My first time travelling around Europe was in the winter. My FAVOURITE place was Greece – this had been my dream country to visit for years. The ancient history, Greek mythology and beautiful sunsets, what’s not to love? So, on my 21st birthday I decided to fly to Athens, Greece on my own because it would be a dream come true. After coming home, I knew I had to go back and experience Greece in the summer too, in all its glory. I spent an amazing time island hopping around the idyllic shores.
So, having experienced Santorini and Greece in both winter and summer – when’s the best time to visit Santorini I hear you ask? Here’s what I think…
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Winter in Santorini
As much as I love the warm weather, when I went to Santorini it wasn’t freezing cold and it was quite warm (compared to the cities I travelled to before my flight to Greece). It was so warm that I actually got to wear shorts!
I liked that it was less crowded and you could take your time wonder the alleyways, not bothered by so many people bumping into you.
- There are fewer people and tourists visiting Santorini so you’re able to get more remote, uncrowded photos for the ‘gram
- The weather isn’t too hot, and it isn’t too cold either
- Visiting Santorini in winter is so much cheaper than in summer
- You get more privacy and you can relax more
- The sunset is amazing. Less people are watching so you can definitely find a place to watch from
- There isn’t too much accommodation available since a lot of places close during the winter. So, it’s hard to find a place to stay but you can definitely stay at Oia and get your own cave house for a much cheaper price
- Restaurants and shops aren’t all open so it’s hard to buy food or shop
- There are fewer ways to get there – the flights and ferries are reduced but there are still regular ones that run
Want to learn more about Oia? Check out my vlog here:
Summer in Santorini
After experiencing Greece in winter, I wanted to go back and see Greece in summer for that warm, party vibe and of course to swim in the waters. Two years later, I booked the Greek Island Hopping tour by Contiki because not only did I want to come back to Athens and Santorini, but I wanted to see the other two islands, Mykonos and Ios.
- It’s very hot and the water is so nice to cool you down
- There are more restaurants and shops open
- More experiences are available – from hiking volcanoes, going to the mud pools and wine tasting
- You get to wear summer clothes all the way!
- The parties are way better
- The sunset is breathtaking
- There are way more tourists and the streets, particularly in Santorini and Mykonos are far more crowded
- There are sometimes hour-long lines for that perfect Instagram photo
- Shopping for things can become very expensive, so you’ll need to know how to barter for a good bargain!
- Accommodation prices ramp up and the cave houses are SO EXPENSIVE
When’s the best time to visit Santorini? I’m sorry but there isn’t a simple answer. Santorini in winter and summer are both amazing. It just depends on who you are and what you’d like to experience. Some people just want to party, shop and soak up the sun and on the other hand, some just want to relax and have a peaceful time exploring.
If you can be flexible, I’d say that winter (January – March) has big pros and more tourists are beginning to catch on – still with pretty good weather but much cheaper places to stay and shop.
In summer, the peak time to visit Santorini and Greece is June – September, so I’d so avoid the peak middle months if you can to avoid the looooong queues. Either way, you’ll still have an amazing time. Greece really is a slice of heaven on earth.