See The Greek Islands for Less – Budget Tips for Mediterranean

in Greece, Trip Locations

An escape to the Greek Islands sounds like the sort of indulgence that’s out of the reach of frugal travelers. But it needn’t cost as much as you think. By following our Euro saving tips it’s possible to see this picturesque corner of the Mediterranean on a budget.

Unfortunately unless you’re already in Europe, the plane fares probably aren’t an area that you’ll save. While the occasional deals pop up on discount websites like Kayak, the flight is likely to be your biggest expense.

In some cases it may be cheaper to fly to another destination in Europe or Northern Africa first. If you’ve got the time to spare, it could be a great opportunity to spend some time in Egypt or Germany. Enjoy a layover and then hop a budget airline carrier to your island destination.

While some airlines fly directly to the Greek Islands during summer, services are limited, and in the off season virtually nonexistent. The ferries that leave the Athens’ port of Piraeus travel to the Greek Islands regularly. Many of the same services also travel between the isles, which is perfect for island hoppers. Expect to pay around €35 for a trip from Athens to the islands, and €15 for a trip from one island to another.

Planners will find several great deals on accommodation in the Greek Islands online, but if you can resist the temptation to lock yourself in you may save even more. Often the cheapest accommodation is booked on the day of check in. Hotels, hostels, and serviced apartments all have rooms to fill, and they’ll discount them significantly to do it. Don’t be afraid to haggle a bit to drive the price of your room even lower. With the right attitude you could spend as little as €25 a night on a great suite for two. Look out for rooms with kitchenettes and refrigerators, as eating in can save you from the high prices the region’s restaurants typically charge.

The Greek Islands’ quiet roads make them perfect for exploring tourists. Groups can rent a small car for around €35 a day, while singles can save and hire a scooter for just €10 a day. Regulations generally aren’t strict, but you’ll need a motorcycle license to hire the two-wheelers in Milos. Hiring transport gives you the freedom to explore the Greek Islands at your own pace, without being at the mercy of the region’s notoriously slow buses.

It’s easy to spend money indulging in gourmet culinary tours, seeing the Greek Islands’ sights from a yacht, or partying until dawn, but the Greek Islands also have several inexpensive ways to amuse its visitors. In fact, many of them are free.

It costs nothing to wile away the hours on one of the region’s many beaches. If you love spending time on the sand, make sure Milos is on your itinerary. There are 70 different beaches on this tiny isle. That’s impressive for a spot that’s only 14 miles wide, and 8 miles high! Sarakiniko Beach is regarded as one of the most beautiful coastal spots in the entire Aegean Sea. You can certainly relax on the sand soaking up the atmosphere, but if you’d prefer to get your blood pumping why not try cliff jumping? Pahena Beach offers big waves and more privacy than most of the island’s beaches. It’s such a well kept secret that you’ll often find less than ten sun lovers spending time here on a clear summer’s day. Perhaps all of the people are at Paleochori Beach, a family friendly spot that has umbrellas and sun chairs for hire and cliffside cafes just a stone’s throw away.

For a bit of culture consider the churches of Mykonos. Locals claim there are 365 different chapels on the island, one for every day of the year. It’s not likely you’ll see them all, so make sure you don’t miss the most famous, the Church of Paraportiani. It was built slowly between the 15th and 17th century, so it serves as an excellent representation of Greek architecture through the ages.

Amphoras at Knossos, Crete

Amphoras at Knossos, Crete

A history lesson doesn’t cost a lot in Crete. The fascinating Minoan people lived here from the 27th to the 15th centuries BC, and they’ve left a real imprint on the island. The ruins of Knossos are thought to be one of the greatest historical finds in Greece. The site of King Minos’ rule features ancient architecture, artworks known as frescoes, and artifacts including the king’s throne. While historian Arthur Evans found it in disarray, it’s been partially rebuilt four tourists. See it all for between €4 and €6. If Knossos has given you the history bug make sure you stop by the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, which also holds several Minoan treasures. Admission is a shade more expensive than Knossos, but still not exorbitant at between €6 and €10.

Whether you want to relax on a beach or take journey to the past, you can do it in the Greek Islands for less than you might expect!

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