Summers are busy on the island, with tourists roaming all over the place. They are so many, that the jewel of the Greek islands is overcrowded, with an average peak of 18000 cruise ship visitors daily, too much for the small destination to handle. They all flock to Oia, to see the sunset, transforming the otherwise tranquil village into a hubbub of voices and laughter. In summer, you cannot walk down the streets of Oia without rubbing shoulders with at least a hundred strangers in a hurry to get to the next sought-after sunset viewing spot.
But winters are different in Santorini. The crowds miraculously vanish as November creeps in, and, while the weather may be nippy at times, cold and rain have never stopped true nature lovers from seeking the next great adventure outdoors. Granted, most resorts, including Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, will be closed, and there is virtually no beach life unless you count the occasional lovers walking hand in hand by the sea. Many restaurants are closed too. But the island is not deserted.
There are definite advantages to visiting Santorini in the “low season.” The best place to stay on the island is Fira, the capital. Here you will find good hotels, as well as cafes, restaurants, and bakeries that stay open. Exploring the city will also lead you to some shops that stay open, or, the locals, will be happy to share some “insiders'” tips for entertainment.
Winter in Santorini is a great season for people who don’t like crowds and for couples who enjoy privacy. You can always rent a car to get around the island, as public transportation is scarce. Bring enough cash, as even ATMs may be closed for the season. Finally, prepare to face the moody weather. A sunny day can turn into a nightmare of stormy skies and merciless winds in a flash. But if you are a nature lover, this is the time to take in some of the most spectacular vistas in the world.
Perissa Beach, famous for its black sand, is out of this world in the winter. It’s well deserted, and, with no tourist in sight, you can enjoy the spectacular blue of the skies in contrast with the charcoal of the shores till you capture that perfect Instagram moment to share with your friends.
The same is true all over the island when you spend the winter in Santorini: when the crowds are gone, the island finds is soul and peace, rewarding the fortunate few who visit it this season with landscapes beyond compare. You can still go for a wine tasting at one of the famous wineries of the island. You can even find a nightclub or two in Fira. But winters in Santorini are for poets, artists, and lovers. But don’t worry if you cannot come to see the magic of Santorini in the low season. Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa is your “far from the madding crowd” summer destination, offering you privacy and comfort even when the rest of Oia is flooded by tourists. So plan your summer vacation with us.