The sunsets and the breathtaking views of the ancient crater are the wonders that guarantee every year to Santorini more than a million visitors, but its beaches should not be underestimated.
True, you should not expect Caribbean beaches of white sand and turquoise sea: the volcanic origin of Santorini has left its mark even in the beaches of the island, characterized by dark sand, blue water and imposing cliffs overlooking the sea.
What you can expect instead is a good variety: on the island you will find the charming Red Beach, party-beach as Perissa, the family-friendly Monolithos, the wild and naturist Kolombous and other beaches that satisfy a little ‘all types of vacationers.
Ready for a beach vacation in Santorini? To help you choose, we have selected for you the beaches not to be missed in Santorini.
The small and charming Red Beach is the most famous beach of Santorini and a must-see destination of every vacation on the island.
Of volcanic origin, is a mixed beach of sand and pebbles of red color, the same as the imposing cliffs behind it. It can be reached by boat or by car and then with a walk of about 10 minutes along a rather steep path.
It is possible to rent deck chairs and umbrellas, but there are no bars or restaurants on the beach so bring with you supplies of food and drinks.
Adjacent to Red Beach there is another lovely beach, White Beach, less crowded than its more famous sister: as the name suggests, the cliffs that surround it are not red but white.
It can be reached only by boat or on foot or by swimming from Red Beach (calculate about 20 minutes) and this remote position makes the beach little visited.
Agios Georgios beach is one of the most famous of Santorini even if it is not very frequented. The beach is located along the east coast of the island, near the southern tip, just after the beach of Perivolos, 3 and a half kilometers from Perissa and 3 from the village of Emporio.
Agios Georgios is a very wide black beach where you can find numerous umbrellas and sunbeds for rent, hotels of various price ranges, taverns and beach bars, as well as numerous water sports agencies including jet-skiing, diving, windsurfing, pedal boats and banana boats.
Not far away, and also easily accessible on foot, is the beach of Vlychada.
The beach of Vlychada is located on the southern tip of the island of Santorini, 14 kilometers from Fira and not far from the beach of Agios Georgios, just in front of the small harbor village of the same name. It is over 800 meters long and is quite sheltered from the wind.
Vlychada is a beautiful beach of gray sand mixed with light pumice stone surrounded by high white cliffs, carved into particular shapes by the wind and the sea, but strangely it is little frequented. Thanks to the composition of the sand and the panorama that can be admired, Vlychada has a lunar charm that has earned it the nickname of“Moon beach“.
The sea soon becomes deep, making this picturesque beach unsuitable for families with small children. You will have the possibility to rent sunbeds and umbrellas, although they are not many and only in the first part of the coast, the eastern side, and to refresh yourself in the tavern or in the cafeteria built in local natural stone and wood right on the beach, ideal for a drink at sunset.
If you want to add something original and less touristy to your vacation in Vlychada visit the Tomato Museum, housed in a former factory within what is now the cultural center Santorini Arts Factory. During the visit you can learn more about the production of tomatoes, a really little known aspect of the island of Santorini!
Kambia beach is one of the lesser known of Santorini and is located along the southern coast in the southwestern part of the island in the area of Akrotiri, 13 kilometers from Fira, next to the beautiful beaches of Red Beach and White Beach.
Kambia is a small and quiet beach of dark pebbles bathed by crystal clear waters and little equipped. There are two small taverns that serve drinks and food and offer a beautiful view of the lighthouse and the nearby Red Beach.
Kambia can be reached either by car or by bicycle through a slightly bumpy road that connects the village of Akrotiri to Faros.
The beach of Capo Colombo is one of the most isolated, and therefore less crowded, and is located on the northeastern coast of the island, not far from the village of Oia from which it is only 4 kilometers away.
Ideal for those seeking tranquility, the beach is a long, narrow stretch of black sand and pebbles surrounded by cliffs and set in a fantastic natural environment.
The beach of Cape Colombo is quite remote and is not very organized except for a handful of sunbeds and a small tavern but its beauty is worth a visit.
The water is not particularly deep but the currents can be strong, just keep in mind that the cliffs behind the beach have been sculpted by the winds into strange and fascinating shapes. On a nice day, the view sweeps all the way to the island of Ios.
To reach the beach of Cape Colombo you will need to rent a car or a scooter since it is not served by any bus line.
Sand and pebbles of Kántharos beach create a dramatic contrast with the white cliffs behind it.
Kántharos is the closest beach to Oia, accessible from the town by car or on foot with a walk of about 15 minutes. Perfect for couples and people who like peace and quiet, it is washed by a beautiful, shallow blue sea.
The beach of Perissa is a long stretch of black sand with characteristic straw umbrellas: at first glance already reveals its vocation to relaxation.
It has the reputation of the beach of backpackers, and in fact there are many young people who come here attracted by the prices of accommodation, cheaper than in other areas of Santorini, the beach bars that offer music until late at night and the amount of water sports that can be practiced.
However, it is not only young people who appreciate the relaxed atmosphere of Perissa but in general all those who want to combine scenic beauty and comfort.
Among all those of Santorini, Kamari beach is the one that can be reached most easily, both by car and by bus: this convenience, along with the many services available, has also made it one of the most popular.
Awarded several times with the title of Blue Flag for the cleanliness of the water and the quality of services, Kamari is the city beach par excellence.
Perivolos beach is located just after Perissa along the road leading to Vlychada, on the southeastern coast of Santorini 17 kilometers from the island’s capital Fira.
Like all the beaches along the eastern side, and especially Perivolos since it is located almost at the southern end, it is ideal when the winds blow from the north.
Perivolos has a black sand, lighter than that of Perissa, which flows into sparkling clear waters. Although there are busy bars and many restaurants along the beach, Perivolos does not lose its charm and has a quiet atmosphere.
The village is only a 10-minute walk away, is the natural extension of Perissa, and is a relaxed place where whitewashed houses overlook tree-lined streets. Various water sports such as windsurfing, scuba diving and jet skiing can be enjoyed here.
Along the eastern coast of Santorini, not far from the beach of Kamari and in the area of the airport, there is the beach of Monolithos less crowded than the others but still with a good offer of good hotels and apartments for rent, restaurants and nightclubs.
This expanse of fine, dark-colored sand is a quiet, well-equipped beach that also offers the possibility of practicing water sports. The shallow waters of the beach of Monolithos make it an ideal destination for everyone and especially for families with children so that you will find a playground as well as a beach volleyball court.
The beach is surrounded by trees ideal for those seeking natural shade.
Along the east coast of Santorini, 6 kilometers from the capital of the island Fira, there is the beach of Vourvoulos. Sandy and secluded, few tourist facilities are located nearby, on this beach you can find tranquility and calm even in the height of the summer season as it is among the lesser known black beaches of the island.
Vourvoulos is a small beach of gray sand and pebbles, little equipped but with a good fish tavern. Dark and imposing cliffs, overhung by white windmills, and numerous beech trees adorn the beach and its blue waters.
To reach the beach of Vourvoulos, not served by buses, follow the secondary road that connects the capital with Oia.
In the vicinity of the village of Vourvoulis there are a number of hidden beaches: the northernmost is a small pebble beach of Xiropigado while further south is the narrow beach of Kanaraki with small black pebbles. Exo Gialos is a beach with some small caves. The last beach, the best, is Karterados, is a large expanse of black sand and is served by a couple of taverns.
With reddish tones, the beach of Pori has a wild character. Located along the northeastern coast of Santorini about 10 kilometers from the island’s capital Fira along the easternmost road leading to Oia, you have to walk 50 steps along the ridge of the cliff to reach this quiet, undisturbed beach frequented mainly by the inhabitants of the island.
The small and narrow beach of dark sand with red tones is characterized by large rocks that emerge from the sea with beautiful colors and shapes.
The waters that bathe the beach are clear, rather shallow and ideal for snorkeling. Pori does not have umbrellas and sunbeds for rent but there is a small port for fishing boats and a traditional Greek tavern where to eat excellent fish.
On the hill behind the beach of Pori there are a series of traditional windmills from where to enjoy the splendid spectacle of nature.
The west coast of Santorini is occupied by the caldera, with sheer rocks and no beaches. The only exception is a coastal area along the northwestern end, the lovely Ammoudi Bay.
Ammoudi is actually the picturesque little harbor of Oia and is reached from the town by descending a steep flight of 300 steps.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush you can dive off the rocks, otherwise you can settle for, so to speak, a relaxing swim in its crystal clear waters.
With a row of excellent fish restaurants lined up along the harbor, Ammoudi is an ideal destination for a tasty typical dinner; from the harbor daily boat excursions depart to the nearby island of Thirassia.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article