Overtourism is something that has really come on my radar over the last several years. Worse is when I feel like I’m guilty. And this summer my family and I contributed – as we visited Santorini.
To be honest, I had no idea that Santorini was this crowded. But again, I was blindsided by what Venice has become since I had last visited 30 years ago. We knew Santorini was popular, take one look at Instagram and you are hard pressed not to find a photo from Santorini pop up but not THIS popular. The thousands of photos of attractive young women standing on a roof near the blue dome in Oia should have been my clue.
I was happy to read this morning that Greece is thinking of limiting the number of cruise ship visitors to Santorini. The article “Greece Travel Experts React to Proposed Cap on Cruisers to Santorini” briefly touched on the contribution that cruise ships, ferries from neighboring islands brining tourists over as well as increased flights all contributing to Santorini’s abundance of visitors.
Quite honestly I have a lot to say about Santorini. I have been sitting on my opinions since our visit to the island this past June. I was shocked at how crowded it was – and not in a good way. Part of me felt like there was something I was missing, was I the only one the world that felt that my visit to Santorini was a little bit disappointing – don’t get me wrong, the views are outstanding and the accommodations are perched in some pretty spectacular spots. But my visit made me stop and think about popular destinations around the world and the over crowding.
I have a larger blog post coming on this subject. I felt this way when we visited Venice last year. At least with Venice I had something to compare it to since I had visited there some 30 years ago. But Santorini was supposed to be magical – and with hundreds of tourists queuing for the perfect instagram photo – it lost a little of its lustre in my eyes. More to come!