It has an idiosyncratic morphology, volcanic landscape, and iconic cave houses and offers some of the most idyllic sunset views ever laid eyes upon. Santorini, indeed, feels regal. No wonder it’s called the Queen of the Cyclades. Part of its incredible allure is, of course, its coastline. Distinguished by one-of-a-kind volcanic sand beaches, it can literally make your heart pound. Here are five Santorini shores that highlight the uniqueness of this island and enable you to share unforgettable moments only Santorini knows how to create for you.
1. Red Beach – Pristine appeal and natural pull
The Red Beach is one of the most magnificent and wind-protected shores in Santorini, with black and red pebbles, dramatic cliffs, and azure crystalline waters. However, it’s not only what you see above the water that entices. The submarine cosmos is equally ravishing (if not more spectacular) than the beach itself. So, feel free to dive in or go snorkeling and explore what this particular aquatic part of Santorini has in store for you. On the beach, you will find tourist facilities, like parasols and deck chairs, while there’s some space for your own equipment if you prefer free-style sunbathing.
Tip: Do come early, as the Red Beach tends to get crowded too fast.
2. Perissa Beach – Endless and quirky
Perissa Beach is an impressively long shore with plenty of lounging sunbeds to enjoy the crystal clear sea and the black-pebble beach. Perissa will greet you with a picturesque pier and fantastic scenery dotted with lava rocks and heart-stopping views of the Aegean Sea. Awarded a Blue Flag, Perissa is separated from Kamari Beach with Mesa Vouno Mountain while also featuring a popular dive site at its far end. Other than that, you could choose from a wide range of water sports, including parasailing, windsurfing, canoeing, and jet-skiing. Alternatively, the seaside restaurants, beach bars, lively clubs, and cafes provide the perfect opportunity for maximum composure.
3. Kamari Beach – Fantastic views of ancient Thera
Kamari is yet another black-sand beach with a blend of small pebbles and fine sand. The popular cosmopolitan shore is fully organised, with tourist facilities ranging from sunbeds and umbrellas to beach bars, cafes, taverns, shops, clubs, a medical centre, tourist offices, and mini-markets. Like its twin, Perissa Beach, it, too, dazzles with its transparent waters and sandy seabed.
Tip: Do consider climbing to the top of Mesa Vouno Mountain for spellbinding ocean views and panoramas of the archaeological site of Thera. You will definitely be graciously rewarded for making an effort!
4. Vlychada Beach – Unbeatable exotic atmosphere
There is something out-of-this-world in the unspoiled, moon-shaped Vlychada beach, which is part of its pull. It’s located south of Perivolos beach and offers more privacy than its most touristy coastal destinations. Expect sugary black sand and pebbles, wind- and sea-carved cliffs, shallow waters, and a lengthy shore with fewer crowds than Perissa or Perivolos. The small port here is also home to the Sailing and Yachting Centre. That aside, the Tomato Industrial Museum is within an arm’s reach, which is worth a visit after cherishing the spectacular sights at Vlychada.
5. Monolithos Beach – The most famous & luxurious shore
With inviting shallow and crystal-clear waters, fine black sand (not pebbles), and lots of sunbeds and umbrellas, Monolithos is the most popular Santorini beach with the best selection of tourist facilities. Featuring designated areas for sports (i.e., basketball court, beach volley court, playground with wooden toys for kids, etc.), Monolithos is a much-favoured beach option, especially among families with children. Furthermore, being close to scenic Imerovigli and its thrilling sunset views and 5 star luxury hotels with top-tier amenities and services, Monolithos is probably the most acclaimed beach in Santorini with lots of mini-markets, cafes, and bars all around.
BONUS : Other captivating Santorini beaches:
- White beach – A small shore surrounded by imposing white rocks with almost no tourist facilities, besides some sunbeds and umbrellas. It exudes a sense of awe with its lunar landscapes and rare natural beauty.
- Ammoudi beach – A graphical shore near the Oia port with magical views of Ammoudi village. You can follow the trail from Oia to Ammoudi Bay or opt for the coastal road that connects the beach with the rest of Santorini. A dreamy place for diving, hiking, and swimming with hypnotic sunsets.
- Armeni beach – Accessible only by boat, Armeni beach is a small shore with small traditional taverns serving delicious seafood that you can savour as you gaze at lovely vistas of South Thirassia.
- Palea Kameni beach – The volcanic island of Palea Kameni is home to a bewildering shore and the Santorini Hot Springs – both highly visited by locals and tourists alike.
- Akrotiri beach – Akrotiri beach combines a secluded beachfront location for enhanced privacy southwest of Santorini and the historical settlement and archaeological site of Akrotiri within close range.
Santorini is a wonderful mix of refined luxury, raw beauty, bizarre landscapes, and outlandish topography that provokes all senses to live memorable holiday experiences. Enjoy!