If you’re heading in the direction of Crete for your next holiday, you’re in luck. This island destination is known for its affordability and for its range of activity and dining options that line up with budgets of every variety. Like with any holiday destination, it’s good to bear in mind that prices will differ based on where in Crete you go – dinner in a village taverna might cost you less than a seaside spot, for example.
At any rate, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. If you’re new to Crete, here’s what you can expect to spend on average holiday purchases, plus a few tips on how to keep costs low without sacrificing a morsel.
At a family-run taverna, you’re looking at an average of €10 per meal, though how much each restaurant charges will vary for a number of reasons. If it’s in a heavy holidaymaker area or has views to die for the prices climb higher. A plate of gyros or meze – the Greek version of tapas – will put you out around €6 each, but you’ll most likely want to couple them with sides or other dishes.
If you’re stopping in at a cafe, coffee starts at €2 and increases as the drink gets fancier. A bottle of water is predictably the cheapest drink option, clocking in at around 50¢.
If you’re privy to Self Catering accommodation, you can pick up ingredients from local supermarkets around Crete and make your own meals for much less. Fruit and veg are typically less than €1 each. It’s also worth noting that many restaurants in Crete will offer set three-course meal deals for two, which’ll set you back around €27 total. This even includes house wine!
Bars and pubs
A small glass of wine in a Cretan restaurant typically starts at an incredibly low €1.50 each, especially if it’s the house wine. A half-litre bottle of beer is double that at around €3 each, with higher prices for imported brews. With cocktails, you’re looking at spending €3 to €5 on each drink, though this increases if the liquor has been imported, or if you’re in a club that’s on the swankier side.
Raki is a traditional liquor in Greece that’s typically served complimentary at the end of your meal. Because it’s made locally, it’s pretty cheap to get, and taken by the shot.
Out and about
Ticket prices for theme parks and historical sites in Crete have recently spiked, from jaw-droppingly cheap to what you’ll find is otherwise pretty standard for other holiday destinations. At waterparks like Aqua Plus in Hersonissos and the Limnoupolis Waterpark in Chania, you’ll spend around €25 for adult tickets and €17 for kids. Keep in mind this’ll occupy you for an entire day.
For major historic sites and museums, you’re looking at spending a little more than the usual Crete subpar prices. The Palace of Knossos is €15 per ticket, while the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion in Crete’s capital is €10. However, most of the smaller archaeological sites around the island average at just a couple of euros per ticket.
There are almost always reduced tickets on offer for people above a certain age, students and children. Some sites and parks also offer discounts for summer tickets or if you book in advance online, so it’s always worth checking ahead of time.
Though most restaurants will include gratuity in their prices, it’s customary to tip if you’ve been given good service. Generally giving 10% or rounding up your bill will do. Hotel porters will expect a tip from between €1 to €3, and for taxi drivers you can round your bill up a few euros. However, you should know that there’s an official charge for baggage handling, so that should already be included in the price.
Got any money-saving tips you’d like to share with Cretan newbies? Let us know in the comments below.