Is Santorini Expensive? Yes… But This is How to Visit on a Budget!

Is Santorini Expensive

Is Santorini expensive to visit? We’ll make this easy for you… Yes! If you’re dreaming about a private cave pool or a cliffside view overlooking the caldera, then get ready to spend a lot of money. The good news is if you’re flexible with the dates, your Santorini dream doesn’t have to cost a fortune. After several visits to the island, we’ll explain exactly how to see Santorini on a budget. 

Consider the Time of Year  

The single best thing you can do to visit Santorini on a budget is to simply go in the swing season. After all, who is really trying to spend half their annual salary in one week?? 

Right before the summer months in April and May is the perfect time to go to Santorini. Also, from mid-September through the end of October is AMAZING! You will have warm days, cool nights, and the average cost of your trip will be significantly less. 

Is Santorini expensive to visit in the summer? Absolutely. You can still cut back some places, but every hotel, tour, and taxi will come with high rates. 

Remember that this is the most popular destination in Greece outside of Athens. If you’re worried about how much a trip to Santorini will hurt your wallet, then choosing the right dates can certainly help. 

Is Santorini Expensive to Visit

Is Santorini Expensive For Flights?

Not always! In fact, the first opportunity you’ll have to save money is by getting the best flight possible. We’ve become semi-experts on cheap flights, and have found countless deals over the years. If you’re new to using Skyscanner we urge you to go read our article about it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re coming from the United States, Europe, or Asia. The first step should be to search from your home airport to Santorini (check here). Having an idea of the easiest option (which is normally the most expensive) is always a good place to start.

Next, search from your closest airport to Athens International. This is because the cheapest budget airlines have jumper flights between Athens and Santorini. We cover this exact flight route in our post here.

The following search should be from Santorini to everywhere, and direct for the whole month you are planning to visit. Yes, we know this sounds weird!

However, this step will show you other countries in Europe that offer direct flights to Santorini. This way you may be able to fly somewhere first for cheaper and skip a stop in Athens. 

Check out the photo below to see the different places in Europe with direct flights to Santorini. For example, it might be much less expensive to book a flight from your home airport to London, than continue to Santorini from.

This definitely takes some time to search and play around with the dates that work for you. Yet, it could save you a ton of money and time in the long run! We’ve used this technique many times and have even stayed a couple days en route in a city we’ve wanted to explore.

Skyscanner

Best Hotel For Your Santorini Budget 

When considering “is Santorini expensive to visit,” the next big factor is accommodations. Hotels are usually one of the larger expenses you will have to figure out. Don’t worry though! Just like with flights, there are some amazing deals to be had if you book in advance outside of peak season.

Keep in mind that the cheapest accommodations with the best reviews will sell out first. Obviously, there’s a reason they are so popular! Check our post that covers the entire island and the best places to stay here

Fira is the main town and a good option for those visiting Santorini on a budget. You’ll be a close walk to the amazing views, inexpensive food options, and the local bus station.

We typically use Booking.com as we get the best deals with our Genius discount. We also like that many of the hotels on this website offer free cancellation which can help if your plans change.

You can also search platforms like Expedia, Agoda, and rental companies like VRBO. Start with the whole map view below are and filter for options under 100 Euros per night. 

Booking Hotels

If you’d like to lower your Santorini budget to 60 Euros or less, you can see there are still plenty of options (more pop up when you zoom in). Again, you’ll want to book as far in advance as possible to secure a good rate. 

Booking Hotel

This local hotel is a great example of an affordable option on Santorini. It may not have a classic Santorini caldera view, but it’s ONLY $54 per night, has amazing reviews, and is a great location! 

Santorini on a Budget Hotel

Budget Hotel Deal

This is the swing season price before the crazy months of June, July, and August. When moving your dates to the middle of the high season, the price will almost double! However, it’s still not terrible considering you are staying on one of the most famous islands in the world.

Summer Hotel Rates

So is Santorini expensive to visit during the summer, in a luxury hotel room with a view? Sure, but that’s to be expected!

We’re not even saying not to do that if it’s your idea of the ultimate holiday! Our goal is simply to show you that THERE ARE ways to travel to Santorini on a budget.

Santorini on a budget Guide

Is Santorini Expensive For Food & Drinks?

That all depends! There are countless fine dining restaurants that overlook the beautiful island. Here you can expect to spend 20 to 40 Euros (or more) on a main course. Lunch and dinner out could even cost you as much as it would at an upscale restaurant in London or New York. 

Still, if you’re looking for some budget-friendly options, then Santorini has those as well. The first thing to look for is the family run tavernas. These local restaurants always have the best food and we actually prefer them over the more expensive places. 

Our perfect lunch order starts with a Greek salad to share. Some of our go-to dishes for our main course are fresh fish, moussaka, or pastitsio. Chicken and lamb are also delicious if you’re in the mood for grilled meat. 

Of course, this has to come with an ice-cold Mythos beer! This meal typically comes out to be around 35 Euros for both of us on Santorini. 

Two other ways to eat on a Santorini budget are to hit the local bakeries and gyro spots. Instead of eating three expensive meals out a day, we would break it up like this. 

For breakfast, head straight to the bakery for a spinach pastry and coffee. Our favorite on the island is Svoronos Bakery where they have all the sweet and savory breakfast treats you can imagine. 

We would grab our items and sit on a bench overlooking the Aegean Sea. This way you can get an amazing caldera view with breakfast for just a few euros! With Santorini being so expensive this is a great way to save money. 

Our second Santorini budget option is a quick gyro or takeaway Greek salad. Honestly, we cant even begin to tell you how many gyros we’ve eaten in the Greek islands. They are massive, delicious, and shouldn’t cost you more than 3-5 euros anywhere in Greece.

You can check out our complete guide to Greek food here. Jumping on a Santorini food tour can also be a fun activity to try a bunch of local specialties at once.

Is Santorini Expensive For Food

Is Santorini Expensive For Drinks

More Santorini on a Budget Tips 

Santorini Bus: Is Santorini Greece expensive to get around? Not as much as you’d think!

We recommend taking local transportation instead of a taxi. Surprisingly, the island has an extremely well-connected bus system. 

Using public transportation is a great way save some money on a rental car and still see all the attractions. Read all our tips for the bus in Santorini here. It has stops in fabulous places like Red BeachOia VillageAmoudi Bay, and Pyrgos.

Rent a Car: While the bus can be a perfectly fine option, rental cars can be cheap if you book ahead in off-season. Just know they will be in super high demand during the summer, and it will be more of a pain to drive during this time anyway. 

We paid around 30 Euros per day in May and saw the whole island with a vehicle! This can be a fun adventure, even if you just decide to get one for the day. Here’s exactly how to get a good rental car deal in Santorini.

Hike from Fira to Oia: Not only is this the BEST free thing to do on Santorini, but it was one of our favorite hikes we’ve done in Greece. You will get incredible views over the volcanic island which goes between the two most famous villages. 

When you get to Oia you can watch sunset, and then take the bus back. Here’s our full guide for the Fira to Oia hike. Also, be sure to stop by a local bakery to grab sandwiches for your walk.

Santorini Winery: If there’s one thing to spend money on in Santorini it would be a visit to the winery (know it’s expensive). Santo Wines on is the perfect place to try some local spirits and take in the remarkable views. 

However, if this isn’t in your Santorini budget, we have a solution for you! It’s easy to stop into a shop to grab some local wine or beer for a fraction of what you would pay eating out. You can even grab a bottle and head to our ultimate sunset viewpoint here

Boat Cruise: Boat tours can be expensive, but know that there are plenty of different options to choose from. You’ll find high-end sunset catamaran tours (like this one) that go to the most beautiful beaches. 

There are also more inexpensive sailing trips to the volcano in the middle of the caldera. This is an amazing way to get out on the water and see the unique landscape without breaking the bank.

More Islands: Are you continuing on to more islands after exploring Santorini? Then you may want to take a look at the slow ferries to save some money. Here’s a few of our favorites to check out in the Cyclades.

The fast ferries are obviously great if you’re on a short itinerary. However, the cheapest way to island hop in Greece is to take advantage of the slow boat routes. This is how we got a ferry ride from Santorini to Milos for just 19 Euros

Is Santorini Expensive to Visit Guide

Is Santorini Worth the Money?

We have traveled all over Greece and now visited over 20 magical islands. With that said, there is truly nowhere like Santorini! Read our full guide to Santorini here to see the best things to do on your first visit.

So is it worth the money? We certainly think so. Nevertheless, we would NEVER plan a trip to Santorini in the summer. Outside of Mykonos, this is the most expensive island to visit in Greece. On top of the high prices, you’ll find that the crowds in July and August can be unbearable. 

Picking the cheapest month in the shoulder seasons isn’t just about saving money, but it’s also just a better overall experience. Luckily, during this time, you’ll be able to cut down your travel costs as well.

If you’re deciding between Mykonos and Santorini, we would choose the latter every single time. The best part is you can easily include one of the lesser-known islands to visit after using the ferry system (here’s our tips).

By now you know that the island of Santorini can be very expensive! Hopefully, our article showed you there are cheaper options so the cost of a trip isn’t too crazy. 

Santorini on a Budget

Have any questions about our trip or want to share your own tips for visiting Santorini on a budget? Do you think Santorini is expensive to visit? Let us know in the comments below! 

Safe Travels, 
Brigitte & Jake

Explore all our articles on Greece and the many different islands we cover such as Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete & Milos!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

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Santorini

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2 Comments

  1. Christina
    February 20, 2024 / 7:54 am

    Wow! I am planning to go to Santorini this year and glad that you were able to share these budget tips! Would love to try their local moussaka and pastitsio!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      February 20, 2024 / 9:07 am

      Yes, it’s definitely worth seeing in the swing season. Glad our tips could help!

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