The pretty but tiny European island is ravaged by 10,000 tourists a day

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun12,2024

If you think of Greece then it’s possible that an image from the stunning island of Santorini springs to mind. Its gorgeous whitewashed architecture with blue dome roofs overlooking crystal blue seas are some of the most iconic scenes in this European country.

The volcanic island is also famous for its mesmerising sunsets, rocky landscape, historical churches and monasteries and even ancient vineyards.

But its picture-postcard perfection is blighted in part by its insane popularity – with up to 10,000 tourist looking for their Santorini fix per day at the busiest time of year…and an eye-popping 5.5m visitors arriving each year.

To put this figure into perspective – there are only around 15,500 permanent residents on the island which is just 29 square miles big.

But with the island being a mere four hours away from Britain, and in the centre of Europe, holidaymakers turn to this little gem to soak up the beauty and culture with ease.

It’s not gone unnoticed by the wider Greek authorities, with the country’s ombudsman issuing a report which has called for urgent reform.

It said: “Our country’s economy relies heavily on tourism which makes the need to manage it in a sustainable way even more urgent.” The influx of tourists is also one of the major peeves…say other tourists.

They have taken to TripAdvisor to talk about how the crowds put them off the famous Greek island. One visitor gave their thoughts on Oia, a beautiful village where you can watch the sun dip into the sea.

They said: “Great view, but very crowded. Oia is famous for its sunsets and rightly so. But, given the popularity, it becomes very crowded too.

“People lining up on the streets, stairs, shops. Everywhere…”.

Another said: “I’ve never seen a place so crammed with people all waiting to see the sun set? I was baffled. It’s beautiful, and I’m glad I’ve seen it once, but I’ll pass on walking through a sea of people, most posing for photos, never again.”

“Lovely view, however very crowded,” said another unhappy tourist.

They added: “People are sitting there for hours to catch a spot so unless you wish to do that you have very little chance to find a space.”

Meanwhile experienced cruise guests have taken to Reddit to share their best tips for a cruise holiday visiting Greece’s busiest islands.

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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