The beaches in Santorini might be a far cry from the sugary shores most of us are used to. However, Santorini is an island that has emerged from its ashes (well, literally, in this case) and found a way to continue to exist after natural phenomena whipped it badly over the years. Having survived massive earthquakes and volcano eruptions, it now slips into its most dazzling dress and bright colours, greeting visitors with special geological features and unique morphology that have given its beaches a unique allure.
Welcome to black-, white- and red-pebbled shores, dramatic cliffs, and fantastic views of the Santorini Caldera and the gorgeous Mediterranean sunset. Here are some beaches you definitely need to lay your eyes on before you head back home!
1. The Red Beach
Undeniably the most popular beach in Santorini and one of the most beautiful ones on the island, located in the Akrotiri region. Besides ancient ruins, the area features this lovely small-sized shore with the bizarre landscape and the charming atmosphere. Expect soaring black and red volcanic rocks and a 2-minute walk down a path from the parking space to the beach (unless you get there by boat, of course). Once there, you can either sunbathe on the dark sand beach (umbrellas and sunbeds are provided), swim in the crystalline waters, snorkel, or explore the underwater rock formations.
2. Perissa & Kamari Beach
Perissa Beach is a charming cove southeast of the island capital and one of the largest beaches in Santorini, offering more than 7km of sand to enjoy yourself. Kamari, on the other hand, is a picturesque village featuring traditional houses and a shore with a landscape pretty similar to that of Perissa Beach.
Both covered by black sand, they are quite crowded, especially after sunset, due to the massive rock that rises from the Aegean Sea called Mesa Vouno that shines under the starry sky. The beaches themselves are very well-organised, offering a plethora of tourist facilities, such as umbrellas, sunbeds, restaurants, cafes, night clubs, bars, and many different types of water sports.
Extra bonus? The spellbinding views of the shimmering sea.
3. Perivolos Beach
You will recognise Perivolos Beach from the tranquil atmosphere and the azure blue waters. The longest shore on the island is less than 3km away from Perissa Beach and provides the most rewarding abundance when it comes to water sports facilities (i.e., jet ski and scuba diving). Visitors are also pampered with a variety of beachfront amenities, including tavernas serving fresh seafood and local tastes. For the younger crowds and those young at heart, Perivolos also pleases with bars offering refreshing cocktails and drinks.
4. Monolithos Beach
In Greek, it means “one rock”, and you will stop wondering where it got its name from as soon as you visit the shore (the massive rock embracing the beach will justify its name for sure). Close to Kamari Beach and Imerovigli’s luxury resorts, Monolithos is very popular among families with children and locals for its shallow waters and numerous play areas. Again, the sand is black and hosts umbrellas and parasols for bathers to savour their beach adventures. If you want some time away from the crowds, you can head to the tree-shaded area at the back of the beach and relax after you finish playing basketball or football at the beach courts and pitches available.
5. Pori Beach
Another shore belonging to Imerovigli village that enchants with its traditional character, the small harbour, reddish cliffs, and the vineyards that surround the place. Pori is a quiet little beach on the north coast of the island accessible by motorbike or car. Mostly preferred by locals, the sandy beach is not organised, so do remember to bring your own stuff with you. If you seek privacy and crystal clear waters, then this is your best shot.
No matter which beach you choose to soak up some warm Mediterranean sky in Santorini, enjoy!