Oia in Santorini and its blue-domed churches and Mediterranean sea views

Discover the Best Beaches in Santorini

25 Oct 2018 By Ellie Roddy
Oia in Santorini and its blue-domed churches and Mediterranean sea views

Think of Santorini and you’ll no doubt conjure up images of white-washed villages perched high above the dark blue sea. But, it’s the beaches leading down to the water that are particularly interesting here.

Did you know that this island was formed as the result of a volcanic eruption? Far away from the pure white sand that the rest of Greece is famous for, the black sand beaches on this island are reminiscent of a volcanic landscape, which is a tangible legacy to this island’s eruptive past.

But, which of Santorini’s beaches should you visit during your trip to this Greek island?

The best beaches in Santorini:

White Beach 

Location: You’ll find White Beach on the south coast of Santorini in the village of Akrotiri. This is 8.5 miles from the capital and only a short distance from Red Beach.      

Why visit? Although equally intriguing and only minutes down the coastline, this sand spot couldn’t be any further from Red Beach when it comes to its scenery. As you may have already guessed, this beach, from the towering cliffs to the pebbles, is white. Although you’ll also find the grey volcanic sand that is common across the island. The small stretch is fairly quiet due to the fact it is relatively isolated, ideal if you would like to escape the crowds. Don’t forget your snorkel, the clear water is full of caves just waiting to be discovered.

How to get here: This isn’t one of the easiest beaches to access but is well worth it if you do. The best way to get here is via boat.

Kamari Beach

View of Kamari Beach in Santorini with a boat sitting on the sand and a tall cliff overlooking the water

Location: You’ll find this beach in the south east of Santorini close to Perissa Beach. It is only 6 miles from Fira, making it the closest seaside resort to the capital.

Why visit? This beach is incredibly popular and the most touristy in Santorini. It is very similar to Perissa, which you’ll find on the other side of Mesa Vouno Mountain. Kamari, which has been awarded Blue Flag status, also has black sand and at 3 miles, it is one of the longest on the island. There are plenty of watersports on offer – surfing, paddle boarding, windsurfing and waterskiing, to name just a few. It is also the perfect spot for snorkelling and diving due to the clear water. Among the bars and restaurants that are available to quench your thirst and curb your hunger, there is a lively atmosphere.

How to get here: This beach is easy to access, you’ll find a stone-paved promenade running parallel to the sand.

Hotels with views of Kamari Beach:

Picture this – you wake up on the first day of your holiday, step out of bed and throw back the curtains to views down the beach and out to sea – bliss! Here are some of the hotels with the best sea views in Kamari Beach:

  • Sigalas Hotel: this hotel can be found right on the beach and boasts a pool terrace with views across a quiet section of sand.
  • Santorini Kastelli Resort: there is a tranquil atmosphere at this 5 star hotel while the sea and cliffs of Ancient Thira provide the backdrop.
  • Tamarix Del Mar: just 2 minutes from the beach this hotel has luxury maisonettes with outdoor hydro massage whirlpools.

Perivolos Beach

Location: This beach is in the south east of the island, less than two miles from Perissa.

Why visit? Like most of the best beaches in Santorini, you’ll find black sand leading down to water that sparkles invitingly as holidaymakers dart backwards and forwards on jet skis. This is one of the liveliest shores and is the place to head if you’re looking for a party atmosphere. Dance music plays out of the beach bars with world-famous DJs regularly making guest appearances.

How to get here: This shore is easy to access. It is nestled between Perissa and Agios Georgios. If you’re at either of these stretches and keep walking you’ll arrive at Perivolos Beach.

Perissa Beach 

The stunning black sands of Perissa Beach in Santorini with sunloungers dotted along the sand and volcanic cliffs in the background

Location: Perissa is situated in the south east of the island. You’ll find it at the base of Mesa Vouno Mountain, which separates Perissa from neighbouring Kamari.

Why visit? This beach, which has been awarded a Blue Flag award, is one of the most popular, famous and beautiful on the island. Here the blue sea laps against jet black sand. This is the ideal location for diving and thrilling watersports, including windsurfing, parasailing and jet skiing as well as banana boat rides. There are plenty of beach bars serving delicious, traditional dishes and snacks throughout the day. Make sure you also head up to the top of the mountain to look down on the beach and explore the archaeological site of ancient Thera.

How to get here: This beach is easily accessible. It is one of the longest in Santorini and stretches across the length of the village.

Hotels with views of Perissa Beach: 

This is another resort with accommodation that allows you to watch the waves roll in and crash against the shore, without leaving your room. You just need to decide which one you fancy:

  • Veggera Hotel: take in views across the sea from your balcony in this 4 star hotel which is less than a minute from the beach.
  • Hotel Aqua Blue: guests at this hotel can enjoy their own private beach space complete with sunbeds and umbrellas.
  • Meltemi Village: there is a tropical feel to this hotel and it’s only 5 minutes from the black sandy beach.

Red Beach

A striking view of the red rocks overlooking the azure water at Santorini's famous Red Beach

Location: This beach can be found on the south coast of Santorini in the ancient Akrotiri village, 7 miles southwest of the capital Fira and 5.5 miles from Perissa Beach.    

Why visit? Red Beach is the most famous in Santorini and arguably one of the most unique in the world. This shore, as the name would suggest, is red, from the pebble sand to the high cliffs that shelter it. If you’re above the beach you’ll see volcanic rocks situated in the sea, which makes this an interesting spot to snorkel. Make sure you’re here for sunset, if you think this landscape is beautiful during the day just wait until the setting sun makes the colours even more mesmerising. Don’t forget your camera – this beach is one of the most Instagram-worthy in Santorini, if not Greece.

How to get here: There is a downhill path that takes you to the beach within a couple of minutes. You can also visit this beach by boat from Akrotiri port, Kamari or Perissa.

Need to know: You’ll need to take your photos from a distance. This small beach is temporarily closed to the public due to the risk of falling rocks and landslides.

The beat beaches in Santorini are unlike anything you have ever experienced before so make sure you leave plenty of time to explore this unique stretch of coastline.

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