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At the southern tip of the island, 12 km south west of Fira, is the Red Beach, close to the Minoan archaeological site of Akrotiri. This amazing red beach is definitely worth a visit any time of the year, just for a look, even if you are not planning on enjoying the swimming and sunbathing.
the more tourist focused beaches of Kamari and Perissa, this
stunning red beach is unspoilt with no buildings on the shore. Consequently,
there are no facilities on the beach, although during the summer there is a
little kiosk selling drinks and snacks on the way to the beach.
If you are planning on spending the day there it's advisable to take food and drink with you. There are sunloungers and umbrellas for hire during the high season. The beach can get crowded by noon, so try getting there in the morning if possible.
The water at the red beach is crystal clear and so is a popular choice for snorkelling. This is quite a rocky beach, so it is worth wearing sneakers, or tough sandals for the 10 minute hike across the cliffs and for walking across the hot pebbles once you get there. As you enter the water the pebbles get bigger and smoother and it's a bit easier underfoot.
You can take the bus from Fira, drive, catch a water taxi or caique (small fishing boat). Unless arriving by boat, access to the beach is via a rough, steep trail along the cliffs leading from the parking area. There are often jewellery stalls on the way up to the beach if you are looking for a bargain souvenir.
Most of the beaches are black sand, due to the volcanic activity. Check out our guide to find the best beach on Santorini.
Best beaches in the South part of the island: Perissa,
Perivolos, Vlihada, Agios Georgios, Red beach (see above) and the White
Perissa - 10 km south east of Fira
Near Ancient Thera, there are plenty of amenities on this popular tourist beach, with a wide choice of beach and chillout bars. The beach stretches for more than 7 km.
Perivolos - 10 km south of Fira
With lighter coloured black sand than Perissa , and the longest stretch of sand on the island, this is a great beach when there is a North wind. There are plenty of beach bars, restaurants and watersports including diving, windsurfing and jet skiing.
10 km south of Fira
This quiet beach has a small port where fishing boats and yachts moor in summer. A big plus is the profusion of nearby seafood restaurants serving just-caught fish dishes!
Agios Georgios - 12 km south east of Fira
This delightful beach is situated at the southern tip of the Santorini and offers plenty of hotel accomodation, cafes, bars, beach bars and watersports. This beach is only 3 km from Perissa. This is a great place for a swim if you want to avoid the crowds. You can reach this beach from Perissa by car or walking.
The White beach/ Aspri Ammos - 13 km south west of Fira
The White beach is less crowded than its famous neighbour the Red beach. To get there you need to take a boat from Red Beach or Akrotiri, or you can walk. Be warned you will need to walk through water when you get off the boat as there is no pier.
The White beach is very similar to the red beach but much smaller with black pebbles, surrounded by tall white sheer cliffs. During the summer there are a few umbrellas and sunbeds and a small canteen.
Best beaches in the East part of Santorini: Kamari, Monolithos,
10 km south east of Fira
This is the main beach in the East part of Santorini. The just over 5 km long beach is made up of black sand and pebbles and has plenty of restaurants, bars, etc. There is a scuba diving centre. The beach is situated next to Perissa, with the rock called Mesa Vouno separating them.
Monolithos - 7 km east of Fira
This is a beach with shallow waters which makes it more suitable for families with children. There are also restaurants, sunbeds, umbrellas and a childrens' play park.
Pori - 10 km from Fira.
The rocks on this lovely unspoilt beach are a stunning red colour, but you do need to walk a while to get to this quiet spot. There are no facilities here so bring your own food and drink.
Vourvoulos - 4 km north east of Fira
Renowned for its crystal clear waters.
Best beaches in the North part of the island: Baxedes, Koloumopos
Baxedes - 2-3 km from Oia
This is a quiet beach with black sand and plenty of shade, but to be avoided when the north wind is blowing. Accessible by car or bike.
Couloumbo/ Cape Columbo/ Koloumopos - 12 km north east of Fira and 4 km from Oia
Beware of falling rocks on this beach. On a clear day you can see as far as Ios.
Kamari is one of the most popular beaches on Santorini with many bars and restaurants. Ancient Thira is on the top of the mountain in the distance, with the winding road up to it just visible behind the palm tree in the foreground.
Nothing can prepare you for the first magical view of the towering multi-coloured lava layered cliffs rising out of an azure blue sea, topped with clusters of whitewashed villages and stunning cobalt blue-domed Byzantine churches.
It is picture postcard stunning, with no need of any artistic touching up - blue, blue sea, snow-white buildings and wonderful blue domes abound everywhere, particularly in the capital Fira and the ancient town of Oia. Away from the caldera, Santorini has many quiet corners where the pace of life slows right down and you can experience the timeless peace of rural Greece. The historic villages of Pirgos and Megalochori are particularly worth a visit.