Greece on a budget: Ways to save when visiting Santorini

Touristy? Yes. Gorgeous? Insanely.

santorini sunset

Explosive sunsets and blindingly white stone buildings; beaches that run the gamut from golden to black and even a rusty volcanic red; ocean that smudges perfectly into the sky in one sweeping swathe of blue; the charming town of Fira, rutted with cobblestones, and Oia, where in contrast the polished stones underfoot pose a different kind of threat to your footing.

White walls, blue roofs - must be Santorini! Santorini's brilliant whitewashed architecture Santorini's brilliant whitewashed architecture santorini sunset

Even amidst the churn of the ferry at Athinios port, the ocean still glittered a crystal cerulean.

santorini athinios ferry port

All things considered, it’s not difficult to see why Santorini was named the most beautiful island in the world by the BBC in 2011.

Best of all, this is Greece, so it’s not terribly expensive to start with. You can camp right by the beach for a song, stay in a hostel, or find one of the many reasonably priced villas and apartments, all of which should offer a free transfer from the ferry port or airport.


We stayed at Katefiani Villas, which I can highly recommend. Bright, clean and just a couple of minutes from the beach, it’s right around the corner from a fantastic bakery and a stone’s throw from the supermarket, restaurants and bus stop.

katefiani villas santorini

Here’s a few more tips to stretch your travel budget a little further and save money when in Santorini, Greece.

Bakeries are your friend

Most places don’t do breakfast, as you’ll probably notice. Don’t worry – there are plenty of bakeries, some of them open 24/7! We lived on slices of pie from our local bakery, mainly the chicken pie, breaking it up with the beef and cheese or moussaka pie for variety. Plus there are lots of cheap kebab places around, some better than others.

Supermarkets are your friend

Santorini is an island, so things are a little more expensive here. Nonetheless, you should stock up on the basics at your local supermarket. If it’s a little too far, you can call and they will pick you up! Seriously (at least, that’s what the posters advertise).

The bus is your friend

If you’re on a budget, don’t rent a vehicle. All those scooters, quads and cars roaming around? They’re convenient, but nowhere near as cheap as the local bus. If you must rent wheels, shop around. We found a sweet deal at Dimitri’s in Perissa, on the main road just a short walk back from the beach.

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10 thoughts on “Greece on a budget: Ways to save when visiting Santorini

  • Reply Michelle August 15, 2013 at 00:11

    Wow so very pretty! I really want to visit 🙂

  • Reply Kara August 15, 2013 at 07:50

    Greece is so beautiful, I’d love to visit one day!

  • Reply SavvyFinancialLatina August 15, 2013 at 09:45

    So beautiful! We want to visit. My husband is Greek, so it’s definitely on our travel list 🙂

  • Reply Budget and the Beach August 15, 2013 at 10:25

    Absolutely beautiful and exactly what I imagined! So. Jealous!

  • Reply krantcents August 15, 2013 at 12:18

    You are basically describing how real people live in their country. Besides, you still get to sample a lot of great food.

  • Reply Funny about Money August 15, 2013 at 14:15

    gorgeous photos!

  • Reply Marissa @ Thirty Six Months August 16, 2013 at 00:12

    Greece is really one of the most beautiful countries not just in Europe but in the whole world as well. I cannot take my eyes off of these photos.

  • Reply KK @ Student Debt Survivor August 19, 2013 at 01:52

    Gorgeous! I’ve been obsessed with Greece recently. It’s definitely on my bucket list. I’ve found a few deals recently (2 days each in Greece, Santorini and Mykonos), but we’re still deciding when we want to go.

  • Reply Jessica Lawlor January 12, 2014 at 07:35


    This post makes me want to hop on a plane (and then a ferry) and be back in Santorini. SO incredibly beautiful.

    You’re so right about bakeries- we discovered one about halfway through our stay and made many trips there!

  • Reply Things I wish I'd known about Greek ferries | NZ Muse January 31, 2014 at 19:28

    […] about visiting one of Greece’s gorgeous islands? (Santorini is a stunner.) You’ll probably be taking the ferry, since finding good deals on flights is tough, in which […]

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