A Greek Island Vacation You Can Afford

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Greece's Cyclades islands have a reputation for perfect beaches, fresh seafood—and an Olympian price tag. But BT's photo editor discovered a down-to-earth (and affordable!) vibe on the islands of Paros and Santorini. 
Whitney Tressel
Fresh octopus hauled from the Aegean drape over the wooded rails at the fishing port of Naoussa, on Paros.
Whitney Tressel
This Santorini taverna, Ouzeqi, is named for the Greek liqueur ouzo, and serves up treats like tomato fritters and pureed fava beans (ouzeri-santorini.blogspot.com, appetizers from $4).
Whitney Tressel
Dolmades, Yellow Donkey beer, and feta dip with tomatoes are traditional Greek treats. 
Whitney Tressel
A home in Lefkes, a central hilltop village on Paros.
Whitney Tressel
Swimmers at Paros's Kolymbithres beach, which offers secluded nooks for hanging out and soaking up the Aegean sun.
Whitney Tressel
Naoussa's Venetian-style port is a scooter ride from nearby Hotel Petres, an affordable lodging choice in Paros (petres.gr, sea-view rooms from $105).
Whitney Tressel
The Church of Agia Triada sits in the center of Lefkes.
Whitney Tressel
Dodge the donkeys while cascading down the stairs to Santorini's Ammoudi Bay to find delicious grilled octopus at Dimitris Taverna.
Whitney Tressel
Santorini's cliffside neighborhood, Firostefani.
Whitney Tressel
Santorini's capital, Fira, has quaint cobblestone pathways, bustling tavernas, hidden hotels, and boutique shops.
Whitney Tressel
Pastel-colored walls and white-weathered furniture are characteristic of Santorini's décor.
Whitney Tressel
Whether you choose to explore Santorini on foot or on a scooter, the island offers delightful, always surprising vistas.
Whitney Tressel
A stay at Efterpi Villas' studio includes a private veranda and an amazing breakfast delivered to your door (efterpi.gr, studio room with private veranda from $125).
Whitney Tressel
You can watch the sun sink into the Aegean from an old fishing dock on Santorini's Ammoudi Bay. 
Whitney Tressel

If you thought the luxurious isles of Greece were off-limits to all but the most deep-pocketed visitors, think again. With gorgeous hotels at $125 and under and sizzling taverna treats starting at just $4, the islands of Paros and Santorini are beckoning right now!

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