The Castle of St Nicholas
The Castle of St Nicholas
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David P
Gibraltar Town66 đóng góp
1,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 7 năm 2024 • Bạn bè
Santorini is a tourist trap
no Guide says it, but it's the sad truth

Santorini is an island with an incredible panorama unique in the world: the cliff that opens in a crescent on the inner gulf (where once there was the volcano then sank into the sea in the terrible eruption that destroyed the island in the seventeenth century BC) with some villages of white houses clinging to the edge of the cliff. Bellissimo! Unique. I watched it enchanted for hours: it reminded me of a kind of huge Grand Canyon filled with blue sea, and I was very excited. You are.
But despite all this beauty I left Santorini disgusted and deeply angry. Perché?! Because the local population had the bad idea to turn this beautiful island into a vulgar tourist trap.
For God's sake, using tourism to make money is fine. Especially in a struggling country like Greece. But there is a limit to everything: if you ask for money you must offer something in return, in particular you must offer something worth what you paid for.
And in a place that is particularly in demand there is even that you pay more than you should (the classic law of supply and demand), but in Santorini they have crossed all the limits: the desire to take money from tourists in every way and without restraint is so obvious that it is even annoying. Enough to ruin the holiday.
And this is a real shame, because, again, the island is really beautiful.
But it has fallen victim to its own beauty and uniqueness: too many tourists on an island too small and too badly managed.

Let's give precise examples, otherwise those who have not been there can not understand:

"luxury" hotels, which, however, have only the price
If you search for Santorini Accommodation (use and for example) you will see many 5* and super luxury hotels in the results. In particular the prices are super luxury. The photos are also nice (some). The problem is that if you ask for 5* prices then you have to offer an adequate service, and the gap between the European standard (France, Austria, Italy, etc.) and that of Santorini is embarrassing in most cases.

mediocre restaurants at absurd prices + buttadentro
It's fine to pay for the view, but you often pay a lot even when the view is not there. And when there is not even quality on the plate it becomes a problem. And then again the main problem is not the price but the staff: if you present disproportionate bills the service must be of a high level, you can not put inexperienced and poorly paid kids between the tables. In continental Europe, for the same figures, you receive immensely higher service and quality.
Another plague of local catering is the "buttadentro": persistent and annoying characters who try to divert every passer-by to their tables. Like flies.
They damage the image of tourism: they spoil the atmosphere.

tax evasion
Locals that spontaneously give you the receipt I found few. In one (very crowded) of a central street of Fira when I asked for the receipt the cashier looked at me completely surprised, I had to insist, and it was embarrassing to see that she was not really able to do it.
Similar and related problem: Many businesses only accept cash.

dilapidated or non-existent public facilities
If they do not pay taxes then there is no money for public works: in an island where every year tourists bring billions of euros it is shameful to see infrastructure from the third world (okay, I admit that proportionally Rome is even worse off). Roads, parking, transport, police, health system, etc. etc. all inadequate.

the Fira-Port "cable car"
Fortunately I didn't have to use it, but the cruisers who disembark from the ships are trapped for hours in the waiting lines of the cable car (I would say obvious) that from the old port arrives at Fira. You need a fast and safe modern plant that can handle the immense influx of people (given the numbers it would pay off quickly). The current state is shameful.

Archaeological site potentially very interesting, but badly managed: the archaeological ruins are protected by an excellent structure, but the necessary information is not available to understand what you are seeing, there are no guided tours, the staff is completely disinterested and useless, and given the state of affairs asking for 12 € of admission fee in my opinion is a theft.
in-depth article

expectations produced by the guides
No Guide or site I have read adequately emphasizes these problems so that the vacationer arrives prepared, quite the opposite: everyone extols the beauties of Santorini pumping up expectations to the maximum, which then shatter on the harsh reality of the facts.
Instead, I am compiling this long boring negative list just to prepare you for what you will find, so you can more easily appreciate the positives.

the sunset in Oia
In my opinion too overrated (I have travelled enough to have seen much more beautiful ones), however the problem is overcrowding: too many people in too tight spaces. So you don't appreciate the sunset, it's almost stressful.
These are my suggestions to better enjoy the sunset in Santorini.

Mass Tourism Shopping
Ok, I don't go to Santorini for Shopping, but to see that the alleys of Fira and Oia are full of shops selling colorful trash is sad and depressing. Then instead see the many shops "luxury fashion exclusive desing" that offer clothes without substance for several hundred euros leaves me uncertain between laughing and crying. Very few shops with quality goods, submerged by a sea of vulgarity.

travel agencies from far west
To write my travel guides and try everything sometimes I force myself to do things I would not want or use services that I then advise my clients against. In Santorini I forced myself to enter some tourist agencies that sell various packages and travel services, and in one I even had to rent a car. What about it? Shameful is little: I have found incompetent charlatans who lie about everything, who completely ignore contracts (they insist that it is important to have insurance when you rent a car, but then when they find a trained person who asks them technical questions to put them to the test they make embarrassing mute scenes or shoot absurd castronage) and who give you indecent products and services. The car I received was a rot with holes produced by rust and a general condition that if in Italy you are stopped the traffic police with such a car will seize it on the fly.

dishonest taxi drivers
There is no way to make them use the meter (when you ask them suddenly they no longer understand the language they have until then spoken fluently) and the prices make them completely arbitrary. The fact that taxi drivers are thieves in the rest of the world is no excuse.
And then in a small island like this if taxi drivers behave so dishonestly it is only possible thanks to the connivance of the control authorities (from what I understand the local police).

Every single thing in itself is not terrible, but

the combined effect of everything ruins the holiday

You can't describe it in words, but if you stay long enough on the island and start paying attention to all these things at the end you clearly perceive the annoying feeling of being just a fat cow to milk, a lemon to squeeze to the last drop, without respect, without intelligence in the exploitation of tourist resources, with vulgarity.
And if you don't pay attention because you're distracted and (rightly) just think about relaxing in the end you'll still feel it unconsciously, and it will still bother you.

Certainly Santorini is not a unique case: in the famous destinations where millions of tourists arrive there have always been traps and scams, and as a Roman I can say that Rome is also full of them. But in Rome you can also fall victim to a dishonest restaurateur who makes you pay too much for a hot carbonara or a thief taxi driver who parades you € 20 more than you should (on regular rates already from robbery), but then you still have the pleasure of being able to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world with an offer of art history and unparalleled masterpieces. In Santorini apart from the magnificent panorama of the caldera rim there is nothing else.
But Rome and Santorini are also too different, so let's make the comparison with Mykonos, another Cycladic island with similar fame and prices: also in Mykonos there are many tourists, even in Mykonos there are very high prices for hotels and restaurants, even there there are places that are not worth the asking price (as in any other part of the world there are), even there there are dishonest taxi drivers (ditto). But there are also many recommendable hotels, restaurants where you eat decently, many beautiful beaches, different Things to do (from wild disco parties to quiet relaxation from a family beach holiday), and especially overall the vacationer does not experience at all that unpleasant feeling of being a cow to milk without respect. Because in Mykonos they are smarter and tourism has organized it better. In Santorini it is really annoying.

Be careful though, it is not that as a result of this long critical analysis I want to advise you not to go to Santorini: it is a very beautiful island and worth going anyway, but it is important to do it prepared, with the right expectations, intelligently booking the right solutions that best suit your needs and desires.
Đã viết vào 14 tháng 7, 2024
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

Eleni L.
5 đóng góp
4,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 5 năm 2024 • Bạn bè
Santorini is certainly one of the most beautiful destinations I have had the privilege to visit. From the moment you arrive, you are breathless before the natural beauty that surrounds you. The landscapes are simply spectacular, with their iconic white houses and blue domes contrasting perfectly with the intense blue Aegean Sea.

Every corner of Santorini looks like a postcard, with views that steal your heart from the top of its cliffs to the black sand beaches that are real hidden gems. The sunsets are a separate sight, painting the sky orange and pink that make time stand still.

I recommend Santorini not only for its undisputed beauty, but for the sense of peace and serenity you find on every corner. It is a destination that captures the senses and leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of those lucky enough to visit.
Đã viết vào 26 tháng 6, 2024
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

Antonio G
1 đóng góp
3,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 6 năm 2024 • Gia đình
Saint Nicholas Castle in Santorini is undoubtedly a fascinating place, with breathtaking sunset views and an atmosphere rich in history. However, my visit was partly ruined by the excessive crowds. It was so crowded that it was difficult to move around and find a quiet place to enjoy the view. This took away some of the charm and serenity that one would expect from such an evocative place. I would recommend visiting it at less busy times to be able to fully appreciate the beauty of the place without being disturbed by the mass of tourists.
Đã viết vào 16 tháng 6, 2024
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

Rijen, Hà Lan1.458 đóng góp
5,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 6 năm 2024 • Gia đình
A very beautiful place to watch the sunset. You can also see oia lying very nicely. Really worth a visit.
Đã viết vào 7 tháng 6, 2024
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

Eli B
26 đóng góp
4,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 5 năm 2024 • Cặp đôi
This is a beautiful picture perfect place, lots of scammers looking to get your money! Food in this area is over priced by 5 times the price outside the area, rental of ATV is over priced and they scammed me… have one price and it became double that price, the hotel we stayed at was on the cliff side and amazing view, but there are so many tourists that it’s very hard to enjoy the space and walkways are uncomfortably tight, my advice is to see the sunrise and sunset from the area of the water treatment plant, opposite to the castle and wind mill
Đã viết vào 24 tháng 5, 2024
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

Xristos E
Elefsina, Hy Lạp299 đóng góp
4,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 4 năm 2024 • Cặp đôi
It is a castle high up in Oia
It's nothing special, but the view is magical
Also Kyr Antonis works there if you see him talk to him he is kind K he can tell you stories about how Oia used to be
Đã viết vào 5 tháng 4, 2024
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

Stanisław Ł
Bestwina8.733 đóng góp
5,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 9 năm 2023 • Cặp đôi
St. Castle Nicholas in Oia in Santorini is nothing more than the ruins of a former Venetian fort located high on the top of a promontory overlooking the Bay of Ammoudi. Dating back to the late 15th century, the fort was built by the Venetians, like four others on the island, to protect the island from pirates. It was a difficult object to conquer, but it was conquered by Turkish invaders in 1557, and the Dargent family, descendants of the Byzantine emperor Argyros, who lived there, were deported to today's Syria. The building suffered serious damage during the earthquake in 1956, when most of the castle collapsed into the sea. From the castle there is a beautiful view of the entire Santorini caldera and the archipelago of islands lying on it. Looking south we will see the volcanic islets of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, as well as the southern tip of the island of Thira (Santorini). In turn, in the southwest we will see Thira's younger sister - Thirassia. The ruins of the fort in Oia are considered the best place to watch the sunset on the island of Santorini.
Đã viết vào 1 tháng 2, 2024
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

Wilmington, Bắc Carolina1.612 đóng góp
5,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 12 năm 2023 • Gia đình
Spent the afternoon perusing around and the views alone were worth the trek to get there from one side of the island to the other. Make it point to visit if you find yourself in Santorini. Must see.
Đã viết vào 6 tháng 1, 2024
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

London, UK627 đóng góp
5,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 10 năm 2023 • Một mình
Many of the "typical Santorini" photos you see in guidebooks were probably taken from here. It gets extremely crowded at sunset. There are cliffs below, and in some places there is a high risk of falling.
By the way, although it's known for its sunsets, the sunrises are also beautiful, so if you're staying in Oia, be sure to visit in the morning as well. There aren't many people, so it's comfortable.
Đã viết vào 9 tháng 10, 2023
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

Maria Solange O
Farroupilha, RS29.197 đóng góp
5,0 trên 5 bong bóng
thg 9 năm 2023 • Cặp đôi
The ruins of Saint Nikolaus Castle, located in the captivating village of Oia, is the most popular place to watch the sunset in Santorini. There's a crowd, including me, gathering to take a photo of the spectacle of nature. There is no accessibility, so it is very difficult for people with reduced mobility to be there.
Đã viết vào 18 tháng 9, 2023
Đánh giá này là ý kiến chủ quan của thành viên Tripadvisor chứ không phải của Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor thực hiện kiểm tra đánh giá.

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