10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Santorini

I’m a total rebel without a cause. You say left and I say right, you say flight and I say fight. So why oh why did I decide to go with the flow this summer and visit Santorini, one of Greece’s most tourist-infested islands?

Santorini is often touted as a “must-visit destination” because, much like Venice or Socotra, there simply is no other place even remotely like in the entire universe. Unless you’re into the whole parallel universe theory or believe extraterrestrial life exists, which I’m not ruling out… but that’s so not relevant to this article. I’m sorry, I ate a chocolate bar three minutes ago, made some thoroughly unnecessary but extremely gratifying online purchases and now I can’t stop rambling. Right – Santorini. It’s great and you should totally visit. Here are my top ten reasons why you should visit Santorini…

1. Budget 

I put off visiting Santorini for a long time, because I was certain it’d be out of my student price range. Have you seen the place? It looks like a million bucks and I hardly have a million Indonesian rupees in my bank account. I can only assume that many others are put off by an unfounded fear of high prices.

Surprisingly, living on a budget in Santorini is not as challenging as one might think. The island’s home to some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, but it also has plenty of hostels with beds from €10. As for food, I could live off the delicious street food – especially gyros or souvlaki (€1-3) – for weeks!

2. Sunsets

Let me follow up with the thing Santorini is truly famous for – its beautiful sunsets! Whether you’re a die-hard romantic or the type of person who watches zombie movies without flinching (or both, I suppose), you’re going to enjoy the beautiful sunsets on the island. I’ve already written an article about the best spots for evening sun-gazing, so have a look at it for more gorgeous orange skies.

3. Beaches

The romantic island has beaches galore and they range from wild plains filled with scorching black sand to organised strips where you can get cold drinks delivered straight to your sunbed. Before you turn up your nose at the latter, give it a chance – I usually hate crowded beaches, but I loved the beach in Kamari! On days when I wanted a break from work, I got a free sunbed in front of Alexis taverna and only got up at lunch time to devour a Greek salad and some house wine… and although the adventurer in me wept, I rejoiced.

4. Food

I’ve written a whole guide to Santorini cuisine, which should give you some idea of how much I enjoyed wining and dining there. The place is an island – no shit, Captain Obvious! – so it’s got a steady supply of fresh fish and seafood. Surprisingly enough, its volcanic soil also offers up much deliciousness – from sweet grapes to the local fava beans, there’s no shortage of fresh local produce. If you’d like to try some of the best food on the island, pay a visit to one of the three best restaurants on Santorini!

5. History

I’m a huge antiquity geek. If I could, I’d be in the Athenian agora right now, chatting up Plato or laughing at Aristotle’s jokes. Alas, I cannot, so my best bet are history books and – even better – unearthed ancient sites. The tiny island of Santorini has an incredible array of well-preserved remnants of the old days. From the city of Akrotiri which was buried underneath volcanic ashes during the explosion of 17th BC to the magnificent site of the Ancient Thera, there is enough history to keep you occupied for days on end.

6. Shopping

When staring at ruins starts getting a little old – ah, what a pun! – how about a little shopping? “I think I have raised the National Domestic Product a bit while visiting the shops on Santorini,” Catherine Zeta-Jones is often quoted as saying after her visit of the island.

Sure – there are expensive shops selling ornamental jewellery and lava-stone statues aplenty. But there are also loads of shops I, a mere mortal, actually can shop at. If you’re a bibliophile like me, you’re gonna love Atlantis Books in Oia – Candice wrote a fabulous article about it, if you’re interested.

7. Locals

The people of Santorini are as friendly as they come. You could be cynical and attribute that to the fact that tourism is pretty much their only source of income, but for the most part their nicety felt heartfelt and sincere. Combine that with the fact that pretty much everyone on the island speaks English really well and you’ve got yourself the perfect solo travel destination!

8. Animals

Much like the humans on the island, the animals are super friendly and sometimes even cuter than their two-legged counterparts! Not cuter than Konstantinos Argiros, mind you, but very very very cute – so cute that I dedicated an entire article to them and called it “Cute Animals of Santorini“. All that cuteness has got to convince someone, right?

9. Photography

Santorini is the place to be for any budding photographer, because it’ll help you convince anyone you’re an absolute pro. The entire island is pretty much a living and breathing postcard. Half a year ago I couldn’t find the shutter on my brand new DSLR, but looking at my photos from Santorini you’d never guess! Also, I don’t mean to be a #basicbitch about this, but think of the Facebook profile pictures you can take here… #sorrynotsorry

10. Surroundings

If you find yourself bored of Santorini’s splendour, you could easily island hop your way back to happiness. The infamous party haven of Mykonos is just 150km away, but there are other amazing places scattered around. Why not try Ios, Milos or Naxos for something a little different?

Have you ever been to Santorini? If so, would you visit again and why (not)? And if you’ve never been, would you like to visit based on my ingenious insights? Please, don’t say no…

Cyclades map via Richard Sheppard.

  • The 2 links in your 4th bullet point about Food don’t open and this is the dialogue which appears:

    The page you are looking for is no longer here, or never existed in the first place (bummer). You can try searching for what you are looking for using the form below. If that still doesn’t provide the results you are looking for, you can always start over from the home page.

    Hope you can work around this.

    Your post would definitely come very handy for our upcoming Santorini trip! and if those 2 links start working then even better!

    Cheers,
    Nishant

    • Thank you for reading and commenting Nishant!!! I really appreciate it 🙂 I’ve just updated all the links in the article – so sorry about that. Check them out and let me know what you think or if you have any more questions! 🙂

  • Darlene Areskog

    Been to Santorini twice so far love, love, love it. Love Kamari and with a little exploring there are so many different beaches u can find. Black sand, red sand , white sand, black pebbles, ect,ect. Take a winding road up a hillside and park in the church parking lot,then follow this alleyway alongside the churc and behind it and you will find a local restraunant in a cave that has the best athentic Geek food for a very reasonable price not to mention the view is breathtaking. then there’s the donkeyride up the side of the mountain ,or the hike to thetop of Mt Thera where the view is so amazing, and don’t forget the boat ride out to the Valcano and thenclimb to the top of the valcano. So much to see and do there ,so much beauty. Love,Love,Love Santorini

    • SO true about the beaches! Absolutely stunning and so diverse 🙂 I’ve written another post about climbing Mt Thera – I completely agree that the views are stunning 😀 I’d advise against riding the donkeys though, because they are not treated in the best way – it all seemed a little inhumane 🙁 Climbing the volcano was also amazing, as was getting there by boat – I should write a post about that too!

  • Tess

    would love to visit Greece someday, maybe stay for a year andd just visit all the islands..its jus too gorge!

    • It really is! And Santorini is of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever been to 🙂 Athens is beautiful too btw – much more than just a place for a layover!

  • Love it!! I did a Greece trip (Mykonos, Athens & many small islands off the coast of athens) but didn’t get a chance to do Santorini. You are definitely making me wish I did hahaha. Thanks so much for sharing!! You should check out my post on Mykonos & the smaller islands on my blog!

    Xo
    Lee | LegalLee Blonde

    • Ohhh, Mykonos is the one *I* have yet to visit so that’s right up my street 😀 It sounds like more of a party island which could be fun, too. Santorini is not exactly wild in terms of nightlife, although that’s not to say you can’t have a lot of fun! 😛

  • Great advice! It’s been on the wish list for some time now, also thought it would be out of budget so thanks for the tips!

  • MikesRoadTrip

    Great post…wish I had come across it before I went to Santorini. 🙂 I was just there a few weeks ago and simply loved it! I publish a weekly column called, “Random Factoid Friday” where I feature interesting facts about a destination. This week it will be on Santorini. I wonder how many of these you are aware of? 🙂 Publishes 8/28/2015 http://www.mikesroadtrip.com/random-facts-about-santorini/

  • Please understand that many, many of those cute animals in Santorini are poisoned as soon as the tourists leave. Perhaps you did not see the starving and suffering animals that are everywhere (especially in the off season). In Santorini they don’t believe in spaying pets, but evidently shooting them, letting them starve or poisoning them is ok. The ONE salvation on the island for these animals is the Santorini Animal Welfare Association where I volunteered. And now, at this moment, the MAYOR OF SANTORINI is trying to shut it down and release the animals to the streets where they will die by shooting,being run over, starving, or being poisoned. Please, please help the shelter by signing here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/tell-a-friend/16239766 AND signing here: https://www.openpetition.de/petition/online/animal-shelter-in-danger-at-the-island-of-santorin
    And if you visit to not ride the donkeys either as they are all badly abused which is documented all over the internet. Tourists do not always see the truth behind the scenes, If you like animals, it’s truly heartbreaking.

  • Where you should go to next? I have to answer to your question. You have to visit my country-Poland! I don’t see that you have ever been to Poland.

  • Santorini is the island we dream of. It is such a beautiful place! I went in 2004, I think? and there was a chicken hut, and 2 bars. IT was brilliant! The sunsets are gorgeous! I certainly want to go back again soon! You photos make me dream! 🙂
    haveyouseenhowshespeaks.blogspot.co.uk