As the season comes to an end, and most shops, hotels and restaurants close for the winter, the life in Santorini doesn't stop. Thanks to the unique volcanic nature of the island, the tourism in Santorini is not based on the beaches, instead focusing more on the history and breathtaking views that can be enjoyed all year round. If you choose Santorini as your winter holiday destination here are top 5 things you can do to make it memorable.
Santorini museums stay open all year round and are a great source of information about the history of the island that is thought by many to be the location of the lost empire of Atlantis. Be sure to visit the Akrotiri Archaeological site and the Museum of Prehistoric Thira which houses finds from its excavations. Another great place is the Wine Museum of Koutsogiannopoulos in Vothonas. Which leads us to…
Visit a winery
There are more than 15 wineries on the island that are open to visitors, where you can enjoy a glass or two of local wine while learning about the wine making process. The Venetsanos, Boutari and SantoWines with its world famous views are just a few that come to mind.
Rent a car
Buses are unpredictable and unreliable during winter time, so take things into your own hands and be your own boss by renting a car and deciding yourself when and where to go. You might be tempted to rent a scooter or a quad bike, but listen to the word of the wise - weather in winter months can turn from a sunny to torrential rain in a matter of minutes.
Visit Red Beach and you might find yourself being the only person there. It’s one of the most famous and densely populated beaches in the summer, so you will appreciate having it all to yourself. Drive up to Profitis Ilias monastery, the highest point of the island with a 360 degrees view which is beautiful on a clear day. If you’re lucky you might see the snow covered mountains of Crete.
Colder weather makes it easier to hike up the hills and if you enjoy being active on your vacations, you will definitely love hiking options Santorini has to offer. You can walk to Ancient Thira or Profitis Ilias monastery from both sides of the hills, and make sure to visit the small chapel on your way up. A 10km hike from Fira to Oia is a must. It offers spectacular views of caldera and the sunset in Oia will be a great way to end the day.
Book a photo shoot
It can get pretty crowdy in the summertime, especially in Fira and Oia during sunset. If you want to get photos where it looks like you and your loved one are the only two people on the island, booking a photography session in the winter months might be a great idea.