A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Santorini vs. Heraklion for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Santorini or Heraklion?

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

Santorini

Santorini is a volcanic island that is part of the Cyclades group of the Greek Islands. It has some spectacular views, beautiful sunsets, and excellent beaches. As one of the most popular of the Greek Islands to visit, Santorini sees many tourists every year. However, it's for a good reason, as the famous white-washed buildings that spill down the hill, some with blue domes that match the gorgeous color of the water, are set against the beautiful mountainous backdrop of one of the most scenic areas of the Mediterranean. Home to several of these small and scenic towns such as Oia, Kamari, Perissa, and Fira, visitors can explore the large island, enjoy delicious food, swim at the beaches, hike the hills, and sail the blue waters.

Heraklion

The largest city on the island of Crete, Heraklion on first glance is almost completely modern — a frenzy of traffic, concrete, and dust. Do not expect pristine beaches and glittering waves (those can be found on other parts of Crete). Heraklion is first and foremost a city. Once you get past its grittiness, you will find that there are some attractive features beneath first impressions. The antiquity of the place lies embedded in the modern and is presented in one of the best museums in Greece, the food is excellent, and the people are friendly and welcoming. And though the sea is not great for swimming, its presence along the Venetian port will take you to another time if you need a break from Heraklion's bustling center.

Which city is cheaper, Heraklion 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 Heraklion is €126. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Santorini and Heraklion in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Santorini can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is €66, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around €132.

Travelers usually pay around €130 for a double occupancy room in Heraklion If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santorini 66
    Heraklion 65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santorini 132
    Heraklion 130

Food

In Santorini travelers spend around €38 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

The average traveler spends about €41 per day in Heraklion for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Santorini 38
    Heraklion 41

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santorini

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

  • Santorini Caldera: Sunset Cruise with Dinner: $56
  • Wine & Food Tour: $69
  • A taste of Mediterranean Cuisine Dinner: $86
  • Santorini Volcano and Thirassia Sunset Dinner Cruise: $92
  • Fira: 4-Hour Walking Food Tour With Tastings: $100
  • Akrotiri Easy Hike, Beach Visit and Cooking Class: $106
  • Santorini : Sunset Sea Kayak & Snorkel with Dinner: $118
  • Santorini : Cooking Class, Easy Hike, and Snorkeling: $131
  • Santorini Sunset Fishing Trip with Dinner and Drinks: $154
  • Santorini Cooking Class with Wine Tasting & Lunch: $177
  • Santorini Cooking Class and Wine-Tasting Tour: $177
  • 5-Hour Food Tour w/ Minibus: $194

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Heraklion

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

  • Live from Heraklion - Cheese Making and Vegeterian Pie Online Cooking class: $39
  • Cretan Cooking Class Gouves (Free Transfer Included): $86
  • 5-Hour Cooking Class: $97
  • Private Cooking Class Gouves (Free Transfer Included): $123
  • Heraklion Private Cretan Cooking Class at a Traditional Village: $218
  • Private Cooking Class and Wine Tasting in Heraklion: $440

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Santorini than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend €23 on transportation in Santorini on average per day.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Heraklion than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend €25 on transportation in Heraklion on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santorini 23
    Heraklion 25

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
  • Transfer Service: $12
  • Private Deluxe Transfer: $86
  • Airport, Port, and Hotels Minibus Transfer: $8.07
  • Santorini transfer service: $17
  • Santorini Taxi Service & Airport, Hotel and Port Transfers: $65
  • Santorini Private Ride Transfer Services: $65
  • Santorini Airport and Ferry Ports Shared Transfer: $10
  • Santorini Airport Transfer to Fira or Imerovigli: $56
  • Santorini Airport Hotels Transfer Shuttle Bus Service: $28
  • Premium Santorini Private Day Tour Lagoon 450, BBQ, drinks, transfer: $933

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Heraklion

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

  • MiniVan for Private Tour Transfer in Heraklion Crete: $560
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Paleochora: $498
  • Transfer Airport to PLATANIAS CHANIA area up to 7 customers: $459
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Kastelli Kissamou: $457
  • Transfer Airport to CHANIA CITY or PORT area up to 7 customers: $429
  • Transfer Airport to SITIA area up to 7 customers: $385
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Máleme: $373
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Gerani: $332
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Palekastro: $332
  • Transfer Airport to IERAPETRA area up to 6 customers: $326
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Agia Marina: $311
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Sitia: $291

Is it cheaper to fly into Santorini or Heraklion?

Prices for flights to both Heraklion 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Santorini, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of €29 per day, per person.

Sightseeing expenses in Heraklion, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of €30 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santorini 29
    Heraklion 30

Tours and Activities in Santorini

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

  • 2-Hour Private Guided Tour in Akrotiri Prehistoric City: $179
  • 3 Hour Santorini Walking Tour with Hotel Pickup: $50
  • 5-Hour Private Tour of Southern Santorini: $346
  • 5-Hour Santorini Photography Day Tour: $606
  • Archaeological Bus Tour To Akrotiri Excavations & Red Beach: $40
  • Best of Santorini Experience: 6-Hour Private Tour: $58
  • Best of Santorini Full-Day Private Guided Tour: $649
  • Cruise Traveller's Shore Excursion: $59
  • Discover Prehistoric Akrotiri & Winery Tour: $171
  • DreamCatcher Sunset Sailing Cruise in the Caldera: $121
  • Explore Akrotiri GroupTour: $583
  • Explore Akrotiri: Private Guided Tour with Hotel Pick-Up: $272

Tours and Activities in Heraklion

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

  • Accessible Heraklion tour to Knossos & Archaeological Museum or Shopping: $455
  • Agios Nikolaos - Elounda - Spinalonga - (Private tour): $523
  • Architectural- gastronomic Walking tour in Heraklion: $870
  • Best of Crete (3-days Tour package): $1,120
  • Chrissi Island Cruise from Heraklion: $61
  • Cretan Folklore Night Tour TR: $66
  • Crete private tour: Knossos Palace, Archaeological museum, and Heraklion Town: $485
  • Drive Tour Crete - Best of Heraklion Crete: $560
  • From Heraklio: Full-Day Knossos & Heraklion Tour Guided English and German: $45
  • From Spinalonga Island ,Elounda Barbeque and Agios Nikolaos Tour: $45
  • Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge: $88
  • Full-Day Guided Spinalonga Island Tour: $137

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Santorini, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is €21.

Typically, people visiting Heraklion spend on average €21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 21
    Heraklion 21

Sample the Local Flavors in Santorini

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

  • 5-Hour Santorini Tour with Wine Tasting: $59
  • Private Wine Tasting in a Winery With Caldera View: $65
  • Santorini Highlights Tour with Wine Tasting: $69
  • 4-Hours Santorini Vothonas Village Tour with Wine Tasting: $89
  • Half-Day Santorini Tour Vothonas Village with Wine Tasting: $93
  • Authentic Santorinian Tour at Vothonas Village with Wine Tasting: $93
  • Santorini Small-Group Wine Tour: $98
  • Sunset and Wine Tasting Tour by Electric Bike: $100
  • Santorini-Wine Tour Αround Megalochori Village: $111
  • Santorini Small Group Tour with Wine Tasting: $115
  • Santorini-Wine Tour Around Megalochori Village: $117
  • Santorini-Wine Tour Around Megalochori Village: $124

Sample the Local Flavors in Heraklion

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

  • The Gourmet Wine Tour of Heraklion area: $187


When comparing the travel costs between Santorini and Heraklion, 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. Heraklion Travel Comparison

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