Aside from its world-famous volcano, Santorini is probably best known for its black-sanded beaches. Dusted with dark volcanic rocks that have been ground down into a fine sand, they are part of the trademark of this stunning island. However, if the idea of sunbathing on millennia-old magma doesn't quite do it for you, Santorini has a brighter-coloured ace up its sleeve. Located in Akrotiri village, just over 12km from the town of Fira, you'll find the Santorini Red Beach. Something of an oddity compared to its darker counterparts, you can either drive to it, hop on one of the local buses, or even catch a boat to its rusty shores. If you're looking for somewhere different to top up your tan or a backdrop that's well worth getting your camera out for, Red Beach Santorini is the place to go.
A beach with a sci-fi feelBacked by red hills, the Santorini Red Beach is a small, secluded stretch of russet-coloured sands and, during the peak seasons between May and September, can get very busy. You'll see red rocks poking out from the azure-blue seas, giving the whole panorama a slightly sci-fi feel. Stand on top of the hill that leads down to the beach and you're in a prime position to snap some fantastic photos. The sands on Red Beach Santorini are a little pebbley, so there are sunloungers and parasols laid out for those who want them. It's worth getting there early, as these tend to be snapped up pretty quickly! It's a quiet beach, and you won't find much in the way of watersports. But the warm waters offer excellent conditions for scuba-divers and snorkelers who want to see the weird and wonderful underwater rock formations that line the shore. While it might be worth packing a picnic, there is a refreshment stand at the start of the path leading down to the beach, and a bar at the far end of the sands. Sheltered by the hills, Red Beach Santorini is protected from the sea winds and, as a result, can get very hot! While it might provide the perfect conditions for sun worshippers, don't forget to pack your Factor 50!
White BeachShould Santorini Red Beach get a little too warm for you, there's another great beach nearby. Hop on a boat and you can zip across the water to White Beach, which is also named according to the colour of its sands. White Beach offers a spectacular sweep of white sands and some secret underwater caves; perfect for those who enjoy a spot of scuba-diving.
An award-winning beachOn Santorini Red Beach, you might notice some small doors fixed into the copper-coloured cliffs. These lead to small storage rooms, where sunloungers and beach parasols are kept. One of the island's most striking attractions, Red Beach Santorini has been awarded the ”Best Unusual Beach' by the Travel Channel, as part of its ”Best Beaches Awards'. With gently-shelving shores, it's ideal for those travelling with children and its unique colour and setting makes it a perfect destination for couples looking to top up their tans together.