6 Nights in Santorini, Greece for SGD500 ☁ Santorini Day 1Tuesday, March 10, 2015
I know its been almost 5 months since I embarked on a trip to one of the destinations on my bucket list, Santorini for my 21st birthday, but I hope this post is will help some of you on your questions and queries about Santorini.
Better late than never right?
All in all, I spent 6 nights in Santorini. Inclusive of everything, Matt and I only spent around SGD 500 for 6 nights.
Of course, prices vary according to the time period and we went in mid october where Mykonos was already closed to prepare for winter and it was super off-peak.
We also flew to Athens from France, so air tickets were way cheaper than if we were to fly from Singapore instead.
Temperatures were amazing at that time, at around 13 to 20 Degrees C.
Breakdown of the costs
Return Tickets (Aegean Airlines) : SGD132 (Lyon, France - Athens)
Transport: SGD 120
Accommodation (Santorini for 6 nights) : SGD79 (YES IM NOT KIDDING YOU)
Food : SGD 180 (We splurged on food HAHA)
I know getting to Santorini is a pretty tedious and confusing process, so i'm here to help you by answering some of the questions many have wrote in to ask me, and also to clarify any misconceptions you guys may have.
1. Getting There
Of course, you have to first take an aeroplane or depending on where you are going to Santorini from, most people will first stopover at the capital of Greece, Athens.
We took the Aegean Airlines flight which I got at a steal off skyscanner , from Lyon (France) to Athens (Greece). The entire flight lasted around 4-5 hours if I remembered correctly, and the flight was smooth and amazing. I would definitely recommend Aegean Airlines to anyone !
Then from Athen's Airport, you will be able to choose 2 routes to get to Santorini, either by Ferry or by taking a domestic flight to the new Santorini airport.
Of course, if you're on a budget like I was, I opted for the Ferry option and one of the most commonly used ferry is operated by Blue Star Ferries. Online tickets can be bought via their website to save you the trouble to having to look for the agency outlets.
I got my tickets for 37.50 Euros each way
The ferry departs from 2 main ports, Pireaus & Rafina.
I chose the Pireaus Port because it seemed more convenient to locate from the Athens airport. Simply take the X96 bus from the airport and the journey takes around 75-90 mins to reach the port. Oh, don't forget the waiting time for the bus which would take another 20-40 mins.
I would say give yourself at least 3 hours to be safe!
Once you reach the port, there will be lots of instructions on how to board the ferry and you wouldn't miss it because the ferries are huge.
One thing to note is that the journey from the port to the Santorini island itself takes around 7.5 hours, with Santorini being the last stop. Going to Mykonos take less time, around 6 hours. Just make sure you get the right ticket!
TOTAL TRAVELING TIME TO SANTORINI FROM ATHENS AIRPORT: Approx 11 hours
Keeping this in mind, Matt and I opted for the night ferry so that we can save on accommodation for a day and reach Santorini at 7 AM so that we can start our day bright and early. Sleeping on the ferry isn't too uncomfortable because we are pretty fortunate to be able to fall asleep almost everywhere HAHA.
Moving on.. One of the biggest shock would probably be the amount I spent on accommodation in Santorini. HAHA we couldn't believe it ourselves too!
Of course, for the price we paid, we were ready to settle for fuss-free, no frills rooms. And if you're looking at staying in hotels that look like this:
Then i'm sorry.. this budget guide isn't for you. HAHA! A room like that can cost more than SGD 1,000 & up, depending on the period you're planning to visit Santorini. Only if you have the budget la ok..
Anyway, we moved about the different islands in Santorini and spent 1-2 nights at 4 different areas (Thira > Rodakas > Perivolos > Oia) with Oia being the most expensive of course, because it is the most touristy with the iconic view that looks like this:
We booked a small little family run hotel in Thira via Airbnb for the first 2 nights and it was just 10 mins walking distance from the Center of Thira.
Thira is another popular spot, but you can find mostly locals and less tourists there thus making the things there cheaper and more authentic as well.
A picture of the pool that greeted us in the hotel premise
There's never a time you dont get good sunlight in Santorini, so why not camwhore right? haha!
We even had little pavilions like this that allowed us to enjoy the hotel breakfast that was served right to us for only 5Euros per person
Look at how much you get for 5 Euros, we were always SO FULL after breakfast and oh I must mention that I had the best coffee there throughout my entire 5 months of travelling in Europe. SO GOOD.
This was our hotel in Thira and we paid only SGD $29 per night, so if you do the math its only $14.50 per pax for a night at this really beautiful and quiet hotel. A pity I can't remember the name of it but if you search it on Airbnb you should be able to find!
TIP: Spend some time searching for accommodation on sites like Airbnb, booking.com and hostels because you can find really good deals on there!
If you're heading to Santorini in a big group of 3-4, renting a car would be the best option for you. Getting around the island to different places can be pretty confusing, but there's nothing Google Maps can't solve. You can consult your hotel or hosts on renting a car and it should be around 30 Euros/day for a small car.Otherwise if you're game for it, rent an ATV like we did for the first day for 20 Euros/day
We rode the ATV from Thira to Oia, and trust me the roads in Greece are so so narrow and scary as they are all super high above sea level. Riding the ATV is literally the scariest experience because there are no safety barriers nor street lamps powerful enough to light up the roads at night.
They look like this in the day and can you believe it- this is a two way road and cars literally have to STOP to let buses go at every turn because there simply isn't enough space for a car and a bus to make a turn together. Also, the bends are so sharp that it makes anticipating oncoming cars the most stressful thing of your life (then) LOL.
We eventually gave up riding the ATV from the second day onwards and opted for the public buses instead. Each bus journey costs 1.40 Euros - 2.20 Euros and you can easily find bus stops all around the island with the bus timings and timetables are accessible here.
TIP: If you're not moving about as much as we did (staying in 4 different areas over 6 nights) then I would highly recommend you guys to rent a car! Not only it is much safer than riding an ATV, it also saves time and all the trouble of having to understand the public bus routes
One common misconception travellers have when they think about Santorini is that it is very expensive. ITS NOT!
In fact, Greece is one of the cheapest place I went to in Europe, although Santorini is probably the most expensive place to be in Greece, cheap finds are everywhere and you don't actually have to look high and low for them.
For instance, one of our favourite Greek food to have in Santorini is the Pita Gyros, this is super awesome shaven kebab meat topped with fries, salad and wrapped with Pita bread. This is only 2 Euros (Max we ate was 3.5Euros) and its enough to fill your tummy.
There are also an abundance of good seafood restaurants along the beaches and I would highly recommend checking out the ones along Perissa Beach where we had this HUGE seafood platter (Im not kidding it is HUGE)
Look at the size of my thumb in comparison to the plate. This platter was only 25 Euros or so. With Mussels, Calamari, Fresh Fish, Fries, Swordfish collar and a huge Greek salad, this meal could possibly feed 4 people.
One of my favourite dishes was Moussaka, somewhat like the westerner's shepherd's pie, but with eggplant instead.
Pay no more than 10 Euros for this, you can get this for as low as 6 Euros in other areas like Thira, Perivolos or Perissa. Oia is just really expensive!
TIP: Have your meals before heading to Oia!
Fresh battered Cod.
So here's what we did for our first day in Santorini, we rode the ATV to Oia from where we were staying at, Thira, to catch the beautiful sunset
The seas and pure white buildings are so surreal, making Santorini one of the greatest places to visit in the world.
While riding back to Oia, we stopped by the roadside to take some photos. And mind you, these photos are edited very minimally. The skies are actually THAT blue.
This trip to Santorini is indeed the best trip I have taken in my life. A pity it is getting more and more commercialised by the day, so i'd highly recommend you guys to visit this beautiful place if you have the time soon. How often do you see skies that blend so seamlessly with the ocean? I've never seen the sights I saw in my life.
The mere fact that Santorini is not covered with construction sites and buildings everywhere is already enough to make me drop everything to go back there again. It was such a relaxing trip and having had matt go with me just makes me feel so so blessed :')
I hope you guys found this post useful! And don't be intimidated by the traveling expenses and time because well, if I can do it within SGD 500, you can too!
Stay tuned for more parts on the trip coming up.