Santorini, Greece

10 reasons why you should travel to Santorini instead of Mykonos

Nargiz Shiraliyeva Nargiz Shiraliyeva 04 April 2021
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There are a lot of reasons to organize a vacation in Greece. Among them: the extraordinary beauty of nature, fabulous beaches, national culinary delights, architectural monuments… Moreover, all this paradise on earth is combined with quite cheap prices, which can not leave any tourist indifferent.

Perhaps, in addition to all the advantages, Greece is clearly distinguished by its diversity. Several dozen islands kindly welcome travellers at any time of the year. This corner of the planet can not only surprise everyone but also make you come back here again.

Among the most frequent tourist departures are Santorini and Mykonos' islands, whose features are quite similar. Although both places seem ideal for any holiday, there are a few details, after reasearching which, the choice will become obvious. In this article, we will tell you why you should travel to Santorini and why there your vacation will be unforgettable.

1. Dawn from Fira or Oia

griechenland

Meeting the dawn in these small towns is comparable to a trip to the Louvre in Paris or the Roman Colosseum – this is a mandatory part of your vacation in Greece. Here, this incredible natural phenomenon is so beautiful that it is very difficult to find something similar in other parts of Greece.

To capture the sunrise, there is no need to book a hotel in Oia or Fira. These cities are the most popular in Santorini, which means that the prices here are the highest. But you will be pleasantly surprised by inexpensive travel and a short road from the main tourist places.

Be prepared for an early ascent to take the best possible place to enjoy the rising sun. You must arrive in Fira or Oia at least half an hour before dawn. If you choose the second of the mentioned cities, we recommend you to drive to the observation deck near the fortress of St. Nicholas. Note that the flow of people who want to enjoy the morning sun is always quite large, so plan your trip.

2. The unforgettable city of Oia

city of oia

Oia is perhaps the most fabulous and inspiring city in Santorini. Although the prices here definitely "bite", it is unnecessary to stay here because there is always the opportunity to come here independently. Among the beauties located here, it is difficult to note beautiful white stone houses, ancient mills, cobbled streets, and flowers that spread on the walls of buildings and unforgettable landscapes.

Also, don't forget to set aside an evening for a trip to the volcanic caldera. This non-man-made funnel, which was formed after the eruption of the volcano, is fascinating and even a little scary! Near the edge of the caldera, many different restaurants are serving delicious national dishes. An evening on the edge of a volcano is not only an excellent opportunity to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved ones but also an obvious answer to the question of which is better Santorini or Mykonos.

3. Ancient Greece cities

santorini sunset

Fira and Oia are not the only places to see Santorini. There are still a few dozen small settlements that are worth visiting. We are sure that you will love the white sand and clear water on the beaches of Perissa, Pyrgos, all the buildings of which are made in white and blue colors, and, of course, Akrotiri, which will delight you with many historical monuments and archaeological museums. That's not all you have to explore!

Another important fact is that a trip to ancient Greece cities is a chance to spend an unforgettable vacation and an opportunity to save a lot. Prices here are much lower than in other settlements, and the service and surrounding beauty are not inferior.

4. Argyros Kanava Art Space

argyros kanava art space

During your travel through ancient cities, do not ignore the town of Kamari and visit the art space located there. The art gallery is located in Argyros Kanava – the oldest winery on the island of Santorini. This place is amazing because it combines several objects of art at once-painting, sculpture, and wine. All these components together produce a real inspiring "boom". Here is a unique opportunity to get closer to the local culture, enjoying a tart drink's taste and aroma. The winery's bare walls are decorated with magnificent paintings, and authentic sculptures create a special comfort and completeness. The art gallery collection includes more than 30 works of art by contemporary artists of Greece, and to see each of them is a worthy reason for a trip to Santorini.

5. Small Santorini

black sand beach

The island of Santorini is distinguished by its small size and an unimaginable number of places to visit. Sometimes it is inexplicable how such a small plot of land can accommodate so many interesting things! Wherever you look-gorgeous views, majestic cliffs, romantically decorated houses.

Of course, Santorini offers Santorini tours that allow you to explore the whole island in a few days. But we advise you to rent transport and set a unique route. One of the advantages can be noted that you will not be forced to chase a guide and will be able to enjoy a trip to Santorini in full. We can not say that your vehicle for the rest period does not have to be a car. You can rent a quad bike or take a bike ride along the island.

6. Colorful Santorini beaches

santorini beach

If you still have not decided which is better Santorini or Mykonos, then the colorful beaches will put a bold end to this question. These places are definitely among the top places to see Santorini. White and Red beaches are spread out in the small town of Akrotiri and Black — in Perissa. Do not think that during bathing, you will be accompanied by an annoying smell of paint. The Santorini beaches are not human-made and are so-called because of various volcanic rocks' originality and creativity.

It is recommended to go to the magical scarlet beach to meet the sunrise and contemplate alone with nature in the early morning. We recommend going to the black and white coast in the afternoon because they are perfectly equipped for first-class holiday-sun loungers, cafes, bars, and everything that your heart desires.

7. Firasia Island volcano and hot springs

firasia island volcano

We warn you, you need to allocate a whole day for this trip, but it is worth it. Your tour will start in Fira. First of all, you will overcome the descent to the main port and capital city of Santorini. It can be done either with the help of old stone steps or on a fast funicular. Try each of the two ways, for example, going down in the morning on foot, and in the evening going up on the cable car, admiring the starry sky. Also, fans of extreme recreation can offer to go down to the port on donkeys, but in this case, stock up on time because it is quite a long pleasure.

The old port where you will arrive is one of the main business cards of Fira. It is surprisingly beautiful because sharp-nosed rocks surround it, and only a small part of the port has access to the sea. Here you will board a wonderful boat and go to the majestic and inaccessible Firasia Island volcano, which last showed life signs in the middle of the 20th century. Besides, the volcano is located near Santorini, so it is an amazing opportunity to see the island at a glance. The next stop of your tour will be the Santorini hot springs located on a nearby island. The high temperature in them is regularly maintained by hot air from the mouth of a ferocious volcano.

Note that Firasia is one of the few islands adjacent to Santorini, where people live. Here is a great opportunity to stay for a few days in one of the local taverns and extend the Greek holiday's unforgettable experience.

8. National cuisine

santorini cuisine

Greece can delight with its beauty and skillfully excites the appetite with their help. The national Santorini cuisine will leave no less than the stunning scenery.

Dishes prepared in the ancient Greek traditions will delight you with a unique taste, which gives a combination of not complicated ingredients. There are also large portions with an abundance of snacks, so we advise you to order a small number of dishes with the most interesting and original compositions.

greek salad

In the small village of Pyrgos, which is located near the highest point of the island, you have the opportunity to get close to the local flavor and spend an evening in the spirit of Greece in a cozy family cafe. There are no usual waiters and receptionists here. The hostess manages the kitchen and oversees the preparation of Greek dishes, while her husband advises guests on the menu and tells funny stories about the family, showing yellowed photos. It feels as if I went to dinner with my grandmother, whom I haven't seen for a long time.

You can enjoy excellent moussaka, pasticcio, fasolada, dolma, traditional Greek salad, gyros, and much more among the national dishes. We are sure that anyone will be insanely fragrant, delicious, tasty, and not at all expensive in such a cozy place. If such a peaceful holiday is to your liking, then choosing Santorini or Mykonos, stop at the first option.

9. Greek wine

greek wine

Earlier, we mentioned that the island offers Santorini tours for various tastes and colors, and everyone will find something suitable for themselves. But, perhaps, this excursion route will be loved by most.

There are a huge number of private factories and wineries that regularly produce invigorating body and spirit drinks on Greece's territory. And a large proportion of them is just in Santorini. You have an amazing opportunity to visit the most interesting of them in just a few hours. The Santorini tours usually tell the history of Greek winery, funny and at first glance unusual moments of production, and then conduct a long-awaited tasting accompanied by national snacks.

However, if your time is limited, do not worry, because you can always try the local wine, buying it in a regular supermarket. But treat the purchase responsibly-try to find something authentic and original that you have not tried before. In any case, such an abundance of taste sensations is a great reason to travel to Santorini.

10. Night peace

santorini night

Reading this article, you probably already realized that a trip to Santorini will be a peaceful and spiritual holiday for you because the island creates all the necessary conditions for first-class relaxation. This place is distinguished by the fact that the evening calm and comfort does not disappear, as it happens in other parts of Greece, but, on the contrary, smoothly flows into the night.

Here you will not find noisy night adventures and crowded dance floors, as in Mykonos. The island of Santorini will delight you with a relaxing holiday even in the dark – most cafes and restaurants are open around the clock, and this is a wonderful chance to spend a romantic night talking with a glass of delicious wine. And then you will certainly enjoy the clear sky – do not forget to make a wish when the next star falls!

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Nargiz Shiraliyeva
Nargiz Shiraliyeva Wanderlust. Booklover.

Nargiz was born in Russia where she grew up until the age of 12 before moving to Baku, Azerbaijan. At different life stages she lived in Turkey and Serbia. As of 2020, she has been to 38 cities in 11 countries. AIESEC Azerbaijan Alumna. She is fond of participating at youth projects and making friends with people from all around the world. Her biggest dream is to visit all the continents and as many countries as possible. Following her passion to travel, she joined the team of a “Trawell Group” company.  

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