‘Pretty’ Greek island is an affordable and less crowded alternative to Santorini

Souvlaki, sunsets and black sand beaches, it’s no wonder that Santorini is one of the world’s most romantic holiday destinations. But a break on the island doesn’t come cheap.

Along with Mykonos, Santorini is one of Greece’s most expensive islands with prices often upwards of £1,000 per person for a week’s stay.

Its popularity can also make it a little overcrowded. The island is a leading cruise destination and thousands of passengers are dropped off each day.

One tourist who visited recently complained that the island was packed with “super rude tourists” that ruined their experience.

Luckily, the expert travel team at Expedia have selected the ideal destination dupe for Santorini. Gorgeous Paros is a cheaper and quieter alternative.

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As there are no direct flights from the UK and many other major European countries to Paros, the pretty island doesn’t experience the crowds that Santorini gets.

Parikia is Paros’ main town and the starting point for many tourists. ‘Mairwen1’ wrote on Tripadvisor: “I loved Parikia. It also feels less crowded and not as commercialised.”

‘Gnitelrene’ said: “Pretty Parikia. This is not just a tacky tourist area, as locals still live here, go about their business and close their shops for a few hours a day.”

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Lefkes is one of the island’s more traditional villages, situated in the mountains. It’s a gorgeous place to watch the sunset or sample local cuisine.

While Paros’s beaches aren’t as famous as Santorini’s, the island still has a breathtaking coastline. Kolymbithres Beach has golden sand and it’s a great place for watersports.

Santa Maria beach is one of the island’s most popular beaches and it has several beach bars for tourists who want to recline with a cocktail.

Don’t leave without sampling some traditional dishes such as baked chickpeas, rice and zucchini or string beans with garlic.

Want to explore on foot? Don’t miss one of Europe’s most walkable cities that has a completely pedestrianised Old Town.

Looking for a winter staycation? A pretty seaside town is one of this year’s best seasonal destinations.

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