Raise your hand if you have considered visiting Santorini during a summer escapade or holiday with your partner. Excellent thought, given the unique beauty of this island with the absolutely captivating sunsets, the idyllic Cycladic architecture, and the volcanic landscape! However, Santorini is much more than a summer tourist hub. In fact, it is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve with a more traditional and authentic sense to them. Infused with natural appeal and sprinkled with Greek traditions, Cycladic gastronomy, and a friendly local community of hospitable and smiling islanders, Santorini provides memorable experiences during the festive season – though through an entirely different perspective than what most of us are used to.
A superb alternative destination for nature lovers
If you are not a fan of crowds, noise, and busy places, then Santorini will delight you, even around Christmas time, whether you come alone or not. Anything from photography and sightseeing can be enjoyed without the flocks of summer tourists. At the same time, nature-related activities remain an option in wintertime, given the mild weather and the still warm days. This means that hiking in the countless paths and trails, either leading to the imposing caldera or other parts of the island, is undeniably a rewarding adventure. This also applies to wine tasting quests that often include feasts with local delights at open terraces and rooftops! In fact, with temps ranging between 12-20oC and with many sunny hours during December, any road trip or outdoor venture is welcomed for sure.
Multiple entertainment options
Although not all shops, restaurants, bars, cafes, tavernas, and luxury accommodation are open, there are still more than enough available in December. So, you will find the most elegant suites at scenic Imerovigli with heart-stopping views of the Mediterranean Sea and world-class services and amenities at a fraction of their summer price-tag. Such high-end accommodation facilities even prepare special Christmas and New Year’s events at in-house restaurants to please their guests with awarded cuisine, live music, and lots of local tastes, sounds, smells, and experiences. This gives you the opportunity to live unforgettable holidays during Christmas and New Year’s Eve with the pampering Santorini is known for, yet less expensive.
Now, regarding your other celebratory endeavours, expect mouth-watering Christmas gastronomy, palate-pleasing Christmas desserts, streets filled with lights, town squares adorning wooden ships (the Greek islands’ alternative to the Christmas tree), local bands playing music, inviting everybody to dance to the traditional Santorian tempo, streets filled with happy children singing the carols, people exchanging New Year’s wishes and ouzo shots at local kafeneia, and many more!
The Christmas and New Year’s Eve customs
It should also be noted that the locals follow Greek Christmas and New Year’s Eve traditions, like the break of a pomegranate before the expiration of the year. Also, the sharing of the Vasilopita (special New Year’s Eve cake with a hidden coin in it – whoever gets the coin in their piece will be lucky throughout the new year!), and so many more.
Visiting Santorini during this joyful time of the year will enable you to discover the real meaning of these elements of Greek culture and perhaps even the most authentic meaning of the ultimate celebration of love.
Happy New Year!