Santorini have the reputation for being an expensive destination, as such budget travelers are intimidated about going here, hence put off the Santorini dream of a lifetime until they have saved a substantial amount
Well, there are ways of enjoying Santorini without breaking your bank account.
Come during the lean season, which we did in winter. Go on weekdays instead of weekends. Check the calendar to avoid holidays. The prices are considerably cheaper non peak season.
Going to Santorini
You can go to Santorini either by a plane or a ferry. The latter being longer but cheaper. In winter, Blue Star Delos depart daily from Pireaus at 7:25am and leaves Santorini at 3:30 pm. It’s a 7 to 8 hour ride. Arrival in Santorini is around 3:00pm, just in time for your first sunset in the island. You can either go to the port to purchase your ticket or book online here:
Santorini have various transportation option… from taxi, rental cars, private shuttle, motorbikes, even donkeys. We chose the cheapest option of course, the KTEL bus. It transport passengers around Santorini.
I was really impressed by the public transportation in Santorini. We have used it exclusively during our stay and it has not failed us. It's new, and in a very good condition. Make sure to keep change or small dollar bills for your fare to avoid inconvenience.
Prices drops considerably during winter in Santorini. Some hotels are closed, especially the fancier ones, but its not within our budget anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.
We have chosen to stay in Galatia Hotel for 20 euro per night. It doesn’t have the unobstructed view of the caldera, and you do have to walk a little in order to get to the town. But it is clean, cozy, have all the amenities we need and we got the royal treatment (and they don't even know I'm a blogger)… definitely best value for money. Check them out here.
Staying in a hotel with a kitchenette helps a lot when you are traveling on a budget.
Food in any place can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to. At the end of the day, the food budget is not really dependent on the place but on you as your individual choice.
Where to find affordable food in Santorini?! Street Food, Bakery, Grocery (Sklavenitis).
I love Greek Street Food especially gyros, i can eat it all day, every day! If you are not like me, there are plenty of other options including Vegan from Falafel Kiosks.
In the bakery you will find delicious and freshest Greek pies – spanakopita (spinach pie), marathopita (fennel pie),tiropita (cheese pie), galatopita (milk pie) bougatsa are just a few of my favorite.
Below is to give you an idea of some affordable yet healthy and delicious food options from Sklavenitis.
For breakfast and snacks, we would pass by Sklavenitis to buy water, fruits, nuts, chips, halva, olives etc.
In case you haven’t notice, items are always more expensive in Kiosks. For instance a 1500ml. water cost .31€ in the grocery but in the kiosk a 500 ml. water cost .50€.
There are several tours being offered in Santorini.. from wine tours to sunset cruise.
If you are on a budget, don’t worry because some of the best things in Santorini are free… the Sunrise, Sunset, the View, the hike! These are all priceless, if I must say.
The only attraction we shell out 6 euro is the Archeological Site in Arkrotiri, because as impressive as the present Santorini is, its pre-historic past is just as mind-blowing.
Below is how much we have spent during our stay in Santorini, calculation is made for 2 pax. Excluded from it is airfare, as it naturally varies depending on where you are coming from. As you can see, there are 3 times that we splurged in a restaurant which cost us 146.10€. If you decide to stick to street food, that will reduce around 100 - 120 euro from your expenses. I have also bought some toiletries even if this is provided in the hotel (because I'm that girl, totally unnecessary i know), so that could be deducted too.