On a budget? The ultimate guide to Santorini
Traveling to Santorini
can be very expensive, especially in the summer. However, it gets cheaper for off-peak season. The bulk of the savings comes from air tickets and accommodation as they are priced significantly higher during peak period. Booking your Santorini vacation early helps in getting good deals well ahead of others.
Time to go
Summer months run from June till September, shoulder seasons (May and October) are good for avoiding the crowds. Personally, I went on my trip during November and found it to be my liking though activities are more restrictive compared to summer months.
A minimum of 3 days is needed to cover Fira, Imerovigli and Oia comfortably. I recommend about 4-5 days if you are not hopping to another Greek island so that there will be time to soak in the sun and to enjoy the vacation life.
Three Bells of Fira
The two major hotspots in Santorini are Fira and Oia. Fira is cheaper and more options are available when it comes to accommodation and entertainment. In winter, most establishments are closed or closes early. Most people get to Oia for the million-dollar views but check out Imerovigli for the superb sunset views. Accommodations perched on top of the cliffs are much more expensive than those located inland because of the magnificent views right outside their doorsteps.
Personally, I have stayed in 3 different accommodations in Santorini. I wrote a detailed review of Loizos Stylish Residences because of my awesome stay there, do consider if you are looking for a wallet-friendly yet family oriented experience in Fira. Otherwise, Keti Hotel offers cliff side views with greek breakfast included. Try out the luxury cave house experience at Oia Collection, the location and views are top notched.
Oia Collection Suites
The truly authentic cave house bathroom
A private sunbed with gorgeous views
Right outside our cave house in Oia
Plenty of luxurious cave houses all around
The private balcony area is perfect for photography moments
A good choice in Fira
Keti Hotel breakfast area with a view
Traveling to Santorini and moving around the island
There are two main modes of transport to get to Santorini, by sea or by land. If you are departing from Athens, you can consider taking the ferries. There are a few ferry companies and the dominant one is Blue Star Ferries. During summer, there are plenty of options to fly from many European countries to Santorini on top of Athens. However, do take note that flights usually only depart from Athens when it is off-season. Consider Aegean air over Ryanair, it is better when it comes to comfort and baggage allowance. Ryanair is known for frequent cancellation and delay. If you are flying from Singapore, Scoot is a good option because it flies directly to Athens and you can catch a connecting flight to Santorini at the same airport. My flight was about 1/3 and 1/2 filled for both legs and there were opportunities to get the whole row to myself.
Check out my flight ticket prices here. Prices are based on one pax.
Scoot SIN – ATH return – SGD426
Aegean Air ATH – JTR – SGD134
There are various transportation options in Santorini. Check with your hotel if they provide shuttle or private hire services to and fro the airport. Taxi between Fira and Oia costs about EUR 20-25. It is the best option for groups of 3-4 people to maximum the capacity in the car. Buses are cheap and run more frequently in summer but there are heaps of people in line for it. Renting a car might be another feasible option to see the whole of Santorini for a group of travellers.
The unique underground bookstore in Oia
Sure, I will
There are many restaurants and take-out places in Santorini. Like any other places, they cater to different service and quality standard. Price wise, it is cheaper to eat out in Athens . Ask Mr Google and you will get food reviews from TripAdvisor and other blogs. You can find Gyros at about 3 euros if you are going budget. If you are a fan of wine, visit Santos Wine for a relaxing wine tasting session. The views are gorgeous from the winery.
Santos wine is located right above the ferry terminal.
A couple right outside Santos wine doing their photoshoot
Aquarius restaurant is a good choice for food and drinks at Perissa Beach
Fresh fish from the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas is a must try in Santorini.
If you are looking for crepes, check out Vitrin Cafe Creperie in Oia. Prices are affordable for European standard.
Greek coffee and yogurt combo is a good way to start the day
Santorini is a photography paradise. Oia is a very scenic village, especially good for portraits and sunsets
. Our wedding photography brought us to ‘secret’ photographer hot spots in Oia and Imerovigli. Drones are not allowed in Santorini so be sure to seek regulatory approval before launching your flight. You can check out my drone footage in the last part of this post.
Stay tuned for our wedding photoshoot!
View of the Caldera in Fira
From Oia Castle
Drone shot towards Oia Castle, a very popular sunset spot.
Eye from the sky!
Drone video footage of Oia, Santorini
Hope you guys enjoyed!
By Bryan Lim