Have you been fantasising about the ideal Greek Isles adventure but are unsure how to go island-hopping in Greece on a budget? Then don’t look any further. If there is one thing that Greece is famous for, it is undoubtedly the idyllic Greek isles with their white-washed villages, dreamy turquoise waters, and delicious Greek cuisine. However, while planning a once-in-a-lifetime Greek holiday can be exciting, it can also be daunting and costly. That’s why I decided to write about going Greek island hopping on a budget!
Is it expensive to visit Greek islands?
Greece can be an expensive travel destination or an affordable dream, and it all depends on your mode of transportation. Of course, big-ticket tourist attractions will set you back a pretty penny. And if you stay in luxury hotels and eat at upscale restaurants, you’ll quickly deplete your funds.
There are, however, less expensive ways to visit the many Greek islands. Budget hotels and backpackers’ hostels offer inexpensive but comfortable lodging. Local taverns serve reasonably priced Greek fare that will satisfy both your wallet and your stomach. There are full of affordable things to do on the islands.
Tips for Visiting Greek Islands on a Budget
Here are some time-saving hints and tips for having a fantastic Greek island holiday without breaking the bank.
Begin Your Journey nearby
Many people will fly into the mainland and then travel to their preferred island. However, this entails additional travel expenses. Especially if you’re tempted to stop in Athens for some sightseeing and possibly a meal, this can significantly increase your travel expenses.
Many of the islands have international airports, allowing you to fly directly to your first stop without taking a detour. Your ferry costs will be reduced by at least one trip, and you will have more time to explore the islands.
The following are some of the best islands to fly into:
Use Greek Island Ferries
Ferries between Greek islands are usually reasonably priced, but this depends on your route. Trips that are longer and farther apart will cost more than shorter ones. Choosing islands that are close to each other and planning your routes wisely will help you keep transportation costs to a minimum. There are options for faster ferries, saving you time but not much money. These are more expensive options, so stick to slower travel times and enjoy the ride if you’re on a tight budget.
Visiting During the Shoulder Season
Because Greece is such a popular tourist destination, the warm summer months are understandably the most expensive. However, the shoulder seasons (autumn and spring) offer fewer crowds, nice weather, and, best of all, lower prices on lodging and activities.
It’s best to visit Greece in October, or between April and June. Still, be warm to enjoy an island getaway, but you will save money on all of your expenses. During the shoulder season, you’ll also have a better chance of finding cheap flights.
Choose Quality Over Quantity
You might be tempted to visit all of Greece’s best islands, but this won’t be easy unless you have the time and money. Instead, I’d advise you to pick your favourite group of islands and visit only a few of them.
If you visit a group of islands, you will have more time to spend on each island without feeling rushed. You will also save money on ferry tickets and not miss any of the island’s highlights.
Greece Island Hopping on a Budget – Eat Local
You are not required to spend your entire budget on a few nights’ worth of food. While tourist-oriented restaurants charge exorbitant prices, local tavernas serve delicious, reasonably priced meals.
Online Car Rental
Many of Greece’s islands require a car to be adequately explored. The bus routes do not reach all secret hideaways and beach retreats. However, car rentals can significantly increase your travel costs.
It’s often less expensive to book a car ahead of time and pick it up at the airport. In-person car rentals in Greece are known to be more expensive.
Find Alternative Ways of Getting Around
If renting a car is not an option, consider renting a bicycle or even a scooter, and these are generally less expensive than cars and a lot of fun to use when exploring the Greek landscapes.
If you’re primarily going to see the sights in larger towns and villages, you’ll find that you can often walk from your hotel to the beaches and town centres. If you’re going for a walk, keep in mind that it can get hot, so bring some water with you.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of the island’s bus services. These won’t always take you to off-the-beaten-path locations, and they can be slow, but they’ll be cheap.
Select a Self-Catering Accommodation
You can save money in a place that has a kitchen. You will undoubtedly want to sample some authentic Greek cuisine. But being able to cook a lot of your food is also helpful.
Shared kitchens are standard in hostels, and some guesthouses provide a private kitchenette in your room.
The Most Affordable Greek Islands to Visit
So, which islands should you prioritize if you’re looking for a low-cost Greece holiday? Here are a few of the most affordable Greek isles.
Milos is essentially an undiscovered jewel, with numerous quiet beaches, scenic views, and an authentic island vibe. There are many picturesque villages to explore on the island, and it is a peaceful place to unwind and enjoy the Greek sun.
This is Greece’s northernmost island, and it’s a stunning place with incredible hiking opportunities.