You may surprised to know that Santorini has a Red Beach! Yet, there are a few things to know before you take a trip there. Here’s how to get to Red Beach, all about the hiking trails, and if it’s truly worth visiting on Santorini Island.
What Makes Red Beach Santorini So Unique?
Before we get into some tips for visiting Santorini Red Beach, you should know what makes it so special. First things first… Did you know Santorini is an active volcano?
Yes, that’s right! Although it is now dormant, past eruptions on the island give Red Beach in Santorini its natural shape and colors.
The black and red rocks with the bright red cliffs towering behind it make it feel like you’re on another planet! It’s almost hard to believe that a place like this exists so close to the charming streets and iconic blue and white houses.
How to Get to Red Beach Santorini
So what’s the best way to get to the Red Beach of Santorini? Fortunately, it’s quite easy to get everywhere on the island. It’s located in the town of Akrotiri with the village center not far from the beach.
There are a few different options to travel to this wild beach with Red Sand which we go over below. Also, make sure to bring water, sturdy shoes, and anything you might need to swim.
Bus to Red Beach Santorini
You may be surprised, but the bus system is awesome on Santorini and other popular Greek islands. Buses run often from the main town of Fira to Akrotiri in the peak summer months.
You can even take it from the smaller villages if you choose to stay on another part of the island. Just be sure to check the bus times as they change throughout the year.
Red Beach by Car
Thinking of renting a car on Santorini? This can be a choice to get around, especially if you’re traveling in a group. Certain roads on the way to Red Beach Santorini are quite steep.
If you’re not used to driving in Europe we highly recommend getting a car over an ATV or scooter. You’ll find plenty of parking near Red Beach and around the town of Akrotiri. Just keep in mind the spots fill up crazy fast during the summer months.
Red Beach Santorini Tip: The two main parking areas are at the Kaminia Beach snack shop which is a very steep road and also near the Red Beach snack cart. The Red Beach snack cart is easier to drive to but a longer walk to the beach.
ATV to Santorini Red Beach
The most fun way to get to Santorini Red Beach is undoubtedly by ATV! You can rent these just about anywhere in Fira and take them all over the island.
They cost between €35-50 Euros a day depending on the season. Even if you’re an experienced motorbike rider, you may want to opt for the ATV as it’s more suitable on the steep hills.
First Glimpse of Red Beach Santorini
Now that you know all about how to get to the Red Beach of Santorini, what should you expect when you get there? If you’re getting off the bus it’s a short 10-minute walk down to the beach.
You’ll pass a small store with snacks and coffee as well as a restaurant with a view. We heard great things about Dolphins Fish Tavern if you are hungry.
Once you get to the trail it’s just another couple of minutes around the corner until you’ll have your first glimpse of Red Beach Santorini. And wow… It looks even more surreal in person!
The massive red cliff hanging over the clear blue water was something like out of a movie. To make it even more dramatic, there was a local musician playing traditional Greek songs as we looked out over the incredible Santorini coastline.
Hike Down to the Red Beach of Santorini
After seeing Red Beach in Santorini for the first time we couldn’t wait to get down there. Be advised there is a sign warning against it. If you’re more comfortable staying up top and just getting a view it’s understandable.
The trail down from the viewpoint won’t take you more than 5 minutes, but take your time! As you work your way down toward the red cliffs the views seem to get better and better.
You’ll also quickly see why we told you earlier in this article to wear shoes! It’s not so steep but the loose rocks make it tricky to walk down.
Once you get down to Red Beach in Santorini keep a good distance from the cliffs and don’t sit directly under them in case of falling rocks. You’d be surprised how many tourists are sunbathing directly under them!
We recommend instead heading all the way down to the second half of the beach where the snack shop is. On the far end, there are some beach chairs you can rent in the summer months.
Although the rocks are black and brown you’ll find the water still to be crystal clear for swimming and snorkeling! It may not be the golden sand or white pebble beaches you’re used to in Greece, but it would be hard to find anything more unique!
Things to do After Red Beach in Santorini
Boat Tour: Santorini has a white and black sand beach, too! In the summer months, there are many boat tours that go to all 3 beaches. This is a great way to see the different colors of the island, go snorkeling, and get a different perspective from the water.
Hiking Trails: Santorini Red Beach is the beginning of a hiking trail that goes to all three of these famous beaches. It runs along the cliffs of the coast and actually goes all the way to the famous Akrotiri Lighthouse.
Akrotiri Ruins: While you’re over in this area don’t miss out on these 3,600-year-old ruins! Explore the ancient excavation site and see why they call it the “Greek Pompei.”
Akrotiri Village: Above the Red Beach in Santorini is the beautiful town of Akrotiri. We hiked up the road from Red Beach and had lunch here before taking the bus back to Thera.
Is Red Beach Santorini Worth Visiting?
Yes! To us it was definitely a highlight and something unique to see on Santorini. Just know that this isn’t the sandy swimming beach you might be used to. Red Beach on Santorini is more about the sights and miraculous colors.
Honestly, it looks like something from another planet! As we mentioned, it’s a great activity to combine with a visit to the nearby Akrotiri Village. Have any questions about this article or want to share your own tips for visiting the Red Beach of Santorini? Comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay in Santorini Greece
Here are some hotel recommendations as well as inspiration for different areas of the island. As you can see, there is something for every type of traveler on Santorini!
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Santorini Travel Inspiration
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Explore all our Greece articles to help plan your trip! We cover everything from general travel tips to amazing destinations such as Santorini, Paros, Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete, Milos & more beautiful islands!
Greece Travel Planning
For island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. The fast ferries like Sea Jets will cost more but often takes half the time of slower ferries like Blue Star!
Rental Car: You can book a rental car for as little as $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.
Tours: Go to Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities in Santorini. You can find everything from group sailing tours to private catamaran cruises. Go wine tasting around the island, horseback riding down the beach, or even jump on an ATV tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.