Santorini is, undeniably, a heavenly summer destination, but there’s much more to it. In fact, spending the Christmas holidays in the Queen of Cyclades is a hugely rewarding endeavor for multiple reasons. And, let’s not forget that apart from everything else, Santorini is a beautiful Cyclades island with profound and unique charms that can be enjoyed year-round (even better, after the summer crowds are gone!).
Plus, there is so much going on during the festive months of December and January that you’ll merely have a single dull moment! Let’s just say that for nearly a whole month, the island is in a lively, festive mode, with various celebrations taking place from early December through January 6th!
Think you know Santorini? Visiting her around the end of the year will give you an entirely new perspective, revealing an exciting facet of this marvelous island.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Santorini!
Forget all about traffic congestion, loud noise, and people in a shopping and drinking frenzy at Christmas time. Things are quite different in Santorini. With a strong emphasis on local traditions and customs and celebrating much more quietly than other parts of the world. The Santorians welcome the festive season with smiles, traditional Santorini tomatoes, and fava dishes, and, of course, delicious Vinsanto!
And, don’t be surprised to see boats decorated with lights and merely any Christmas tree! The Santorians, like all other islanders in Greece, honor their deep ties with the sea, acknowledging its significant contribution to their prosperity and overall wellbeing.
So, all boats at the harbor are lit-up at this time while the town squares bear a boat model that’s all dressed up with lights and decorations.
As for the little ones, Santorini turns into a Christmas and New Year’s Eve playground with the opening of the Christmas village! This is a massive space dedicated to Christmas that welcomes everybody with inflatables, movie screenings, carousels, skating, and more.
From early December through early January, the Christmas village also hosts multiple actions and events, including choirs, children’s theatres featuring traditional Christmas plays, and more.
What to do in Santorini on Christmas and New Year’s Eve
Simply strolling the cobblestone streets of Fira, Imerovigli, Oia, and other Santorini towns and villages is a fascinating experience. What to expect? Children running around, singing the carols at Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and getting home treats and money in return. Bands playing traditional music and musicians with bagpipes and violins inviting everybody to traditional Santorini dances.
Overwhelming aromas of freshly-baked Christmas cookies and New Year’s Eve cakes swirling in the air. People enjoy their time at open-air bars, treating their palate with mouth-watering cocktails and foods.
At the same time, prestigious hotels across Santorini are preparing special festive events and evenings, including New Year’s Eve celebrations with dining and live music involved.
So, after you are done wandering around the island and taking in the frisky vibes surrounding you, you can retreat to the pampering and luxury of your suite and admire the magnificent scenery with a cup of hot coffee, cocoa, or tea, before getting ready for an elegant celebration at your hotel premises or elsewhere!
Happy New Year!
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