With recent events that have affected the world, travel is no longer the commodity it used to be. People are thinking twice now about how they spend their holidays to ensure that they enjoy authentic experiences. There is a growing trend that the traveller wants to explore a place more through the eyes of a local. What does this mean for iconic destinations like Santorini, which attract millions of visitors a year?
Make Your Santorini Travel Experiences Authentic
When you visit such an iconic destination such as Santorini, it’s easy to get caught up in the usual tourist trail. Of course, you’ll want to see the popular towns of Oia and Fira. You’ll most likely want to visit the volcano, the hot springs and Red Beach.
However, if you really want to experience Santorini in a different and more authentic way, then you’ll need to do your research. Most travel blogs only churn out the same stories repeatedly. Dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover a whole new side of Santorini that is guaranteed to capture your heart.
Avoid Staying on the caldera and head for the Authentic villages instead
Away from the snapping crowds of the caldera, there are a few inland villages that are relatively untouched by tourism. Development in these villages has been more controlled and the result is a far more authentic Santorini experience. You won’t read much about them on the internet because most bloggers want the classic Santorini story, which until now has been focussed on the popular towns of Fira and Oia.
Head for the inland Santorini Villages
Check out the stunning villages of Pyrgos, Megalchori, Akrotiri and Emborio. Here you’ll find real villages still occupied by locals going about their daily lives. Of course, there are also tourist facilities such as bars, restaurants, and stores. But the difference is, you’ll get a real glimpse into the life as it used to be before mass tourism. You can still visit the main tourist parts of the island but at the end of the day when you’ve been out exploring, you will return to a truly authentic Santorini village.
Pyrgos Kallistis – the hidden side of Santorini
Just a few miles from the caldera is the hidden gem of Santorini. Once the former capital of the island, Pyrgos is like an open-air Cycladic museum. Cave Houses dug into the volcanic soil, narrow cobbled streets like with quirky shops and real Greek tavernas and at the summit, the remains of an ancient castle. Unlilke Fira and Oia, you won’t find tourist traps in Pyrgos. What you will find are bars and restaurants frequented by the locals, excellent places to stay and wondering dining options. Pyrgos is also the highest village on the island so commands 360 panoramic views. For more information on why you should visit Pyrgos, check out this website
Santorini is without a doubt a photogenic island, some would say the supermodel of all Greek islands. It would be easy to visit Santorini and stick to the main tourist trail. After all that’s what 90% of visitors to the island do. Make sure if you visit Santorini, you go off the beaten track. Not only will you avoid the crowds but your efforts will ensure you have a much more rewarding experience.
Life can be short, so make your experiences authentic.
Interview and opinions in the above article are from Demeter Cave House, Pyrgos, Santorini