Santorini is the island of magnificent crimson sunsets, azure waters, dramatic scenery and oh-so-gorgeous colorful beaches. Each beach offers different colors and vibes; therefore, it is worth discovering all of them during your Santorini vacation. The best way to explore the island’s versatile shore line is by cruising around the sea-drowned caldera. The mesmerizing colors make Santorini a Greek island unlike any others. But what is the secret behind the formation of these natural wonders?
It is one of the most picturesque beaches on the island as it truly stands out for its color. Red Beach can be reached either by boat or a short albeit steep hike. The 1646 BC volcanic eruption led to the formation of this beach. The giant red rocks and the crimson sand indicate that there is a significant quantity of iron in the area deposited after the outbreak. The beach got its distinctive red color due to the oxidation of iron-rich volcanic lava. It is hard to put the beauty of this immense dark carmine color into words, so be ready to be amazed when you visit this spectacle! The unique landscape of the red cliffs dropping into the dark blue Aegean Sea is truly mesmerizing. It is best if you plan an early visit to Red Beach, as it can get crowded quickly.
The cove next to the Red Beach is called the White Beach. It is stunningly situated in front of a backdrop of craggy cliffs, and is accessible exclusively by boat. Sky-high dramatic rock formations encircle this small secluded beach creating an otherworldly geological scenery. Once you take a closer glance, you will realize that the sand is not actually white but dark like in many other parts of the island. The black pebbles and the grey volcanic sand create a striking contrast along with the endless blue waters and the light-colored cliffs. Visiting the White beach makes a perfect day trip for those who seek privacy in amazing surroundings. It is a fairly quiet beach with fewer people than the more popular Red Beach nearby. Sometimes you may be the only person on the beach.
Black beaches are the most common sights on the island. They formed due to unusual volcanic geology. When lava reaches the water, it cools rapidly and shatters into sand and fragmented debris. Much of this debris is so small that it is considered sand. When the volcanic eruption shook Santorini and the large lava flow entered the sea it may have instantly produced enough basalt fragments to build the famous black sand beaches during a relatively short period of time. According to another explanation, after the eruption, the whole island was covered in pumice, ash, and lava which quickly mixed together with the sand, and thus darkened it to its current hue. The three must-see black beaches are Perissa, Perivolos, and Kamari. They are well-organized and offer a wide range of watersport activities and culinary experiences.