The Greek Islands provide us with a collection of stunning locations filled with interesting sights and sheer beauty. Santorini is often a popular choice for a holiday destination, particularly among couples. It’s a beautiful island which certainly doesn’t leave its visitors disappointed. When it comes to a romantic escape, Santorini should be at the top of your list as it encompasses idyllic landscapes and dreamy views.
The only problem is, due to its popularity, the island is often crowded with tourists and even locals looking for a holiday. If Santorini has won your heart over for a couples holiday, but you wish to avoid the influx of visitors, follow our tips on how to have a romantic escape in Santorini despite the crowds.
Book outside of peak season
This might seem like a pretty obvious solution, but it is one that is often overlooked or forgotten about. Also, a bit harder to do in Santorini, considering the peak season here stretches from mid-June all the way to September. So it basically covers the full duration of the holiday season in Santorini! If you’d rather avoid this time due to the crowds, you have a pretty limited window: book your holiday to the island either in May and early June or in September/October. The beaches may not be the best feature of Santorini during these times, but the sunsets are still beautiful and you’ll both get to enjoy them without the multitudes.
Book accommodation in less busy spots
As you can imagine, there are popular spots in Santorini that people look for hotels in. Many will pick Fira. Instead of finding suitable accommodation in Fira, escape the masses and stay elsewhere. Oia is a great option (although it does get busy during certain times). Oia is a popular sunset location, meaning visitors start to roll in and increase between 7pm and 9pm. Aside from that, it’s a restful and peaceful town. If you’re lucky, you might be able to witness the beautiful sunset from your hotel room. Why not check out other spots to stay in like Imerovigli and Firostefani. They still provide the authentic feel and atmosphere that is unique to Santorini, so you can’t go wrong with branching out.
Choose a different sunset location
One of the picturesque places to witness a sunset is Santorini, which is why so many people head to Oia. Don’t get us wrong, Oia provides a wonderful backdrop to see a sunset and we would recommend you see it at least once. But, there are plenty of other locations on the island where you can enjoy the sunset without the huge crowds that Oia brings. Head to the picture-perfect port of Ammoudi, you’ll not only see the sunset, but it truly is a romantic location too. What about Skaros rock in Imerovigli? Either of these spots will offer you dreamy sunset views and beautiful surroundings.
Watch the sunrise instead
Another way to witness pretty skies and stunning views with your loved one is to watch the sun rise in Santorini rather than the sunset. Rise and shine early in the morning and head to Oia. As all the crowds come to the town to watch the sunset, you’ll be avoiding them all to watch the sunrise instead. To make it even more worthwhile, head to a lovely restaurant which serves breakfast, where you can both indulge in tasty traditional Greek food and admire the caldera below.
Visit inland villages
Santorini oozes the romantic all over the island, not just in its well-known towns and villages. Sure, Oia and Fira are beautiful and are the locations of stunning images we’ve all seen of Santorini. However, because of their popularity, they attract an abundance of visitors. Luckily, the island has plenty of other villages which still radiate Santorini authenticity, romance and beauty (just with fewer crowds). Villages like Pyrgos, Emporio and Katherados share twisting streets, whitewashed churches with blue domed roofs and pastel coloured houses. However, if you are set on admiring views of the caldera, head to Firostefani and Imerovigli rather than Oia. They are both gorgeous locations and have scarcer crowds.
Visit hidden beaches
Santorini’s most popular beaches are often very crowded, especially during the summer. Kamari and Perissa beaches attract tons of visitors, so if you and your partner are looking to avoid the hordes of people when heading to beach, make your way to lesser known beaches. Vlychada Beach has black sand and pebbles. It provides sunbeds and parasols on one side of the beach, but the further down you go, the more peace and quiet you can enjoy. On the other hand, Koloumbos Beach has black and red pebbles and is sheltered by huge rocks.