Tips for Avoiding Crowds in Santorini

In many ways, Santorini is a victim of its own success. Construction has continued at a neck-breaking speed, and in many areas convenience has trumped quality. The endless throngs of people means zero privacy along the caldera; you’re often looking at something through someone else’s camera. Here are a few tips to help you avoid crowds in Santorini:

Explore Santorini early in the morning for views like this, without the crowds. © Ionut David |

Avoid visiting in summer, especially July and August.

The months bookending the summer season (particularly May and September) are the best times to visit: you’ll get milder weather and fewer crowds.

Visit Fira and Oia early in the morning.

Be sure to avoid the sunset hour in Fira—especially in the summer. To be honest, you can also skip Fira altogether.

Avoid traveling with a big rolling suitcase.

If you’re staying in Oia, don’t bring a rolling suitcase unless you’ve booked a hotel on the edge of town. It already takes an eternity and a lot of cursing to navigate the crowded streets and stairs of Oia in the middle of the day at the height of summer—add a giant suitcase and you’re just asking for a bad introduction to the village.

Escape Oia and Fira.

Most of the crowds congregate in these towns, but there’s a whole island out there to explore! Get out of these hot spots and head to the lesser-known parts of the island: Emborio, Finikia, Colombo Beach, and Pyrgos all showcase the charm of Santorini without the packs of people.

Head to Anafi instead.

If you aren’t set on Santorini, you can find similar views and sunsets (without the crowds!) in Anafi.

Sarah Souli

About the Author

Sarah Souli is an Athens-based journalist covering all things Greek for outlets like Vice, The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler, Roads & Kingdoms, and more. She's been traveling to Greece for years, eventually settling in Athens several years ago with her Greek husband. Through her writing and travels, she's formed an intimate relationship with Greece's people, language, and customs, and loves seeking out the hidden gems of the Greek islands. She studied Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, speaks French, Spanish, Arabic, and Greek, and never tires of inspiring wanderlust and learning new things about her adopted home country.

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