Honest opinions on Santorini?

Feb 8th, 2002, 08:37 AM
  #1  
Tammy
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Honest opinions on Santorini?

A friend of mine is planning a wedding on the Greek Island of Santorini. While I am hugely skeptical (flights are a nightmare for starters) I don't want to rubbish her idea until I know more about the place. Anyone been there - is it beautiful or a tourism hell-hole? Thanks Tammy.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 08:42 AM
  #2  
Wendy
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I was there 2 years ago and loved it! Santorini is beuatiful but definately is a major tourist destination.

We stayed in Fira or Thira depending on who you talk to. We traveled to Akritiri, Red Beach, Oia, Perissa Beach, Kamari Beach, & Ancient Thira.

The people are incredibly nice, the food is wonderful and the views breathtaking! What more could a bride want!!??
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 09:03 AM
  #3  
Homey
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Tammy, How could you be hugely skeptical when you know nothing about the place? "flights are a nightmare"? Have you ever been anywhere?

 
Feb 8th, 2002, 09:04 AM
  #4  
Susan
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It is very stunning visually, but very touristy. I was there 2 years ago and enjoyed it, but we had 4 full days there, which was definitely 1 day too long. I guess it depends on what you want. It didn't feel very Greek to me because of all the tourists.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 09:22 AM
  #5  
martha
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Tammy, It's your friends wedding NOT yours. If she wants to get married on Santorini why should you be trying to "rubbish" the idea. Mind your own business.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 09:33 AM
  #6  
mary
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I was there this past September (yes, just after the horror of the 11th). It was absolutely lovely with friendly people, great food, good weather. July and August can be crowded with tourists, however, the months before and after this are reported to be much better.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 10:44 AM
  #7  
Sue
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We were there mid-May a couple of years ago. The landscape is stunningly beautiful; it is especially breathtaking if you arrive by ferry at dusk. It is "touristy", but in May the number of tourists is minimal, especially in the evening when the daytrippers from the cruise lines depart. It is not a tourist "hell-hole", and the flight from US is not a nightmare, just long; worth it, tho! It would be a wonderful place for wedding festivities.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 11:23 AM
  #8  
April
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Your friend may love it, Tammy but my husband and I thought of it as a 'tourism hell-hole.' We always say that we are SO glad we did not have our honeymoon there. This is not to say there's nothing of interest (Akrotiri for one), but there probably is Waikiki as well. It's just not my cup of tea. We weren't big fans of Greece in general, but preferred the island of Folegandros which we thought was more spectacular than Santorini, and much more genuine. Santorini was probably very charming in it's day, but I think it's been over-touristed.

I wouldn't tell your friend not to get married there though, if that's what she wants. If you go, just try to take some good out of it... and maybe move on to somewhere else when you have the chance. At least you'll be able to say you've seen Santorini, the place that looks so great in the brochures.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 11:29 AM
  #9  
bobbie
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My neighbor's son got married there a few years ago and he still glows when he talks about it. Everyone loved it! I have been there since and agree that it was some of the more awesome sunsets and scenery that I have ever seen. I have frozen some of the views in my mind..enhanting and relaxing although you can pick up the pace by going to town. Encourage her!
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 12:05 PM
  #10  
r
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Tammy; If you go for the wedding make sure you combine it was your own trip around the Greek Isles. We had our honeymoon, popping around from island to island for 5 weeks including the Peloponesse, in 1979! It was glorious. Unforgettable. I dream of going back. You can avoid touristy areas, we did, by choosing less busy times to visit and staying off the beaten track. If it's a tourist hell hole in the summer, encourage her to have the wedding in the fall or Spring. And yes, it is a long flight to Greece from the States. You might want to consider breaking it up with a stop over in London. Good luck!
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 12:08 PM
  #11  
Diane
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I've been to Santorini twice -- in 1989 and 1999. I'd go again.

You can see some of my photos of the island at:

www.travelswithdiane.homestead.com/santorini.html
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 02:11 PM
  #12  
Jon
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I went there during my honeymoon about 5 years ago and extended my time there from 4 to 6 days because we loved it so much. It was probably the most beautiful place I have ever been. We have a photo blown up to poster size on our bedroom wall with a view of the caldera. Sure, there are some toursisty things there, but it is an incredibly memorbbale place to visit.
 
Feb 9th, 2002, 03:31 AM
  #13  
top
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Toppin' to hear more!
 
Feb 9th, 2002, 06:37 AM
  #14  
rita
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When I originally saw this thread I thought that I would just let it go. After all, there are allot of threads on Santorini lately and I seem to have replied to most of them. But I guess I just couldn't hold back so here goes . . .

As most of the posters have mentioned Santorini is a MAJOR tour destination and yes there are some areas of the island (like in Fira) where the tourists, jewellery, and t-shirt shops out number the islanders.

I would define a "touristy place" as somewhere that has been designed solely for the purpose of tourism, Disneyland and Las Vegas come to mind as both have controlled style and entertainment. Santorini on the other hand is a beautiful island that everyone just wants to see. By a fluke of nature its setting brings together history, culture, and a way of life unlike anyother on earth. This is what makes Santorini IMHO, one of the most wonderful places on earth.

If you don't like the streets teaming with day trippers head out to the remote areas of the island. Here you will see a greek way of life that goes on without t-shirts for sale. Or better yet, stay in Oia overnight and early in the morning before the sun comes up take a walk on the caldera path up to one of the highest points on the island. Then, just as the sun peaks up over the horizon admire the view of the caldera and the Mediterannean, smell the wild thyme, and listen to the donkeys braying somewhere in the distance. Trust me, you'll be all alone and you will understand why Santorini is a magical place.
 
Feb 11th, 2002, 07:12 AM
  #15  
Tammy
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Thanks to all those who took the time to answer honestly - which is what I really wanted! To 'Homey' (why is it people have to be anonymous to be rude?) yes I have travelled a fair bit. When I say that the flights are a nightmare - this is because all the direct flights from London (where we live) to Santorini are bought by the package holiday companies - there are NONE available for those who want to design their own travel arrangements. The only other way to get there is to fly to Athens and then get a 10 hour ferry or another connecting flight - which are few and far between.

If I take the package route then I am there for a week - and hence my post - Santorini has to be pretty amazing for her to expect all her friends to take a week's precious holiday off work AND spend the money on flights and hotel for her wedding. I know I wouldn't ask that of my friends - I wouldn't expect half of them to turn up if I did! What makes it worse is that she wants her wedding to be mid-week - so even if I paid extra to fly to Athens and did the ferry ride I'd still have to take the best part of a week off.

What do you think - is she being selfish or am I? Answers GRATEFULLY received - this whole thing is really doing my head in.
 
Feb 11th, 2002, 07:27 AM
  #16  
Sue
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It seems to me that brides and grooms who choose "destination weddings" need to realize that they are limiting the number of guests who can attend. A good friend should understand that not everyone can afford to pay for such a trip, in addition to taking the time off from work; it's asking too much in the name of friendship. You would probably enjoy Santorini, but nobody can tell you if it is worth the time and expense for you.
FYI: in high season there are at least a few flights from Athens to Santorini each day.
 
Feb 11th, 2002, 07:43 AM
  #17  
Tammy
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Thanks - good advice - anyone else?


(top)
 
Feb 11th, 2002, 08:38 AM
  #18  
Wendy
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Tammy if you take the ferry from Athens to Santorini (like I did) be sure to get a cabin with beds/bathroom. I just went to bed and then woke up in Paradise! Plus then you can spend some time in Athens!
 
Feb 11th, 2002, 08:46 AM
  #19  
Rebecca
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Tammy,

It's a tough call but if anyone deserves to be selfish, it's the bride and groom. Sounds like they want to create a magical and memorable wedding; and while they would like to share this with others, it is their personal experience that's weighing in more heavily. Can't say I blame them. If I were to marry again, I would absolutely opt for Oia.

The good news for guests is that Greece is still a relative 'bargain.' Lodging and food are available in a wide variety of price selections, with some incredibly good values. You can find lots of good recommendations on this site. Tourists definitely swarm the island, particularly in Fira, but off-season travel (i.e., May or Sept) offers some relief as well as lower rates.

If you can afford the time off work and it's not a financial burden, then by all means make this a memorable holiday for yourself.

Fly into Athens and stay over one night. See the Acropolis by day and enjoy the lively Plaka that evening. Next day, hop a quick flight on to Santorini. It's faster (flight is less than 1 hour), much more reliable than ferry, and relatively inexpensive. Santorini is good for a 3-4 day visit; if you can afford more time, then you might want to check out another island or two. Trust me, once you've arrived in Greece, you will want to stay longer! I hope everything works out for you and the happy couple.

 
Feb 11th, 2002, 09:14 AM
  #20  
clif
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While we're on the subject, I'm going to Santorini for the first time in September. Is it worth the boat ride from the mainland or should I just catch a flight from Athens? Thanks!
 

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