How We Flight Hacked a Trip to Greece
Greece had always been one of our bucket-list destinations. This summer we finally got the chance to travel to Greece, only we ventured a little off the beaten track from the blue roofs of Santorini to Crete, the largest Greek Island. One of the reasons we never made it to Greece earlier was because the sheer cost of traveling to the more popular travel destinations of Santorini or Mykonos can be exorbitant. We traveled to Chania, Crete over Fourth of July. This summer, roundtrip flights from Seattle to Mykonos are currently posting at around $2,000. We, however, broadened our search of the Greek Islands + flew to Crete for $800, saving us over $1,000 on our flight to experience the Greek Islands! You might be curious how we managed to snag such a great deal on a vacation to Greece during peak season + we’re so excited to share with you our flight hack to get us there at a fraction of the cost!
One of our favorite flights to Europe is Norwegian Air’s nonstop flight from Seattle to London-Gatwick. We’ve taken this flight multiple times, sometimes for as cheap as $400! This saved us a ton of money on our transatlantic flight + got us the majority of the way to Crete. Once in London, we spent the day revisiting a classic city + then hopped on the red-eye to Crete that night.
We continued on with Norwegian Air for a nonstop flight from London to Chania + after a quick sleep on the plane woke up in Greece! This short flight cost us less than $200 + RyanAir also flies to Chania if you want to compare which airline has the cheapest flight to Greece.
We absolutely adored Crete + while the other Greek Islands are still on our bucket-list, the beaches + food we experienced in Crete were to die for - ones we’ll absolutely want to return to in the future. Another great bonus? It’s fairly easy to get from island to island once you’re in Greece. Had we been in Crete a few extra days we would have taken one of the ferries to Santorini + explored the island for a few days. Even after taking into account the London-Chania flight + had we purchased a ferry ticket to Santorini, we still spent less than half of what a flight to Mykonos or Santorini would have cost us.
If you are planning a trip to Crete, here are some of our favorites…
Pallas. We came here for dinner on our last night + it was so incredible! We had dinner out on a little patio with just us while we looked over the harbor + watched the sunset. We ordered a bottle of rose + people watched while devouring some delicious sushi + appetizers (we recommend the millefeuille + goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto). Had we discovered this restaurant earlier into our trip we honestly probably would have returned - we loved it that much!
Seitan Limania. Hands down our favorite beach we’ve ever visited. It’s a bit of trek down (take the path on the righthand side, it’s less worn in, but is an easier climb down) so be sure to wear closed toed shoes that you won’t mind getting covered in red sand. We’d also recommend bringing a picnic, or at least some snacks! That was our biggest regret. Try to get there early as it’s a small beach and fills up quickly. Also, watch out for the mountain goats! They’re not afraid of humans + will try to steal your lunch.
We rented a yacht for the day + it was 100% worth the money. Between 5 of us, we each paid around $150 for 6 hours on a private yacht, our own skipper, + lunch with drinks provided. They took us to some deserted beaches that are only accessible by boat + we got to swim through some caves! If you’re traveling with 4-5 people we’d say it’s worth the extra cost to pay for your own boat. There are bigger boats where you can share it with other people, but we enjoyed having the area to ourselves + not being crammed onto the deck with tens of other people.
Every restaurant we went to on Crete, whether it was for lunch or dinner, gave us a shot of raki + dessert for free!! To say we loved it would be an understatement.
We stayed at an Airbnb a little outside of Chania. The Airbnb itself was beautiful with stunning views of the Mediterranean, a pool, + an outdoor shower. It was, however, up a very steep mountainside with only a narrow dirt road. It made coming/going a little precarious + was difficult at times to get a taxi when we were going out for the night. If we were to do it again, we would probably choose to sacrifice the views + stay at an Airbnb that wasn’t in the mountains so it made getting around a little easier.
One of our best tricks to traveling Europe inexpensively is booking the cheapest transatlantic flight, which often takes us to London or Dublin, + from there using budget airlines like RyanAir or Norwegian Air to find cheap flights across Europe to destinations we’ve never been before! While we also love to use tools like Hopper, Google Flights, or Scott’s Cheap Flights, sometimes it pays (or saves!) to get creative with your flight pattern to get to your bucket-list destination! If you’re looking to save money on a flight without putting in the time, book a consultation with us to find you a great deal! What are your favorite tips + tricks to traveling the world?