As a gorgeous Greek island with quaint white houses and luxury resorts, you just need incredible Santorini beaches to complete the picture. When you jet off on a sun-kissed holiday to Santorini, Greece – beaches are in no short supply.
But in Santorini, white sand beaches usually associated with Greece aren’t what you’ll find – the beaches in Santorini have a beauty all their own.
From the wild and rugged coastline to the history that surrounds them, here are our picks for the 10 best Santorini beaches.
Best Beaches in Santorini
With their unique black sand, and pebbles that glisten under the Greek sun, Santorini’s beaches have so much to offer.
Most of them can be found along the east and south-east side of Santorini, Greece ‘beach central’ of the island. Along with fantastic hotels and beach bars, the best beaches in Santorini have special touches that make them unforgettable. Sit back and enjoy a look at all you need to know before experiencing them for yourself.
1. Kamari Beach
Kamari Beach is the closest to Santorini’s main town, Fira, as well as the Cladera. Just 10 km from central Santorini, you can choose to take advantage of the efficient bus service which runs every 30 minutes. It’s also very easy to catch a local taxi, and you’ll be able to admire some spectacular wineries on your way to the sun-kissed shoreline of Kamari Beach.
It’s a stunning spot with powdery white buildings scattered along the beachfront, stretches of sunbeds and swaying umbrellas, as well as endless blue waves washing ashore.
Kamari Beach is quite high-end with plenty of eateries, tavernas and beach bars along the beach, including the fantastic Navy’s restaurant where the portions are generous and the food is delicious. With excellent facilities and a fun environment, it’s perfect for families or anyone looking for a party.
It’s oh-so-easy to spend the day here where you can swim, sunbathe and relax to your heart’s content. Thrill-seekers can also enjoy diving off a rock that overlooks the beach. Kamari Beach is also breathtaking at night where you can enjoy an evening stroll and admire the stunning Mesa Vouno, a rock formation that rises out of the sea and glimmers in the moonlight.
2. Perissa Beach
As one half of the famous Black Beach, this long stretch of beach is perfect for a laid-back backpacker’s crowd and has an atmospheric beach party scene.
As one of Santorini’s best black sand beaches, it’s also quite a popular spot for locals and tourists. With a wide range of accommodation and restaurants, it is a major contender as one of the busiest and most vibrant beaches in Santorini.
Enjoy music by fantastic DJs, join in a game of beach volleyball, or dive into some incredible water sports. Perissa Beach has a variety of activities including jet skiing, sea-skiing and gliding across the water on a banana boat.
Surrounded by stunning rock formations, enjoy this slice of paradise as the surf rolls across the pebbled beach where granite meets turquoise. With so much going on, it’s also very easy to rent a sunbed for between 5 and 10 euro a day. Perissa Beach is only 15 km from Fira with a regular bus service during the summer months, making transport simple.
3. Perivolos Beach
Perissa Beach’s other half is equally as beautiful – Perivolos Beach. The black sand continues to glitter, while the atmosphere becomes more relaxed.
With fewer hotels and restaurants along the beachfront, it makes a great choice for a central but secluded seaside spot. However, there are still a few luxury hotels and beach bars to enjoy.
4. Red Beach
If you’re looking for one of the most unforgettable beaches in Santorini, you’ll find it with Red Beach. Aptly named, Red Beach, the mixture of red pebbles, sand and rock creates a riot of color that looks completely unreal.
It’s straight out of a watercolor painting, as the terracotta beach melds into an azure blue sea, forming a secluded cove of color. While it is a very narrow beach, you’ll be hard-pressed to find scenery that will rival Red Beach.
The ancient town of Akrotiri is only 5 minutes away and it’s a 20-minute drive from Fira. You can also take a boat from Akrotiri or the site of Rahidi. The red hues of the beach’s rocky formations make it the perfect spot for snorkeling as well, where you’ll discover a multicolored underwater world.
Remember to take walking shoes, as the winding path that takes you to the beach is quite rocky. While Red Beach is hard to reach, it does get busy because of its beauty. With its unique and stunning geology, it also makes for an incredible spot to snap some photos.
If you’re looking for somewhere to recline in the shade for while, head for The Wave which serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine with an ocean view.
This wide sandy beach is filled with black sand and pebbles that glisten like crystals. Pure blue water bubbles up to the shore and plenty of sunbeds with palm frond umbrellas sway in the breeze. Usually, if you buy a drink or meal at one of the restaurants, you will be given free access to sunbeds for your group.
While it is quieter than its outgoing sibling, Perissa Beach, Perivolos has super facilities and the chance to try your hand at windsurfing. If you’re looking for a great dining choice with tasty meals and a relaxed atmosphere, give Tranquilo.
5. Monolithos Beach
Only a few kilometres away from Kamari is one of the most family-friendly beaches on the island – you can even make sandcastles here.
This secluded corner of the island is beautifully quiet with a smattering of hotels and restaurants. The seafloor has a pleasant shallow slope which is perfect for children, and there is also a small play area on the sand.
While this beach is considered too quiet by some, if you’re looking for a more private day by the seaside, it could be the perfect place for you. You’ll feel as if no one else had ever set foot on the beach.
Monolithos Beach isn’t devoid of any activity though – you can still enjoy kite surfing and other water sports. There is also public toilets nearby as well as sunbeds and umbrellas for rent and, with some of the best sand in Santorini, you won’t want to leave.
You can reach this beach via car from Fira, Kamari or Prygos. There is also a bus to the airport from Fira which you can use and then walk to the beach (but only if you can handle a 20 to 25-minute walk). If you’re feeling peckish, enjoy some incredible seafood and an unbeatable view at Mario No 1.
6. Vlychada Beach
Surrounded by incredible white rocky outcrops, Vlychada Beach stretches around the bay like a crescent moon, with waves frothing across the pebbled beach. The rippling white facade stands like artwork at the edge of the beach, creating a surreal atmosphere.
Vlychada has a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere with no noisy watersports or beach bars. The beach is big enough that you’ll never feel overwhelmed and it will never be too packed to enjoy. At the end of the beach, you can admire the Tomato Industrial Museum, which makes for quite the photo. A small fishing port is nestled right next to the beach, coupled with a sprinkling of restaurants.
There is no bus service to the secluded Vlychada beach, so a car rental or taxi is the best way to travel. If you are driving from Fira, follow the signs along the road that leads to Akrotiri but turn right towards Vlychada. This incredible beach is definitely off the beaten path, so it may be a good idea to bring along your own picnic, but there are nearby toilet facilities.
7. Ammoudi Bay
Ammoudi Bay is potentially the best swimming spot in Santorini with a gorgeous bay that feels like a giant swimming pool. There’s no large beach area, so visitors to the Ammoudi Bay jump off rocks along the shoreline and into the azure water.
There’s even a small island nearby which you can swim to for some incredible views of the Caldera. With its rust-colored cliffs surrounded by piercing white buildings and boats floating nearby, Ammoudi Bay is truly idyllic.
It can be tricky to navigate the path down to the beach so watch out for your footing. There are 250 steps to reach the bay but it’s more than worth it. To find the beach, take the marked path down from Oia to Ammoudi port, then meander along the water’s edge under you reach the bay. If you are driving to Ammoudi Bay, parking can be tricky.
This is the perfect spot for adventurous travelers looking for something different. You can also enjoy some refreshing and delicious treats at Oita’s Gelato in Oia. If you visit Ammoudi Bay when the weather’s clear, you’ll be in for a spectacular sunset so stick around after your day in the sun.
8. Eros Beach
As one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches on the island, Eros is truly one-of-a-kind. Named after the ancient Greek word for ’love’, Eros is quite the romantic spot for couples looking to enjoy a beachside getaway.
Surrounded by rocky pinnacles, Eros is quite difficult to reach. You’ll definitely need your own transport or a taxi as the public bus doesn’t run to Eros Beach. To find it, travel along the road that leads to Vychada Beach, and keep your eyes peeled for the turnoff to Eros.
Gaze out at the indigo waves as they wash along the pebbles, then recline beneath a luxury gazebo. However, sunbeds and umbrellas can be quite pricey here. If you’re looking for somewhere fun to eat, Thero’s Wave bar matches the incredible beach with its relaxing music and tasty dishes.
9. Katharos Beach
Kathros Beach is definitely one of Santorini’s finest beaches. The narrow beach is filled with black and white pebbles under the gaze of incredible volcanic outcrops. With rugged beauty and idyllic charm, Katharos beach is quiet and not too ‘touristy’.
It’s very close to Ammoudi Bay and Oia at only a 5-minute drive away. There is also the option of walking, but that’ll take you 30 minutes so be ready for the walk back after your day by the sea.
Katharos Beach feels truly unspoiled and filled with natural beauty – the perfect place to watch the sunset on Santorini. Being the secluded beach it is, Katharos doesn’t have a lot of hotels or eateries, but its only beach bar, the Katharos Lounge makes up for it. Enjoy a gorgeous sea view along with terrific vegetarian food that’s full of flavor.
10. Agios Georgios
If you’re looking for a dreamy black sand beach, Santorini has so many but Agios Georgios is one the island’s most famous beaches.
Only 12 km away from Fira and 3 km from Perissa Beach, this popular beach is a go-to choice for many summer holidays. There is an array of activities which take place on this popular beach. Take your pick from jet skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing, paddle boating and heading out on a banana boat.
You’re also able to tent umbrellas and sunbeds for a day of reclining along the sandy beach, Santorini style. There is a plethora of hotels along the beachfront, while taverns and restaurants fill the promenade as well.
Final Thoughts on Santorini’s Beaches
If you’re off on a Santorini vacation and wondering which beaches are the best for soaking up the sun and enjoying Greek island life, we hope you have found our picks helpful.
Whether you’re looking for a party atmosphere, a beach with an adventurous streak or an oasis where you can just breathe in the sea air and relax – Santorini has you covered. If you are wondering where to go in Santorini, there is so much more to discover.
With its unique coastline dotted with beaches that glint like a black diamond, and water as clear as crystal, the 10 best Santorini beaches are truly unforgettable.
Let us know what your favorite Santorini beach is and what’s next on your bucket list!
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