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

Villa Derra Sleeps 7

Its cliffside location makes for some stunning and dramatic views Villa Derra stands on the caldera cliffs half way between the villages of Imerovigli and Oia. Its architectural design showcases the best in Santorini’s traditional architecture, b...

Villa Artemis Sleeps 6

You receive a free bottle of the local wine to welcome you to the villa If you've ever dreamed about visiting the lost island of Atlantis, Villa Artemis may well be a dream come true for you. Villa Artemis is located in the midst of the tradit...

Cave House with amazing view

Blue Sky Cave House is located in the middle of the traditional village of OIA, only 2 minutes away from the main path, where cafes, restaurants and shops are placed. Also it takes 7 minutes walking distance to reach the main sq...


Santorini Grace villa Unit for 8 is a private villa 35 meters from the beach .The villa can accommodate 8 persones with 4 separate bedrooms and two toilets. The constraction of the villa is in a such a way so guests can be accom...


.Santorini Summer Lovers house located in the most beautiful place of santorini is front of the famous beach Pori of ierovigli Village only 6 Km from main centers of santorini such FIRA/OIA and 3 KM from caldera side. The house ...

Villa DIAMOND - Sunset & Sea Views - Swimming pool & Private outdoor heated Spa

Villa “DIAMOND” at “OIA SUNSET VILLAS” is part of a complex of six traditional houses, elegantly decorated. The villa is located in the north of Santorini Island in the traditional settlement of Oia (Ia) village. It is just 400 m. from the villag...

Swinging Sunset Villa - Sunset - Swimming Pool & Private outdoor heated Spa

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...

OIA SUNSET VILLAS - Sunset Views - Swimming pool & Private outdoor Spa

Villa TURQUOISE and villa TOPAZ are part of a complex of six traditional houses, elegantly decorated. These villas are located in the north of Santorini Island in the traditional settlement of Oia (Ia) village. They are just 400 m. from the villa...

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...

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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