It’s true that there are plenty of amazing Greek Islands out there other than Santorini that are worth visiting. But when it comes to choosing the right Greek Island for you, many people still settle on the most famous one of them all. There are a few things you need to know before visiting Santorini, so keep reading to find out what they are!

Expect To Pay A Lot For Those Caldera Views

The majority of tourists who flock to Santorini are attracted by the thought of lazing in an infinity pool and looking over the spectacular Caldera. The views available in Santorini truly are out of this world, but they often come at a price. While it costs nothing to visit the prime spots in the village of Oia and watch the sunset, actually staying in a hotel or Airbnb with terrific views of the Caldera is out of most people’s price range.

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In high season, expect to pay around $365 a night for the average hotel in Oia (never mind one that has an infinity pool overlooking the water). You can find slightly cheaper accommodation in Akrotiri, although it’s a further distance from the bustling town center of Fira.

Peak Season Vs. Off-Season

Something that locals wish tourists knew in advance about visiting Santorini is that the season can make all the difference to your experience. If you’re not one for crowds, you’ll probably want to stay away from the island in peak season, between July and August. Along with huge crowds, these months also come with higher prices. If you visit in the off-season, you’ll still get breathtaking views without the crowds and high prices, but be prepared for some establishments to be closed. Alternatively, visit in the shoulder-season months of April, May, September, and October for the best of both worlds.

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It Always Pays To Book Ahead

A tip for planning the perfect trip to Santorini is to always book ahead, especially if you’re traveling during peak season. Restaurants and tours fill up incredibly quickly during the summer months and sometimes you’ll have to book a restaurant sitting at least a week before. It is worth being organized to snap up the best eateries with sublime views over the water. If you’re visiting in the less-busy months, you might be able to get away with only booking a day or two before.

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The Island Isn’t As Small As You Think

One thing to know about Santorini for first-timers is that the island isn’t actually as small as you think. While walking in and around the town of Fira is a popular activity, you won’t be able to walk around the entire island. Fira to Oia alone will take about four hours in one direction. You can get around with taxis but the best way is by bus, as there are links between Fira and many other towns on the island. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent a car or a quad bike.

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Watch Out For Animal Abuse

In many ways, Santorini is a paradise. But for some of the animals on the island, it’s a living hell. If you’re a traveler who cares about the wellbeing of all creatures, you should know that there are a few places on the island where animal abuse is frequent. By boycotting the services, you’ll help to decrease the overall demand for this kind of abuse. One of the most notorious is the Santorini Donkey Ride, which forces donkeys and mules to act as taxis for tourists. Although there are weight limits, animal rights groups still recognize this as a form of cruelty.

The fish pedicures in Santorini seem harmless but, according to PETA, these are also a form of cruelty. The toothless carp used in the beauty treatment only rush to eat the dead skin off a person’s feet because they’re starved. Some also die in transit when they’re being exported from places like Turkey and Syria. Other criticisms of the fish pedicure point out that it’s not actually that hygienic since pedicure tubs can’t be properly sanitized when they’re full of fish.

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