Before visiting the Greek Island of Santorini, I’d heard from various people that Santorini was expensive. I’m not a traditional ‘budget traveller’ as such, but I do travel on a budget and trying to research how much it was going to cost was a bit of a nightmare. There’s only really information for the luxury budgets (the typical cave rooms and infinity pools associated with Santorini) or the extreme other end of Santorini on a budget, with all the cheap places to eat and free things to do. There’s not really any ‘mid range’ information for a Santorini budget!
Is Santorini Expensive?
I had 3 nights in Santorini flying from London Gatwick to Santorini in July and it cost £625 (683EUR/$770)
£470 of that was the flights (on easyJet, no luggage but with pre booked seats), 3 nights accommodation in Fira (Anessis) and return private transfers between the airport and hotel. It was booked as a package with easyJetHolidays.
Flying in July made the flights a little more expensive.
Staying in Fira was cheaper than Oia BUT it could have been cheaper staying on the outskirts of Fira or in other locations on the Island. We wanted to be within walking distance to the main town in Fira and have some ‘luxuries’ at our hotel such as access to a swimming pool etc.
I spent 175EUR (£155/$194) on food and activities
Food & Drink Santorini Budget
Breakfast at our hotel was 7EUR a day. It was a typical continental breakfast of ham, cheese, bread, cereal, tea, coffee, juice, fruit and eggs cooked to order. Wandering around Fira, a breakfast in a cafe (minus a drink) was around 7EUR too.
Ice Cream (1 scoop) – 2EUR
Small bottle of fizzy drink such as Coke/Fanta in a shop/takeaway – 2EUR (CHEAPER than Germany where I was paying 3EUR)
Glass of Coke in a restaurant – 3EUR
Small bottle of water in a shop/takeaway – 2EUR
(We found a local supermarket in Fira where LARGE bottles of fizz and water were less than 2EUR. We picked up a couple and would refill a smaller bottle each time we went back to the hotel as you can’t drink the tap water in Santorini. You could also get 10 little bottles of french style beer for less than 5EUR)
Draft beer – 4 to around 7EUR (Alfa and Mythos were cheaper than Volcan which was considered a premium beer…all very tasty though!)
Real fruit smoothie in a cafe – 7.50EUR
Cocktails – 9 to 11EUR
Crepe dessert in a cafe – 7.50EUR
In Fira there’s a whole pedestrian street with takeaway restaurants, set slightly back from the ‘sea view streets’, where you can pick up a gyro for less than 3EUR, add chips and you can still get a meal for less than 6EUR.
A lot of the restaurants with views in Fira are quite expensive, you’re looking at 25 – 40EUR for a main meal, without a drink. I was travelling with my parents and sister, we didn’t necessarily want a takeaway, but we didn’t have the budget to be spending 40EUR on a dinner.
We became obsessed with a restaurant called Lithos and ended up eating there every day. It was well priced, the staff were really friendly, the meals were lovely and it had great sea views! What attracted us was their 14EUR special which was a chicken or pork gyro with pita bread, salad, chips AND a draft beer or glass of wine.
On the 2nd night I had a mixed Souvlaki with chicken, pork, sausage, baked potato and rice with vegetables for 16.50EUR (plus a drink so my total was 19.50EUR). Because the waiters recognised us, they then gave us a giant plate of watermelon on the house…
We went ‘all out’ on our last night, we were given an upstairs table, with an even better view, for sunset. So we sat there for longer, had a couple more beers and finished up with desserts (my total was 30EUR). They gave us another free plate of watermelon and apparently for sunset meals they give free shots of Ouzo or Sangria as a welcome drink, but because we got there early, they gave us Ouzo at the end of our meal. I was absolutely stuffed but I don’t think it was badly priced considering everything we had for only £25.
The waiter was telling us that in the summer they get through the meat so fast that it never actually sees a freezer so it’s always fresh. And it WAS really tasty. I sometimes find that pork can get a bit dry and tough but it was SO NICE at Lithos. They did offer more expensive items on the menu but unlike some of the other restaurants, they had the more affordable dishes too.
Transport in Santorini Budget
Local bus journey single ticket – 1.80EUR
The local bus network is cheap and goes to all the main places in Santorini. The main station for the Island is in Fira with most routes connecting in Fira (for example if you wanted to go from Perissa to Oia, from my understanding you’d have to go from Perissa to Fira (1.80EUR) and then Fira to Oia (another 1.80EUR)). The buses are actually large air conditioned coaches and you pay once you’re on the bus, so make sure you have cash.
Fira Cable Car single ticket – 6EUR (12EUR return, unless you want to walk one way (it’s a longgg steep journey!), you can’t buy a return ticket, you have to buy a single at each station). There are a couple of restaurants/cafes at Fira port. Keep in mind that if a cruise ship or tour boat is coming in, the lines for the cable cars will be huge.
I don’t agree with it, but 1 way on a Mule is 6EUR. There are mules in both Fira and Oia. There was a big sign in Fira Port, telling you about the welfare of the mules, that they CAN carry the weight, they make no more than 2-3 journeys per day, they stay in the shade and have rest breaks and water blah blah blah, but I still felt sorry for them.
Mules in Oia
ATV 1 day rental – 40EUR (this covers up to 2 people per quad so if you split the price it’s then only 20EUR each. You can get cheaper but smaller ones or larger ones that were more expensive, but a 300CC was fine)
ATV fuel for 1 day – 10EUR was more than enough for exploring the island for 1 day (again, 5EUR each if splitting between 2 people)
Parking at Akrotiri Archaeological Site for an ATV – 3EUR (Most of the car parks were free everywhere else)
Attractions in Santorini
Akrotiri Ruins entrance fee – 12EUR
If you want to enjoy the beaches, I believe at Red Beach you have to pay to rent sun loungers and umbrellas however, in Perissa some of the places say you could use their sun loungers and umbrellas for free if you eat or drink in their restaurant. I can’t say what the prices are like but if you tie it in with lunch, it could be worth it!
Same goes for Lioyerma Lounge Pool Bar in Oia, you can use the pool for free if you buy food or drinks from the bar.
Hopefully this guide gives you an idea on some of the things you may want to include in your Santorini budget! It’s not a cheap European destination, but it’s certainly not one of the most expensive ones either! The flights were the most expensive element of our trip.
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