The 6 Best Santorini Beaches for a Unique Island Experience

For those of you who love exploring beaches, Santorini should be at the top of your beach travel list.

Being an island, many people who travel to this Greek region (heaven) take part in exploring the beautiful Santorini beaches. Though not specifically known for its beaches, we believe Santorini is more than worthy of the title. Even though they are not your idyllic gold sand shores, they provide the same feeling any beach does -- only with a different and unparalleled experience!

A Little Bit About Santorini, Greece

Fira and Oia are where most tourists choose to stay due to easy accessibility to villages, shops, and restaurants. These two cities hold some of the best Santorini beaches, or boast extremely close proximity to them. Additionally, there’s an easy-to-use bus route for those of you who don’t want to rent a vehicle.

On the northern side of Santorini you can take in amazing Aegean Sea views. With that being said, besides a few of the less organized and more local beaches, there’s little access to the water. Southern Santorini is where you’ll find the easiest access to water and the most popular Santorini beaches.

Santorini Beaches

The 6 best Santorini beaches hold unique landscapes that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Past volcanic eruptions shaped the island and gave these beaches the uniquely raw characteristics we see today. One of the most famous qualities seen at many Santorini beaches are dark volcanic rocks, pebbles and sand.

Among the black sand, you will also find staggering cliffs and unusual colors which engulf the coastline and bring natural beauty to each area. This, combined with their fun, relaxing, and romantic vibe show why they are the best Santorini beaches of all time.

What Should You Bring to the Best Santorini Beaches?

While some travelers are content to take nothing but themselves and a towel to the beach, we recommend doing some preparation. We promise that if you do, your trip to one of these Santorini beaches will be that much more enjoyable. Therefore, be sure to pack:

  • A bathing suit
  • Towels
  • Swim shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Waterproof bag for valuables
  • Beach bag
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Lotion
  • Beach chairs
  • Goggles
  • Floats or flotation devices for children
  • Umbrella
  • Snacks!

It is worth nothing that items such as snorkeling gear, beach chairs, and umbrellas may be available for rent -- depending on which beach you are visiting. Always check with your hosts and other locals for the inside scoop!

6 of the Best Santorini Beaches

No matter where you stay on the island, you'll likely want to hit the beach at some point. When you do, locals and your hotel hosts are a great source of information. Even still, if you're in need of Santorini beach intel, we've got you covered: 

1. Perissa Beach

Perissa beach is basically one long beach that connects with Perivolos Beach, another on our list of the best Santorini beaches. While locals enjoy hanging at this beach, it’s also a popular spot for tourists and even celebrities on vacay. Out of all of the Santorini beaches, this is definitely one of the busiest.  

Famously known for its volcanic black sand, it’s also referred to as Black Beach. A volcanic eruption is what left this sand black, which provides a unique reminder of the island's history. Black pebbles decorate the shoreline, with crisp blue waters dancing beside them. Once you get in the water, you’re greeted by a sandy and rocky bottom, and steep drop as you float out to sea.

Alongside the sand and water is a massive mountain called Mesa Vouno that juts out into the water. Visitors and locals alike are left stunned by the enormous rock and the beautiful backdrop it provides. If you like to dive, there’s even a suggested diving location at the end of the beach if you dare. And for those of you who like to party, look no further. Parties are held at this beach all the time (but not the rowdy type -- just chill beach parties with music). 

Amenities and Surrounding Area

There is an abundance of comfy lounging chairs and umbrellas here, making it the most organized beach in Santorini. Amenities like lifeguards, showers and even a playground surround the beach as well, giving reason to its high popularity. A water park with 3 slides and pools offer fun for kids and adults nearby too!

Perissa beach and its area cater to many backpackers who travel there. The road that runs parallel to the beach is lined with a large amount of hotels, mini-marts, souvenir shops, etc. You’re never left looking for a place to stay or shop. Not to mention, there are numerous beach bars and restaurants by the water so you can try the island tastes.

Close by are a variety of activity shops to inspect for those of you who enjoy adventure. Two of them are diving centers which provide fascinating explorations of the area, great diving spots, and snorkeling. Others include water sport kiosks such as: paddle boards, banana boats, para-sail excursions, canoeing, jet skis and windsurfing.

How to Get There:

Situated on the southeastern coast of the island in the Perissa village, this top Santorini beach is in close proximity to the capital, Fira, as well as the airport. Thus, accessing the beach is possible by car, boat, bus, bike, ATV, or another mode of transportation.

While there is a regular bus ride that goes directly to Perissa beach, you can also drive yourself as ample parking is available. For direct access though, stay in Perissa to be beachside.

For those with mobility restrictions, this beach is the perfect option. Upon arrival, visitors find a quick and easy walk to the sand. The surface is flat, meaning that scaling rocks and cliffs in not necessary.

2. Perivolos

Perivolos beach is by far one of the best Santorini beaches. It connects with Perissa beach, listed above, and is very long. Like Perissa, locals and tourists come here to spend a relaxing day at the beach. Many couples even have their wedding day at this location, with the sea as a beautiful backdrop.

Mirroring Perissa, Perivolos beach is composed of volcano-like black lava sand. (Due to the sand being black, it’s hot so make sure you have some sandals or beach shoes.)  As you make your way down towards the water, you’ll notice black pebbles along the ground. Immediately when you look up, you’ll be astonished by the deep, clear waters and realize why you came.

Amenities and Surrounding Area

Along the shore sit countless beach loungers with palm leaf umbrellas to provide some shade. You can also find relaxing couches with pillows and beanbags to rest on too. To help with the hot sand, they even provide wood panel walk ways to make it easier to get to these spots.

When speaking of amenities, there are endless ones at and near this beach. Life guards, showers, and a beach volleyball court sit right by the water. Throughout the high season you might even catch some DJ guest appearances, performers, and special events happening. To top it off, a plethora of restaurants and bars line the waterfront for delicious food and cocktails after your beach day.  

Just like Perissa, water sports are also a popular activity in this area and at this beach. You will simply need to go down to one of the kiosks, rent a jet ski and soar above the water. All of these great activities make it easy to understand why this is one of the best Santorini beaches.

How to Get There:

Much like Perissa, Perivolos is situated on the southeastern coast of the island in the Perissa village. If you're staying in the capital, Fira, you'll never be too far off from this top Santorini beach. Choose your means of transportation as the beach is open via  car, boat, bus, bike, or ATV.

While there is a regular bus ride that goes directly to Perissa beach, you can also drive yourself as ample free parking is available. Those with mobility restrictions will rejoice upon seeing the flat, and at times, walk way covered beach. The surface is flat, meaning that scaling rocks and cliffs in not necessary.

3. Kamari

Kamari beach is considered the most upscale and touristy beach town in Santorini. Five kilometers long, it is one of the 3 longest beaches on the island. Similar to Perissa and Perivolos, Kamari beach is also known as Black Beach for its black lava sand. Lining the water and sand are lush green trees and a path where you can take a nice stroll by the sea.

Identical to other Santorini beaches on this list, black pebbles lie at the surface, all along the sand. Amid the sand, you will see calm crystal blue waters that offer excellent clarity for swimming. Adjacent to the beach is also Mesa Vouno Mt, which provides endless views as you look across the landscape. Romantic sights like this made it easy to name it one of the best Santorini beaches on our list.

Amenities and Surrounding Area

Completely organized is a great way to describe Kamari beach. Here you will find an unlimited amount of sunbeds to rent with some even offering WiFi access. Accompanying those sunbeds are stylish umbrellas so you can have some shade as you rest.

Near the beach are showers for you to wash off after a nice swim. Looking over the beach, you will notice a lifeguard on duty to ensure safety. Behind the beach and close by there is a football field and volleyball court to play at.

What if you have kids? Don’t worry! Kamari happens to be family friendly with many amenities for kids too. Once your done in the water, you might even want to take a stroll through the village to shop at a few stores.

Also noteworthy to mention about Kamari is their famous open air cinema. Aptly named, Open Air Cinema Kamari has a garden like atmosphere, discrete lighting, and the traditional architecture of Santorini. Equally important, it has a full bar with scrumptious cocktails, beer and wine, refreshments, snacks, and ice cream. Of course there are countless restaurants and bars in the village as well.

How to Get There:

Situated on the southeastern coast in Kamari village, Kamari beach is never far off. Both Fira and the Kamari airport sit nearby. Thus, accessing the beach is possible by car, boat, bus, bike, ATV, or another mode of transportation.

For those with mobility restrictions and small children, this beach is the perfect option. Upon arrival, visitors find a quick and easy walk to the sand. The surface is flat, meaning that scaling rocks and cliffs in not necessary.

4. Red Beach

Red beach is arguably the most famous and picturesque beach in Santorini. Enclosed by precipitous red hills, this beach creates an alluring, uncontrolled scenery that automatically makes your jaw drop. Albeit this beach is smaller in size, yet it remains a huge attraction on the island and is one of the best Santorini beaches.

Amidst this beach, you will mostly find bright red sand scattered with red and black pebbles. Hovering over the sand are colossal red cliffs, which serve as an extremely dramatic background while you bask in the sun. On the side of these cliffs are also large red rocks which extend into the water. The Aegean Sea itself is full of blue lucidity, thus allowing you to see those riveting geological formations perfectly.

From deep blue waters with a colorful bottom to ginormous, surrounding, vivid red cliffs. This Santorini Red Beach provides an exquisite contrast of colors that will mesmerize you for days. Indeed, it is one of the best Santorini beaches ever -- if not THE best. Especially for photographs!

Amenities and Surrounding Area

Notably, there are no amenities at this beach. Only thing you will find are some sun loungers and umbrellas to rent during high season. However, they are not always available so bring a towel to lay on just in case. Moreover, there are no facilities or water sports held at this beach because of its smaller size and location.

Although this may be true, the rock formations in the water provide a great snorkeling experience in which you can partake. But bring your own gear!

Beyond the red cliffs is the famous archaeological site of Akrotiri which you can stop and admire too. Lastly, there are canteens, fruit vendors, restaurants and souvenir shops near the parking for after beach dining or shopping.

How to Get There:

In contrast to the Santorini beaches featured so far, Red Beach sits on the southwestern coast in the village of Akrotiri. Even still, it is only a few kilometers from Fira and the Kamari airport. 

Travelers will find that the beach is accessible via car, bus, bike, catamaran, or ATV. While you're welcome to drive and park for free, there is also a frequent bus route between Akrotiri and Fira that does the trick.

Be warned though! Red Beach often has reports of falling rocks along the 20 minute path to access it. The loose gravel path contains an occasional rope railing and wood steps, and thus is likely not suitable for those with limited mobility or small children.

5. Monolithos

Monolithos Beach is the perfect place for an easy beach experience. Less crowded than Kamari or Perissa, it provides a peaceful vibe for those who don’t like busy spots. By the same token, it’s very family friendly -- namely for its shallow seafloor and playground nearby. Compared to other Santorini beaches, it is definitely the MOST family oriented beach on Santorini island.

Long and wide, it was given its name from a big rock upon which the St. George church is built. Compared to all the other Santorini beaches on our list, Monolithos has the softest and nicest sand on the island. Unlike the rest, you can even make sand castles with the pliable black and grey sand. Side by side with that are the blue waters suitable for exemplary water sport activities.

Down the beach there’s a spot where rocks protrude out from the land accompanied by a flat concrete platform. Here, boatmen can tie their boats and fisherman can have a flat surface to throw out their line. Across the beach, rock formations sculpted by salt yield a striking appearance as well -- giving endless views of beauty.

Amenities and Surrounding Area

Part of Monolithos beach is organized, with sunbeds, mattresses, and umbrellas for rent. Not only that, they also have a shower for rinsing and a lifeguard tower with lifeguards on duty for safety. Behind a certain stretch of the beach you will see a playground area for young children, lending to its family friendly atmosphere.  

Streets nearby host a basketball court, football field, and volleyball court, pledging endless hours of entertaining family fun. A few taverns line the beach as well, with lots of fresh seafood and yummy drinks to explore. When on the beach, you will even see the old Tomato Canning Factory, which is the first one ever made in Santorini. Furthermore, for more adventurous spirits, water sports are great at this location, with Santorini Kites sitting just north of the Beach.

How to Get There:

Located on the northeastern coast towards the middle of the island, Monolithos Beach is close to Fira and Kamari airport. If you plan on spending time at this Santorini Beach though, it's best to stay nearby.

While you can access Monolithos by car, bike, ATV, or catamaran, it is essential to arrange your transportation in advance. This is due to the lack of buses that frequent the area. If you must travel by bus though, locals recommend catching the bus to the airport and making the 20 minute walk to the beach.

With nearby parking and its flat surface, Monolithos is suitable for visitors of all ages and abilities. It won't be long until you're basking in the Santorini sun on one of the top Santorini beaches!

6. Vlychada

Vlychada beach is truly a hidden gem situated on Santorini's Southern coast. Here, it is not crowded or rowdy like some of the more popular Santorini beaches. Correspondingly, that makes it an ideal spot for relaxing, sunbathing, and even reading a book. Due to the quiet and isolation, many call it one of the most romantic Santorini beaches ever.

Long and lengthy, you do not want to miss out on this divine view. One of the most remarkable beaches, Vlychada is surrounded by overwhelming sandstone cliffs. Their finish resembles a piece of art, but was a natural process created by the volcano, wind and sea. White and gray pebbles, pumice stones, and black volcanic sand line the ground -- resembling other Santorini beaches on this list.

Inviting, shallow waters rest beside the land with crystal clear views into the Aegean sea. In essence, it is the most atmospheric beach in Santorini. Simply a place where visitors and locals alike spend countless hours relaxing, revering the raw beauty that surrounds them. Something else to mention is that it is clothing optional, so don’t get surprised if you see some bare butt cheeks!    

Amenities and Surrounding Area

Vlychada is semi organized with sunbeds and umbrellas for rent along some of the coastline. No facilities accompany this beach, as it is more isolated than most. Even so, it is just as worthy to visit and explore. And although there are no facilities, many restaurants, taverns and bars are nearby.

Water sports are not held here like other Santorini beaches, but underwater caves and crevices supply invigorating sights to behold. At the south end of the beach is a small charming port where Barca Sailing and Santorini Yacht Services offer electrifying sea adventures. Small yachts and boats also anchor in the marina to survey the land and eat traditional food.  

Towards the Northern end of the beach is the famously known Theros Wave Bar. After a hot day in the sun it is the perfect spot to come and retreat. If up for some Santorini exploring, enjoy a guided tour of the the Tomato Industrial Museum. Next to the museum, you can also check out the Santorini Arts factory whose chimney you can see from the beach.

How to Get There:

Vlychada sits almost upon the tip of the island. Still, the southern coastal spot is only kilometers from Fira and the Kamari airport, meaning you simply must stop here at some point during your stay.

Travelers find that Vlychada is accessible by car, bike, ATV, boat, or a bus ride up to the beach. Free parking and close by amenities cement this as one of Santorini's top beaches.

While Vlychada is suitable for most, it is necessary to note that the walk is less than simple from Kambia Beach. Therefore if you or someone in your group has mobility restrictions, avoid this path.

Are you ready to grab your passport and book a trip to one of these phenomenal Santorini beaches? I know we are!

Santorini is the best Greek island to visit and these beaches only prove why that’s true. With intoxicating views, exhilarating adventures, endless water sports, and relaxing feels, who WOULDN’T want to go? All things considered, if you’re someone who enjoys exploring new territory and learning about different cultures, you must visit Santorini. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

Have you ever traveled to Santorini? If so, have you gone to any of these Santorini beaches? How about others not on our list?

Even if you haven’t been to Santorini, which one of these Santorini beaches are your favorite? Where would you choose to go if you visited?

Let us know in the comments below and share with family and friends who love the beach just as much as you!

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