Solo Female Travel in Santorini: Is it Safe?

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Santorini-what a gem! I loved visiting Santorini as a solo traveler, although it was not meant to be that way. I had plans to travel to Greece with 3 other friends, but by the time departure rolled around, no one could make the trip. In true solo girl fashion, I went anyways-and am sooo glad I did!

Santorini is one of those iconic bucket list destinations, which usually means it is going to be crowded and expensive. It is also known as a couple’s destination and a great destination for a romantic getaway.

I went into the trip expecting Santorini to be completely overrated, especially Oia but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the atmosphere despite the crowds and price tag.

While Santorini might not be for everyone, I would absolutely visit Santorini solo again. I loved the delicious Greek cuisine, charming villages, and relaxed island atmosphere, but there are a few things I wouldn’t compromise on, such as accommodation (more on that later in the post) when traveling to Santorini solo.

In this post, I’ve answered some of the most popular questions about solo female travel in Santorini to help you decide if Santorini is a good solo female travel destination for you!

This post will help you know what to expect, tell you the best areas to stay, and give you some personal insight into my experience and what could have made it even better.

Is Santorini a Good Choice For a Solo Trip?

If you’re wondering, “is Santorini safe for solo female travelers?” The answer is YES! 

In general, Santorini is great for a solo trip – by using common safety protocols, you’ll feel safe the entire time you’re there. Plus, there’s no shortage of stunning scenery, from breathtaking sunsets and beaches to white-washed buildings with blue domes- Santorini is a photographer’s dream!

In terms of solo exploration, you won’t run out of things to do in Santorini and other Greek Islands. Explore archaeological sites, museums, and small villages, or even enjoy spa experiences and yoga retreats. 

The gorgeous scenery is an easy reason why you’ll enjoy solo hiking, boat cruises, diving excursions, and beach-going. I am not hesitant to say, that Santorini is one of the best places in Greece for solo travel!

On the other hand, Santorini solo travel can be costly, especially during the tourist season. The crowds can also be out of hand, particularly in summer, and it gets HOT!

Solo travelers may find the nightlife in Santorini a bit limited – while there are bars and clubs, the bar scene might feel more romantic or group-oriented. I rarely participate in nightlife when I travel solo, so it’s not a big draw for me. I prefer a glass of wine overlooking a gorgeous sunset to a busy nightclub any day.

Public transportation options are limited, so if you want to enjoy “nightlife” outside of where you are staying, you will need to make sure you have transportation. Taxis are expensive, and most buses stop running at 9 p.m., so you may need to rent a car or hire a driver to experience the island after hours.

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Overall, Santorini is best for:

  • Romantic trips: Couples looking for a romantic getaway will find Santorini’s scenery and ambiance ideal.
  • History buffs: Those interested in ancient history and traditional Greek culture will appreciate the island’s rich heritage.
  • Photography and nature lovers: The stunning landscapes and unique architecture make Santorini a paradise for photographers and nature lovers.
  • Luxury travelers: Travelers who enjoy high-end experiences, such as luxury accommodations, fine dining, and wellness retreats, will find plenty to indulge in.
  • Adventure seekers: Those looking for outdoor activities like hiking, sailing, and diving will find many options to keep them engaged.

Where Should I Stay as a Solo Female Traveler in Santorini

For solo travelers visiting Santorini, where you stay will depend on your personal preferences. There are no villages or areas in Santorini that are considered dangerous for solo female travelers. 

Each area has its own unique charm, so your choice may depend on whether you prioritize sightseeing, nightlife, beach access, or a quieter setting.

These are the most popular areas to stay and what they are best for.

Fira: The capital of Santorini and the nightlife hub. Fira offers a central location with easy access to restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s also a hub for public transportation, making it convenient for exploring the island. Fira has a touristy vibe with lots of souvenir shops, but it is a great location if visiting without a rental car.

Oia: Known for its stunning sunsets and iconic blue dome views. It’s quieter compared to Fira but more lively than Imerovigli. Oia offers plenty of charm with its narrow streets, art galleries, and upscale dining options. The streets of Oia get packed at sunset, but it has a higher-end vibe than Fira. Oia is on the tip of Santorini with stunnign caldera views. It’s the most expensive area, but you have to visit Oia while in Santorini- it’s iconic.

Imerovigli: Known for its caldera views (the volcano crater) and quieter ambiance, Imerovigli offers a more serene stay while still being close to Fira. There are no sandy beaches here, but it’s ideal if you’re looking for a more peaceful retreat and stunning views. It is within walking distance of Fira and all of its activities.

Perissa: If you prefer a beach setting and beach clubs, Perissa is a great choice. It has a long black sand beach lined with tavernas and cafes, providing a relaxed atmosphere and residential feel. It’s also well-connected by bus to other parts of the island. 

Kamari: Similar to Perissa, Kamari also has a black sand beach and a lively promenade with various dining and nightlife options. It’s slightly more affordable compared to Oia and Fira. You would probably want to rent a car if you stayed here and wanted to tour the whole island.

Watch out for this Taxi Scam: An official taxi driver quoted me a price. I agreed, but then he asked me to share the taxi with two others and charged each of us the same price. I was annoyed he refused to allow the three passengers to split the cost he quoted me; instead, he insisted on $20 per person for a 12-minute ride. We negotiated down to $50 but still felt completely ripped off!

I spent over a week in Santorini (3 nights in Santorini is a perfect amount of time to enjoy the island) and stayed in Fira (Thera) and Oia on the west side, the caldera side of the island.

I loved Oia, thanks to my hotel, the Esperanza Santorini Hotel. Fira was more touristy and not as clean and posh as Oia, but I also did not like my accommodation (it has since closed). 

Oia definitely gave romance vibes, but it also has all of the best photo spots. As a self-tographer, I knew I wanted to take as many photos as I could, and being within walking distance from my desired photo spots was the best way to arrive early, beat the crowds, and get the shots. 

I did not mind the relaxed nature of Oia and would stay here again on a return trip. This area gets packed during the day with tourists, but after an early morning walk to enjoy the narrow alleys tourist free, I relaxed at my hotel during the afternoon. Many shops and restaurants close by 8 p.m., so it is not great for nightlife, but it’s wonderful for solo travelers who want to relax, enjoy their own company, and don’t mind stairs! 

I am glad I splurged on an Oia hotel. I only stayed there for three nights and then went to a cheaper option in Fira (Thera), but it was dingy and in a congested area with no possibility of getting away from the crowds. This atmosphere ruined my experience, so spending the money to enjoy a safe, clean, well-established hotel was the right decision for me.

How Safe is Santorini for Solo Female Travelers?

With a low crime rate and friendly locals, Santorini is safe for solo female travelers. Not to mention, this is a popular tourist destination, so there will always be other tourists around. Santorini is at the top of the list for solo travel destinations! It is one of my favorite trips I have taken.

Greece, in general, was a great experience for me as a solo traveler (I spent a month total in Greece and went to Naxos, Paros, Athens, Meteora, and a few others).

Is it safe to walk alone in Santorini?

In general, it is quite safe to walk along in Santorini. However, you should still be aware of your surroundings at night. Avoid isolated alleys and beaches after dark when they become less populated.

Is the nightlife safe in Santorini for solo females?

The nightlife is generally very safe for solo female travelers in Santorini. If you stick to the more populated areas like Fira and Oia, you’ll find well-lit streets with lots of foot traffic even well into the night. 

Make sure to be aware of your surroundings. As a solo female, you will draw attention from men. I read some reviews that mentioned handsy men at clubs like Koo Club, but I can not speak from experience as I have never been. My idea of nightlife centers around rooftops and cocktail bars and I never encountered a sketcy situation but was always back to my hotel by 10 p.m.

Ammoudi Bay

What Precautions Should I Take When Traveling Alone in Santorini?

As with any destination, you’ll want to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep your belongings safe by using a cross-body bag you can keep close to your body, especially in crowded areas.

Be wary of distractions and over-friendly strangers to help avoid common tourist scams.

Make sure to stay in a well-reviewed accommodation. 

Only take reputable public transportation, and always agree on the fare beforehand or ensure the meter is used. You will see the official taxis at official taxi stands.

You should also watch out for fast drivers, especially at night. The streets can be very dark, and many of them don’t have sidewalks. 

You should also avoid staying alone on unpopulated beaches after sunset. Stick to the more popular beaches and only go during the day.

Trust Your Instincts! If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation that makes you uncomfortable

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The Best Things To Do as a Solo Traveler in Santorini

Not only is Santorini safe for solo female travelers, but there are plenty of things to do alone! If you’re traveling to Greece alone, check out some of my favorite activities below. 

Visit Oia

Oia is one of the most beautiful places in Greece. This coastal town boasts white-washed houses, rugged clifftops, and gorgeous ocean vistas. This is the perfect place to explore on foot—and maybe get lost for an afternoon!

If you love stunning scenery and solo adventures, hiking from Fira to Oia is a must-do. This 6-mile cliffside trail takes about 5 hours to hike, but you’ll be rewarded with dramatic coastal scenery and glimpses of stunning seaside towns. You might even meet new people along the hike!

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Sunset Watching

While in Oia, watching the sunset should be at the top of your to-do list. Visit the Oia Castle for the best views as the sun goes down. As you peak over the caldera (also known as the volcanic crater), you can see the white houses turn shades of gold and red as the sky changes color, too. While you might think of this as a couple’s activity, this is the perfect activity during solo travel to Santorini.

Red Beach

This volcanic sand beach is one of the most impressive on the island of Santorini. Just like its name, the sand here is red, and it’s surrounded by red hills and volcanic rocks. If you love snorkeling, this is the place to do so.

For a black sand beach, check out Perivolos Beach—it is the longest beach on the island. Kamari Beach is another excellent option, with dark gray sand and volcanic surroundings. 

Visit the Active Volcano

Santorini is home to an active volcano that has created, destroyed, and reshaped this island and others around the Aegean. Located on the island of Nea Kameni, this volcano can only be approached via boat tour. Once you reach the island, explore the black and red lava stones along the ashen land. 

Due to the volcano’s heat, you can also enjoy the natural hot springs near the crater, located on the island of Palea Kameni—this is another common stop along a boat tour.

Explore Akrotiri

If you love history, Akrotiri is one of the best things to do in Santorini. The ancient city of Akrotiri was constructed around 4500 BC and buried into the ground when a volcano erupted in 1650 BC. Today, you can explore these ancient ruins to understand the history of this island—it’s essentially Greece’s version of Pompeii!

Sample Seafood at Ammoudi Bay

The small harbor of Ammoudi is right underneath the hill where Oia is located. This quaint town has some of the freshest seafood in Greece, so it’s worth visiting for the food alone. Come here for dinner, then stay for the sunset – it’s less crowded than watching the sunset from Oia!

Ancient Thera

This archeological site is perched on top of Meso Vouno Mountain at a height of 365 meters. As a former Lacedaemonian colony dating back to the 8th century BC, these ruins house former cemeteries, churches, temples, theaters, and baths. This was also one of the first places to adopt the Phoenician alphabet. These ruins will make you feel like you stepped back in time!

Hit up the Nightlife

For the best party scene, book a hotel in Fira! From gorgeous restaurants to thumping nightclubs and quaint pubs, there’s something here for everyone. Even solo, you’ll have a great time exploring Fira’s bars and clubs while meeting new people – just make sure you drink responsibly and let a friend know where you’re going. 

Relax!

Probably the best thing to do in Santorini for solo travelers is to relax! Why not splurge- book a luxury hotel to enjoy the serene setting and soak up the Mediterranean sun while having some much-deserved “me” time!

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If you are not sure how to spend your time in Santorini, check out this three-day solo itinerary. I give options for how to spend three days based on different preferences. Overall, Santorini is a beautiful island, one I always felt safe in, and one I would absolutely return to!

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