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Want to see what Santorini is like in the winter? Watch this film!

What is Santorini like off season?

By: Tony Kariotis @iamgreece

Have you ever wondered what Santorini might be like in the middle of the winter? Little to no tourism, closed hotels, closed restaurants, just a quiet island, with incredible views.

Santorini Greece in the winter Visit Greece Tony Kariotis

In January of 2020 I set out to bring this to life, by shooting a film, showcasing exactly what it looks, sounds and feels like. I called it Naked Santorini. Naked of tourism, naked of noise. Just pure, Santorini.

I always want to shoot a quiet, stand still film capturing the raw screens and sounds of nature. I used to watch these films on TV or YouTube and just zone out to the unreal scenes and sounds.

I had the unique opportunity to visit Greece in the winter for the first time in 2019, and just a ferry boat ride away is stunning Santorini. I could only imagine what it would be like. Windy, rainy, cloudy, empty. All this was confirmed when I got to Athens and would check the weather daily for Santorini. It was also confirmed by watching the Instagram stories of my friend Nicoletta (@onequartergreek) who lived in Santorini at the time, year round!! The visuals in her stories and posts showed, dark skies, wind, rain.

I have never seen videos or photos of winters in Santorini, which made me want to go and shoot this film even more! The only visuals I had of Santorini were the day and a half I spent on the island in 2019!

winter in santorini greece travel greece by Tony Kariotis

So I booked my trip to Santorini only to be disappointed about an hour prior to departure that the ship will not sail due to wind and rain. So I had to go back to Athens. I tried again the following day, only to see the same results. No ships are sailing. Fly? Those were cancelled too. Plus, carrying all my stuff on a propeller plane would have been a hassle.

So now time is ticking as my return flight to the States is approaching which means less time to pull this film off.

I tried one more time, with only 2 days left before I have to fly home. I figured, get there, shoot as much as possible and fly back to Athens if need be if weather improves.

With 2 days to spare, I got on a 9pm ferry to Santorini. I dropped my things off in the cabin, went to have dinner in the dining area and then went to bed. They warned us that we will probably have a 3 hour delay but we will sail. I woke up at 6am only to look out the cabin window to see we HAVE NOT left yet!!! So this means I will have no time in Santorini because I have to return for my flight! So I called my airline... extend!!

Why didn't they wake us to tell us? So I went to the reception desk to see what was going on. The receptionist with a smile on his face said "Don't worry!! We will sail in 30 minutes!!" So I went back to the cabin, and attempted to sleep to pass the time. We eventually sailed. The first few hours were fine. The last 2 hours is something I hope you never experience!! Complete rocking back and forth, you could not walk straight or hold your balance unless you held on to something!! That being said, standing outside during this rocking, felt extremely peaceful. Watching the waves have at it, during complete sunshine.

So we made it to Santorini. I extended the trip a week, which gives me 5 days on Santorini. The weather during my 5 days there? Sunny, 55F / 13C, with little to no wind. It rained once for about 10 minutes. It was a drizzle!! It was perfect!!

The 5 days on Santorini shooting this film, is something I will never forget!! It was exactly what I was expecting. To walk around Oia, a village straight out of a fantasy story and have it to yourself, it was unreal. It made no sense, in a way.

I toured most of the island from Oia, all the way down to the Akrotiri lighthouse, as well a day tour to the volcano on Nea Kamena island. If you have not done this, next time you are on Santorini, make sure to do this! It only cost 20 euros, and usually has you back in about 3 hours. Watching the smoke rise on the island, is an image you won't ever forget.

I hope you enjoy the film as much as I enjoyed shooting it!! You can watch it anytime on my website:

You can also watch the trailer below:

You will see a barren Santorini, with very minimal people on it. The people you see for the most part are locals or workers, getting Santorini ready for the summer traffic! Use it as a meditative visual. Use it as background noise, or use it to take in Santorini, in a way most people have never seen before. The film is shot in full 4K resolution using one focal lens the entire time. You won't see anything zoom in or out. It'll feel like you are standing there. I highly recommend you watch it on a large display, it's not meant to watch on your phone. Otherwise you will lose all the details in the audio and the visuals.

If you do want to watch it on your TV via YouTube, here is the direct link to the 3 part series on YouTube.

[UPDATE] I am now including a link to watch The Complete Series, all 3 parts in 1 on YouTube: (Enjoy it on the big screen TV!) or tap below:

All that being said, enjoy!!


Here is where you can find me online:

IG: @iamgreece

Twitter: @iamgreece

TikTok: @iamgreece_

Facebook: @iamgreece.tony

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