10 Best Beaches in Santorini | Tips & Map

Discover the best beaches in Santorini, undeniably one of the dreamiest and most idyllic islands in the world!

It attracts millions of honeymooners, Instagrammers, culture and food lovers who arrive daily by air and sea to visit one of Greece’s top destinations, mostly for its stunning scenery and picturesque villages.

But Santorini beaches are unlike those in Mykonos, Crete and Zakynthos, but they are undoubtedly unusual and quite remarkable.

Because of their volcanic formation, they range from black to red and white sand beaches.

In this post, I want to share the 10 best beaches in Santorini that you should not miss on your trip.

Ammoudi Bay, Santorini, Greece

Some of the most popular tours in Santorini:

10 Most Unique & Best Santorini Beaches

1 – Red Beach

Located in the city of Akrotiri, 12 km from the capital Fira, Santorini Red Beach is one of the most famous attractions on the island and must be on your list.

Access to this relatively small beach isn’t easy. There’s a parking lot and after leaving your car you need to walk around 10 minutes through a very uneven surface with many rocks to get to the beach.

Because of these reasons, most people just take a glance and leave.

Santorini Red Beach is enveloped by massive dark red cliffs and has soft sand mixed with seaweed and crystal blue waters.

Santorini Red Beach
The Red Beach is the most famous Santorini beach

There isn’t much space for sunbathing near the cliffs because of the risk of falling rocks, and most people gather in the area near the restaurant. There are also some beach chairs and umbrellas for hire during the high season.

I was really excited to see a red beach for the first time in my life, especially since I didn’t know that it existed.

Whether you decide to make your way down to the beach, or just admire the incredible view from the headland, this unique beach will leave you completely in awe.

Best Santorini Beaches
Santorini Red Beach is one of the most unique beaches not only in Greece but in the whole world

2 – Perissa Black Sand Beach: One of the Best Beaches in Santorini for Families

Located around 12 Km (7.5 mi) from Fira at the foothill of the imposing Mesa Vuono mountain, Perissa is an outstanding beach with thick black sand and pebbles, deep blue crystalline water and a row of trees onshore.

Perissa Beach, Santorini
Perissa Black Sand Beach

Perissa, a Blue Flag beach, is one of the longest and most organized beaches on the island with excellent infrastructure.

It provides comfy lounge chairs and umbrellas for hire, lifeguards, showers, changing cabins, wooden paths, watersports, a masseur and even a public playground, which makes this beach perfect for families with kids.

Perissa also features seaside hotels, boutiques, restaurants and beach bars, and is one of the best places to stay in Santorini.

Perissa Black Sand Beach is for me the best beach in Santorini and if you want to choose one beach on which to spend some time relaxing and unwinding, this is my top recommendation.

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Places to stay on Perissa Beach

Beach bars and Restaurants:

3 – Kamari Beach

Located around 8.2 Km (5.1 mi) from Fira, Kamari is another black sand beach that lies at the base of Mesa Vuono. It’s very similar to Perissa, dotted with some trees, featuring thick black sand and pebbles and deep blue crystalline water.

In fact, these two beaches are separated by Mesa Vuono, a massive rocky mountain.

Kamari is one of the best beaches in Santorini for swimming. The water is very calm and clear and there’s also a rock from where you can go cliff jumping.

It also has excellent infrastructure, with wooden paths, lifeguards, watersports and a promenade that boasts seaside hotels, bars, pubs and restaurants.

I do like Kamari, but Perissa is much quieter and has more character.

Kamari Beach

Where to stay in Kamari:

Restaurants that I recommend:

4 – Vlychada Beach: One of the Most Unique Santorini Beaches

During my endeavour to find the best beaches in Santorini, I stumbled upon Vlychada Beach.

Located on the south coast of Santorini, 13 Km from Fira, Vlychada features a long stretch of volcanic black sand and pebbles and the most incredible rock formations I’ve seen on the island.

When I arrived at Vlychada Beach, its “moon-shaped” landscape carved by the wind, completely blew my mind! I felt like I was in a sci-fi movie…

Vlychada Beach
Vlychada is very exotic and has amazing scenery

It’s a semi-organized beach and during the high season, there are chairs and umbrellas for hire.

Vlychada is one of the few clothing-optional and gay beaches on the island and is perfect for those who like “one-of-a-kind” beaches and also to tan and bathe completely naked.

A man lying on the black sand of Vlychada Beach, Santorini
This was the very first time that I didn’t feel uncomfortable getting naked on a beach

Don’t forget to put Vlychada on your list of Santorini beaches. For me, it’s one of the most spectacular and unique ones.

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5 – Cape Columbo Beach

Cape Columbo is one of the most unspoiled and wildest beaches on the island.

Located around 8.5 Km (5.3 mi) from Fira, this secluded beach is enveloped by a dramatic promontory, which was carved by the wind into beautiful shapes.

Cape Columbo Beach is covered in powder black-grey sand and tiny pebbles and has crystalline warm water due to the proximity of an active underwater crater.

There aren’t any amenities, only a simple restaurant in the very beginning with chairs and umbrellas, so be prepared to bring towels and a cooler with drinks.

Cape Columbo isn’t easily accessible, which makes it very quiet. Perfect for those who want privacy, tranquillity and to get rid of tan lines, as it’s one of Santorini’s nudist beaches.

Cape Columbo Beach
Cape Columbo and its dramatic landscape

Looking for another Greek Island to visit? What about Rhodes?

6 – Perivolos Beach

Located around 12 Km (7.5 mi) from Fira, Perivolos is an “extension” of Perissa Beach. In fact, these two beaches can be considered one very long black sand beach.

It has very good infrastructure as well, with wooden paths, sunbeds and umbrellas for hire, showers, lifeguards, watersports, beach volleyball courts and nice restaurants.

Perivolos is the beach party scene in Santorini and has trendy beach clubs playing loud dance music all day long and hosting many special events with DJs performing. So, if you like to party, Perivolos is your beach.

Perivolos Beach
Perivolos, one of the longest beaches on the island, is also very picturesque

Where to stay in Perivolos:

Beach Bars & Restaurants:

7 – Ammoudi Bay

If you’re looking for Santorini beaches with impressive crystal-clear turquoise water, Ammoudi Bay is the one to go to.

This tiny idyllic cove at Oia’s foothills, surrounded by imposing red cliffs with pristine turquoise water, is a very popular dining place, for watching the sunset and swimming.

Ammoudi Bay, Santorini
Ammoudi Bay

To dip in that beautiful and enticing water, you need to walk south along the bay and follow the narrow treacherous path that leads to a hidden beach between the rocks.

You can also go cliff jumping at Ammoudi Bay. You just need to swim over to a cemented platform or a boulder and jump from it. It’s only 4.5 – 6 m (15-20 ft) high, but it feels very good.

The main disadvantage of Ammoudi Bay is that there isn’t much space for sunbathing plus it’s a rocky beach.

But if you’re staying in Oia and don’t want to drive to the other beaches, you should take the 240+ steps down to Ammoudi Bay. It’s worth the visit!

8 – White Beach

In the town of Akrotiri, you can find one of the most remarkable and special stretches of sand on the island.

Santorini White Beach is a small cove surrounded by white towering cliffs featuring a mix of pumice stones, grey volcanic sand and pebbles, and crystal-clear water.

Similarly to Red Beach, there isn’t much space for sunbathing. But you can find some chairs and umbrellas for hire and a cave canteen selling basic supplies.

The easiest way to access White Beach is by boat from Akrotiri Beach, and it can also be done on foot from the neighbouring Red and Kambia beaches, but the paths are not easy to cross. If you prefer, you can also book a tour.

9 – Eros Beach

Situated on the coast of Vlychada, Eros Beach is a pebbly secluded shore encompassed by astonishing beige cliffs.

Eros has great infrastructure with wooden paths, sunbeds and umbrellas for hire and a beach volleyball court. There is also a parking lot and a classy beach bar that hosts weddings, yoga sessions, meditation classes and parties.

The atmosphere at the elegant Theros Wave Bar, with sofas, swings, hammocks and ambient music, is very romantic, which makes this beach a couple’s favourite.

Eros Beach, Santorini, Greece

Eros’s landscape is very similar to Vlychada, an extension of it.  Here you can also find cliffs that have been carved by the wind and sea over the years and created one of the most surreal Santorini vistas.

Eros Beach, a pebbly secluded black sand beach surrounded by beige cliffs

Eros Beach is tucked away from the more famous Santorini beaches and for those who are looking for some privacy, I recommend staying on the farthest section of this beach.

10 – Monolithos Beach

The last on my list is Monolithos, a long beach with soft black sand and shallow crystalline water, 9 Km (5.6 mi) from Fira.

Monolithos has some well-organized parts with wooden paths, umbrellas and chairs for hire, lifeguards on duty, showers, a football pitch, volleyball and basketball courts and a nice play area for children.

It has also more isolated parts, where you can enjoy the natural shade that the trees provide, which is ideal for privacy, tranquillity and relaxation.

Monolithos is a local favourite, especially among families with kids, and there are nearby hotels, cafes, restaurants and bars, including Nikki Beach Santorini, the luxury global lifestyle beach club.

A stretch of black sand with umbrellas and beaches chairs on Monolithos Beach, Santorini, Greece
The day I went to Monolithos Beach it was very quiet.

Read next:

This is my list of the 10 most unique beaches on the island and you should make sure to visit some of them on your trip.

There’s a Santorini beaches map below so you can have a better idea of the exact location of each.

Safe travels and enjoy Greece.

Extra Tips for Visiting the Best Beaches on Santorini

– At most of the bars on Kamari/Perissa and Perivolos, there’s a 10 euros per person consumption charge to use the sunbeds and umbrellas.

– There are taxi boats connecting Perissa and Kamari beaches at regular intervals every day.

– If you want to visit White Beach, I recommend doing it early in your trip. So, if the boat isn’t running due to water conditions, you can try it again at another time.

– The access to Cape Columbo Beach is in front of Soulis Apartments. Just put on Google Maps how to get to Soulis Apartments.

– Pebbles can get very hot without shoes, so bring sandals or water shoes.

– Always bring a sun blocker, hat, towel, sunglasses and plenty of water no matter which beach you go to.

I always recommend that you buy travel insurance! It can literally be your lifeline if something happens to you, or your luggage is lost or stolen.

10 Best Beaches in Santorini | Tips & Map 1

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