Santorini’s Beach Highlights

White rock, red sand and active underwater volcanoes abound

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Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall
HomeAway travel expert

Oia SantoriniA paradise for honeymooners and lovers, a popular stop-over for cruise ships and, of course, the famous view of the caldera with its white and blue houses and churches perched atop the rock face, Santorini is one of—if not the—most famous of the Greek islands. There aren’t a plethora of beaches in Santorini, yet don’t let that put you off, nor be fooled. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what is on offer in this magical place.

Santorini offers a selection of organised and independent beaches, plus hidden coves. Whilst you won’t experience the endless white sands that grace picture postcards, expect a different type of bathing experience; from volcanic red sand to moonlike landscapes, all surrounded by crystal-clear waters—even an active underwater volcano. For a truly unforgettable experience, Santorini offers something for every traveller: solo, family or couple.


Rebecca Hall’s top beaches in Santorini


Kokkini Paralia (Red Beach) Kokkini Paralia (Red Beach)

The most famous in Santorini, due to its volcanic red colour, Red Beach is popular with families, but be aware that the temperature here is higher than anywhere else on the island. In a remote location, come well equipped, although there are two canteens in the parking area by the chapel of Agios Nikolaos.

An alternative way to reach the beach is by boat— €5 from the archaeological site of Rahidi, running every 30 minutes. A 20-minute swim will take you to the completely cut off Aspri Paralia (White Beach) around the bay—experience the most crystal-clear waters.

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Vlyhada Vlyhada

Although an organised beach, if you’re looking to get away from the crowds and have a more individual experience, this is the beach for you. A moon-like landscape abounds with white volcanic rocks, making simple pleasures like swimming, reading and sunbathing an almost extraterrestrial experience. There are no watersports available.

The beach is well signposted from the road, yet not on the bus route, thus keeping the tourists and families away. Watch the sunset from the beach bar Θeros, offering sun loungers and an atmosphere in harmony with its spectacular surroundings.

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Agios Georgios (Perivolos) Agios Georgios (Perivolos)

Don’t let the black sand or the rocks put you off—expect crystal-clear waters, safe diving and a lifeguard on Perivolos beach. This is the place to come if you want to find yourself possibly rubbing shoulders with the stars. Offering two beach bars frequented by celebrities—Seaside by Notos and Anemos—you can expect high-quality service, top food and cocktails served to you as you recline in deckchairs the size of a double bed.

Accessible by bus, but if driving, pay attention as alas, Perivolos isn’t well signposted.

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Kamari Kamari

Not only the most accessible beach in the heart of touristic Santorini, Kamari—with two Blue Flags and a lifeguard—offers plenty of space to get away from the crowds and lie in the sand. It's also a scuba diver's paradise with two dive centres, Kamari Dive Centre or Aegean Divers, and is perfect for the more adventurous. Leave your loved one relaxing on the beach whilst you take a 20-minute hike up the hill of Profitis Ilias to the chapel of Zoodohos Pigi and the natural spring.

Hungry? ‘Kyra Irini’s’ Taverna, at the entrance of the village, offers traditional Santorinian fare.

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Koloumbos Koloumbos

One for the nudists. Well isolated and accessible only by car or motorbike, this independent beach is 4km from Oia—a quiet village in the north of the island, 11km from Fira the capital. Koloumbos is actually an active underwater volcano; once on the beach, simply swim to the right to Seal Cave.

Be sure to pack all your own food, and bring your own umbrellas if looking for shade; none are provided and no facilities are available. But that's the point: Koloumbos is the perfect ‘get away from it all’ spot.

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Main image by Russell Bowes
Kokkini Paralia (Red Beach) by Klearchos Kapoutsis
Vlyhada beach by Klearchos Kapoutsis
Agios Georgios (Perivolos) by Christina
Kamari by Russell Bowes
Koloumbos by Simon Q

Santorini’s Beach Holdiay Homes

Absolute Peace

Our property is composed of two adjacent villas set in an acre of private land. Quiet and spacious, laid out on two levels, each of our homes is the ideal accommodation for a couple or a family of four. The upper level has the master bath and be...

Villa with sunset view -Outdoor heated private hydromassage spa & swimminig pool

Swinging Sunset Villa is located in the north of Santorini Island in the traditional settlement of Oia (Ia) village. It is just 400 m. from the village, but so far enough away from “civilization” to be peaceful and the same time quiet. Ammoudi ba...


Villa Riva is located at Perivolos Beach. The most beautiful beach in all Santorini.The newly-build villa promises relaxing holidays of a high standards for couples and families. Build on the black sandy bay of Perivols beach. Set in an area of 20...

Santorini traditional apartment with Free car included/ Villa The Birds Aptrm.

Beautifully situated in a quiet spot close to Perissa, within walking distance of Perissa’s black sandy beach, The Birds Villa Apartment offer guests complimentary transfer to and from the port. The villa has air condition, have big private balcon...

'The Cool Cat' charming apartment on the beautiful beach of Perivolos

My wife and I will be more than happy to welcome you in our place close to the splendid beach of Perivolos, in your apartment constructed in the perfect cycladic architecture and style. The cosy mezzanine with a double bed will make you feel like ...

A 2 Bedroom House Very Close To The Beach

The Summer House is a 60m2 property within walking distance from the black beach of Kamari. It consist of 2 bedrooms, one bathroom with shower, a large and well equipped kitchen, a living room and a terrace . Near by pool facilities free of charge.

Fava Residence - Aeolos Suite

An unforgettable experience. Our goal is to make you feel that Fava is your own home and Santorini, your island. The Fava Residences, which opened in 2013, are housed in a splendid and unique captain house of the mid 19th century, located at the h...

Luxury villa overlooking the Caldera, Firostefani, Santorini

From its exclusive location, one of the most beautiful private villas in Santorini commands a panoramic view to the volcano and the Aegean Sea. With 120sq m. indoor spaces and 70sq m. outdoor deck, private swimming pool and a huge indoor jacuzzi t...

4 bedroom luxury villa overlooking the Caldera, Imerovigli, Santorini

Native Eco Villa is located on the rim of the cliff at the village of Imerovigli with the world's most beautiful scenery. The architecture is a perfect example of the beauty in a typical Cycladic style and color. The architecture is a perfect ex...

Luxury villa overlooking the Caldera, Perivolas, Santorini

White House Villa is a unique property located at the highest spot of Oia village in Perivolas area. Its amphitheatric position offers fantastic views over the cliff, the village, the beautiful sunset and the volcano, all at the same time. The l...

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