Santorini beaches offer something different for the visitor. Black Beach, Red Beach or White Beach? The choice of the best beaches in Santorini is yours to make.
Santorini beaches like Red Beach and White Beach are so named because of the impressive red and white cliffs that act as a backdrop to the beaches. The Aegean Sea whipped up by the summer wind of the Meltema can get pretty turbulent too and create some exciting waves.
If you're looking for baby soft golden sand beaches with gentle waves lapping the seashore in Santorini you may be disappointed. Because of the volcanic activity that formed this Greek Island the Santorini beaches are an intriguing mix of black or grey, often course sand with pebbles.
On the Santorini beaches the sand can get incredibly hot in the summer months – so either wear flip-flops or do the 'walking on hot coals' thing.
Nevertheless the Santorini beaches are beautiful in a rugged sort of way and the colours of black and red contrast dramatically with the azure blue waters.
Topless bathing is commonplace in Santorini. In fact there seems to be more topless beach babes on the Santorini beaches than those sporting a full swimsuit or bikini.
Totally naked bathers, although not actively encouraged also find their place on some of the best beaches in Santorini. Although there are no 'nude beaches' as such on Santorini, discreet nude bathing is tolerated.
Those looking for totally nude beaches may need to look to other Greek Island locations.
Here are some of the best beaches in Santorini:
Bexedes Beach is at the far north of the island of Santorini, close to Oia.
It is a relatively quiet and secluded black sandy beach but is subject to high winds and big waves.
Paradise Beach sounds idyllic but unfortunately the beach doesn't quite live up to its name.
The sand is greyish black and there are some high waves depending on the summer winds. This makes Paradise Beach less popular than say Perissa, Perivolos, Kamari or other Santorini beaches.
It does have some sun loungers and parasols and offers the visitor a peaceful beach experience.
For a secluded, rugged beach experience try Kolumbo, (also known as Cape Columbo).
Close to Oia you'll need a hire car or rental scooter to get to Kolumbo Beach, as it is not on the bus route. You can park at the the top of the headland and make your way down to the large greyish sand beach with pebbles.
Vourvoulos Beach is a small beach with grey sands and small pebbles. There is a little fishing harbour here and some good fish restaurants that serve the freshly caught fish.
Like nearby Monolithos Beach, the beach at Vourvoulos is pretty rugged and subject to some strong winds and consequent high waves. Nevertheless it is still a nice beach to visit on a calm day.
Less crowded than other nearby Santorini beaches, the beach at Monolithos offers a more relaxed beach experience. It's easy to get to as it's on the main bus route. The sand is greyish in colour with black pebbles and there are sun beds and parasols for hire.
Because of its location Monolithos is subjected to some strong summer winds that can make sun bathing and swimming difficult. So pick a calm day to use this otherwise fabulous beach.
The beach is tree lined and has a children's playground and basketball court and there are a number of places to eat and drink.
Because of the proximity to Santorini airport you get tremendous views of aeroplanes coming into land and taking off.
The award winning Kamari beach is a Blue Flag beach because of its cleanliness, clear waters and good amenities. This has to be one of the best Santorini beaches. The volcanic black sandy beach stretches seemingly endlessly and contrasts well with the turquoise clear waters, looking simply stunning. With a backdrop of the magnificent mountain of Mesa Vouno, it really is a perfect place to de stress and relax.
There are plenty of rows of neat sun beds with parasols for hire to stretch out and enjoy the brilliant sunshine. Fruit sellers wander around the beach offering tasty fresh fruits like local grapes and juicy watermelon. You can also have a soothing massage on your sun lounger by a visiting masseuse – very relaxing.
For watersports lovers there's plenty to do too with windsurfing and water skiing on offer. There's even a diving centre close by where you have the opportunity to go diving in the volcanic sea. Snorkelling is great too among the rocky outcrops.
A lovely pedestrian promenade lined with fish restaurants, traditional Taverna and café bars lies just behind the black sandy beach.
The black sandy beach of Perissa stretches for miles and merges with Perivolos beach. It has to be one of the best beaches in Santorini. The beach has been awarded a Blue Flag because of its cleanliness and amenities. The water is sparkling crystal clear and contrasts well with the blackness of the sand. The volcanic sand can get extremely hot at the height of the summer so don't forget to wear flip flops or beach shoes.
With a backdrop of the giant rock of Mesa Vouno that towers above the village of Perissa it is a spectacular beach setting. It has to be one of the best beaches in Santorini and is very popular.
There are plenty of rows of neat sun beds with parasols for hire to stretch out and enjoy the beach life. There's a diving school and watersports for the energetic too.
Perissa village has plenty of accommodation, shops, tavernas, bars and cafes to offer the visitor. There's a campsite along the beach front too.
Perivolos Beach is probably one of the best beaches in Santorini and has lots to offer the visitor. It is fully organised with sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, lifeguards and plenty of water sports facilities.
You can try your hand at jet skiing, windsurfing or scuba diving at the nearby diving centre.
Perivolos beach is an extension of Perissa Beach and leads onto Agios Georgios Beach. The sand itself is more grey than black and is course to touch.
There is plenty of choice for eating and drinking too with lots of bars, cafés and fish restaurants.
Agios Georgios Beach
One of the smallest Santorini beaches is Agios Georgios. Agios Georgios is a small peaceful beach, which is an extension of the Perissa and Perivolos Beach.
If you prefer a less crowded and less organised beach experince then head for Agios Georgios Beach at the south of the island of Santorini.
You can get to Vlychada easily as it is on the main bus route. Part of the beach is organized with sun beds and umbrellas and part is left more rugged and natural.
The beach itself is a long grey sandy beach with interesting rock formations and white cliffs. There are a few Tavernas and snack bars close by too.
If you're looking for a quiet and secluded beach experience then Vlychada beach is for you.
Red Beach is very popular, despite its difficulty to access. You can drive here and scramble down the cliffside or walk or take a water taxi from nearby Akrotiri.
It is known as Kokkini Ammos (Red Beach) in Greek because of its red pebbles and dramatic red lava cliffs thrusting upwards from the crystal clear water.
There are sunbeds and sun umbrellas for hire along the beach. Red Beach is quite small so can get quite crowded.
The sand itself gets incredibly hot in summer and is course and reddish black in colour, so you will need to wear flip flops.
Snorkelling is good around the rocky outcrops of Red Beach too.
You can walk a little further on from Red Beach to nearby White Beach, (also known locally as Aspri Ammos.) The cliffs gradually change colour from red to white so this is where White Beach gets its name.
The beach has white pebbles and black and grey sand with some sun loungers and umbrellas for hire. There's a little Kantina too selling snacks and drinks.
You can also get to and from White Beach by water taxi too.
You can reach the beach at the little island of Thirassia by boat excursion from Oia.
The picturesque small island is a quiet, laid back place that offers visitors a step back in time to a less stressful and charming way of life.
The beach itself is lovely with crystal clear waters and a wonderful view to the main island of Santorini.
Hot Springs Beach
Another interesting beach you can reach by boat is the tiny islet of Palia Kameni where the famous hot springs and mud baths are.
Most visitors usually get to Palia Kameni as part of a boat excursion taking in Thirassia, the volcanic island of Nea Kameni and the hot springs of Palia Kameni.
Ammoudi beach and fishing harbour lies at the foot of Oia village and is difficult to access, other than by riding a donkey or walking down over 200 steps. The beach itself is small and sandy with clear blue deep waters.
Some of the best fish restaurants in Santorini are found at Ammoudi.
Another small beach close to Oia is that of Armeni. Again it is difficult to access with the riding a donkey option or descending (and ascending!) almost 300 steps on foot. An easier way to get to Armeni beach is to take a taxi boat from Ammoudi. There is just one solitary Taverna at Armeni for a peaceful meal or snack.
Nude Beaches on Santorini
There are no official nude beaches on the Greek Island of Santorini although discreet naturism is tolerated.
Find out more about Nude Beaches
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