If you are on Instagram, chances are you have seen approximately one million photos of the beautiful city of Oia on Santorini. Think white-washed houses perched high on a cliff-edge overlooking the blue sea below. What you don't see as many pictures of however, are the many amazing beaches elsewhere on the island. And while Oia IS stunning, sometimes you just have to get away from the selfie-taking crowds and find a nice spot for a swim and a beach nap. Here are a few of our fave spots...
This stone beach backed by towering white cliffs took first place for our favorite beach on Santorini! The scenery is incredible, the beach is long and spacious, and best of all, there are never many people there. There are some umbrellas and chairs available for rent if that's your thing, otherwise a short walk farther down and you can easily find a stretch of beach all to yourself.
A narrow beach at the bottom of some sheer cliffs, this is the most famous beach on the island because of its unique coloring. The red rock contrasted against the bright blue water makes for some incredible photos. If there were still water on Mars, it is exactly what I imagine a Martian beach would look like. Because this is a relatively small but popular beach, it can get very crowded during peak season. We suggest coming late in the afternoon to avoid the tour groups. Also, the short hike down can be a bit rocky and treacherous, so be sure to wear suitable footwear.
The longest beach on the island, Perissa has a little something for everyone. There are equipment rental facilities for those looking to try their hand at jet skiing or SUPing, endless beach bars plying beer and seafood, and kilometers of fine black sand for laying out on and working on your tan (Be careful though, that black sand gets unbelievably hot in the sun!). Tip: If you are feeling hungry, we recommend checking out Tranquilo for their huge, fresh salads. They are delicious and can easily feed 2 hungry people.
Located on the less populated Northern side of the island, this large rocky beach is probably the quietest Santorini has to offer. There are a few bars offering umbrellas and refreshments, but otherwise, it's a lot of beautiful empty beach. It also happens to be Santorini's unofficial nude beach, so if you are looking to work on a full body tan this is your spot!
Although not technically a beach, Ammoudi Bay is a great place to swim a short walk from Oia. From town, just follow the path down to the seaside restaurants, turn left and go around the point to the rocky cove overlooking a tiny island with a church on it. With crystal clear water and plenty of rocks to jump from, it is one of the best swimming spots on the island. If you are brave you can swim out to the tiny island and cliff jump from the edge of the wall. Fun fact: For those of you who have seen the ever-so-famous film Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, this is where the main characters all jump into the water at the end.