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9 Awesome Black Sand Beaches in Santorini, Greece

9 Awesome Black Sand Beaches in Santorini, Greece

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Discover nine amazing black sand beaches in Santorini, Greece that you need to visit on your next trip to the Greek Islands.

The volcanic island of Santorini (Thera) is one of the most unique and undoubtedly beautiful locations in the Cyclades. However, unlike some of the other nearby Greek Islands including Ios or Paros, travelers won’t find many white sand beaches here.

Instead, what makes the famous beaches of Santorini Island so unique is their stunning dark sand and black-pebbled shores.

So, in this guide, I’ll give you a detailed rundown on the best Santorini Greece black sand beaches to help you plan your volcanic beach hopping adventure on Thera!

Map of the santorini greece black sand beaches

1. Perissa Beach

  • Closest Village: Perissa
  • Highlights: Swimming, snorkeling, sun beds, and umbrellas.

Perissa Beach, located on the eastern coastline of Santorini, is a small stretch of soft, black sand near the town of Perissa. This is widely acknowledged as the official black sand beach on Santorini, and the one visited on the majority of the island tours and day trips.

The reason is that Perissa Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Santorini. Wedged against the towering Mesa Vouno hill, this wide stretch of sand drops gently into the calm Aegean Sea. It's perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or simply relaxing on one of the many sun beds or straw umbrellas.

To get here, you'll want to make your way to Perissa, which is an approximately 45-minute drive from Oia, or 20 minutes from Thira on an ATV (quad bike). Alternatively, a visit to this iconic black beach is included in the highly-rated Santorini Highlights Tour.

Perissa black sand beach in santorini

2. Kamari Beach

  • Closest Village: Kamari
  • Highlights: Water sports, soft sand, lively atmosphere.

Kamari Beach is another popular black sand and pebble beach on the eastern side of Santorini. This one is located on the opposite side of the Mesa Vouno mountain from Perissa and features a similar long stretch of soft sand and many sunbeds to tan on.

Additionally, this beach is popular with tourists looking to do water sports like jet skis, banana boat rides, or tubing.

Kamari beach in santorini

3. Perivolos Beach

  • Closest Village: Perivolos
  • Highlights: Festive atmosphere, beach bars, affordable accommodations.

While technically joined, Perivolos Beach is the continuation of Perissa Beach, leading for approximately 2 kilometers to the south, where it joins again to Agios Georgios Beach.

Paralia Perivolos is quite popular, especially with those tourists staying at one of the more affordable accommodation options on the eastern side of Santorini. The beach is lined with many eateries, hotels, and popular beach bars, and is well-known for its festive atmosphere.

Perivolos beach, santorini
Black sandy beach, greece

4. Vlychada Beach

  • Closest Village: Vlychada
  • Highlights: Tranquility, volcanic cliffs, beach umbrellas.

Moving on to the southern tip of Santorini and we'll find another gorgeous black pebble beach edged by tall volcanic cliffs called Vlychada Beach. Paralia Vilchada is located at a relatively remote part of the island and isn't frequently visited by tourists. However, many day cruises do operate from the marina in Vlychada village (also written Vlichada), which is just beside this long beach.

If you're looking for a spot to swim, relax, and enjoy some tranquility on the often hectic island, then this is a great spot. There are often straw beach umbrellas and day beds for hire during the summer months.

Vlichada beach in santorini greek islands

5. Monolithos Beach

  • Closest Village: Monolithos
  • Highlights: Relaxation, sandy beach, beach bar.

Monolithos Beach is a very large and mostly sandy beach located on the very eastern tip of Santorini, near the Kratikos Aerolimenas airport.

Compared to some of the more popular Santorini beaches, Monolithos doesn't have much infrastructure along the shore. However, there is a small beach bar called East View serving up cold beers and cocktails right on the beach! Additionally, for a couple of euros, visitors can rent a sunbed here too, with large palm-leaf shade covers.

Monolithos Beach is also the closest beach to the popular village of Fira, since it is directly on the other side of the island. As a result, this is one of the best beaches for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle and relax!

Monolithos beach bar in santorini
Swimming in santorini cave hotel with pool

Planned Where to Stay Yet?

Santorini is world-famous for its epic cave hotels overlooking the caldera.

Make sure to check out my updated guide to the best cave hotels with swim-out pool views below– or my neighborhood guides to the best places to stay in Oia, and the top hotels in Fira.

6. Kampia Beach

  • Closest Village: Akrotiri
  • Highlights: Secluded, rocky sand, kayak rentals.

Following along the Santorini caldera to the remote southwest region and we'll discover two more beautiful black sandy beaches in the Akroti Area.

The first is Kampia Beach, and while a little tricky to get to, is a great place to swim and relax without the crowds.

To get to Kampia Beach, you'll need to drive all the way around t the village of Akrotiri, following the directions on Google Maps to Kampia.

Once you arrive, you'll find a quiet, rocky black beach with only a tiny restaurant and cafe Called Kambia. To the east you'll witness the iconic red lava cliffs– a wild landscape unique to Santorini Red Beach.

Additionally, there are sometimes kayak rentals here, which is a great option if you would like to visit White Beach and Red Sand Beach, which are immediately on either side of Kampia Beach.

Kampia black sandy beach, santorini island, greece

7. Mesa Pigadia Beach

  • Closest Village: Akrotiri
  • Highlights: Isolation, black sand, calm waters.

The final black sand beach in Santorini worth visiting is the distant Paralia Mesa Pigadia. This is the most isolated beach on Santorini island and consists of a long stretch of black sand and small black pebbles. The crystal clear water is often quite calm on this side, tucked away from the strong wind you'll likely experience in Fira or Oia.

Additionally, from the shores, you'll witness beautiful panoramic views of the eroded volcanic rock coastline to the east which really are magnificent.

Unlike some of the most popular beaches like Perissa and Kamari, there are no hotels or resorts on this side of the island. As a result, it's one of the most quiet beaches on the entire island and sun loungers will likely get to enjoy its fine black sand all to themselves!

Mesa pigadia beach, greece

8. Columbo Beach

  • Closest Village: Koloumpos
  • Highlights: Secluded, natural setting, snorkeling.

For a more secluded and natural beach experience, head to Columbo Beach. You'll find this one just beside the small village of Koloumpos (known for the Kyra Panagia Holy Chapel).

Columbo Beach offers a unique setting with its black-gray sand surrounded by tall cliffs and boulders. This undeveloped beach provides a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for those seeking privacy and relaxation away from the crowds.

One of the highlights of Columbo Beach is its decent snorkeling opportunities, especially in the undersea cave and crater nearby. However, be prepared as there are no restrooms or sunbed rentals available, making it ideal for a raw, natural experience. To reach Columbo Beach, you'll need a rental car or taxi since there is no bus service. Don't miss Paralia Koloumpo, another great beach nearby.

Columbo beach santorini

9. Agios Georgios Beach

  • Closest Village: Perivolos
  • Highlights: Peaceful, sunbeds, water sports.

Agios Georgios Beach, often considered an extension of Perivolos Beach, is another fantastic option if you're chasing volcanic sands. This beach is known for its peaceful environment and black sand, making it a great spot for those looking to escape the more crowded areas.

Here you can enjoy a variety of water sports such as jet skiing and paddleboarding, or simply relax and soak up the sun. The festive atmosphere of Agios Georgios Beach, combined with its beautiful black sand and clear waters, makes it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Santorini!

Black sand beach with umbrellas and sun chairs in santorini, greece

Don't Miss These Top Tours In Santorini

In a rush? Want the top 3 unmissable Santorini tours that you can book in advance? Here they are.

Santorini volcanic islands cruise with hot spring visit

1. Volcanic Islands Cruise with Hot Spring

Sail around Santorini's caldera, hike the volcano (optional), and stop at some epic islands for swimming, exploring, and enjoying the hot springs (Thirassia)

Kayaking tours

2. Sea Kayak Visiting Sea Caves & Picnic

Are you looking for an adventurous tour that is worth the arm workout? Look no further than the Santorini Sea Kayaking tour. With spectacular views and a picnic to fill you up this one shouldn't be missed.

Wine tasting tour, santorini

3. Guided Wine Tasting Tour

If sipping wine and enjoying spectacular views is your kind of thing then the Wine Tasking Tour should be on your list. With 3 wine estates to be visited, you will be sure to have an exceptional day. The best part is you don't need to drive!

Looking For A Place To Stay in Santorini?

To make the most of an unforgettable Santorini travel experience, you'll want to stay at one of the beautiful cliff villages of Oia or Fira (Thira). Below I have selected the top three accommodation options for each budget.

Divine cave experience santorini

1. Divine Cave Experience Luxury

Rated as the best cave hotel experience in Santorini. This adults-only cave hotel is located just north of the exclusive Imerovigli cliffside village and each room comes with its own cave pool with views over the ocean!

La perla villas and suites outdoor swimming pool

2. La Perla Villas and Suites Mid-Range

Arguably the best mid-range option for a memorable and romantic Santorini getaway. These villas and suites are very well located in the beautiful village of Oia, where you can catch unforgettable sunset views over the volcano.

Bedspot hostel dorm room

3. Bed Spot Hostel Budget

The best hostel in Santorini. This one is located in the Fira center district and is very popular with backpackers and budget-conscious travelers after all the amenities such as a shared kitchen and a huge outdoor terrace common area.

Pool with volcano view in santorini

Why Are the Beaches Black in Santorini?

The dark grey and black color of the sand and pebbles at many of Santorini's onyx-colored beaches is due to volcanic activity. In fact, the island of Santorini changed completely following a devastating volcanic eruption 3,600 years ago. This is referred to as the Minoan eruption and destroyed the Akrotiri settlement, as well as nearby islands' agriculture.

This resulted not only in a thick layer of volcanic ash, pumice, and lava covering the island, but reshaped the island completely from a round island to its current crescent shape.

Santorini volcanic coastline

I hope that you've enjoyed this short travel guide summing up the best black sand beaches in Santorini, Greece.

While you're here, take a pick from the list below for more useful Greek Island travel guides and inspiration for your next adventure in Greece!

Santorini black sand beaches, greece
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.