Every Indian fantasizes the fairy-tale romance of the Bollywood movie, then may the caldera views and windmills of Santorini alone save you. Santorini is the most hyped Greek island. We’ve all seen the pictures – gleaming white churches holding up sea-blue domed roofs, teetering on the edge of a volcanic rim and one of the world’s most romantic sunset spots. Add private villas with infinity pools and you have a honeymoon haven, with ‘once in a lifetime’ price tags to prove it. But Santorini – that version of it, all blue and white and screaming romance – it doesn’t exist the way the magazines and travel agents lead you to believe.
- It is a popular as well as an expensive Greek destination. Visiting off-season, you have the place all to yourself at a cheaper cost. Also with weather being warmer than most European destinations, the golden gleam of the rising sun over the Aegean sea all-year-round is like a cherry on top of the cake!
- If you spend every day dragging yourself out of a warm bed, through the cold mornings, it is not worth to spend your hard-won cash and too infrequent holiday time on a dream that doesn’t exist.
- There are different types of accommodation on the island: hostels which are very few and cheapest, you need to be lucky to get one. The cave apartments and windmills are traditional island-style properties that were built 1000 years ago. Some were furnished and turned into guest houses for tourists. Villas and luxury suites with pools-very popular among honeymooners and travelers that promote expensive luxury.
- Santorini is not the cheapest place to eat in Greece. One meal of the yummy Greek salad and frozen yogurt shouldn’t do much damage. Supermarkets can help sustain your other meals.
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- The white and blue painted town and cliffside views are the reason most people visit Santorini. So the cities are busy, brushing sweaty shoulders with your fellow tourists. Some wider streets offer a little bit more space but then you turn a corner and find yourself shuffling between narrow streets.
- The shops hawk their “authentic” Greek goods to everyone walking by. Photographically challenged tourists block the way and take selfies around every corner. The streets are like mazes, so you continuously worry if the direction you’re going is correct. Just imagine you are walking along a narrow street, the sun is beating down on you, there’s no breeze, there’s no shade, and the reflection from the white, cliffside houses burns your eyes.
- The beaches are beautiful but that is not how most people define a beautiful beach. They want soft sand with a colour to match. If that’s you, then you’re not going to find those kinds of beaches on Santorini.
Over-crammed, over-priced and with infinity pools overlooking each other, Santorini is one of the most overrated honeymoon spots in the Greek islands. Parts of Santorini are beautiful and if it’s on your bucket list, you can pursue your travel dreams. However, do go with open eyes, a suitcase full of patience and a full wallet.