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Deals and More: How to Hop Through the Greek Islands on a Budget

Greece ● 18 December 2017

If you’re looking to save some money while you travel around the Greek islands, but you’re still determined to get your fill of island sunsets, mountain ranges, and authentic Greek seafood, you can check out some great deals before you take on the islands. The importance of careful planning can’t be overstated! Traveling is an invaluable experience, but when you’re on a budget, it’s important to be practical and make educated decisions about how spend your money. That’s why before you visit any of the islands, you should inform yourself about the different kinds of accommodations and activities available to you so you can make wise decisions based on your current financial situation. Here are some general tips you should use to make sure you’re not hurting your wallet with your adventure to the Greek islands.

Budget holidays

One important time is to purchase tickets as soon as possible and, if possible, all in one sitting. This will help you make sure that you’re paying extra close attention to minimizing layover times and coordinating your in-between travels. If you’re planning to fly out in June, July, or August, start looking early - that’s peak tourist season, so if you want a fair deal, start checking different airlines’ rates months in advance! Using websites like Google Flights and Skyscanner are great ways to compare prices and departure times from different airlines if you’re not especially loyal to a particular line. Booking passenger ferry rides in advance isn’t as necessary, but it will help you plan out your trip better and have a better idea of exactly how much money you have already spent and are planning to spend later. If you’re planning not to book in advance, you should check a few days in advance to make sure that none of the times or anything have changed, as weather conditions sometimes result in last-minute cancellations.

When it comes to looking for residential lodging or accomodations, it’s crucial that you do plenty of thorough research before you commit. Chain hotels and resorts will offer you typical Western-style bedrooms, bathrooms, even suites with balconies. However, if you want somewhere that is operated by a family or a smaller local business, like a bed-and-breakfast or Air-B&b style reservation, it’s absolutely crucial that you read reviews from people who have stayed in those accommodations. On these Yelp-style websites, people will comment testimonies about their experiences and explain whether they felt they were satisfied or not. A happy customer will leave an honest review, and someone who was not satisfied will take the time to give you all the dirt you need to know. For this reason, it’s also a good idea to check out not only multiple customer reviews for a certain lodging or hotel, but to look from different websites that host reviews on the same location. This will verify that many people feel the same way or not. A good website to start with is a place like!

Before you take off on your adventure, you’ll need to do some research about what kinds of public transportation are available (or not available, as is often the case in the smaller, less-popular islands) to you once you get there. The larger islands, such as Santorini and Crete, will have at least one rental car agency, and while it’s a smart idea to reserve ahead of time, many places won’t have a problem with bringing the car to your lodging accommodation and having you simply pick it up there. The more tourist-friendly islands will have some bus services and taxis, but if you’re not trying to be on a very rigid schedule, you might prefer to have a rental car for yourself.


This next one is a simple trick: keep an eye on your cash! Many of the islands won’t have much to speak of in terms of ATM and banking services. VIsit the ATM in Heraklion or Athens before you head off to an island. You’ll also need to arm yourself with some knowledge about the customs of that island: is tipping a common practice? If so, under what circumstances, and how much? How common are credit cards and digitized banking methods? These are important things to have an idea of no matter where you are, but this is even more necessary for islands where you don’t speak the same language as most of the inhabitants.

Once you make it to the islands, it’s smart to practice good manners with everyone you meet. You’ll find that most locals are used to humoring tourists and you might be surprised to find the friendships you form are pretty rewarding. Learning a few words and phrases in the local dialect might help you charm some of the local grocers and shop owners into giving you tips on the best restaurants in town and other ways to save you money. You also can definitely talk to your bed-and-breakfast hosts or hotel concierges for similar recommendations.

Where to Stay

Hotel in Athens, Greece Diethnes Hotel
8.4 10
Diethnes Hotel
52, Peoniou str.(Larissis Station), 104 40 Athens, Greece

Diethnes Hotel is located in Athens, just a 3-minute walk from Larissa Metro Station and Athens Railway Station. Syntagma Square is just 4 metro stops away.

Hotel in Karpathos, Greece Balaskas Hotel
Balaskas Hotel
Diafani, 85700 Karpathos, Greece

The family-run Balaskas Hotel is located just 6 minutes walk from sandy Diafani Beach. The distance from Diafani port is 800 metres. Karpathos town and the port Pigadia are at 50 km, while Karpathos Island National Airport is at 65 km. The hotel offers free transfer from/to Diafani Port and airport transfer on request at an additional cost.

Hotel in Zakynthos, Greece Varres Hotel
9.1 10
Varres Hotel
Mpohali, Zakynthos Town, 29100 Zakynthos, Greece

Hotel Varres is located on Bochalis Hill, just 1.2 km away from the city center of Zakynthos. Zakynthos Airport is 4 km away from Varres.