Santorini does not excel in terms of beaches, there you only go to admire the landscapes, possibly Nah!
You warm-up and lie down on the deck chair, because you're just at sea, right ?!, but do not start to compare with other beaches in Greece, because it will give you a minus.
Why? Because most of the beaches are made of smaller or larger gravel, or even dark stones given the volcanic nature of the island, many with "boulders" or rocky platforms at the entrance to the sea, are almost unwelcome.
But, there are many beaches with Blue Flag, which benefit from various facilities, just for the tourist to enjoy the mix: the creation of nature and the manmade.
Red Beach or Kokkini Paralia
The undisputed star of Santorini is the Red Beach, a tourist attraction in itself, which all those who come to the island will want to see.
It is located 13 km south of the capital Fira and relatively close to the archeological site Akrotiri (500 m), so after finishing with the prehistoric boulders, we went to the car, took our trekking shoes and minimal luggage for the beach, then we set off knowing that at some point we have to cross a more rugged part that brings with it a hiking trail.
We passed a series of taverns, then left the beautiful church of Agios Nikolaos on the right and launched ourselves on the path guided by the arrows. I also met a fruit stall and an eternal violin singer who I read about staying there all day long.
Now he was on a break, instead, a CD seller offered us music excerpts from their contents, and we were stepping on chords to Thira's star. Then, insight, the beach appeared, guarded by lofty slopes of reddish-brown volcanic rock, of slag consistency, resulting from the turbulence of the hard earth tried by the volcano in Santorini.
Everyone stops to take a picture of her here, frontally and somewhat from above, in any case, the best position to capture her in all her splendor.
The walls are unstable, it can be seen that they are in danger of possible earthquakes, anyway from time to time the indicators indicate that stones may fall, and tourists are not allowed to sit too close to them, the area being delimited by a thick rope cord, narrowing it even more. It was arranged with sunbeds and umbrellas only at one end, that is, at the other, not where we were. We put on our towels and mat, lay down in the sun to relax a little, and, of course, splashed in the water not too deep at the entrance, but incredibly clear, so it looked red too.
It is a semi-wild beach, there are no showers, toilets, changing cabins, everyone manages as best they can, and at the end, with sunbeds and umbrellas, I saw a caravan from which you could buy drinks, packaged things or sandwiches prepared in advance.
Red Beach is definitely worth a visit as it offers a rare view, probably unique in the whole world, where red is the dominant color. It is a beach where you come, admire it, linger a bit, possibly for a swim and a little sunbathing, then take it out of place for more friendly places.
While sitting in the sun, but also a little earlier, I noticed several boats circulating for the amount of 10 € / person from the port of Akrotiri to the Red Beach, the White Beach, the Black Beach, and vice versa, as it was written on all, doing a kind of hop-on hop-off.
We consult with our eyes and decide that the idea is not bad, especially since the access to Aspri Paralia (White Beach) can only be done from the sea, and to the Black Beach (Mesa Pigadia) it was a shame to waste time arriving with the car when everything seemed so easy from the sea.
In addition, we had the opportunity to see Kambia beach, located near the Red Beach, practically separating it from it only a rocky shore, without direct connection with the foot, but with a grand detour by car, offroad.
At the next boat, as soon as we saw her approaching, we quickly gathered everything and coughed! we jump into it too. We are given bracelets that prove that we have paid, we are explained how to proceed, we are invited to use the disinfectant on board.
The helmsman has a mask that he wears under his beard, some of the tourists do, others do. We sit in a more isolated corner of the boat, from where we have a grandmother's visibility and from where we can take pictures.
Black Beach or Mesa Pigadia
After the helmsman set off again, we walked for only a few minutes, and from other rocks, we saw the Black Beach or Mesa Pigadia, as the locals know it.
Compared to the previous beach, access to it can also be done from land, on a dirt road leading to the lighthouse.
It was named so thanks to the lofty slopes that border it behind, dark in color, as is the gravel that covers it, which is already known to Santorini.
It's not too small, but it's narrow, has a few sunbeds with and without umbrellas, and a tavern that seems to sell everything.
Honestly, we are not too impressed by this, so we decide not to stay here either, but to continue our way to the port of Akrotiri.
There we thought of eating at a real tavern in the port, then recovering our car from the parking lot and heading to the lighthouse and the village, which we have already told you about.
Santorini is said to have no beaches at Caldera, the depression formed by the collapse and sinking of more than two-thirds of the island, because the high slopes formed by this process are straight and several hundred meters high, but it is not.
The vertical walls are "cut" in several places, which is true, where their height is lower, by steep paths to the sea, accessible only by foot, or even by a paved road, as is the case of the beaches in the south-west, Gialos and Caldera Beach.
As on our way, starting from Akrotiri village towards a sunset viewpoint, a sign appeared towards Caldera Beach, we decided on the spot to go down to see what it was about. You could go by car, but we thought we'd better leave it in the parking lot and walk it. The road was grand, very winding, and very steep.
I also saw some cars coming down, from above I could see that the beach has two parts. One on the left where there are a diving club and a restaurant with a terrace (named Remezzo), quite large, and the other on the right, there still sitting in the sun a few people.
On the way down, we realize that the steep shore was beautifully lit by the approaching sunset. Once we go down, we take some photos, evaluate the beaches a bit, like all the ones on the island, with gravel and stones, not very attractive, unfurnished who knows what, but to satisfy your need for beach and bath, go over these aspects.
At Caldera Beach, the best thing is the beautiful view offered to Caldera, the Aspronisi islands, Palea Kameni, Nea Kameni, and the shore that leads to the top of the white towns of Fira and Oia. From there, we returned to the parking lot, got back on our feet, and watched the sunset from the first point indicated by the sign for this purpose.
The beaches in southern Thira, on both sides of the island's crescent, do not live up to expectations of what we call beaches in general, but you do your job with them.
However, they impress with the landscapes created by the high, steep, variously colored shores that border them.
They may not be as attractive for bathing and sunbathing, being quite secluded, poorly appointed, but definitely worth a visit to admire.