Due to the natural landscape of Santorini you often need to move away from the main towns of Fira, Firostefani and Oia to find some flat beaches that are great for longs days spent relaxing in the European summer heat.
A couple of my favourites were Red Beach and Perissa & Perivolos, shown in the images below. Many of the beaches offer beach beds and umbrellas associated with the bars and restaurants on the shore, which means you can order food and cocktails right to your water front bed without even having to move!
Here are a few of the best beaches to hop around on Santorini Island.
Red Beach is one of the most famous and stunningly beautiful beaches in Santorini, located only steps away from the ancient site of Akrotiri. The beach is quite small which often creates a much more crowded atmosphere on hot days.
If you’re not really interested in battling the crowds for a place to lay out for the day, I would still recommend making the trip to the beach as you can still experience the landscape of red and black volcanic rocks from the headland.
There is parking right next to the beach for both cars, tour buses and quad bikes, making access quite easy. The walk from the car park to the beach is only about two minutes but does involve a little bit of a climb on some loose rocks, so make sure you’re wearing appropriate shoes.
For a more unique view, you can also access the beach by boat departing from Akrotiri port.
Perissa and Perivolos
Perissa and Perivolos are basically the same extra long beach and are also known as Black Beach due to the black volcanic pebbles that make up the shore of the beach. Perissa is found at the end of the black sand of Perivolos. It is the busiest and most organised beach in Santorini.
You can find everything here for the perfect summer afternoon. Beach front restaurants offering delicious salads, gyros and sweet treats, water front beach beds and umbrellas with waiter service offering amazing cocktails and even famous DJs from time to time throughout the summer.
Plus, if you’re interested in a little topless sunbathing in Europe, this is a great place to try it out!
If you head further down to Perivolos you can also find all the water sports you could imagine, including jet ski, sea-ski, sea-bananas, etc. There is a great mix along these beaches of everyone from tourists to Greek locals and even visiting celebrities. Make sure you are always wearing shoes when walking on the black pebbles/sand, because it can get so hot during the day.
Other beaches around Santorini Island
Some of Santorini Island’s other most popular beaches include:
- Kamari – situated on the southern part of Santorini, right next to Perissa, with the enormous rock called Mesa Vouno between them
- Vlychada – a quiet beach on the southern side of Santorini which has a small port for fishing boats and yachts to moor in the summer
- Cape Columbo – one of the most isolated and quiet beaches of Santorini, surrounded by wild landscapes you will find that it’s often windy and the waves can get crazy in this little cape
- White Beach – the cove right next to Red Beach is very similar to it’s neighbour with black pebbles on the shore, however the surrounding cliffs are white
- Monolithos – one of the most family-friendly beaches on the island, the beautiful coast has a playground and a beach volleyball court and is surrounded by a few hotels in close proximity