Beautiful European island under pressure where ‘even tourists complain about the tourists’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun8,2024

A beautiful European island where “even tourists complain about the tourists” is under pressure to make major changes in order to tackle overtourism.

Santorini is one of the most famous Greek islands and a top tourist destination, attracting 5.5 million visitors annually, twice the number it hosted in 2012.

Its wild volcanic landscape, rugged cliffs, wild nature, and beautiful shores, combined with its rich history and traditions, make the island the gem of Greece. The island contributes one billion euros in annual receipts.

Tourists can pay for donkey rides in Santorini and they are often used to take people from the port to its main town 400 metres above sea level.

Yet the island is becoming a victim of its own success with many now complaining of overcrowding, particularly during the peak summer months.

And now Greece has been warned it needs to make major changes if it wants to remain a popular tourist destination.

The country’s ombudsman issued a report on Thursday and called for urgent reform.

“Our country’s economy relies heavily on tourism which makes the need to manage it in a sustainable way even more urgent,” the report said. Greece must not “exhaust its potential, wasting it and making our tourist destinations unattractive over time”.

It called for greater regulation to reduce coastal construction and slow the felling of forests which was creating the right conditions for flooding. It also called for greater care of water resources in the face of “huge” requirements for drinking water, swimming pools and water parks.

Thirty-three million people visited Greece in 2023, five million more than a year earlier, drawn by its ancient archaeological sites, reliable beautiful weather, stunning beaches and islands.

For those desperate for the Santorini experience without the crowds, there is now a replica island resort that could actually be better than the real thing.

The Anantara Santorini Abu Dhabi Retreat is an hour’s drive away from the capital’s city centre.

The concept is entirely inspired by the renowned Greek island and even has its own white, domed buildings cascading into crystal blue waters.

Above all the resort offers its visitors exclusivity and a peaceful retreat from the stresses and hassles of everyday life.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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