When is the best time to visit Santorini?

Santorini’s season is quite big! When is the best time to visit Santorini? You may find accommodation throughout the year but let’s see in more detail the season’s breakdown;

  • low season; November till March
  • shoulder season; April till May and October
  • high season; June till September with the pick on July and August

Should I travel in Santorini in the high season period?

In terms of crowds, the busiest months are July and August. If you wish to travel this time of the year, you should know;

  • It is better to book in advance any activities such as sailing or wine tours and vehicle rentals, to make sure you will find availability on your preferred options.
  • Keep in mind that famous sights, such as watching the sunset from the castle of Oia, might be overcrowded. Don’t get discouraged as there are many alternatives! You may visit the castle of Oia during the daytime to gaze at the stunning volcano views and watch the sun setting while cruising in the caldera with a catamaran! 🙂
  • The rates are usually higher than rates during the shoulders of the season. Planning your trip early, about six months ahead, taking advantage of early booking offers will save you some money. If you are not sure that your travel will not be amended or canceled, choose flexible cancellation policies.
  • For those enjoying bathing in the sea during July and August, the water temperature is at its warmest levels. The weather is mostly sunny throughout the high season period and you may enjoy sunbathing at the most. However, it will be discouraging to enjoy sightseeing during morning hours as the high-temperature will be a great barrier to your exploring mood. Don’t worry though! Evenings are still available to wander around! 
  • During August it takes place the ‘Ifestia Festival’, a representation of the volcanic eruption with fireworks in the Volcano’s caldera accompanied by cultural events and music concerts.
Oia pathway – Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

Should I travel in Santorini in the shoulder season period?

If you wish to avoid a crowded vacation the shoulder season period might be perfect for you. 

  • Most of the hotels, shops, and restaurants start their seasonal operation from the 1st till the 15th of April. They usually close from the 15th of October till mid-November. 
  • Activities and tours start operating gradually on the same pattern. Very early in April and very late in October thought the variety of tours and availability might be limited. Rates are lower than in high season with the best deals provided during April.
  • Hotel and property rental rates are more affordable at this time of the year so if you want to experience luxury accommodation with Caldera views, search at this period for a value for money deal.
  • If you value privacy and comfortable strolling around the pathways of Santorini comfortably this is the ideal period for your vacation.
  • Although, the weather is generally good these months of the year it can be unpredictable sometimes. It may be windy, high on humidity, or even rainy sometimes. If you want to minimize the possibility of bad weather conditions maybe you should consider traveling between June and September. If your vacation spirit can afford a few windy days make sure to have jackets for the chilly evenings. Sunbathing may not be daily an option but you will definitely enjoy sightseeing and strolling around in the morning without the summerheatwaves .
  • During springtime, at the Orthodox Easter, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing spectacle with fires at Pyrgos village, see the traditions of the islanders and take part in the locals’ celebrations.
  • During October, on the 20th, it revives one of the oldest and most authentic traditional feasts of Santorini, the Agia Matrona Panigiri in Finikia village. Live music, wine, and dancing mood by locals and tourists are its main characteristics.
View of the Caldera from White Pearl Villas in Oia - Photo by White Pearl Villas©
View of the Caldera from White Pearl Villas in Oia – Photo by White Pearl Villas©

Should I travel in Santorini in the low season period?

If you wish to travel during the low season, keep in mind;

  • Most of the hotels and property rentals are closed. However, you will find availability mainly of Fira, the capital of Santorini. The prices are very low.
  • Most of the restaurants and shops are also closed, so it is advised to check with the hotel that you wish to book if there are open shops and taverns nearby. Especially during New Year’s Eve and Christmas holidays, most of the restaurants close as locals go for vacation!
  • Tours and activities such as sailing cruises are limited to none.
  • Public transportation reduces the frequency of the scheduled bus routes. Check the timetables before using them, use taxis, or even better rent a car, which is pretty economical during wintertime.
  • Renting a car is generally a good idea, as you will be able to drive across the island and appreciate the beautiful landscape of Santorini while being protected from possible wind and cold.
  • If you despise crowds and wish to enjoy the coziness of a cave-house and snooze all day in your suite while gazing at the stunning views of the sea, maybe this is the perfect time for you!
  • Winter travelers get the chance to view the flora of Santorini at its best due to the high moisture of the island. Greenish sward covers the volcanic soil offering a very different perspective to Santorini’s landscape!

Alert! Subjective opinion ahead!

Here are my favorite periods to visit Santorini; 🙂

  • Easter time to enjoy the festivities, visit archeological places comfortably, visit wineries, and enjoy the caldera from a private suite!
  • Mid-September to mid-October, as the water temperature somehow remains warm to relax by the sea and might enjoy a pleasant cruise into the caldera. Sightseeing and winery visits are always a must! Sunset colors can be seen from all areas of Oia, my favorite village, as the season approaches winter.

Do you want to check when is the next ferry to Santorini?

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