The beaches in Santorini are much different than other beaches in Greece due to their special geographical features. Red and black volcanic pebbles lay the shores of Santorini beaches and steep cliffs provide a picturesque ambience. The most famous of Santorini beaches is the Red beach, while particularly popular are Perissa, Kamari and Perivolos. You will find below a list with the best beaches in Santorini island.
Santorini island was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world
Discover our guide to 10 beautiful Santorini beaches. They are all presented with detailed description, photos and their location on a map of Santorini. For the most popular spots, we also provide information about sightseeing in the area, a selection of hotels and reviews.
Santorini is not known for its beaches. They are good but not great – so don’t be expecting those idyllic stretches of sand you’ve seen in pictures of Greece. (That said, many people love the beaches of Santorini and find their unique sand and natural setting to be more memorable than “just another sandy beach”.)
Most of Santorini beaches are composed of dark volcanic sand that gets searingly hot in the mid-day sun. Beach sandals or water shoes are recommended for getting around on the sand.
But what the beaches lack in typical sandy splendor they make up for with breathtaking views and scenery. The cliffs that loom around some of the beaches and the nature of the sand itself make a surreal setting for swimming and sunning.
Perhaps it’s just in my head but I find the sea water around Santorini the most clear and refreshing I’ve ever swam in. It’s really wonderful.
The caldera is found on the west coast of Santorini. The beaches are on the east and southeast side of the island. So when deciding where to stay it’s either along the caldera with incredible views of the volcano or at one of the beaches.
It’s an easy drive or bus ride from Fira (the main town on Santorini) to get to the beaches so as much as I love the beaches I still recommend staying in Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, or Oia as these towns have the stunning caldera (volcano) views that make Santorini so unique.
(It does take an extra bus journey to go from Firostefani, Imerovigli, or Oia to the beaches as it requires changing buses in Fira. Renting a car is the best way to explore the island and this is especially so if you’re not staying in Fira.)
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