A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Santorini vs. Marbella for Nightlife, Resorts, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, and Beaches

Should you visit Santorini or Marbella?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Santorini or Marbella, 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. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Because of its quaint atmosphere, it draws plenty of visitors, too. Visitors also love the nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Marbella

Marbella is a high energy, ritzy, and glamorous resort town. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the live music, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

How is Santorini different from Marbella?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Santorini or Marbella better for Food?

Dining out in both Santorini and Marbella can be an enjoyable experience.

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

Marbella has a delicious food scene that relies on local flavors. The area is filled with tourists, so finding an authentic dining experience can be difficult. Several favorite dishes include croquetas, boquerones, and pulpo.


Is Santorini or Marbella better for Nightlife?

For nightlife, head to Marbella instead of Santorini.

The nightlife in Marbella is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. European tourists flock to the town for its beaches and resorts. The town has a glamorous nightlife scene with exclusive clubs and ritzy cocktail bars, particularly in Puerto Banus and along the Golden Mile.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe 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 Marbella better for Resorts?

With a similar set of options, resorts can be found in both Santorini and Marbella.

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.

Marbella offers an unforgettable resort vacation. From luxury to family-friendly, this area has plenty of resorts to choose from. Popular resorts in the area include Marbella Club Hotel, Puente Romano Marbella, and Don Carlos Resort and Spa.

Is Santorini or Marbella better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

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

People travel to Marbella specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. There are more than 100 dive sights and endless snorkeling opportunities in the area. There are deep offshore reefs that you can explore as well as shallower wrecks and caves.

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.

Is Santorini or Marbella better for Beaches?

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

The beaches in Marbella are among the best in the world. The area boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. They are hubs of activity with lots of energy, and there are more than 18 miles of sandy beach in the area. Popular options include Guadalmina Beach, San Pedro de Alcántara Beach, and Nueva Andalucía Beach.

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.


Is Santorini or Marbella better for Shopping?

If you're looking to go shopping, Santorini and Marbella 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.

Known for shopping, Marbella draws large crowds to its stores. This area attracts vacationers from around Europe and the shopping is some of the best in Europe.

Is Santorini or Marbella better for Families?

Santorini and Marbella 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.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Marbella is very family-friendly. The area has beautiful, family-friendly beaches and many resorts with pools that are great for kids.

Is Santorini or Marbella better for Couples?

Santorini and Marbella 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.

Marbella has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. The area has luxury resorts, nice beaches, water sports, golf, and water activities that are perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.

Is Santorini or Marbella better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

For backpackers, both Santorini and Marbella 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.

Plenty of backpackers visit Marbella. There are a few good hostels in the area for backpackers who want to enjoy this part of Spain's cost. There's also a lively nightlife scene and plenty of opportunities to meet others.


Is Santorini or Marbella better for Public Transit?

Santorini and Marbella 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 mostly limited in Marbella. There is a bus system through the area, but most visitors prefer to get around by car.

Is Santorini or Marbella a more walkable city?

Santorini and Marbella 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.

Marbella is a very walkable island. The old town is particularly walkable and there are a number of hotels and nice resorts within a short walk of the town along a nice promenade.

Santorini and Marbella: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less attractive beach
Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


Should I spend more time in Marbella or Santorini?

How long in Santorini or Marbella?

In either Santorini or Marbella, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santorini than Marbella 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 Marbella is 2-5 days.


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

One day in Santorini or Marbella?

The beautiful island of Santorini offers museums and nightlife. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find nightlife and live music around the resort town of Marbella. 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 Marbella?

Santorini is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

You'll find live music and food around the ritzy destination of Marbella. 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 resort town has to offer. This resort town offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Santorini or Marbella?

Santorini is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Santorini, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the glamorous resort town of Marbella. 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 Marbella?

Santorini is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Santorini has to offer. This island offers something for everyone.

Marbella is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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, Marbella 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 Marbella is €93. 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 Marbella in more detail.



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

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santorini 23
    Marbella 19

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 Marbella

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

  • Private Transfer Marbella, Malaga, Gibraltar or Tarifa to Seville SVQ by Minivan: $698
  • Private Transfer Marbella, Malaga, Gibraltar or Tarifa to Seville SVQ by Sedan: $568
  • Private Transfer from Marbella to Malaga (AGP) airport: $151
  • Private Transfer from La Quinta Golf Resort to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $151
  • Private Transfer from Nueva Andalucía to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $144
  • Private Transfer from Los Monteros to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $122
  • Private Transfer from Elviria to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Las Chapas to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Marbella Beach Resort to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Marbesa to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Lomas De Cabopino to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • TRANSFER MALAGA AIRPORT from/to MARBELLA-PRICE ALL INCLUSIVE: $106

Is it cheaper to fly into Santorini or Marbella?

Prices for flights to both Marbella 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
    Marbella 31

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Marbella

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

  • Cooking courses at home & online: $75
  • Tapas & Paella Cooking Course: $80
  • Food Tour: $85

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santorini 29
    Marbella 15

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 Marbella

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

  • Alhambra Private Tour from with Transport and skip-the-line tickets: $386
  • Bike City Tour Marbella: $32
  • Can-am Route Experience: $77
  • Casares private half-day Tour from Marbella or Malaga: $299
  • E-Mountain Bike Explorer Tour departing from Marbella: $93
  • From Blue to Blue - Hiking tour in the Rif Mountains of Morocco: $1,151
  • From Costa del Sol: Casares Private Tour: $274
  • Full-Day Gibraltar Shopping Tour from the Costa del Sol: $33
  • Granada and Alhambra from Marbella and Costa del Sol: Vip Private Tour: $862
  • Half-day White Villages E-Mountain Bike Tour: $148
  • Marbella Gourmet Tapas Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $88
  • Marbella Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $41

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 21
    Marbella 4.57

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 Marbella

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

  • Tour of the Old Town with Wine Tasting & Tapas: $112
  • E-Mountain Bike & Wine Tour from Marbella to Sierra Blanca: $123
  • Manilva & Gaucin Wine Tour from the Costa del Sol: $160
  • Ronda Full Day Wine Tour from Marbella: $210
  • VIP Wine Tour through the Guadalhorce Valley & Wolf Sanctuary Visit: $360
  • Ronda Private Wine Tour and Tapas from Marbella: $406
  • VIP Ronda Wine Tour and Tasting and Gourmet Lunch Experience with Winemaker: $778


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

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Santorini vs. Marbella Travel Comparison

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