Santorini is one of the top 5 destinations worldwide. And we’re not just blowing our horn here. This is straight from the horse’s mouth, aka Conde Nast. So it comes as no surprise to find out that Santorini is in fact getting… How should I put this? Crowded? Bursting at the seams? At any rate, a quick glance through any given Instagram Santorini feed ought to give you a sense of just how congested it gets during the summer. Suffice to say that the mayor has started regulating the amount of daily cruise ships to the island.
The months between May and August are fine. Sure. If you want to share. And we’re not advocating not sharing. It’s just that the island is too small to share. There. We said it. Santorini ought to be spectacular in all its majesty, and not some 5 hour diluted experience.
Discerning travelers either travel by helicopter and stay at hyper luxurious establishments/or their yacht or come in the shoulder season. And while islands like Mykonos need people in order to function as their default setting, Santorini is traditionally seen as a romantic/couples thing, thus adding to your experience.
Obviously, it goes without saying that prices are cheaper. Everything and anything, from accommodation to yiayia’s volcanic tomatoes will be less, and you’ll probably get a few complimentary items, too. You’ll find that many things will be gratis once the crowds have gone. Parakalo!
One of the indirect benefits of shoulder season travel is that you get to stay at plush hotels and houses. Jacuzzis, spas and all the other services that were probably out of reach, now magically appear in front of you. That 5 star hotel you’ve dreamt about? Its happening!
The fact that the weather is milder, is an added bonus. I mean, who doesn’t like a scorcher from time to time? But daily? It can be taxing, limiting the hours you can spend outside doing something or another, instead of protecting your skin from those pesky UV’s. That means more tours, more walks and less plastic from water bottles (we take our environmental civic duties seriously).
That extends to the intangibles. The locals live off tourism, but it doesn’t mean they enjoy 12 months of utter chaos on their streets. Once the autumn starts, Santorini comes to life in a different way. Residents wind down and become more affable. They may take time to show you around some hidden spot no one knows about, or treat you to a carafe of their home made wine.
Santorini’s autumn events schedule looks as robust as Prince Phillip’s travel itinerary on a foreign visit. We’re talking Red Bull free running tournaments, multi-disciplinary competitions, swimming and running races, village festivals, music concerts, art exhibitions and a partridge on a pear tree.
Sometimes, what glitters ain’t gold. Sometimes it’s a diamond in the rough.