want to know specifics of the spots I visit, and I have an answer for all of them in Santorini! I’ll also show you how to avoid being a super tourist while doing them, because who wants to be like that?

My general thoughts on touristy places is, they are popular for a reason. There’s something special about them. However, they lose some of that special quality depending on how they are visited. 

So when we think of a place being overrated like Santorini, I generally say probably not overrated and probably worth it to visit anyway. In this post I’ll give you tips to make sure you have a great time. 

  

 

It is pictured as romantic but…

Friends can go too without a problem. Santorini is known as a spot for romantic getaways, and yes, it is pretty romantic. However, my friend Elizabeth and I had an awesome time! You could also visit the Greek islands solo and have a blast. Many of the people we met were couples, but there is so much to do in Santorini.

We were so busy enjoying the beaches, food, museums, and views that I don’t even remember if everyone we met was there as a couple or not. What I do remember is having a blast and seeing so many gorgeous places. 

We rented a car and drove all over the island, checked out awesome beaches, and hiked along cliffs. So Santorini doesn’t have to be romantic—it can be adventurous and a blast for you and your friends.

The crowds will be intense, but…

Sunset in Oia is nice but not worth a visit, but…

Okay, this one is just wrong! The sunset in Oia is probably one of the prettiest things I have ever seen. Don’t let people tell you it is not worth it. If you aren’t staying in Oia, you will have traffic getting there so plan ahead. Don’t stay at the old Byzantine church either because everyone goes there. We got there after the sunset started, and there was barely space to stand in the middle!

Instead, find a spot along the cliffs early (close to the church) and wait. We ended up seeing a gorgeous sunset, and while there were tons of people, posting up early and making sure we weren’t in front of anyone helped us out a ton! It is not overrated—it really is that pretty!

 

Hotels are super pricey but…

There are affordable options. It’s not expensive compared to other places in Europe I’ve been (I’ve been to England, Italy, France, and Turkey). During the high season, you’ll definitely pay more than the off-season—SURPRISE. However, Fira is more affordable and still has gorgeous cliffs just like Oia.

The hotel we stayed in was just $95 (this was off-season price) but had a gorgeous view and amazing staff. Loved staying there. Look outside of Oia and rent a car for just $35. Free parking is available all over the island so you will avoid having to stay in a more pricey area with fewer tourists around you all day. You can check out more places to stay in Santorini here.

 

The beaches are just as nice somewhere else but…

 

It can expensive but…

There are affordable options. The pic above is of me in Ancient Thira—we paid 4 euros to get in! It was beautiful. We didn’t pay over $15 for a single meal. We paid less than $100 for a hotel in Santorini. Our flight was $37. Beaches were free, drinks were cheap, car rental no big deal. Do I need to keep convincing you?

One of the major reasons we were able to find such good deals is because we went during shoulder season. I’ve gone other places like Amalfi Coast and Sedona in shoulder season as well. It always saves me money!

The food can be pricey…

The shopping is expensive…

Look for locally made and sourced goods! While Santorini was definitely cheaper than Mykonos, we still bought only a few things in Santorini. Heading to a more expensive island after had us wishing we had bought more! It was definitely a great place to shop!

 

Getting around can be hard but…

Santorini has tons of transportation options. Renting a car was only $35, ATVs were everywhere for rent, and there was an excellent bus system that went all over the island. 

Most hotels have shuttles or car service for a small fee as well. Don’t rely on taxis though because there are only about 20 for the whole island so they are very pricey and often difficult to find. So while you can use taxis, don’t rely on them as your only resource of transport!

 

Discover the truth about Santorini - is it overrated or worth it? Find out why this Greek island is a must-visit and how to avoid the crowds.
Discover the truth about Santorini – is it overrated or worth it? Find out why this Greek island is a must-visit and how to avoid the crowds.
 
So if you haven’t guessed yet. I definitely don’t think Santorini is overrated. There’s so much to experience in Greece, and whether traveling with friends or on a romantic trip, you can have an awesome time! Don’t skip Santorini—skip the crowds and stay away from the spots you know will make you feel like a tourist. Check this out if you’re looking for more things to do while in Santorini
Meghan

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