A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Santorini vs. Kos for Attractions, Food, Resorts, and Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Should you visit Santorini or Kos?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Santorini or Kos, 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 stunning, historic, and romantic island. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Because of its quaint atmosphere, it draws plenty of visitors, too. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Kos

Kos is a beautiful, ancient, and cultural island. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Santorini and Kos: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less attractive beach
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • 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
  • Not as many resort options


Is there more to do in Santorini or Kos?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Kos. Although Santorini and Kos are popular destinations, Kos has more sights and attractions for tourists. Kos is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches, while Santorini attracts visitors for its resorts, shopping, and quaint atmosphere. Santorini is more touristy than Kos and is known for its beautiful volcanic beaches, stunning natural beauty, and breathtaking sunsets over the whitewashed villages. Kos is famous for its sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water. It is also well known for Asklepieion Archeological Site.

How is Santorini different from Kos?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Kos 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 Kos?

Santorini
Kos

Kos is an unbeatable place for its historical sights. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its sights and museums.

The museums and tourist attractions in Kos are world-renowned. The small island is packed with archaeological sites and interesting history. Famous places worth visiting include the ruins of Asklepion, the ancient Agora, Roman Odeon, Neratzia Castle, and so many more!

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Santorini. 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.


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

Santorini
Kos

Kos is an unbeatable place for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Kos is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. The cuisine relies heavily on locally harvested ingredients with many dishes featuring cheese, seafood, vegetables, olive oil, and potatoes. The dishes are influenced by Italian and Turkish cuisines and common dishes include moussaka, souvlaki and tzatziki. Popular seafood options are prawns, squid, lobster and octopus. A great way to enjoy a sampling of local dishes is to visit an ouzeri, which is a Greek taverna that serves mezza style meals with small dishes that you can share.

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 Kos Better for Nightlife?

Santorini
Kos

Kos is a great island for nightlife and partying. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Kos has something for everybody. For such a small island you'll find a huge party scene during the peak summer months. There are almost nightly parties, beach raves, and late night clubs throughout the summer months. The bars and clubs are mostly concentrated around a couple of streets in the center of Kos Town, but Kardamena is also a lively party area. It's popular with British tourists who head here for the all-night clubs.

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 Kos Better for Resorts?

Santorini
Kos

Santorini is very popular for its luxury resorts. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

Santorini is a world class resort vacation destination. 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.

With a selection of resorts, Kos makes a nice vacation spot. It's a smaller island and there aren't as many resorts here as there are on some of the larger Greek islands. Some of the best resort areas include Lamp and Psalidi to the northwest, Tigaki on the west coast (a good option for families), as well as Mastihari and Marmari which both have relaxed atmospheres. The younger crowd often hangs out around Kardemena on the east coast.


Is Santorini or Kos Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Santorini
Kos

Kos is an unbeatable place for its diving and snorkeling. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for snorkeling and scuba diving.

People travel to Kos specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. There are countless snorkeling sports around the island where you can immerse yourself in the undersea world. Popular snorkeling areas include Camel Beach and Limnionas Beach. Make sure you understand the water conditions before heading into the water.

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 Kos Better for Beaches?

Santorini
Kos

Kos 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 Kos are among the best in the world. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, many of which are sandy with various shades of color. There are touristy beaches with plenty of amenities as well as less frequented beaches that offer a quieter and more remote atmosphere. Some of the most visited beaches on the island include Agios Stefanos, Kardamena, Kefalos and Lambi while some of the more peaceful areas are Cavo Paradiso and Helona Beach.

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 Kos Better for Hiking?

Santorini
Kos

Santorini and Kos are both places where visitors can find nice 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 Kos. This is a great walking island with a number of easy walks or hikes that take you along the coastline or through interesting landscapes.


Is the Shopping Better in Santorini or Kos?

Santorini
Kos

Santorini is an excellent place to visit for shopping. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Santorini. Towns around the island are filled with clothing and jewelry boutiques as well as many unique Greek shopping experiences.

Kos offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of traditional items that you can pick up while you're in town. Fun souvenirs include jewelry, leather items, and perfumes.

Is Santorini or Kos Better for Families?

Santorini
Kos

Santorini and Kos are both nice 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.

Kos is a family-friendly place to visit. It's comparable to other Greek islands when it comes to kids' activities. Kos Town can get a bit lively at night so if you want to avoid the party crowds, then those areas are easily avoided. Popular activities include exploring ancient ruins, going to the Kos Archaeological Museum, visiting The Castle of the Knights, and of course, hanging out at the beach. One of the best family-friendly resort areas is Tigaki along the west coast.

Is Santorini or Kos Better for Couples?

Santorini
Kos

Santorini is very popular for romance. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Santorini is a great island for couples, as it has plenty to offer. 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.

Couples visit Kos frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. This small island offers beautiful beaches and plenty of ancient ruins to explore. Kos Town is where you'll find the liveliest atmosphere but for some of the best resorts you'll want to stay in one of the resort suburbs like Lampi or Psalidi.


Is Santorini or Kos Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Santorini
Kos

Kos is a great island for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Kos. It's a small island but has a few hostels and a variety of apartments available for rent. Despite its small size, there are areas where you'll want to have a car if you wish to explore, but if you stay in town you'll find getting around fairly easy. The island attracts its share of young travelers and you'll find plenty of people to hang out with.

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 Kos Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Santorini
Kos

Kos is a great island for times when you don't have a car. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its public transit.

The public transit in Kos can get you around easily. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

Santorini has a few public transit options. 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.

Is Santorini or Kos a more walkable city?

Santorini
Kos

Kos is a great island for its high level of walkability. Also, Santorini is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its ease of walking around.

Kos is a very walkable island. It's small size means it's possible to explore parts of the island on foot or bicycle. There are some beautiful walks on the island, but some areas will require a car or bus.

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.


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

Should I spend more time in Kos or Santorini?

How long in Santorini or Kos?

In either Santorini or Kos, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santorini than Kos because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Santorini, and 2-5 days is enough time in Kos.

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

Couples should spend more time in Kos than Santorini. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Kos that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Kos 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 Kos.


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

One day in Santorini or Kos?

With museums and nightlife around the romantic destination of Santorini, there's plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

You'll find nightlife and food around the island of Kos. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. 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 Kos?

Many people visit Santorini for a weekend. With nightlife and food around the romantic island of Santorini, there's plenty to do. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the cultural destination of Kos. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Santorini or Kos?

With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the destination of Santorini, there's plenty to do. Many people spend five days here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the ancient island of Kos. 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 great beach destination, too. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer.


A week in Santorini or Kos?

Santorini, a popular island, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for one week. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Kos is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Greece, The Best Budget Tours to Greece, The Best Tours for Seniors to Greece, and The Best Contiki Tours to Greece.


Which place is cheaper, Kos or Santorini?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Santorini is €175, while the average daily cost in Kos is €134. 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 Kos in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santorini 93
    Kos 62
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santorini 186
    Kos 124
Compare Hotels in Santorini and Kos

Looking for a hotel in Santorini or Kos? 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 Kos


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 Kos Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santorini 28
    Kos 37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santorini

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

  • Wedding Transfer for Guests: $25
  • VIP Limo Transfers From & To Santorini Port: $82
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in Santorini APT-HTL(JTR): $31
  • Transfer Perissa To Oia : $46
  • Transfer From or To Santorini Airport Designed By You: $15
  • Shuttle Transfers From or To Santorini Port: $21
  • Shared transfer to/from the airport/port : $74
  • Shared Transfer From Airport and Port to Santorini: $17
  • Shared Transfer : $33
  • Shared Departure Transfers to Airport or Port Santorini : $33
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Santorini Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $27
  • Shared Arrival Transfer from Airport or Port to Oia Village: $54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

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

  • Kos transfer services, Kos - Airport - Kos: $106
  • Private arrival Transfer from Kos Airport to any resort in the island: $84
  • Departure transfer to Kos Airport : $67
  • Arrival transfer from Kos Airport : $67
  • Kos Airport to Kos Hotels Private One–Way Transfer: $64
  • Artemis Hamam and Spa with Hotel Transfers Kos Island: $59
  • Kos Private Transfer Services: $59
  • Kos Hotels to Kos Airport Private One–Way Transfer: $59
  • Kalymnos, Pserimos & Plati Island Cruise with Hotel Transfer: $59
  • From Kalymnos Self-Guided Day Trip with Hotel Transfer: $59
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $54
  • Kos Town: Kalymnos & Pserimos Day Cruise & Optional Transfer: $30

Is it cheaper to fly into Santorini or Kos?

Prices for flights to both Kos 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 48
    Kos 43

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: $69
  • Romantic Sunset Caldera Cruise with Dinner: $69
  • Volcanic Sunset Cruise with Dinner: $80
  • Catamaran Tour with BBQ Dinner, Drinks, and Music: $91
  • Volcano and Hot Springs Sunset Dinner Cruise: $96
  • Santorini Sunset Dinner Cruise Including Nea Kameni Visit: $98
  • Santorini Cooking Class with Wine Tasting: $107
  • Santorini Volcano Sunset Cruise Including Dinner on Board: $108
  • The Aegean Cooking Class: $109
  • Cooking Class in Traditional cave house in Santorini!: $120
  • Sunset Cruise with Swim Stops, Dinner, and Drinks: $120
  • Fira: 4-Hour Walking Food Tour With Tastings: $123

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kos

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

  • Greek Dinner with Music, Dancing, and Unlimited Wine: $43
  • Kefalos Sunset Cruise from Kos with Dinner: $61
  • Sunset Cruise with Swimming and BBQ Dinner: $62
  • Tavern Dinner Experience with Greek Dancing and Wine: $65
  • Kos Cooking Classes by Mama Contessa: $85
  • Private Greek Cooking Class in Kos with Lunch: $90
  • Sunset Safari Tour with Dinner: $95
  • Private Cooking Class in Kos, Local Recipes: $97
  • Half Day Wine Tasting with Dinner in Kos: $116

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santorini 36
    Kos 33

Tours and Activities in Santorini

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

  • Santorini Panoramic Blue Shade Tour-Firostefani, Imerovigli, Oia: $62
  • 3 Hour Tour in Oia: $120
  • 3-Hour Santorini Highlights Tour: $71
  • 4 Hour Eat and Drink Private Tour in Santorini: $295
  • 4 Hour Private Guided Tour in Santorini: $218
  • 4 Hours Private Custom Tour in Santorini: $185
  • 4 hrs island tour and photoshooting, Oia Blue domes, Red beach : $196
  • 4-Hour Private Custom Santorini Tour: $161
  • 5-Hour Private Custom Santorini Tour: $182
  • 5-Hour Private Tour of Southern Santorini: $400
  • 6 Hours Land Tour Ideal for Cruise Ship Passengers: $283
  • 6 Hours Santorini Private Tour: $250

Tours and Activities in Kos

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

  • Dory's Glass Bottom Boat Adventure in Pserimos and Pserimos Beach: $29
  • From Boat Tour to the Volcanic Island of Nisyros: $37
  • From Cruise to Kalymnos, Pserimos, and Plati with Lunch: $40
  • From Kalymnos, Pserimos and Plati Day Cruise: $32
  • From Nissyros guided island tour and volcano: $56
  • From Pserimos Island Snorkeling Cruise by Diving Boat: $53
  • From Zia Sunset Tour: $27
  • From the Port of Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands: $32
  • Full Day 3-Island Boat Cruise from Port of Kos: $38
  • Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands with optional pickup: $33
  • Full-Day 3 Island Cruise Tour in Kos Island: $37
  • Full-Day Tour to Nisyros The Volcano Island: $33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 26
    Kos 19

Sample the Local Flavors in Santorini

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

  • Half Day Simply Santorini Tour with Wine Tasting: $60
  • Top Sights Day Trip, Wine Tasting, & Oia Sunset: $62
  • Fira Town Walking Tour with Wine Tasting: $75
  • Visit to a Wine Museum and Wine Tasting in Santorini : $76
  • Notos Day Tour through History & Wine Tasting: $98
  • Santorini 4 Hour Private Oia Tour & Wine Tasting : $104
  • Wine Tour with Sunset in Oia: $105
  • Santorini Highlights Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting from Fira: $109
  • Wine Tour Santorini: $118
  • 3-Hour Wine Tasting in Santorini : $125
  • Small Group Local Wine Tasting Tour In Santorini : $131
  • Wine tasting and Carving lesson in Santorini: $131

Sample the Local Flavors in Kos

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Kos:

  • Wineries Tour w/ Wine Tastings, Lunch & Transportation: $59
  • From Tour of 2 Wineries with Wine Tasting & Small Bites: $63
  • Kos Island: Wine Tasting & Zia Village Visit for Sunset: $149


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

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


Which is Bigger, Santorini or Kos?

Santorini has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Kos. When comparing the sizes of Santorini and Kos, 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.