One of the most popular family beaches is Monolithos, 7km (4.5 miles) from Fira on the east coast. You’ll find kids’ facilities here like a playground and beach games, and the beach is more sheltered with gentle waves.
Away from Fira, on the island’s south, Agios Georgios is well set up for visitors, with thatched beach huts, cafes and a gently foot-massaging surface of timeworn warm black pebbles.
It’s best to hire a beach lounge to recline on the black-sand beaches at Kamari and Perissa – the sand here sizzles. Kamari’s beach has a memorable setting, framed by the massive limestone cliffs of Cape Mesa Vouno, topped by the ruins of Ancient Thira. Perissa is a party beach, and it’s a good spot to hire diving equipment or organize snorkeling courses and trips.
The longest stretch of beach follows the coast at Perivolos, where a good selection of beach bars await after an afternoon walk beside the sea. The water is deep here for diving, and the beach party scene is similar to Perissa’s.
One of Santorini’s best known beaches is Red Beach, beloved for its volcanic red pebbles and a lovely setting at the base of a curving red cliff. The water here is shallow close to shore and the water-worn rocks are fascinating to explore, ideal for paddling and snorkeling,
Windsurfers don’t need to venture far from the environs of Fira, the main town, to hit the waves at Gialos, 4km (2.5 miles) northeast.
Beaches near Oia include Paradise and Pori on the northeast coast. They’re not as easily accessed as beaches further south, but the payoff is they’re quieter.
Most beaches on Santorini are equipped with tavernas and cafes, so you can make a long day of it with snacks and drinks on hand. Beach and water-sports equipment can be hired, including mats, sun beds and sun umbrellas.
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