One of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, modern day Santorini owes its stunning setting to the devastating effects of a 16th century volcanic eruption, which helped shape its magnificent rugged landscape. Indeed, one of the most popular things to do here is for tourists and locals alike to sit among the island’s myriad of whitewashed houses overlooking the caldera and wait for the jaw-droppingly beautiful sunset to descend.
A distinctive blue-domed church on Santorini (Edward Dalmulder via Flickr)
Like many other Greek islands, Santorini remains a pretty expensive place to visit, with hotel and restaurant prices particularly high, especially during peak season. However, there are still a number of affordable options for booking package holidays here. We’ve given you our rundown of three of the best below.
A travel industry leader, Thomas Cook provide a wide range of holiday options, including to Santorini and other Greek islands. During our online searches, we found that the website has plenty of affordable prices, particularly on authentic Greek style self-catering apartments suitable for both couples and families, whether you want all-inclusive holidays or more freedom. Their hotel selection is linked directly with TripAdvisor so you can review the accommodation before picking your preferred option. As far as air travel goes, they have their own fleet of charter flights which makes for a seamless and centralised booking experience. You also have the choice of adding extras directly onto your booking, such as luggage allowance and in-flight meals designed by TV chef James Martin. However, flexibility can sometimes be an issue because Thomas Cook has fixed scheduled dates, so you may need to manage your holidays around their 2018 summer schedule.
As a third party booking site, Expedia tends to lean more towards the needs of the independent traveller. They provide more diversity in their range of deals and dates, including a range of extras that can be booked at the click of a button, making for a straightforward booking experience. Expedia’s booking are powered by separate travel companies, which means you’ll need to locate and print off the e-tickets yourself. If you prefer to have control over your own itinerary, there’s a lot more flexibility booking though Expedia than with a company such as Thomas Cook. They provide more dates to choose from and the ability to book your holiday to suit your own timeframe. They also offer a last minute booking option with some excellent discounts. However cancellations can get tricky with Expedia as they require you to book individual tickets and some flights are also non-refundable, so it’s advisable to read the terms and conditions thoroughly.
Olympic Holidays specialise in cheap travel to a wide number of island destinations, offering budget all inclusive hotels, some of which are exclusive to the operator. They offer a wide range of products including family holidays, party holidays and weddings, and provide discount savings per child on family packages and lowest price guarantee against other tour operators. Deposits range from £49 per person and they have a more flexible cancellation policy than Thomas Cook. Olympic Holidays use a range of low budget airlines to keep travel costs down including Small Planet Airlines and EasyJet. Summer 2018 is now on sale and discounts are available to Santorini. As a company they cover an impressive number of airports in the UK – however Santorini itself is only reachable with Olympic Holidays from Manchester, from Newcastle and from London Gatwick.