A quick little post about the most overrated place in Greece (or at least we think so). Santorini is a Greek island that mainly became popular because of social media. It is the most picturesque place if you want the traditional look of white and blue houses in Greece. However, overtourism is a real thing in this place. The port is absolutely packed, traffic is terrible, there are people EVERYWHERE, their airport is ranked 3rd worst in the world, and their government is doing nothing to keep up it’s infrastructure. We had to see it to say we did, but I doubt we’ll be back.
Anyways, we took a ferry from Paros to Santorini on Saturday morning. We had a late flight out of Santorini to Split, Sunday morning so we thought we would try to check out the place that everyone raves about. We were only there for 14 hours, but 14 hours was enough. Our initial impression was wow the cliffs are beautiful, but this drive is insane and there is no infrastructure to hold this many people. We opted to get a rental car to see as much as we could with our short time there. The first stop was lunch to try out a kebab and pita in Santorini, it was okay for the price, but we missed our spot in Paros.
We decided to drive up the east coast of the island to get to Olia. This part of the island is the part where everyone takes that treasured Instagram picture. On our way we stopped at a few beaches and checked out these areas where people had built homes into the sandstone on the beach. They looked like little abandoned caves, some with doors and we even saw a kid playing outside of one. Something that looked so inhabitable and primitive, still being used today was really interesting.
Once in Olia, we understood the hype. It was beautiful. Five-star villas perched into the cliffside, with gorgeous ocean views and private pools. Ultimate luxury. Somewhere to have a fancy vacation or honeymoon, but not for our current type of travel or wallet. There is a certain spot where you are supposed to get the “Santorini picture” we went and I was immediately over it, I bee-lined it out of there while Scott laughed and took pictures of all the chaos. At least we can say we saw it.
The rest of our time in Santorini, we walked around a bit, ate an overpriced kebab on pita (it was really good though), and had some amazing ice cream. Coconut and chocolate will never fail (Yes I got Scott to like coconut, a miracle)!
Our main incentive of driving to Olia was to see the sunset. It is supposed to be THE premier spot on the island for watching the sunset. There are even specific parking lots around the town that charge for sunset parking and advertise “sunset parking.” We sat on our rental car and took pictures; the sunset did not disappoint. It was beautiful against the island in the distance and down into the sea.
We headed toward the airport after that, we weren’t flying to Croatia til 4am, so we took a nap in the rental car and then headed to one of the worst airports in the world (literally). The airport has not being renovated or expanded for the amount of tourism the island sees. People are forced to be outside in the sun waiting to check-in, and there is one security line, two gates, and a small runway. The lobby once you get through security is so small that people are backed into the security line, café, bathroom, every space is inhabited by cranky, hot travelers. Luckily, we were traveling in the evening so the heat and the crowds were not nearly what they could’ve been.
At last, we were off to Croatia! Expecting to be very jet-lagged.