Santorini is an enchanting remnant of a volcanic caldera that has shaped the morphology of the island, giving its shores unique formations and characteristics. And while the black beaches of Perivolos and Perissa attract the attention of most visitors, the island is home to captivating shores that offer much more privacy and peacefulness – perfect for romantic escapades and holidays away from the bustling crowds. Here are five of the most arresting ones to visit:
1. Agia Irini
Very few people know that Santorini is actually an archipelago consisting of six islands, with the uninhabited island of Thirassia being one of them. Located on the northwestern side of Santorini, Thirassia is only reachable by boat from Ammoudi Port. Once there, head to the Riva village, and you will see the unspoilt shore of Agia Irini with the crystalline waters and the tranquil scenery. Ensure you bring your essentials as there are no tourist facilities in the area.
2. Mavro Vouno (Black Mountain)
Tucked between the Mesa Pigadia Beach and the Akrotiri Lighthouse, the small isolated cove of Mavro Vouno on the south of Santorini awaits to dazzle you with pristine raw natural beauties, imposing reddish cliffs, and grey-black volcanic sand. Also reachable by boat, Mavro Vouno is a tad more challenging to visit than other beaches as the waters here are quite deep and the seabed is rocky. However, if you do manage to drop anchor here, you have a hidden shore all by yourself and an equally impressive underwater world filled with caves and rock formations that can make an experienced diver’s heart pound.
3. Thermes Beach
The locals usually refer to this beach as Christos beach, from the small rock-carved chapel of Jesus Christ in the area. Come here and expect to be pampered with utterly relaxed moments and captivating views of the caldera. As for the beach itself, it can be accessed on foot or by boat from Megalochori village. The walk is not for the faint-hearted ones, though, as it involves a 25-minute downhill trek. However, this also means that you will have absolute privacy and all the time you need to soak up the allure of the 200-long shore with the large, black pebbles, black sand, colourful cliffs, and the hot springs. Again, there are no tourist facilities, but you will be rewarded with heart-stopping panoramas of the caldera and not only.
4. Bella Bay (aka Caldera Beach)
This scenic spot on the western coast of Santorini lies in the Akrotiri area and can be accessed via a non-paved road that includes a pronounced slope. Bella Bay is a secluded and quiet place overlooking the caldera and the islands of Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni, with black sand and deep and clean waters (ideal for advanced divers). Many tourists love this particular location for the exquisite sunset views and the opportunity to experience rock diving and sunbathing under the warm Mediterranean sun without rubbing shoulders with hundreds of other people.
5. Cape Kouloumbo
The Cape Koloumbo cape occupies the northern side of Santorini and hides a true gem – the unspoilt beach of Cape Koloumbo, just 12 km from Fira, the island capital. There is no public transport available to reach this place so you will need to rent a car or motorbike to get here. This is a shore particularly popular among nudists that charms with its black sand, the dramatic red cliffs, and the shaded spots that protect from the warm sun. Beware, though, as the waves here can be particularly high at times. In general, the sea is calm and perfect for snorkeling, diving, swimming, and sunbathing.
Where to stay in Santorini
Luckily, Santorini offers a plethora of accommodation options, ranging from budget bed and breakfasts to 5* hotels like one of the best Santorini hotels Kivotos that offer exquisite holiday experiences with a wide range of modern amenities, and comforts like a private pool, deluxe rooms, private dining, private sailing with the hotel-owned yacht, and utmost pampering adventures. The choice is yours!
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