My Complete and Honest Opinion On Santorini

Is it worth visiting santorini? Short answer, no!

What girl doesn’t dream of one day traveling to Greece, sipping cocktails, swimming in an infinity pool over looking the famous town of Oia, zooming around on a scooter discovering deserted beaches and witnessing a Santorini sunset. I was no exception, Greece, and in particular Santorini, had been on my bucket list since I had ever dreamed of visiting Europe.

I was, however, extremely disappointed. My expectations of arriving in Santorini and checking into our blue and white hotel were a vast contrast to our reality. Instead, I found myself sleeping on a rolled out mat, in my sleeping bag on a farming paddock. Our ferry from Rodes arrived at the ridiculous time of 4am, and we felt it extremely unnecessary to book a nights stay for only a couple of hours, ultimately resulting in us sleeping on a farm.

After hours of searching booking.com, airb&b, trip adviser and hostelworld looking for something reasonably priced, we found nothing within our price range. Instead, we spent two nights camping in the camp sight of Thira Camping, a compromise to Tyral wanting to wild camp and me for filling my girlie imagination with its pool. I guess I should have thought harder into the island and prices it would be for hotels, not that I was expecting to be in a five star resort, but surely doesn’t backpackers visit here? Turns out, sleeping under the stars on a paddock was actually a pretty amazing experience, we later joked that we were in a thousand star hotel, as the stars were clear, vibrant and beautiful above us as we snuggled into our sleeping bags and slept a few hours to the next day.

We hired scooters and drove around the small island for three days. Santorini is beautiful, but images posted on Facebook and Instagram of friend’s travels had made unreal expectations of this island. I’m not completely sure what I was even expecting, but I know I didn’t find it.

Maybe I just didn’t ‘get it’.

I kept thinking I wasn’t ‘getting’ Santorini, I was missing something. Coming from Turkey, my favourite country for its incredible diverse landscape and beautiful beaches, may have played a part in my sheer disappointment. The black, red and white beaches I found exceedingly disappointing. Maybe this was due to the fact that I’m from Australia and blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and found the red beach to just a mere similarity to the incredible beaches of the Kimberly where I called home for a year and a half, the pingdan dirt far outweighing this litter filled tourist covered beach.


But the biggest disappointment was visiting the famous town of Oia. This is where I was sure I was missing something. I felt it was an extremely strange concept that a town became so famous for walking around and staring down into the rich fancy hotels, looking down into the lives of rich tourists and feeling like a poor peasant unable to afford this luxury. That wasn’t my idea of fun. Sure, the architecture was beautiful and it was an incredible sight looking at a cliff face full of white and blue houses, but this was the first time on our travel we had felt like poor budget backpackers, looking on at fancy tourists living it up while we retreated to our small tent that night. And there are far more beautiful cliff faces covered in houses like the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

Watching the sunset over Oia was beautiful, but not the most incredible sight I have ever seen. I definitely wouldn’t add it to one of the top things to do in Europe. The mass swarms of other tourists definitely take the beauty out of the moment. I love to say ‘nothing reuins a moment like a couple hundred other tourist’ and this was a perfect example. We climbed down the abandoned castle, the popular viewing platform for the sunset, to the deserted part down the bottom, where we were able to enjoy the sunset completely alone. However, I have witnessed far more beautiful sunsets throughout Europe in secluded places which is a far more magical experience.


Like this sunset in turkey 

The following night we found an old abandoned hotel building, on the other side of the island and watched the sunset there, over the harbor as the large cruise ships swept in and out of the bay. This was a more enjoyable experience for us, and something I would highly recommend over the  overcrowded tourist spot.

I know I probably sound like a whiny poor backpacker, but you did read this knowing it was my complete and honest opinion. One of the things I did enjoy was the hike from Imerovigli to Oia, following a huge cliff face the whole way through the mountains. I like exploring and adventure, and this was the only taste of it we could find it on the island (although again, been on far better hikes…)

The expensive ferry getting to this island (60 Euro just from a neighbouring country) I just don’t think is worth it. Added with the prices of, well everything, that are marked up here really make it not worth the visit.

I can only imagine coming to Santorini with a lot more money and being able to afford one of these bullshit amazing hotels with infinity pools and having your own personal balcony to watch the sunset, and sure if you’re into that type of holidaying it’s perfect for you. This would be a completely different experience than what I had (although I still maintain there a far more beautiful and spots in Europe). If you are a budget backpacker trying to travel cheap, Santorini definitely isn’t the place for you. Skip. 

 

If you feel strongly against my dislike for this spot, feel free to express your opinion below!

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Uyen says:

    omg finally I found somebody who has the same feeling as me. I just back from my trip to Santorini as well, and this didn’t live up to my expectation at all. Maybe cause it’s been so touristy. But the hiking trail was really highlight of my trip as well *high five*

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    1. Amazing! Thanks for that, couldn’t agree more! Hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip though 🙂

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  2. Hannah, criticizing Santorini is like saying you hate puppies. But, I agree with you! I married a Greek woman and, being a dumb American, I said “let’s go to Santorini.” She laughed and said, “that’s where dumb Americans go.” We went instead to Corfu and a bunch of other islands and never went to Santorini again. She is now my ex-wife, so I don’t travel to Greece any more and have moved to the lovely Napa Valley in California. But Turkey is next on my list (after Italy and Croatia for wine tasting this fall). Check out our California wine country blog and follow us if you like what you see: http://www.topochinesvino.com.

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    1. Haha it is like saying you hate puppies!! Oh there are some beautiful islands around Greece though aren’t there! Italy and Croatia aw wonderful, enjoy them! Montenegro has some amazing wine as well! I’ll have a look, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It will be my first trip to Croatia. Are there any special places that you recommend?

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  3. dina says:

    I am glad someone else also feels like Santorini is a waste of money. We came in Winter so no tourists however everything is pretty much closed and boarded up. The few places openned are charging exhorbitant prices like 5.60 Euro for a very small latte! We liked looking at the architecture and it is nice seeing the houses on the cliffs however the rest of the island is not really beautiful and I have seen a lot better places on my trip for much less money.

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    1. Yeah I totally agree, beautiful on Oia but the rest of the island was really average!

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  4. I have just found your post and I am writing one on the same topic! Will include a link to yours. I didn’t hate Santorini, but it certainly wasn’t my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sara says:

    Im now in Santorini and I already want to leave this island!!! I was completely fooled by the photos of the internet, the hotel has a high rate in bookon and in reality is terrible, the views are not that good, Fira is not that nice. I already want to leave… I spent so much money to get on the bullshit island! On the other hand I recommed Mykonos, way wayyy better!!! Especially Platis Yalos. Greetings for everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sopa says:

    I just arrived from santorini today! and I googled “santorini opinions”… because I didn’t get it neither! I’m from Spain and yeah santorini has good views but that’s all, it’s not worth… and I have to say that we had really bad experience with the Greeks from the island… I thought that may be we didn’t get it or we missed something that makes awesome santorini but it doesn’t seem….

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  7. Glad I’m not the only one!!

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  8. Jessica says:

    I just got to santorini today and I agree with you- I am completely disappointed. So far my fav place in Greece was Nafplio.

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    1. Oh I didn’t make it there! I would love to go back to Greece and explore more islands!

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