Santorini is an ancient crater sunk into the Aegean Sea by a volcanic eruption around 2000 BC. The city of Oia is perfectly perched on the rim and has marvellous views. With a place so spectacular comes a surge in price and mass of people. You're in the right place if you’re looking to have a classic Santorini experience without breaking the bank!
1. Stay in Finikia in traditional cave houses
Finikia is a village filled with traditional cave houses and is located 15-20 minutes walking distance from Oia. Finikia is surrounded by vineyards with views of the sea. The budget that would have otherwise gotten us a lousy hotel room in Oia, got us a luxurious cave house with our own private hot tub! We booked it here on airbnb and it makes our list of top Airbnbs we’ve stayed at. The best part of staying in Finikia was being able to escape the hoard of picture taking tourists in Oia.
2. Make breakfast in your Airbnb and save dinner budget for a caldera view restaurant
The catch with staying in Finikia is that you don’t get the classic caldera view from your hotel. This was ok as we used some of our savings for a fine dining restaurant called 1800 which had delectable dishes and one fabulous view! Make sure to book your table in advance.
3. Get a delicious authentic Greek lunch at Pitagyros
Restaurants and cafes in Oia can be very expensive even for a coffee, you’re paying for that caldera view! We luckily found an authentic and delicious Greek gyro shop, Pitagyros, on the side streets and it was one of our best meals in Santorini. It’s 5 euros for a gyro and it fills you right up.
4. Get a first class sunset view without crowds and without a tour
When sunset rolls around there is a mass of people all trying to get the perfect sunset shot. We walked on the path towards Amoudi Bay and noticed a rough unpaved trail off of the main sidewalk. To our surprise, it was the best view we saw in Oia and there was no one around. We have no idea why no one else discovered this gem of an area that evening like we did. Lucky us!
5. Have a wine tasting down the road from Finikia at Domaine Sigalas winery.
Domaine Sigalas is an award winning winery located a 15-minute walk from Finikia. The winery was listed in the 2018 Top 100 Wineries in the World by Wine & Spirits magazine and has a beautiful outdoor setting to relax and try the different types of wines.
The night life is pretty much non-existent in Santorini and drinks overpriced along the Oia strip. Have a wine tasting and bring back your favourite bottle to relax in your hot tub!
We hope you liked our budget friendly tips, but if waking up to the caldera view is what you're dreaming of, go for it!
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