Crowds, Santorini Island
Well, Oia is one end of Santorini , and THE place where seemingly a few thousands of people gather to watch the sun set in the blue sea.
Crowds throng every lille lane and every nook and corner to the side facing the sunset. There are cafes and small tavers hanging from every little ledge with a couple of chairs balancing themselves for aseated and perched view to the sunset.
People shove and jostle aginst each other for a comfortable place to stand or hang onto while they balance their Slrs and huge lenses.
Beware of loosing sight of your little and dear one in this . I did and paid a high penalty !!!
During the peak season the island can be too crowded.
Usually younger people come to the island during the peak season between (June-August) for the nightlife clubs and bars.
If you are a bit older arrange to visit the island when it's not so crowded.
You will enjoy it more, have better service, and food won't be that expensive!
If you are in a hurry and find queues at the cable car station then try to avoid it, in order not to be late.
In high season thousands of tourists take the three minutes ride on it up and down just for the fun. Though it can transport up to 1200 persons per hour, the waiting time in a large queue may be more than one hour and a half.
You do it better if you are just walking down; it takes cca. 30-40 minutes, but yoou reach your place at least in time.
By the way, the cable car, also known as the teleferique, a kind of gondola lift was constructed by a Swiss company, Doppelmayr in 1979. It was a gift given to the island by a Santorinian owner of a Greek ship company.
Santorini has significant downsides: even off season it is packed with too many tourists for its small size.
For some reason the island suffers from a great deal of crude commercialism in which a lot of local business owners, taxi drivers seem to assume that nobody will ever come back again, so it is absolutely normal to rip them off and to be generally rude.
As a result, and due to the island's small size limiting how much you can do there - apart from expensive shopping - most tourists never come back.
This is all unfortunate because most of the native people are really kind and welcoming. Perhaps the reason for the behaviour of the "few" is that the island is almost dead during the winter months, so some tradesmen feel they have to make as much money as they can during the high season.
You have to very carefully check the price of everything before ordering in a restaurant or taking a taxi
Santorini is a very popular destination in high season, and is a regular port of call for cruise ships, some of which are pretty big (see my travelogue for a selection of those we saw in just one week). So at times, Fira and Oia can get pretty crowded. Many of the cruise ship passengers end up returning to their ships by way of the cable-car, so don’t be surprised if there is a queue. It may well be quicker to walk down the steps rather than queuing – the one day that we used the cable-car as a group to get down to the harbour there was a massive queue, and it took more than an hour to reach the front.
August is the worst month to visit any greek island, especially Santorini.
If you have no other choice, book everything in advance. You may find accommodation without booking, but you should have return tickets.
If you dont you may end like us, leaving the island with an old crowded ferry trying to sleep in the most uncomfortable way.
If you go to see the sunset in Oia, go there at least 1 hour in advance!!
First day I went just 15 minutes before and I had to see it from the 3rd row. Next day I took a book and went there 1 hour and fifteen minutes before. So, I could seat and wait for the sunset.