The beaches of Santorini island always leave their visitors speechless. On a terrain created from solidified magma two million years ago, you can literally expect the unexpected. The common trait of all Santorini’s beaches is their deep, crystal clear blue waters and their rejuvenating effect. Depending on the color of the surrounding rocks and pebbles, the hour of the day and the reflection of the sun rays, the sea transforms to a marvelous painting; make sure to have your camera ready!
Santorini has beaches for all tastes; ideal for families, couples, and all age groups. Although the majority of them can get crowded in the summer months, you still have options for more privacy and quiet. They are located on the eastern coastline of the island, mainly because it is less steep and most of them are well organized with umbrellas, loungers, beach bars, restaurants, and taverns.
What is the best beach in Santorini?
Well, that is a loaded question. The answer to that depends entirely on your preference, and what you have in mind when imagining the ultimate Greek island beach experience. Thankfully, Santorini's beaches are foolproof. Even if they're not exactly what you were looking for, they're still pretty great. Regardless, with the diversity of the choices you're presented with, you are guaranteed to find the beach of your dreams. All you have to do is seek and you shall find. Here, we have put together a list of our top beach recommendations in order to ensure you arrive on the island, fully educated on the matter.
Perivolos and Perissa (Black Beach)
Black Beach - credits: elen_studio/Shutterstock.com
by youngsters, these two beaches which essentially are one really long black beach, are constantly popular and full of life. Black colored pebbles and the imposing presence of the ‘Mesa Vouno’ mountain set the scene. The music from the beach parties of Perissa will keep you entertained all day long. If you need some quiet time, you should choose Perivolos or -even better- Agios Georgios, a serene beach located nearby.
Vlychada Beach - credits: IndustryAndTravel/Shutterstock.com
Probably the most beautiful beach of Santorini. It is located near a fisherman village under the same name. The lunar scenery is highlighted by the strange white rocks and their unbelievable formations which you can observe better while you swim and which will give you a surreal feeling. Half of the beach is organized, the other half is not, allowing you to relax peacefully and adopt the hippy way of life.
Red Beach in Santorini - credits: Lucian BOLCA/Shutterstock.com
Located close to Akrotiri, it is the most famous beach on the island, therefore, also the most crowded, partly because it is narrow and small. It may be a little difficult to approach but its colors are unique, with many different tones of red and brown. What is most noteworthy though, is the breathtaking background of the sheer cliffs which are raised like waves of still lava right above your head.
Kamari Beach - credits: Zocchi Roberto/Shutterstock.com
A family-friendly, long beach with black pebbles and sand where you can enjoy the ample shade of trees; it is even considered as one of the best black sand beaches in the world! It offers a wide range of facilities and numerous accommodation options. You can find many cafes, taverns, beach bars and all kinds of water sport activities and diving centers; even a romantic and cozy cinema, where you can watch a movie after the sunset! A nice suggestion for adventure seekers would be to hike the path which leads to the mountain’s top called Mesa Vouno, enjoy the amazing view and then visit ancient Thera.
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Monolithos Beach - credits: Claudio306/Shutterstock.com
Definitely recommended for families. The setting is pretty much the same as in Kamari, but a bit more spacious and calmer, with a few fish taverns and mini markets. Bear in mind that whereas most of Santorini’s beaches have deep waters, in Monolithos, the waters are shallower and the sand is much better for the kids to play with. One of the old tomato pulp factories of the island lies there, as well as in Vlychada.
Columbo Cape - credits: http://www.angelfire.com
One of the most secluded beaches of Santorini, lying on the northeast part of the island, without hotels and other facilities nearby. It is of exquisite beauty and can offer you all the relaxation you need, away from the hectic rhythms of the touristy beach bars. In Columbo Cape, the waters are warm due to the island’s largest active crater which is located 500 meters under the surface of the sea. The highest part of the crater is 10 meters underwater. Don’t worry; its most recent eruption happened in 1650! The 'Seal Cave' is also an interesting place to visit if you are a skilled swimmer. This beach is a nudists’ favorite.
Palaia Kameni and Therasia
Palaia Kameni and hot mineral springs - credits: isabela66/Shutterstock.com
On the tour to the volcanoes and Therasia, you will have the chance to swim in the hot springs near Agios Nikolaos church in Palaia Kameni
. For those who love alternative choices and want to taste the
therapeutic effects of the volcanic mud and the hot waters, this is your chance.
On the southern coastal side of the island that starts from Akrotiri and continues east to Vlychada, the landscape is dominated by the white hard volcanic rocks of Thera land, in formations reminiscent of a lunar landscape, ending in steep slopes. Eros beach -or the 'beach of love' in Greek- is covered with dark sand and small volcanic black pebbles. The large beach, with a total length of about two kilometers, which ends vertically, meeting with successive diverse dirt roads, is organized, while the landscape that surrounds it is really impressive and unique.
If you travel by boat, between Oia and Imerovigli there is the beach Mouzakia. It is known mainly to those who have a boat since it is accessible only by sea. It always has very clear waters and the privacy offered by the fact that it is not accessible by car makes it very popular with those who have the opportunity to access it alternatively.
Ammoudi, Santorini - credits: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com
Yes, this is a port and not a beach. However, its waters are wonderful and there are many people from the island who prefer it for their swimming -apart from the food in its seaside taverns. You can access it on foot descending 200 steps, by riding a mule, or by car. If you choose the latter, please keep in mind that you will still need to walk 200 m. Although Ammoudi is not exactly a beach it is one of the most picturesque places of Santorini and attracts a lot of people who want to enjoy a local meal and take a dive. It is a nice choice if you want to catch the sunset.
Anyone who visits the Red Beach of the island should also pay a visit to the beach right next to it, the White Beach. It is a very small beach, with white pebbles and it is incredibly quiet in relation to the busy neighboring Red Beach. It is not organized, therefore, if you want to take a dive in its waters visit it well prepared and bring with you water and snacks.
Traveler in Santorini - credits: Mariia_Boiko/Shutterstock.com
On the beach of Thermi, you will need to descend a path, which starts from Megalochori, to find peace and quiet, and dive into the waters of the caldera with a background of black pebbles, red volcanic rocks, geothermal springs -here were once the thermal springs baths of the island- and the small church of Christ carved in the rock. In case you are looking for really pristine and quiet beaches in Santorini, a nice suggestion would be to pay a visit to the neighboring sister island of Therasia. Untouched from the fever of tourism, it preserves its traditional character on a larger scale. Swim in Agia Irini near the port or - if you can rent a vehicle- explore more of the island’s treasures. Once you get there, it would be rewarding to visit the abandoned village of Kera and enjoy a spectacular panoramic view.
Combining all the colors that can be found on a painter’s palette, Santorini is a real 'wild beauty' after all - and the ideal place to enjoy some of our most popular Santorini tours.