11 Cheapest Greek Islands to Visit This Summer

A visit to the enchanting Greek islands doesn't have to break the bank. This summer, immerse yourself in the crystalline waters, sun-drenched landscapes, and rich history of Greece without compromising your budget. From idyllic beaches to quaint villages, and some real hidden gems in Greece, we’ve curated a list of destinations where you can savor the beauty and culture at a fraction of the cost. Here are 11 of the cheapest Greek islands to add to your summer itinerary:


By Annelies of Travelers & Dreamers

Crete is a wonderful island if you are looking for a budget-friendly option for a vacation in Greece. While most people flock to the hip and expensive islands of Mykonos and Santorini, Crete provides something else!

On Crete, you can find wild beaches on the east of the island, explore ancient ruins like the Palace of Knossos, and hike in stunning scenery like the Samaria Gorge. Furthermore, the island also harbors some great cities with Venetian harbors and beautiful architecture like Chania and Rethymno.

I visited Crete personally and can attest that cheap travel is possible on this island. While the north of the island and popular places like Chania will come out a bit more expensive, the rest of the island is very budget-friendly. You won't be able to find accommodation on Santorini or Mykonos easily for under 50$ in high season but, on Crete, prices are much lower and you can find a simple hotel room or even a small private apartment for as little as 25$.

Car hire is also pretty cheap in Crete but I think it's pretty cheap in general all over Greece. You should be able to find a car that fits two people for around 200$/week. A car is a must if you want to explore Crete since all of the attractions on the island are far away from each other.

Regarding food and restaurants, there's no doubt that Crete will come in a lot cheaper than Mykonos or Santorini. While these islands focus on luxury and high-end dining experiences, Crete offers a wider range of food options at various price points. Of course, you can find a gastronomic restaurant on Crete if this is what you are looking for. But budget travelers will be happy to find simple Greek tavernas by the sea and traditional restaurants in small villages serving up delicious Cretan cuisine at very cheap prices. You can score a meal for 2 people with half a liter of local wine for about 20$.

Getting to Crete is possible by air and boat. Many European cities have direct flights to Chania and Heraklion. If you are coming from outside of Europe, the best option is to fly into Athens first and take a ferry or second flight there. 


By PlacesofJuma

The beautiful island of Naxos is a true gem among the Greek Cyclades islands, offering a charming retreat for those seeking an unforgettable vacation. I explored this island gem for 3 weeks and can definitely say that it can compete with the famous destinations of Mykonos and Santorini.

Naxos is accessible from Athens by both plane and ferry. Upon arrival, you'll be amazed by the pristine sandy beaches of Naxos with their crystal-clear, turquoise waters, which are considered the most beautiful in the Cyclades. The coastal town of Naxos is another highlight of the island. With its charming whitewashed old town and the imposing Kastro fortress, you'll find a picture-perfect setting. The iconic Apollonian Gate, perched on a nearby peninsula, is a popular spot to watch the sunset.

Exploring the mountainous hinterland of the island is a must on any trip. There, you'll find a variety of picturesque villages, each exuding its own unique charm. From the scenic streets of Halki and Filoti to the enchanting marble village of Apeiranthos, visitors are transported to a bygone era characterized by authenticity and tranquility. Adventurous souls can explore the remote north or the quiet east coast by quad bike or rental car, promising breathtaking views.

As for prices, Naxos offers a welcome change from the exaggerated prices often associated with Mykonos and Santorini. Naxos is therefore an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. Nevertheless, the island is beautiful, with great beaches and sights, and can definitely compete with the famous destinations.


By Ksenia from Explore with Wonder 

Corfu is famous for its rolling green hills, olive groves, tranquil beaches hugged by crystal-clear waters, and centuries of fascinating history. It is definitely one of the cheapest Greek islands to visit in summer.

During my last visit to Corfu, I was equally impressed by the diversity of experiences available. From hiking to visiting wineries and olive mills, to discovering quaint mountain villages, there truly is something for everyone. 

Another reason why Corfu is so popular is it's affordability. Although the island features luxury resorts and fine dining restaurants, it also offers plenty of options for budget travellers. 

You can enjoy the island on about €80 - €100 per day for two people, which would cover affordable accommodation, public transport, and inexpensive activities. 

There are self-catering and family-run hotels with room rates starting from just €40 per night. To further stretch your budget, you can buy food from supermarkets and local markets. 

Don't worry; you can still enjoy delicious Greek dishes on a budget. Local bakeries offer pies and pastries for €3- €6 each. Popular Greek dishes such as gyros are about €6 each at tavernas and are very filling. 

Affordable activities include museum visits in Corfu Town for €5 - €6 per person, and €20 boat trips in coastal resorts. Some organised tours can be more expensive, so you may need to be selective when planning your budget. 

When comparing the costs of visiting Corfu to destinations like Mykonos and Santorini, Corfu is significantly more affordable. Even at the peak of the tourist season, Corfu can be 40 - 50% cheaper than these popular destinations. 


By Shweta Singhal of Zest In A Tote

Paros is part of the cyclades group of islands in Greece. Despite being a popular tourist destination, Paros is not super expensive as some of the other Greek islands like Santorini or Mykonos. It is known for its traditional Cycladic architecture and white sandy beaches with transparent waters. You can reach Paros via a domestic flight or a ferry from Athens. It is close to other Cyclades islands and makes for a good island hopping route. There is a well-developed tourist infrastructure, too, to make your Greece family trip memorable.

Start your trip from Paroikia, the island capital built in the local Cycladic style, located on the site of an ancient town. Then there is Naousa, a picturesque fishing village and a popular tourist destination, with a half-sunken Venetian castle by the harbour. Piso Livadi is a peaceful and relaxing holiday destination. There’s a lovely sandy beach, and also many restaurants and cafes. There are other pretty villages to visit on Paros island.

Paros has luxurious 5-star properties but it also caters to all other budgets. Summer months are the best time to visit Paros and enjoy its incredible beaches. But do note that summer time is also peak season. The price of accommodation, day trips, and rental cars changes drastically depending on when you visit. Other prices are relatively stable throughout the year.  Accommodation in Naoussa tends to be more expensive than in Parikia and other villages. 

Paros restaurants are cheaper in general than restaurants in Santorini or Mykonos. You don’t need a car in Paros if you’re on a budget. It is possible to get everywhere by local bus. But having a car makes getting around the island easier.


By Abbie & Jack of acouplescalling.com

Compared to other islands in Greece, we found Kefalonia to be among the budget-friendly Greek islands. Everything from car hire to accommodation is affordable, especially if you’re travelling as a group as there are some fantastic Airbnbs and studio apartments on offer!

In early June, you pick up a highly-rated studio apartment in Kefalonia for as little as $44 a night, and this will be split between two people. As you’ll have a kitchenette, you can also save money on cooking!

For the equivalent in Mykonos and Santorini, you’re looking at paying a minimum of $55, with typical prices being more like $65-$70. In fact, camping and hostel beds on these islands can often cost the same as a studio apartment in Kefalonia. 

Dining out is much more affordable in Kefalonia too, and many of the attractions and activities are budget-friendly. Some of the best places to visit on the island include Melissani Cave, Myrtos Beach, Assos Village, and the capital of Argostoli.

The most popular way to reach Kefalonia is by air. The island's international airport receives flights from other islands and cities in Greece, as well as other destinations in Europe. Direct flights run from the United Kingdom, Italy, and France among others. 

Alternatively, you catch the ferry from Western Greece (the three regions include Astakos, Kyllini, and Patra). In the high season, you can also catch a ferry from the islands of Lefkada and Zakynthos, as well as the city of Bari in Italy.


By Chelsea from Adventures of Chels

For a budget friendly Greek island to visit in the summer, head over to Hydra.  It is definitely among the cheapest Greek islands to visit.

Hydra is a beautiful little island located about 1.5 hours by ferry from Athens (Piraeus).  It's a quaint little island known for not having any cars on it (except for a few service/emergency vehicles), and it's extremely walkable.  Walking around the island and taking in its beauty is actually the best way to spend your time there.  You'll find picturesque views as you stroll along the port admiring the scenery.  Make sure to explore the streets inland of the port as well to find some classic Greek architecture.  The best restaurants can be found along the water and they serve some of the freshest seafood.  If you'd like to spend some time at the beach, head over to Avlaki Beach.  

While Hydra is an island well worth visiting, it doesn't draw the same amount of visitors as Santorini or Mykonos.  This helps keep the crowds smaller and prices cheaper than both Santorini and Mykonos.  Another attribute that keeps a visit to Hydra budget friendly is that it can be done as a day trip.  However you choose to visit this budget friendly island, enjoy your time there!


By Simina of Travel with Simina

Spetses is one of the cheapest Greek islands to visit for those looking for sunny beaches without breaking the bank! While Mykonos and Santorini are iconic destinations, there are lesser-known gems that offer equally stunning experiences at a fraction of the cost.

I visited the island of Spetses at the end of October and it was the perfect time to enjoy the island without crowds and swim in the clear waters.

There´s one way to get to Spetses and that´s by ferry from either Athens or other towns like Porto Heli, Ermioni, Kosta or Hydra. From Athens, the journey will take approximately 3 hours. I got to Spetses from Kosta, leaving the car in the parking for 6 euros a day and took a ferry across the sea which cost 3,50 euros per person and it took 15 minutes to arrive. 

One of the best things to do in Spetses is to rent a bike or scooter, as cars are not allowed on the island.  The whole island’s road is 29 km in total which makes it doable to go around in a day. This will give you the freedom to explore the amazing beaches.

The Bouboulina museum is one of the must-visit attractions, as Bouboulina was an important woman fighter in the Greek War of Independence. 

The Spetses Museum can give you an overview of the island´s history, visit the sculptures of Natalia Mela in the old harbour of Spetses, taste the local delicacies in the town and watch movies at the open-air cinema Titania. 


By Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes

Milos is a hidden gem in the Aegean Sea, offering incredible budget-friendly option for Greek island travelers! Though it's gaining in popularity, Milos is still off the typical island path of Santorini, Mykonos, and Paros.

Milos is a much more affordable island comparatively. Accommodations are a fraction of the cost on other islands, with modest, yet comfortable hotel rooms ranging about 100 euro per night. I stayed right in town!

With less tourism and traffic, it's also easier to catch a taxi. You can go to the taxi stand in main towns. Or, while elsewhere, like the beach, you can call the taxi company to come pick you up. Dining and activities, like boat tours, also tend to be less expensive on Milos.

Milos' relaxed atmosphere and fewer crowds provide a more authentic experience of Greek islands. In my experience, Santorini and other islands are extremely crowded with tourists.

Getting to Milos is easy. Visitors can take the ferry from Athens or other nearby islands, like Santorini or Paros. It's a stop on the more "local" line of smaller catamarans versus large commuter ferries.

Milos is famous for its unique geological formations. They can be viewed for land or sea, preferably by sea!  You can also visit the island's picturesque beaches, such as the Instagram-famous Sarakiniko and Firiplaka. They have crystal-clear waters without the high prices of beach clubs found on other islands. Though, there is much less infrastructure for nice restaurants and lounges along the water.


By Goya Galeotta of goyagaleotta.com

Thassos, the northernmost major Greek island, is a hidden gem of the Aegean Sea and definitely among the cheapest Greek islands to visit. Often referred to as the "Emerald Island of the Aegean" due to its lush landscapes, Thassos offers a budget-friendly, off-the-beaten-track experience, making it a perfect choice for nature enthusiasts and travellers seeking tranquillity compared to the more touristy and expensive Mykonos and Santorini.

Getting to Thassos is easy with regular ferry services from the Greek mainland. Once there, you'll find yourself immersed in a world of intense greenery, spectacular natural settings (like the Giola Natural Pool), and of course, a variety of breathtaking beaches! Whether it's the crystal-clear waters of Aliki Beach or Marble Beach, the sprawling sands of Golden Beach, or the lively La Scala Beach Bar, there's something for everyone!

This island is not just about natural beauty; it also offers a wealth of experiences. You can explore archaeological sites, visit religious landmarks (like the Holy Monastery of the Archangel Michael Thasos dramatically perched atop a cliff), and savour culinary delights at shabby local restaurants like Taverna Elena in Panagia and Taverna Pigi at the centre. Or take in stunning coastal views and visit secluded beaches with a boat trip around the island. 

The island offers a variety of accommodation options, from hotels to family-run guesthouses and Airbnbs - of which, Villa Gjoni was our absolute favourite in terms of location and hospitality! 

And the cost of accommodation, dining, and activities are generally lower, making it an ideal destination for those travelling on a budget.

All in all, compared to other Greek islands, Thassos stands out for its affordability without compromising on the quintessential Greek island experience. So if you're planning a budget-friendly summer getaway, Thassos should be at the top of your list!


By Dr Charlotte Russell of The Travel Psychologist

Skiathos is a small island in the Sporades, a group of islands in the North-West Aegean sea and it is definitely among the cheapest Greek islands to visit. This group of islands are best known for being the setting for the film Mamma Mia, but they are so much more than that! 

Skiathos has beautiful beaches, a picturesque town and fantastic restaurants. There is a good selection of traditional restaurants that are reasonably priced, and some more upmarket places to eat and drink. I’ve visited the island more than 5 times and I’m still finding new places! The prices are significantly cheaper than Mykonos and Santorini. 

Skiathos is particularly budget friendly as it has a great public bus service that goes from one end of the island to the other. This means that it is easy to get around cheaply, even if you stay in affordable accommodation away from the main town.   

My favourite places include Koukounaries beach, which is one of the best in Europe. Skiathos has several monasteries and more recently has a winery that you can visit for a tasting. Lastly, it would not be a visit to a Greek island without going on a boat trip at least once during your stay. There are plenty to choose from whatever your budget: Sailing to the neighbouring island of Skopelos on a catamaran, a Mamma Mia tour around the island or a sunset trip to a gorgeous beach on the tiny uninhabited island of Tsougria. You can find out more in my guide to Skiathos: The Boomerang Island  

Skiathos has an international airport and can be reached by direct flights from many European cities. It can also be reached by a short flight from Athens, or by ferry from the port of Volos. 


By Vanessa Morgan from Traveling Cats

Because Lesvos is a lesser-known Greek island, it stands as one of the most budget-friendly destinations in Europe. However, among the Greek islands I've explored, Lesvos has secured its place as my absolute favorite. I have visited twice already, and I'm planning on going back several times more. 

For the best experience, consider staying in Molyvos, a small harbor town nestled on a hill and crowned with a castle. It exudes a fairy-tale charm, making it one of the most beautiful spots worldwide. Also, Molyvos conveniently sits close to some of the island's finest beaches, such as Petra and Anaxos, as well as Eftalou's natural hot springs. 

Its culinary excellence also sets Lesvos apart. The cuisine on the island is not only more refined than in Mykonos, for example, but also exclusively relies on locally sourced ingredients. Dining out in Lesvos is remarkably affordable, allowing you to savor the island's typical dishes without breaking the bank. It's entirely possible to enjoy two restaurant meals a day without a hefty expenditure. Therefore, I strongly advise against opting for a full-board hotel, as it would mean missing out on the diverse offerings Lesvos has in store.

Visit Traveling Cats for detailed insights into Lesvos Island, including hotel recommendations, restaurant reviews, things to see, and lots of photos.

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