If you mention Santorini to most people they will often tell you how expensive it is, and is only a destination for those with money to burn or a newly joined couple intent on splashing out on their idyllic honeymoon. This is definitely true if you want to stay in the main towns of Fira or Oia and if you need to watch the sunset from your room or dip in an infinity pool overlooking the volcano and the bay below. The good news is there are ways to get virtually all of these treats on a fraction of what a stay will cost you in one of these luxury pads.
The table below shows our total budget for seven nights on this beautiful island in June 2013 – Total costs 181 Euros per person for seven days.
Our Santorini Budget Stay
|Activity||Cost in Euros||Detail|
|Accommodation for Seven nights||126||Stayed at Anna Pension in Karterados|
|Quad bike Hire and fuel 1 day||27||20 for the hire and 7 fuel|
|Bus fare from and to port||11.20||2.80 each way for two persons|
|Bus fares for sightseeing||20||Three days|
|Sun bed hire||8||4 Euros per bed per day|
|Food||100||Using local bakeries, gyro shops for quick eats and a set price menu in a local village restaurant for two nights|
|Beers and wine||40||We took two, ten euro bottles of duty free and drank mostly in the hotel by the pool with supermarket local wine, ouzo and beers, wine with meals was included in set price menus and we drank at a bar on a couple of occasions|
|Water and drinks and snack food||30||Supermarket water, room snacks, cheeses, olives and local bread from the bakers|
|Total||362||For two persons for one week|
Food and Drink on Santorini
Food and drink will be your highest costs after you have paid for your accommodation. If you eat out for every meal in restaurant you will spend your money very quickly, especially if you are eating at the main tourist areas of Fira or Oia. To eat for half the price, head for other local villages and dine at the locally owned restaurants. In Karterados village we dined for around 10 Euros per head for a set menu, which included a salad starter, local dish of fish, moussaka or stuffed aubergine and fresh melon to round your meal off. You also get half a litre of local wine as part of the menu price.
We mixed this dining with breakfast and lunch snacks either made by ourselves, or purchased from the local gyro (kebab) cafe or bakeries.
Getting around Santorini and can be done on a budget too. The local bus service has routes to all the major places on the island such as Oia, Perissa the Red beach. The ticket fares range from 1.60 Euros to 2.30 for the longest trip. Although the trip to Athinios port will cost you 2.80, perhaps some of it is danger money for the driver getting down that hairpin road.
Taxis congregate around the main town and ports, like everywhere in Greece they are Mercedes class, so you will be transported in luxury, but they are not cheap (15 Euros from the port to Fira).
The best way of getting around is under your own steam, with the help of an engine attached either to a quad, scooter or a car. There are rental places on every corner of the island so you won’t have to walk more than a few hundred metres to find one. Basic quad/ATV and scooters will cost around 15 Euros a day (read about our ATV experience on this link), paying 20 for a bigger engine/newer quad. We got quoted 20 Euros per day for a small older car and 25 for a newer version of the same model. Getting your own transport will give you the freedom to explore all the smaller villages and viewpoints not covered by the buses.
Around Fira (also referred to as Thira) and Oia (or Io)you have no option but to walk up and down the countless little lanes and steps and inclines, unless of course you opt for a donkey, or small ponies as they are here, they not as cute as the donkeys in Lindos.
There are ferry ticket offices everywhere, you can book online but we found you end up having to collect the tickets from one of their agents anyway. We didn’t find any great price difference on line or using the main agents in town (check the ferry company website for the location of their partner agents on each Greek island).
Santorini has a small airport which is like a ghost town out of season, but come May and June the place springs to life with budget fares from all around Europe. We looked at departing flights from her for around 60 euros to many major cities across Europe. So getting here needn’t cost you too much if you visit early or late season (May, June and September and October).
We had a really great time on this Island and it didn’t do any serious harm to our flashpacking budget. It is definitely worth a visit here when you see you can do it on a daily budget of around 25 Euros.