In Deals, Planning, Trips & Tips, Uncategorized on
May 7, 2016

Santorini on a Budget

Perissa beach at dawn

Confession, I became obsessed with the idea of visiting Santorini after seeing The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants. The buildings, the beaches, the sunsets…I was in complete awe of the place. So obviously, I came to a quick realization that I had to go. But once I shared my dream of visiting Santorini with friends and family, I was quickly told that Santorini was expensive. Regardless, I was eager and determined to visit Santorini on a budget.

Santorini on a Budget

The opportunity to visit Greece finally came when we chose it as our honeymoon destination. However, we had to plan wisely, considering we were paying for half of our own wedding. So with a little help from our Honeyfund and with a little research, we were able to plan our dream trip to Santorini. We did it on a budget and didn’t have to compromise on comforts or all around fabulousness. 

santorini poolside

Santorini on a Budget…

Fabulous & Affordable Accommodations

The island of Santorini is loaded with incredible accommodations, ranging from cave dwelling hostels, homey Air B&B’s and underrated hotels. You shouldn’t have to compromise by visiting a “cheaper” destination when you have your heart set on a place as wonderful as Santorini. With accommodations being one of the most expensive components of travel, here are my recommendations on where to stay in Santorini that is easy on the wallet.

Caveland Hostel 

Caveland Hostel Santorini

This hostel is more like a hotel. With rooms ranging from private doubles and dorm rooms in authentic cave dwellings, Caveland Hostel provides a true Santorini experience. The hostel is complete with a huge pool, dinners at a traditional Greek Tavernas, and organized events with other travelers. The sense of community at Caveland makes for a great environment for both backpackers and solo travelers alike. The location is in the middle of the island, with being 5 kilometers away from Fira, the capital of the island. Staying at this hostel is the perfect way to keep your trip to Santorini on a budget!

Price for 3 nights in 10 Bed Dorm: 45 Euros/$54 USD

Blue Waves Hotel

Blue Waves Hotel Kamari

This beautiful beach front hotel in Kamari is located next to some of the best restaurants on the island, making it an ideal home base to enjoy the peaceful seaside and keep a happy belly. Additionally, if you plan to keep costs down, each en suite is complete with a full kitchenette: perfect for families or those who like cooking at home. Prefer the pool over the black sandy beaches? Don’t worry, the hotel is complete with a gorgeous pool with a snack bar and unobstructed views of the Aegean Sea. Highly recommend renting a car or taking the local K-Tel bus to get around the island.

Price for 3 nights in Apartment: $197 USD

Merovigli Village Studio Air B&B Rental

The location of this Air B&B is absolute perfection. Imerovigli is a beautiful resort town with close proximity to Firastefani and Fira Town. The studio apartment is beautiful and fully equipped. So whether you choose to hang out at your studio apartment’s pool or party the night away in Fira, it makes for fun time on the beautiful island. Not to mention, a great way to keep Santorini on a budget.

Cost for three nights for Air B&B Rental – $199 USD

How to Get Around Santorini on a Budget

oia

santoini on a budget

Santorini is actually a pretty large island, so having a plan of attack on how you’ll cover it all on the cheap is important. Luckily, there is an affordable option to check out all the Santorini hot spots!

Take the K-Tel Public Bus to scoot around the island. The most expensive leg at most will set you back 2 euros, so make sure you keep those 2 euro coins around! Additionally, the bus runs every half hour and runs to all the major stops: Oia, Fira, Kamari, and even the airport!

What to eat to keep Santorini on a budget…

santorini on a budget gyro

The street food in Greece is fantastic! It is also extremely affordable, with gyros averaging 2-4 euros. I highly recommend checking out the street food in Fira Town Square (Nicks’ the Grill is excellent). All the options are incredible and extremely easy on the wallet.

If you’ve had your fair share of street food, dining out in restaurants can be very affordable. I highly recommend going off the beaten path to either Kamari or Perissa for true authentic Greek cuisine. Kamari and Perissa cater more towards the locals, as opposed to Oia or Firastefani, who cater more towards tourists, which may result in more expensive dining options.

Kind of random but please get a Greek salad at every meal. It will change your life. The feta…..

greek salad

Another great option to keep food costs low is to have a picnic. Buying produce, meats, and snacks at local markets is very affordable and a great way to stick to your budget. Load up on yummy fruits, drinks, breads, whatever your heart desires. Enjoy a tasty meal while enjoying the picturesque views.

Affordable Things to do in Santorini

The one thing I loved most was the abundance of free and affordable things to do in Santorini. All the activities listed below are fun and perfect for doing Santorini on a budget!

Cliff Jump at Amoudi Bay

amoudi bay

Located below Oia, you can take the stairs marked Amoudi Bay to check out the adorable fisherman’s village. If you’re brave enough, jump off the cliffs and into the warm Aegean sea for a cheap thrill. If you happen to work up an appetite, the tavernas along the bay offer fresh catch at a variety of prices.

Hike from Fira to Oia

imerovigli alley way

If you want to take in some cardio with incredible views, look no further than breaking a sweat along the Fira-Oia trail. The hike takes about three hours to complete one-way and is best done at early morning or dusk.

Play at the Black Sandy Beaches 

Perissa beach at dawn

Perfect for a chill day, head to the black sand beaches of Perissa or Kamari. Luckily, it isn’t crowded and the restaurants in the area are more affordable than those in Fira and Oia. If you don’t have your own mode of transportation, take the affordable K-Tel bus down to the beach. At most, it will set you back a whopping 2 euros.

Watch the Sunset from Oia Castle

santorini sunset

Setting yourself up at the Oia Castle is perhaps one of the most coveted locations to catch the world famous Santorini sunset. Get there early (like an 1-2 hours before sunset), bring a picnic and your camera to fully enjoy a magical evening.

Go on Your Own Photography Tour

santorini travel guide

santorini at sunset

One of the attributes that makes Santorini so beautiful is the unique architecture. Release your inner photographer and snap some pics of the white-washed buildings, dome churches, sunsets, stunning architecture, beaches, and even local doggies on rooftops.

dog in oia

Rent a Quad to Explore the Entire Island

santorini quad rental

Quads are pretty affordable to rent (especially if there are two of you!) at about 35 Euros/$40 USD for the day . This is a great way to reach Oia, Perissa, Kamari, and even the outskirts of Akrotiri. So buddy up to cut the costs in half and explore the island on your own accord!

In Conclusion…

As you can see, Santorini on a budget can easily be done. Eating costs are low because street food is better than sit down restaurants. There is an abundance of free or incredibly affordable fun things to do. Wonderful accommodations can be found at very reasonable rates. So next time you hear someone tell you that Santorini is too expensive to visit, ignore them. It’s hands down one of the most beautiful places on Earth and can be done on the cheap!

santorini on a budget sunset

Additional Saving Tips to consider…

  • For the love of God, bring sunscreen. It is very expensive on the island, like 20 Euros/$23 USD for a generic brand. And the prices are that high everywhere so bring extra sunscreen, just in case!
  • If you plan on consuming alcohol, prices are cheaper to drink at restaurants or going to backpacker bars with BOGO happy hours. They do sell alcohol at the markets, however, it’s very expensive: vodka averages over 20 Euros/$23 USD for a small bottle. When we dined out, the restaurant owners would sometimes send us an extra carafe of wine at no additional charge, just because.
  • Taking the ferry is very affordable. However, in order to get into town, you’ll need to take a transfer. It averages about 15 Euros/$17 USD for your party. You may want to research before arriving to see if you can find a more feasible way to reach your home base, for example: see if your hotel or hostel has a pickup service.
  • If you fly to Santorini, take the K-Tel bus for at most 2 euros to reach your accommodations.
  • Pick a hotel with breakfast included. The Greek’s do breakfast right: it’s healthy, filling, and down right delicious.
  • Visit in shoulder season, such as April, May or October. Cost of hotels are dramatically reduced.

What to pack for Santorini

Well, there you have it sports fans. I hope this helps you do Santorini on a budget. So go ahead, buy the ticket and enjoy your fabulous vacay in heaven on Earth!

Thanks again for stopping by and if we’re not friends on the social meeds, follow along!

Xo,

Chloe

santorini on a budget

santorini on a budget

what to wear in santorini

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  • Looks amazing! Great tips!

    • Thank you Debby!! Xo

  • jinfantiontrumble

    Loved this article! We splurged on a really nice hotel in Imerovigli but you’re right, Santorini does not need to be expensive. And I totally agree with you about the Greek salads, we had one at every meal too!

  • Natasha

    My husband and I are heading to Santorini on June 17th! We are considering staying in Exo Gonia near Pyrgos or do you think we should stay in Kamari? We will be there for 4 days and plan on renting a quad for the duration of our stay. Is it easy to park them? I’m assuming you park them anywhere like a car? Did you carry a crossbody/backpack everywhere or did you lock your belongings in your quads storage compartment? We are planning on cliff jumping, hiking from Fira to Oia, going to Akrotiri and Red Beach. Anything you want to add would be so informative and helpful.Thank you!

  • Those hostels look gorgeous, and totally not what I’m used to seeing in hostel accommodation. I’ve never seen Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, but I’ve wanted to go to the Greek Islands ever since I saw Mama Mia! on stage in London. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! #FlyAwayFriday

  • Traveling to such a dreamy and beautiful destination on a budget friendly trip sounds GREAT! Also a fantastic place to honeymoon! 🙂

  • I’m all about traveling on a budget, so it’s good to know to know it can be done in Greece! Santorini has always been a dream destination

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Caveland Hostel but that AirBnB looks pretty cozy too.

  • Santorini seems like the perfect place to spend your honeymoon. I’d travel to Greece just for the food. I love gyros. #flyawayfriday

  • This was amazingly helpful, Chloe. I am planning a trip to Santorini this summer and it puts my mind at ease that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! #flyawayfriday

  • Santorini has been on my dream list for a while! I love Greek food and nearly obsessed with the tiny blue & white houses! Glad to hear it is possible to do it on a budget. Oh and I totally love the quads! It sounds like so much fun!

  • Lyn – A Hole in my Shoe

    That food and those blue waters… how could I not want to head to Santorini? Great post.

  • Wendy Taing

    OMG! Your trip looked so dreamy! Greece is definitely on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing info about the public transportation, that was super helpful! #flyawayfriday

  • Ah, what a beautiful place! Who wouldn’t want to go? I am surprised at the accommodation prices you quoted in here. Are this prices for the low season or a starting price? I know of a lot of places that increase prices (sometimes a lot) during high season. #FlyAwayFriday

  • Love C and D

    Santorini looks absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful photography too I might add. I was surprised at how cheap the quad bike hire was, what a great way to spend a day seeing the sights. European bus prices always seem to amaze me at how cheap they are (Malta is the same) and definitely a great way to get around and mingle with the locals. I would love to visit Santorini one day and will definitely remember these tips to ensure we stick to a budget. Thanks for sharing and happy #FlyAwayFriday

  • Tracy McConnachie Collins

    I haven’t been to Santorini yet but it is great to know it can be done on a budget! This is a destination we are hoping to visit in a few years when we return to Europe but for now it remains a bit of a dream destination! #FlyAwayFriday

  • Insider Families

    When planning our honeymoon I wanted to go to Turkey & Greece, and
    my husband wanted to go to Hawaii so we settled on Italy. So I’ve made it to Positano and the Amalfi Coast, which seems very similar, but not to Santorini. It looks beautiful! I enjoyed reading about it and your beautiful photos.

  • Bryna | Dotted Line Travels

    I’d really love to go to Santorini one day and I think your post is very helpful if I ever make it out there. It’s been a bucket list item for me to go and take photos of those stunning blue roofs! Eating good street food would just make it that much better 🙂

  • Krysti Jaims

    I couldn’t have read a more perfect guide for Santorini! The money-saving tips are incredibly helpful and I wish I had of read this before I went the first time! I absolutely plan to go back though so I’ll be bookmarking this. Oh how I miss the views and gyros!

  • Santorini has been somewhere I’ve been dying to go for a while now. It’s been super helpful reading through your tips to do it on a budget- maybe it isn’t off limits after all!

  • Janine Good

    This is fab. I have such fond memories of Santorini. My engagement photos were taken there! I like your budget-friendly options! I did the quad and absolutely loved it! Oia is such a gorgeous place for a sunset too. Memories memories 🙂

  • This is great – I’ve been wanting to go to Santorini and will now be able to employ your tips! Looks like you had a beautiful trip. #flyawayfriday

  • Tiffany

    Oh I want to go to Greece! But oh my gosh when I do I will certainly pack the sunscreen! Great and dreamy photos! 🙂 #flyawayfriday

  • Kathy James

    Thanks for sharing this. I thought Santorini would be out of my budget but you have shown me otherwise. I love Airbnb as you get to meet so many amazing hosts or/and homes. It nice also to know about the bus around the Island. I am eager to go as I see so many beautiful photos. Hopefully this summer. #FlyAwayFriday

  • nattiekaf

    I loved cruising around Santorini on a quad, it was such a fun and easy way to get around and see the island!
    #flyawayfriday

  • I can’t even imagine doing Santorini on a budget so this is super helpful! Love all the darling photos! xo

  • Young And Undecided

    Thank you so mich for this! Santorini has always been a dream of mine but I have also considered it to be a really explensive place! Thanks for the tips x

  • Anna

    “kind of ghetto”? Get over yourself and your ignorance, spoiled little white girl

  • Janet Soto

    I loved this!!!! your a gem and easy to read! I travel everywhere yet Greece on my list 9/29-!0/5…I will start in Santorini 4 nights then to Athens “maybe squeeze in another island depending on ferry schedules. i love having my own kitchenette in case so your idea was fab. Also you answered my transportation decision since i was trying to avoid car rental. I love the bus since I am a big NYC gal. i will be flying in from Brussels/Belgium…oops no from Budapest. i want to retire in Buda. Enjoy many appreciations.

  • Emmi Tuomisto

    I found this blog since i am at the moment in Santorini with an extremely tight budget. It can be done but honestly it’s much more difficult in here than many other destinations. Of course what is a tight budget for another, might be luxury to another. I’m trying to remind myself to enjoy everything that is free here: sun and extremely beautiful landscapes.

  • Hey Chloe,

    This.Is.Awesome!

    Found this post via Pinterest and instantly had to pin it. You even discovered Caveland Hostel, this is amazing!!!

    Keep up and the fab work and congrats on your little baby – just saw it on Instagram <3

    Safe travels and journey,
    Matt

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