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Santorini is limiting visitor arrivals.




June 24, 2020
By Torgeir Johansen

Page Updated 29. September 2023.

Paradise or tourist trap?

With more than 2.5 million visitors in a year this little island is overcrowded by tourists. In the high season roads are filled by buses with passengers from cruise ships. On our last visit at the sunset destination of Oia it was nearly impossible to park the car. All roads and parking lots were fully loaded with tourist buses.

From 2019 authorities limits daily cruise visitors.

Local buses are always full, and they drive in a line behind rented 4-wheel bikes. But in the evening after cruise ships have departed and around sunrise you will still be able to experience a spectacular sunset.

Cruise ships below the Caldera
Up to 18 000 daily visitors arrive from cruise ships in Santorini. Daily cruise visitors are limited to 8000 from 2019.
Cruise liner Costa Deliziosa and Nea Kameni

Cruise liner Costa Deliziosa and Nea Kameni in September 2016.

Four wheel bikes Santorini
Four wheel bikes on the road from Oia.
Four wheel bikes for rent
Four wheel bikes for rent everywhere.
Four wheel bikes Perissa, Santorini
Bikes racing in Perissa.
Tourist group at Oia

Tourist group at Oia.

Caldera photo session
Blue and white scenery, a photografers dream.
Champion jet 1
Champion jet 1.
View over Caldera and Imerovigli
View over Caldera and Imerovigli.
Ira Hotel, Imerovigli
Ira Hotel, Imerovigli.
Imerovigli, Santorini. A cat in front of a street light.

Imerovigli 2010. Nikon D700 ISO 6400.

Woman walking at top of stairs in the dark. Imerovigli, Santorini.

Imerovigli 2010. Nikon D700 ISO 6400.

Visit Santorini outside the busy season and stay in a hotel on the edge of the caldera. Contact hotels direct and ask for a nice rate if you stay more than a few days.

“It is a reality now, Santorini is an all year round tourism destination,” Mayor Nikos Zorzos says.


What happened on Santorini when the tourism ‘machine’ stopped