Top 10 best and less crowded Santorini Beaches
Santorini is the most meridional island of the Cyclades. It is actually an archipelago of six islands: Santorini and Therassia, and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. It is a captivating remnant of a volcanic caldera, the geology of which gives character and diversity to its beaches. The peculiar architecture of Santorini in perfect harmony with the natural landscape gives it a beauty that has made it a bespoke destination worldwide. However, there are still amazing secret beaches where to find tranquillity away from the crowds.
The best Santorini Beaches
White Beach, Santorini
In the village of Akrotiri on the southwest coast of Santorini, just 14km away from the capital Fira, lies a spectacular cove known as White Beach or Aspri Paralia, as called by the locals. It can only be reached by boat.
Its beauty is impressive and the waters crystal-clear. The beach is covered with black, grey and white sand with large pebbles and surrounded by imposing white cliffs, which accentuate the sense of isolation. A must-see during your holidays in Santorini.
It is partially organised, with only some sunbeds with umbrellas and a small cave canteen for basic supplies, but there are no facilities. The White Beach is also a great place for the snorkelling and, especially, scuba diving lovers, as there are caves and many underwater rock formations and fissures to explore.
Pori Beach, Santorini
This secluded beach belonging to the village of Imerovigli is just 10km away from Fira, on the northeast coast. Although there is no public transport nor sign that leads you there, it is easily reachable by car or motorbike if you follow the road that runs along the coast. It is located between Cape Kouloumbo and Vourvoulos Beach. There are some zigzag stairs to descend to the beach area. It is not organised, so there are no facilities.
It is a very beautiful and quiet beach, with black and white sand and reddish enveloping cliffs that provide partial shade. Locals prefer it because it remains quite undisturbed and waters are amazingly clear and rather shallow. Because of the geographical location it can become windy. Actually, some windmills can be seen on the hills of the area.
Expect to find peace and relax there, as the beach is isolated and it does not even get crowded during peak season.
Baxedes Beach, Santorini
The place means garden, and comes from the Turkish word Baxes. The inhabitants used to plant some vegetables and dry fruits in this area. The beach is located just 3km away from Oia. It stretches after Paradisos Beach and is easily reachable.
It is popular amongst locals because it is secluded, quite sandy, even the seabed after some meters of pebbles, and waters are shallower than in other areas. The landscape is outstanding, with beautiful, naturally sculptured cliffs surrounding the black beach sand contrasting the crystal-clear water. The beach is narrow on some parts and wider on some others, where just a small number of sunbeds are available. There is a small bar which offers drinks and snacks.
Beaches on the north of Santorini might not be the best option to go swimming when the Meltemi, the Aegean northern wind blows, especially for kids. Otherwise, Bexedes is definitely a must-see for those looking for clean and crystalline waters, tranquillity and amazing scenery. Sunsets from this cloistered beach are wonderful and just worth the visit.
Armenaki Beach, Santorini
This is a tiny overlooked spot between the popular Ammoudi and Armeni Bay, in the region of Oia on the north side of the island. The place is reachable on foot by descending a rather steep cliff, walking down a very narrow and sometimes intimidating path which starts in Monastiri. Not an easy task. The best option is to get there by renting a boat. The views are remarkable, especially while sailing.
On the small stretch of beach there are pebbles and black, grey and reddish sand but no facilities whatsoever. Waters here are crystal clear and deep, which makes it ideal for swimming. The scenery from the sea is mind-blowing. The blue colours of the water contrast with the red of the impressive cliffs, which then turn to brown and green for the vegetation and finally, the white of the houses of Oia at the top.
This secret beach is cloistered and will give a real sense of isolation. A nice, relaxing swim away from the crowds in a notable setting is granted here.
Cape Kouloumbo, Santorini
The beach at Cape Kouloumbo or Columbo is the northern hidden gem of the island. Belonging to Oia, this unspoilt beach is located just 12km away from Fira. There is no public transport to reach it, so it is only accessible by private vehicles and then following a narrow path on foot for about 300m.
The beach is a favourite spot for nudists. It is an isolated black stretch of sand with dramatic red cliffs which provide some shade when the sun starts to set. Because of its location, waves can be quite high. Be sure to bring all your essentials, as there are no facilities on the beach, nor sunbeds or umbrellas.
Waters are quite warm here. Under the sea, at about 500m depth, there is the active volcano of Kouloumbos, which last erupted more than 300 years ago. Adventurous swimmers and divers properly equipped can find it exciting to explore the Seal Cave in the area.
Kouloumbo Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the north coast.
Bella Bay, Santorini
This lovely spot is located on the west coast in the Akrotiri area, just about 5 km from the lighthouse. It is easily accessible, but the slope is quite pronounced and the road is not paved.
Bella Bay is also known as Caldera Beach, a quiet, secluded place of black sand overlooking the caldera. Waters are clean and quite deep, so it is a good spot for equipped divers. The beach is unorganised, so there is no lifeguard, sunbeds nor umbrellas, but if the sun is too strong, there is a small restaurant from where to enjoy the beautiful views. On clear days, the volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palia Kameni are perfectly visible.
On the edge of the beach, the daring ones find it appealing to climb a rock about 5 meters high and jump into the sea, given the conditions allow for it and safety is not threatened.
This gem on the west coast of the island is a truly amazing place to stop and enjoy a relaxing day at the beach, far from the crowds, and particularly special to experience the renowned Santorini sunsets.
Thermes Beach, Santorini
Also known as Christos, it takes this name from the small chapel carved on the rock which is found along the way. It is a remarkable secluded beach with impressive views of the caldera.
The beach is only accessible by boat or on foot, following a path that begins at the award winning Boutari winery in the village of Megalochori, just 7km from Fira. The walk is rather long, about 25 minutes downhill and it can be hard on the way back, especially during the hottest hours of the day. This inconvenience, though, grants some privacy on the beach.
Thermes beach is about 200 long, with black sand, large pebbles and pumice stone. The colourful environing cliffs are spectacular to watch from the sea. Like the neighbouring beach of Plakas, there are hot springs (hence the name Thermes), but there are no facilities.
This isolated beach is one of the most beautiful on the west coast, perfect for those seeking a place to relax overlooking the caldera.
Akra Mavro Vouno, Santorini
Between the Akrotiri Lighthouse and Mesa Pigadia Beach on the south of Santorini, you will find the Black Mountain. Below, to the west side, there is a small isolated cove. It is probably one of the remotest stretches of beach on the island, reachable only by boat. It might be difficult to set anchor there – as it is common in this area due to the depth of the waters and the rocky seabed. Once on the shore, you can enjoy the beach in exclusivity.
This hidden cove is truly unspoilt and beautiful, made of black and grey sand with some large pebbles and surrounded by reddish cliffs. The one to the east is impressive as you can see the layers of lava, and it provides some shade as well as protection from the winds.
This remote beach is ideal to escape the noise in the city and have a nice swim in the deep blue waters of Santorini, quite warm here as the lava absorbs the heat, so it gives water temperature a consistency. Because of its remarkable rock formation, it is also a great place for experi enced divers, as there are interesting submarine caves to explore.
Agia Eirini, Thirassia
No trip to Santorini is complete without visiting its sister island, Thirassia. It is one of the two inhabited islands in the archipelago located north-west of Nea Kameni. It is part of the municipality of Oia, so it is reachable by boat from Ammoudi Port.
Agia Eirini is on the north of the island in the village of Riva, where there are only a few houses and a couple of tavernas. It is a quiet, unspoilt beach of black sand and pumice stone. There are no facilities on the beach and it can get really hot, so bring your essentials. Waters are clear and warm. It is just nice to lay on the beach and swim above the volcano.
If you want to escape the hustle of Oia and Fira, Agia Eirina and Thirassia in general is a wonderful place to spend the day, even visit the higher parts of the village for beautiful views and enjoy memorable sunsets. If you decide to do so, do not miss Trypiti Promontory on the south of the island, qualified by geologists as one of the most beautiful volcanic veins in the world.
The best way to calmly enjoy Santorini is by boat. Take day cruise or weekly charter to sail the archipelago at your ease and visit the island in exclusivity. Let its bespoke sun lights drench you in outstanding sceneries that will linger in your memory.