Santorini is one of the most iconic Greek Islands, and I can guarantee if you’ve ever googled the place, or had a look through the epic sunsets tag on Instagram then you’ve probably seen lots of images of picturesque white houses stacked up on a cliff facing the sea.
Becuase the place looks so incrdible you might think this would involve a huge price tag, but it is possible to go there on a budget. Guaranteed you’re not going to be staying in the sleek, white mountain side flats with an infinity-pool on the side, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find somewhere good.
A brief rundown of the Island
Explore the map above here
The island of Santorini is set in a kidney bean shape, with Oia at the top – which is the part with the white buildings and blue roofs with the incredible sunset views. In the middle you have the main town, Fira – which is also where the port is so that’s where any cruise ships will stop by, and also where you get to encounter the insane amount of mountain climbing donkeys… At the bottom you have Akrotiri, and on the other side you have the black volcanic beaches and party locations of Perissa and Kamari.
How to Get There
Most airlines fly directly there from the UK, or you can fly into Athens and then get to the island via ferry. The cheapest direct return flights I can see (for September) start at around £149 and you can fly there with airlines such as Easyjet, British Airways and Norwegian Airlines. On a personal note I flew there with Norwegian and the service was great, including free in-flight wifi which was a great little treat!
Where To Stay
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan of Airbnb but below are a few cheap selections which are a mix of hotels and airbnb apartments all around the island.
Anemomilos Suites – Price for 7 nights: £168
Odysseys Sofitas – Price for 7 nights: £186
Balcony with View – Price for 7 nights: £248
Lia Flat With View – Price for 7 nights: £496
And if you want to go really crazy just look at this place – Charisma Suites – Price for 7 nights: £1,987
How to get around
To travel around the island you can obviously hire a car, but if like me you’re under 25 and hiring a car is super expensive and hard work, in Santorini your best bet is to get the buses. To go from destination to destination (which includes the majority of the main towns, Oia, Fira and the beaches as well) it’s between 1.50-2.50 euros each way. Majority of the buses run every twenty minutes thorughout the day, so they’re a great way to hop to another town for dinner or the whole day, and head back when you’re ready.
You can also hire quadbikes to travel around the island, or standard bikes too, but the roads look a bit crazy so take care.
Where to Go
Oia – The iconic, all white town with the insane sunset views and bars dotted all along the cliff is great to visit. It’s very expensive to stay here, but it is the hot spot of the island. If it works better then stay further down the island and pop up in the evenings to take in the sunset views and stop off for something to eat and drink.
Fira – This is the main town, and the port where all the cruise ships stop at so it can get quite busy in peak times. It’s also full of cliff top bars facing the sea, so there’s a massive choice of places to stop and eat and drink. There’s a huge trail of steps down to the port which I would only recommend walking down (or up) if you consider yourself very fit as in the heat it can be quite a lot…
Perissa & Kamari – These spots are beaches at the bottom of the island which are known for the black volvanic sand. These are lined with bars and restaruaunts with accompanying sunbeds to enjoy throughout the day and in the evening have great deals for drinks if you’re looking for the party scene. The food deals along here aren’t anything special, but they’re really good value if you’re looking for something to eat! The drinks are also very cheap so most bars will let you use their sunbeds all day if you drink/eat there, which can work out in your favour.
What To Do
Boat Excursions – There are so many different boat excursions to try out. Some are extremely expensive if you’re looking for a private tour, but you can also do a range of excursions on a old fashioned pirate boat to visit the volcano and travel round the island to view the sunset.
Hike between Fira and Oia – Okay, perhaps it’s more of a long walk, but it does take a bit out of you if you’re not a seasoned hiker. We did the walk/hike along the edge of the island – which gets really high and nail biting at some points – but it was so worth it to get in a view of the island you might not find anywhere else. It was also great to do it all the way to Oia as we got to end it there and stop off for a well earned ice cream and beer!
Wine Tasting – There are so many wine tasting options all around the island to fit any budget, and it’s a great way to take in the incredible views with (several) glasses of wine to hand!
So there we have it! A quick budget guide to Santorini perfect for a quick get away or for a long beach holiday. If you have any questions or queries feel free to comment below!