The SIA Brat – In Santorini
Last year I went to Greece with the best friend, and Santorini was our longest stop – 6 nights. I planned it around Christmas Day itself because I felt it’d be more exciting to spend New Year’s Eve in Athens which I expected to be more lively. And thank the heavens I did that.
Santorini is a tourist driven island, like many of the other islands I presume. So when we arrived 2 days before Christmas, the island was just about to close shop for the year. Although many shop owners had already left the island for the year as the season ends at the very latest in November. We were really really late. There were no boats going out to the caldera. Most all of the shops were closed. There was just 1 restaurant, 1 bookshop, 1 jewellery / art shop, 1 grocer, and 1 bakery opened in Oia when we were there! And in Fira, it was pretty much the same as seen in the photograph above.
But I loved it!
Growing up in Singapore, a city state, peace and quiet can be quite limited. Visiting Santorini during the off peak season meant that I could hear myself think. Enjoy the beauty of the architecture and breathtaking views in cool pleasant weather. And best of all, we could chit chat with the locals and fellow tourists till the donkeys came home.
We got to know a really nice Chinese lady while dining at Lotza, the restaurant in Oia. She had been to Santorini 2 or 3 times before and she described Santorini in June to us. And this was what I understood of Santorini during it’s peak period – Packed like sardines type of crowded. Walking around in your bikini top and still burning up type of scorching heat. Touristy, need I say more. Basically, not my idea of a relaxing holiday.
So before you say ‘Nah’ too quickly to the idea of visiting a city or country during it’s off peak season, give it a shot. It might not be so bad.
That said, if you’re the kind of traveler who needs lots of excitement, want to be spoiled for choice, and don’t see the need to spend time chatting up a storm with the locals, stick to the peak seasons and go fight with the masses. I will be there a few months later relaxing at Lotza, gorging on their awesome food and appreciating their friendly and personal service while drinking in the beautiful view.
What do you think?
What kind of traveler are you? Do you prefer traveling during the peak season or off peak season? Is there a city or country you’d like to recommend me for off peak traveling?
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I adore Santorini, though I haven’t been there for about 25 years so it is no doubt much more commercialised now. I think I would have enjoyed your quiet stay.
Go back! Santorini deserves a second, third, even fourth visit! =) Here’s an idea, visit Santorini once in each season! =P
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