Santorini is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and romantic places I have ever been. I now understand why so many people want to get married or have their honeymoon high up on the cliff tops looking over the gorgeous Caldera and the blue Aegean Sea. In this post, I am going to share some of my secrets on how to make your trip to Santorini more affordable whether it's your honeymoon, destination wedding, or just a wonderfully romantic trip for two.
My first tip for an affordable honeymoon to Santorini would be to go slightly out of season. I spent some time looking at flight and hotel prices to Santorini at certain times of year and June to early September you can pay unto £600 just for your flights from the UK. So I started to look just out of this time bracket and found if you make your dates flexible and go slightly out of season, you can find flights for as little as £120 with Easyjet or Norwegian Airlines. We went just into October and it was still gloriously sunny and warm and a great time to see the beautiful island without hoards of crowds everywhere.
Where to stay? This is something that confused me for quite a long time and is somewhat of a personal preference. Naturally when you go on a trip somewhere you've never been, your instinct would be to try and find a nice hotel or apartment by the beach - not in Santorini! The best place to be by far is up on the cliff tops. The main areas on the tops to stay are Oia, Fira, Imerovigli and Firostefani. All of them have their own character, wonderful places to eat and most importantly a fantastic view of the Caldera. Personally I found Fira too busy and over populated with hotels to be romantic and quiet, I think it would be more difficult to find a room with a view at an affordable price here - although if you're not fussy about a room with a view, there are some great cheap finds. For instance Rena's Suites featured on a favourite travel site of mine, is very affordable and centrally located in Fira so you'd be near restaurants and bars.
Oia is beautiful and more traditional in a way. It is the furthest town on the very edge of the island, so without a car you wouldn't easily be able to visit other parts of the island. Oia is supposed to be where to go to have the honeymoon of a lifetime, though I personally found it a bit run down, overpriced and didn't have the most impressive view.
The best place to stay, in my opinion is Imerovigli for a truly romantic, memorable honeymoon where you will find the most incredible view over the Caldera as well as being able to see Oia in the distance and even the Volcano if you walk round the cliff a little bit.
Hotels are everywhere in Santorini and range from a one star to a five star budget. There are many 5 star hotels, however, than dramatically reduce their prices at the very start and the end of the season. It is worth putting in the time looking at a couple of hotels to see how much their prices vary depending on what month you would go. Most hotels do book up well in advance, but sometime late availability can work out. I found some hotels in early October that had honeymoon suites available at half the price as they had not been booked.
We stayed at the beautiful Absolute Bliss Hotel in Imerovigli and I would highly recommend staying there. Everything was perfect. And again going slightly out of season, I got an extremely good rate in a suite with a private jacuzzi on the terrace with a view of the stars. A truly unforgettable experience made even better because it was a relatively cheap trip!
So is an affordable honeymoon to Santorini possible? The answer is YES as long as you're not dead set on going in July or August. We went for 5 glorious days in early October, flew from Gatwick airport with Easyjet and returned with Norwegian Air, stayed in a 5 star hotel with a private jacuzzi and breakfast in Imerovigli and the whole trip not including dinner came to under £500 each.
Is it worth it? Again my answer would be a big fat YES! It is a really special place and there is really nowhere like it in the world!