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18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Santorini is one of Greece's most visited islands and one of the most expensive.

It is indeed a wonderful place to visit, and while in Greece, it would be a loss not to stop there for at least a couple of days to explore it just because you are on a budget.


I have been to Santorini for three days during my 2 weeks trip to Greece, and I was trying to save some money. I was walking a lot, trying to see as much as possible like usual for the first two days, while I spent half of the third one at Perissa Beach relaxing.


If you plan and follow all my budget tips, you will have a wonderful time in Santorini without spending a fortune.


tips to visit santorini on a budget

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Read 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget Below

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Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

1. Visit off-season:


The Greek high season is in July and August when everything gets crazy expensive, so if you plan to travel on a budget, I highly recommend you book your holiday in May, the beginning of June and September.


If planning to visit Santorini, the first half of September is still pretty crowded, so you might opt to see them in the second half of the month or at the beginning of October.


The water is still going to be warm, pleasant, and sunny weather will wait for you, and prices will be much lower. And you also are going to have the chance to take stunning pictures without the high season crowd around you.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

2. Book everything a lot in advance:


Greece is a famous holiday destination, and the cheapest and best accommodations always get booked faster, so plan and save some money.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

3. If travelling by ferry, choose to move in the afternoon or the evening:


If you look at Greek ferries prices, you are going to see how cheaper that can be in the afternoon, evening or overnight.

You might end up saving for one trip only more than 20 euros only because you choose to travel in the afternoon.


Use the Ferryhopper Widget down below to find amazing deals and save money!





Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

4. Bring sunscreen from home:


Sunscreen lotion can be crazy expensive in Greece, so my advice to save money is to bring it from home. If you are travelling with only a carry on bag, buy it at the airport, but do not wait to buy it in Greece, because it can cost you twice the price. See the best sunscreen lotion here.


Plan Your Vacation in Santorini

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Santorini" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

5. On some beaches, sunbeds are free:


Yes, it is true, in some beach areas, the sunbeds are part of a restaurant so if you wish to lay there all day and enjoy your holiday, you can do it.


You only have to get some drinks or have lunch at their restaurants, and those sunbeds are going to be included (they will deliver your lunch at your sunbed, isn't it cool?).


 

Cannot wait to Eat Santorini Delicacies?


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

6. Don't book a ferry seat if travelling during the off-season:


If you choose to reach Santorini from another island in high season, please book a seat because you might spend hours outside on the deck under the hot sun and trust me, that is something you do not want to experience.


But if you decide to travel off-season, trust me that you won't need to pay more money for an assigned seat. I travel Greece in September, and the ferries (all or 4 of them I travel on) were empty so that I could sit everywhere I wanted. I booked all my ferry tickets on Ferryhopper, the best ferry website.


Do you want to see everything Santorini has to offer and save money at the same time?

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

7. If you are coming from a very distant island, book an overnight ferry:


Greece is very big, and some islands can be far more than 10 hours by ferry, so if you plan to visit islands that are so distant, why not save money on accommodation sleep on a ferry?


I can guarantee you that ferry seats can be extremely comfortable. When I left Athens to get to Mykonos, we left early in the morning, and I slept all the time till we arrived at our destination.


Book all your ferry tickets on Ferryhopper, the most famous ferry website

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

8. Eat Gyros on the go:


You are going to find every kind of Gyros in Greece. They are made with different types of meat but also vegetarians, with grilled veggies or delicious falafel.


It depends on where you are, but Gyros are a delicious and very cheap option even in the most touristic place. I got one in Athens in the city centre for only 2.5 euros. I ate only one, and I was delighted.


 

Want more about Santorini?



9. Most of the best activities in Santorini are free:


All the beaches are accessible, so you need a beach towel, some comfortable beach shoes to walk easily on pebble beaches and you are set up for the day. Snorkelling is free. Just bring your snorkelling gear.


Walking around and exploring is free. Enjoy a beautiful sunset alone, or with your travel mates, well, that is priceless.

You can buy a bottle of wine or some beer at a supermarket to drink while losing your sight looking at the sea.

 

Planning a Budget Travel to Santorini?


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

10. Book a room without breakfast:


Greek bakeries sell delicious sweet and savory local food, so


There are also some hostels in Santorini if you are traveling alone or prefer a hostel to meet other travelers. They are more expensive than in other cities because Santorini is very popular, but you can still find a bed in a shared room for 15 euros in the main town.



I went to Santorini in the middle of September, and I booked an excellent room at Orizontes Hotel and Villas only 15 mins by bus from the town of Fira, and we paid 110 euros with breakfast included at night.


The room was huge, with a big bathroom, breakfast was delicious, and we had a big swimming pool in a very friendly and quiet area, very well connected with the buses to reach every side of the island and the beaches.


You can find a standard double room for as little as 30 euros in a hotel with a shared swimming pool and breakfast included if you only go a bit further from the main towns.



Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

11. Avoid tourist traps:


You will see that some restaurants have pictures on the menu or outside the door.

The pictures look good, but most of the time (not all the time), they are tourist traps where the food is mediocre and the prices are high.


So please avoid them and check out "9 Best Places Where to Eat on a Budget in Santorini"
 

Plan Your Vacation in Santorini

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Santorini" and get all the information you need to make your next travel successful.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

12. Eat far from the main roads:


On the busiest streets, there are always tourist restaurants. My advice is to go a little further, maybe only one or two streets away, and you will find local restaurants full of Greek people where the food will be exceptional at a reasonable price.

 

Book Your Cheap Accommodation in Santorini Today


Book your accommodation as soon as possible if you have already decided on your travel dates. Prices change overnight, and accommodations in very tourist places are the first ones to get fully booked.


I always start researching the best accommodation as soon as I decide my destination, check out the best website: Booking, and Agoda.


Book your favorite accommodation before someone else does.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

13. Have lunch or dinner in small family-run restaurants:


There are many local family-run tavernas in Greece. You only need to find them. The best way is to ask locals or read my article "9 Best Places Where to Eat on a Budget in Santorini".


Ask at your accommodation, enter a shop and ask where the people who work there usually go for a friendly and cheap lunch.


They know the area because they work and live there, so do not be shy, use Google Translate if you need it, and find a delicious place to eat excellent homemade food at a very reasonable price.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

14. Book a scooter to move around instead of a car:


If you know how to drive a scooter or a quad bike, I highly recommend you rent one to visit Greece; otherwise, please do not risk your life and get a car instead, or move by bus (there are buses to go everywhere in Santorini).


Greece has the third highest motorcycles death in Europe, and it is because young people rent them for the first time while on holiday; they get drunk and end up dying while on holiday.


When I arrived in Mykonos, the guy from the rental car told me that only that summer, in 3 months, more than 50 kids died while driving a scooter.

During my stay, I saw a scooter incident and so many kids driving in the worst possible way, so I was not surprised. I did not see the same in Santorini but trust me; those streets are not very easy to drive if you are a beginner.


That is why you will rent a car if you have never driven a scooter. Listen to me and protect yourself, please. (I sound so much like a mom sometimes, right?).


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

15. Don't rent a car or a scooter near the airport or the city center:


In tourist locations, everything is more expensive, but if you look a little further, trust me that you will find great deals and save a lot of money, or as I always do, I book it a lot in advance online.


For car rental, check on Discovercars, and for scooter/quad bike, check on BikeBookings.
Book in advance and save money!

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

16. Choose to eat in local Bakeries:


Greek bakeries offer delicious and cheap food. You can buy everything you need from breakfast to lunch and maybe also something for dinner.

To give you an example, don't think of a bakery as a place where you only buy sweets and bread.


In Greece, you can buy sandwiches, savory pastries, and hot local Greek food.

Everything is freshly made overnight and delicious (and cheap).


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

17. In Santorini can be cheaper to eat out than buying for to cook at your place:


Supermarkets can be expensive in Santorini, so I recommend grabbing a Gyros or eating at a local tavern. Prices are not too expensive if you look for a cheap meal in a simple place.


 

Romantic in Santorini?


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Tips to Visit Santorini on a Budget

18. Don't buy souvenirs in the town of Fira and Oia:


Fira and Oia are the most expensive towns in Santorini because they are famous and most visited. If you go to other little villages, you will see that prices are much lower.


Read "58 Wonderful Items You Cannot Miss to Buy in Greece" to plan what to buy during your vacation in Greece.


Did you enjoy my article?

I have plenty like this one about visiting Santorini.

Feel free to leave a comment below and share this article with your friends, maybe someone you know is planning to visit Santorini.


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About me

Hi! I'm Valentina,

but you can call me Vale.

I'm an Italian with a passion for well-planned travels and food.

In my Travel Guide, you will find everything you need to plan your perfect travel around the world.

Valentina

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