Santorini’s magic is a mixture of the ancient and the modern. Many people consider it the best Greek island to which to travel, which is a hefty recommendation considering places such as Crete, Mykonos, and Corfu are also in the mix.
The island’s history stretches back at least 4,000 years when the Minoans first built Akrotiri, a fabulous city of wealth and comfort that even contained sewage systems and running water. In fact, some scholars believe that the Minoan civilization was even the source of the Atlantis legend.
How? Because Santorini – then known as Thira – experienced a violent eruption around 1,600 BCE, destabilizing and ultimately destroying the Minoan civilization by burying it under tsunami and ash. By the time Plato came along in the 4th century BCE, the story was already ancient, ripe to be turned into the myth we know today: a wondrous world that sank beneath the waves.
Whether you believe in such theories or not, Santorini has a history in spades. You can visit Akrotiri today, walking amongst its houses and streets. It is remarkably well-preserved by the ash of the volcanic eruption, much like Pompeii.
Of course, those who aren’t history buffs will find Santorini just as lovely. Now to pay for it …
Average Trip to Santorini Cost in 2023
An average one-week trip to Santorini for two people will cost around $4,300:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $100 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $1,050 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $100 per person, per day
- Transportation: $100 total
- Total Cost: $4,300
Surrounded by waters as blue as the domes that top its whitewashed walls, Santorini is a breathtaking destination. Lunar landscapes created by the blast adorn its coastlines, creating charming beaches and impressive vistas.
With hot sunshine, warm ocean, excellent food, and a tourist-friendly culture, you’ll feel right at home there … but can you afford it? That’s the question most people ask when they set their sights on Santorini, and our answer is: where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Below, we’ll take a look at how much it costs to have a true Santorini experience.
From the best activities (hiking and history) to the best food (spanakopita and keftes) and more, let’s discuss the shape of your budget, so you can create one that works for you.
Santorini Trip Cost: Average by Item
An “average” vacation cost is more a myth than a reality. Everyone travels so differently that what’s average for you may be too expensive for me, or too cheap to meet my tastes. There is no one cost of a Santorini vacation, but by knowing the baseline, you can make a budget to which you’ll stick once on the island.
Below, we’ve broken out the budget into the main categories: accommodations, flights, food, drink, and activities, and transportation. For each area, you can spend more or save using our handy tips. Read on!
First things first, don’t stay in Oia. This terraced, whitewashed, blue-domed city is the image of Santorini that you’ll see on every travel blog – and it has the prices to prove it. Make Oia a day trip destination, but don’t stay there, because your money will go much further elsewhere.
For instance, you can pay $125 for a night in a decent hotel far from the beach in Oia. But in Perissa or Kamari, you can stay in beautiful beachfront accommodations for the same price or less.
We highly recommend opting for those locations, then traveling to the spendier areas around the island – which is quite small, so you don’t have far to go.
For those who love nightlife, Fira (sometimes called Thira) is a great place to stay. You’ll definitely pay more – around $150 a night – but you’ll have access to amazing restaurants and clubs that you won’t in the sleepier towns around the island.
That can save you from a late-night taxi trip back to your home base. Contact hotels before booking online if you’re not clear on their cancellation window, and try to book ones that offer free cancellation up until 3-4 weeks ahead of your stay.
In general, budget about $100 a night for a few nights in Thira and the rest of the time in a smaller village with cheaper accommodations, and you’ll do great.
Pro tip: always know your cancellation policies! Life gets lifey, as they say, and it’s nice to know you won’t be out thousands of dollars on hotels or flights if that happens.
A flight to Santorini from most major cities in the US is about $900 on average during the high season. Be sure to check the itineraries carefully before you book a flight, though, since some itineraries have you stopping over for 30 hours or even more.
If that’s your cup of tea, great! You can book a hotel in a different city and enjoy yourself on the way to your final destination. In fact, an easy way to save on flight costs is to accept a longer travel time with more stops or layovers.
If you’re not flying out of a major hub, add a couple hundred onto your ticket price to get there domestically. That brings the average total for a flight to Santorini to about $1,050.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
There’s so much to do in Santorini! Nature lovers will adore its hiking trails, offering fabulous views of its caldera: the natural bay created by the volcanic eruption 3,600 years ago. Partyers will revel in capital city Fira’s thumping nightlife, which seemingly never sleeps.
History lovers, don’t forget to pay a visit to Akrotiri. At only about $13, it’s an incredible bargain to experience such a wonderful piece of history up close. For an activity that lasts an hour or two, not including the lovely drive there, it’s a great way to spend half a day without paying much.
Those who love watersports will find their wildest dreams fulfilled as well. From sailing tours ($90), diving trips ($95), and parasailing ($100), you can explore the island’s surroundings in myriad ways.
These are among the most expensive activities, however, so you should probably stick to 3-4 for the trip. Another reason to keep tours to a minimum? The food and walking on Santorini are so lovely.
With almost 30 square miles to explore, you won’t run out of places your feet can carry you while you’re on the island. Try walking to markets, restaurants, and overlooks. You can even walk between cities: Oia to Fira is about 6 miles, though be sure to bring your hiking shoes!
Not all of the paths are paved, so you’ll want to protect those ankles. Santorini is also renowned for its wines, its volcanic slopes growing unique grapes with inimitable flavors.
Wineries serve tourists not only excellent vintages, but snacks and views as well, so this is another great way to kill a few hours without paying for more than the price of a tasting or a small meal.
You’ll find plenty of happy hours on Santorini, so take advantage of them! Prices plummet in the mid-afternoon to late evening, where you can enjoy tapas-style food and tasty drinks for only a fraction of what they are the rest of the time.
Where possible, avoid restaurants sitting on the edge of the cliff and don’t dine at sunset. You will pay max prices for both privileges.
Overall, while the food is more expensive, the available activities are pretty affordable – especially if you stick to those that involve foot power! Budget $100 per person, per day, and you’ll have a wonderful time.
One of the easiest ways to save money on Santorini is to avoid renting a car. While you can do so for only about $20 a day plus gas, it’s much cheaper to take the bus. For about $3 per passenger, you can get all the way to the next town over, and rides are short.
Many of the towns are also close enough to walk to on foot, spend the day exploring, and walk back to your home base without trouble.
You do need to be in good shape, though, since you’ll end up walking 10 or more miles a day! Our recommendation is to budget about $100 for busing and a cab ride or two, since they’re pretty affordable, and skip the car rental.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Santorini:
- Consider Airbnb and VRBO. You might find better accommodations here than in the hotels.
- Always book early! Don’t wait to book your lodging, because things fill up fast, especially during the high season.
- Book ferries in advance. Like flights and hotels, ferries fill up. If you want to take a day trip to another island or will transition to another destination, make sure you get your tickets ahead.
- Overnight ferries are a good deal. Some tickets can cost several hundred euros, which can eat into your budget. Choose overnight options so you avoid paying for hotels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about budgeting your trip to Santorini:
Is Santorini the best island in Greece?
This is debatable. Many people in the know say Santorini is their favorite island. It’s certainly not as big as Crete (over 3,200 square miles) or as party-centric as Mykonos (often called “the Ibiza of Greece”), but it has a charm that nowhere else in the world can replicate.
Let’s just say, for less than 30 miles square, it packs a lot in. With about 2,000 restaurants and food vendors, a dozen cities, gorgeous hotels, beautiful hikes, and good old R&R for days, you won’t regret a trip here.
Plus, many of its activities are still fun in winter and shoulder season, when the sun isn’t as hot and the rains can sweep in. Think hiking, wine-tasting, and touring the ruins, all of which you can do with a jacket on.
How long should I stay in Santorini?
You can easily spend an entire week in Santorini and not get bored. However, you can also fly into and out of Athens and spend a few days in the city on either side, or split your time between Santorini and some of the nearby islands.
Ferries to other islands usually take a few hours, so they’re a quick and beautiful way to switch destinations midweek if that’s what you want.
When is the best time to visit Santorini?
“Shoulder” season is the best time to visit Santorini. Summer is crowded and hot, and winter is cold with frequent rains. In spring and fall, though, you’ll see cool, sunny weather and fewer crowds. Prices go down as well.
What are the best ways to save money?
To save money, avoid any restaurant on a cliff or at sunset. Restaurants in Oia are also incredibly expensive, so if you can, enjoy the city without eating there.
Make sure when you do sit down to get lots of carbs that will fuel you through all your walking without needing to eat again in a few hours.
Other ways to save include searching for flights in incognito mode, staying at hotels with complimentary breakfasts, shopping at markets for local food, and taking advantage of happy hour prices.
What should I pack?
Make sure to pack good shoes. Many of the paths between cities, which visitors love to hike, are unpaved. Even within the cities, there are lots of cobblestones, which can be hard on the feet if all you’re wearing are thin sandals. Save those for the beach.
If you’re traveling outside of the high season, bring light layers to cover up. In winter, you’ll need rain gear if you want to be out and about, though this is an amazing time to venture all over the island without a lot of interference from other travelers.
Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$100 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$1,050 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$100 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$100 total|
|💲 Total Cost||$4,300|
The average cost of a one-week trip to Santorini is around $4,300 for two people. While it’s a bit spendy, don’t worry: Santorini’s splendid caldera, hiking trails, restaurants, beaches, cobbled pathways, and oodles of activities will make the cost more than worth it!