Santorini isn’t the most budget-friendly destination. I mean, I’m sure it’s possible to visit on a budget – there are a few hostels and you could easily live off of delicious €3 gyros for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But I wouldn’t know anything about visiting Santorini on a budget because I ended up throwing my budget completely out the window within about five minutes of the landing on the island. I felt like I was constantly emptying my wallet so quickly, I was basically just doing this.
Here are a few surefire ways to blow your budget in Santorini, while feeling like a bit of a baller in the process.
Stay at a caldera-view hotel
I generally don’t allot too much of my budget to accommodations – it’s just a place to lay your head at night anyways, right? But in Santorini, booking a caldera-view hotel became my top priority. If I was only ever going to visit Santorini once, I had to do it right.
As much as I was tempted to splurge on a private villa with an infinity pool overlooking the Aegean, I’m not that much of a baller, and eventually found the perfect alternative: Vallas Apartments in Firostefani. It was a bit more than I’d normally pay for accommodations, but it was a complete bargain – especially considering the quality of the property, the wonderful staff, the fabulous location, and, most importantly, the view! It was worth paying extra to be able to wake up to views like this..
Being chauffeured around the island, stopping only to sip and swirl Santorini’s finest wines, is a great way to feel like a VIP for an afternoon.
The wineries are scattered mostly across the Southern part of the island, within small, traditional villages. For such a dry, hostile environment, Santorini produces surprisingly refreshing and aromatic wines. They’re most well-known for crisp, citrusy whites, and Vinsanto: a sweet, syrupy dessert wine.
I couldn’t get enough of the caldera views in Santorini. So much so, I couldn’t bear the thought of eating dinner at a restaurant without a caldera view, and thus, I spent quite a bit on food (even more-so than usual, which is saying a lot). But there’s really no better place to be at sunset, when the sky changes from fiery orange to shades of purple and pink, as the sun dips below the horizon.
€7 for a “small” cup of frozen yogurt? Check.
€10 for one vodka soda? Why not!
€20 on a completely unnecessary taxi ride? Naturally.
I’d already been overpaying for dinner every day at caldera-facing restaurants, so I figured I might as well spend even more and opt for a fine dining experience – with a caldera-view, of course.
I had read about Kapari on Alex in Wanderland, and her rave reviews were convincing enough for me to remember the restaurant more than a year after reading her post. All of the food was delicious, and beautifully and meticulously presented; everything from the complimentary olives and capers to my main dish: squid ink risotto with seared scallops.
Explore the island by catamaran
Unless you’re after a romantic sunset cruise – which is apparently wildly popular for some reason – I’d recommend booking an afternoon catamaran tour. There were so few people on our boat, it felt like we practically had the catamaran to ourselves.
Sunning on the deck, cruising around the cobalt blue sea, and admiring the incredible scenery and striking cliffside views of Santorini and nearby islands was a highlight of my time in Greece. Also, there’s unlimited wine.
Have you been to Santorini? Which destinations made you feel like a baller?