Budgeting for island hopping in Greece

I have tallied up the costs of the recent trip to Greece. It seems that this quote I used in previous blogs is true.

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money.  Then take half the clothes and twice the money.  ~Susan Heller

I did well with the clothes, I think. Did I take half as much as usual? Possibly not? Yet I cut back on all the other bits that others deem to be absolutely essential. I didn’t take a hair brush, for example or loads of toiletries and make up. Two pairs of shoes, trainers to wear while travelling and and sandals for the day time were all I needed. And I packed really efficiently.

I also think I got a good deal with the flights, when the price dropped by £40 per person. What I couldn’t plan for was the cost of the ferries. I also had no idea how much food and accommodation would cost for the week. so yes, there were a lot of variables to contend with, which is where the second half of the quotation, resonates. We really did need twice as much money.

Here is the breakdown, costs for two adults. Flights and other UK costs are in Sterling and everything else in Greece is in Euros.

Travel

Flights  £   175.38
Taxes  £     62.58
Baggage  £     96.00
Ferries Heraklion to Piraeus (overnight deck class) €         58.00
Piraeus to Santorini  €         75.00
Santorini to Heraklion (Flying Cat)  €      112.00

Our original plan was to go to Santorini from Crete and maybe island hop. As the Flying Cats were not operational until the 17 April we changed our plans, which I wrote about here.

As it was we had a bonus day in Athens and the costs of the ferries were about the same as if we had got a return Flying Cat to Santorini. They did however take up a huge chunk of our budget.

We opted for Bed and Breakfast at all our accommodation. I think that this was money well spent, although in Piraeus there were lots of cheap coffee shops and bakeries to get a breakfast. As our ferry was at 7.30 am we took advantage of the 6 Euro supplement at our cheap 30 Euro per night hotel for a breakfast from 6am including a shuttle to the ferry.

Accomodation

 Hotel  per night  B&B
Kastro  €     45.00  €     45.00
Kronos  €     60.00  €   120.00
Argo  €     42.00  €     42.00
Nectarios  €     52.00  €   104.00

The cost of the Kronos Hotel on the Friday and Saturday in Heraklion reflects that it was the weekend running up to Easter. This was the most expensive accommodation we stayed in. We were not going to consider the Youth Hostel in Heraklion as it had such dreadful reviews.

Anita Argo in Piraeus at 30 euro without breakfast was the cheapest and had the smallest bathroom and no view. We were offered an upgrade at 10 Euro but as we were only there one night, with an early start, we just wanted a clean room to sleep in.

Nectarios Villa was the star accommodation. We paid extra as we had an apartment. A double room was c 45 Euros with breakfast but they were all booked. We would not hesitate to stay here again. Santorini has a reputation for being expensive yet this accommodation was well priced. And so welcoming.

All the places we stayed in were clean, with hairdryers and good showers. The Greeks must be the friendliest people on the planet, all the staff in all the hotels were helpful and genuinely lovely people. Even the man at Argo, who was pretty grumpy at 8 am, when we wanted to check in early after a poor night’s sleep on the overnight ferry, was lovely a bit later in the day (perhaps he just needed caffeine).

Food

Many years ago Greece was somewhere you could get food very cheaply. Not so much now. As a guide a beer was between 3 and 5 Euro, a Greek salad between 4 and 5 Euro and a main course  about 8 Euro. Some places were cheaper others more expensive.

Portions were generous and we could have saved money by having a salad at lunch time. We didn’t of course. The food was too good to miss. The only bad meals we had were in the centre of Heraklion. Rubbish Club sandwiches with horrid fries right in the middle of a fashionable square where all the students hung out and food poisoning from a back street taverna, Pantheon, that looked like the place locals would hang out.

It was deserted when everywhere else was packed and we really should have known better.

Kastella,  on the sea front, we ate at twice. It was excellent and we regret not just sticking with it.

Food €   252.10

Drink  €   139.10

We averaged 36 Euros a day on food and we ate very well for that. We only had beer or soft drinks, wine would have cost more.

The absolute bargains of this trip however were visits to Knossos at 6 Euros and The Acropolis at 12 Euros. How can you miss these?

Have you been to Greece? Where would you recommend we visit next?

 

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