Greece has seen an increase in tourism over recent years, with over 30 million foreign visitors in 2018. Popular for its breathtaking scenery and distinctive architecture, Santorini alone received over two million visitors last year. If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat away from crowds of tourists, you might wonder how you can benefit from everything it has to offer while enjoying a quieter vacation. The answer? By boat.
Before You Set Sail
Unless you own your own boat, you’ll need to rent one, but when you consider that the vessel will be both your transport and your accommodation for your vacation, the flexibility a boating holiday offers is worth the investment. Investigate the different vessels available, taking into account your party size and trip length, and research the services offered by different chartering companies. Some companies, for example, offer a qualified skipper with their package, which can be a helpful extra for parties new to sailing. Consider how many cabins you’ll require for a comfortable and peaceful retreat, and check what amenities are included to help you with your packing. Securing your package before you begin planning your voyage will enable you to plan your trip efficiently, taking into account the capabilities of your vessel.
Plan Your Route
The Greek islands are generally grouped into six main clusters: Santorini is in the Cyclades island group in the central Aegean Sea. The islands form a circle around the uninhabited sacred island of Delos, which is how the island group got its name, meaning ‘circular islands’. As your aim is to visit Santorini, factor in plenty of time for exploring the area, which is itself made up of several islands: Thíra, Palea, Asproníssi, Thirassiá and Nea Kanéni. However, to really make the most of your trip, plan to sail to other areas in the Cyclades too. If you’re aiming for a quiet escape, you’ll certainly want to visit Folégandros, which remains largely untouched by the bustling tourist industry. Antíparos is also worth sailing to for a peaceful retreat to balance your visits to the busier islands. When you’re planning your route, account for all the islands you definitely want to visit, but factor in some flexibility to account for changing weather and extra time you might want to spend in one place.
Set Your Sights On Santorini
By avoiding overnight stays in Santorini, you’ll be well-positioned to enjoy all it has to offer, knowing you can escape the crowds at the end of the day. Visit the famous volcano, where you’ll learn about its history and the role it played in the island’s development, and stop by Red Beach, famous for its red sand and cliffs. The volcano is at the heart of Santorini’s culture, having enriched the land and paved the way for spectacular local cuisine, so be sure to factor in a meal or two. Santorini is famed for its spectacular sunsets, which you’ll be free to watch from the island or return to your boat for a truly relaxing experience.
Santorini has much to offer its visitors, which is why it welcomes so many of them. By turning your vacation into a boating retreat, you’ll be able to experience the wealth of treasure it boasts, while allowing yourself time to escape the crowds. And by making your trip a boating holiday, you get to experience the rest of the Cyclades as well.