What are the ingredients that make up the best beaches in Santorini? Top elements include bountiful white sand, a dash of cool ocean breezes, clear blue water, and a very relaxing atmosphere. Actually, you’ll find many of the best beaches in Santorini featured here may have small black volcanic sand or pebbles instead of clean white sand, but that makes it all the more unique to experience and provides worthwhile photographs of your journey. Santorini tops many European bucket lists, and with good reason. The stunning coastlines and white and blue rooftops make it a sensational destination. With the rising use of social media to promote Santorini, surely you have witnessed the beauty of these beaches behind a screen at some point.
When to visit the best beaches in Santorini? Summer months are most popular, bringing together bright sunshine and warm ocean waters to enjoy. Visitors after October might find the sunshine bountiful, but the ocean water may be very chilly! Also worth noting, the summer months are also the busiest time to visit and crowds can be aplenty.
The Best Beaches in Santorini:
Found in the region of Akitiri lies Red Beach, an especially unique destination with volcanic red lava cliffs that define the color of the sand and surrounding massive hill. The rich, rare colors make this one of the most popular among the best beaches in Santorini. Imagine the vivid photographs you’ll take at this gorgeous landmark!
Formations along the ocean floor from the geological surroundings at Red Beach make this a top snorkeling venue. Because of its magnificent color, lounge “real estate” space is at a premium at this Santorini hot spot. The beach itself is incredibly narrow, and during the end of summer months, you’ll want to arrive early to ensure you find a space to relax. While precautions are made by authorities to prevent any cases of falling rocks, be warned that it is possible, although unlikely, for debris to fall from the cliffs.
Red Beach is accessible by boat, as Perissa and Akoktiri beaches are also within close proximity. You can also drive and park close by, within a ten minute walk to the beautiful beach. Be cautioned that the walk to the beach is on a rigorous path, so you’ll want to bring suitable shoes for the trek, not just flip flops for beach adventures!
Lined with black volcanic pebbles, Kamari Beach is among the most family and child friendly of the best beaches in Santorini. Kamari is likely the most popular of all the best beaches in Santorini, as it is closest to the local airport and the town of Fira among the beaches of Santorini. You’ll be in the path to view gorgeous sunrises and sunsets from Kamari Beach.
While most popular with tourists, its accessibility makes Kamari Beach easy to find and enjoyable. You’ll find crowds flock to it, and the environment at the beach is lively and fun. Beach bars, restaurants, tavernas, cafes, and more are all bustling and prominent at Kamari Beach. There are plenty of sunbeds with umbrellas available for rent.
Geographically, Kamari Beach is found adjacent Perissa Beach, with the massive rock structure Mesa Vouno situated between them. The local bus from Fira runs every 30 minutes to Kamari Beach, and if you have a rental car, the drive is only 10-15 minutes. Be sure you pack beach shoes as the volcanic black rocks on the sand make it very difficult to walk barefoot!
Also known as “Black Beach”, Perissa has one of the greatest bar scenes among the best beaches in Santorini. The music is alive and well at this beach hot spot, where DJs visit from around the world to entertain beachcombers. While the parties can be loud and raucous, you’ll still find families traveling to this popular beach destination and enjoying their travels. With such a great beach bar scene, think about which tropical cocktail you’ll order next as you relax on a beach lounger and enjoy the summer sunshine.
For activities, beach volleyball is very popular at Perissa. There are also a number of water sports available, including jet skis, sea skis, banana boat rides, etc. Be sure to wear water shoes or flip flops to protect your feet from the black sand and pebbles, which can be very hot!
You can take the local bus from Fira to reach Perissa Beach, as well as taxi cabs, which are conveniently available. With a rental car, you’ll find convenient signage and parking along the way to Perissa Beach in no time.
Next to Kamari Beach lies a peaceful, black sandy beach: Monolithos. You’ll find this beach is more popular with locals, and a little quieter than some of the more raucous and touristy beaches of Santorini. This beach is also suitable for families, with designated play areas, umbrellas for rent, sun beds, water sports, and restaurants. Many visitors truly enjoy swimming in the ocean at Monolithos Beach!
Monolithos is a wide, expansive, long beach, making it spacious and never feeling too overcrowded. There are a few tavernas and restaurants at Monolithos, ensuring you’ll have lunch or snacks for an afternoon at the beach. You might work up an appetite trying the popular kite surfing at Monolithos!
Monolithos Beach is easily accessible from the Santorini towns of Fira, Kamari, or Pyrgos. You can even take a bus to the airport and walk 20 minutes or so to Monolithos Beach.
Located on the west side of Santorini lies a beach that is among the least visited, but very much worthy of your time: Vourvoulos. There is only one small restaurant (a delightful Greek eatery) and a local fishing port, but not much else at Vourvoulos Beach, enabling you to get some peace and relaxation with a book as you enjoy hearing the ocean water crash gently against the sand.
The winds at Vourvoulos are often more palpable than at other beaches, so you won’t find as many people swimming in the ocean as at other popular Santorini beaches. The waves can be pretty brutal! As a word of caution, this is a clothing optional beach!
Because it is a bit off the beaten path, you won’t find local bus service to Vourvoulos Beach. With a taxi or car rental, it is a roughly 15-20 minute drive from the town of Fira. Many consider other beaches worthy of visiting before Vourvoulos, but it all depends on what you wish to gain from your beach vacation: if peace and quiet are high on the list, venture out to Vourvoulos for a tranquil afternoon – you may feel like you’ve encountered your own private beach on a luxurious Greek island just for your private enjoyment!
Along a vast expanse of black volcanic pebbles, you’ll find Perissa Beach extends out into Perivolos Beach. While Perivolos shares the close proximity of nearby Perissa, it is much quieter and does not offer the same beach bards and crowded restaurants, making for a more peaceful experience. That being said, it is equipped with fun beach clubs, great restaurants, tavernas, bars, and more for the ultimate afternoon excursion to the beach.
Perivolos Beach offers extensive sand, enabling you to carve out some space for yourself to relax and enjoy the ocean breezes and warm sunshine without crowds. Even in the height of summer travel for July and August, Perivolos remains a less crowded option over nearby Perissa. There are abundant sun bed and umbrellas setup for rental. This beach is also family-friendly.
Perivolos Beach is on the southern tip of Santorini, making it a 25-minute bus ride directly from Fira, which run every half hour. With a car rental, the ride is 10-15 minutes, and parking is available nearby.
This last one isn’t necessarily a beach, but the picturesque Ammoudi Bay is a sure contender for the best swimming available among bodies of water in Santorini. Ammoudi Bay is a quaint fishing village just off the town of Oia. You’ll find boats floating in the water and many visitors enjoying the ocean with its water bountiful for swimming.
Set against red and black rocks, Ammoudi Bay is a geographical feast for the eyes. Natural rocks make for gorgeous scenery against the ocean water and incredible photographs. But you’ll find visitors enjoying the rocks in an incredibly fun fashion: cliff jumping!
Because there isn’t an expansive sand set against the ocean water, this isn’t the ideal place to bring your family for an afternoon at the beach. Ammoudi Bay has a number of excellent restaurants, specializing in grilled fish, where you can overlook the cliffs at the port.
The local bus can take you from the town of Fira to Oia, or a quick 5 minute drive away. From Oia, it is a long pathway of stairs down from the cliffs to Ammoui Bay. Taxis are available from nearby Oia or even the town of Fira.
When traveling to Greece, there are so many options to consider if bright sunshine, ocean breezes, and cool waters are priorities in your visit. Among this list of the best beaches in Santorini, curate your trip from these fantastic options for an unforgettable, relaxing, aquatic journey. Pack comfortable shoes for walking, sunscreen, a camera, a good book, and be sure to enjoy all that Santorini has to offer!
Planning to stick around and island hop? Don’t miss the best beaches in Mykonos.
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