From flights, to accommodations, to food, traveling to Santorini might seem like a pie-in-the-sky dream. Cost was a major factor holding me back from booking this dream trip for years. After a $380 RT flight (via around this time last year, my Santorini on a Budget trip planning began, and my pie-in-the-sky dream became very real. With a wealth of knowledge—and photos—to share, I'm breaking it all down starting with where to stay in this magical place without breaking the bank.

Before I tell you where to stay (ya know, the stuff you really care about), here's the story about how I found myself ticking off one of my bucket list places, Santorini. On a random Tuesday, Scott and I went to dinner. My belly was full, but I have a forever sweet tooth. Scott said, "Would you like a splash of wine and some cake?" Who can say no to that? After a splash of wine, I found myself gently tossing my credit card across the living room, saying, "Just book it."

As you might imagine, I woke up with an "oh shit" moment, so much so that I actually didn't plan my full trip until two weeks before I left. The anxiety was real. To alleviate your FOMO and hopefully avoid that "oh shit" moment, keep scrolling.

Best Place to Stay in Santorini on a Budget

While the island is made up of multiple villages, the ideal home base needed great eats, gorgeous sunsets—Santorini is famous for its sunsets, and some peace and quiet.

The not so secret, secret about Santorini: Every nook and cranny has a different, but equally gorgeous, view.

My favorite village, Oia, checked all the boxes. Its sunsets are so famous that bus loads of people from the surrounding towns come to take in the lavender hues. Charmingly, they even clap once the sun goes down.

Opting to stay away from bus crowds and avoid the chaos while still enjoying the gorgeous views, we stayed in a beautiful Traditional Cave-style House via Airbnb that had its own private show in the sky for us to feast upon. Bonus: click the link above for $40 travel credit towards your stay.

When I travel, I usually have my mind set on things I want my accommodations to have. A hot tub or outdoor pool that overlooked the caldera was a must-have for this trip. While I looked for affordable accommodations, I even whined, "Is it so hard to find affordable accommodations that have a hot tub overlooking the Caldera cliffside?" I know. I know. #thestruggle.

Understanding that this island is known to be windy—and trust me, it gets windy, the absolute perfect spot was a Traditional Cave-style House via Airbnb that had a slightly enclosed hot tub that openly looked over the Caldera, perfectly protecting us from the wind.

Even though I have travel plans on the horizon, I feel a bit sad that I'm not going back to Greece this November. It's such a magical place. You can do nothing and still have the time of your life. Some mornings, I would sit looking over the caldera with a cup of coffee watching the donkeys go up and down their route. After all, that's free, and just icing on the cake.


More Santorini on a Budget Tips:

Gabrielle Nickas