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

Sea & Sunset Views - Swimming pool - Outdoor Private Jacuzzi Spa

Oia Sunset Villa TRIA and Oia Sunset Villa TESSERA are part of a complex of six self - catering traditional houses, elegantly decorated. These villas are located in the north of Santorini Island in the traditional settlement of Oia (Ia) village. ...

Sea & Sunset Views - Swimming pool - Outdoor Private heated Jacuzzi Spa

Villa “DYO” at “OIA SUNSET VILLAS” is part of a complex of six self - catering 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. fro...

Santorini luxury stylish private villas with private pool and sea view

On one of the most beautiful coastlines of the world, nestled amongst vineyards and the endless blue skies of Santorini, Nestor and Fotini have created three private Windmill Villas. A perfect co-existence of minimal design without compromising lu...

Beautiful Cycladic style villa just 15 minutes from the town of Oia

The town of Oia with its picturesque Cycladic houses clinging vertiginously to the cliffside is situated in the north of the island, with spectacular views over the Caldera and the Aegean Sea. Villa Anemos is in a particularly lovely location, per...

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...

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...

Villa Sapfo - Private, Luxury Seaside Villa

Situated on the far side of the famous volcanic black beach of Kamari, under the imposing granite rock, and only a few steps away from the clear blue sea, Villa Sapfo offers its guests the unique experience of complete privacy while just a few min...

Sea & Sunset Views - Swimming pool - Outdoor Private heated Jacuzzi 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...

Santorini Memories House

Private house on the beach of pori imerovigli with everything inside needs a house 35 meters from the privatebeach withred and black coloure sand .In safe ground build and safe distance frim caldera 3 km just incase earthquake.Private garden 5000 ...

Greece Europe United States World Corfu Ionian Islands Crete Dodecanese Rodhes Cyclades Santorini Hydra Patra Athens Mykonos Aegean Islands Skiathos Calcidia Thasos

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