A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Santorini vs. Albufeira for Nightlife, Resorts, Beaches, and Couples

Should you visit Santorini or Albufeira?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Santorini or Albufeira, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Santorini

Santorini is a historic, romantic, and stunning island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. With a quaint atmosphere, it also offers a unique feeling. And you can't forget about the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Albufeira

Albufeira is a party hard, vibrant, and touristy resort town. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the hiking, nightlife, and food.

Santorini and Albufeira: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping


Is there more to do in Santorini or Albufeira?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Albufeira than Santorini, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Albufeira is better known for its food, nightlife, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and big city activities, while Santorini is more popular for its museums, shopping, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Santorini is well known for its beautiful volcanic beaches, stunning natural beauty, and breathtaking sunsets over the whitewashed villages. Albufeira is well known for its golden beaches and limestone cliffs. Also, Albufeira is famous for Praia da Falesia.

How is Santorini different from Albufeira?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Albufeira and Santorini. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Santorini or Albufeira?

Santorini
Albufeira

Santorini is a popular place for its museums and landmarks. However, Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.

Santorini offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. One of the most impressive historical sights is Akrotiri Archaeological Site. The island has many archeological sites as well as the Archeological Museum in Fira.

Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Santorini or Albufeira? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Santorini
Albufeira

Albufeira is a great resort town for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Albufeira has a huge number of terrific restaurants. As the largest resort town in the Algarve, the city also has the widest selection of restaurants. There are traditional options that serve up classic dishes like grilled sardines, as well as international restaurants with traveler favorites. As expected, you'll find a lot of seafood, but you'll also find inland influences from local farms in the area.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Santorini area. Popular foods on this island include fava, Greek salad, and kofta.

Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Nightlife?

Santorini
Albufeira

Albufeira is an unbeatable place for nightlife and partying. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Albufeira is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. It's probably the most infamous party destination in the Algarve and it won't disappoint. During the peak summer months you'll find the streets around the popular "Strip" filled with tourists and party-goers. There are hen and stag parties, backpackers, and drunken travelers out for a good time. The Strip has become so popular that there are now bars and clubs on the adjacent streets as well. If you're not staying in the area, you'll likely want to take a taxi, as it's a couple kilometers outside of the town center.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Santorini. It is one of the calmer, more romantic islands in Greece. For the best nightlife, you'll want to stay near Fira.

Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Resorts?

Santorini
Albufeira

With a similar set of options, fantastic resorts can be found in both Santorini and Albufeira.

Santorini offers an unforgettable resort vacation. The resorts range from all-inclusive options to resorts with a more local feel. The island is one of the most romantic of the Greek Islands, and the resorts are no exception.

Albufeira is a world class resort vacation destination. As the largest resort town in the Algarve, you'll find a wide selection of hotels to choose from. Party-goers will want to stay near the Strip while families will prefer the old town or resorts in Olhos de Agua.


Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Santorini
Albufeira

Albufeira is a great resort town for its diving and snorkeling. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Many visitors go to Albufeira to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. There are countless vendors who will take you by boat to explore the underwater world, either by snorkeling or scuba diving. The marine life is impressive and the water is generally clear.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Santorini. Some of the best snorkeling places are found at Red Beach, White Beach, and the less accessible Kambia. One of the island's best diving spots is Caldera Beach.

Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Beaches?

Santorini
Albufeira

Albufeira is an unbeatable place for the beache. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for the beach.

The beaches in Albufeira are among the best in the world. With their golden sands and blue waters, the beaches are world class. The area also has a diversity of beaches that are perfect for all types of vacationers. For water sports, head to Praia dos Alemaes but for relaxation and catching some rays check out Praia da Falesia. You'll find some interesting rock formations at Praia dos Olhos de Agua. One of the most convenient beaches to town is Praia dos Pescadores. For nightlife you'll want to head to Praia da Oura.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Santorini. The island has many beaches, most of which are made of black pebbly sand that are a result of the island's volcanic history. Popular beaches include Perissa Beach, Kamari Beach, and Perivolos Beach.

Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Hiking?

Santorini
Albufeira

Santorini and Albufeira are both places where visitors can find notable hiking trails.

Santorini has hiking trails worth exploring. The best hiking trails on the island pass by quaint villages and offers stunning ocean views. You can also hike along the edge of a volcano.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Albufeira. There are countless coastal walks that are perfect for all skill levels. Many offers stunning views along the rocky coast and pass through natural settings. Popular trails in the area include Praia Grande Interpretation Trail and Paderne Castle Trail.


Is the Shopping Better in Santorini or Albufeira?

Santorini
Albufeira

Santorini is a great destination for its shopping opportunities. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for its shopping areas.

Santorini is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Towns around the island are filled with clothing and jewelry boutiques as well as many unique Greek shopping experiences.

Albufeira has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. You'll find most of the shops are geared toward souvenirs or beach items, particularly near the beach and marina. If you look hard you might find some nice ceramics or items made of cork.

Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Families?

Santorini
Albufeira

Santorini and Albufeira are both notable destinations for the whole family.

Santorini offers lots of family activities. It is a calmer destination than many of the Greek Islands. While it's a great place to relax with kids, the beaches aren't as good as they are on some of the other islands. Most families hang out in Kamari and Perissa Beach.

Albufeira is a family-friendly place to visit. Despite it's reputation as a party-hard city, there are actually a lot of family-friendly activities in the area. Because it's the largest resort town in the Algarve, it also has the most activities to choose from, including theme parks, water parks, dolphin watching, ropes courses, go karting, and more. The best area's for families are in the old town or the most of the family-friendly resorts outside of town. Families should avoid staying near "the Strip."

Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Couples?

Santorini
Albufeira

Santorini and Albufeira are both fantastic to visit as a couple.

Santorini has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. It is a dream honeymoon destination that is famous for its picturesque setting and luxury resorts. For many couples, this is a top pick for a romantic trip to the Greek Isles.

Albufeira is a great island for couples, as it has plenty to offer. For an active honeymoon or couple's retreat, this resort town has it all. Beautiful beaches, adventure-filled activities, a wild nightlife scene, and excellent resorts and restaurants all make for a memorable couple's getaway.


Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Santorini
Albufeira

Albufeira is an unbeatable place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Albufeira is extremely popular for backpackers. If you're looking for a party, then you found it. The area is a top pick for European holidays, so you'll find plenty of energy and activities around town. There are also golden beaches and a decent selection of hostels to choose from.

Santorini is a good island to visit for backpackers. The island has its share of 5 star resorts, but if you head a few streets in you'll find some surprisingly affordable accommodation. Backpackers are welcomed on the island and beaches are free, so it's possible to get by on a relatively low budget.

Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Santorini
Albufeira

Santorini is a popular place for its public transit. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Santorini, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There is a bus system, KTEL Santorini Buses, that runs 23 buses during the summer months but only a small fraction of that operate during the winter months.

Public transit is mostly limited in Albufeira. There are regional buses and even trains, but do take note that many of the train and bus stations are a good distance outside of town.

Is Santorini or Albufeira a more walkable city?

Santorini
Albufeira

Santorini is a popular place for its high level of walkability. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for its ease of walking around.

Santorini is a somewhat walkable place. Many towns on the island are walkable, including Fira, but the actual island is too large to explore on foot.

Albufeira is generally not a very walkable island. Most people prefer to hire a car, but if your hotel is near the beach and you're ok with walking to restaurants, then you may be able to get away without one. If you hope to travel into the countryside at all then a car is necessary.


For even more information, also check out Is Santorini Worth Visiting? and Is Albufeira Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Albufeira or Santorini?

How long in Santorini or Albufeira?

Both Santorini and Albufeira have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Albufeira has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Albufeira than Santorini. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Albufeira than Santorini. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Albufeira, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Albufeira than Santorini if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Albufeira.


  • How many days in Santorini or Albufeira? Ideal Length of Stay
    Santorini 3-7 
    Albufeira 3-7

One day in Santorini or Albufeira?

You'll find nightlife and food around the quaint island of Santorini. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the resort town of Albufeira. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Santorini or Albufeira?

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the historic destination of Santorini. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from.

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife around the touristy destination of Albufeira. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This resort town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Santorini or Albufeira?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the romantic island of Santorini. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this island makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer.

You'll find nightlife and food around the party hard resort town of Albufeira. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this resort town makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this resort town has to offer.


A week in Santorini or Albufeira?

Santorini is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Santorini, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Albufeira is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Albufeira, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Greece, The Best Budget Tours to Greece, The Best 10-Day Tours in Portugal, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Portugal.


Which place is cheaper, Albufeira or Santorini?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Santorini is €210, while the average daily cost in Albufeira is €148. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Santorini and Albufeira in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santorini 118
    Albufeira 74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santorini 236
    Albufeira 148
Compare Hotels in Santorini and Albufeira

Looking for a hotel in Santorini or Albufeira? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Santorini


Hotels in Albufeira


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Santorini Hotel Prices and Albufeira Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santorini 35
    Albufeira 34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santorini

Also for Santorini, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Skip Cable Car! Santorini Shore Excursion with Boat Transfers: $138
  • Airport, Port and Hotel Private Transfer in Santorini: $22
  • Arrival Private Transfer Santorini Airport JTR or Port to Santorini by Minibus: $46
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Santorini Airport JTR to Santorini by Sedan Car: $23
  • Arrival or Departure Shared Transfer in Santorini: $15
  • Blue Dome And Oia Sunset Small Group Transfer: $38
  • Blue Dome and Oia Sunset Small Group Transfer: $39
  • Departure Private Transfer Santorini to Santorini Airport JTR by Sedan Car: $23
  • Departure Private Transfer Santorini to Santorini Airport JTR or Port by Van: $32
  • Departure Private Transfer Santorni to Santorini Airport JTR or Port by Sprinter: $46
  • Departure Shared Transfer in Santorini Island: $22
  • Departure Transfer To Santorini Port: $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albufeira

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Albufeira:

  • Private Transfer From Algarve to Sevilha By 8 Seats Minibus: $521
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo António - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $141
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $141
  • Private Transfer from Vila Real de Santo António to Faro (FAO) Airport: $134
  • Transfer Silves - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $100
  • Transfer Alcantarilha - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $100
  • Private Airport Transfer To Albufeira Area: $99
  • Private Transfer from Cacela Velha to Faro (FAO) Airport: $91
  • Faro Airport (Algarve) Departure Transfer (Vilamoura Hotels to Faro Airport): $90
  • Private Transfer from Pera to Faro (FAO) Airport: $83
  • Private Transfer from Tunes to Faro (FAO) Airport: $82
  • Private Transfer from Sao Bartolomeu de Messines to Faro (FAO) Airport: $82

Is it cheaper to fly into Santorini or Albufeira?

Prices for flights to both Albufeira and Santorini change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Santorini 55
    Albufeira 48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santorini

For Santorini, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Romantic Sunset Caldera Cruise with Dinner: $71
  • Santorini Caldera: Sunset Cruise with Dinner: $71
  • Volcanic Sunset Cruise with Dinner: $81
  • Catamaran Tour with BBQ Dinner, Drinks, and Music: $86
  • Volcano and Hot Springs Sunset Dinner Cruise: $98
  • Santorini Sunset Dinner Cruise Including Nea Kameni Visit: $99
  • Santorini Volcano Sunset Cruise Including Dinner on Board: $115
  • Cooking Class with Private Chef - prepare & enjoy local menu: $121
  • Cooking Class in Traditional cave house in Santorini!: $121
  • Half-Day Sunset Wine Tasting Tour in Santorini with dinner: $124
  • Fira: 4-Hour Walking Food Tour With Tastings: $125
  • Sunset Sea Kayak with Light Dinner: $130

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Albufeira

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Albufeira.

  • A Portuguese Dinner and Cocktail Experience with pick up: $50
  • Portuguese Dinner and Cocktail Experience with Pick up: $53
  • Food Tour: Wine and Traditional Tapas Experience w hotel pick up: $54
  • Dinner at the Vineyards in Lagoa: $61
  • Algarve Bike and Food Tour with Sea Food and Wine Tasting: $62
  • Sunset Safari with Traditional Dinner : $66
  • 6-Hour Sunset Dinner Catamaran Cruise from Albufeira: $75
  • Sunset Tour - Champagne and Traditional Dinner: $76

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santorini 35
    Albufeira 39

Tours and Activities in Santorini

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santorini.

  • Authentic A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Oia: $7.99
  • Megalochori: Lost Atlantis 9D Experience Museum Entry Ticket: $15
  • Skip the Line Lost Atlantis Experience Ticket: $15
  • Akrotiri Archaeological Site Entry Ticket: $16
  • Santorini Old Port: Boat Cruise to the Volcano & Hot Springs: $27
  • Santorini Volcano and Hot Springs Cruise Tour from Fira Old Port: $28
  • Volcanic Islands Cruise with Hot Springs Visit: $28
  • Santorini Caldera Cruise Tour (Volcano, Hot Springs, Thirassia): $33
  • Santorini Volcano and Hot Springs Tour: $39
  • Santorini Volcano & Hot Springs Tour : $41
  • Mesa Gonia, Pyrgos and Oia Tour: $44
  • Sunset In Oia & Traditional Villages Bus Tour: $45

Tours and Activities in Albufeira

Here are a few actual costs in Albufeira for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Full Day Private Tour in Silves and Coast Gems: $193
  • 70 Minutes Guided Secrets of Albufeira Walking Tour: $22
  • Albufeira 1 hour Off-Road Tour Quad Adventure Tour: $19
  • Albufeira 1.5-Hour Off-road Quad Tour: $44
  • Albufeira 2 hour Off-Road Tour Buggy Adventure Tour: $50
  • Albufeira 2 hour Off-Road Tour Quad Adventure Tour: $36
  • Albufeira 3.5 hour Off-Road Tour Buggy Adventure Tour: $66
  • Albufeira 6-Hour Off-Road Quad Tour: $243
  • Albufeira Algarve 4Hours Benagil Tasting Experience: $83
  • Albufeira Beach BBQ with Caves and Coastline Cruise : $80
  • Albufeira City & Beach E-Bike Tour: $65
  • Albufeira Kayak Tours: $39

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 25
    Albufeira 26

Sample the Local Flavors in Santorini

Also in Santorini, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Top Sights Day Trip, Wine Tasting, & Oia Sunset: $64
  • Fira Town Walking Tour with Wine Tasting: $76
  • Wine tasting and Carving lesson in Santorini: $83
  • 2 Hours Private Wine Tasting Tour in Santorini With Pick Up: $88
  • Notos Day Tour through History & Wine Tasting: $99
  • Santorini 4 Hour Private Oia Tour & Wine Tasting : $106
  • Wine Tour with Sunset in Oia: $107
  • 5 towns in 5 hours: Santorini Most Popular Tour with Wine tasting: $118
  • Santorini Wine Adventure with 12 Wine Tastings, Tapas and Sunset: $132
  • Small Group Local Wine Tasting Tour In Santorini : $143
  • Intimate Santorini - Small Group Shore Excursion and Wine Tasting: $143
  • Santorini wine tasting and Traditional Cave Settlement Tour: $143

Sample the Local Flavors in Albufeira

Also in Albufeira, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Sunset Wine Tasting With BBQ in Porches: $50
  • Winery Tour with Wine Tasting and Tapas: $64
  • Small-Group Wine Tour & Silves Exploration (from Albufeira): $69
  • Albufeira Coast Tour w/ Wine tasting & Chicken lunch: $75
  • From Private Lagos Tour Whith Wine Tasting: $93
  • Lagos and Ponta Da Piedade Private Tour & Algarvian Wine Tasting: $108
  • Full-Day Private Algarves Wine Tour Experience from Albufeira: $156


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Santorini and Albufeira, we can see that Santorini is more expensive. And not only is Albufeira much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Albufeira would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Albufeira and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Santorini would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Santorini than you might in Albufeira.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Santorini Expensive? and Is Albufeira Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Santorini or Albufeira?

Santorini has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of Albufeira. When comparing the sizes of Santorini and Albufeira, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.