11 Cheapest Islands to Visit in Greece on a Budget

Aerial Photography of Shipwreck on the Sandy Shore of a Beach

Scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian Seas, the Greek islands offer stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and charming white-washed villages. While popular islands like Santorini and Mykonos attract large crowds and high prices, many other islands provide an equally enchanting experience at a fraction of the cost. If you're dreaming of a Greek getaway without breaking the bank, consider these budget-friendly islands where natural beauty, rich history, and local culture await without the hefty price tag.

Cape Doukato, Lefkada island, Greece
Cape Doukato, Lefkada island, Greece

Can You Visit the Greek Islands on a Budget?

Absolutely! There are plenty of affordable ways to explore and discover the Greek islands. From budget-friendly small group tours to visiting the cheapest Greek islands, you can enjoy a low-cost adventure. One effective strategy for budget travelers is joining a small group tour, which typically includes accommodation and activities at a lower cost. This allows you to experience popular islands and hidden gems alike. Additionally, avoiding expensive Greek islands like Santorini and opting for more affordable Greek islands can help you save money while still enjoying stunning beaches and rich history.

How Do You Get from Mainland Greece to the Greek Islands?

Traveling from mainland Greece to the Greek islands can be both affordable and enjoyable. Many travelers arrive at Athens International Airport and then head to one of Athens' three main ports: Piraeus, Rafina, or Lavrion. From there, you can catch a ferry to the nearby islands. Greek island ferries are not only cheaper than flights but also offer stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

For budget travelers, island hopping using ferries is a great way to save money while exploring multiple islands. Websites like Omio make booking ferry tickets easy and convenient. Additionally, private boat trips can provide a unique experience; for example, a family-owned caique offers a traditional and affordable way to travel between islands.


  • Avoid Taxis: Use local buses or rent scooters to save on transportation costs.
  • Book Accommodations in Advance: Our search engine is a reliable option for finding budget-friendly stays.
  • Travel Off-Season: Visiting during shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) helps avoid high prices and crowds.
  • Renting Scooters: Especially on smaller islands, scooters can be an affordable and flexible way to explore.

By using these strategies, you can enjoy the beauty and culture of the Greek islands without breaking the bank.

What is the Cheapest Way to Travel Around the Greek Islands?

Woman tourist in Zakynthos, Greece admiring the Navagio beach

Exploring the Greek islands on a budget is entirely possible. Walking tours are an excellent way to discover the natural beauty and local culture of islands like Crete, Andros, Tinos, and Corfu, with their dramatic gorges and white-sand beaches. Local buses offer a cost-effective option for getting around, while renting scooters can provide both affordability and flexibility. Although car rentals and taxis are available, they are generally more expensive. By taking advantage of these budget-friendly options, you can enjoy the Greek islands without overspending.

When is the cheapest time to visit the Greek islands?

For budget travelers, the best time to visit the Greek islands is during the spring or autumn. These shoulder seasons offer lower prices and fewer crowds compared to the expensive high season in summer. However, even in the summer, you can explore the Greek islands affordably by avoiding popular resort towns and focusing on more budget-friendly islands like Andros, Tinos, or Corfu. Traveling during these periods allows you to enjoy the natural beauty and rich history of the islands without breaking the bank.

Discover the Best Greek Islands for Budget Travelers

If you're looking to travel around the Greek islands on a budget, consider visiting some of the lesser-known and more affordable islands. While everyone dreams of Santorini or Mykonos, islands like Crete, Andros, Tinos, Corfu, and Naxos offer beautiful beaches, sparkling blue waters, white-washed houses, and delicious Greek food at a fraction of the cost. These islands provide a unique experience with their own food, architecture, culture, and history, making them perfect for budget travelers.

To save money, travel during the spring or autumn shoulder seasons, avoid tourist traps, and opt for budget accommodations. Andros, part of the Cyclades, is an excellent alternative to the popular Santorini, offering a less crowded and more affordable experience. Even if you wish to visit the more popular islands, you can do so affordably by planning your trip outside of peak season and avoiding expensive tourist areas.

Reach the Best Greek Islands on a Budget.

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Cheapest Places to Visit in Greece Comparison

Island Est. Daily Cost Where to Stay
1. Lefkada €97.5 Spacious Studios
2. Kimolos €101 Κalamitsi Rooms
3. Amorgos €106 Anatoli Rooms
4. Tinos €118 Mr. & Mrs. White Tinos
5. Crete €123 Hotel Marina Village
6. Ios €128 Gorgona
7. Serifos €136 Naias
8. Milos €118 Milos Inn
9. Paros €122 Hotel Dina
10. Naxos €123 Elite Suites
11. Zakynthos €105 Vanessa Hotel

10 Cheap Islands in Greece to Visit

You’d be surprised how many beautiful cheap places to visit in Greece there are! Here are some of my top picks.


Beautiful Mediterranean Coast

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €97.50
✈️ How to Get There:
🏨 Where to stay: Katerina $ | Spacious Studios $ | Hotel Selini $$

Lefkada might be one of the cheapest Greek islands to visit and is undoubtedly one of the most underrated. Known for its stunning beaches, charming town center, and vibrant marina, Lefkada offers incredible value for budget travelers.


  • Stunning Beaches: Visit Porto Katsiki, Egremni, and Kathisma, some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.
  • Charming Town Center: Explore colorful houses and a lively marina in the town center.
  • Picturesque Villages: Discover the charming village of Agios Nikitas.

Top Experiences:

  • Beach Hopping: Spend your days relaxing on Lefkada's pristine beaches.
  • Explore Agios Nikitas: Wander through this picturesque village with its traditional Greek charm.
  • Stay at Affordable Hotels: Enjoy great value accommodations, such as hotels with pools and stunning views for as low as $59 a night.

Lefkada offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and affordability, making it an ideal destination for those looking to experience the best of Greece without breaking the bank.


Kimolos, Cyclades, Greek image

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €101
✈️ How to Get There: To get to Kimolos, fly to Athens International Airport (ATH) and then take a ferry which takes around 7 hours. Alternatively, arrive from Milos in a 25 minute ferry ride.
🏨 Where to stay: Κalamitsi Rooms $ | The Windmill $$

Kimolos is a beautiful and affordable island located just 25 minutes by boat from Milos. This tiny volcanic island is perfect for those seeking tranquility and charm. With its picturesque streets and small, quaint village, Kimolos remains a well-kept secret among the Greek islands.


  • Beaches: Enjoy the serene and uncrowded beaches, perfect for relaxation.
  • The Windmill: Stay at The Windmill for under $100 a night, offering stunning views of the sea and town, and a delicious breakfast.
  • Chorio Village: Wander through the main village, Chorio, with its charming narrow streets and traditional Greek architecture.

Top Experiences:

  • Beach Hopping: Visit the island’s beautiful beaches like Prassa and Bonatsa, known for their clear waters and peaceful ambiance.
  • Hiking: Explore the island’s volcanic landscape on foot, with trails leading to breathtaking viewpoints.
  • Local Cuisine: Enjoy fresh seafood and local delicacies at quaint tavernas.

Kimolos offers a unique and budget-friendly Greek island experience, perfect for travelers looking to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in authentic Greek culture and natural beauty. For more tips and detailed guides, check out my comprehensive guide to navigating this beautiful hidden gem.


Amorgos, Greece
Amorgos, Greece | Photo By Johnny Africa

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €106
✈️ How to Get There: Fly to Athens Airport (ATH),  then take a ferry from the Port of Piraeus, which takes up to 9 hours.
🏨 Where to stay: Anatoli Rooms$ Soil Amorgos $$

Amorgos, part of the Cyclades archipelago, is an affordable and stunning destination perfect for budget-conscious travelers. Known for its dramatic landscapes, beautiful waters, and authentic Greek charm, Amorgos offers a peaceful escape without the hefty price tag of more tourist-heavy islands like Mykonos or Santorini.


  • Dramatic Landscapes: Explore the island’s rugged beauty and scenic trails.
  • Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa: Visit this iconic, cliffside monastery for breathtaking views and a glimpse into Greek religious history.
  • Pristine Beaches: Relax on Agia Anna and Mouros beaches, known for their clear waters and tranquility.

Top Experiences:

  • Hiking: Take scenic trails like the one to the ancient city of Minoa, offering stunning vistas and a sense of adventure.
  • Local Cuisine: Enjoy delicious and reasonably priced meals at traditional tavernas, with local dishes available for €10-15.
  • Affordable Accommodation: Stay in quaint guesthouses or budget-friendly hotels, with prices typically starting around €50-100 per night.
  • Ferry Travel: Travel to Amorgos via ferries connecting to Athens and other islands, with one-way tickets averaging €30-50.

The island’s low-key atmosphere, combined with its natural beauty and affordability, makes Amorgos a great destination for those seeking an authentic Greek experience without breaking the bank.


on the docks by Tinos Greece

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €118
✈️ How to Get There: Fly to the Athens Airport (ATH) and then take a ferry which typically takes around 2 to 4 hours.
🏨 Where to stay: Mr. & Mrs. White Tinos $ | Nama Boutique Hotel $$

Tinos is a captivating Cycladic island known for its white-washed buildings and quaint streets, making it a fantastic option for budget-conscious travelers exploring Greece. This charming island offers a mix of beautiful villages, stunning beaches, and impressive churches, particularly the renowned Church of Panagia Evangelistria.


  • Picturesque Villages: Visit Pyrgos, famous for its marble craftsmanship, and Volax, known for its unique landscapes.
  • Stunning Beaches: Relax and swim at Kolymbithra and Agios Sostis, two of the island’s beautiful beaches.
  • Impressive Churches: The Church of Panagia Evangelistria is a must-see, drawing pilgrims from all over.

Top Experiences:

  • Affordable Accommodation: Stay in budget-friendly hotels and guesthouses, with prices ranging from €60-100 per night.
  • Delicious Local Cuisine: Enjoy meals at local tavernas for about €10-20, savoring traditional Greek dishes.
  • Exploring Villages: Wander through the picturesque streets of Tinos’ villages, soaking in the local culture and history.

Tinos combines natural beauty, rich history, and affordability, making it an ideal destination for those looking to experience the Greek islands without spending a fortune.


Chrysoskalitissa Monastery Chania town Crete island Greece. Aerial drone view of Holy Trinity Church
Chrysoskalitissa Monastery Chania town Crete island Greece. Aerial drone view of Holy Trinity Church

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €123
✈️ How to Get There: To get to Crete, fly to Heraklion International Airport (HER) or Chania International Airport (CHQ), or take a ferry from the Port of Piraeus, which typically takes around 6 to 9 hours.
🏨 Where to stay: Marin Hotel $ | Kipos Boutique Suites $$ | Domus Ariadne $$

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, offers a diverse range of landscapes and wonderful beaches, making it an ideal destination for budget travelers. Known for its rich history and stunning scenery, Crete provides an array of affordable accommodations and experiences.


  • Diverse Landscapes: From mountains to beaches, Crete has it all.
  • Historical Sites: The Palace of Knossos is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
  • Stunning Beaches: Relax on Elafonissi and Balos beaches, known for their crystal-clear waters.

Top Experiences:

  • Hiking: Explore the breathtaking Samaria Gorge, one of the longest gorges in Europe.
  • Affordable Accommodation: Stay in budget-friendly hostels or hotels, with prices starting at around €30-50 per night.
  • Public Transportation: Travel between cities like Chania, Heraklion, and Rethymno easily and affordably using the island's reliable public transportation.

Crete's blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and affordability makes it a top choice for those seeking an enriching Greek island experience without breaking the bank.


Ariel view of Ios greece as seen from the water.

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €128
✈️ How to Get There: You can fly into the Athens or Santorini Airport and take a ferry to get to Ios. The ferry is only 45 minutes from Santorini while 6 hours from Athens.
🏨 Where to stay: Gorgona $ | Hotel Aegeon $ | Island House Mare $

Ios is often seen as a more affordable alternative to Mykonos, offering a lively nightlife scene perfect for those wanting to party on a budget. Beyond its vibrant nightlife, Ios boasts stunning beaches, a charming town, and a bustling atmosphere.


  • Vibrant Nightlife: Known for its lively bars and clubs.
  • Beautiful Beaches: Relax on Mylopotas and Magganari beaches.
  • Charming Town: Explore Chora with its narrow streets and whitewashed houses.

Top Experiences:

  • Affordable Accommodation: Budget hotels and guesthouses are available from €30-60 per night.
  • Dining: Enjoy traditional Greek meals for €10-15 at local tavernas and cafes.
  • Historical Sites: Visit the ancient ruins of Skarkos for a touch of history.

Ios offers a perfect mix of nightlife, natural beauty, and cultural experiences, all while being easy on the wallet.


Serifos Chora sunrise
Serifos Island at Sunrise | Photo by: Despina Galani

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €136
✈️ How to Get There: To get to Serifos, fly to the Athens International Airport (ATH) and then take a ferry which takes approximately 2.5 to 4.5 hours.
🏨 Where to stay: Naias $ | Studios Niovi Serifos $$

Serifos is a lesser-known gem in the Cyclades, ideal for those seeking an affordable and authentic Greek island experience. Known for its picturesque landscapes, beautiful beaches, and traditional villages, Serifos is perfect for budget travelers.


  • Stunning Beaches: Enjoy Livadi, Psili Ammos, and Ganema beaches.
  • Historical Sites: Explore the ancient mines and the medieval castle in Chora.
  • Picturesque Villages: Wander through charming traditional villages.

Top Experiences:

  • Beach Hopping: Spend your days on the island's serene and beautiful beaches.
  • Cultural Exploration: Visit historical sites, including the ancient mines and the medieval castle in Chora.
  • Affordable Stays: Find budget-friendly accommodations and enjoy traditional Greek meals at local tavernas.

Serifos offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and authentic Greek culture, all while being easy on the wallet.


Reflection of an old fishing boat moored at small dock, Paros island, Greece. Beautiful view of fishing boats with reflection on sea surface at sunset
Reflection of an old fishing boat moored at small dock, Paros island, Greece.

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €112
✈️ How to Get There: To get to Paros, fly from the Athens International Airport (ATH) to Paros which is a 40 minute direct fly.
🏨 Where to stay: Naias $ | Studios Niovi Serifos $$

Paros offers a budget-friendly alternative to the expensive Mykonos, with hotels available for as little as €50-70 per night and delicious Greek meals at local tavernas for €10-20.


  • Naoussa: Explore this popular town with its picturesque harbor and lively atmosphere.
  • Charming Villages: Visit serene villages like Prodromos, Marmara, and Marpissa.
  • Antiparos: Discover this nearby hidden gem with even more affordable accommodation options.

Top Experiences:

  • Scenic Hiking: Enjoy many scenic trails across the island.
  • Swimming and Beaches: Take advantage of the numerous opportunities for swimming and beach activities.

Paros caters to all types of travelers, offering a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and affordability.


The beach of Firapotamos in Milos, Greece

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €118
✈️ How to Get There: To get to Milos, fly to Athens International Airport (ATH) and then take a ferry which typically takes 3 to 5 hours.
🏨 Where to stay: Milos Inn $ | Aera Milos $$


Milos is gaining popularity but still retains its authentic charm and affordability. Known for its unique beaches, colorful fisherman’s villages, and stunning landscapes, Milos offers a budget-friendly Greek island experience.


  • Unique Beaches: Sarakiniko with its moon-like landscape, and others like Firopotamos, Mandrakia, and Klima.
  • Picturesque Villages: Explore charming fisherman’s villages with colorful houses and boats docked.
  • Boat Tours: Discover hidden coves and sea caves, including the famous Kleftiko, on a boat tour.

Top Experiences:

  • Affordable Accommodation: Find budget hotels for €50-80 per night and nicer options for €100-150.
  • Beach Exploration: Visit the unique and stunning beaches of Milos.
  • Cultural Immersion: Wander through quaint villages and enjoy the local atmosphere.
  • Adventure: Take a boat tour to explore hidden gems and sea caves.

Milos combines natural beauty, cultural richness, and affordability, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an authentic Greek island experience.


Naxos island, sunset over Temple of Apollo, Cyclades Greece. People admires the sundown from the islet of Palatia. Sunbeams paint the sky background.

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €123
✈️ How to Get There: To get to Naxos, fly to Athens International Airport (ATH) and then take a ferry from the Port of Piraeus, which typically about around 3 to 5 hours.
🏨 Where to stay: Elite Suites Naxos $ | Georgia Mare $$

Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades, is an affordable Greek island that should be on every budget traveler’s bucket list. With a car, you can freely explore all that Naxos has to offer, from its main town, Chora, with its narrow, picturesque streets, to its stunning beaches.


  • Beautiful Beaches: Relax at Agios Prokopios, Plaka, and Agia Anna.
  • Historical Sites: Explore the Venetian castle and the iconic Portara (Temple of Apollo).

Top Experiences:

  • Exploring Chora: Wander through the charming main town with its traditional Greek architecture.
  • Beach Hopping: Visit several of the island’s beautiful beaches.
  • Cultural Exploration: Discover the historical Venetian castle and the ancient Temple of Apollo.

Naxos offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical richness, and affordability, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a comprehensive Greek island experience.


Woman tourist in Zakynthos, Greece admiring the Navagio beach

💶 Daily Budget (per person): €105
✈️ How to Get There:To get to Zakynthos, fly to Athens International Airport (ATH) and then take a domestic flight to Zakynthos Airport (ZTH), which takes about 1 hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus or drive to Kyllini Port from Athens, which takes approximately 4 hours, and then board a ferry to Zakynthos, with the ferry ride taking about 1 hour.
🏨 Where to stay:

Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is one of the affordable party islands in Greece. Popular among 18 to 30-year-olds, Laganas features a lively strip filled with bright lights, music, and affordable drinks. A pint of beer costs around €2sa here.


  • Shipwreck Beach: A must-visit for its iconic and breathtaking views.
  • Hidden Villages: Explore tiny, picturesque villages nestled in rolling hills.
  • Affordable Public Transport: Buses from Zakynthos Town's Central Bus Station cost only €1.80 ($1.97), providing extensive routes to the airport, Shipwreck Beach, and other villages.

Top Experiences:

  • Party Scene: Enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Laganas.
  • Beach Hopping: Relax on beautiful beaches like Shipwreck Beach.
  • Cultural Exploration: Visit charming villages and experience local life.

Zakynthos offers a perfect mix of lively nightlife and stunning natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for budget travelers.

Getting to the Islands: Greek Islands with Airports

While not every Greek island has an airport, several do, making them more accessible for travelers. Here are some of the Greek islands with airports:

  • Crete: Heraklion and Chania
  • Rhodes
  • Corfu
  • Kos
  • Santorini
  • Mykonos
  • Naxos
  • Paros
  • Skiathos
  • Zakynthos
  • Kefalonia
  • Karpathos
  • Lemnos
  • Lesbos
  • Chios

These islands offer direct flights from various international and domestic locations, making them convenient starting points for your Greek island adventures.

Map of Greece’s Cheapest Islands

As seen on this map, Greece is in the most southerly part of the Balkan peninsula. The country comprises a large mainland portion and over 6,000 islands and islets

Transportation in the Greek Islands

Navigating the Greek islands without Uber might seem challenging, but renting motorcycles, ATVs, and cars provides an excellent solution. Renting a scooter, ATV, or car is the best way to explore the beautiful and affordable Greek islands at your own pace. These rentals are available at numerous locations, but it's essential to choose reputable providers. Using Google Maps to check customer reviews can help ensure a reliable rental experience. This approach allows budget travelers to fully experience the local culture and stunning beaches of the Greek islands.

Island Hopping with Ferries

Island hopping in Greece is made easy and affordable by the extensive network of Greek island ferries. Ferries are a popular and cost-effective mode of transportation, connecting major islands like Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos with lesser-known gems such as Naxos, Tinos, and Serifos. Enjoying the scenic views of the Aegean Sea while traveling between islands enhances the overall Greek island experience, making it both enjoyable and economical.

Scooter & ATV Rentals in Santorini

Rental scooters in Santorini cost around 15 to 15 Euro per day. ATVs are a little less expensive, but are much easier to ride with a person. There are a lot of rentals available on the Island, and there is no real need for car rentals or ATV rentals at the time of booking.

How to Save Money Traveling in the Greek Islands

Exploring the Greek islands on a budget is possible with these money-saving tips:

  • Visit Popular Destinations Outside Peak Hours: This can help avoid crowds and high prices.
  • Travel During Off-Season: Consider visiting outside high season, but check for seasonal openings and availability of hotels and Greek island ferries.
  • Enjoy Free Activities: Relax on the beautiful beaches, soak up the sun, and enjoy the natural beauty.
  • Book Early: Secure the best rates for transportation and accommodations by booking in advance.
  • Dine Locally: Eat away from touristy areas to find delicious and affordable Greek meals at local tavernas and cafes.

Packing List Essentials for Greece

When visiting Greece, especially during the summer, temperatures can be high and the sun intense. Here are some essential items to include in your suitcase:

  • Cool, Loose-Fitting Clothes: Lightweight and breathable fabrics.
  • Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the strong Mediterranean sun.
  • After-Sun Lotion: Useful for soothing any sunburn.
  • Hat and Sunglasses: Essential for sun protection.
  • Swimsuit and Towel: For enjoying the beautiful Greek beaches.
  • European Plug Adapter: For charging your devices.
  • Euros: Local currency for convenience.

Final Say: Can Greece be Visited on a Budget?

Absolutely! Greece is an attractive destination for budget travelers, especially when focusing on the cheaper Greek islands. Planning your transportation routes effectively, such as using Greek island ferries and renting scooters or ATVs, can significantly reduce costs. Affordable accommodations, delicious Greek meals at local tavernas, and exploring lesser-known islands like Naxos, Tinos, and Serifos make for a memorable yet budget-friendly vacation. With careful planning and savvy choices, visiting Greece on a budget is entirely possible.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Traveling the Greek islands on a budget involves visiting lesser-known islands, traveling during the off-season, staying in budget accommodations like hostels or Airbnb, and using public transport or renting scooters and ATVs for local travel. Booking ferry tickets in advance and dining at local tavernas also helps save money.

Yes, island hopping in Greece can be affordable, especially if you use ferries rather than flights. Opt for slower ferries to save even more.

Serifos is among the least touristy Greek islands. It offers beautiful landscapes, beaches, and traditional villages without the crowds found on more popular islands.

Kimolos is often considered one of the most underrated Greek islands. Its picturesque streets, serene beaches, and authentic Greek charm make it a hidden gem

Aegina is the closest and one of the cheapest islands to reach from Athens. It's just a short ferry ride from Piraeus port and offers a budget-friendly escape.

Naxos is frequently cited as one of the cheapest Greek islands to visit. It offers affordable accommodations, local dining, and a variety of free or low-cost attractions.

Mainland destinations like Thessaloniki and less touristy islands like Serifos and Tinos are among the cheapest places for a holiday in Greece.

Athens International Airport often has the cheapest flights, especially from international destinations. From there, you can take affordable ferries or domestic flights to various Greek islands.

Yes, Greece can be an affordable vacation destination. By choosing budget accommodations, dining at local tavernas, and visiting less touristy areas, travelers can enjoy a rich experience without spending a fortune.

Naxos and Paros are two of the best Greek islands to visit. They offer beautiful beaches, charming towns, and a mix of cultural and historical attractions, all at reasonable prices.

Generally, Rhodes can be slightly more expensive than Crete, especially in terms of accommodation and dining. However, both islands offer budget-friendly options.

Local food, particularly from street vendors and small tavernas, is very cheap in Greece. Items like souvlaki, gyros, and fresh produce are affordable and delicious. Public transportation, especially buses and ferries, is also reasonably priced.

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