33 Things to Don't do in Santorini
Oh, Santorini, a beautiful island in the middle of the Aegean Sea, where people from all over the world fly to see what all this fuss is about.
Santorini is an unmissable island to visit while exploring Greece, even just for a day, walk along its narrow alleys with marvellous views, take stunning pictures on top of the cliffs with the caldera behind you and try some of the delicacies that this island has to offer.
Obviously, there are some things that are better not to be done, and by avoiding them, your vacation will surely be a success.
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1. Don't avoid planning a holiday to Santorini only because it is expensive:
Yes, it is much more expensive than any other island and extremely crowded during high season, that is why you only need to avoid getting there during high season.
The high season in Greece goes from the second half of June and the beginning of September.
That means that if you book a vacation at the end of May/beginning of June or at the end of September, everything will be much cheaper, and you will be able to enjoy the island at your peace.
2. Don't expect Santorini to be a Party island:
Santorini is one of the most romantic places to spend a honeymoon or a romantic holiday with your partner. That is why you will see how streets get empty after dinner time.
Of course, there are a couple of bars with Dj, some beach bars where listen to music while sipping a cocktail or restaurants with some live music but don't expect more than that.
Check out Ferry prices on FerryHopper, the website I used and love to book all my ferry tickets.
3. Don't plan to visit Santorini during winter if you are looking for hot temperature:
If you look at flights and accommodations prices for Greece during the winter season, you are going to see that prices drop a lot, and yes, you are going to save a lot of money and avoid the summer crowd, but you will also find cold weather (unless you like it, of course).
But what is the point of going to Santorini if it's cold, rainy, and most restaurants and hotels are closed?
Greek is a summer destination, perfect from May to October, but from November to April, the weather is not sunny and hot as usual.
I think the best period to visit Santorini is in May, the beginning of June, and at the end of September and October, when kids are at school. No families mean fewer people (unless you travel with kids, of course), it is less crowded, the temperature is already or still warm but not so hot like July, and prices are lower.
Cannot wait to Eat Santorini Delicacies?
4. Don't book a flight with an arrival time after dark:
Santorini island can be pretty challenging to drive at night. There are not many indications, and if you are looking for your hotel for the first time while driving your rental car or walking with your heavy luggage, well, it can be challenging, and you might end up lost.
So book an early flight to make sure to get there and have plenty of time and light to look for your accommodation.
5. Don't visit Santorini the same day as the cruise ships arrive:
I did it. My first day in Santorini was very crowded. Once I got to Fira, I saw it so crowded you have no idea. Then I realized there were two cruise ships in front of the island, and I understood.
Luckily they left that night, so the two days after, Santorini was much quieter and was also easier to take pictures.
So check which days cruise ships are there and if you can, at least during high season, try to avoid those days or plan to spend that day on the beach, because most cruisers only spend the day in Fira and Oia.
Don't you know how to check when cruise ships visit Santorini? Don't worry, my job is to make your life easier, click here and see all dates. You are welcome!
6. Don't expect to find every little street on Google Maps:
Santorini has so many little alleys down the cliffs, where all the resorts and hotels are, that some of them are not even present on Google Maps because they are so small and exclusive for the hotel guests to reach their accommodation that you won't find them so easily.
But don't worry, you will find all the important ones so you won't get lost.
Plan Your Vacation in Santorini in the Best Way
Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Santorini" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.
7. Don't forget to watch your step:
Donkeys don't go everywhere, but they are present in the main towns, so please be careful and watch your steps. They leave not very pleasant droppings behind them, and no one will clean after them.
8. Don't drink and drive:
I don't want to sound like your mother, but when I got to Mykonos (I know I am talking about Santorini here, but it works for Santorini as well) and I met the guy who brought my rental car to the port for me, the first thing he told me was: "please if you drive, do not drink, hire a taxi.
Only this summer more than 50 people died because they got in a scooter or quad crash".
I am not joking, guys, more than 50 people in only three months.
Greece has the third-highest motorcycle deaths in Europe, and the cause is because kids go there on holiday, they rent a scooter even if they have never driven one, they get drunk, and they lose their life crashing against something or falling from a cliff.
While in Greece, I saw kids driving scooters and trust me, it was terrifying.
It was evident that it was their first time on a scooter. Imagine them driving in the middle of the night, on streets they do not know, under the effect of alcohol.
So, please, be careful while in Santorini.
9. Don't be afraid to learn some basic sentences in Greek:
I know that the Greek language might be intimidating for some of us, but you have no idea how hospitable Greek people are.
They will appreciate the effort, so learn some essential words to use at your accommodation or in a restaurant, like good morning, good evening, thank you etc.
You might end up becoming friends with some locals just because you show them how much you like your country and your culture just only by saying a few Greek words.
10. Don't spend all your holiday only in Fira and Oia:
Yes, Fira and Oia are beautiful, and you are going to love to explore them, stopping to take pictures every five meters (trust me you will, and maybe your boyfriend or Travelmate will get fed up with it, as mine did), but still, there is more to explore on this beautiful island.
There are black and red volcanic sandy beaches and volcanic hiking. If you love trying new drinks and cuisines, you should definitely book a food and wine tasting. If like me, you love spending some time on a boat exploring the coast and doing some snorkelling, have a look at the boat tours available.
Santorini offers every kind of experience for every budget and taste, so have a look here on Touscanner, to get the best price, book in advance and save money!
Book Your Accommodation Today
If you have already decided on your travel dates, you should book your accommodation as soon as possible. Prices changes overnight and accommodations in very tourists places are the first ones to get fully booked.
Book your favourite accommodation before someone else does.
11. Don't skip the beaches:
Beaches in Santorini are excellent. There is the red beach in Akrotiri with red cliffs and the black one in Perissa and Kamari.
They are easy to reach, by car or by bus (as I did).
There are very comfortable sunbeds with umbrellas, some of them you have to pay for, and other ones are free if you get lunch at their restaurants (you order and you will receive your lunch straight at your sunbed, very cool indeed, and also not so expensive as in Mykonos).
There are many shops and other restaurants all along the beach so you will have things to do.
Do you want to see everything Santorini has to offer and save money at the same time?
Check here all the activities and tours available. You won't regret it!
12. Don't go up to the cliff riding a poor donkey:
I am absolutely pro of horse riding (I did it for two years, and I always do it while on holiday), but this "local thing" to use donkeys in the worst and hottest weather to bring very heavy tourists and their luggage up to very steep stairs, is unfortunate.
I know donkeys are very strong, but you will understand what I am talking about when you see those stairs and feel how hot it can get during summer.
So please don't do it.
13. Don't end up in tourists' traps:
As you probably know, my dear traveller, every tourist place has plenty of tourist traps.
So please do your research in advance. Check my article "9 Best Restaurants in Santorini" or "9 est Places Where to Eat Local on a Budget in Santorini" or ask locals where they eat.
You won't regret it. You will taste delicious local food and probably also save some money.
14. Don't be afraid to talk to locals:
Locals know the area, and they can give you advice, like where to eat, how to get from A to B in the cheapest and fastest way, they know the hidden gems and much more, so don't be afraid to talk to them and ask for advice.
You should see me when I travel! I talk to everybody, I ask every kind of question. When they see me so enthusiastic to know more about their city, they open up and tell me everything I need to know. That is why you can find so much information and tips on my Travel Blog!
15. Don't forget to research where to eat local:
We all have a budget when we travel (at least I do), and the best way to experience the place we are visiting is through the local food.