If you’ve looked into researching a trip to Santorini, you might be thinking that traveling to Santorini on a budget is close to impossible. Santorini has really exploded as one of the most popular places to visit in the past few years. I can completely understand why, it’s the perfect mix of all things that are great about a Greek Island. Gorgeous views, beautiful sunsets, elegant bars to drink a glass of wine in, and magnificent places to swim in the sea.
Since Santorini has become so popular, it’s no surprise that the prices of everything on the island have increased massively. So whether it’s booking a place to stay, or looking for affordable places to eat, this travel guide will help you to get the most out of your trip to Santorini on a budget.
When to Go to Santorini
The best time to go to Santorini on a budget would have to be September/October time. You still can experience the warm Greek weather but without the crazy heat of the summer. This time of year is just at the cusp of the off-season so some things might not be available on the island.
I visited in late September and noticed that some bars/restaurants had closed for the season but it didn’t make any difference to me personally. I enjoyed my time more as there were fewer crowds and cheaper prices for accommodation. So being precise about when you travel to Santorini will help you save a little extra cash, so you can spend that money on better things like a crisp, cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc at sunset.
Where to Stay in Santorini
If you’ve researched Santorini you’ll know that the most famous place to stay on the island is Oia. Generally, most famous = most expensive. I chose to stay in Fira, the other main town on the island (which also happens to be the capital), and to save even more money I opted to stay a little further out of the main area.
I booked a gorgeous, affordable pension in Kartarados, which was a 25-minute walk into the town of Fira. It has a swimming pool and an area to sunbathe in. Most rooms have balconies too so you can sit out and enjoy the warm balmy nights.
To save up to €50 on your first Airbnb stay click here.
How to Get Around Santorini
The best way to get around on the island has to be by ATV. They are an extremely convenient mode of transport, and you have the freedom to go wherever you choose. The roads on the island were easy to drive and for the most part, there was little to no traffic!
To rent an ATV ask your hotel if they offer rentals. Our hotel offered rentals starting from €25/per day. The best way to get the most out of your money is to begin your rental time at around 3 pm on the first day, that way you can rent it for 4 days for €100 and get the 5th morning also.
The petrol for the ATV was very inexpensive and we only had to fill it a few times during the rental period even though we drove all around the island several times.
Where to Eat & Drink in Santorini
The restaurants in Santorini are definitely a little bit more expensive than restaurants on the mainland. To save money we opted to get breakfast items from the supermarket every morning and we stocked up the fridge in the hotel with juice, fruit and yogurts. Since we had the ATV, we chose to drive to Lidl for breakfast some days, (Lidl bakery is pretty elite, but the Lidl bakery in Greece in on a whole new level of elite).
Here are some of the best places I found for food and drink on the island
This restaurant in Oia is definitely a little bit on the pricier side in Greece but I think it’s a great place to go for a treat. You pay the same sort of prices you pay in Dublin, London, or New York for a main course with a glass of wine.
I had the truffle risotto and it was DELICIOUS! We got there at least an hour before sunset to ensure a table with an amazing view of the sunset.
To ensure a great table make sure to make a reservation here.
Piatsa Souvlaki Grill House Oia
If you’ve traveled to or lived in Greece you’ll know that gyros becomes a staple in your diet. This restaurant serves great gyros, and as always it’s a great cheap dinner. Order a Greek salad and some beers and you’ll have dinner for two for around €15.
Finding restaurants in Santorini with amazing views is really not a hard thing to do. This restaurant in Fira is great for lunch or dinner and serves Greek cuisine in a beautiful setting. It’s another ideal place to have a sunset dinner with drinks. Prices are reasonable and portions are generous.
V Lounge Café and Cocktail Bar
This bar in Fira is a fantastic place to get sunset drinks, and if you’re lucky you can get a seat just at the front so you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the sunset. Drinks and cocktails are reasonably priced.
Bonus Tips to Save Extra €€€€
When ordering food with your partner/friend why not try to split a starter and dessert with them and order a main meal for yourselves. This way you can save some extra cash while still getting the experience of a 3-course meal.
If you plan on drinking several glasses of wine at a bar, look into ordering a full bottle. It’s usually a lot cheaper than ordering each glass separately, especially if you and your partner/friend are both drinking the same wine.
Traveling to Santorini on a budget can definitely seem like an impossible task but honestly it’s totally possible. Do your research and try to stay in an area that’s a little further out and you’ll be able to spend a lot less and still have a great time!