Santorini Beaches, Coastline, Surfing and Water Sports
(Santorini, Cyclades, Greece)
There are some truly wonderful beaches located around the coastline of Santorini, offering sun, sea, sand and much more besides, with the best being on the eastern side of the island. Although many of the public beaches on Santorini don't actually have designated areas for changing, or shower facilities, the breathtaking scenery and the crystalline blue waters more than make up for that.
A large number of the beaches features dark, volcanic sand, rather than golden sand, creating quite a different landscape. Some Santorini beaches also offer holiday makers a choice of ways to cool day, with water sports being extremely popular and including jet skiing, parasailing, snorkelling, scuba diving and windsurfing, amongst many others.
Beach facilities are generally good, with many Greek-style tavernas often being nearby and specialising in seafood caught locally.
The most popular all of the beaches on Santorini include Kamari, Monolithos and also Persissa, all of which really are 'must- sees' and should be experienced first hand.
List of the island's most notable beaches and resorts
- Amoudi Beach - sited right next to Santorini's popular village of Oia, Amoudi is quite difficult to access and the sands are connected by around 200 steps, meaning that the journey up the cliff and back to your car can be quite tiring to say the least. The volcanic rocks are extremely colourful and worth a look, although due to the difficult access, Amoudi Beach is far from ideal for families with young children. Many locals come here for the diving and swimming, with a natural diving platform being a major feature. There are also several small eateries near to the beachfront
- Armeni Beach - conveniently near to Oia and boasting views as far as Thirassia, Armeni Beach is not the easiest place to reach, with a step stairway of almost 300 steps leading down to the sand. However, the deep, clear waters remain a major draw card for many
- Aspri Ammos Beach (White Beach) - close to Kokkini Ammos, Aspri Ammos is known as the 'White Beach' due to its backdrop of white cliff faces. Aspri Ammos enjoys a very secluded and isolated spot on Santorini and can be reached by either sea (from Red Beach) or on foot
- Baxedes Beach - lying around 3 km / 2 km from Oia and on the northern coast on Santorini, Baxedes Beach is ideal is you are looking to escape the crowds on more 'touristy' beaches. The dark sand has a number of secluded and shady spots, although the strong summer winds mean that at times, the waters are far from ideal for swimming
- Cape Columbo Beach (Kolumbo) - a very secluded and somewhat isolate spot on the north-eastern shoreline of Santorini, Cape Columbo Beach is the perfect location if you are looking for peace and quiet, and ideal for those searching for calm waters suitable for swimming. The dark sand is backed by tall cliffs and although it can be a bit of a trek to get here, the privacy and undeveloped nature usually more than makes up for the effort. Kolumbo Beach is around 4 km / 2.5 miles for Oia and very close to Baxedes, and on a fine day, the views stretch as far as Ios
- Kamari Beach - a very popular beach which can become a little crowded in the sunny summer months, Kamari can be found on the eastern coast of Santorini and is dark volcanic sands stretch for just over 5 km / 3 miles. Kamari Beach is edged by a number of cafes and tavernas, and offers an array of water sports, with a scuba diving centre being conveniently close by. Fira lies some 10 km / 6 miles to the north-west of Kamari and opposite Perissa
- Karterados Beach - this beach also often goes by the name of 'Exo Gialos' and is generally extremely quiet. The black sands and surrounding coastline remain very natural in their appearance and quite undeveloped
- Messa Pigadia Beach - located on the southern side of the island, Messa Pigadia is small, quiet and easy to reach by boat
- Monolithos Beach - lying on the eastern side of Santorini and near to both the village of Kamari and the airport itself, Monolithos Beach tends to remain fairly uncrowded and peaceful. A number of hotels and restaurants are situated close by. Although Monolithos can be a little windy at times, there are a range of activities on offer here, including everything from soccer to basketball. Younger children will appreciate the playground area
- Perissa Beach - located on the south-eastern side of Santorini and around 15 km / 9 miles from Fira, Perissa Beach is without doubt one of the island's most outstanding beaches and popular coastal spots, stretching for no less than 7 km / 4 miles and offering excellent conditions for snorkellers. Expect to find a number of beachfront Greek tavernas, a nearby camping site, trees providing shade, and views of the Mesa Vouno rock, a huge natural landmark. The Perissa Beach features black, volcanic sand and is relatively close to the Ancient Thera ruins
- Perivolos Beach - this is a very beautiful stretch and conveniently close to Perissa, which is just 3 km / 2 miles from Perivolos. Located on the eastern side of Santorini, Perivolos Beach is linked to Perissa by regular buses and is known for its black pebbles and good choice of water sports, which include diving, windsurfing and even jet skiing
- Pori Beach - a very quiet and picturesque sandy beach, situated around 10 km / 6 miles from Fira. Pori never becomes crowded, even in the height of the summer season
- Red Beach - a particularly famous bay on Santorini, Red Beach is just a stone's throw from Akrotiri and resides within the Kokkini Ammos area. The name derives not from the dark volcanic sands, but from the dramatic backdrop of red, icon-rich cliffs. Visitors to Red Beach will be able to hire sun loungers and umbrellas. Expect views of yachts sailing by, superb snorkelling opportunities and some very unusual tavernas, which have been built into the natural caves
- Vlihada Beach - a tranquil spot on southern Santorini, Vlihada offers dark volcanic sandy, a series of very interesting spaces, pale yellow cliffs and very pleasant views. Sun loungers are usually available for hire here
- Vourvoulos Beaches - comprises two adjoining beaches, Vourvoulos enjoys plenty of privacy and lies approximately 7 km / 4 miles to the north-east of Fire and has become well-known for its crystal clear, azure water