A First-Timer’s Guide to The Best Santorini Beaches

June 1, 2021

Besides heart-stopping sunset views and absolutely adorable Cycladic architecture, Santorini is also home to unique shores you won’t find elsewhere. Composed of volcanic pebbles and coarse volcanic sand, the beaches of Santorini dazzle with striking landscapes and rugged allure. Simultaneously, you get the chance to admire waters that define the word “crystalline” in the best way imagined.

But, if you are about to visit the Queen of the Cyclades this summer, making a list of the must-visit shores can be a challenge. So, here are some suggestions that can tick the boxes of even the most discerning visitors.

Best Santorini Shores for an Ultimately Refreshing Experience

The most renowned beaches in Santorini are Perissa and Perivolos. In fact, they are both parts of one very long beach. Each end of the beach has a different name. So, the north end to the south is Perissa, and the southern shore is named Perivolos. Of the two, the latter is the most upscale with an impressive number of luxury resorts, fine dining restaurants, and high-end beach clubs. The sand is also a tad finer. Perissa, on the other hand, offers a quieter night scene but a pretty lively party atmosphere to enjoy. Just don’t expect the crazy parties that take place in the island capital. The further south you move, the quieter the beach becomes.

Other than these two, also deserving your time are:

  • Red Beach – The stunning backdrop (imposing cliffs of varying colours) and the pebbly shore enchants while the underwater rock formations invite you to a fascinating scuba diving and snorkeling adventure. The spectacular beach is found in the Akrotiri region and welcomes you with plenty of umbrellas and sunbeds. You can come here by bus, car, or even a water taxi from Akrotiri port!
  • Monolithos – A quiet, family-friendly beach on the east coast of the island with shallow waters and black/grey sand. Feel free to select the level of privacy you wish. For a more cosmopolitan vibe, prefer the organised part. Besides umbrellas and sunbeds, you will also find a playground area for the little ones, a volleyball court, a football pitch, and a basketball court. The more secluded side, though, ensures serenity while providing tree-shaded areas to relax.
  • Pori Beach – Another sandy, quiet, and totally charming shore on the northeast coast of Santorini that belongs to the picturesque Imerovigli village. The small beach is locals’ favourite spot for its pristine natural beauty and crystal clear waters. The fact that it is not widely touristy makes Pori beach a huge attraction for those wishing for more beach fun away from the crowds. The same landscape prevails (reddish cliffs surrounding the shore), and you are also pampered with luxury resorts like Kivotos Hotels, offering elegant suites and heart-stopping seascapes within an arm’s reach.
  • Vlychada Beach – Vlychada is awe-inspiring with the moon-like volcanic cliffs and the coarse black sand. This semi-organised shore provides sunbeds and umbrellas and is the starting (or end) point for many Caldera cruises. Now, if you like swimming with the bare essentials (or nothing at all), do head to the far north end of Vlychada. And, if you are wondering about the two chimneys that are part of the scenery, these once belonged to the Santorini tomato canning factory. Today, they are turned into an interesting cultural centre and museum.

Insider’s tip

One of the island’s best-kept secrets is Caldera beach. Known by a handful of tourists and much-beloved by locals, it is the only easily accessible shore in the Caldera offering captivating views of the volcano and wonderful dive spots. It is perhaps the more serene beach on the island, with most people visiting it for sailing or diving. The beach itself features a mix of sand and black pebbles and waters that get too deep too close to the shore (so beware).

The only thing left for you is to pick your favourite beach and start exploring. And, who knows? Maybe you discover other Santorini gems worth mentioning here!



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