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
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Good 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
Cons
  • Less popular for shopping


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.

Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Food?

Santorini
Albufeira

Dining out at restaurants in both Santorini and Albufeira can be an enjoyable experience.

Santorini has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Popular foods on this island include fava, Greek salad, and kofta.

Dining out in Albufeira is an experience not to be missed. 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.


Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Nightlife?

Santorini
Albufeira

For nightlife, head to Albufeira instead of Santorini.

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, 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

You'll find snorkeling or scuba diving in both Santorini and Albufeira.

Santorini has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. 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.

Albufeira is an extremely popular place to visit for 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.

Is Santorini or Albufeira Better for Beaches?

Santorini
Albufeira

Albufeira is considered to be a more popular beach destination than Santorini.

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 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 Santorini or Albufeira Better for Shopping?

Santorini
Albufeira

Santorini usually beats out Albufeira for shopping.

Santorini is well-known for its shopping. Towns around the island are filled with clothing and jewelry boutiques as well as many unique Greek shopping experiences.

Albufeira has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. 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 fun 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 fun 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

Travelers usually think of Albufeira as a better destination for backpackers than Santorini.

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?

Santorini
Albufeira

Santorini and Albufeira both offer public transit to get you around.

While Santorini offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. 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 generally 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 and Albufeira are similar when it comes to walkability.

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 very walkable. 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.

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. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Santorini is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Albufeira is 3-7 days.


  • 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 party hard 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 historic 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 high energy 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.

Which city 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 €131, while the average daily cost in Albufeira is €118. 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 city. 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 66
    Albufeira 59
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santorini 132
    Albufeira 118
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 23
    Albufeira 27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santorini

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

  • Helicopter Transfer between Mykonos & Santorini: $2,839
  • Oia Sunset: Evening Shuttle Transfer and Free Time: $23
  • Premium Santorini Private Day Tour Lagoon 450, BBQ, drinks, transfer: $933
  • Santorini Airport Hotels Transfer Shuttle Bus Service: $27
  • Santorini Airport to Hotel: Private Arrival Transfer: $45
  • Santorini Taxi Service & Airport, Hotel and Port Transfers: $62
  • Santorini transfer service: $17
  • Private Airport Transfer: $25
  • Private Transfer to/from Santorini Airport (JTR): $50
  • Shared Transfer Service: $17
  • Tour of Caldera on Sailing Boat & Bus Transfer:Volcano-Hot springs-Thirassia-Oia: $75
  • Transfer from Santorini Airport&Port all destination except OIA up to 4 customer: $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albufeira

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Albufeira:

  • Transfer Algarve - Up to 7 People: $871
  • Transfer Algarve - Up to 3 People: $746
  • Lisbon Airoport Private Transfer To Algarve ( 8 Seats Van ): $566
  • Private Transfer Algarve-Lisbon (5 to 8 passangers): $442
  • Private Transfer Lisbon - Pine Cliffs Algarve (5 to 8 passangers): $442
  • Sevilha Airoport Private Transfer To Algarve ( 8 Seats Van ): $417
  • Private Transfer Central Algarve - Lisbon: $398
  • Private Transfer Lisbon - Central Algarve: $398
  • Private Transfer Lisbon - Pine Cliffs Algarve (up to 4 passangers): $360
  • Enjoy Three Days in Algarve ( Hotel & Transfers & Tours ): $330
  • Transfer From Albufeira Algarve To Lisboa: $235
  • Safe & Clean Economic Private Transfer Albufeira > Lisbon: $139

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 38
    Albufeira 38

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santorini

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

  • Live Virtual Cooking Class: $26
  • A taste of Mediterranean Cuisine Dinner: $90
  • Hands on Cooking Class with a Chef: $90
  • Fira: 4-Hour Walking Food Tour With Tastings: $108
  • Sunset Sea Kayak and Snorkel with Dinner: $108
  • Santorini : Sunset Sea Kayak & Snorkel with Dinner: $118
  • Santorini : Cooking Class, Easy Hike, and Snorkeling: $131
  • Cooking Class with Santorini’s Aroma: $506
  • Full-Day Royalty Private Cooking Class and Tour in Santorini: $506
  • Cooking Class with Santorini’s Aroma: $546
  • Santorini Private Sunset Sailing Cruise with Dinner, Drinks &Transfer included: $1,350

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santorini 29
    Albufeira 31

Tours and Activities in Santorini

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

  • Akrotiri Prehistoric City Audio Tour: $18
  • Unique Oia's Sunset Tour in Santorini: $30
  • Royalty Unique Oia’s Sunset Tour in Santorini: $31
  • Santorini-Unique Oia’s Sunset Tour: $31
  • Island Bus Tour: The Majestic Spots Of Santorini: $43
  • Santorini Volcano and Thirassia Islands Tour: $43
  • Oia and Fira Evening Small Group Tour: $45
  • 3 Hour Santorini Walking Tour with Hotel Pickup: $50
  • Volcanic Sunset Cruise: $58
  • Santorini Traditional Villages and Oia Sunset Tour: $62
  • Santorini-Classic Tour in Traditional Villages: $67
  • Santorini-Classic Tour in Traditional Villages: $71

Tours and Activities in Albufeira

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

  • 'Leaozinho' Pirate Ship Cruise from Albufeira: $30
  • 1.5 Hour Quad Off-Road Tour from Albufeira: $31
  • Abulferia: 3-Hour Yacht Cruise to Benagil: $34
  • Albufeira 1.5 hour Off-Road Tour Buggy Adventure Tour: $40
  • Albufeira 1.5-Hour Off-road Quad Tour: $75
  • Albufeira 3-Hour Off-Road Quad Tour: $137
  • Albufeira Beach Tour: $25
  • Albufeira Coast and Countryside Mountain Bike Tour: $73
  • Albufeira Jeep Safari Tour (Full Day): $65
  • Albufeira to Algibre Trails Bike Tour: $73
  • 2-Hour Caves and Cliffs Kayaking Experience: $40
  • 2.5-Hour Dolphin Watching and Caves Cruise: $31

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 21
    Albufeira 21

Sample the Local Flavors in Santorini

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

  • 4-Hours Santorini Vothonas Village Tour with Wine Tasting: $89
  • Authentic Santorinian Tour at Vothonas Village with Wine Tasting: $93
  • Half-Day Santorini Tour Vothonas Village with Wine Tasting: $93
  • Santorini-Wine Tour Αround Megalochori Village: $111
  • Sunset and Wine Tasting Tour by Electric Bike: $114
  • Santorini-Wine Tour Around Megalochori Village: $117
  • Santorini-Wine Tour Around Megalochori Village: $124
  • Santorini-Sunset Caldera’s View from Megalochori with Wine Tasting: $134
  • Santorini-Sunset Caldera’s View from Megalochori with Wine Tasting: $140
  • Half-Day Sunset Wine Tasting Tour in Santorini with Pick Up: $141
  • Santorini Wine Tasting and History Small Group Tour: $153
  • 4-Hour Sunset Wine Tour: $159

Sample the Local Flavors in Albufeira

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

  • Small group Wine Tasting Tour from Albufeira: $61
  • sunset wine tasting from Albufeira: $87
  • Half Day Small Group Premium Wine Tour from Albufeira: $93
  • Wine Tour & Walking 7 Hanging Valleys - Coast Algarve: $156
  • From Algarve: Medieval Évora with Lunch and Wine Tasting: $319
  • Algarve Art and Wine Tour from Albufeira: $653


When comparing the travel costs between Santorini and Albufeira, we can see that Santorini is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Santorini vs. Albufeira Travel Comparison

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