Santorini In Winter
Unique, Quite, Affordable and Local
What a time to experience the preparation of the local hoteliers to upcoming flow of tourists. Lots of house are under construction and gettting a re-paint after a short winter to meet tourists with new vibrant colours!
Santorini is 30 min flight from Athens (if using Ryanair, it’s 25 US one way). The island surrounded by other- volcanic islands, therefore it gives you the breathtaking view not only of the ocean but also of the mountainous range.
Yes, it does run in the wintertime! The local buses are available from Airport to Fira, Fira to Oia and all other interesting places! Make sure to check the schedule on their website. The ticket cost is just 1.70 euros! and the journey time is 25 min each way. The seats are comfortable and the service is fast, usually on time.
Airport shuttle bus
Sometimes, the bus service from airport is quite rare in the morning so if you arrive early or late, I advice to take shuttle bus which will bring you to your hotel at any location for just 11 euros! (compare to taxi 40-60 euros). The shuttle bus is available at the arrivals hall counters.
It is WARM. For me, it was impeccable time when I could enjoy my afternoon walk at +17 - no heat to hide from and a light jacket at the nighttime (+14).
Santorini is the holy place for watching the sunset. The opulence of colourful houses on the cliffs paints the sun in more vivid colours, and besides the ocean line is clear from obstruction at the other side. The location grants a unique advantage for the photographers.
There is no help in searching Google for “the breathtaking cafe views“ to eat out. Unfortunately and LUCKILY not many cafes are open during the winter. The island is not crowded and quite which turn it into fairytale of your imagination!
Breakfast in FIRA
Most of the open dining places are located in Fira central square, 2 min walk from bus station.
Vithos - provides with a great breakfast selection and is 3 min walk from the bus station. Power outlets/ wifi is also available there.
Breakfast in OIA
Magnificent cafe with a breathtaking views of the islands and ocean is located on the cliff in the centre of Oia!
Vitrin creperies offer full breakfast, crepes, waffles and fresh fruit smoothies!
Lunch in OIA
Beautiful cafes with a view which are open till 6pm and perfect for a meal or just a cup of coffee:
Dinner in OIA
Local cuisine is the at Roka restaurant. The menu includes traditional Santorini Lava Beans, greek salads and lost of other protein options. The restaurant is open until late.
Since the weather doesn’t allow for swimming, the one and only beach in Santorini (Pyros) is closed till the end of March.
Note, that even in the Summer, Santorini is not a beach destination as all local picturesque villages located on the cliffs with no access to the beach. To get to the beach from Oia will take you 1.5h with a bus transfer in Fira.
Horse- stop sign
Only in the winter time in Santorini could be obliged to give a way to a horse who can catch you by surprise at the corner. Due to steep incline, construction workers used them as a heavy lifters for bricks. Easy and simple way to transfer things!
Although it may not be the first thing you see on this “heaven“ island, it certainly does add up to your local experience. You can catch the whole process of preparation and “behind the scenes“ work for the expected “perfect“ houses.
I heard that in the summer, many tourists can't notice the small streets hidden by the crowds of the tourists. Everyday is crowded.
In the winter, there is No annoying sellers and giftshops. Just locals.
No one will interrupt you joyful walk by compelling you to buy something.
Vlogs and Photos
Only long-time travellers know that the best time to take VIRAL picture is in the off-season. Yes, your picture will have NO people in the background and you can take your time to do the best shot! No crowds on the streets.
Everything is 50% off. Let it be accommodation, flight tickets, food and even entrance to the sites.
If you wish to stay in the traditional Instragramable Cave, it will cost you at least 120 euros per night in the summer time. Guess what- in the winter its 50 euros. And sometime you can even strike a deal with the owner!
Before my trip to Santorini, I have read several blog post about the dissapointment to see “dead“ island. It depends on which kind of traveller you are. If you prefer local and warm welcoming, quietness, intimacy and less crowds - this is a PERFECT time to go (March). Especially, this time is precious for couples who are looking for intimate and romantic experience.
BARS. NIGHTLIFE. Most of the bars and nightclubs will be closed. Yes, it means no nightlife, but also the peaceful and joyful sipping of the coffee at the sunset and no drunken loud noises to interrupt your imagination!
FIRA VS OIA Village
Fira - is distinct by yellow coloured houses with wider streets and more local cuisine.
Oia- blue and white roofs.
Both are worth a visit and have the same colourful houses as you might noticed on Instagram.