Snow capped mountains? No, it’s just white-washed buildings of Santorini.
Santorini 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.
The official name of Santorini 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 13th century.
Before it was called Santorini, 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.
Santorini is one of the most visited islands in Europe simply because it’s charming and unique. Since its one of the top destinations, traveling here can be so expensive… NOT! Here are some tips when visiting Santorini on a budget:
GOING TO SANTORINI
Most people go to Santorini 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 (Santorini); 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.
You can visit Travel Viva 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 Caveland hostel in Karterados, 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 / PHP 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 safekeeping of valuable things.
There are lots of backpacker hostels in Santorini, check hostelworld.com
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 Santorini is easy because the buses are always available every 15-20 minutes.
You can also rent a quad/ATV for €20/day or a car for €25.
PS: There are lots of parking spaces in Santorini 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 travelers, from adventurous to laidback 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.
The tour starts at Nea Kameni, 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.
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 colored volcanic spring.
Magnets costs around €2 – €5 and miniature domed churches costs around €5 – €10
Here’s a short video of my Santorini trip:
Happy travels! 😉