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How to Enjoy Stunning Santorini Without Being Overrun By Tourists

Annie Gabillet

Travel and lifestyle photographer Carley Rudd has a travel schedule to envy. Follow the digital nomad on Instagram @carleyscamera, and photos of her recent trip to Santorini, Greece will make you eager to plan a trip yourself. Carley says Santorini is truly a one-of-a-kind destination, thanks to the “volcanic geography of the island surrounded by the Mediterranean Blues of the Aegean Sea, clifftop villages filled with classic white-washed cave homes, and undeniably fresh Greek cuisine.” 

With so much to offer visitors, it’s no wonder Santorini sees a lot of them. Figuring out how to enjoy the island without being too disrupted by fellow travelers is a challenge. So we tapped into Carley for her insight on how to make the most of it. Pack your favorite blue and white swimsuit, and you should fit right in. 

Image Courtesy of Carley Rudd

How to Avoid the Tourists in Santorini 

Get out in the mornings. Carley suggests setting your alarm for an earlier start to your day. This way you can stroll the island villages before most of the tourists arrive. 

Visit off-season. Carley visited Santorini in mid-May and spent six nights on the island. “Mid-May is a much slower time of year than July and August,” she explained. With an average temperature in the mid 70s, May is also a pleasant time to visit weather wise. 

Go Beyond Oía. “Oía is definitely the most popular village, and tourists arrive every afternoon from tour buses and cruise ships,” Carley said. So she mixed things up. “I loved exploring more off-the-beaten path areas just outside of Oía like the small picturesque villages of Imerovigli and Finikia.”

Image Courtesy of Carley Rudd

“I loved exploring areas just outside of Oía, like the small picturesque villages of Imerovigli and Finikia.”

While in Santorini, Carley’s favorite experiences included: “taking in Santorini’s world-famous sunset every evening and wandering the streets and small alleyways between Finikia and Oía without any agenda.”

Where to Stay and Eat on Santorini 

During her trip, Carley stayed at the Perivolas Hotel and Andronis Concept Hotel. “Both served incredible dishes from their signature restaurants,” she recalled.

Image Courtesy of Carley Rudd

She also enjoyed amazing dinners at Catch and Lycabettus. “And one of my favorite — and most affordable — meals was grabbing a Gyro and Greek Salad from Pitogyros to eat on the steps just outside,” she added.

We think we know exactly where we’ll be next May . . .