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
  • Great resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • 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
  • 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
  • Not as many resort options


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.

Is Santorini or Kos Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Santorini
Kos

Head to Kos if you're looking for good museums or notable landmarks, as it has more to offer than Santorini.

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 Santorini or Kos Better for Food?

Santorini
Kos

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

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

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find comparable options between Santorini and Kos.

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.

Kos offers plenty to do in the evening. 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.

Is Santorini or Kos Better for Resorts?

Santorini
Kos

Santorini is more known as a resort destination than Kos.

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.

Kos has a few great resort options. 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

With more scuba diving and snorkeling spots, Kos is usually better than Santorini.

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 considered to be a more popular beach destination than Santorini.

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 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 Santorini or Kos Better for Shopping?

Santorini
Kos

If you're looking to go shopping, Santorini and Kos both offer plenty of spots.

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.

Many visitors go to Kos to go shopping. 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 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.

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 and Kos 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.

Kos is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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

For backpackers, both Santorini and Kos 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.

Kos is a very popular island for backpackers and budget travelers. 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.

Is Santorini or Kos Better for Public Transit?

Santorini
Kos

Santorini and Kos 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.

Kos offers a very effecient public transportation network. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

Is Santorini or Kos a more walkable city?

Santorini
Kos

Santorini and Kos 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.

Kos is a very walkable destination. 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.


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.

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


  • 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 stunning 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 ancient 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 beautiful 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.

Which city 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 €131, while the average daily cost in Kos is €107. 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 Kos in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santorini 66
    Kos 49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santorini 132
    Kos 98
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 23
    Kos 29

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

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

  • Private departure Transfer from Kos island resorts to Kos airport: $96
  • Private Transfer to/from Kos Airport (KGS): $71
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $62
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Kos Island to Kos Airport (KGS): $41

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 38
    Kos 35

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
    Kos 26

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

Tours and Activities in Kos

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

  • Kalymnos and Pserimos Day Cruise: $55
  • Photo tour island of Kos: $684

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 21
    Kos 16

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


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.

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Santorini vs. Kos Travel Comparison

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