Free Things To Do In Santorini

Free Things To Do In Santorini (and on a budget)

For many, this Greek paradise of Santorini is nothing short of a picturesque postcard brought to life;

it’s easy to assume that experiencing its magic comes with a hefty price tag,

Yet, they could not be further from the truth.

In this article you will discover how to experience the wonders which the island has to offer, for free or on a strict budget!

Best Time to Visit Santorini

The optimal period for visiting Santorini is usually during the European summer months, specifically from May to September. In this interval, the island enjoys abundant sunshine that adds to its overall appeal.

Notwithstanding, there is practicality in considering less conventional travel times. Visiting during the shoulder or off-season periods, when there is a decrease in tourist activity and a corresponding reduction in prices, can be an attractive alternative if you’re looking to maximise the funds in your buget.

Cheapest way to get to Santorini

From the United Kingdom, there are a couplf to options to get to this Aegean gem.

The first is a direct flight from the UK, landing at Santorini’s own airport.

The second option is a less direct route — a connecting flight via Athens, which, although extends the travel time, could result in considerable financial savings. From Athens you can take a ferry or a connecting flight to the island.

Regardless of the choice, the ultimate destination remains unchanged. The timeless white city, perched on a cliff, patiently awaits to reveal its secrets to those who venture to its shores.

Transportation within Santorini

Upon arrival, one of the most cost effective means of transportation available is the island’s public bus system. Offering comprehensive coverage across the vast landscapes of the island, it provides an economically viable solution at around just 2 euros per journey.

This method of transportation offers the added benefit of integrating with the local community, giving a slightly more intimate experience of the island’s lifestyle and culture.

There are other means of getting around the island such as ATV rental, taxi or private car hire, but expect to be paying more.


They say Oia, with its classic white buildings kissed by the sunset, is the crown jewel of Santorini. However, our intrepid traveler knows that jewels often come with a hefty price tag.

A quick scan of Oia’s accommodation rates confirms this. But, fear not, for the island is dotted with lesser-known, yet enchanting towns offering more affordable lodging options.

The neighboring villages around Oia, and towns like Kamari or Perissa, hide cozy and cost-effective corners for weary travelers to rest their heads. Here, the authentic charm of Santorini can be experienced without straining the pocket.

Eating on a Budget in Santorini

Food, intrinsically, is a testament to the culture and traditions of a place, and Santorini is no exception. The culinary repertoire of the island serves as a flavorful chronicle of its history, geography, and people.

For those looking to immerse themselves in this culinary narrative without incurring a substantial expense, there are several affordable alternatives available.

Greek street food and local supermarkets present an opportunity to indulge in authentic and traditional Santorinian cuisine without a significant financial commitment.

Typical street food offerings include gyros, a popular Greek fast food comprising pita bread filled with meat, usually pork or chicken, along with fresh vegetables, tzatziki sauce, and often, fries. Be vigilant and you can usually pick up a Gyros for around 4 – 5 euros.

Not only is it a pocket-friendly option, but it also provides a unique and enjoyable gustatory insight into the everyday dietary preferences of the locals.

Equally, frequenting local supermarkets is another economical option, where you can pick up ingredients for a simple yet satisfying meal. Such an approach will give you the opportunity to indulge in the local food culture while also accommodating individual dietary preferences and requirements.

Specifically, the towns of Fira, Firostefani, and Imerovigli present a wealth of affordable dining options. These locales serve as culinary hubs where visitors can engage with the island’s gastronomic heritage without straining their budget.

It’s worth noting that the prices at the restaurants are in general very similar to eachother, even the ones with spectacular caldera views. So don’t be scared off by establishments located in these places.

Free or Affordable Activities

Waking up to the dazzling Santorini sunrise sets the stage for a day filled with exciting adventures that enrich the spirit without straining the budget. The trail from Oia to Thira beckons, a well-trodden path unveiling the island’s stunning vistas with each step.

The path between Fira and Oia offers a similar invigorating challenge, with breathtaking panoramas being the ultimate reward.

After the hike, the cliff at Ammoudi Bay stands ready for the thrill-seekers, offering an adrenaline-filled plunge into the crystal-clear Aegean Sea.

The island also boasts unique beaches like Red Beach, Kamari, and Perissa, each with their distinctive charms, all accessible without costing a single euro.

Santorini’s Wine and Historical Sites

As the sun gracefully descends, Santo Wine Farm emerges, perched on the precipice of Santorini. This establishment offers an economical wine tasting experience that delves beyond the pleasure of sampling the island’s renowned wines.

It provides an opportunity to embark on a journey through Santorini’s history and traditions, offering visitors a glimpse into the island’s viticultural heritage.

Similarly, the Excavations of Ancient Thera and Akrotiri are one of the best things to do in Akrotiri. It invites those with an interest in the island’s rich past to explore its historical sites. These archaeological treasures provide a glimpse into the ancient civilizations that once thrived on Santorini.

By traversing the ruins, visitors can gain insight into the island’s cultural evolution and appreciate its historical significance.

Both the Santo Wine Farm and the Excavations of Ancient Thera and Akrotiri serve as windows into Santorini’s past, allowing visitors to engage with the island’s heritage in a tangible and meaningful way.

Summary: Budget Tips

Visiting Santorini during the shoulder or off-season is a smart choice, as it offers the dual advantage of reduced crowds and lower prices.

For the stay, budget-friendly locations like Kamari or Perissa present themselves as enticing alternatives, marrying affordability with the quintessential Santorini experience.

For sustenance, the towns of Firostefani, and Imerovigli offer an array of affordable food options, their delightful local eateries serving up authentic Greek flavors without the high price tag.

Walking and local buses become the preferred modes of transport on the island. Their affordability and accessibility ensuring that the journey is as enjoyable as the destination.

A hike on the path between Fira and Oia is a fantatic choice not just for the budget-conscious, but for anyone seeking an intimate experience of the island’s breathtaking beauty. It’s as if Santorini itself is encouraging exploration without the strain on the pocket.

Choosing to bring your own reusable water bottle and filtration device becomes more than just a cost-saving measure; it’s a nod to sustainable travel. Similarly, carrying your own sunscreen helps save on costs while ensuring protection from the strong sun.

The Fira Cable Car and donkey rides, though touted as must-dos, can be skipped in favor of cost-effective and ethical alternatives.

As for the thirst for something stronger than water, cheap drink options are found aplenty, with happy hours at backpacker bars offering a merry end to a day of exploration.

Comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing for changing weather, and always-worn sunscreen become not just travel essentials, but allies in creating a cost-effective and memorable Santorini experience.

So why wait?

Pack that sunscreen, grab those comfortable walking shoes, and get ready to fall in love with Santorini without breaking the bank. After all, it’s the memories we make, not the money we spend, that truly enrich our travel experiences.