Santorini might be a popular honeymoon destination, it is also an ideal destination for a carefree family beach holiday. The Greek island is known for its beautiful blue sea, but do not expect powdery white sandy beaches. Because it is a volcanic island, the beaches mostly consist of black sand, pebbles and volcanic stones. Nevertheless, the stunning rock formations in different colors, and the clear turquoise waters easily make up for that.
Why to rent a car
With a rental car from sunny cars, we decided to drive down the idyllic and secluded beaches only reachable by car, as well as some touristy ones. Sunny Cars is cheap, the pick-up and drop-off at the airport is super quick, and the rental price is all-included, no-risk; you have a small all-in car for approximately €310 per week in high season. Another benefit of renting a car is that you are free to go where, and whenever you like and you are not dependent on the packed public buses. Also, you get to see the most beautiful landscapes, where you can stop and enjoy the view. From our hotel in Imerovigli it was only a 20-30 minute drive to all beaches in all directions.
Koloumbo beach is just south of Oia, on the northeast coast of the island, and only reachable by car. It was a bit hard to find, as there is no sign indicating. A navigation system or google maps is therefore recommended. You park your car beside the road, and through a somewhat hidden sandy path you walk 10 minutes down to the beach. The walk is beautiful. You are surrounded by succulents, plants and wildflowers, the humming of bees and wild fig trees.
The pristine cove has distinctive volcanic stones, pebbles and rocks and is sheltered by a stunning rock formation with streaks of erosion. A wonderful place to relax and enjoy the sun and sea.
Red Beach is perhaps the most famous beach in Santorini. It owes its fame to the striking fiery red rock formation. The bay is located near the village of Akrotiri and is only accessible by foot. After you have parked your car at the church, follow a rocky path down. Many tourists leave the walk for what it is and just take a picture from above. This means that the cove is not too crowded, and you can enjoy a nice quiet day at the beach.
White beach is right next to Red beach. This cove is only accessible on foot or by boat. The beach is surrounded by white and gray rocks and small pebbles and shells. Therefore, remember to bring flip flops or water shoes.
Agios Georgios Beach
Agios Georgios Beach is a black sand beach in the south. It is an organised beach lined with beach clubs and restaurants, providing all amenities: loungers, umbrellas, showers. I like this beach best of all touristy beaches because it is most upscale of them all and has a hip, loungy atmosphere. Favourite beach club: Seaside by Notos
Perivolos Beach is aligned to Agios Georgios Beach, just 3 minutes northeast of it. It’s a long stretched, black sand beach with small taverns, loungers and umbrellas, but less organised than Agios Georgios. As a backdrop you’ll have an impressive rock formation.
TIP: Take enough water, food, sunscreen and your own beach towel with you when you visit the remote coves of Red Beach, White Beach, and Koloumbos.