How to Visit Santorini on a Budget

Santorini is one of the world’s most pictured and most beautiful islands, it attracts millions of visitors from all corners of the globe every year. However, Santorini is one of the most expensive European islands, so if you’re looking to visit Santorini on a budget, you’ll need to plan accordingly.

Luckily, our fantastic Santorini Budget Guide has lots of helpful tips on how to cut costs!

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A Guide To Santorini on a Budget

Best Time to Visit Santorini on Budget

Oia Santorini - 2 Days in Santorini
Oia, Santorini

Santorini is one of the few Greek islands that remains open during the winter months, so that’s an excellent time to visit. If you’re looking for cheap deals and cooler weather, the best times are April and November.

These months are fantastic because they’re the shoulder seasons, so it won’t be as hot and there are fewer crowds. However, you’ll still get excellent weather, a large mixture of bars and restaurants, and multiple tour options.

You can find superb budget deals if you visit outside of the summer months, and if you’re looking to keep your wallet/purse full – this is the best time to visit.

Planning a trip to Santorini: Check out my guides:

How to spend one day in Santorini

A detailed 2-day Santorini, itinerary.

Best islands near Santorini.

How to Get to Santorini on a Budget

conventional ferry in Greece

Santorini is one of Greece’s most popular islands, so traveling there can result in costly transportation prices. If you want to save some money, you should avoid fast ferries because they are much more expensive.

Instead, you should choose conventional ferries because they are reasonably affordable. The conventional ferry time between Athens and Santorini is around 8 hours, and the average ferry ticket costs 20-30 Euros. You can check the ferryhopper for the ferry timetable and the latest prices.

Alternatively, you could choose to fly to Santorini from Athens. During the off-season, there are many excellent budget options. Popular airlines include Ryanair, EasyJet, and Wizz Air. The flight time is 45 minutes.

You can find flights between Athens and Santorini for around 30-40 Euros, but only if you book in advance and you’re visiting in the low season. Therefore, either option is great if you’re visiting Santorini on a budget.

Where to Stay in Santorini on a Budget

If you’re looking to save money, you should avoid staying in places on the Caldera. There are various excellent budget options near the beaches of Kamari and Perissa. The island has plenty of backpacker hostels if you’re looking to save money.

Here are some excellent choices if you’re looking for Santorini hotels on a budget.

Stavros Villa: Stavros Villa is an excellent budget option on the island. You’ll find the family-run hotel on the outskirts of Fira near Perissa beach. Visitors will enjoy the swimming pool, private balconies, and sun terrace, offering tremendous Santorini views. Also, the hotel has excellent nearby restaurants and bars. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Rodakas Hotel: Rodakas Hotel is a fabulous budget hotel option. Visitors love the outdoor swimming pool, poolside restaurant, and central location. Red Beach – one of the island’s best beaches – is only a mile away from the hotel, just a short walk or drive. Also, there are heaps of nearby shops and restaurants. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Family Village Santorini: The Family Village is another superb option if you’re looking to save money. Even though the hotel is affordable, it offers a tremendous amount of facilities. These include private bathrooms, an outdoor swimming pool, and private parking. You’ll get air-conditioning in the rooms, ideal for having a break from the Santorini sun! Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

How to Get Around Santorini on a Budget

Santorini doesn’t have to be an expensive island to get around, and there are many superb transport options. In reality, if you’re visiting Santorini on a budget, you’ll want to avoid the taxis. These tend to be expensive on the island, but if you’re only on Santorini for a short time – it’s not a bad idea!

Here are some great budget options:

Use the public bus

The public bus is the ideal option for anyone on a budget. You can catch the bus from the airport to Santorini’s main areas, and you can get around the island at affordable prices. You can get the public bus to and from Fira to Santorini’s port and also access the most popular places on the island.

Rent a scooter

An excellent budget way to get around is via a scooter. You can rent a scooter for about 20 Euros per day. However, if you decide to ride a scooter, make sure your insurance covers accidents.

Many travelers face issues because they have a scooter accident and have to pay hundreds of dollars in medical treatment because their insurance didn’t cover them. So, if your insurance doesn’t cover scooter riding – you’ll find scooters aren’t as cheap as you thought.

Where to Eat in Santorini on a Budget 

If you’re looking to save money, you should avoid anything on the Caldera because that’s where you’ll find the most expensive food places. However, you’ll find that Greek cuisine doesn’t have to be costly. In fact, you can find some very affordable options.

Visitors who are on a budget tend to like souvlaki. It is one of Greece’s most famous meals, but it’s also affordable. Plus, another great option are the bakeries dotted all over the island. These bakeries are great if you’re visiting Santorini on a budget. Cheap sandwiches, pies, and slices of pizza, which can fill you up for the entire day – without breaking the bank!

If you’re out and about, bring your own water and buy drinks from the Kiosks instead of at bars and restaurants. Remember, you’ll pay considerably more for a can of Coke if it’s in a Santorini bar instead of a newsagent.

Save on Sightseeing

The archaeological site of Akrotiri

Santorini sightseeing tours can be costly, so you should avoid these if you’re on a budget. A popular sightseeing tour is the special ticket package, which includes the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Archaeological Sites of Akrotiri, and the Archeological Sites of Ancient Thera.

Usually, it is 18 Euros to visit all three, but with the special price ticket, you can visit all three for 14 Euros.

Free Things to Do in Santorini

Hike from Fira to Oia

Hiking from Fira to Oia in Santorini - Best Greek island to hike
Fira to Oia Hiking trail in Santorini

Walking from Fira to Oia is one of the best things to do on the island, and it is entirely free. Hikers enjoy a vast range of excellent views, and the hike is just over 6 miles and relatively easy for anyone with decent fitness levels.

Swim on one of the beaches

Red Beach - Santorini in 2 days
The Red Beach is a must in any Santorini Itinerary

Santorini is home to many idyllic, crystal clear water beaches. So, it is only normal – especially during the summer months – to take a dip in the sea. Famous beaches include Red Beach and Perissa Beach, perfect spots for anyone visiting Santorini on a budget.

Watch the sunset from Oia

Santorini - Best places to visit in greece
Oia, Santorini

If you’re looking to check out Santorini’s excellent sunsets, head to Oia, where you’ll find the most fabulous sunset views. Better still, it is totally free!

Climb to Profitis Ilias for the views

View from Profitis Ilias Monastery
View from Profitis Ilias Monastery

If you’re looking for majestic views of Santorini, you should climb up this mountain. You’ll find stunning views, and you won’t pay any money, just make sure you take plenty of water during the summer!

Visit the Akrotiri Lighthouse

Akrotiri Lighthouse Santorini

The Akrotiri Lighthouse is one of the best attractions on the island, and it is free to go up there. Watching a sunset from here is a treat. Plus, you can get superb panoramic photos of the island with almost 360-degree views.

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