Santorini beaches are not as famous as the ones in the neighboring islands, but the island has some nice swimming spots to keep you cool when you visit.

Kamari Beach

Beach panorama with straw parasols
Panoramic view of Kamari beach, Santorini, Greece.
  • Name: Kamari beach (Καμάρι)
  • Also Known as: Black Beach
  • Location: Santorini, Greece
    Click here to see it on the map and to get directions
  • Overall Rating: 3/5  Rating 3 out of 5
  • Joy Index (What the Water Felt Like): 3/5  Rating 3 out of 5
  • Beach Berm: Shingle
  • Seafloor: Shingle
  • Access:
  • The town road will take you right to the beach. There are several parking lots in the vicinity. You can also get to Kamari beach with a small boat from Perissa beach.
  • Amenities: at Kamari beach you will find plenty of restaurants, bars, and hotels. You may also hire a parasol and sun beds for the day.

Notes: The beach is lined with unique volcanic black pebbles, that give the beach the name “Black Beach”. They are soft and have a beautiful black color.

The black pebbles retain more heat than white sand, so you will see many bathers “hopping” their way from the sun bed to the water. It might be a good idea to have your flip flops handy so you don’t feel like walking on fire every time you head for the water.

Perissa Beach

Sun beds and parasols at the beach
Straw parasols at Perissa beach, Santorini.
  • Name: Perissa beach (Περισσά)
  • LocationSantorini, Greece
    Click here to see it on the map and to get directions
  • Overall Rating: 3/5  Rating 3 out of 5
  • Joy Index (What the Water Felt Like): 3/5  Rating 3 out of 5
  • Beach Berm: Black Shingle
  • Seafloor: Shingle
  • Access: Paved road all the way to the beach. You will find ample parking in he vicinity. The walk to the beach is easy. Small boats shuttle passengers between Kamari and Perissa beaches.
  • Amenities: Perissa beach is lined form one end to the other with restaurants, hotels, bars, and cafeterias. The town is within walking distance. At the beach you will find many rows of parasols. Just sit on the one you like, and an attendant will come to collect the money.

Notes: Perissa beach is right around the headland, to the south of Kamari beach. It’s similarly long, and it’s lined with black coarse sand.

Red Beach

Beach with red colored rocks and blue water
Panoramic view of Red beach. Santorini, Greece.
  • Name: Red beach (Κόκκινη Παραλία)
  • LocationSantorini, Greece
    Click here to see it on the map and to get directions
  • Overall Rating: 1/5  Rating 4 our of 5
  • Joy Index (What the Water Felt Like): 1/5  Rating 4 our of 5
  • Beach Berm: Shingle and coarse sand
  • Seafloor: Single and rocks
  • Access: A road will bring you close to the beach. There is a small parking lot, but after that you have to walk about 10 minutes over a rough path to get to it. The path has some sections where you have to negotiate large rocks.
  • Amenities: There is a restaurant at the far end of the beach. In front of it there is a line of parasols for hire. Near the parking lot you will find some food trucks, but beyond that, there is not much else within walking distance

Notes: Red beach is famous for the red color that paints the entire landscape and the beach berm itself.

Red cliff above beach, and blue sea water
View of Red Beach in Santorini.

Red beach is heavily promoted on tour guides and websites as a featured destination for swimming in Santorini. But this might have to do more with clever marketing and past glory, than with the value of the beach itself today.

From our experience, it is at best an average beach, not worth going out of your way to visit it.

If you happen to be in the area for other reasons, like visiting the nearby archaeological site of Prehistoric Akrotiri, it might be worth going to the Red beach for a dip and to snap a couple of photos. Otherwise, you may safely opt for any other swimming spot around the island.

Despite the difficulty of getting to it, Red beach is packed with tourists who negotiate the precarious rocks and ignore the signs that forbid entrance due to rocks falling from above.

If you do opt to swim there, the water has lower than average temperature, and can be refreshing on a hot day. Just be mindful of the large number of boats sail dangerously close to the beach among swimmers, making it a not very safe place to swim.