Never Ending Footsteps

The Cost of Travel in Greece (2023): My Detailed Budget Breakdown

trips to greece on a budget

After 12 years of travel and over 90 countries, I have come to the conclusion that Greece is one of the greatest countries in the world.

I love it so much, in fact, that I make the effort to visit at least once every couple of years. And every time I do? I always ensure I visit at least one new part of the country while I’m there.

And so, I’ve spent a significant part of the last decade exploring the beautiful Greek islands.

What is it that pulls me to return to Greece over and over again?

Quite simply, I fell in love with Greek food. If you think you’ve had Greek food before but have yet to travel to Greece: you have the most incredible treat awaiting your arrival. Greek food is divine — it’s so fresh, healthy, and delicious, with the sweetest-tasting tomatoes and the creamiest slabs of feta. I deal with a bunch of health conditions and typically have to stick to a strict diet in order to control them, but for some reason, none of that applies in Greece! I can eat whatever I want there and feel as though I’m thriving . I guess it’s that wonderful Mediterranean diet coming into play.

I could write a love letter to Greek food with just a moment’s notice, but even I can admit the country has so much more to offer than it’s incredible cuisine.

Kebab in Athens

Athens is a wonderful, world-class city full of the most impressive ruins and architecture — ignore the people who say it’s dirty and gritty, as it’s absolutely not and is well-worth visiting. You’ve got dozens upon dozens of islands to explore, from the iconic Santorini and Mykonos to the laidback Ithaca and Kefalonia. The other-worldly Meteora is well-worth a visit, and have you seen the famous shipwreck cove in Zakynthos (pictured below)?

It’s hard to believe one country can offer up so much.

I’ve been fortunate to have spent four months travelling across Greece, and over that time, I’ve been to Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Corfu, Kalamos, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Meganisi, and Ithaca. Every September, I charter a yacht with a group of friends and spend a couple of weeks sailing through the Ionian islands, falling more in love with this part of the world after every visit.

Hopefully my passion for Greece shines through my words, and I can inspire you to visit this amazing country, too. Because the good news is that Greece is relatively inexpensive. And the even-better news is that I can tell you exactly how much it costs to travel there.

I’ve been recording every single cent I spend in the countries I visit from day one of my travels because I want to prove that seeing the world is inexpensive and achievable. I want to be able to give a realistic and accurate look at how much you can expect to spend in each country you visit.

Today, it’s Greece’s turn.

Here’s how much you can expect to spend on a trip to Greece in 2023.

trips to greece on a budget

How to Save Money on Flights to/From Greece

My European readers won’t have to worry too much about the cost of flights to Greece, as the wide range of budget airlines means finding something affordable is never too much of a problem. As always, I recommend heading to Skyscanner  to snag yourself a bargain.

If you’re flexible with dates and itinerary, you’ll find the best deals by searching to flights to “Greece” rather than an individual city, as you may find it’s far cheaper to fly into Corfu over Athens, for example. It’s also worth setting your flight departure date to be across an entire month, which you can do with Skyscanner . This will show you the cheapest dates to fly and ensure you have the very best deal possible.

In general, you’ll find that it’s cheapest to fly to Greece outside of high season, which coincides with typical European summer vacation dates (late-June to late-August). May and September are the shoulder season months, and October to March is the official low season, where you’ll find the lowest prices. If you do have the freedom to visit during shoulder season, I highly recommend it, as it’ll mean spending less on flights and accommodation while having to deal with fewer tourists. Shoulder season is my favourite time of year to travel, and it’s worth making the effort to do so in Greece.

What if you’re based in North America?

Fortunately, there are quite a few direct flights running between North America and Greece — while Newark is the only North American airport that offers direct flights year-round, from shoulder-season onwards, you’ll be able to catch flights from/to JFK, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington DC, and Boston.

Athens Acropolis

How to Save Money on Accommodation in Greece

As always with travel, it’s possible to cut your accommodation costs down to zero if you have the time and patience to seek out an offer.

Couchsurfing exists in Greece , and allows you to stay with a local for free, sleeping on their sofa and enjoying a local’s insight into life in their country. It’s not the most comfortable of living situations, but if your budget is tight, it’s worth sending out a few requests to hosts to see if anything comes of it.

Housesitting is another option. This is where you’ll take care of somebody’s house for free while they’re away, and usually look after their pets, too. It’s best for long-term travellers or retirees as you can’t pick and choose dates and destinations, so you need to have a lot of flexibility as to where you go and at what time of year. If you do have that freedom, it’s a wonderful way to cut down your travel expenses, soak up some home comforts, and live like a local for a while. Trusted Housesitters is one of the best sites for getting started with housesitting.

And finally, if you’re travelling long-term and don’t mind getting your fingers dirty, you could look at WWOOFing or WorkAway as a way to cut down your costs while working on a farm in exchange for accommodation and food. It’s not the most glamorous of experiences, but getting to live for free in a foreign country is an incredible experience, so if you’re backpacking around Europe, this may be the way forward for you.

I’m suspecting, though, that for most of you, you’re not interested in the free accommodation and just want somewhere clean, safe, and affordable to rest your head each night. If that’s the case, there are several options available for you.

The first of these are hostels . In Greece, you’ll come across hostels all over the country, finding them on tiny islands, in large cities, and even in the national parks. They’re one of your best options for saving money.

Hostels in Greece are slightly cheaper than equivalents in Western Europe, with the big exception being Mykonos and Santorini over the summer, both of which are eye-wateringly expensive (I once paid €72 a night for an 4-bed dorm in Santorini in July!) You can expect to spend around €10-15 for a dorm bed in most spots in Greece, with the price increasing to slightly about €15 a night on the popular islands, national parks, and more tourist-filled areas.

When it comes to private rooms in hostels, you can expect to spend around €25 a night for a clean, basic room in a good location, so if you’re travelling with friends or with your partner, you may find it cheaper to grab some privacy over settling for two beds in a dorm room.

If you’re an older traveller and put off by the thought of nights spent in hostels, you shouldn’t be! Private rooms are usually very quiet and clean, and most hostels are modern, safe, and centrally located. They tend to have a little more personality than generic hotels, and the staff are fantastic at offering kickass travel advice. As long as you check the reviews of any hostel before booking it to make sure nobody refers to it as a party hostel, you’re all good to make a booking there.

I use HostelWorld to find the cheapest hostels, as they tend to have the greatest number of listings at the lowest prices.

And, of course, there are always hotels, which will usually start at around €50-€150 a night for a decent, clean, mid-range property in a central location. I always use Booking , as they have the most accommodation options for the cheapest prices.

One House Bay in Greece

The Best Hostels and Guesthouses in Greece

I’ve visited Greece during various stages of my travel career, from a solo backpacker who was travelling on a shoestring budget to part of a couple that was looking for all things private and mid-range. I’ve even travelled on a luxury budget for an anniversary celebration with my partner. In other words, I learned a lot about how to travel affordably through this country in the process.

I always like to share which accommodation I stayed in on my travels, as well as recommend alternatives when mine sucked. Here’s my list of my favourite accommodation options in Greece, listed in Euros:

Athens: €72 a night

You’re not going to find a better hotel in Athens for this low of a price! The Hellenic Hospitality House receives an average rating of 9.8 on Booking from over 1,500 reviews. It’s all of those glowing reviews that led to me booking a stay there. And it was simply phenomenal! It’s located right in the heart of Athens, within walking distance to all of the main attractions. And the staff were amazing, giving restaurant tips, advice on how to make the most of our stay, and even treating us to a coffee on one occasion!

Santorini: €132 a night

Santorini sure is a pricey destination, but that doesn’t mean that you have to obliterate your travel budget in order to visit. I loved my stay at La Belle Vie , and was amazed that you could still land yourself a pool at a property this affordable. Here, it’s all about the central location, the beautiful rooms, the refreshing swimming pool, and the epic sea views. Throw in some wonderful owners and you’ve got yourself a perfect stay in Santorini!

Mykonos: €170 a night

The best properties in Mykonos tend to come in between €150 and €200 a night, and With-Inn fits nicely in the middle of this price range. And just wait until you see the photos of the breakfasts! This property is Greek-owned and run, and the mother puts on a delicious spread of fresh and organic local eats every morning. So good! On top of that, you’ve got a free pick-up and drop-off from the airport and port, excellent views, and such a comfortable bed! This is a great place to stay.

Corfu: €86 a night

I love staying in Sidari in Corfu, and recommend Sidari Beach Hotel while you’re in town. It offers such good value for money for what you get. You’ll be greeted by the most welcoming staff ever who simply cannot do enough for you. The swimming pool is excellent, the breakfast delicious, and you’re located on a quiet beach that, most of the time, you’ll have all to yourselves. What a little slice of paradise.

Crete: €91 a night

If you love your hotels to be quirky, original, and photogenic, you must stay at Pavo Art Hotel in Heraklion Town. I’ve never stayed in such a fun, beautiful property before! The hotel is brand-new and so clean that you’ll feel as though you’re the first guests in the property. It’s also in a great location for exploring Heraklion’s historical attractions. The staff are kind and helpful, and there’s even a free shuttle to the city centre, although I preferred to walk along the waterfront into town each day. All in all, a great place to stay!

Rhodes: €64 a night

If you’re going to be staying in the lovely Rhodes Town, I can’t recommend Hotel Anastasia highly enough. It’s an adorable, family-run guesthouse in the heart of all the action while still remaining quiet. The included breakfast is great, the staff are particularly helpful if you’re keen to book day trips across the island, and the property’s gardens are so beautiful! Rooms are cleaned everyday and overall, it’s great value for money!

moored in Greece

How to Save Money on Transportation in Greece

Transportation is fairly inexpensive in Greece, so you won’t need to worry about it upping your travel budget by too much. The best, easiest, and cheapest way to travel around the country is by bus or by ferry.

Athens is home to an impressive metro system, and while the city is pretty walkable, you’ll still probably utilise it every now and then. It’s inexpensive to ride, costing €1.40 for a 90-minute ride, €4.50 for 24 hours of unlimited use, and €9 for a five-day ticket.

If you’re planning on travelling across the mainland, the domestic bus network — KTEL — will take you anywhere you need to go. And I’ll be honest here: while I’d love to tell you that taking the bus in Greece is super-simple, but it’s actually kind of complicated and annoying.

KTEL buses are run by dozens of individual bus companies, and each company has their own website. And so, to travel from town to town, you can’t simply head to a main KTEL website. Instead, you’ll need to find the specific KTEL website for the province you’ll be travelling from.

If you love trains, like I do, you’re not going to be impressed with the rail infrastructure in Greece. Travel between Athens and Thessalonki on a train but that’s about it. You can book a ride through TrainOSE .

If you’re anything like me, though, you can’t imagine visiting Greece and not  spending time on some of its gorgeous islands. In this case, you’re going to want to hop from the mainland to paradise. Many of the popular Greek islands are home to an airport, which makes travel particularly easy. You’ll be able to jet straight into Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Zakynthos, Rhodes, Kos, Karpathos, Skiathos, Lesvos, Lemnos, Samos, and Crete! Phew! That’s quite the list of destinations!

If you’re on a tight budget, however, you’ll most likely opt to travel by ferry. Ferries leave from Piraeus, in Athens, and typically cost around €40, regardless of where you’ll be travelling to. I use Ferry Hopper to book my ferries in Greece.

When it comes to hiring a car to drive around Greece, I’d recommend against doing so. Roads are poor quality, local drivers can be chaotic, and on-street parking is tough to find. If you’re still keen, though, I hired my car out of Preveza Airport through my favourite RentalCars .com , a comparison search engine that brings up the best deals from all the popular providers.

You can also hire scooters in Greece, so if you’re competent on two wheels, you may want to opt for this instead! I’ve done this throughout the Ionian, as well as in Crete, and had so much fun! You don’t typically need to have a motorbike license to hire a scooter (although keep in mind that this means your travel insurance won’t cover you if you wreck the bike or injure yourself!)

Here are some of the typical transportation costs you can expect to run into while in Greece:

  • Train from Athens to Thessaloniki: €52.50
  • Ferry from Athens to Mykonos: €36
  • Ferry from Athens to Santorini: €40
  • Ferry from Athens to Chania (Crete): €40

trips to greece on a budget

How to Save Money on Food in Greece

You’ve already seen me spiral off into a soliloquy on the merits of Greek food, so I’m excited to dive into one of my favourite subjects in even more depth.

The first thing to know is that food is inexpensive in Greece, and I rarely spend more than €10 a meal. Still, there are plenty of opportunities for cutting costs as you travel around this wonderful country.

Cooking is always going to be more affordable than eating out, so if you’re willing to sacrifice some meals on your vacation, this is a great way to keep on track with your budget. Hostels will usually give you access to a shared kitchen, and if you’re opting to stay in an Airbnb, you can check that it allows you access to the kitchen. If that’s the case, you can head to a local market (a great cultural experience) and stock up on fish, vegetables, and gigantic slabs of feta fruits, and spend far less on your meals than you would at a restaurant.

Many accommodation providers will offer free breakfasts within their room rate, so if that’s the case, I always recommend opting for it, unless it reveals itself to be terrible on your first morning’s breakfast. In general, though, the food is so delicious in Greece that I’ve yet to stumble upon a bad hotel breakfast.

You’re also going to want to opt for a larger lunch and a smaller dinner. Most restaurants charge less for their lunch menus, even though they’re serving the exact same meal for lunch and dinner. If you can eat a bigger meal for lunch, you can then get by with a much smaller one for dinner and save money through doing so.

In general, you should expect to spend the following on each meal:

Breakfast:   €5  each for a local breakfast;  €10  each for something in a hipster cafe.

What can you expect from breakfasts in Greece? Often, the first meal of the day is the simplest, and you can expect to delight in fresh breads, olive oils, tangy cheeses, pastries, and plenty of coffee. Greek yoghurt is famous, so you can definitely expected to be presented with some for breakfast, usually drizzled with beautiful Greek honey — the sweetness balances out the tanginess of the dairy.

In cafes, you might want to order a spinach pie, or spanakopita, which comprises a crispy casing that encases spinach, feta, and plenty of local herbs.

If you require something a little more filling, try strapatsada or  kagiana s (the dish has two names). It’s a plate of scrambled eggs, with fresh tomatoes, feta, and herbs folded in. It’s simple yet delicious.

Lunch: €6 for a Greek salad; €10 for a souvlaki meal

Lunches in Greece are — you guessed it! — delicious. Personally, I aim to eat either a Greek salad or souvlaki for lunches — both of which are super-affordable and filling.

Dinner: €10  each if you’re on a budget,  €18  each for a mid-range restaurant,  €35  each for something higher-end.

What about tipping? In most restaurants you’ll frequent, tipping will be welcome but not in any way expected. So don’t panic — it isn’t seen as offensive if you don’t tip! And likewise, it won’t be viewed as offensive if you do. Expect to pay 10-15% in any fancy restaurants you head to, but anything laidback and local won’t require you to pay extra.

I don’t often have much success with this suggestion, but I do recommend keeping an eye on your drink consumption while travelling in Greece. Alcohol is obviously a big budget buster on the road, so if you’re happy to substitute the sodas, juices, and booze for bottled water, you’ll save a ton of money.

If you’re determined to jump headfirst into the Greek food scene and don’t want to spend your vacation cooking, you should look to eat at the tavernas as opposed to the fancier restaurants. Tavernas are small family-run restaurants that offer big dishes and low prices, and they’re just as tasty as the more expensive options.

You can always ask the locals for food recommendations, too! Ask at your accommodation for recommendations on the best budget eats, or simply walk around and see which restaurants are full of locals.

Here are some typical prices of food and drink in Greece to help you budget better:

  • Pint of draught beer:  €2.00
  • A bottle of house wine in a restaurant:  €10
  • A slice of pizza: €2.50
  • Sandwich from a deli for lunch: €4
  • A 30 cm pizza for dinner: €11.00
  • Seafood dish in a fancy restaurant:  €20.00
  • Cappuccino in an expat area of town:  €1.50
  • Litre of milk:  €0.75
  • A loaf of bread:  €0.80
  • A dozen eggs:  €1.80
  • 1 kilogram of tomatoes:  €1.40
  • 1 kilogram of potatoes:  €0.80
  • A 1.5l bottle of water:  €0.90
  • A risotto for lunch:  €10.50
  • A steak dinner: €17.50

Corfu fortress

How to Save Money on Activities in Greece

We’ve covered accommodation, transportation, and food, but let’s face it: you’re not going to have the trip of a lifetime if you skip out on entrance fees and activities! Here’s a detailed breakdown of some of the costs you’re likely to encounter while travelling around Greece:

  • Athens: Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket : €35
  • Athens: Full-Day Meteora Trip by Train : €98
  • Athens: Delphi Guided Day Trip with Pickup & Optional Lunch : €87
  • Santorini: Volcanic Islands Cruise with Hot Springs Visit : €26
  • Santorini: Guided Wine Tasting Tour with Pickup : €140
  • Santorini: Catamaran Cruise with Lunch & Open Bar : €100
  • Zakynthos Island: Navagio Shipwreck Beach & Blue Caves Tour : €45
  • Mykonos Cooking Class : €140
  • From Thessaloniki: Day Trip to Dion and Mount Olympus : €55

trips to greece on a budget

Miscellaneous Items to Buy for a Trip to Greece

A Greece guidebook : A guidebook will give you an in-depth look into Greece’s culture, suggest the perfect itineraries for the amount of time you have, and offer recommendations for where to eat and what’s worth doing. I like Lonely Planet guidebooks, and their Greek offering receives great reviews . Readers of Never Ending Footsteps receive a 10% discount on Lonely Planet purchases by buying through the above link.

A dry bag :  Greece is all about the water, so I highly recommend packing  a dry bag  to take with you. A dry bag has saved me while travelling on so many occasions:

  • On a kayaking trip from Koh Yao Noi to Koh Nok, a freak wave splashed over me, as well as my camera and phone. Had I not had them in a dry bag, the water damage would have likely destroyed them.
  • On a ferry ride in Thailand, the boat sprung a leak and began to sink. I was able to put my laptop, camera, hard drive, passport, and money in my dry bag, seal it up, and know that they’d stay safe and dry if the worst were to happen.
  • I chartered a yacht in Greece and relied heavily on my dry bag while I was there. When mooring in tiny bays, I was able to fill my dry bag with my camera, towel, and sunscreen, jump in the sea, and swim to the nearest empty beach without worrying about keeping my belongings dry.
  • I also think dry bags are fantastic for solo travellers on beach days. It’s tough going to the beach when you’re travelling alone because you’ll need to bring nothing with you, risk getting robbed while you’re in the ocean, or stay on the sand at all times. If you have a dry bag, you can fill it up with your valuables and take it for a swim with you, rather than leaving them on your towel and hoping nobody will grab them.

I love all things Sea to Summit, and after trying several of their dry bags out, my champion is the  Ultra-Sil 8L  — it’s durable, thin, lightweight, and has never let me down.

Travel insurance : If you’ve read any other posts on Never Ending Footsteps, you’ll know that I’m a great believer in travelling with travel insurance. I’ve seen far too many Go Fund Me campaigns from destitute backpackers that are unexpectedly stranded in a foreign country after a scooter accident/being attacked/breaking a leg with no way of getting home or paying for their healthcare. In short, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.

Travel insurance will cover you if your flight is cancelled and you need to book a new one, if your luggage gets lost and you need to replace your belongings, if you suddenly get struck down by kidney stones and have to be hospitalised, or discover a family member has died while you’re overseas and now you need to get home immediately. If you fall seriously ill, your insurance will cover the costs to fly you home to receive medical treatment.

I use and recommend SafetyWing for travel throughout Greece. They’re one of the few companies out there who will actually cover you if you contract COVID-19. On top of that, they provide worldwide coverage, don’t require you to have a return ticket, and even allow you to buy coverage after you’ve left home. Finally, they have a clear, easy-to-understand pricing structure, which is always a bonus.

trips to greece on a budget

How Much it Costs to Travel in Greece

I always like to share my own personal expenses when travelling in a country, as I think it helps you figure out what you should be expecting to pay each day while you’re there. A list of expenses is great and helpful, of course, but putting them all together in order to come up with a reasonable estimate can be trickier.

Here’s what I’ve spent on average over my many months in Greece:

Accommodation: €45 per day  Transportation: €7 per day Food: €23 per day Activities: €2 per day

My average daily cost of travel in Greece is therefore: €77 per day . Not bad at all!

Related Articles on Greece 3️⃣ How to Spend Three Days in Athens, Greece 🇬🇷  11 Highlights From My First Trip to Greece 🧳  A Carry-On Packing List for Sailing in the Greek Islands ⛵️  Conquering My Fear of Sailing in Greece

Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents. Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.

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Thanks for sharing your Greece trip. If I have only 2 weeks, which islands do I go and your suggested itinerary.

Thanks and happy travelling!

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Meet Lauren Juliff

Here's how you can visit Greece on a budget

Jun 7, 2023 • 9 min read

trips to greece on a budget

Enjoy your Greek Islands holiday for longer with these tips for traveling on a budget © Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty Images

Greece’s popularity means there’s competition for travelers on a budget. But by shopping around, and keeping a few key strategies in mind, you can have a memorable visit without going broke in the process. Just be aware that in the peak summer season, like elsewhere, deals are much more elusive in Greece .

What's the cheapest way to get to Greece?

From europe.

The best affordable way to reach Greece from Europe is by plane, and your options are myriad. To Athens , budget carriers like easyJet and Ryanair have everyday cheap fares from across Europe, as do traditional carriers such as Air France and Lufthansa . Greece’s national carrier  Aegean Airlines  also offers cheap fares to Athens from all over Europe. Whether flying to Athens or directly to an island from Europe, take time to compare the fares as deals usually abound. 

You can fly direct to islands with international airports, such as Crete , Mykonos , Rhodes and Santorini . Most of these flights are run by charter carriers and are very cheap. Online travel booking sites will show many of these flights. 

Note that if you are flying a route to an island that involves a connection in Athens, it is often cheaper to get a fare to Athens and then purchase a separate ticket to the islands. However, this works best if you only have carry-on bags. Otherwise, you will need to retrieve your checked bags in Athens and recheck them for your flight to the island.

Alternatively, you can fly to Athens and then get a cheap ferry ride out to the islands from the port of Piraeus . Allow, at minimum, three hours for this transfer, which involves taking the frequent express bus from the airport. A better option is breaking your journey in Athens , where you can enjoy a glimpse of the Parthenon and a night in Plaka before continuing on your ferry.

Rear View Of Man And Woman Looking At Buildings Against Sky

From North America

The three main US carriers fly from their hubs in the east non-stop to Athens in the summer season. These flights are popular and tend to sell out, so unless you get a deal early, the cheapest option will be an itinerary that connects at one or more hubs to reach Athens. The same applies to flights from Canada.

From the rest of the world

Whether flying from Asia, Africa, the Middle East or Oceania, you'll find that many options for flights to Athens include a connection in Europe, the Middle East or North Africa. There’s no secret to cheap fares here; once you know your dates, start shopping as early as possible and compare the fares from as many airlines as possible.

Young Woman Sitting And Enjoying The View Of The Sea

May and October are the sweet-spot months to visit

July and August are the peak travel times for Greece, and there are few deals to be had. Airfares, ferry prices and accommodation rates are at their highest. Many places offering the best value sell out quickly, leaving people who wait to firm up their summer plans to pay the price.

June and September can be slightly cheaper than the very peak season. The shoulder months are great times to travel as all the ferries are running, every business is open, and the weather is excellent. The best deals on flights and accommodation may be a little more available than in July and August.

For many seasoned travelers to Greece, May and October are the sweet-spot months to visit the country. Just about everything is open and running, but there are fewer people, and rates and prices can fall by 25% or more. These are good months to find reasonable fares on non-stop flights to Athens from the US as well.

The off-season from November to April can be a rewarding time to visit Greece, but it comes with many caveats. The weather is often crisp and rainy, so this is not the time for a beach holiday. Much is closed, especially on the islands. Accommodation choices outside Athens are constrained, and flights and ferries to the islands operate at a very low level. The cheap charter airlines cut their schedules entirely. Rather than reduce their fares to attract passengers, major airlines simply cut their flights to Athens and deploy their planes to warm-weather destinations.

Want some help? Let Elsewhere plan your next trip.

Accommodation deals depend on the season and how early you book

As always with travel, plan your trip as early as possible to secure the best deals on accommodation.

In the peak summer season, rates are at their highest. Don’t expect to find a brilliant double room in a popular destination for €50 ($58), but if you book early, you might find a great room for €150 ($173) as opposed to a room for the same price – or more – overlooking the trash cans in the alley.

During the high season, it also pays to consider package deals for Greece. Booking sites and airlines often offer all sorts of discounts if you book everything through one company. But also note that package accommodation deals are usually at large resorts or vast generic holiday apartment complexes, which may or may not be in an inviting part of your destination. Package deals are not where you’ll find the quaint little room with a view at an indie inn.

Also, note that the days when elderly ladies met ferries with offers of cheap spare rooms are long gone. Everything is on booking sites like booking.com , Airbnb  and Vrbo .

In shoulder season, rates may be lower, and the choice of accommodation isn't snapped up as quickly – yet more reasons to consider travel in May, June, September and October.

From November to April, rates fall but so does availability as many places to stay close entirely. Note that holiday apartments may not have heating, so check carefully.

Tourists boarding the ferry to Santorini island at the port of Heraklion

Choose how to get between the islands

Island-hopping is one of the real pleasures of Greek travel. Lounging on a deck while gliding past idyllic islands is part of many a traveler’s fantasy. Ferry fares tend to be consistent, but you can save money with a few strategies:

  • Book early (as always!). Larger boats often offer advance-purchase fares at significant savings from walk-up fares.
  • Compare prices. On competitive routes such as Athens to Mykonos, several ferry companies offer service in summer, and fares can vary a bit between them. Use online booking sites such as Ferryhopper to compare options.
  • Go slow. On routes where there are large traditional ferries and flashy fast ferries, the slow boats are almost always cheaper. One hidden benefit of the slow boats is that they usually have large amounts of deck space, so you can live that Greek fantasy and watch the islands glide by. Many fast ferries have little or no deck space, so you spend the journey locked up in charmless lounges.
  • In summer, there are also inter-island flights and much more frequent airline service to and from Athens, but the popularity of the flights means that deals are few. Watch out for major Greek holidays when locals buy up every airline (and ferry) seat to return to their home islands.

Pick your transport to explore the mainland

Greek buses are cheap, modern and reasonably comfortable. Every village has at least some service, although the smallest villages may not have much.

Although the train network is limited, fares are cheap where the trains run, and the seats are very comfortable. The route linking Athens and Thessaloniki is the real star, with fast trains linking the two cities in a little over four hours – faster than is possible by bus or car.

As elsewhere in the world, rental car prices have shot up in Greece. Your own wheels offer maximum flexibility but come at a cost. Deals are few, although you may be able to save by booking a car as part of an airfare and accommodation package.

One strategy to save money on car rentals is only renting cars on days when you need the flexibility and convenience to do some exploring .

Tourist friends on summer holidays in Europe having fun riding retro scooter by the sea

Weigh your options for getting around the islands

On an island like Hydra , where all motor vehicles are banned, your options to get around the island are simple and free: you walk. However, on most islands, you’ll again be weighing the cost of a car versus the inconvenience of a bus. Popular islands will have summer-season buses serving popular destinations and beaches, so the strategy of renting a car only for certain days of exploration holds. Tiny rental companies exist on many of the islands in addition to the large chains, but in peak season, don’t expect any better rates from local vendors.

It’s usually easy to rent a scooter or motorbike from a local vendor. Budget about €20 to €40 ($23 to $46) for this. But make sure the rental comes with a helmet included, and you should know how to ride one before you rent one.

Steep hills, narrow roads and other challenging conditions, including the sun and heat, mean riding a bicycle is an activity chosen for the fun of it rather than a practical means of getting around easily.

Save on entrance fees

Paying to see museums, ruins, historic sites and other attractions is relatively inexpensive in Greece as entrance fees are set not to bankrupt the local citizens. But don’t forget to look for discounts for students and people under 26 or over 60 (eg, this means a 50% reduction in fees at the Acropolis in Athens, etc).

All beaches are free. Yes, you can pay for a pricey lounger, but there will always be a portion of the beach where you can smooth out your own towel and enjoy the same water.

Enjoy a good, cheap meal

Obviously, the waterfront restaurant or stylish cafe on a popular beach are not the places to go for a decent budget meal . But affordable options abound across Greece as local people also want to eat out but can’t afford tourist prices.

In every popular area from the heart of Athens to the smallest island village, step a street or two away from the buzz, and you’ll likely find shops selling souvlaki (grilled meat) sandwiches on pita and other Greek treats. You need not succumb to the siren call of the pizza joint or burger stand – although there are plenty of these – to get a good, fresh meal of Greek food for well under €10 ($12).

Bakeries sell sandwiches and other prepared foods, and even the smallest supermarket likely has a deli case filled with meats, cheese and prepared foods like tzatziki.

Drink for less

Supermarkets also sell cheap cold beer and wine. You can enjoy sitting on the rocks while savoring the same sunset as the people at the nearby pricey taverna. Spirits are always expensive.

Daily Costs

  • Inter-island ferry ticket: from €20 ($23)
  • Hostel room: €25-60 ($29-70)
  • Basic room for two: €50-140 ($58-162)
  • Self-catering apartment (including Airbnb): €100-300 ($116-347)
  • Public transport ticket: €1.20 ($1.30)
  • Coffee: €2 ($2.30)
  • Souvlaki sandwich: €4-6 ($4.60-7)
  • Dinner for two: €40 and up ($46)
  • Beer at a cafe: €3-6 ($3.50-7)
  • Beach lounger: €5-10 ($5.80-12)

This article was first published November 2021 and updated June 2023

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How to travel Greece on a budget: tips from a backpacker

Greece is a great place for solo travelers, couples, friends and families but how much does a typical trip cost? Read on and discover how to travel Greece on a budget.

trips to greece on a budget

Tiffany Tiff Travels

Mar 23, 2023

How to travel Greece on a budget

Each travel destination is unique with its own twists and turns, but one thing you’ll find in common is a couple of backpackers finding ways to stretch their very last dollar .

Greece is a country that can be as affordable or as expensive as you make it. Many people travel here for weddings, anniversaries, girls getaways, or simply just for exploring sake which makes a few of the islands a bit more pricey than others.

With Greece, it just all depends on how you budget and spend your money, just as any other destination. Let’s go ahead, I'll share with you my tips to travel Greece on a budget.

How to travel to Greece on a budget? Find the cheapest time

I know it may seem tempting to book that flight during the summer time when you see everyone on instagram and tiktok having the time of their lives in Santorini or Mykonos, but a smart budget backpacker always considers all options.

The same with many other hit destinations, traveling to Greece in the summertime is going to be more expensive than traveling off season. Now you’re probably asking, "well when is the cheapest time for me to visit, Tiff?" Don’t worry, I’ve got you.

The low season for traveling Greece starts at fall time and ends around the beginning of spring .

The country does not see many tourists during this time so locals are relaxed and flight prices are too.

To give an example, a flight from  New York City to Greece during June or July (peak travel time) would range between $350 USD to as high as $450 USD. Towards the middle to end of August, the prices drop tremendously and tickets can be found for as low as $148 USD (I'm using a popular United States departure point, as I am an American national). All flight prices are reported using the Kiwi.com budget flight finder website . 

 Scanning for affordable flights on cheap airline sites such as kiwi.com and skyscanner.com also show a noticeable comparison in price to other flight scanners.

See, the time of travel makes a huge difference! Although the flight prices may be cheaper during low season, tourists have reported many businesses to be closed during this time so it’s best to pick and choose your battles.

Girl seated in front of archeological complex in Athens, Greece

How to travel to Greece on a budget? Find the cheapest accommodation

One thing about Europe is that many of the countries are extremely tiny compared those in South America , North America or Asia , but they have a reliable hostel system setup for backpackers and explorers.

The place I love to look for affordable accommodation is hostelworld.com . The site gathers all hostels in the city of your choice in one searching pool so finding your preferred stay is very simple.

Another form of affordable accommodation can also be searching for private rooms on airbnb .

If you plan on booking a hostel bed during the prime season (summer time) it's best to look for a bunk ASAP . Rooms in popular islands go out extremely quickly so it's best to be prepared than regretful. 

The best way to save money on accommodation is to volunteer in a work exchange opportunity with the Worldpackers program, but we’ll talk more about that later on in the article.

Red hued sunset at Syros island, Greece

How to travel to Greece on a budget? Eat and drink for less

Now we’ve gotten to the fun (and delicious) part of the article: Mediterranean food is loved all around the world by many people, including myself. Although the country offers delectable food, it is still important to be cautious of prices as things can get expensive quickly.

One of the best ways to save money on food in Greece is to eat at one of the many street vendors. There are so many meals for under 10 euros such as: shawarma, falafel, souvlaki, skepasti, and of course the famous gyros.

Besides getting scrumptious street food, travelers can also get easy and cheap groceries to cook . I’ve stayed in hostels all around the world in countries with the most exotic and unique food and I’ve seen people eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There is no shame in making a quick cheap meal to save a few bucks for fun activities and plane tickets.

Just be sure to try all the street food on your bucket list before leaving. And of course, get creative and purpose local veggies and attempt to create your own take on a classic Greek dish. I always love to get groceries and recreate local dishes of new countries I visit.

Even though Greek food is extremely tasty, some dishes contain a lot of meat, a concern for vegetarians and vegans . If you are a fellow veggie eater like myself, don’t worry, there are plenty of vegan restaurants in Athens and all over the islands, you just have to do some research.

A great app vegans use to find grubs is “Happy Cow ”. It has saved people on many occasions and is sometimes better than just typing the word “vegan” into google maps.

Read this article to learn more about maintaining a vegan diet while traveling.

Traditional Greek salad in a seaside restaurant

How to travel to Greece on a budget? Pack less to save more

When traveling to Greece or any European country for that matter, it's better to pack light.

Most European budget airlines only accept a free personal item or carry on and the more bags to check in may cost nearly the price of another ticket.

To many people it may seem impossible to pack all items into carryon sized luggage, but having a minimalist mindset is the best way to take on travel . A traveler can take off with a small suitcase but when planning an adventure packed trip, I typically like to take a 40 L backpack. 

Here is an example of a small list of items I would pack for a Greek island hopping budget adventure:

  • Packing cubes for maximum storage organization
  • Season appropriate clothing for one week (if staying longer, washing will be your best friend!)
  • 2 pairs of shoes maximum (bigger one wearing to the airport)
  • Reusable water bottle (with a clip to attach to backpack)
  • Scarf or long skirt (for women in religious areas)
  • Flowy dress (for stunning pictures in at the Santorini Blue dome church)
  • Important medications
  • 1 thin foldable jacket (for chilly airplane rides)

I typically like to use a method of purchasing certain items when arriving at my destination . For example, unless you like a very specific or rare toothpaste, it may be better to buy one once you get to the Greece.

A huge tip for traveling light is to wear your heaviest or thickest clothes on the plane (or train, or bus) before reaching Greece as they will take up much space in the luggage.

To learn more about packing like a professional minimalist , check out this article. 

Two boats docked in colorful Aegina island, Greece

How to travel to Greece on a budget? Fun things to do for cheap

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a good time. Plenty of backpackers have made their best memories while abroad (or traveling at home) without spending any money.

Fun does not necessarily mean more money and it does not have to be overly expensive. Greece consists of several islands and their mainland, including popular places like Athens, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini, Corfu, Paros, Milos, and Zakynthos.

Santorini is definitely the most popular Greek island of them all but it will certainly be a whole lot easier to find cheap or free things to do in lesser known/lesser visited islands.

Here is a list of cheap or free things to do in varying Greek locations. Quick tip: if you plan on seeing multiple historical sites in the Athens area, it may be a consideration to obtain a multi pass.

  • Enjoy a fruit picnic at the National Park in Athens.
  • Take a free walking tour of Mykonos city.
  • Go on a walking tour (self guided or with a local friend) of Athens city.
  • Visit Zeus Olympian temple for 4 euro entrance fee.
  • Swim in the beautiful Mediterranean sea for free.
  • Try delicious Greek street food for under 10 euros (etc: gyros, Falafel, Loukoumades, Koulori).
  • Grab a blanket, a camera, and enjoy a world class sunset on Santorini island.
  • Take free pictures at the insta famous blue top church in Santorini.

See, traveling on a budget does not define a traveler or their ability to have fun. Despite the activities listed above, there are so many more fun things people can do while visiting Greece on a budget.

There have been many travellers who took off with little to nothing in their bank accounts and still managed to see the world.

When traveling Greece, or any destination, on a budget, it is about maintaining a specific and goal oriented financial mindset . Also, snagging a Worldpackers volunteer opportunity with a Greek host may allow travelers to see and do more things for free. 

trips to greece on a budget

Quick tips for budget backpackers in Greece

Alright backpackers, we just discussed some great methods for saving money while traveling to Greece. Before we proceed to talk about the best way to save money while traveling Greece on a budget (work exchange with Worldpackers), I would like to share a few other tips and/or reiterate the advice we have already gone over that will immensely help backpackers pinc their pennies while in Greece:

  • If need be, fly to the cheapest European destination and take a $10 flight (or train) to Athens.
  • Take an overnight ferry to other islands and save almost half the price of a speedy ferry ticket.
  • Rent a moped as cheap transportation and see the beautiful surrounding area.
  • Visit less traveled to islands such as Corfu and Milos to save money.
  • Stay updated with free days for museums and historical sites.
  • Book accommodation far in advance, prices go up closer to date.
  • Bring a university student ID for ½ entrance fees.

Here is the cheapest way to travel to Greece: Work exchange with Worldpackers

Now we’ve arrived at the fun part: free accommodation .

As mentioned before, Worldpackers is a program that allows travelers of all nationalities across the globe to have the chance of budget travel. I myself have used the platform in three different countries and was able to save thousands of dollars!

It's quite simple, go to the Worldpacker's website and type in the country or city (in this case Greece) of your desire. Then scroll and view the exchanges in your destination, pick the one best for you and get ready for the trip of a lifetime!

In exchange for the accommodation, travelers offer their skills whether it may be social media, content creation, gardening, or reception. Greece has over 40 opportunities in various islands and locations so having a budget backpacker experience here will be a breeze.

Volunteers in a horse sanctuary in Greece

Check 5 projects to volunteer with Worldpackers!

Help with reception work at a small Milos guest house. 

Teach sports at a chill and laid back Corfu hostel. 

Get the glamping experience on Kos island. 

Become an au pair and learn how to garden. 

Help with cleaning and administration at Chameleon Youth hostel. 

Do the above exchanges not float your boat? Check all the opportunities to volunteer in Greece with Worldpackers. 

Want to learn more about planning your Mediterranean Greek trip? By subscribing to the WP pack plan you have unlimited access to +120 courses at Worldpackers Academy, the travel school made by travelers!

Join the community!

Create a free Worldpackers account to discover volunteer experiences perfect for you and get access to exclusive travel discounts!

Tiff Travels

Hello beautiful people of the internet! My name is Tiffany and I've been traveling the world solo for the past 2 years (I'm currently 21) and been to 5 countries including Zanzibar. My first 2 experiences with worldpackers have been in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and San Francisco, California and I plan on continuing my travels with the company. Let's go explore the world together!

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trips to greece on a budget

2 Weeks in Greece For Every Budget

trips to greece on a budget

Stunning white beaches, turquoise water, great food, spectacular mountain scenery, genuine hospitality and endless culture and history.  These are just some of the reasons to have a Greece vacation . On top of all this, the country makes for a seriously affordable destination and it’s easy to spend 2 weeks in Greece for every budget.

Travel to: Athens, Santorini and Mykonos

But how much will you really need per day according to your budget? What’s the breakdown of costs to help you plan your visit? We’ve been there and done the legwork for you, so whether you’re travelling on a shoestring or ready for a few weeks of luxury, we’ve got two weeks in Greece for every budget right here.

Find here the best 10 day travel itineraries for Greece .

Looking to refresh your look for your trip? This is our favourite high-waisted bikini right now. 

dinner in greece

Top budget tips for Greece

Try to travel outside the peak summer season of July and August. During this period, prices skyrocket, the weather is scorching hot and it’s incredibly busy because the local residents are on vacation at this time too. Visiting in May and June or September to early October will reward you with pleasantly warm days and cooler nights.

Prices noted here are based on travel during the shoulder season (during the months mentioned above). Make sure you budget extra cash if you’re planning on travelling during peak season. Keep in mind that if you plan on moving quickly between islands, this will add additional costs for transport. The mainland and islands close to it will be less expensive than the well-known islands such as Mykonos, Santorini and Paros in the South.

trips to greece on a budget

How to travel in Greece on a shoestring budget

  • How much you’ll need for two weeks in Greece with a shoestring/backpacker budget: USD$600 or €500
  • Cost per day: USD$35-$45

Accommodation

In the larger cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki, accommodation is at its cheapest – and you can find dorm rooms in hostels for about $13 per night.  If you’re travelling in pairs and would like to keep costs down, look for small independent hotels and guesthouses, as these are priced from $15-20 per night.

As you start exploring the many surrounding islands, a bed for the night gets a little pricier. The most expensive beds on a budget will be $15-$19 per night for a dorm bed in a hostel. Small hotels will set you back around $40-50 per night.

trips to greece on a budget

Food in Greece is quite affordable and shouldn’t eat into the budget too much. Street food and corner gyros shops are cheap, easy and filling. Try a lamb or chicken gyros, (rotisserie grilled meats served wrapped in a flatbread such as a pita, with tomato, onion, a few chips and tzatziki sauce). These cost about $2 each.  Keep your eyes peeled for a local bakery, these will keep you well fed for minimum cost too. You can find freshly baked spanakopita pastry for $2.

A typical meal from a taverna will start from about $6 per person. Order some grilled meat, fresh seafood or calamari with chips and salad. Remember that Greeks like to eat dinner quite late, around 9 or 10 pm. Always choose a restaurant with lots of locals eating there, it will be more affordable and the food will be better. 

One 0.5l bottle of great local beer (Mythos) will cost you $1.50 or €1.30. Local wine will set you back about $2.00 per glass (ask for house wine from the barrel, not bottled). Order a carafe of wine if you’re sharing with someone, it’s cheaper. 

See Also: 5 Simple Ways to Get Excited for a Trip to Greece

Both train and bus services are convenient ways to get around in Greece, however a five-hour journey on the mainland would cost you $35-50 one way, but a flight would get you there in a quarter of the time for a fair price.

Flights within Greece are super cheap and convenient. Budget airlines such as Aegean, Olympic and RyanAir offer regular flights. A flight from Athens to some of the most popular Greek Islands only takes about 1 hour, whilst ferries can take anywhere from 5 to 10+ hours.  

Ferries between the Greek islands do run frequently. For a standard ticket (no overnight cabin required), check the schedules online to book your ticket.

Experiences

This won’t change much between different budgets, so if you’re on a shoestring, you already know that Greece is all about the beaches, the sun and relaxing, which is free.

A popular activity on the islands is to hire a four-wheeled motorbike and explore the island. Cost is about $25 per day, fuel is cheap and it’s a great option to be able to go and explore small beaches and villages at your leisure. Alternatively, a scooter costs about $15-20 per day.

If you’re exploring Athens for a few days, a visit to the Acropolis is a must, with the entrance fee of $24. If you’d like to see more ancient history, purchase a different ticket for $35 which gets you access to visit the Acropolis (the Parthenon and the Erechtheion) and other main archaeological sites in Athens (such as Hadrian’s Library, the Ancient Agora).

greece beach

How to travel in Greece with a mid-range budget

  • How much you’ll need for two weeks in Greece with a mid-range budget: USD$750-$1,000 or   €550 – 800
  • Cost per day: USD$55-75

For a comfortable guest house or family-run mid-range hotel/ self-contained studio, expect to find a room from USD$30-$80 per night.

This will vary, depending on your location. The more popular islands such as Mykonos or Santorini will always be more expensive than the lesser known islands, and prices will always reflect this.

On a mid-range budget, try and stick to street style food for breakfast and lunch. Treat yourself with nice dinners in the evening at local restaurants and tavernas. Budget around $3-5 for each breakfast and lunch meal and $10-15 for a sit-down dish at a restaurant, which includes a drink.

gyros

If you are looking to visit Greece on a mid-range budget there are several tips to take into account. The first thing you should do is look beyond the two or three main cities and islands that Greece has to offer. Santorini is the most famous spot for its narrow cobblestone streets, white windmills and blue churches. But, talking to locals you will soon realize that there are so many islands of Greece that offer a similar or better experience, and due to the lower popularity, they have more affordable pricing. As with any destination, look beyond the main tourist areas for better food, affordable souvenirs and a more local experience. – Steven and Jazmin, Travel to Blank

Beers are inexpensive at around USD$1.50. You’ll pay a few extra dollars for an imported beer.  A glass of local wine will set you back around $2-3. If you’d prefer locally bottled wine, you’ll pay around $4-5 per glass.

These options won’t change too much from the budget options already listed above. Flights are cheap and a quick way to get between islands. If you’re booking overnight ferries, on this budget you’re able to book an overnight cabin with beds to rest and re-energise.

Greece is a gorgeous yet affordable country and it has so much to offer besides its world-famous but expensive islands. I totally recommend a 5-day road trip through the Peloponnese region to combine sea, mountains, charming villages and archaeological sites. Another spot that recently took my breath away is the mystical Meteora and its old monasteries perched on the top of majestic rocks. To make the most of Greece on a mid-range budget, avoid visiting touristy islands, traveling during July and August, but feel free to ask local people for the best tavern or spot in town. – Maria, The Tropical Dog

With a greater budget, you’ll be able to choose a few more organised trips or activities such as half-day sightseeing trips, nightlife excursions, jet-ski hire and traditional dinner shows. Shop around a little before paying for a day trip. You’ll find that hotels and resorts will sell the same day trips for a much higher price than what you can find in town.

I think the biggest mistake when looking for a Greek island holiday, is to head to the most famous islands of Santorini or Mykonos, where over tourism start to be a real issue. There are 6,000 islands in Greece which are all more beautiful than others and have their own heritage. I found myself on Alonissos Island in the middle of the peak season last year. I enjoyed this hidden gem of the Sporades away from the crowd. Generally speaking, if you want sunny weather, warm water and fewer people, September is your best bet for a fantastic holiday in Greece. – Florine, World Adventure Divers

How to travel in Greece with a luxury budget

  • How much you’ll need for two weeks in Greece with a luxury budget: USD$1,500-$1700 or €1200
  • Cost per day: USD$110

On this budget, you’ll be able to book a beautiful Airbnb with stunning views or a classy 4- or 5-star hotel or boutique. Cost for this will range from USD$95-$230 per night.

santorini

We love traveling through Greece with our twins and there are great luxury options in Greece, even for a family. You could stay in a private villa or a luxury hotel room with your own infinity pool in Costa Navarino or Kinsterna Hotel, and still be close to nature. Make sure you book a spa treatment that is relevant to the area, for example the Oranges are a key feature in Kinsterna and the Hippocrates therapy is Anazoe’s finest option. Depending on your budget, I definitely recommend a private chef experience as well. However, don’t just stay in the hotel premises. Leave, explore, go on adventures. Every hotel offers options, sailing trips, day trips and other amazing ways to discover Greece’s culture, traditions and natural beauties in depth. – Anna, Dreamista

You can choose to eat almost anywhere you like, and many fine dining restaurants will serve some delicious meals for $15-25.

If drinking at your hotel, drinks will be triple the price than if you were to buy it from the small supermarket however, your budget gives you the option to drink as you wish.  Why not go all out and indulge in cocktails by the beach or swimming pool, as these will cost about $8-10 each. Be careful of the free poured spirits in your cocktails, they will definitely get you in the party mood very quickly.

If travelling long distances in Greece, domestic flights will be the quickest and generally the cheapest option, so it’s a win either way. Prices can vary according to what time of year you’re travelling, but as a guide, a flight from Athens to Corfu in June is around USD$57 (Aegean Airlines).  If flights are sold out, your next best option is to check out the ferry service.

See Also: Greece Travel Guide

On this budget, you could join some day trips and excursions to explore the area. Perhaps an evening of nightclubbing hopping in Mykonos is more your style? Entry fees to some of the top nightclubs are from $20-40 per club.

A luxury experience doesn’t have to break the bank; it’s how that experience makes you feel that’s important, right? Head to a rooftop restaurant or bar, order a Greek mezze platter, a cold beer or cocktail and watch the sunset over the horizon.  

Inhale the warm salty air, the spectacular views of the Mediterranean and embrace Greek time, a slower and more relaxed pace than you’re probably used to. We guarantee that you’ll miss this once you’ve returned home. 

See Also: 18 Most Affordable Places to Travel for Under $18 a Day

Share your budget saving tips below, so other travellers and Days to Come readers can learn a few tips and tricks! 

trips to greece on a budget

Rach is a self-confessed food traveller. When she’s not searching for the best food experiences around the globe, you can find her chasing the sun, taking road trips in her camper-van or chowing down on the best eats around Melbourne. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @veryhungrynomads , Twitter @veryhungrynomads and Very Hungry Nomads

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Traveling to Greece on a budget: Tips from a local

Exploring Greece on a budget is easy when you know how. Here are my best travel tips on how to see Greece without spending a fortune.

How to enjoy Greece on a budget especially in off-season at the beach!

Is Greece Expensive?

Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, and it can also be one of the cheapest depending on how you want to travel.

Sure, if you want to visit the Greek islands of Santorini or Mykonos in peak season you're talking big money , but there's plenty of other islands and destinations in mainland Greece you can visit throughout the year!

I've lived in Greece for over 5 years now, and when I travel within the country, do so on what many people might consider to be a budget basis.

I've used these experiences to put together this guide on how to travel Greece on a budget.

Planning a trip to Greece

This guide to experiencing Greece on a budget will help you cut down on costs by choosing the best time of year to go, introducing lower key islands, and more.

As everyone's idea of budget travel is different, I've started off with a few specific suggestions, and then at the end of this guide, included some travel tips for hardcore budget travelers, so be sure to read through until the end!

Related: How to afford to travel around the world – Tips and Tricks

Off-season Greece holidays

Most people associate Greece with summer, and in particular July and August. These two months coincide with the school summer holidays in Europe, when everyone takes their summer vacations at the same time.

Spend the day by the beach in Greece and save money!

This is the most popular time to visit Greece, and as a result hotel prices are higher making it also the most expensive time. If you are flexible when you can go on vacation, you'll find that you can take cheap holidays to Greece outside of those two months.

Instead, plan a trip to Greece during the shoulder months. Typically, the dates after Greek Easter (normally in April) through until the second week of June, and the months of September and October are good choices. I personally think that September is a perfect month to visit the Greek islands .

Not only will accommodation generally be cheaper, but you will also enjoy Greece with fewer crowds giving you a more authentic experience.

You might also find that the sea will be warmer in September and even October if you want to spend your time sunning on a Greek island beach. April, May, and June can have warm weather, but the sea may be too chilly for extended swims.

Dave enjoying the beach near Gythion

On a side note, archaeological sites and most museums have a reduced entry fee from November to March. If you are a history buff, you will enjoy your visit more during these months, as you may have many of the sites and museums to yourself.

Related: Places to go in Europe in November

Exceptions to the rule: Greece in August

That is not to say that you can’t get bargains in summer months. We’ve found simple rooms in Greece for 40-45 euros, even in August, so it’s definitely possible. Just don't expect 5 star hotels to be at a discount!

Related: When to visit Greece

Island hopping in Greece on a budget

Santorini and Mykonos may be on everyone’s list, but they are also among the most expensive Greek destinations. If you are visiting Greece on a budget, you might want to skip them and go to other islands instead.

The most famous beach in Andros

Greece has over 200 inhabited islands to choose from, so putting together an island hopping itinerary that involves islands located reasonably close together makes sense.

This will reduce not only the cost of ferry tickets, but also cut down on the length of time you spend away from the beach!

Despite both Santorini and Mykonos being part of the Cyclades chain of islands, many of the others in the Cyclades barely get a look in. This makes them a great choice for Greek island holidays on a budget.

I've a guide here on how to get from Athens to the Cyclades islands that might be good reading, Here's a few key suggestions for low key and cheap Greek islands to visit .

Tinos and Andros

If you are after less known places, Andros and Tinos are a good combination of islands. They are close to Athens, and therefore ferry ticket prices are lower than for most other islands. Furthermore, they have both kept their authentic character, and you will be able to enjoy a slice of the real Greece.

A village in Tinos island, Greece

Take my word on this, Tinos will be the next hot destination in Greece in a few years’ time. Go now, and if you still want to experience Mykonos, you can easily get there on a day trip, as it’s only 30 minutes on the ferry.

Read more: Tinos and Andros in Greece

Schinoussa and Iraklia

When it comes to quiet Greek island getaways, it doesn't get much better than these two Cyclades islands! When you arrive, you'll quickly slip into the island life: Beach, Swim, Taverna, Snooze, Repeat!

A beautiful beach in Iraklia, Greece

More here: Schinoussa and Iraklia

Another great island to visit if you are on a budget is Crete. It has tons to offer and all in all is a very affordable place to be.

Matala caves in Crete. Very Fred Flintstone!

You will find that meals are cheaper than in the Cyclades, and hotel room and accommodation prices are generally lower, especially if you go to the south.

More here: Travel guide to Crete

Santorini on a budget

Still, if Santorini is an absolute must, it is possible to do so on a relative budget. Of course, you won't be getting caldera views, enjoying sunset cocktails, or other such luxuries. You might even find the hostel prices on Santorini are the same as hotel prices elsewhere in Greece.

A guide to the best Santorini sunset hotels

Here's some tips on: How to book a Santorini hotel without breaking the bank . 

Of course, some times of year are cheaper than others to visit Santorini. Consider visiting Santorini in October or low season for the best reductions. I've previously visited Santorini in November and loved it!

Cheap Deals to Greece

If you want to visit Greece on a budget, booking your flights several months in advance always helps. Depending on where you are travelling from, you can start looking for flights up to a year in advance of your intended trip.

We have found that booking economy flights, even for long trips, is worth it. As an example, our 11-hour flights between Athens and Singapore with FlyScoot was very decent, all things considered. If you are traveling from Asia or Australia to Greece, this Flyscoot budget route might be a good choice.

More here: Athens to Singapore Flyscoot Review

International Flights to Greece

Using Skyscanner is a good way to check on the prices of flights to Greece. Google flights is also a useful tool. Don't forget to sign up for airmiles and/or redeem them to make your flight even cheaper! Another pro-tip is to use a credit card which offers you rewards for these more expensive purchases. Just be sure to pay it off straight away!

Booking a budget airline like Ryanair makes travel to Greece a little cheaper

Most people flying within Europe should be fine on the low-cost airlines. RyanAir, EasyJet and the like can be fairly competitive when it comes to pricing. That said, make sure you compare luggage costs and any other hidden costs before you book.

Update 02/11/2020

I now no longer consider the Ryanair app to be safe to use. After booking flights through the app for April of 2020, my flight was cancelled. When applying for a refund, Ryanair said that I had booked tickets through a screen-scraping site and they could not refund my tickets.

Therefore, I can not recommend anyone to use this app, as you may find that you will not receive any money back through cancellations.

Ferries in Greece

In terms of ferries, you can often get non-transferable, non-refundable tickets for many routes if you book well in advance. Check Ferryhopper for all ferry options.

There are normally different ferry companies and boat types going to the various Greek islands.

Dave Briggs getting a ferry from Piraeus in Athens

Typically, slower boats have cheaper ticket costs than faster ones. If you are a student, you'll be entitled to discounts if you have the appropriate student card.

If you are going to some of the islands, you can take overnight ferries to cut down on accommodation costs.

Consider bringing a sleeping bag or jacket, as air-con can be pretty strong on most ferries. And remember that pre-booking your ferries months in advance can save you quite a lot of money.

I've an in-depth guide here to Greece ferry services .

Cheap places to stay in Greece

You will find many types of accommodation in Greece, ranging from expensive boutique hotels with private pools to simple dorms and campsites. Choose the one that fits your lifestyle and budget, and book accordingly.

If you are looking at where to stay in Milos, Sarakiniko Rooms is another good choice.

If you are looking for hostels, you should be aware that they are not always available. You can find them on the biggest cities and towns and the most popular islands. However, they are practically non-existent on many other areas.

In this case, look out for campsites, and you may be pleasantly surprised. And if you don’t have a tent, most campsites will have some for rent.

I would recommend using Booking as a website to book your places to stay in Greece. The more you use it, the cheaper future bookings become due to their loyalty system.

In addition, there is plenty of local accommodation that may never appear on online booking websites. Quite often these will be the cheaper places, such as simple rooms. You'd need a bit of local knowledge or language to take advantage of that though.

Getting around Greece on a budget

I've already mentioned how to best use the ferries to get to the islands. Here's a few more specifics for how to travel in Greece cheaply.

In the cities

When it comes to Greek cities, public transportation is very inexpensive. For example, a single journey metro ticket in Athens is 1.4 Euro.

However, if you like walking, you will hardly ever need it. Most, if not all, of central Athens can be explored on foot, especially if you are staying in the historic center . As for smaller cities, like Thessaloniki, Kalamata and Heraklion, they are entirely walkable.

Related: Best cities in Greece

Hiring a car can be something of a double edged sword. The benefit is they are cheap to hire in Greece (I've seen prices of 20 Euros a day and heard of less). The downside, is that if you use toll roads in Greece, the costs add up quickly.

Car Hire in Tinos island Greece

Still, if you want to be independent, and are two or more people traveling, hiring a car can be quite cost effective, especially if you want to get to off the beaten track destinations in Greece.

If you are visiting Greek islands, hiring a car can also make sense in order to get to all those quiet, out of the way beaches that the tourist hordes never reach!

Don't take a hire car on a Greek ferry though. You pay extra for the car, and you may not be insured.

More here: Road trips in Greece

Cheap Eats in Greece – Souvlaki and Gyros!

The Greek cuisine is incredibly varied, and very affordable for the most part. Based on two people sharing, you can have an enjoyable Greek meal for no more than 25-30 euro, and that includes a little local wine!

If this still sounds like a lot, there are many options that will cost you much less. Greece’s best-known street food, souvlaki and gyros, is an ideal choice if you are visiting Greece on a budget.

Eating a filling souvlaki and gyros in Greece

It consists of pieces of meat, tomatoes, chips, onions, tzatziki and lettuce wrapped nicely in a thick pitta bread. You will rarely need more than a couple to be full, at a cost of about 5 euros total. Great!

Other cheap and filling snacks are koulouri, which is similar to a bagel, spinach pie – spanakopita and cheese pie – tiropita.

If you are staying in a private room, it makes sense to book one with breakfast and / or cooking facilities. This way you can buy all the ingredients and enjoy a home-made Greek salad on your balcony.

In terms of shopping for food, ask around for the local markets. If you are staying in central Athens, the cheapest market is the Varvakios central food market close to Monastiraki station. Take your pick from the fresh fruit and veg stalls and go to the cheese shops around Athinas and Evripidou streets.

Check out this guide: What to eat in Greece

Enjoy a slow coffee

Greece has a huge coffee culture . Having a coffee is a lot more than just consuming a beverage – it’s really a social thing. People often make one coffee last several hours!

Coffee in Greece - Nothing quite beats relaxing with a cold coffee in the Greek summer!

When it comes to having a coffee though, a takeaway will always be significantly cheaper than a coffee at a café. The difficult part will be to decide what you want!

Cold coffees such as frappe, freddo espresso and freddo cappuccino are all very popular, especially during the warm months. Order a coffee to go and enjoy it somewhere with a nice view – it's difficult to beat having a frappe on the beach!

Similarly, alcoholic drink prices in Greece can vary widely. A nice cold beer at a taverna will set you back a few euros, but a cocktail at a stylish bar will typically cost more than all the souvlakis you can eat in one sitting.

If you are after strong drinks, you can have a cold raki with your meal. It’s a strong distilled drink that is produced in many areas of Greece. Or you can always go for the better-known ouzo, with a strong aniseed flavour.

Here’s a little more about drinks in Greece .

Free Walking Tours

There’s nothing better than a walking tour to get your bearings in Athens. Although the centre is pretty small, most people find it hard to orientate themselves through the narrow streets of Plaka or Psirri.

Walking around the backstreets of Plaka

A free Athens walking tour is a good way to get acquainted with the city on arrival. It will offer an overview of the city and its long history, and it can be an interesting way to start your Athens vacation. Just remember to tip!

Visit free museums and art galleries

Many cities and towns in Greece have several museums that you can visit for free, or for a couple of euros. Additionally, some museums have certain days of the week when the entrance is free.

Visiting a free art gallery in Athens Greece

If you are visiting Athens for example, the main Benaki building is free to visit on Thursday evenings, from 18.00 – midnight. It’s a great museum to catch a glimpse of Greece’s long history.

In addition, makes sure to look out for the free days for archaeological sites and public museums. Key dates for these are:

  • 6 March – In memory of Melina Mercouri, the famous Greek actress and politician
  • 18 April – International Monuments Day – this is the only day that the Panathenaic Stadium has free entrance
  • 18 May – International Museums Day – on this day all museums, including private ones, are free to visit
  • The last weekend of September – European Heritage Days
  • 28 October – The “Ochi” public holiday
  • Every first Sunday in November, December, January, February and March

 If you are interested in visiting a specific museum, check out their website for more information. Understandably, on free days, the sites and museums can get quite busy! Try to get there early if you can, and be patient.

Additional Note: Visiting Athens in March can be a great choice for budget travelers. Also read: Visiting Greece in March

Check out if you qualify for any discounts

If you are a student or a senior (65+), you may qualify for discounts or even free entrance to many museums and archaeological sites. Similarly, children, teenagers and young people are generally entitled to free or low-priced tickets.

Student and senior discounts also apply on transportation. Children below a certain age may travel for free. If you are travelling by ferry, do your research before you travel, as company policies may differ.

Similarly, ISIC (International Student Identity Card) holders are also entitled to half-price tickets on some ferries. If you are an ISIC holder, make sure you choose your ferries wisely!

In all cases, don’t forget to bring proof of your age or academic status with you, as checks can be pretty strict.

Buy a Greek SIM card

If you are an EU citizen, you won’t have to worry about roaming costs. However, if you are coming from another country, consider getting a local SIM card. It only costs about 10 euro and it will typically offer a few GB to begin with.

A local SIM card will only work if your phone is unlocked. The main companies are Cosmote, Vodafone and Wind, and it appears that Cosmote has the best coverage. We both have Cosmote pay-as-you-go phones, and rarely pay over 10 euro per month, so that should give you an idea of costs.

Needless to say, you can always consider turning your phone off – but chances are you won’t!

More Travel Budget Tips For Greece

Looking for ways to save even more money on your next vacation in Greece? You might also consider:

  • Getting a Revolut card for perfect currency exchange rates
  • Using Couchsurfing or similar hospitality sites
  • Volunteering to work on Eco projects
  • Hitchhiking
  • Free camping on some of the islands (a very grey area !!)
  • Greek travel tips  

Visit Greece FAQ

Readers planning a trip and wondering about Greece costs and how to find decent prices for accommodation and other travel needs often ask questions similar to:

How much should I budget for a trip to Greece?

For two budget conscious people traveling together, 50 Euro a day will cover reasonable accommodation, some meals out, and expenses such as ferry costs when Greek island hopping. As a rule, the slower you travel, the cheaper things become.

Can you do Greece on a budget?

Greece can be a surprisingly affordable country to travel around, especially in the shoulder season. June and September are the best months for saving money on hotel costs, and the gorgeous beaches are much quieter then too!

What is the cheapest Greek island to visit?

The best islands to visit if you have a tight budget will be Crete, Naxos and Kefalonia. These are three of the larger islands in Greece, which means there's a wider range of more affordable private rooms and hotels to choose from.

What is the cheapest part of Greece?

From my experience, you should visit Crete if you are looking for budget destination within Greece. There are more budget hotels to choose from, the local restaurants offer particularly good value, and it's a good place to experience local culture.

How much is street food in Greece?

Souvlaki and Gyros is by far the most widely found Greek food. A souvlaki wrap, which includes meat, tomatoes, onion, and fries, and Tzatziki will rarely cost more than 3.00 Euro. If you eat two, you definitely won't need to eat again for hours!

Would you like even more information to help you plan a trip to Greece? Sign up for my free travel guides to Greece here:

How to travel Greece on a budget

  • Summer vacation quotes
  • Warmest European countries in December

Dave Briggs visiting an island in Greece

2 thoughts on “Traveling to Greece on a budget: Tips from a local”

Looking to (when retiring) in a few years to split my time UK/Ireland/Greek Islands. We looking for a place where there is some life in the Autumn Winter in Greece – so have settled on Naxos.Was thinking of October-Jan (3 to 4 months). What sort of monthly cost for a ‘room’ would this be – something with cooking facilities and a cleaner/internet? Is it best to try out by going in October and seeing the lay of the land?

Hi, I’d definitely suggest trying life in October, but the real test is that Dec-Jan period. Greece is not as warm as you might think in winter (although a lot warmer than the UK for example!). Naxos is a good choice overall, but you might also consider Crete or even the Peloponnese which can fractionally better weather. Naxos might be a bit quiet in the winter depending on what you want to do. In Crete, especially if you are near one of the bigger cities, there would be more life. Price wise, for a room you could be looking at 400 Euro all in at that time of year. A lot would depend on getting the right place. My suggestion – try it twice.Once in October early on (you can also enjoy a nice vacation with some half decent weather then as well!), and once in December, just to get a reality check on it. Good luck, and all the best!

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Mindful Experiences Greece

Greece On A Budget: Tips from a Local for 2023

Traveling to Greece on a budget is doable. Unfortunately, many feel that going to the Greek islands is challenging and costly. It is not.

You don’t need to break the bank. Make sure you book in advance for all your accommodation and fun options and start saving money. You can even do island hopping in July and August in Greece.

Right now is the best time for traveling to Greece on a budget and the Greek islands due to the economy.

Everyone wants to check out the Greek islands at some time in their lives.

How could you resist the urge to want to enjoy one of Santorini ‘s well-known sundowns and visit the gorgeous beaches of the less recognized island of Milos , Kythnos , Andros , Tinos , and a lot more?

Also Read: Ferry From Crete To Santorini Travel Guide

Another mistaken belief different people have is related to where to travel to Greece on the cheap.

Greece is well-known for its islands; however, there are many places besides lovely beaches all over Greece.

Greece consists of 13,676 km of shoreline, most of which is swimming and activities friendly.

So Greece is not only about the islands. Here is how to travel in Greece cheap.

Table of Contents

Tips to Travel to Greece on a Budget

The most critical secret factors that you need to have in mind for Greece, despite the detailed travel tips below, are these 3:

The Best Budget Season to Travel in Greece

Costs in Greece change dramatically depending on if you go on high season or not.

We are talking about substantial differences, particularly in Greek islands and many places near mainland Greece’s sea.

Keep in mind that Greece is a destination that has perfect weather for at least 8 to 9 months out of 12.

Even the winter in Greece is not like in other destinations. On the contrary, it is one of the warmest places to travel in Europe.

Low Travel Budget? Don’t stay in the Capital

On any Greek island, don’t stay in the capital.

It will cost you less to stay outside of the capital, in any town, and lease a car/bike simultaneously. This is because price ranges are not that big, and capitals are usually crowded and noisy.

Go there by choice.

Prefer the Mainland, Not in the Islands

It is cheaper in Mainland Greece (near the beach) than in the Greek islands.

For example, Pelion is by the sea and is a remote destination at the same time.

You have great deals on alternatives in Pelion (called the Mountain of Centaurs), and you can remain in mansions at the rate of a less expensive budget hotel on a Greek island.

Having said the above, let’s go deeper.

Also Read: Spectacular Things To Do in Ithaca Greece 2021

Traveling on a Budget? Get Travel Insurance

Because you are probably not a Greek, you require that.

This will help you avoid lots of costs and get an immediate response to a health or other issue covered by your insurance package.

When getting ready for a trip to Greece and the Greek islands, your priority is to make sure you make a little investment towards your health and well-being by purchasing a flexible and super budget-friendly travel insurance plan.

This travel insurance coverage is! You won’t believe how reasonably priced it is. Get Travel Insurance Coverage from here.

Not just will this travel insurance plan cover you if your bags are lost or stolen and if your flight is delayed or canceled. Still, you’ll likewise be covered for all medical and injury-associated problems as well.

Transportation in Greece on a Budget

Flying to greece.

Getting to Greece is simple, although it can be pretty costly depending on where you are flying from and which month you plan on taking a trip. 

Our best guidance is to use a price comparison site to compare costs and find the best deal.

Greece on a Budget - Spectacular Kefalonia Island Beaches & Caves

Driving to Greece

If you reside in a country near Greece, you can drive your method there and use your vehicle on your journeys.

A vehicle will be handy if you engage in a trip through Mainland Greece. The nationwide road network is excellent, and you can get all over.

Greece in a sensible quantity of hours. It just needs excellent planning to avoid any backward and forward.

A great site to use to plan a road trip is this . We have used that to plan huge European trips too.

Using Uber or Beat in Greece

In Greece, there is no Uber, but you can use the service to request a taxi (weird, right?).

Forget that in islands or other places in mainland Greece. 

Another excellent service is Beat (former Taxibeat).

It is a Taxi network that costs no more than a regular taxi service (which is cheap in Greece), but you can use their app and call them anytime and review them later.

This adds to the safety factor, even though Greece is a safe country.

Greece on a Budget Spectacular Kefalonia Island Beaches & Caves

Flying to Greek islands

Flying is the most practical and efficient way to reach the Greek islands.

Flights from Athens to a few of the most famous Greek islands only take about 30-60 minutes, while ferryboats take anywhere from 2 to 10+ hours depending upon where you wish to go.

Simply put, always start by searching for flights to the Greek islands before looking into ferries.

The most affordable way to go to the islands is by ferries; however, you can strike a good deal if you reserve ahead of a flight.

These two ferry tickets booking services are the top to arrange such transportation:

  • Ferries in Greece
  • Ferry Hopper

That is not always the case, considering that flying with luggage costs.

If you want an automobile with you, ferries are a must unless you wish to rent in the area.

Search in our blog for detailed posts on different ferry options .

Car Rentals

Car leasing in Greece is budget-friendly, even in high season. They do not even compare costs to other European nations.

Avoid “big” brand names and opt for local ones.

Book ahead and decide which vehicle you will get, specifically if you prepare to go during high season.

By scheduling ahead, you will get a bargain in most of the islands/locations.

Cars and Bike Rentals

Never lease a massive car on any Greek island if you plan to visit villages or/and remote beaches.

Go for the bike or small vehicles.

Two things that you will require: air-conditioning and a maneuverable vehicle.

Unless you have lots and great deals of time and want to check out some vast islands like Crete.

But if you prepare to go to villages in the mountains of Crete, then a huge vehicle might not be the very best alternative most of the time.

Accommodation in Greece on a Budget

Regarding finding accommodations on the Greek islands, your alternatives are unlimited.

The Greek islands have everything from hostels to cliffside hotels, resorts, short-term house leasing, and more.

Here are three various methods for finding lodgings on the Greek islands.

Spectacular Kefalonia Island Beaches & Caves

There are various accommodations, from cheap hostels to 5-star hotels on the Greek islands, for you to pick from. For Hostels in Athens and famous Greek islands, read this post .

There are studios and many more — better use booking.com to Tripadvisor to find the best price along with good quality.

You want an affordable, clean room; remember that.

Reserving hotels in the Greek islands will likely be more expensive than most Airbnb apartment leasing in the islands. 

Also read: Best Hostels in Greece To Save Your Money 2021

The “Paratrooper” Method

This suggests you will come to your last location without a prior booking.

This is a massive bet with yourself.

Depending on the season, you may find some excellent deals.

Most of the time, the issue is where to ask. You will notice (at ports) people holding indications with hotel names. However, that implies absolutely nothing.

It doesn’t imply that the hotel is good or cheap or clean. It could be. You don’t know it up until you understand there.

It could be far from the capital, and it can be inexpensive and good, but you may have to pay lots in transfers if you wish to take a trip by mass transit or taxi.

The usual option is not to remain in the island capital and choose to rent a bike or a small car.

Airbnb & the Greek islands

Why stay in a hotel room box with minimal facilities when you can have a wholly equipped personal home for much less than it would cost for a night in a hotel?

The cost will usually be far less for a hotel room and a small studio.

Holidays in Crete: Sightseeing, Eating, Baking Bread

Sightseeing on a Budget in Greece

Museums, either in Athens or on the islands and the mainland, are not that expensive. With a few exceptions, you can enter most with a price ranging from 5 to 10 euros per person. Entering all archaeological sites is relatively cheap too.

Some days are free of charge too!

For Athens, better check services like Athens-City-Pass .

Which Islands to Visit on a Budget Plan

Greece has lots of islands. Explore our extensive posts section for Greece and Greek islands per region. Avoid Mykonos if you plan to visit Greece on a budget.

Whatever is pricey there. Santorini has the rumor of being expensive too. However, this stands to stay in Oia, Fira, Imerovigli , and Firostefani and eat there. 

Yes, watching the sunset comes with a price, but sunset happens all over Greece and the Greek islands .

If not, and better not to, all the beaches are not in these locations, then remain in another place near a beach.

If you lease a car or a bike, you can remain in the island’s center.

This reasoning stands for almost all Greek islands, another terrific secret most don’t know.

For example, in Naxos , you can discover terrific lodging in the island’s center and have everything worth visiting and tasting in 30 to 40 minutes.

You will wish to check out the area on all Greek islands or mainland places by the sea. Unfortunately, the capital will not hold for that, and you will usually taste better food beyond it.

Go through our posts for various islands and areas in Greece to see what you can do.

Activities in Greece

Almost all activities in Greece are more affordable than in other Mediterranean destinations. 

Rates are incredibly sensible, and Greek outside activities service providers usually go the extra mile by offering more than concurred.

In some areas, i.e., Rhodes and Paros , and for some particular activities, you may have to book ahead.

For example, if you prepare to choose windsurfing, as these are popular destinations for such.

If you like trekking, numerous trekking routes in many locations need just two things: a map/GPS and a good mood, along with all other devices you would need for trekking.

Remember that a guide might be needed when routes are not adequately marked.

If you plan for such activities, it is best to ask before you go.

Hiking Naxos Routes: Moni To Apeiranthos via Sifones

If you don’t want to bring boots or other gear for regular activities, you can get some from outside activities stores/shops or have them delivered.

Prices for such are also great.

All service providers will provide all required for any strenuous activity you wish to participate in. Typically, there is no extra expense unless there is something too unique.

You will be amazed to learn that even leasing equipment like windsurfing gear and lessons is budget-friendly compared to other countries.

Also read: Best Time To Visit Greece? 2021 Travel Guide

Eating & Drinking out in Greece on a Budget

In Athens , the food choices have many costs and excellent quality; even street food is fantastic.

We suggest that you look for authentic regional food. There are dining establishments that use tastes from all over Greece.

You will find food from all over the world in Athens.

When on the islands, you may discover fish a bit expensive, but just if you go to expensive dining establishments.

Fish is typically fresh in little taverns in the towns, and prices are not pricey. The same happens with meat on islands and on mainland Greece.

Specifically, mainland Greece chooses meat and regional plates in most of the towns.

The quality is high, and the costs are low.

The owner could be grumpy in many cases; however, that’s the local spirit.

All expensive dining establishments are pricey; however, do not go to Greece for global premium cuisine.

Choose “souvlaki/gyros, gemista, dolmades, htapodi, tzatziki,” and lots and great deals on unique plates.

Also read: Best Weird Greek Foods All Greece 2021

Where to Stay in Crete: 300 Years Old Traditional Houses

Even if you tasted them in some Greek restaurants in your nation, they are not the same. Most things feel much better in Greece due to the sun and soil.

Wine is not pricey too.

Whether it is bottled or not, rates are sensible. Go for the local wines and try more white/rose than red ones.

Bottled water is also really cheap. I mean, it is possibly the least expensive in Europe. I believe, and you will drink a lot here.

Forget small bottles for 3 euros. Even in stores, you can get a six-pack of 1.5 lt each in an overall 4 euro.

It’s not hard to travel to Greece on a budget. Sure it can be expensive, but you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy your time on one of the Greek islands. With careful planning and some research, you will find plenty of ways to go island hopping without spending too much money. Make sure you book all accommodations beforehand so that when you arrive in Athens or another port city, all transportation is taken care of for free! Plus, right now is the perfect time since prices are low due to their economy being down. You can’t beat this opportunity- what do you want to see first? Getting around Greece .

We hope this information helps you. If you looked at our post for traveling to Greece on a budget, read

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  • 9 Fun Ancient Greek Games for Anyone
  • Fly Fishing Greece: Where To Go?
  • Sea Bass Fishing in Greece
  • How To Get From Athens To Santorini – The Complete Guide

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How to travel to Greece on a budget

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written by Dre Roelandt

updated 28.12.2023

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Embarking on a budget-friendly journey to Greece doesn't mean compromising on the beauty and charm this Mediterranean paradise has to offer. From ancient ruins to sun-drenched islands, it welcomes budget-conscious travellers with open arms. Let's explore how you can make the most of your Greek adventure on a budget.

How much is a trip to Greece?

Cheap places to visit in greece, where to stay in greece on a budget, what time is the cheapest to go to greece, how to save on transportation, eat well on a budget in greece, budget-friendly activities in greece, planning your trip to greece on a budget.

Meet your Greece local travel expert

Eirini, Local Expert

11 days  / from 4872 USD

From Athens to Milos, Naxos and Santorini

Stay in Athens, Milos, Naxos, and Santorini, as well as a day trip to Mykonos. Immerse in history at the Acropolis, bask in the Cycladic charm of Milos, explore Naxos's ancient sites, and savor sunsets in Santorini. Cruise the Aegean, savor food tours, and relish private excursions.

Greek Dreams: Athens, Corfu, Santorini and Crete

13 days  / from 4404 USD

Greek Dreams: Athens, Corfu, Santorini and Crete

A private journey through Athens, Corfu, Santorini, and Crete, staying in exquisite accommodations. Explore ancient history, savor Mediterranean cuisine, and unwind in stunning settings, creating beautiful memories throughout.

Athens, Meteora & Santorini

8 days  / from 1809 USD

Athens, Meteora & Santorini

Experience Greece's best: Athens' culture, culinary adventures, Meteora's monastic marvels, and the breathtaking beauty of Santorini. An unforgettable journey awaits!

Majestic Greece: Temples, Castles, Monasteries & Myths

10 days  / from 5559 USD

Majestic Greece: Temples, Castles, Monasteries & Myths

Go on an epic fast paced 10-day journey with a private driver through Greece's ancient wonders & natural beauty. From Athens to Meteora, experience history, culture & breathtaking landscapes along with local tour guides, all culminating in a journey of a lifetime. Recommended for the months Apr-Oct.

Greek Island Hopping: 4 Cycladic Gems

12 days  / from 3641 USD

Greek Island Hopping: 4 Cycladic Gems

Hop between the islands of Andros, Tinos, Naxos and Syros on this authentic trip. Drive around stunning coastlines, explore mountain villages and unique paths, meet the locals, visit ancient sites, and relax on secluded beaches as you are transfixed by the allure of the Aegean’s turquoise waters.

Capital & islands - Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete

12 days  / from 3205 USD

Capital & islands - Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete

Experience a diverse Greek holiday exploring Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete. Enjoy daily excursions and the freedom of a rental car in Crete, immersing yourself in rich history, picturesque landscapes, and local charm.

Before you set foot on the sun-soaked shores of Greece, it's crucial to understand the financial landscape. On average, a budget traveller can expect to spend between $50 to $70 per day. This includes accommodation, meals, local transportation, and a bit of sightseeing.

Feeling inspired to take your trip to Greece? Talk to our Greece travel experts an save yourself the hassle of planning.

Profitis Ilias hill near Faliraki Rhodes Greece Europe © Shutterstock

Profitis Ilias hill near Faliraki Rhodes Greece Europe © Shutterstock

When travelling to Greece on a budget, you’ll find there are plenty of fantastic destinations to choose from. 

The largest of the Greek islands, Crete offers a diverse range of experiences without draining your wallet. Explore ancient ruins at Knossos, hike the Samaria Gorge, or simply relax on the pristine beaches. Crete's local cuisine is not only delicious but also budget-friendly, ensuring your taste buds are satisfied without breaking the bank.

Find your perfect accommodation in Crete , on any budget.

Rhodes , known for its medieval Old Town and crystal-clear waters, is a treasure trove for budget travellers. Wander through cobblestone streets, visit the Palace of the Grand Master, and unwind on the less crowded beaches. With affordable street food and charming local markets, Rhodes is a budget paradise.

Though the fire of July 2023 has certainly affected the island, Greek tourism officials have declared that this island is once again ready for visitors. 

Explore accommodation options in Rhodes .

Corfu , with its Venetian architecture and lush landscapes, is another Greek gem that won't hurt your wallet. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Corfu Town, visit the Achilleion Palace, and bask in the sun on the island's beautiful beaches. Budget-friendly accommodations and eateries make Corfu an ideal destination for the frugal traveller. This is one of the best Greek islands you can travel to.

Explore where to stay in Corfu .

For a unique experience, head to Meteora, where monasteries perch on towering rock formations. Hike the trails for breathtaking views, and explore the monasteries that seem to defy gravity. Meteora provides a budget-friendly escape into nature and history.

The Peloponnese

Rich in ancient history, the Peloponnese peninsula is a budget traveller's dream. Discover the ruins of Ancient Olympia, explore the medieval city of Mystras, and relax on the beaches of Nafplio. The Peloponnese offers affordable accommodations and local tavernas serving authentic Greek dishes.

Halkidiki , with its three peninsulas, offers a diverse range of landscapes and activities. Enjoy the sandy beaches, visit the monastic community of Mount Athos, and explore charming villages. Halkidiki provides budget-friendly options for accommodation and dining, allowing you to experience the beauty of northern Greece without overspending.

Find accommodation in Halkidiki .

The capital city, Athens, is not just a historical marvel but also an affordable destination. Visit iconic landmarks like the Acropolis and the Parthenon, wander through Plaka's narrow streets, and savour Greek street food. With numerous free attractions and reasonably priced dining options, Athens is a must-visit for budget travellers.

Explore places to stay in Athens . 

Monastery perched on a rock in Meteora, Greece © Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

Monastery perched on a rock in Meteora, Greece © Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

When navigating the budget landscape of Greece, strategic accommodation choices play a pivotal role in keeping costs in check. Here's a detailed guide to wallet-friendly stays:

In the heart of Greece's tourist hotspots, a vibrant hostel scene awaits budget-conscious travelers. Hostels not only provide affordable lodging but also cultivate a social atmosphere, making them perfect for solo adventurers or those eager to forge new connections.

Budget hotels

Affordable hotels are peppered throughout Greece, offering a comfortable abode without denting your travel funds. Seek out family-run establishments for an authentic experience, basking in the warmth of Greek hospitality. 

Best budget hotels in Greece

  • For a stay with a pool: Menta City Boutique Hotel
  • Our pick for solo travellers: Mosaic Hotel
  • For a stay near museums: Ibis Styles Heraklion Central
  • For luxury on a budget: Lardos Bay Hotel

Home rentals

Platforms like Airbnb open the door to a range of budget-friendly home rentals, from snug apartments to charming villas. This option is tailor-made for those yearning for a private and personalized stay. Consider places like "Maklen" in Athens or the "Villa Basilica Tefsia" in Santorini for an authentic experience.

Guesthouses/pensions

Immerse yourself in traditional Greek charm by opting for guesthouses or pensions, often family-owned and exuding a warm and welcoming ambience. These accommodations provide a genuine taste of local hospitality while ensuring your budget remains intact.

For nature enthusiasts seeking an immersive experience, campsites beckon as a budget-friendly choice. Nestled near beaches or in picturesque landscapes, campsites like Camping Mitikas in Peloponnese or Camping Santa Maria in Paros offer a unique and affordable way to connect with Greece's natural beauty.

Acropolis Parthenon Athens, Greece © Shutterstock

Acropolis Parthenon Athens, Greece © Shutterstock

Timing is everything when it comes to snagging the best deals for your Grecian adventure. For budget-conscious travellers, the sweet spot is usually during the shoulder seasons—spring (April to June) and fall (September to October). Not only will you avoid the peak crowds, but you'll also find more affordable accommodations and reasonable flight prices.

For a better understanding of the seasons in Greece - read our guide to the best time to visit Greece .

Knossos Palace ruins. Heraklion, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Knossos Palace ruins in Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

In the world of budget travel, every saving counts. So, whether you're soaring through the skies, cruising the Aegean waves, or manoeuvring a moped through ancient streets, these transportation hacks will keep your budget intact while ensuring your Greek adventure is nothing short of extraordinary.

Find Cheap Flights to Greece

Unleash your inner deal hunter by employing savvy strategies to secure pocket-friendly flights. Try a flight comparison tool such as Kayak.

Set price alerts for your preferred routes to catch the best deals as soon as they pop up. Flexibility is your ally—be open to adjusting your travel dates for significant savings.

Consider flying into lesser-known airports for hidden gems of discounts. Budget airlines are your budget's best friend, offering affordable alternatives to major carriers. Don't shy away from mixing and matching airlines; it's a strategic move that can lead to a more economical overall journey.

Travel by Ferry in Greece

For an authentic and economical island-hopping experience, embrace the charm of ferry travel. The Greek islands are interconnected by a network of ferries, providing not just transportation but also a scenic voyage across the azure waters. This cost-effective mode of transport allows you to savour the beauty of the Aegean while keeping your budget intact.

Rent a Moped Instead of a Car

When public transportation options are scarce, and you crave the freedom of the open road, consider zipping around on a rented moped. It's not just a budget-friendly choice; it adds a dash of adventure to your exploration. Navigate winding coastal roads or venture into hidden corners, all while enjoying the thrill of the ride and the freedom to stop wherever the mood strikes.

Kerkyra, capital of Corfu island, Greece © Shutterstock

Kerkyra, capital of Corfu island, Greece © Shutterstock

Embarking on a culinary adventure in Greece need not be a financial strain, as the country's rich gastronomic tapestry is accessible even for those on a budget.

Local tavernas and Souvlaki delights

Greek cuisine often hailed as a symphony of flavours, beckons food enthusiasts with a promise of authenticity and depth. Navigate the culinary landscape by opting for local tavernas and charming street-side souvlaki joints, where the essence of Greek gastronomy is preserved without denting your pockets.

Indulge in culinary classics

Immerse yourself in the gastronomic delights of Greece by savouring iconic dishes that define its culinary identity. While keeping your budget intact, relish the layers of flavour in a classic moussaka, succulent gyros, or the flaky goodness of spanakopita. These signature dishes are readily available at local eateries, allowing you to experience the true essence of Greek cuisine without the need for extravagant spending.

Explore culinary gems in smaller towns

Venture beyond the well-trodden tourist paths and explore the culinary treasures hidden in smaller towns. These gems often serve delectable, locally-inspired meals at prices that won't strain your budget. 

Regional specialties and unique flavours

Greece's diverse regions boast unique culinary specialities, each offering a distinct palette of flavours. Explore the coastal areas for fresh seafood delights or head to the mountainous regions for hearty, traditional fare. By embracing regional diversity, you not only enhance your gastronomic experience but also discover budget-friendly options that showcase the culinary prowess of each locale.

Souvlaki © Shutterstock

Souvlaki © Shutterstock

Navigating Greece on a budget isn't just about saving money—it's about embracing the essence of this captivating destination without compromising your experience. From savouring local flavours to exploring ancient wonders, Greece welcomes budget travellers with open arms and a myriad of affordable experiences.

Visit the historical sites

Peel back the layers of Greece's storied past without emptying your wallet. Numerous historical sites, such as the iconic Acropolis in Athens, beckon budget-conscious travellers with reduced or even free admission on designated days. Immerse yourself in the profound narratives of ancient Greece, wander through time-worn ruins, and absorb the cultural tapestry without denting your travel funds.

Explore local markets

For a kaleidoscope of sensory experiences that won't strain your budget, plunge into the bustling local markets scattered across Greece. From the vibrant markets of Athens to those on the islands, these bustling hubs explode with colours, fragrances, and the freshest produce. 

Engage with the locals as you navigate through stalls, savouring the opportunity to sample and purchase budget-friendly snacks that will fuel your adventures throughout the country.

Discover the natural beauty of Greece without spending a dime by traversing its picturesque hiking trails. Whether it's the rugged landscapes of Crete or the scenic routes on the mainland, hiking presents a budget-friendly means of connecting with Greece's diverse terrain. Lace up your hiking boots and venture into the heart of the country, where each trail unveils a new facet of the nation's stunning landscapes.

Balos lagoon on Crete island, Greece © Shutterstock

Balos lagoon on Crete island, Greece © Shutterstock

Chill out by the seaside

Some of life's greatest pleasures come without a price tag, and this certainly includes lounging by the turquoise waters of Greece's stunning islands. Many beaches are public and accessible without an entrance fee. Pack a picnic, slather on sunscreen, and relish a blissful day under the Mediterranean sun, letting the waves and the sea breeze become your companions without worrying about your budget.

Attend local festivals

Experience the beating heart of Greece by partaking in one of its lively festivals. From religious celebrations to music and arts festivals, these events often provide free or affordable entertainment. Join the revelry and absorb the vibrant local culture, connecting with the soul of Greece without imposing a strain on your budget.

Visit National Parks

For nature enthusiasts, Greece unfolds as a treasure trove of stunning national parks that won't break the bank. Whether you're captivated by the lush landscapes of Pindus National Park or the dramatic beauty of Vikos Gorge, these protected areas offer budget-friendly outdoor adventures. Immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of Greece's natural wonders without compromising your financial well-being.

Aerial view of Vikos Gorge, a gorge in the Pindus Mountains of northern Greece, lying on the southern slopes of Mount Tymfi, one of the deepest gorges in the world. Zagori region, Greece © Shutterstock

Aerial view of Vikos Gorge © Shutterstock

Are you ready to take your trip to Greece? If you are exhausted from the hassle of planning and booking, consider hiring a professional to help plan your trip.

Our Greece itineraries designed by local Greece travel experts are completely customisable. Skip the hours of research it takes to create your dream trip. 

Looking for more travel inspiration? Our Rough Guide to Greece has even more tips for budget travellers.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Dre Roelandt

Dre Roelandt is originally from the United States but lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Dre is a freelance writer and artist with a passion for travelling. They are an in-house Content Editor at Rough Guides.

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Traveling To Greece On A Budget: Expert Tips You Need

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trips to greece on a budget

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Greece is one of the most stunning countries in Europe you can visit, but it can also be extremely affordable if you plan it right! You don’t have to skimp on the magic just because you’re traveling to Greece on a budget.

For details of how to do it right, I asked Chrysoula Manika to give us her best tips. She’s a native Athenian and now works to help travelers explore her hometown at Athens and Beyond . Read on to find out how to stretch your Euros on travel, accommodations, food and more.

Greece is a beautiful country with a wide range of activities, accommodations, and experiences. It’s also an incredibly popular destination, attracting upwards of 30 million tourists a year! The majority of these travelers arrive in the peak summer months – June to August – when lines for  museums and archaeological sites can be hours long and the restaurants and bars are jam-packed. 

While the country suffered a recession beginning in 2009, the economy is coming back and tourism accounts for 85% of the GDP. Compared to traveling to other European countries , traveling in Greece is relatively inexpensive (though you can definitely splash out!). However, if you are on a budget, then I have great news: it is easy to travel to Greece on a budget! Here are my top tips for traveling to this idyllic country on a budget.

Pick the Right Season 

trips to greece on a budget

Greece is lovely year round, but is most popular in the summer season when the island resorts are at full capacity and the clubs on Mykonos attract high-profile DJs and dancers. 

Traveling Greece on a budget means choosing a less-popular time to visit. If you want to visit the islands and are looking for swimming, then May to June and September to October are the best times to visit. Many island hotels close for the winter season (November to April) so its best to do your research in advance if you would like to travel during this time.

On the Greek mainland, the fall and spring are great times for lower hotel and flight prices. At peak season, a hotel room in Athens can be upwards of $300 while the same room in October could be half that. (Hotel and flights are dynamic and always subject to change!)

For the major attractions, fall and spring are also ideal times to visit. In places like Athens, lines at the Acropolis are far shorter than the summer lines. The archaeological sites in Greece are even less expensive between November and March. They are also free the first weekend of the month.

If you’re open to visiting Athens in winter , almost everything is still open but prices are much lower and crowds are much thinner.

On average, traveling in the shoulder season can offer 20%-50% off rack rate pricing.

Read more: A Local Guide’s Perfect Greek Island Hopping Itinerary (Without the Crowds)

Save on Flights to Greece

During the aforementioned low periods, you may find great flight pricing. To maximize the savings, choose a low-cost airline like Ryanair, Easyjet , or Wizzair. 

As demand for flights rises, the cost of flights also goes up. In order to get the best pricing for flights to and around Greece, book in advance, not the week you want to travel.

If you have airline miles with Star Alliance, you can use these to book with Aegean Airlines. Aegean, the national airline of Greece, connects Greece with many European cities. It is also one of the easiest ways to get from Athens to places within Greece and the islands. Star Alliance members include United Airlines, Air New Zealand, Air Canada, SAS, and Lufthansa.

Travel by Ferry in Greece

trips to greece on a budget

Ferry travel is one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to get around Greece and her islands. To take advantage of good pricing, book your ferries in advance and be prepared to take the slower ferries – faster ferries are more expensive.

To further save, opt for an overnight ferry. They take almost double the time, but you save on  one night’s accommodation as well!

In the off-season be aware that some ferry routes do not operate. While not particularly cost-dependent, it could mean that you spend a full day traveling back to Piraeus to pick up the other ferry out. In that case, you might consider flying between islands.

Rent a Moped or Car on the Islands

trips to greece on a budget

Taxis or hotel shuttles can be expensive if you want to explore the island. Tours often include transportation but tours aren’t always the best way to see things. Having your own transport means you can stop when and where you like.  Many travel advisors can’t arrange moped rentals in advance for liability purposes, so when you get to the island, ask at the hotel or hostel reception for rental companies. Moped are inexpensive ways to get around the islands and petrol is also less expensive than filling a car up.

Non-European travelers need an international driving permit to drive in Greece. The rental company may not ask for it but if you get pulled over you could have problems. Always check requirements prior to leaving your home country.

Choose Hotels Carefully

trips to greece on a budget

If you want to splash out, you can definitely do it. There are five-star and five-star-plus resorts across the islands and mainland. But if you are traveling  Greece on a budget, then you want to  choose carefully. Aim for clean and safe hostels or small guesthouses. You can find options across all price ranges on Booking.com.

Airbnb is another option but choose those carefully too. Always opt for a SuperHost and if it feels too good to be true, it probably is. You can save on your first Airbnb booking with the coupon below:

trips to greece on a budget

If you want to splurge on any accommodation, look directly at the hotel  website to see if they are offering any great deals – like a third night free or 20% off if you book and pay in advance. If you work with a travel advisor, they may also have access to special rates or inclusions that you would otherwise have to pay for. These inclusions could be complimentary breakfast, upgrades, hotel credits or spa treatments, and more. 

With hostels, hotels, and Airbnbs, again it is in your favor to book in advance. You don’t want  to rock up to an island and not be able to find a bed. 

Use the interactive map to find vacation rentals and hotels in Greece

Visit Hidden Gems in Greece

trips to greece on a budget

Sure, everyone wants to go to Santorini for the sunset, Mykonos for the clubs, or Zakynthos for the famous beaches. But that’s just it – everyone wants to go. Greece has so many other  beautiful islands with just-as-gorgeous beaches and charming tavernas or bustling market towns, and plenty of overlooked mainland must-sees.

If you opt for a lesser known island like Milos, Patmos, or Amorgos, you can benefit from less expensive hotel rooms, fewer crowds, and the same iconic Greek hospitality, scenery, and sun. On the mainland, get out of Athens for the coast of the Peloponnese or the northern peninsulas of Halkidiki to experience a totally different side of Greece.

Of course, a lesser-known destination may be harder to get to (especially in the off-season) so research accordingly and make sure the cost of going doesn’t overwhelm the savings.

Take Advantage of Free Walking Tours

trips to greece on a budget

A free walking tour is a great way to dive into the history and culture of a destination. And Athens is no exception – the history and culture of this 3,000 year old city is astounding. It is best appreciated on foot – from the narrow streets of Plaka and the wide avenues near Syntagma Square to the winding paths along the hills of the Acropolis and the pedestrian squares in Monistiraki . On foot you can also glimpse the many temples and ruins that lie in plain sight along the roads. Free walking tours often meet at central places and can accommodate  up to 20 or 30 people. The guides do work on tips so if you feel they’ve done a great job, please tip accordingly. 

If you prefer to walk around by yourself, download a city walking tour podcast. These usually have a route outlined in the notes so you can begin the podcast at a certain  point and walk according to the directions given by the narrators. Full of detailed information and insightful  narratives, a self-guided podcast tour is a great way to save money.

Save on Food in Greece

trips to greece on a budget

Food is relatively cheap in Greece. Make gyros and souvlaki your go-to foods instead of bellying up to a seaside tavena. Street food in Greece is flavourful and inexpensive, even though its often made from locally sourced and organic produce! Not only is street food easy on your wallet but its the best way to experience the authentic cuisine and interact with the locals.

Gyros are pita bread wrapped around shaved chicken or lamb and filled with lettuce, tomatoes, and a delicious tzatziki sauce. Souvlaki are skewered and grilled pieces of meat, usually chicken, beef or lamb. Both of these dishes sometimes come with fresh tomatoes, fries, and a small lettuce salad so you are getting a bang for your buck.

You can also visit the local supermarket for fresh foods – this is best if you are staying someplace with a kitchen – to cook with. Local outdoor markets are also excellent places to purchases inexpensive fruit to munch on while you are hanging out at the beach or taking a hike along the cliffs.

Traveling through Greece is rewarding – it is a beautiful and diverse country, and there’s definitely something for everyone. But it doesn’t have to be expensive to travel in Greece. Buy local foods, stay at small inns or hostels, travel in the shoulder season or off-season, and choose your mode  of transportation well, and you can have a five-star holiday on a three-star budget (or similar).

About Chrysoula Chrysoula is a travel blogger born and raised in Athens with a professional background in Tourism and Marketing. Through the pages of Athens and Beyond she helps visitors make the most of their trip to Athens and show them how to navigate the city like an insider. 

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trips to greece on a budget

Planning your trip to Greece

Don’t miss these other helpful articles and resources as you plan your dream trip to Greece!

– What to pack for Greece this Spring – A Local Guide’s Perfect Greece Island Hopping Itinerary – Greece with kids: where should you go? – Athens with kids – Naxos with kids – Crete with kids

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trips to greece on a budget

Greece: 10 Day Itinerary Ideas

Greece is a country on every traveler’s radar- and for good reason. The photos don’t lie. It really is THAT beautiful. 

Once you’ve made the decision to go, trying to fit it all in on a budget can be tricky. While many people go to Greece on an organized tour or with a cruise, we chose to do it solo . There are of course pros and cons to each style, but this independent trip let us tailor the itinerary to exactly how we wanted it to be.

Here is a detailed breakdown of my greece 10 day itinerary:, ⇒ want to know my specific budget and costs email me at [email protected] ⇐, 1. athens, greece, we flew into athens, and fighting jet-lag, began our vacation it was a 45 minute cab ride from the airport into the city, so after finally checking into the hotel we were eager to see the city. first, we did a self-guided walking tour based on an itinerary in the lonely planet guidebook, and were able to see:.

  • The Roman monument of Agia Ekaterini
  • Hadrian’s Arch & The Temple of Zeus
  • Gardens and the Lysikrates Monument
  • Panathenaic Olympic Games Stadium

We then spent about 3 hours at the Acropolis Museum . This essentially houses most of the detailed pieces and stonework from the original Parthenon and ancient Agora, and is crucial to visit if you want to understand how the monument used to look, feel, and function in its prime. Check out organized sight-seeing tours in Athens , and read more about visiting Athens with kids here.

View of the Greek Parthenon from Astor Hotel in Athens

After the museum, we headed towards Syntagma Square – the political center of Athens. We saw the Presidential Palace, and found a place with amazing Greek salad. We ended the night at our hotel, which has a great view of the Acropolis and Parthenon!

Lodging : astor hotel – a budget stay with basic accommodations, but an amazing breakfast and view from the rooftop check this post for other hotels near the acropolis, 2. athens ⇒ delphi, on our second day, we set out on a day tour to the temple of apollo at delphi. our tour was booked via viator.com using local operator chat tours . we had a medium-sized group, and our guide was very knowledgeable about the history of the area and archaeological site., to reach the site on your own, it is best to hire a car. discover cars offer car hire in greece, and have a wide variety of car types for various budgets. they analyze all of the car operators in the area, and list the best offers., the temple complex was built in the 4 th century bc , and dedicated to the god apollo. people would travel there from all over the country to visit the famous oracles, and learn their futures. one of the most fascinating things there is the thousand year old carvings etched by slaves detailing their life stories..

Delphi, Greece, Temple of Apollo

Another highlight is the view of the theater from above, surrounded by the hills leading to Mount Parnassus. The tour ended with a guided visit to the on-site Archaeological Museum of Delphi . We had lunch, then made a quick stop in the ski town of Arachova .

After the 3 hour ride back (6 hours in transit total), we decided to walk and explore the athenian shopping district of the plaka. we did some jewelry shopping, attempted bartering, and found our new obsession for ice-cream: ambrosia ., lodging : astor hotel, 3. athens ⇒ cape sounion, we booked a morning day tour out of athens and up the coast to the ruins of the temple of poseidon at cape sounion , built in 440bc. we got there early, beat the crowds, and enjoyed amazing views we spent 2 hours there, which was the perfect amount of time., this temple is worth the 1.5 hour drive from athens, as its position on the top of a hill surrounded by the aegean makes for an unforgettable view, back in athens, we explored “ the plaka ”, then packed up and took a cab to piraeus port (about a 30 minute drive). once there we boarded our ferry, “the blue horizon”. we left athens headed towards heraklion at 7pm. we had booked a 4 bed room cabin, and it was actually pretty comfortable. the ferry was almost like a mini cruise ship, lodging : overnight on the “ blue horizon ” ferry.,  4. heraklion, crete, our ferry arrived on the island of crete at 6am. after dropping our luggage at our hotel, we took the 3 euro public bus to the restored archaeological site of the minoan civilization: the   palace of knossos . arriving there around 8am was a good idea, as we had no lines or crowd s. later that day, the tour groups rolled in, and the line was about an hour long, the island of crete, the southernmost place in europe , is famous for the palace of knossos. this is where the fabled minotaur lived in the labyrinth- according to greek mythology . the palace complex was discovered by a british archaeologist in 1900, and he slowly excavated and restored many of the buildings over time.  seeing the ruins and restored “re-creations” of what it would have looked like many centuries ago was a neat experience. however, it was not our favorite historical site on the trip. either way, seeing pottery, frescoes, and structures from 1,900 bc is a humbling experience, we then visited the crete archaeological museum . here, we were able to see the original items that were found at the site of knossos. i have been to many amazing museums in my lifetime, and this one stands out as being the most impressive and interesting of all. the pieces in the music are ancient beyond comprehension , and the condition they are in is extraordinary.

Crete Archaeological Museum, Heraklion, Greece

We then walked to the beautiful city waterfront where we saw its Venetian-era walls and fortress, as well as nearby volcano. We bought art from local painters, and had dinner at our hotel’s rooftop restaurant with the perfect view!

Lodging : lato boutique hotel : a very nice hotel at a surprisingly affordable price the staff here went above and beyond, the place is gorgeous, and the rooftop restaurant was great. this was our favorite hotel of the trip,   5. heraklion, crete, for our second day in crete , we split a taxi to amnissos beach , a place popular with locals. there we rented beach chairs and umbrellas for 10 euros, and spent a day enjoying the sun, sand, and calm ocean. the surrounding arid, desert-like landscape of crete was gorgeous, and we got a great view of the region while swimming in the aegean..

crete, amnissos, greece, heraklion beaches

We ate lunch by the beach, which like most Grecian restaurants can be a time-consuming process. Back at our hotel, we got ready and headed into downtown Heraklion ( Iraklio in Greek). We explored the city center, visiting The Church of Saint Titus , Saint Minas Cathedral , and the Morosini fountain. With stray cats galore, I was also happy to feed my new friends while we shopped the many boutiques in the area.

Morosini Fountain, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

We had tried to do a vineyard visit and wine tasting with local producer Lyrarakis , but made a travel hiccup as we tried to do this on a Sunday. We ended up buying a few of their bottles from a grocery store, and did our own personal sampling at the hotel! 🙂 We had made dinner reservations for our hotel restaurant again, and had a nice meal with great service, and a stunning view!

Lodging : lato boutique hotel,  6. heraklion, crete ⇒ fira, santorini, see the full details in my post about what to do in santorini .

Lodging : Loizos Stylish Residence – An affordable place in Fira. The pool was always in the shade, and was too cold to swim in, but the facilities and location were great!

 7. Fira ⇒ Oia, Santorini

Lodging : loizos stylish residence, 8. oia, santorini, lodging : anemomilos hotel – affordable, family run place with a great restaurant and beautiful pool., 9. oia, santorini ⇒ parikia, paros, bidding a sad farewell to beautiful santorini, we took our hotel’s shuttle down to the port at thira. we took the two hour highspeed ferry to the small island of paros . we were able to walk to our hotel from the port, and got lunch at a waterfront family restaurant. next, we headed to livadia beach for swimming and snorkeling, but there were a lot of sea urchins.

Paros, Parikia, Greece

Once we walked in to the Acropolis complex, we saw the ancient Theatre of Dionysus. After, we climbed the stone steps up the hill and arrived at the top- where all the magnificent temples are. We spent about an hour exploring the various ruins, and soaking up the history .

trips to greece on a budget

As always, all reviews and opinions are my own. However, I may receive a small commission should you choose to book any of the hotels or tours listed above. This helps with the costs of running this site.

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29 comments.

We love Greece, last visit was to Rhodes. Even on this tourist Island there is so much culture, Rhodes town and Lindos for example. Crete looks interesting and The Palace of Knossos, good tip to get there early to avoid the crowds and probably the heat.

There’s so much to see in Greece that it can be challenging to organize your time ans budget. Your article sums it up and it makes it perfect! Thanks for the information!

I love the Greek isles! Santorini is incredibly popular, but for a reason. We’ve been twice and we’d go back. We also really loved Folegandros, which you can easily reach by ferry from Santorini.

I really wanted to see the Acropolis in Athens, but beyond that Athens was incredibly disappointing for me. I found the city to be extremely dirty and mainland Greeks to have a bit of a chip on their shoulder.

I agree!! I wasn’t a big fan of Athens. Beyond the historic sites and museums I was not a fan. We also had some negative experiences with the people there as well. Had a few people try to scam us, taxi drivers screw us over, and restaurant vendors so obnoxious they would reach out and physically touch us to try and get us to eat at their place! Insane.

This looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to visit Greece. Love those gorgeous white and blue domed buildings!

Is Santorini this isolated as seen in the pics. I thought it was a touristy place but looks so peaceful in your pics.

These photos definitely show what you can see in Santorini, but if you were to turn around from the direction of the photo there would be tons of people! I did think that it was very crowded during mid-day. If you got out early there weren’t many people, and then we went out and found our own little swimming holes and those weren’t crowded at all! Yes touristy, but still worth it 🙂

I love that you’ve combined ferries and public transport to organize your own solo tour of Greece – so much more freedom and flexibility doing it this way than if you were to have organized an island hopping tour. I can’t wait to get to Greece, and we would probably do it this was as well – sounds like visiting most of the more famous attraction in the mornings is definitely the way to go – love that you managed to rock up and miss the huge crowds!! Makes for such a nicer atmosphere and easier to get stunning photos this way.

Santorini is also on our list though I’m semi scared that my expectations won’t meet up with reality because I’ve heard it can be very touristy and the crowds can ruin the experience. But it looks like you had a fab time – sunset cruise sounds spectacular!!

Very well planned one. I was there in Athens for 5 days yet I felt I couldn’t cover enough. At several of the sites I was hurrying. The islands require a dedicated trip. Happy new year!

What a picture perfect whirlwind tour, really looks so beautiful. I remember going to the Acropolis in Athens when I was about 5 years old when then, being so awed by it! Great to read your tips for doing Greece on a budget!

Wow! looks like you had a great time. There is so much of sun as much as in India , perhaps. I have bookmarked this page which , I am sure , will help me in planning my own trip to Greece.

We, absolutely, loved Athens! We followed a similar itinerary but we did the free walking tour that took us around the city and we went back to see the things we missed on the tour. One of my favorite things about Greece is the food so I can attest to the wonderful Greek salad! Great tips.

What an amazing trip this must have been. I hope to be able to see that much of Greece and really spend some time there when I visit next.

This look amazing, I would like to visit Greece in October this year hopefully. May I know how much budget did you set aside for this trip?

Hi Kim, I am very happy to help and give my budget spreadsheet with a detailed breakdown of the costs. I tried to send it to the email you have listed here but that did not work. If you can reply with your correct email I will send that information along 🙂

Hi Michelle, Can I be a bother and ask for a copy of your budget spreadsheet as well? I appreciate the time you put into sharing your experience – thank you so much!!

Hi Michelle; the info you provided is so helpful and I really appreciate it! Would it be possible for you to provide a copy of your budget spreadsheet with a detailed breakdown of the costs? so many thanks! Gwen email: [email protected]

Thanks Gwen- Check your email for the details 🙂

Greece is too beautiful for words! It’s amazing how you guys were able to see and do so much in just 10 days!

Hey Michelle,

We are going this july for our honeymoon and this blog is very helpful. I was wondering if you could also email me the budget spread sheet you had mentioned about to Kim please? Also, do you have any recommendations for food places or were there any options for Vegetarian? Thank You!

Thank you so much for this post. It’s very detailed as I’m looking forward to follow your itenerary this July to Greece! Cannot wait! 😉

Hi Michelle, if you still have your Greece budget spreadsheet and trip info could you send me a copy please? My fiancé and I are planning a trip for our honey moon in September. Also what time of year did you go? Thanks!

Hi Michelle!

I am visiting greece in July, we currently have 1 hotel in Athens for the entire time of our stay. (12 days) i wanted to know your thoughts on possibly switching hotels as you and your group did. We are just worried about bag storage and having to carry around our luggage every time we switch. Also, if you could please email me your spreadsheet as well, that would be awesome! thanks so much!!

Hi Michelle Thank you for sharing the details of your Greece vacation. It sounds jus wonderful. I normally plan my own overseas vacations as well, but had been thinking of doing Greece via a cruise just because of the logistics. Your article has changed my mind. I’m so excited to get started planning. If you don’t mind could you send me your budget spreadsheet as well. Thank you again for sharing!!!

Hi Michelle We are planning a 10 day trip to Greece coming September and your itinerary will help us greatly. I would be most grateful if you could email me your budget spreadsheet – even though it will be 3 years out of date, I will be a good starting point and I can adjust to allow for Inflation/current prices. Thank you so much.

A popular request I see! Could I also see your budget. I’m going to Greece for ten days with my best friend ( we are both in are sixths but fit. So excited by your report

Just beautiful. I would love to visit Greece some day. you photos are amazing. Thank you for all the great ideas. This is going to help me plan my trip.

“Hi, I read a lot of your articles and every one of the articles are extremely useful. I also might want to contribute an article on your website page. I have been composing a lot of articles and might want to distribute them on your site. Desire to get a positive reaction from you.

Thanks”

Thank you very much for this post. It’s very detailed Information I love it Thank you once again

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Vacations in Greece

Vacations in Greece

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Most popular greece flight and hotel deals, all inclusive vacation packages to greece, last minute vacation packages to greece, search by stars, search by review score, search by board, search by price, search by freebies, when to book a vacation in greece, tips for finding greece package deals.

  • There are loads of types of vacations in Greece and the cost will depend on what type of trip you’re taking and for how long you’d like to stay. Here are the latest prices for a 3 night trip for 2 travelers: Top vacation $461; Family vacation $437; Romantic vacation $532; Luxury vacation $465; Budget vacation $350.

Why should you book a vacation package to Greece?

If you intend to visit in the near future, it's well worth considering Greece vacation packages. By booking hotels, flights and vehicle rentals together, you can make seeing the Acropolis or relaxing on secluded island beaches much cheaper.

And with a little extra cash, you can stock up on retsina or Greek pottery, add an extra round of golf to your schedule or splash out on gourmet meals. So why not explore our Greece travel deals?

When should you book a vacation package to Greece?

During the peak summer months, Greece becomes one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world, with over 22 million arrivals every year. So if you want to find a budget Greece package vacation, try to avoid the period between June and September.

Instead, it makes sense to aim for late spring or the fall. April and June should ensure fine weather, and October is warm as well. And with mild winter temperatures an Athens sightseeing break in December or January can also be very enjoyable.

Where should you stay in Greece during your vacation?

For any vacation type in greece:.

Rhodes' Cathrin Hotel is a great candidate for anyone's vacation accommodation. Situated on Faliraki's main street, it's 9 minutes walk from the beach and boasts gyms, pools and plenty of parking. Taxis from Rhodes Airport take just 18 minutes to get there, too.

If you need a solid all-rounder in Athens, the Athens Marriott fits the bill. Located near the port, you can get into town easily but also escape to the islands if the weather is too warm. It's around 40 minutes by road from Athens International Airport.

For family vacations in Greece:

Situated on Corfu, the Aquis Pelekas Beach Hotel is perfect for families who need access to a pristine beach, and also offers a lively kids' club. Shuttle bus or road transfers from the airport take around 25 minutes.

The Mirabelle Hotel on Zakynthos is more like a mini-Greek village than a standard hotel, but comes with child-friendly pools and large gardens that kids will love. It's also just a couple of miles from Zakynthos Airport.

For romantic vacations in Greece:

With private bungalows and beautiful views, the Dessolle Mirabello vacation village in Agios Nikolaos is one of Crete's most romantic refuges, with great hiking and plenty to do on site. It's around 90 minutes' drive from Heraklion airport.

Close to the Acropolis and the quaint Plaka neighborhood, the Acropolis Select is a stylish spot with comfort to spare (and free drinks for all arrivals). Traveling from the airport is simple, as Syngrou-Fix metro station is 200 meters away.

For luxury vacations in Greece:

Built in a lavish ancient Greek style, Tharroe of Mykonos commands gorgeous sea views, has great access to the island's old town, and is only 2 miles from Mykonos Airport.

The Apostolata Island Resort on Kefalonia is a luxury spa retreat built onto a steep hillside on the island's southern coast. If you want total relaxation, nowhere comes close. Taxis from the airport should take about 30 minutes.

For budget vacations in Greece:

If you want an affordable break on the island of Rhodes, Kalithea Sun & Sky is ideal. Set in an attractive pine forest, it's just a few hundred meters from the sea, and the airport is only 15 miles away.

Affordable and comfortable, the Amazones Villas in Malia place vacationers in one of Crete's liveliest resorts, but are set aside from the center of town, so peace and quiet is assured. Shuttles run from Heraklion to Malia and the transfer won't take over an hour.

Where to stay in Greece

Greece vacation information, other popular package vacation destinations.

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The Island Voyager

Visiting Greece On A Budget

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Greece is an extremely popular destination. Both for those wanting to backpack and explore its ancient history, and also those looking to spend lavishly on its flagship islands. Its most popular ones, Santorini and Mykonos, are also its most exclusive. Prices can be eye-watering. And with VIPs arriving on their superyachts, and honeymooners seeking fairy-tale luxuries, one can easily understand why. But that isn’t the only way. This is a complete guide to visiting Greece on a budget.

So how can you travel Greece, and particularly the Greek islands, without breaking the bank? I’ve laid out some key tips and advice to help plan your vacation, experiencing the best Greece has to offer, whilst on a budget.

Table of Contents

When to visit Greece on a budget

First thing’s first. Timing your visit makes a big difference. Greece’s vacation season runs from mid-April to late October. Hence, choosing to travel during the shoulder seasons, either side of the peak July and August months, means more reasonable prices and lesser crowds. In fact as long as you visit before early to mid June and after 15th September, you should be able to grab a discount.

islands seascape amphitheatre

The further to the extremes of these shoulder seasons you go the further your budget will stretch. However there is a trade off to be made with a few things, notably; 1) weather, 2) sea temperature and 3) general availability of restaurants, bars, and entertainment.

Overall, I would recommend travelling in June and mid-September into October. The weather will still be great and the sea temperatures still perfect for swimming. In June, the waters will be slightly crisper than the height of summer. And if you are looking for warmer seas, then late September would be better.

Here are relative hotel and flight prices you might expect when planning and visiting Greece on a budget:

The low season runs from November to March and the hospitality sector all but shuts down on the islands (exceptions will be on bigger islands such as Crete/Rhodes). You might find a small number of establishments open but, in general, the island is relatively empty. If you are looking to visit Greece during this time and don’t mind a little more unpredictable weather, then city breaks to Athens or Thessaloniki are good options. Check out this article on visiting Athens in October . These cities are in full swing, tourist numbers are way down, and all the sights are open.

Flying to Greece and the Greek islands on a budget

Greece has a large number of expats working abroad, including myself, that are eager to return home for the holidays. This means that over Xmas, Easter, and all through the summer, flights are additionally burdened with returning natives as well as tourists.

Hence, along with trying to avoid peak season and instead going during shoulder seasons, booking flights well in advance is also a must. If you try booking a month or two before, you are bound to get stuck with expensive tickets. Carriers don’t tend to drop their prices as the demand to Greece is always there during the peak periods. Hence flights are always filled.

flight price budget tracker

Generally speaking, the earlier you book the cheaper the tickets. Fare trackers such as Google Flights and the app, Hopper , are very useful in monitoring prices. However there is a limit as to how early you should try to reserve your tickets.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to book in the 1 or 2 months before the previous festival/season. Meaning that summer flights to Greece are best booked 1 or 2 months before Easter. And Easter flights to Greece are best booked 1 or 2 months before Xmas. People naturally look towards their next vacation after the last one passes.

This article on fare comparisons goes into detail on how to save money on flights. The last thing that will influence prices is what day and time you book and what day and time to fly. Avoiding weekends for both will net you some further savings when travelling Greece on a budget.

Greek islands to visit on a budget

Santorini and Mykonos are the islands that have become synonymous with Greece. Naturally beautiful, picturesque, very trendy and chic but of course, expensive. They are, without doubt, worth visiting – you will not regret it. But at the same time, there are some great alternative budget Greek islands to visit as well. Accommodation, eating and drinking out and general expenses make these Greek islands much cheaper overall.

Here are a few alternative Greek islands to visit on a budget;

Ios is as picturesque as any of the Cyclades and affords similarly stunning views across the Aegean Sea and neighbouring islands. The island is known for its nightlife, with international DJ’s, lively beach bars and clubs – a good alternative to Mykonos. Mylopotas beach is one of the best in Greece and there is a great choice of hostels, resorts and luxury suites. Ios has very reasonable prices when it comes to accommodation and entertainment. Check out this complete Ios travel guide for more information.

Ios chora hill

Part of the Sporades group of islands and popular with young people and families. It’s fine, soft sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters give the island a seriously relaxed vibe. It has a vibrant nightlife though, mainly in Skiathos town, where you’ll find trendy cocktail bars, smart restaurants as well as authentic fish tavernas on the waterfront.

Lefkada is part of the Ionian group of islands and is connected to the mainland by bridge meaning you can actually reach the island by driving. Its beaches are some of the best in the country, with steep-cliffed back drops and sheltered coves to explore around its coastline. One of the least touristy islands there is and generally very good value. You’ll easily be able to find resorts, hotels and apartments for most budgets.

Halkidiki is not really an island. It’s a three tiered peninsula with an enormous coastline, a popular destination for those living in Northern Greece. I used to regularly visit t when I was studying in Thessaloniki. Hence this is a good choice, particularly as there are regular international flights to the airport of Greece’s second largest city.

These are a few stand-out examples if looking at budget islands and alternatives. However, check out my top 10 Greek islands to visit , as you can find good great places to stay and things to do on all of them.

Where to stay

There are a number of options when it comes to accommodation for those visiting Greece and the Greek islands on a budget. Resorts, hotels, hostels, apartments, rooms to let and camping means travellers of all types and budgets are well served.

Booking.com , Airbnb and Hostel World are all great websites to search and book accommodation.

Many people in Greece will choose to free-camp to spend their holidays in Greece on a budget. Although it might be true for those on a strict budget, it is also a great way to get closer to nature. And Greece has some beautiful nature let’s face it. However, be aware that this is prohibited by law, unless in specifically designated areas. Nisyros and Evia are two islands that have some good organised areas for camping .

Like most destinations, it always benefits to book accommodation as early as you can. It’s worth booking somewhere with free cancellation and then checking prices again a week or two before you leave. This might not pay off in July or August but it might during mid to low seasons. When occupancy is a little lower, hotels tend to reduce their rates. Whether this a cheaper price at the same hotel or a discount somewhere nicer.

Things to do when visiting the Greek islands on a budget

One of the easiest and best things to do when visiting any Greek island on a budget is wander around the main town. The Chora is usually bustling with activity and represents the character and form of the island. One of my favourite things to do is explore the maze of alleyways, through the squares and past the churches, shops and colourful courtyards. Usually ending up in a cafe, doing some people watching whilst sipping a fredo.

Swimming and sunbathing on amazing beaches is undoubtedly one of the best ways to spend a day on the Greek islands. Easily spend the afternoon lazing on a sunbed and cooling off in the crystal clean waters. To save paying for an umbrella every time, consider buying your own. If you plan to go to the beach more than 3 times during your vacation, then this will be worth it.

Lots of islands have ancient ruins, temples and statues that are free to the public to access and explore. Plan a trip in the morning or late afternoon to walk amongst these sites and get a feeling of life and society all those thousands of years ago.

trips to greece on a budget

Getting around Greece and the Greek islands on a budget

Domestic flights.

If you can take a direct flight to the island of your choosing, then that’s the best option. If there is no direct flight, then you have the choice of taking a connecting flight to one of the many islands with domestic airports, connecting from Athens. There are many islands with domestic airports, particularly the more popular ones.

If your destination is one of the islands in the Cyclades or Saronic, the cheaper slower ferries are a good option. Although you will need to factor in a taxi ride to the ports of Piraeus or Rafina. If you plan to visit further afield, say Dodecanese or Crete, then there really isn’t much benefit in taking a ferry, especially with low cost airlines nowadays. Like anything, you must weigh up your time and convenience against costs when visiting Greece on a budget.

There are different types of ferries, ranging from larger vessels which are generally slower and make more stops, to faster and more comfortable catamarans. Slower ferries are of course cheaper. If your destination is one of the islands in the Cyclades or Saronic, the cheaper slower ferries are a really good option from Athens.

You’ll find journeys less than an hour to be more than reasonable, in and around 10 euros and sometimes less. Ferries and boats shuttling in between small islands, such as in between, Paros and AntiParos are also in this price range.

Check google maps for rough distances. It can sometimes be cheaper and quicker to fly direct to a nearby island and take a ferry to your final destination. This is particularly true in the Dodecanese or, for example, getting to Ios from Santorini rather than Athens.

Travelling by ferry is the default option when planning to visit more than one island. Check out my guide to Greek island hopping to help you plan that type of vacation or itinerary.

trips to greece on a budget

Most islands offer bus services between the main ports, towns and some popular beaches. Services and frequencies differ and ranges between timetables depends on the season. Buses are an effective way to travel and will get you to the main hotspots without much trouble. Tickets are generally 1 euro single.

Coaches are the most common way of travelling on the mainland and will get you to pretty much all destinations directly or through a connection. The bus network is better connected than the rail network and is cheaper, making this the best way to go cross country in the mainland.

Try to avoid taxis if possible. Sneaky taxi drivers exist in Greece’s tourist hotspots (just like everywhere else) and will try to make a quick buck from unassuming travellers. They can be quick and offer cheap, short rides. Just make sure prices are agreed up front

Athens has the only metro network in Greece and provides a solid means of getting around. Singles are in the region of 1 euro.

Rental car or scooter

One of the best ways of exploring Greece is by renting a car. By doing so you are able to get to the furthest corners and most remote extremities. Check out these tips for renting a car in Greece . Scooters and ATV’s are even cheaper if you are a travelling solo.

Cheap eats in Greece

Relative to the rest of Europe, food is very good value in Greece and the Islands. As long as you’re not right in the midst of the most touristy towns, then you’ll often struggle to find a bad meal. Prices are particularly low on the quieter islands and towns as opposed to the likes of Sanotorini or Mykonos, where modern trendy and expensive restaurants run the show.

When it comes to cheap eats, then Greek souvlaki and gyros is a must. This is the most popular fast food in Greece and is eaten day or night. You’ll find plenty of places serving souvlaki including small takeaway shops and proper sit down family restaurants.

House wine in Greece usually means from local vineyards, and most restaurants will usually have a choice of white, red and rose. These are cheap and can be ordered by the carafe (500ml). They are a great accompaniment to a meal without ramping up your bill.

  • Post published: September 1, 2020
  • Post category: Islands / Tips
  • Post comments: 2 Comments

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Interested in Patmos. Want to study the things of the Apostle John. Would like to stay 3 weeks in October. Would fly into Athens then ferry. Any ideas, where to stay meals etc on a budget. Thanks

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Definitely recommend the Chora, the heart of Patmos. It is set in the mountaintop and close to the monastery of St John.

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Home > 15 Cheapest Islands In Greece To Visit On A Budget

15 Cheapest Islands In Greece To Visit On A Budget

Post author Nick

Written by our local expert Nick

Nick is is digital nomad originally from Athens, Greece. You will now find him exploring the Greek islands, Bulgaria and beyond.

Welcome to your essential guide to Greece’s cheapest islands, where our team’s collective wanderlust and experience come together to offer you the best.

We’ve combed through these islands, from the most popular to hidden gems, to bring adventurers, sun seekers, and foodies like you the ultimate budget-friendly Greek escapades. Discover islands with the best beaches, savor local street food, and immerse yourself in rich local culture.

With our handpicked travel tips, you’ll explore white-sand beaches and vibrant communities without stretching your wallet. 

Greece Travel Blog_Cheapest Islands In Greece

Are you looking for a cheap holiday in the Greek islands ? With thousands of islands, Greece is full of options for all budgets. Low-budget destinations in Greece are what they sound like, trust me!

If you’re looking for an inexpensive but beautiful escape. This guide isn’t just about finding the cheapest places; it’s about experiencing the true spirit of Greece on a budget.

Let’s dive into finding the best Greek islands for your wallet-friendly adventure!

Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!

Evia Island - Sunset boats at Eretria Euboea Greece

The second largest island in Greece, Evia is an excellent destination for a budget trip. Although Evia is an island, it is separated from the Greek mainland by the narrow Euripus Strait, which is only 40 meters wide at its narrowest point. As such, two bridges connect Evia to the mainland, making it a perfect destination for a day trip .  

Given its proximity to mainland Greece, Evia remains relatively unknown to international tourists and is mainly frequented by Greeks. There are so many places to stay on the island and so many different types of lodging, meaning the accommodation prices are varied if you choose to stay for a few days.

As Evia is 80 km away from Athens , it is easily accessible by public transportation (buses, trains, and ferries). Going by land takes between 1 and 2 hours from the Greek capital to Chalcis, the town that connects the island to the mainland with the two iconic bridges. 

Traveling by ferry takes about 40 minutes from Rafina Port in Athens to Marmari in Evia.

  • Guide To Evia Island

Guide To Where To Stay In Crete, Greece

Crete, the largest Greek island, might surprise you with how budget-friendly it can be despite its popularity. It’s all about knowing where to look. Crete is a masterclass in affordable travel, offering a variety of hostel and budget hotel options, especially in towns like Chania and Rethymno.

When it comes to eating, the island is a haven for foodies on a tight budget. Street food vendors and local tavernas serve up mouth-watering Cretan specialties at prices that are easy on your wallet. And let’s not forget the wealth of free or low-cost attractions, including stunning beaches, scenic hikes, and historic sites like the Palace of Knossos.

With its rich history, vibrant street life, and stunning landscapes, Crete proves that you don’t have to spend big to enjoy the best of Greece.

  • Where To Stay In Crete
  • Things To Do In Crete
  • How To Get From Chania To Heraklion

The Saronic Islands

3. aegina .

Island Hop Greece, Here Is How To Travel Between Greek Islands - Aegina

Located only 30km from Piraeus port in Athens, Aegina is a perfect city escape . The short distance from the Greek capital keeps travel costs low, and the island can even be included as part of a more extended Athens trip , making it a genuinely cheap Greek island holiday.

With beautiful coves and plenty of historical sites , Aegina is a great budget destination.

The main attraction on the island is the Temple of Aphaia , one of the three temples that make up the famous Sacred Triangle of Greece. The other two temples are the Parthenon in Athens and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. So, if you love history, this is a place to tick off your list.

Ferries depart Piraeus port almost every hour, year-round, and tickets are very reasonable, especially if you buy a return ticket.

  • Things To Do In Aegina

Chalikiada is the most popular beach in Agistri island, Greece

The nearby island of Agistri is an easy and cheap ferry ride from Piraeus Port in the capital. Given its proximity to Aegina, this is also a perfect spot for an affordable Greek island-hopping adventure .  

As Agistri is such a small island , it is perfect to navigate on foot or by cycling. This means that transportation costs during your trip to Agistri are very low. Apart from saving money , hiking is the best way to see the most beautiful side of an island that offers paths through stunning natural landscapes with breathtaking views.

Largely appealing for the adventurous traveler , Agistri is an excellent destination for mountain bikers, climbers, and bold sailors. Agistri is the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation, with pristine beaches to boot.

  • Agistri Island Guide
  • How To Choose Between Agistri & Aegina

The Cyclades Islands

Greece Hiking - Scenic view of Panagia Hozovitissa monastery on Amorgos Island

Did you know that you can camp throughout Greece? Amorgos is the perfect camping destination – as is the reason it makes out the list of cheap Greek islands. With many sites to choose from, this is an excellent place for the adventurous budget traveler. 

Amorgos boasts natural beauty , with incredible hiking opportunities across the island’s many ancient footpaths. Its craggy caves, beautiful diving spots made famous in the movie “The Big Blue,” and stunning turquoise bays mean there is so much to explore in the great outdoors. With only 2000 residents, the tiny island is an ideal destination to escape the crowds and get back to nature. 

As there is no airport on the island, the only way to get there is by ferry to one of the island’s two ports: the port of Aegiali or the port of Katapola. Luckily, the island is situated close to the islands of Naxos and Santorini , both of which have airports with many flights in peak season .

Once in Naxos or Santorini, you can easily catch a short ferry to the island. Of course, you can also travel to Amorgos by ferry from Piraeus Port in Athens, which runs three times a week during the summer months .

  • Amorgos Island Guide
  • Best Beaches On Amorgos

Streets of Kimolos island, Cyclades, Greece

Kimolos, a hidden gem in the Cyclades, is your go-to island for a budget-friendly Greek getaway. It’s like stepping into a quieter, more laid-back era, away from the hustle and bustle of its more famous neighbors. What makes Kimolos a real catch for budget travelers is its authenticity. You won’t find extravagant resorts here, but rather charming, affordable guesthouses and B&Bs that offer a warm, personal touch.

Dining out? No problem! The local tavernas serve up delicious Greek dishes at prices that won’t make your wallet weep. And the beaches? They’re free, of course, and you’ll find plenty of secluded spots to soak up the sun without a crowd in sight. Kimolos is all about enjoying the simple pleasures of Greek island life without the hefty price tag.

  • Kimolos Island Guide

7. Folegandros

Closest Islands to Santorini - Folegandros island Panaghia church

Folegandros, a lesser-known island in the Cyclades, is perfect for those who want to experience the quintessential Greek island vibe without the crowds or high costs. Think of it as a more budget-friendly version of Santorini with its own brand of charm.

The island’s small size means you can easily explore it without renting a car – just a pair of comfortable shoes will do! Accommodation here leans towards the affordable, with a range of options from basic rooms to cozy family-run hotels.

And let’s talk about the food – Folegandros offers a delectable range of Greek cuisine that’s both authentic and reasonably priced. Whether you’re wandering through its quaint villages or lounging by the Aegean Sea, Folegandros promises a serene Greek island experience at a fraction of the cost.

  • Escape To These 20 Secluded Greek Islands

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The dodecanese islands, 8. astypalea.

Astypaleia Island Greece

One of the most beautiful islands in the Dodecanese, Astypalea, has managed to escape mass tourism and remains a budget haven – and it will be one of those cheap Greek island holidays your friends will be envious of. 

The perfect island escape, Astypalea boasts beautiful whitewashed villages, stunning turquoise waters, and brilliant history with all the charm and none of the crowds .

The main town of Chora combines the Cyclades and Dodecanese architectural styles with winding paths and many beautiful churches. Above the town sits the Venetian Castle, a great place for exploring and learning some of the island’s history.

Nearby the castle, you’ll find the island’s iconic windmills, which are the perfect place to take in the view and even enjoy a sunset drink or coffee.  

Astypalea’s Airport is open throughout the high season and is accessible by domestic flight from Athens. Otherwise, the island is accessible by a nine-hour ferry from Piraeus Port or closer islands, such as Paros, Naxos, or Rhodes . 

Ancient ruins on Kos - Things to do on Kos Island

The second most popular island in the Dodecanese, Kos, can become busy and more expensive during the high season. However, throughout the shoulder seasons (May to June and September to October), Kos remains a perfect island retreat , and the prices drop significantly. 

The Dodecanese islands are generally famous for their rich history and popular for their medieval architecture, with many castles and fortresses to explore.

Kos is no exception. One of the best things to do in Kos is sightseeing, as you could spend many days exploring the many medieval churches, Neratzia medieval castle, and Antimachia Castle. Interestingly, as the birthplace of Hippocrates (the father of medicine), the island is also known as a healing center. 

Of course, if you prefer the great outdoors, Kos is also known as Cycling Island. With long cycling paths, you can easily hop between the stunning beaches on two wheels.

Due to its popularity, it is easy to find cheap flights to Kos, with multiple international and domestic flights arriving daily. However, Kos is also accessible from Piraeus Port in the capital, with ferries departing daily during high season and taking 12 – 14 hours.

  • Guide To Kos Island

10. Nisyros

Church above Nikia village on Nisyros island in Dodecanese island group, Greece.

One of the lesser-known islands in the Dodecanese, Nisyros offers visitors an unspoiled, rustic escape and plenty of budget accommodation options across the island. 

With a similar volcanic landscape to that of Santorini , Nisyros is the perfect budget alternative. Although it is a small island, there is plenty to see and do.

The capital of the island, Mandraki, is full of classic whitewashed buildings and alleys filled with tavernas, boutiques, and cafes to explore. There are also many small traditional fishing villages, like Nikia or Pali, which is home to an ancient thermal spa . Undoubtedly, one of the best things to do on the island is to visit the island’s active volcano and stand on the hot sulfur grounds. 

With no airport, the only way to reach the island is by ferry from Piraeus or neighboring islands. However, given its proximity to Kos, an effortless way of getting to Nisyros is a flight to Kos Airport and a ferry to the island’s Mandraki port. 

  • Guide To Nisyros Island
  • Best Beaches On Nisyros

Acropolis Of Lindos, Rhodes, Greece

The largest island in the Dodecanese, Rhodes, is a popular tourist hub. Rhodes offers many accommodation options for all budgets, given its size and popularity. With large resorts and smaller homestays, you will find the perfect budget place to rest. 

Known as “the Knights Island,” Rhodes has plenty to see and do for the history buff among us. With great medieval architecture, cosmopolitan towns, and beautiful beaches, you will never be short of activities.

One of the best spots on the island is the Old Town. A UNESCO World Heritage Site , the Old Town offers visitors the chance to visit the Venetian Castle, the Street of the Knights, and the Palace of the Grand Master. These sites will transport you back to the rich and dramatic past of the island.

If you prefer beaches to history, then Rhodes offers 42 huge, beautiful beaches to explore . The beaches of Tsambika, Anthony Quinn Bay, Faliraki, Ladiko, Kallithea, and Saint Paul’s Bay are some of the best on the island.

As a popular tourist destination, Rhodes is easy to get to on a budget. Both international and domestic flights arrive at Rhodes Airport daily. The island is also reachable by ferry from Piraeus port.  

  • Guide To Rhodes Island
  • Best Beaches On Rhodes

The North Aegean Islands

Quiet Islands In Greece - Windmills in Chios

Close to the Turkish coast, Chios is a laidback island perfect for a budget holiday. Although Chios is the fifth largest Greek island , there are no big resorts on the island, so it has remained relatively clear from mass tourism. 

Chios is famous for its exports of mastic gum and is sometimes called ‘the Mastic Island”. Mastic is an unusual flavor, used in many sweets and most famously in Mastiha, a digestive drink from Chios.

Hiking around the south side of Chios, you will see the iconic mastic trees from which the mastic gum is said to ‘weep.’ If you would rather spend your time sipping Mastiha than hiking, the island is also famous for its beautiful villages, such as Pyrgi and Olympi, which are the perfect places to stop for a drink. 

You can fly directly to Chios from Athens or take a ferry from Piraeus Port , with routes running three times a week all year round. However, you can also get to Chios from Turkey . As the island lies so close to the Turkish port of Cesme , you can fly to Izmir and catch a very short 30-minute ferry across to the island. 

  • Greek Island Getaway To Chios

13. Lesvos (Lesbos)

Lesbos Island Greece

Close to the Turkish coast , the island of Lesvos is famous for its Petrified Forest, incredible cheap food, and amazing olive oil. 

Greece’s third-largest island does not rely solely on tourism but instead thrives on its olive oil industry and is the cheapest Greek island to visit for that liquid gold. 

 With so much “liquid gold,” the island is known for its delicious local food . One of the best things to do in Lesvos is to journey to all the traditional villages, sampling the tavernas and the local liqueur, Ouzo . 

Lesvos is full of beautiful natural landscapes, including hot springs and stunning beaches. Given its rich history, there are plenty of ancient Byzantine monuments to discover, including the castles of Molyvos, Sigri, and Mytilene, the Acropolis of Ancient Pyrra, and the monasteries of Taxiarchis and Agios Raphael . 

It’s easy to get to Lesvos , with daily international and domestic flights arriving at Mytilene (Lesvos) Airport. However, there is also a long 12-hour ferry from Piraeus Port in Athens and many ferries from closer islands: Syros , Mykonos , Ikaria , and Chios.

  • Guide To The Island Of Lesbos

The Largest Islands in Greece - Samos Island

As one of the most beautiful islands in the Aegean , Samos is surprisingly less visited than many of its neighbors, which makes it the perfect budget escape. 

There is much to do on this stunning island, from natural sites to archeological wonders and picturesque villages. As the birthplace of Pythagoras, the town of Pythagorion boasts many historical sites.

These include the ruins of the Heraion Sanctuary, the place where Zeus and Hera were said to have had their honeymoon; the Tunnel of Eupalinos, the first of its kind in Europe; the Cave of Pythagoras, the mathematician’s famous hiding spot; and Thermae, the beautifully preserved Roman baths dating back to 1st century BC. 

Accessible by domestic flight from Athens or Thessaloniki , it’s straightforward to reach Samos, and as one of the cheapest Greek islands to visit, you can splurge on a flight rather than a longer ferry. Of course, if you want to, there are also long ferries from Piraeus port – the duration of which is 12+ hours.

  • Guide To The Aegean Sea Islands

The Ionian Sea Islands

15. kythira.

Island Of Kythira Greece - Chora, Kapsali village view at Sunset

The birthplace of Aphrodite, Kythira remains one of Greece’s best-kept secrets for a tranquil vacation and is one of the cheap islands to visit in Greece!

Located in the south Peloponnese , Kythira is relatively isolated from Greece’s tourist hotspots.

There are no signs of mass tourism on this island, and for those who enjoy nature and seclusion, it is the perfect Greek escape. The most popular thing to do in Kythira is hiking across the island and visiting the various abandoned villages, beautiful chapels, and small secluded beaches. 

Of course, being off the beaten track means that Kythira is not that easy to get to. The easiest way to get to Kythira is by ferry from the port of Neapolis. The port can be reached by car or bus from the capital—during peak season, one ferry service weekly leaves Athens’ Piraeus port. Although less of a budget option, Kythira can also be reached by domestic flight from Athens throughout the year. 

  • Guide To Kythira Island

What are the affordable Greek islands to visit?

Andros, Aegina, Naxos, Crete, Thassos, Lemnos, Lefkada, Rhodes, Ios, and Zante are just a few.

What tips are provided for budget travel to the Greek islands?

Visit during the shoulder season, using slower ferries, opting for public transport, and exploring food options beyond restaurants are just a few ways to save money while traveling to the Greek islands.

What makes Greek islands an appealing destination for budget travelers?

Greece is popular for its rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful natural sites. It’s relatively cheaper compared to other European countries, offering budget-friendly options even during the high season.

Which Greek island offers affordable tranquility and great hiking opportunities?

Andros, the northernmost of the Cyclades Islands, is known for its peace, affordable prices, great mountain hiking, white sand beaches, and picturesque villages.

Can you suggest a quick and budget-friendly Greek island trip from Athens?

Aegina, in the Saronic Gulf, is less than an hour from Piraeus port and offers a great day trip from Athens. It’s known for the Doric Temple of Athena Aphaia and beautiful beaches like Marathon.

How is Crete a budget-friendly destination despite its popularity?

Crete offers affordable hostels, cheap street food , and inexpensive public transport. Attractions like Balos Beach, Samaria Gorge, and the Palace of Knossos have low entry fees.

What does Thassos Island offer to budget travelers?

Thassos, a hidden gem in the Aegean Sea, is notable for its lush greenery, sun-soaked beaches, and historical sites like the ancient Agora in Limenas.

Which Greek island offers secluded beaches and historical sites on a budget?

Lemnos, in the northeastern Aegean Sea, is less crowded and offers low prices. It features a Byzantine Castle in Myrina and the ancient site of Hephaestus.

How can I get to Lefkada on a budget?

Lefkada in the Ionian Sea is accessible by driving or bus from Athens. It’s a popular budget destination with beautiful beaches and Ionian cuisine.

Can Ios Island provide a budget-friendly stay?

Yes, Ios offers tranquility away from nightclubs and affordable accommodation options like camping. It’s perfect for hiking and exploring the island’s backcountry.

What does Zante offer for budget travelers?

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Final Word On The Most Affordable Islands In Greece

Now that you’ve browsed through our list of the cheapest Greek island holidays, it’s time to make the exciting choice: which of these budget-friendly gems are you going to visit this year? Each island we’ve covered offers its own unique appeal, from the stunning beaches that are among the best in Greece to the intriguing historic and archaeological sites that tell stories of ancient civilizations.

Are you looking for the best deals? You’re in the right place. These islands are not only easy on your wallet but also rich in experiences. Whether you’re into beach lounging, cultural exploration, or both, there’s an island waiting for you. And if you’re up for a bit more adventure, why not try island hopping ? It’s a fantastic way to see more without spending a fortune.

When it comes to choosing the best time to visit, you’ve got options. These islands are welcoming throughout the year, each season bringing its own charm. But, of course, the warmer months are perfect for those beach days and clear-blue-water swims.

So, whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, these most affordable Greek islands offer incredible value. They’re the best places for anyone looking to have a great experience without splurging too much.

Remember, a trip to these cheaper islands isn’t just a holiday; it’s an experience filled with beauty, culture, and relaxation. So, grab your map, pick your island, and get ready for an unforgettable Greek island adventure!

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HappyLuxe Blog

Travel To Greece On A Budget: Insider Tips For Affordable Adventures

Are you dreaming of exploring the stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture of Greece? Well, good news! You don’t have to break the bank to experience all that this magnificent country has to offer.

In this article, we will provide you with insider tips and valuable information on how to travel to Greece on a budget. From finding affordable flights and accommodations to exploring off-season travel opportunities and saving money on transportation, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll also share important tips for staying safe while traveling in Greece and managing your travel budget effectively. Plus, we’ll show you how to interact with locals to get insider tips and recommendations that will enrich your adventure even more.

So get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with affordable adventures in Greece!

Planning Your Trip to Greece

When planning your trip to Greece, it’s crucial to consider not only the popular tourist destinations but also the lesser-known hidden gems that can offer a more affordable and authentic experience.

If you are traveling to Greece on a budget, consider visiting the Greek islands during the shoulder season when prices are lower and crowds are smaller.

Explore the local street food scene for delicious and inexpensive meals.

Take advantage of the free walking tour tours in major cities like Athens or Thessaloniki to learn about their history and culture without spending a dime.

To save money on accommodation, budget travelers opt for private rooms in hostels or guesthouses instead of expensive hotels.

Consider taking overnight ferries between islands or from mainland Greece to save on transportation costs.

By following these insider tips, you can have amazing adventures in Greece even on a tight budget

Finding Budget-Friendly Flights

To snag a wallet-friendly flight to Greece, imagine yourself scrolling through a plethora of online deals and stumbling upon an irresistible offer. When it comes to visiting Greece on a budget, saving money on flights is key.

Look out for budget airlines that offer cheap flights to popular Greek destinations like Athens or Thessaloniki. Booking in advance can also help you score great deals. Additionally, consider flying during the off-season when prices tend to be lower. Another option is to look for flights that have layovers, as these’re often cheaper than direct flights. Don’t forget to factor in baggage fees when comparing prices.

By being flexible with your travel dates and doing some research, you can find budget-friendly flights that’ll save you money for other adventures in Greece.

Choosing Affordable Accommodations

One way to save money during your trip is by opting for budget-friendly accommodations. When visiting Greece, traveling during the peak season can be expensive, so it’s important to find ways to stretch your Greece travel budget. Luckily, there are plenty of budget hotel options available that won’t break the bank.

Consider booking overnight ferries instead of flights as they can save you a few euros on transportation while also providing a unique experience. Additionally, Greece, overnight ferry travel allows you to enjoy the scenic views of the Aegean Sea.

Another cost-saving option is seeking out free accommodation options such as couchsurfing or house-sitting opportunities. If you prefer more traditional accommodations, do some research and compare prices to find decent prices on hostels or budget hotels in popular tourist destinations like Athens and Thessaloniki.

Exploring Off-Season Travel Opportunities

Don’t miss out on the incredible off-season travel opportunities and discover a whole new side of Greece that will leave you breathless. Traveling to Greece during the off-season can not only save you money but also provide an authentic and less crowded experience.

Take advantage of this time to explore the archaeological sites and historical sites without the long lines and crowds. Enjoy delicious Greek food, such as a refreshing Greek salad, at local tavernas where prices are more affordable.

Consider island hopping to popular Greek islands, like Santorini or Mykonos, with discounted ferry tickets available during the off-season. And don’t forget to protect yourself with travel insurance for peace of mind.

Embrace these off-season travel opportunities for an unforgettable adventure in Greece while staying within your budget.

Saving Money on Transportation in Greece

One great way to explore the Greek cities and popular islands without breaking the bank is by opting for free walking tours. These tours provide a fantastic opportunity to discover the rich history and culture of Greece while saving on transportation and accommodation costs.

Additionally, consider visiting some of the best Greek islands during off-peak seasons when prices are lower. You can also save money by choosing budget airlines or buses for intercity travel.

Blue Star Ferries offer affordable ferry rides between various Greek islands, allowing you to enjoy breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea without spending a fortune.

So, whether you want to delve into ancient ruins or bask in the beauty of western civilization in Europe’s oldest civilization, there are plenty of ways to save money while exploring Greece’s stunning destinations.

Enjoying Delicious and Affordable Greek Cuisine

Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of Greek cuisine without breaking the bank by exploring local tavernas and street food stalls.

Greece is known for its delicious and affordable food options, so make sure to take advantage of this during your trip.

Start your culinary adventure by trying some classic Greek dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and spanakopita. These traditional dishes are not only tasty but also budget-friendly.

For a quick and cheap meal, head to a street food stall and try some gyros or souvlaki wrapped in warm pita bread with fresh tzatziki sauce.

Don’t forget to sample the local seafood as well, like grilled octopus or fried calamari.

And of course, no visit to Greece would be complete without indulging in some authentic Greek yogurt topped with honey and nuts for a sweet treat.

So pack your appetite and get ready to savor the flavors of Greece without breaking the bank!

Discovering Free or Low-Cost Activities and Attractions

Explore the countless free or low-cost activities and attractions that will keep you entertained throughout your trip, from wandering through ancient ruins to strolling along picturesque coastal paths.

Greece is a treasure trove of historical sites, and many of them are accessible to visitors without breaking the bank. Take a journey back in time as you explore the Acropolis in Athens, where you can marvel at the Parthenon and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Delphi, an ancient sanctuary that was once considered the center of the world.

And for nature lovers, hiking in Mount Olympus or exploring Samaria Gorge in Crete will leave you breathless with their stunning landscapes.

Whether it’s history, nature, or simply relaxing on beautiful beaches, Greece offers something for everyone on a budget.

Navigating Public Transportation in Greek Cities

Getting around Greek cities is made easy with the efficient and extensive public transportation system. Whether you’re exploring Athens, Thessaloniki, or any other city, you’ll find a variety of options to suit your needs and budget.

The metro is a popular choice for its speed and convenience, connecting major attractions and neighborhoods. Buses are also plentiful and offer a more scenic way to navigate the city streets. If you prefer a leisurely ride, trams can take you along the beautiful coastline or through charming neighborhoods. For those on a tight budget, consider using trolleybuses which aren’t only affordable but also provide an authentic local experience.

With ticket prices starting at just a few euros, public transportation in Greek cities is an affordable way to explore all that these vibrant destinations have to offer.

Taking Advantage of Discounted Tours and Activities

If you’re looking to make the most of your time in Greek cities, don’t miss out on the fantastic deals and offers available for tours and activities.

Greece is known for its rich history and stunning landscapes, and taking advantage of discounted tours and activities is a great way to explore all that it has to offer without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re interested in visiting ancient ruins, exploring picturesque islands, or indulging in traditional Greek cuisine, there are plenty of options available at discounted prices.

You can join guided tours led by knowledgeable locals who’ll provide insightful commentary about the sites you visit. Alternatively, you can opt for self-guided tours with audio guides or maps to navigate at your own pace.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for special promotions or bundle deals that include multiple activities for a discounted price.

With these affordable adventures, you’ll be able to create lasting memories without worrying about your budget!

Shopping Smart for Souvenirs and Gifts

First, head to the local markets and street vendors where you can find handmade crafts, jewelry, and traditional Greek products at affordable prices. Don’t forget to haggle – bargaining is a common practice in Greece, so negotiate for a better deal!

Additionally, keep an eye out for special promotions and discounts offered by shops and boutiques. Many stores have sales during certain times of the year or offer discounts if you buy multiple items.

Lastly, consider buying edible souvenirs like olive oil or herbs that not only make great gifts but also won’t take up much space in your luggage.

Happy shopping!

Understanding Local Customs and Etiquette

To truly immerse yourself in Greek culture, it’s important to understand and respect the local customs and etiquette. Greeks are known for their warm hospitality, so it’s always a good idea to greet people with a friendly ‘Yassas’ (hello) or ‘Kalimera’ (good morning).

When entering someone’s home, it is customary to bring a small gift such as flowers or sweets. Remember to remove your shoes before entering, as this is considered polite.

Dining in Greece is an experience not to be missed, but make sure to keep your elbows off the table and wait for the host to start eating before you begin. It’s also common practice to say ‘Efharisto’ (thank you) after a meal.

By following these customs and showing respect, you’ll have an even more memorable adventure in Greece.

Staying Safe While Traveling in Greece

Now that you have a good understanding of local customs and etiquette in Greece, it’s time to focus on staying safe while traveling in this beautiful country.

Greece is generally a safe destination for tourists, but like any other place, it’s important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. One of the key things to remember is to keep an eye on your belongings at all times, especially in crowded places such as markets and public transportation. It’s also a good idea to avoid displaying expensive items or large amounts of cash, as this can make you a target for pickpockets.

When exploring new areas, stick to well-lit and busy streets, particularly at night. And finally, always trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, remove yourself from the situation immediately.

By being cautious and prepared, you can enjoy your adventures in Greece with peace of mind.

Managing Your Travel Budget and Expenses

When managing your expenses while traveling in Greece, it’s essential to keep a close eye on your spending to ensure you make the most of your journey. Start by setting a daily budget for yourself and stick to it as much as possible.

Look for affordable accommodation options like guesthouses or hostels instead of expensive hotels. Take advantage of public transportation, such as buses or trains, which are usually cheaper than taxis or rental cars.

When dining out, try local taverns and street food stalls for authentic Greek cuisine at reasonable prices. Additionally, consider purchasing groceries from local markets and preparing some meals yourself to save money.

Finally, research and book tours or activities in advance to take advantage of any early bird discounts available. By being mindful of your expenses, you can have an incredible adventure in Greece without breaking the bank.

Interacting with Locals for Insider Tips and Recommendations

Discovering the hidden gems of a new place is always an exciting part of your journey, and connecting with locals in Greece can provide you with invaluable recommendations to make your experience even more memorable.

When it comes to interacting with Greeks, you’ll find that they are warm, friendly, and eager to share their love for their country. Strike up conversations with locals at cafes, markets, or while exploring historic sites – you never know what insider tips they might offer!

Whether it’s a secluded beach only known by locals or a family-run taverna serving mouthwatering traditional dishes at affordable prices, engaging with the people who call Greece home will undoubtedly enhance your trip.

So don’t be shy – embrace the opportunity to connect with locals and unlock the best-kept secrets of this beautiful country!

Making the Most of Your Time in Greece on a Limited Budget

To maximize your time in Greece without breaking the bank, take advantage of local transportation options and explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. Greece offers a variety of affordable transportation options, such as buses and ferries, which can take you to different islands and cities at a fraction of the cost compared to flying or taking a taxi.

Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get to experience the local way of life and interact with fellow travelers along the way.

When it comes to exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, Greece has plenty to offer. From hidden beaches and charming villages to ancient ruins and breathtaking landscapes, venturing off the tourist trail will not only give you a unique experience but also help stretch your budget further.

So go ahead, embrace adventure and discover the hidden gems that Greece has in store for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for finding budget-friendly flights to greece to save money.

To find budget-friendly flights to Greece, start by using flight comparison websites like Skyscanner or Kayak. Be flexible with your travel dates and consider flying into alternative airports near your destination.

How can I choose affordable accommodations in Greece?

Choose affordable accommodations in Greece by considering budget-friendly options like guesthouses, hostels vacation rentals, and camping. Look for deals online, compare prices, and read reviews to find the perfect place that fits your budget without compromising on comfort or location.

What are some free or low-cost activities and attractions in Greece?

Explore the ancient ruins of Athens, like the Acropolis and Parthenon, for a fascinating glimpse into Greece’s rich history. Stroll through charming neighborhoods, visit local markets, and relax on beautiful beaches, all without breaking the bank.

How can I navigate public transportation in Greek islands and cities?

Navigating public transportation in Greek cities is easy and cost-effective. Use the efficient metro system or hop on a bus to explore. With clear signage, friendly staff, and affordable fares, you’ll have no trouble getting around and saving money.

What are some insider tips for shopping smart for souvenirs and gifts in Greece?

When shopping for souvenirs and gifts in Greece, look for local markets and shops off the beaten path. Bargain with the sellers to get a better price, and consider buying unique handmade items that truly represent Greek culture.

Conclusion – Traveling To Greece On A Budget

From finding budget-friendly flights and accommodations to exploring off-season travel opportunities, there are plenty of ways to save money while still experiencing the beauty and culture of Greece.

Remember to stay safe, manage your expenses wisely, and don’t be afraid to interact with locals for their insider recommendations.

Enjoy your time in Greece without breaking the bank!

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  • Travel Planning Guide

How much does a trip to Greece Cost?

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How much money should you budget for your trip to Greece?

  • How much does a one-week trip to Greece cost?
  • How much does a two-week trip to Greece cost?
  • How much does a one-month trip to Greece cost?
  • Hostel Prices
  • Hotel Prices

The Cost of a Trip to Greece

Visitors to Greece usually spend between $67 and $432 per day on average for one person and $134 to $864 for two people. While this is a wide range, the average daily cost averages $170 (€155) per person. This average includes sightseeing, hotel, food, and local transportation expenses from other travelers. Your individual travel expenses may vary based on travel style and the locations visited, but if you plan wisely while visiting the most popular destinations, such as Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos, then you'll likely spend somewhere in this price range while on your trip. Further down we have a breakdown of expenses by category, as well as a comparison of independent travel versus guided tour prices.

If you're considering an independent trip to Greece, it's helpful to have an idea of the amount of money you'll need. For budget travelers, planning to spend around $67 (€61) per day should cover your essential expenses, including affordable accommodations like hostels and budget hotels, cost-effective meal options, local transportation, and affordable activities. For those with a mid-range budget, allocating around $170 (€155) per day would allow for more comfortable hotels, dining at typical restaurants, and exploring a range of popular attractions. Luxury travelers, on the other hand, should anticipate a daily budget of $432 (€394), which would encompass higher-end accommodations, dining at nicer restaurants, and indulging in private tour options. It's worth noting that these price ranges are based on extensive travel cost data for Greece from fellow travelers, as well as insights from travel companies regarding hotel and tour prices. For further details on travel costs, you can refer to our comprehensive travel cost data for Greece .

How much does a one week trip to Greece cost?

Most visitors spend between $469 and $3,022 for a one week trip to Greece, with the average being $1,190. This includes sightseeing, local transportation, food, and hotels. One week is enough time to visit one, two, or maybe three locations in Greece, depending on how in-depth you want to make your visit. Some of the most popular places to visit are Athens , Santorini , and Mykonos .

trips to greece on a budget

How much does a two week trip to Greece cost?

With two weeks, you should budget between $938 and $6,045 for your trip to Greece. The average price for a two week trip is $2,379. Two weeks will allow you enough time to visit between three and five places. If you're on a budget, you might want to consider some of the more affordable places such as Ios, Aegina, and Chania.

How much does a one month trip to Greece cost?

With a month-long trip to Greece, expenses can be anywhere from $2,010 to $12,953 with the average being $5,098. The cost of travel is dependent on your overall style of travel. If you have a full month, you'll likely want to stay at a vacation rental with a kitchen during at least part of your trip so that you can prepare your own meals. Backpackers often prefer hostels for the same reason. Hostels also offer a more social atmosphere at a very affordable price range.

Hostel Prices in Greece

With more than 70 hostels in Greece, the average price is $21 per night for a dorm bed. Hostels are a terrific option for younger independent travelers looking to save money while staying social during their trip. With many types of hostels, it can be overwhelming to sort out the best places, though. Our analysis of the hostels in Greece not only found the average price, but also uncovered some surprises about the overall quality, amenities, and atmosphere of hostels in the region. You can see more details from our analysis about typical hostel prices in Greece here .

Here are a few sample prices from popular hostels in Greece.

  • $25 for a dorm bed at Athens Backpackers in Athens more details
  • $18 for a dorm bed at Cocoon City Hostel in Chania more details
  • $16 for a dorm bed at Thessaloniki Studios Arabas in Thessaloniki more details

Hotel Prices in Greece

You'll find a wide range of hotel options across Greece. Below are prices for some of the destinations, and for more details see our analysis of hotel costs in Greece .

The Tsitouras Collection

Pelecas country club.

trips to greece on a budget

Should you do an organized tour or travel independently in Greece?

Organized tours are an easy and convenient way to visit Greece. All of the details are handled by travel experts, and during the trip you'll benefit from the knowledge of an expert guide.

Traveling independently offers freedom and flexibility that is hard to find on an organized tour.

Many travelers appreciate the convenience and ease that an organized tour offers. Many tours provide transportation and expert guides that help you enjoy your trip.

Alternatively, you'll enjoy freedom and flexibility with independent travel that is difficult to find with an organized tour.

Comparing Trip Costs in Greece

When we compare the prices of organized tours to the average costs of independent travelers, we can see that sometimes the prices are fairly even.

Tours vs. independent Travel: Pros & Cons

Organized tours.

  • An expert guide familiar with the culture
  • Convenient transportation
  • Fellow travelers to socialize with
  • Well researched activities
  • Efficient and thought out itinerary
  • The security of have a trip leader if something goes wrong
  • Limited options
  • Usually not customizable
  • The fast pace often means you can’t visit one place in depth
  • Usually more expensive than independent travel
  • There may be limited time to interact with the local culture and community

Independent Travel

  • Completely customizable
  • Opportunity to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations
  • Can fully immerse yourself in the local culture
  • Freedom to move at your own pace
  • Flexibility to change your itinerary at any time
  • More affordable
  • Challenging to plan an efficient itinerary
  • Transportation may be challenging or inefficient
  • Booking and trip planning can be a hassle
  • Popular sights may sell out well in advance
  • If something goes wrong, you're on your own

Are organized tours more expensive than independent travel in Greece?

Organized tours average $262 per day in Greece, and are generally all-inclusive with one large payment. Independent trips usually average $170 (€155) per day, and include individual payments to hotels, local transportation, food, and sightseeing. When compared, organized tours and independent trips each come with their own set of challenges and benefits. It's important to understand all aspects of both types of trips to make a fair comparison. You can see our thorough analysis of tour prices in Greece here .

Here are a few sample tours in Greece:

  • Sailing Greece - Santorini to Athens ($3,279) 15 days, 15 destinations more details
  • Grand Classical Tour Of Greece plus Mani and Monemvasia (Small group - In depth culture/Historical/Nature/Culinary… ($2,769) 10 days, 32 destinations more details
  • A Circular Tour around the Peloponense 10 days ($2,769) 10 days, 23 destinations more details
  • Splendid off-season tour in Greece: UNESCO sites and other beautiful destinations on a 19-days tour… ($9,811) 19 days, 33 destinations more details
  • Paradisial Peloponnese (All Inclusive & Guided In-Depth Tour) ($4,069) 8 days, 15 destinations more details

More for Greece

If you're planning a trip to Greece, check out these other informative travel guides.

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works .

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Houston Chronicle

How to do Greece on the fly — and on a budget

I t was drizzling in downtown Heraklion, the capital of Crete, as we dragged suitcases from our hotel toward the rental car I’d parallel parked nearby a day prior.

That’s weird, I said to my friend as we approached. Why is it sticking out onto the street like that?

My chest tightened. Our little 9-Euros-per-day red soft-top Fiat had been hit. The rear was smashed. At least one tire was flat, its hubcap flung onto the sidewalk. A handwritten note, in Greek, lay flat beneath the windshield wiper. It was 7 a.m. Our plane to Athens departed at 8.

This would be one of the more “exciting” moments on vacation in Greece, for which my friend and I had made no advance plans besides buying a round-trip mid-March flight to Athens for a mere $700. Operating on the fly, hour by hour, we wound up in Athens twice, visited three islands (Hydra, Crete and Aegina), then finished with a bonus 24-hour Istanbul stopover en route home to Texas.

"If you have no expectations, everything has potential to be a pleasant surprise," is something I remind myself often. Over the course of eight days overseas we rode a glorious wave of spontaneity and serendipity. We had a perfectly imperfect spring break. And did it all on a reasonable budget.

The trip provided added nutritional value, too: Meticulous planning is a form of control. Without that, one must let go, open and trust. We relied on recommendations of strangers and our own instincts. The world didn't let us down. Even when it kinda did.

Off-season Greece

Flights to Europe are the most expensive they've been in five years, according the travel app Hopper, up more than 35 percent from 2022. Greece is an especially popular summer destination. Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias is expecting 2023 to be a record year for visitors, many of whom no doubt have visions of strolling past white domes and cerulean water on Santorini and clubbing on Mykonos. 

That was not my trip.

Embarrassingly, my friend and I did not note the weather would be in the 40s and 50s. We packed bikinis, colorful caftans and sandals. Since we didn't have any set schedule to speak of, though we'd briefly discussed island hopping, we presumed we'd make it to a beach, get a tan, eat our share of feta and olives and scoot off into the sunset. Instead, I wore my airplane sweater for a week straight. It rained daily. 

Still, there is much beauty in off-season travel. The first-night Athens hotel we booked from an iPhone in the lounge at George Bush Intercontinental Airport cost less than $100 and was two blocks from the Acropolis. After check-in, we ventured out and happened upon a steep street of boisterous tavernas, complete with live music and many an "Opa!" Spritz cocktails flowed. Welcome to Greece! The next morning we had the Acropolis almost entirely to ourselves. A security guard said it is a completely different scene come May and beyond, when buying advance tickets is imperative.

After antiquing at the Monastiraki Flea Market and snacking at Varvakios market food stalls, we headed to port to catch a 90-minute ferry to the car-free island of Hydra. (You can buy ferry tickets the day of without fear of a sell out, another perk of spring Greece travel; our sweet Uber driver made sure we got where we needed to go.)

Hungry when we arrived, the proprietor of our cute two-room apartment in the center of town wrote down four restaurant recommendations. We hit them all in two days; all were objectively awesome. Our favorite was Manna, for a more contemporary take on Greek cuisine. In general, the island — known as a haven for artists and fashion types — was calm. Not all of the chic shops were open, but the ones that were offered discounts and wanted to cut a deal. 

At one point, as we sipped Aperol at a cliffside restaurant after a sunny half-hour hike, Hydra was so quiet I could hear the clop of donkey hooves in the distance. The world seemed to slow down. Peace. 

Cretan road trip

The weather would not cooperate for long and, ready for a change of scenery, we booked a cheap flight to Crete on the ferry back to Athens. We reasoned that Crete was Greece's largest and southernmost island and had the best possibility of warmer climes with plenty to do. We rented a car to see as much of it as possible.

Navigating the hills of Heraklion to our hotel at night as a person who is rusty on driving standard transmission felt like an accomplishment, and my friend, to her credit, was generous in doling out words of encouragement and directions between fits and starts. The next morning we drove a few hours west to Chania, which every stranger we spoke to had recommended.

It was easy to see why. The city's Old Venetian port and town are charming. We walked the cobblestone streets until we found a seaside hotel and inquired about a room, which was offered to us for 70 Euros cash and no fees. In the summer, the same room would be triple the price, if there was space at all, the manager informed us. She pointed us in the direction of Tamam restaurant for a late lunch, where we had Greek-inflected Ottoman cuisine and Cretan wine in what was a bathhouse in the 1400s. 

The rain continued without cease. Our decision to take the off-the-beaten-path route back to Heraklion to (in theory) see some small villages and stop at wineries was a treacherous one complete with slick, one-lane mountainous switchbacks in a Tonka car. I later found out my friend feared for her life, but never let on. (Calm travel companions are important!) With the goal of making it in time to visit the Minoan palace of Knossos, which dates back to 7000 B.C., we managed to convince a single winery — thank you, Klados, love your Vidiano — to let us in for a quick tour and tasting en route.

We did arrive at Knossos 15 minutes before it closed for the day. I did have to beg the ticket agent to admit us, promising we'd be quick, and he did so for free. It probably helped that it was pouring rain and I seemed a little crazy. That night we scored an early reservation at hopping Peskesi in Heraklion, where we tucked into dishes inspired by ancient Cretan recipes surrounded by an international crowd. We were happy to be dry that last night in Crete.

Embracing adventure

As for the wrecked Fiat the next morning: After a few minutes of conference — what if that Greek windshield note was incriminating to my parking skills? — we asked a coffee shop employee to call us a taxi to the rental car agency at the airport. There, we shared the car’s location using a pinned Google map along with the note, which thankfully was from police who witnessed the hit and run.

After some paperwork, we skipped into the airport, through security and onto the plane with a few minutes left over to book our lodging for that night. An hour later, we were back in Athens.

Since it was still morning, we dropped our luggage off at a storage-locker spot near the apartment we’d rented in the historic Plaka neighborhood, paying our airport Uber driver an extra few Euros to wait for us, then carried on to the port to catch a ferry to Aegina for the day.

An island known for its pistachios, Aegina has a lovely a shop-filled harbor. In search of lunch somewhere a little less touristy — and thanks to some brisk internet research — we flagged a taxi to the fishing village of Perdika and had a long waterside lunch at Miltos restaurant, where we drank wine and pet many congregating cats as a man grilled a whole sea bream caught that morning in front of us.

The next morning in Athens we had brunch at a very cool gourmet grocer/restaurant, Ergon House and picked up edible gifts for folks back home before navigating the crowded subway to the airport, as all of central Athens was barricaded off to cars because of the annual marathon race. 

Yes, another transport snafu. Neither of us flinched. It would all work out, we sensed, and it did. But even if it didn't, adventure is all about traversing the unknown. 

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    I've been fortunate to have spent four months travelling across Greece, and over that time, I've been to Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Corfu, Kalamos, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Meganisi, and Ithaca.

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    Travel out of season Traveling to Greece on a budget Travel price s across the board soar phenomenally during the Greek summer months. Between June and September, millions of tourists flock to Greece to marvel at its sun-bleached ruins and laze on the pristine beaches of its islands.

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    Look for airlines like Aegean, Olympic, and RyanAir. You can fly from Athens to some of the best Greek islands in just an hour. Meanwhile, ferries can take up to ten long hours. Ferries Once you get out to the Greek islands, ferries are a good option.

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    It is not. You don't need to break the bank. Make sure you book in advance for all your accommodation and fun options and start saving money. You can even do island hopping in July and August in Greece. Right now is the best time for traveling to Greece on a budget and the Greek islands due to the economy.

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    Stay in Athens, Milos, Naxos, and Santorini, as well as a day trip to Mykonos. Immerse in history at the Acropolis, bask in the Cycladic charm of Milos, explore Naxos's ancient sites, and savor sunsets in Santorini. Cruise the Aegean, savor food tours, and relish private excursions. view tour ⤍ 13 days / from 4404 USD

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    Pick the Right Season Crete in May - with a stunning beach almost completely to ourselves Greece is lovely year round, but is most popular in the summer season when the island resorts are at full capacity and the clubs on Mykonos attract high-profile DJs and dancers. Traveling Greece on a budget means choosing a less-popular time to visit.

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