A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Santorini vs. Cinque Terre for Food, Hiking, Couples, and Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Should you visit Santorini or Cinque Terre?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Santorini or Cinque Terre, 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 romantic, stunning, and historic island. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Because of its quaint atmosphere, it draws plenty of visitors, too. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a idyllic, quaint, and seaside coastal region. You'll find plenty of local activities in this small town. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. Visitors also love the scuba diving and snorkeling, hiking, and food.

Santorini and Cinque Terre: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Great resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less hiking options
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular for shopping


How is Santorini different from Cinque Terre?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Food?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Cinque Terre a bit more than Santorini.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Cinque Terre is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. Like much of Italy, the area focuses on local flavors that include lots of seafood, as well as local fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The towns are known for their focaccia, which actually originated in nearby Genoa. Anchovies are a favorite here as well, and don't be turned off by your experience with anchovies outside of Italy. They don't compare. Also make sure you sample the pesto, mussels, and any fresh caught seafood.

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 Cinque Terre Better for Nightlife?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

For nightlife, head to Santorini instead of Cinque Terre.

If you're looking for night time activities Santorini has a few options to choose from. It is one of the calmer, more romantic islands in Greece. For the best nightlife, you'll want to stay near Fira.

People don't go to Cinque Terre for the nightlife. The whole point of a trip to the area is to soak up the quiet village atmosphere. There is basically no nightlife in most of the towns, but you will find a few bars in Monterosso.

Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Resorts?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

Santorini is more known as a resort destination than Cinque Terre.

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.

Not known for its high-end resorts, Cinque Terre offers a few options. Most people stay in apartments or rooms in local hotels or family homes. There aren't many resorts in the traditional sense, but again, that's part of the charm of the area.

Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

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

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.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Cinque Terre. The surrounding waters are part of the of the Pelagos Sanctuary. The area has many rocky coves which are fun to explore with a mask and snorkel. There are also boat excursions available that may let you stop to snorkel, as well as a few dive spots in the area.

Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Beaches?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

Both Santorini and Cinque Terre have beaches worth visiting.

Santorini has a beach worth visiting. 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.

The beach in Cinque Terre is worth checking out. The area is more about the towns than the beaches. The most typical beach setting is in the newer part of Monterosso. There's a long sandy beach with chairs and umbrellas available. There's also a beach near the town's old town. Several of the other towns have swimming areas, including a small stretch of pebbly sand in Vernazza. It's fun to swim between the months of May and October, when the water temperatures are fairly warm.


Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Hiking?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

While Santorini and Cinque Terre both have hiking trails, overall Cinque Terre is more well-known.

Known for its hiking, Cinque Terre draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. The five towns are part of Cinque Terre National Park and there are 120 kilometers of hiking trails in the park. Most people hike along the trails that follow the coastline and connect the towns. There are fees for the most popular stretch of trails which connect Monterosso to Vernazza and then go from Vernazza to Corniglia. All other hiking is free in the area.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Santorini. 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.

Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Shopping?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

Santorini usually beats out Cinque Terre 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.

Cinque Terre has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. The towns are more about the atmosphere than the shops, but the best shopping can be found in the largest town of Monterosso. You'll find jewelry, clothing, and local food items that are fun to take home as souvenirs.

Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Families?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

Santorini and Cinque Terre 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.

Cinque Terre is a family-friendly place to visit. The five towns are all about exploring on foot, so if that's your kid's thing, then they're in for a treat. The hilly terrain can be a bit tricky, particularly for the little ones, but for older kids this area offers the perfect amount of challenge. There are also a couple of beaches and swimming spots as well as a playground or two around. Food, like most of Italy, is very kid-friendly.

Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Couples?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

Santorini and Cinque Terre 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.

Cinque Terre is a great island for couples, as it has plenty to offer. These stunning five Italian villages are perched precariously on the water's edge. They're surrounded by beautiful vineyards and connected by impressive hiking trails. This area is truly a dream honeymoon destination and it is sure to make a memorable vacation for any couple who enjoys exploring charming village.


Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

For backpackers, both Santorini and Cinque Terre are fairly comparable places to visit.

It's common for backpackers to visit Santorini. 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.

Cinque Terre is a good island to visit for backpackers. There are a number of rooms available in the towns and there are even a couple of hostels including one in Riomaggiore and one in Corniglia. It's possible to find affordable food and accommodation, and your entertainment is simply wandering the area, which is perfect for budget travelers.

Is Santorini or Cinque Terre Better for Public Transit?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

Santorini and Cinque Terre 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.

Cinque Terre has a few public transit options. Most people arrive by train but there are also ferries available.

Is Santorini or Cinque Terre a more walkable city?

Santorini
Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is considered more walkable than Santorini.

Cinque Terre is a very easy coastal region to get around on foot. Vehicle traffic in the towns are heavily restricted so it's very enjoyable to explore on foot. The terrain is hilly and uneven, but that's part of the charm. There are also hiking trails that connect each of the five towns.

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

Should I spend more time in Cinque Terre or Santorini?

How long in Santorini or Cinque Terre?

In either Santorini or Cinque Terre, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santorini than Cinque Terre because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Santorini is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Cinque Terre is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Santorini or Cinque Terre? Ideal Length of Stay
    Santorini 3-7 
    Cinque Terre 2-5

One day in Santorini or Cinque Terre?

In Santorini, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this romantic island offers. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Even though Cinque Terre is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Visiting the old town is also a must. 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 Cinque Terre?

Santorini is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

Cinque Terre is a small town where visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and food. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal region has to offer. This coastal region offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Santorini or Cinque Terre?

In Santorini, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this romantic destination offers. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Cinque Terre is a small town with plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this coastal region makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal region has to offer.

A week in Santorini or Cinque Terre?

Santorini is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. It's also a relaxing resort destination. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Cinque Terre is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Cinque Terre 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 Cinque Terre is €110. 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 Cinque Terre in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santorini 66
    Cinque Terre 56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santorini 132
    Cinque Terre 112
Compare Hotels in Santorini and Cinque Terre

Looking for a hotel in Santorini or Cinque Terre? 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 Cinque Terre


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 Cinque Terre Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santorini 23
    Cinque Terre 12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santorini

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

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cinque Terre

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Cinque Terre:


  • Ferry Day Pass
    15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cinque Terre

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

  • From Florence: Round Trip Transfer to Cinque Terre: $64

Is it cheaper to fly into Santorini or Cinque Terre?

Prices for flights to both Cinque Terre 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
    Cinque Terre 33

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

Typical Food prices in Cinque Terre

For Cinque Terre, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Whole Pizza
    9.50
  • Panini
    3.75
  • Sitdown Dinner (for Two)
    52
  • Fresh Focaccia
    2.12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cinque Terre

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

  • La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour: $93
  • Market Tour, Home Cooking Class, Dinner: $214

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santorini 29
    Cinque Terre 10

Tours and Activities in Santorini

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

  • 3 Hour Santorini Walking Tour with Hotel Pickup: $50
  • 5-Hour Santorini Photography Day Tour: $606
  • Discover Prehistoric Akrotiri & Winery Tour: $182
  • Explore Akrotiri GroupTour: $583
  • Exploring the Myth of Santorini - Full Day Tour: $133
  • From Athens: Overnight Tour to Santorini: $373
  • From Folegandros Private Rib Boat Tour: $2,725
  • Full-Day Royalty Private Wine Walking Tour in Santorini: $428
  • Full-Day Santorini Southeastern Side Tour with Drink Tasting: $127
  • Half-Day Private Santorini Tour with Hidden Beaches: $323
  • Half-Day Walking Tour in Santorini with Canava Ouzo Visit: $413
  • Highlits Of Santorini Private Tour: $560

Typical Entertainment prices in Cinque Terre

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cinque Terre's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Double Kayak Rental (One Hour)
    10
  • Bagni Eden Beach Club Umbrella
    16
  • Cinque Terre Card (One Day)
    5.00
  • Cinque Terre Card (Three Days)
    12

Tours and Activities in Cinque Terre

For Cinque Terre, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Market Tour & Meal with a Local Cook: $158
  • Small Group Guided Tour from Florence: $146
  • From Florence: Cinque Terre Small Group Tour with Lunch: $271
  • From Florence: Cinque Terre, Vernazza, Lucca Guided Tour: $624
  • From La Spezia: Cinque Terre Full-Day Boat Tour: $169
  • From La Spezia: Cinque Terre Tour with Limoncino Tasting: $56
  • From Pisa: Cinque Terre Small Group Tour: $169
  • Private Tour of the Shelleys in Lerici nearby Cinque Terre: $278

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 21
    Cinque Terre 5.37

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Cinque Terre

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Cinque Terre:


  • Glass of Local Wine
    2.90

Sample the Local Flavors in Cinque Terre

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Cinque Terre:

  • Guided Tour with Wine Tasting from Florence: $681


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Santorini and Cinque Terre, we can see that Santorini is more expensive. And not only is Cinque Terre much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cinque Terre would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cinque Terre 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 Cinque Terre.

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Santorini vs. Cinque Terre Travel Comparison

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