Travelling Around Greece on a Budget – How to Live Frugally!

I never plan my trips too far in advance.  Often they are spur of the moment decisions (driven by depressingly grey UK weather) or the opportunity to take advantage of a cheap flight.  My last trip to Crete and onward around the Dodecanese was neither of these.  The summer of 2018 was probably one of the best I can remember and I had thrown myself wholeheartedly into growing vegetables in the garden and all things creative – such is the effect of the sunshine!

No, this time It was more of an opportunity to get away on my own to be with my thoughts and to have a bit of a personal adventure.  My mum had passed away the previous year and I had just about finished dealing with all the practical things that needs to be done when someone passes away.  I hadn’t however, dealt with the loss, so time away on my own is what I needed.

I have been on many solo trips over the years and the one thing that you need to do is be wholly reliant on yourself to keep to a budget. My train of thought for this trip was that the more control I had of my spending, the longer I’d be able to travel!

It is fair to say that I’ve always been a budget traveller going back to my first island hopping trip nearly 30 years ago.  I have very occasionally stayed in very nice hotels as part of package holiday where I’ve seen a good deal but this isn’t my modus operandi.  Staying in little domatia or pension run by a Greek family is perfect for me – all I look for is cleanliness, good location, air con or a good breeze through an open window and anything else is a bonus!

Here is the breakdown of my budget for my 2018 trip around the Dodecanese.  This is a for the first three weeks of the trip from 23rd August until the 12th September.  My family joined me after this for a couple of weeks before the final solo part of my journey and budget recording just went out of the window!

I have put in the cost of my flights to give an overall picture of the costings and anything purchased in GBP has been converted to Euros.

Note: Breakfast wasn’t provided in most of the accommodations I stayed in so I brought with me a plastic bottle of squeezable honey (easily transportable) and purchased large tubs of Greek yoghurt and either tinned or fresh fruit in local supermarkets.  The perfect budget breakfast!

Greek Island Trip 2018 Budget
23-Aug-18 One way flight to Heraklion from Manchester with Jet2. Includes checked luggage, pre booked seat and inflight meal £98.25 114.71 €
7 nights at Airbnb studio in Heraklion.  Elefteria had just opened this studio which belongs to her family and had a special offer for the first few bookings – it worked out at an amazing £18.35 per night £128.37 149.87 €
Bus fare from Heraklion Airport to Heraklion Bus Station 4.00 €
24-Aug-18 2 huge baklava brought to my by my hosts Mama 0.00 €
Spanokopita and small water 2.80 €
Evening meal at Taverna Koukouvagia – Greek salad, Cretan sausage and retsina including tip 20.00 € 22.80 €
25-Aug-18 Return bus fare to Knossos x 2 because I got on the wrong bus and had to start again 6.80 €
Entry into Knossos 15.00 €
Tshirt 10.00 €
Supermarket items – yoghurt, fruit and water etc 8.61 €
Ferry ticket to Kassos 20.00 €
Giros 3.60 € 64.01 €
26-Aug-18 Return bus fare to Ammoudara – 1.7 there and 2 back 3.70 €
Cheese pie 1.40 € 5.10 €
27-Aug-18 Bus to Rethymnon 8.30 €
Meal at Taverna Loggia in Rethymnon Old Town – Stuffed tomatoes, tzatziki and water inc tip 15.20 €
Bus to Bali 3.80 €
Tiny train around Bali 5.00 €
Ice cream and cola inc tip 10.50 €
Bus to Rethymnon 3.80 €
Bus to Heraklion 8.30 €
Cola and biscuits at bus station 3.20 € 49.80 €
I returned home to find that Eleftheria’s Mama had left me a bag of freshly picked fruit and veg which made several nice salads! 0.00 €
28-Aug-18 Bus to Hersonissos 3.30 €
Small water 0.50 €
Taxi to Koutoulafari 7 plus 2 tip 9.00 €
Cup of tea 3.00 €
Sunbed 5.00 €
Lunch at Hersonissos Maris Hotel – rigatoni and wine inc tip 15.00 €
Bus to Heraklion 3.30 €
Bottle of retsina 1.66 € 40.76 €
29-Aug-18 8 nights at Mary’s House, Kasos @ 30€ per night 240.00 €
Cheese pie, bougatsa and water from the baker 4.30 €
Water on the ferry 0.75 € 245.05 €
30-Aug-18 Club sandwich and water at Helitros Beach 6.50 €
Iced tea and ice cream 4.00 €
Supermarket items – yoghurt, fruit and water etc 7.00 €
Meal at Milos Taverna – Skordalia, local sausage, 2 glasses of wine inc tip 17.00 € 34.50 €
31-Aug-18 Iced tea and ice cream 4.00 €
Bin bags 3.50 €
Horta, keftedes and wine inc tip 14.00 € 21.50 €
01-Sep-18 Boat trip to Armathia 15.00 €
Parasol 9.00 €
Biscuits and Pringles 3.50 € 27.50 €
02-Sep-18 Bougatsa and tea 2.00 €
Dinner at Taverna Emporios – dolmadakia, rice thing and wine 15.00 € 17.00 €
03-Sep-18 Water and cola in To Steki, Agia Marina inc tip 3.00 €
Meal at Taverna Milos – tzatziki, Greek salad, local sausage and wine inc tip 18.70 €
Ticket on the Kasos Princess to Karpathos 10.00 € 31.70 €
04-Sep-18 Tea and bougatsa inc tip 4.50 €
Cola at Ammoua Beach 2.00 €
Dinner at Taverna Milos – chicken and wine 12.00 €
Drinks at Free Bar 26.00 € 44.50 €
05-Sep-18 Bougatsa, Tea and Coffee for guest 7.00 €
Cost of changing ferry ticket 3.00 € 10.00 €
06-Sep-18 Pancake and tea for breakfast 10.00 €
Bus to Amoopi 2.30 €
Sunbed 5.00 €
Meal at Taverna Votsalakia inc tip 28.30 €
Bus back to Pigadia 2.30 €
Supermarket items – yoghurt, fruit, biscuits, crisps, retsina and water etc 10.66 €
Fresh peaches 1.60 € 60.16 €
07-Sep-18 7 nights at Amarylis Hotel @ 36.50€ per night 255.50 €
Return bus fare to Apella Beach, Karpathos 6.60 €
Meal at taverna, beans, stuffed tomato and pepper, small water 17.30 €
ice cream 2.00 € 281.40 €
08-Sep-18 Trousers shortened at dressmakers 5.00 €
Ice cream and small water 4.40 €
Meal at Mike’s restaurant Greek salad, stifado and wine inc tip 23.90 € 33.30 €
09-Sep-18 Sunbed 4.00 €
Meal taverna limonaki Greek salad , chicken souvlaki and x2 glasses of wine inc tip 22.00 € 26.00 €
10-Sep-18 Return bus fare to Olympus and Diafani 14.00 €
Cheese pie and sweet pastry at traditional baker 3.50 €
Iced tea 2.50 €
Cola 3.00 €
Book in museum 10.00 €
Handmade headscarf 10.00 €
Fresh lemon juice in Diafani 5.50 €
Ferry ticket to Rhodes 21.00 €
Lemon cake and water 2.70 € 72.20 €
11-Sep-18 Return ticket to Arkasa 5.00 €
Water and cola 3.50 €
Soda water 2.50 €
Meal at Mike’s restaurant – dolmades, Kleftiko and wine inc tip 25.00 € 36.00 €
12-Sep-18 On the ferry – doughnut and a cup of tea inc tip 5.00 €
Bakery – various items for 4 people for breakfast 16.20 €
Supermarket items – water and wine etc 8.04 € 29.24 €
Total 1,351.86 €

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    1. That’s great to hear Nick! Greece is still a relatively cheap place to travel but some places are definitely more expensive than others. The more you stay off the tourist traps the better! I hope you have a great time on your next trip! 🙂

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