Santorini on a Budget : Under EUR 50 a Day



Santorini , a Greek island is famous for its white washed houses , blue domes and the perfect blue Agean sea. Santorini is a dreamy romantic island which you take your breath away. Its one of the most romantic destination in the world. If you are planning to propose your partner this is the place , as the island is so romantic that chances of hearing a no from your partner is next to impossible.

Santorini is frequented by the rich people who are looking forward to a perfect romantic holiday. As such expecting prices of hotels and restaurants under a budget is next to impossible and you will find in most of the places the prices are increased to cater to the riches.

So in such a situation what do you do ? Of course you can go to the romantic island of Santorini and have the perfect romantic holiday and that too on a budget.

Travelling to Santorini is possible on a budget and to under EUR 50 a day and you can return with bagful of lifetime memories.


Here is a snapshot of the expenses you will incur per day in Santorini :









Reaching Santorini : 

You have the option of either taking a flight or taking a ferry.

Flight : There are daily flights from Athens to Santorini which costs around EUR 60-70 ( one way fare) . Multiple carriers like Aegean Airlines , Olympic Air & Ryan Air fly to Santorini. If you are planning to reach Santorini suggest taking a early morning flight or a late night flight as the rates will not only be cheaper but also the early morning view or the night view of Santorini from the air is absolutely breath taking.
Santorini’s Airport Code is: JTR (Thira – Santorini’s official name)

Ferry :  There are many ferry options in the Athens-Santorini route , from slow ferries to speed ferries. Slow ferries take around 8 hours and Speed ferries take around 4-5 hours. Don't go for Speed ferries as its not only bumpier but also you won't be able to enjoy the scenic beauty as you will be confined to your own seat and there are no decks where you can stand.
The best option is the Bluestar ferries which are known for their stablility. You can enjoy the scenic beauty. The economy tickets will cost you EUR 40 one way where there are no reserved seats. You basically seat where ever you get a place, it can be on chairs or on the deck.My suggestion is pay a few extra Euros and book the Air Seats Lounge which will cost you EUR 45. You will get a reserved seat and the seats like very comfortable just like an airlines.If you buy these tickets you can go in the deck and the economy sections too.


(Air Seat Lounge 1)

(Ferry)
My personal suggestion for travelling to Santorini is to take a flight in one way and other way take a ferry.This way you will be able to save time and cost and also be able to enjoy both the veiw Santorini has to offer. I took a flight to reach Santorini and returned to Athens in a Ferry.

Staying in Santorini : 

If you are enticed by the photographs of Santorini to stay in a villa by the side of the cliff then be prepared to pay EUR 200 upwards per night. Its an experience to stay in these expensive villas however its not affordable by most of the people.

Oia is the main town in Santorini so expect to pay high prices if you plan to stay in Oia. My personal suggestion is to skip Oia and stay in the town of Fira. Fira is equally beautiful and its just a 30 mins bus ride to Oia which will cost you EUR 1.80.The main bus station is located in Fira so you will get buses to the entire island of Santorini from here. You will pay much lesser if you stay in the town of Fira and use the money in some exciting experiences that Santorini has to offer.

I stayed in Antonia Hotel which is just 5 mins walk form the main place in Fira and I paid EUR 65 per night. The stay in really comfortable on top of it the owners are lovely people who will go out of their way to help you. The coffee is always free and they will happily serve you coffee at any time of the day. There is a convenience store just 50 meters away from where you can buy from basic necessaties to your breakfast also, The shop is dirt cheap and you can buy bottle wine at EUR 6 , authentic Greek salad at EUR 4 and sandwiches starting EUR 2.They also give you free pickup and drop to the Airport and the Port from where you can get a ferry.
You can also book from many homestays that Santorini has to offer from Airbnb.

Expect to pay between EUR 50- EUR 75 for a decent place ( read except villas) in the town of Fira and you will not regret staying in these accommodations.

A Luxurious Villa


Travelling in Santorini:

Travelling is Santorini is really on a budget. Buses go to every place in the island of Santorini from the main bus station of Fira.The bus tickets are really cheap starting EUR 1.8 and and go up to maximum EUR 2.5 . You should check the bus schedule a day before and the schedules might change. The schedules are put up every evening for the next day. The buses are really comfortable and hardly stop on the way. Ktel runs the bus service in Santorini.


Food in Santorini : 

There are many options in Fira and Oia of Santorini from high end restaurants to normal fast food joints to high end restaurants near the cliff side giving you the perfect view of the cliff.
Greek Salad , Souvlaki & Gyros are the cheap food options available in Santorini. These will cost you from EUR 2 onwards . Santorini wines are well known across the world and can be bought really cheap. A glass of wine will cost you starting EUR 1. So basically you can have lunch or dinner under EUR 10. Having a Souvlaki at Lucky's Souvlaki is a must as you get the best Souvlaki in town.
If you really want to have the experience of eating in a high end restaurant by the side of the cliff then suggest you do it for breakfast as it will be lot cheaper, expect to pay EUR 10-12 per person for breakfast with wine. Remember you are paying for the experience and not the food per se. Don't complain if it doesn't taste out of the world.

(Source)
The Famous Santorini Wines

Things to See and Do on Santorini

Experiences of travel need not to be expensive . In Santorini you can get many such experiences which you will cherish for life almost free. The following are the must do when you visit Santorini :

a) Red Beach , Akrotiri : Santorini island is a volcanic island and was created after a volcanic eruption few thousands/million years back.Visiting the red beach of Akrotiri is a must. The beach is not only red in color but also very romantic.You can reach Akrotiri on a bus from Fira which will cost you just EUR 2. From the bus stop you have to hike a bit to reach the red beach.

Red Beach of Akrotiri

b) Archaeological Site of Akrotiri : The Akrotiri excavation site is of a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on the Greek island of Santorini, associated with the Minoan civilization.The excavation is named for a modern village situated on a hill nearby. The name of the site in antiquity is unknown.
Akrotiri was buried by the massive Theran eruption in the middle of the second millennium BC as a result, like the Roman ruins of Pompeii after it, it is remarkably well-preserved. Frescoes,pottery, furniture, advanced drainage systems and three-story buildings have been discovered at the site.

c) Black Beach of Perissa : Take a bus from Akrotiri and get down at the Crossroads . From there you will need to again take a bus to Perissa. The beach is black here in Perissa and its a different sight alltogether. I went in the beginning of May and the weather was still chilly so couldn't take bath here.The beach chairs are available at a cost here and you need to pay extra if you want to use one.

Black Beach of Perissa

d) Megalochori Village : Megalochori is one of the most picturesque villages on the island which is at a distance of approximately 9kms from the town of Fira.You should go to Megalochori village while returning from Akrotiri. Its home to historical mansions, old traditional houses, pirate hideaways and wine canavas, it has a history of merchants and wealthy land barons exporting Vinsanto wine that the island still produces. A prominent feature of the historical homes and mansions are the high walls, inner courtyards and solid wooden door entrances, built for privacy and for safety against marauding pirates.
A great effort is been made by local residents and businessmen to preserve the characteristics and beauty of this traditional settlement, and many of the original houses that had fallen into disrepair, have been restored to their former glory.

Megalochori Village

d) Hike from Fira to Imerovigli : This is the most beautiful hike you can have in your lifetime. The distance between Fira to Imerovigli is approx 1.8 Kms but you will take atleast 2-3 hours to do the hike.I am sure you will stop by many times to soak in the view and click multiple photographs and selfies. This will be the hike which you will remember for life. Remember to wear good walking shoes as the the route of the hike follows the hilly area and goes by the cliff of the cyclades.
Start your day early so that after your hike you can go to Oia to spend the day.

The Beautiful hike from Fira to Imerovigli

e) Spend a Day in Oia : After your hike to Imerovigli take a bus from there to Oia. The bus ticket will cost you around EUR 1.80. Oia is another picturesque town in Santorini and is known for white washed houses and blue domes.The town of Oia will take your breath away. The streets are dotted with boutiques , studios , curio shops and restaurants. You can spend the entire day in  Oia and not get bored for a single moment. You can also see the windmills here which are visible in postcards at the end of the island

Oia the Perfect Destination

f) Watch the Most Beautiful Sunset in Oia : Be prepared to get mesmerized by one of the most beautiful sunset in the world. I have seen many sunsets but the sunset in Oia will always hold a special moment. Most of the tourist cruises/boats reach here in Oia during the sunset with hoards of tourists and suddenly Oia becomes flooded with tourists. Be ready to jostle with tourists for a place to see the sunset.My suggestion is since you will be spending your day here google the sunset time and reach atleast 30mins before the sunset to find the perfect place. After the sunset be ready to stand in long queues to take a bus back to the town of Fira.

Perfect Oia Sunset
If you have been to Santorini on a shoestring budget , share your personal tips with shoestringtravel and we would be happy to include it here.

Have a perfect holiday in Santorini and don't forget to share your travel stories with shoestring travel.

1 comment:

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