How I Conquered Santorini on a Budget

Contributed by Tigerwanders

Snow capped mountains? No, it’s just white-washed buildings of .

is one of the best islands in the world. The white buildings, blue domed churches, narrow and cobbled streets; even stray cats here are beautiful. The island is also best known for giving wonderful sunsets.

Also Read: Greece Itinerary: Witnessing The Magic of Athens, and Mykonos in 10 Days

The official name of is Thira and the capital is Fira. The island was named after Santa Irini (Saint Irene) in Thirassia by Venetians who conquered the island back in the 13th century.

Before it was called , the island had previous names such as Strogili and Kallisti. Strogili means round, the island’s shape and Kallisti meaning the most beautiful one – there’s no doubt about it.

is one of the most visited islands in Europe simply because it’s charming and unique. Since it’s one of the top destinations, travelling here can be so expensive…NOT! So I got you here some tips if you want to explore the beauty of on a budget and finally tick it off your bucket list.

Going to

Most people go to from Athens, which is what I did. From Athens, I went to Piraeus Port by metro (green line- Piraeus) then took a ferry from Piraeus to Thira (); travel time is 7 hours.

Book tickets early so you can save some bucks. I thought that ferry fees are fixed but sadly, they aren’t. Fares change drastically from €19 to €33.50. Aim to buy €19 per way.

Ferry to

Make sure to check cheap rates.

Greece has transportation strikes from time to time. Be ready to have extra money for a flight ticket in case you cannot adjust your trip.


I stayed in , about 2km from Fira (main town). There are no means of transportation going to the inner streets of Karterados so you have to walk about 25 minutes to the hostel from Karterados bus stop.

For just €17 / ₱926, I have a place to lay my head and breakfast too.

The room rate is cheap because I stayed in a 4 bedroom dormitory (girls only) with private bathroom. It’s pretty cool because you will sleep inside a cave. They also have lockers for safe keeping of valuable things.

Caveland  hostel


If you will stay in a hostel or hotel, usually breakfast is free so all you have to think about is lunch, dinner and snack or dessert.

Satisfy your Greek food cravings depending on your budget…save or splurge? Either way, both are delicious and authentic!


Going around is easy because the buses are always available every 15-20 minutes.

 Bus Fares

You can also rent a quad/ATV for €20/day or a car for €25.

An ATV/quad that you can use to tour around .

PS: There are lots of parking spaces in but since there are lots of tourists who rent quads or cars, parking might be a challenge.


There are different tours offered for all types of travellers, from adventurous to laid back or from budget to extravagant tours.

For as low as €20, you can take a 2-hour boat ride going to the volcano and hot spring.


The boat departs at Old Port. From Fira, you can walk 588 steps downhill, ride a donkey for €5 or ride a cable car for €6.

Zigzag pathway to Old Port in Fira

Old Port in Fira,

The tour starts at , where the active volcano is. You have to pay €2.5 if you want to hike and see the crater. The hike takes about 45 minutes.

Hike to .

Next stop is the hot spring in Palia Kameni island. You need to jump off the boat, swim in a very cold water first before you reach the brown coloured volcanic spring.

The hot spring in Palia Kameni island.

Also Read: 10 Underrated Islands in Greece that Look Like Paradise


Magnets cost around €2 – €5 and miniature domed churches costs around €5 – €10


Yes, you can have a happy travel to on a budget!

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