• Cassie Hintz

Santorini Travel Guide: Ballin' on a Budget

With its striking white and blue houses, cliffside villages, and picturesque caldera, Santorini is a dream destination for many.

Blue and white buildings in Oia, Santorini, Greece

Santorini is as notorious for its prices as it is for its beauty, but I thought it only lived up to one of those reputations. Sure, you can spend $1,000/night for a caldera-view suite in Oia with a private hot tub and butler, but you can also have a pretty luxurious time without breaking the bank.

Here are my tips for a budget-friendly stay on Greece’s most iconic island.

The Best Time to Visit Santorini

The world famous Oia sunet

The sunsets in Santorini are hard to beat.

Santorini is beautiful any time you go, but if your schedule is flexible you can optimize your trip dates to get the best deals.

Visiting in shoulder season (April, May, September, October) helps you avoid the prices and crowds of the high season while still enjoying beautiful weather. If you go in the off-season you can get good deals, but you run the risk of businesses being closed and tours not operating.

Affordable Lodging in Santorini

The cost of your visit to Santorini is hugely dependent on where you stay. Oia is by far the most expensive village, both for food and accommodation – it’s known for being the honeymooner's village.

The beach towns on the south part of the island have a lot to offer at the fraction of the price. We stayed at Smaragdi Hotel, which has rooms with private outdoor hot tubs (for as low as 57 Euros/night when we visited) and is right next to the beautiful black-sand beach of Perivolos. The pool area was beautiful and the staff went above and beyond to make our stay perfect, such as arranging our rental car and boat tour – they even had a bottle of wine waiting in our room upon arrival. It felt like home by the end of our trip. I highly recommend staying there.

If Smaragdi doesn’t look like a good fit for you, there are plenty of other hotels in that price range around the beach towns of Perivolos, Perissa, and Kamari.

There are also several options for hostels on the island, such as