Saturday, 26 August 2017

Santorini on a budget - How to spend less than 30 Euros a day, including accommodation


So, you'd like to go to Santorini... You've seen the pictures, the insta-famous winding, sprawling toy towns of Thira and Oia. You've read about the windmills, the blue domes, the bougainvillea and the stunning volcanic views across the Aegean sea. You want to see it for yourself, but you don't want to pay the ridiculous, celebrity exclusive prices Santorini surely entails.

Take it from me, I'm the biggest bargain hunter on the planet. I'm practically David Dickinson. However, I also have expensive, far-flung taste when it comes to destinations. I want to see the best, while spending the least. Like you, I wanted to visit the world-renowned Santorini, but avoid debtors prison in the process.

Throughout travelling, I've always stayed in hostels, campsites, and pretty ropey accommodation, as far away from luxury as you can imagine. But let me ask, are you flying across the world to spend time looking at the four walls of your bedroom? Or are you going to spend as much time as possible outside seeing the places you're travelling to? I always make myself think this when I'm about to book a space in a 14 bed dorm room. Sure, I might not want to spend much time lounging about on my single bunk, but that's not what I've travelled for. From my own experience, if outside your window lies a place you've always dreamed about, and you have a dry and safe place to lay your head at night with a working toilet, that's all you really need...

Read on to discover the best places to stay in Santorini if you're on a tight budget, the cheapest eateries, and the best free activities to keep you occupied on this jewel of the Cyclades.

I read somewhere that on Santorini there are more churches than houses

Getting There:

We decided to fly to Crete as prices from the UK direct are extremely reasonable. Then from Crete we hopped on a boat to Santorini which takes a few hours. We found flights to Heraklion Airport for only £47 direct from Glasgow Airport - they tend to do a couple of really cheap flights a week via THOMAS COOK and JET2. The airport at Heraklion is 5 minutes drive from the port so you could go straight to the islands, or stay a few days in Crete before heading to Santorini like we did. Be warned though, if you're not getting a SeaJet catamaran, ferries can be up to 4 hours late. We learned this the hard way when we had 5 minutes to get from the port to catch our flight home... Thankfully, the awesome staff of JET2 made sure we were whizzed through the airport, they couldn't have been more helpful.




Making friends with the locals 
The quirky Caveland Hostel in Karterados

Accommodation:

HOSTEL ANNA in Perissa in the South of Santorini has dorm room beds for as little as £6.45... SIX POUNDS, FORTY FIVE PENCE. It's basic but they have free wifi, a pool, and are a 5 minute walk from the famous black sands of Perissa Beach. They also offer private rooms for around £20 each based on two sharing. The beach itself is stunning, and the cafes and tiki bars that fringe the sands are much cheaper than the restaurants you'll find further north in Thira or Oia.

CAVELAND HOSTEL too, in Karterados, (a 5 minute scooter ride from Thira, or a 20 minute walk) is probably the best hostel I have ever stayed in throughout my travels. It's a five star hostel with the wonderful HOSTEL GEEKS, who also have an awesome database of five star hostels for other destinations. An old winery, Caveland is built into actual caves and each room is carefully and colourfully decorated, as are its exteriors and pool area. They've got two cute doggies and provide free breakfast, yoga and massages. We only paid around 20 euros a night, and with most breakfast plates coming in over 10 euros in Santorini, free breakfast is something it's good to take note of when booking hostels or accommodation.

Likewise, if you can go during low-season, you can get quirky Air BnBs for around 20 euros per night and even cheaper hostel rates.

View from the pool at our hostel in Perissa Beach
Not sure why you'd want to go anywhere else if you're staying here but here's some directions just in case
The domed cave ceilings of Caveland Hostel 
Our dorm room interior at Caveland 

Do not disturb me woman

Catching the last of the poolside rays at Caveland. Zaful onepiece available HERE, Topshop earrings HERE, vintage hat. 



Entrance to the cave dorms at Caveland









                                                                           Howdy partners

Food:

Prepare yourself. Food isn't cheap. If you're staying in Perissa, (which I would wholeheartedly recommend for its more reasonable rates and to get respite from the madness of Oia and Thira) try TRANQUILLO for wonderful, imaginative breakfasts for around 7 euros. Or if you're in Thira, try venturing a little out of the main town where you'll find breakfasts for under a tenner. There's also a lot of places outside the main towns and on Perissa Beach that do deals for two including wine and a main meal for approx. 20 euros.

GYROS were pretty much our staple lunch and sometimes dinner/supper/after night out snack. They're so filling, not too unhealthy and only around 3 euros. Likewise, just stock up on food from the mini marts or supermarkets and make your own dinners or picnics. Most hostels will provide cooking areas. Otherwise, most restaurants in the main towns will be around 15-20 euros for a burger or pasta dish. We tried to stick to one big meal out a day to avoid bankruptcy.

A cheap little street food snack on Perissa Beach
Tranquillo Tiki Bar for the best breakfasts
Poor Octopuses hung out to dry in Amoudi Bay 

Activities:


Blue dabadee dabadaa

You should definitely hire QUAD BIKES for at least one of your days here. It gives you real freedom to explore the island and stop whenever you feel to take photographs of pretty much everything in sight - it is Santorini after all. They're 25 euros per day so if you're in a pair it's pretty reasonable. The busses are also fairly regular, but once sunset hits they're extremely busy so prepare to be herded about and shouted at like a donkey.

Thelma and Louise 

Speaking of donkeys, the Oia mules trot up and down to AMOUDI BAY, 300 steps exactly from the main laneway to the bottom of the cliffs where deliciously expensive seafood restaurants sit nestled amongst lapping turquoise waters. Of course, we had no money for 100 euro lobster linguini, but we brought a picnic, and walked around to where the fun of Amoudi really hits. There's cliff jumping and amazing views towards Thira and the caldera and volcanic islands of Santorini, and you can while away an afternoon snorkelling and swimming in the dazzling, crystal clear water. Just prepare yourself for the climb back up - the poor old donkeys are on hand if you feel a heart attack approaching.

I'd like the caviar dipped in Champagne with a side of gold please
Amoudi Bay, at the base of Oia. There are some more affordable places down here for lunch or dinner as much as I joke.
Red Santorini Cliffs









                                                 A moody person was not to be found in Amoudi Bay 

You should also visit the BLACK SANDS of PERISSA and RED BEACH, where the volcanic compounds found in Santorini soil are mirrored in its sand. You can also find proper, real McCoy lumps of pumice lying about in the sand as advised by one of our taxi drivers - that's a fiver saved on exfoliation gloves.

Perissa Beach 

Y'alright Hun?

EXPLORE THE STREETS OF OIA AND THIRA and see the world renowned architecture. The now famous book shop in Oia is also definitely worth a visit. It has nice cats to play with and its rooftop balcony has amazing views over the caldera.

If you're feeling like you could spare a few quid, Santorini is also famed for its WINERIES. There's also day trips to the volcano in the middle of the caldera where you can swim in the natural HOT SPRINGS found in the middle of the sea. The whole excursion costs around 30 euros.





Wandering the streets like an urchin in Primark bodysuit, Topshop earrings (same as above) and Le Specs sunnies HERE. Similar trousers can be found HERE at Brand Attic

Zara dress, vintage hat






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17 comments

  1. My boyfriend plays basketball overseas (he's actually at training camp in Greece right now!) so luckily I can travel for SUPER cheap when I'm already in Europe! Definitely going to revise this post when I get to Santorini! Thanks!

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    1. Aw thanks for that Kelly. You should definitely try out Caveland or stay in Perissa Beach if you go :) xx

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  2. What a beautiful place!!! I definitely want to go to Santorini after reading this! I need to start planning my next vacay like yesterday! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. No worried Lauren! Thanks for your comment :) xx

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  3. Your outfit and tassel earrings are everything. Babe you make me want to go to santorini so bad :(

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    1. Thanks Pauline! They're little topshop babies :) You have to go, it's honestly amazing!! xx

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  4. Wow my sister and I literally just talked about visiting the other day, but she said that vegan foods are super limited. Thank you for sharing

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    1. Hey Stephi, no problem, thanks for your comment. :) Yes, I think you'd need to research vegan restaurants before you went, I'm sure many will have dishes suitable for vegans as their are so many visitors and tourists, but I have to admit they do love their meat and cheese over there. xxx

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    2. *there are - grammar policing myself!

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  5. I've never traveled internationally before, but I think after reading this post I want this to be the first place I travel to! Thanks so much for sharing this information and these beautiful photos! :)

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    1. Thanks so much Sierra, that really means a lot. Glad to have provided some inspiration for you! Take care :) xx

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  6. What amazing photos!!! I love what you said about the hostels/dorm living. It's really not a big deal when you're in Europe to share a room and it's totally affordable that way. Plus, you're really not in those beds for long. I met a lot of great people in hostels. AND THESE PHOTOS! They're incredible!!!

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    1. Aw this is such a lovely comment, thank you so much for your kind words!!! :) I totally agree, it's actually pretty fun sharing rooms with new people - it's how we met so many friends travelling. Keep in touch lady :) xxx

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  7. Oh my god!! Stunning is all I can say! So dying to visit Santorini and now more than ever!

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    1. Thanks so much :) So happy I've spread the love for Greece your way! Keep in touch xx

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  8. Oh Greece! One of my dream places to visit, thanks for this

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  9. No worries Ann. It'll be worth the wait when you get to go :)

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Thank you so much for all the lovely comments! I read and appreciate them all and will either respond here, or shimmy over to your blog and say hello there! Lots of love, Megan xxx

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