Red Beach on the island of Santorini

Red beach on the island of Santorini

Red is the most unusual, most exotic and picturesque beach in Santorini. Many people visit it not so much because of the beach holiday, as for the sake of unique photos of Martian landscapes. The beach owes its name to the dark red rocks and the same color of sand on the coast. It is also known to many as the Red Beach, but Akrotiri or Kokkini Paralia names associated with the nearest village (as the Greeks themselves say) are usually forgotten. Fantastic landscapes gave him the glory of the most photogenic in Santorini.

Beach description

The Red Beach is located in the south of the island, 12 km away from Thera and just below the Akrotiri village. Compared to the neighboring beaches, it has a unique surface - the volcanic lava is mixed with red clay. The vertical reddish mountains protect the beach from winds.

Here are the main features of the beach:

  • The shoreline is quite long but not very wide. Its widest parts can only fit 2 rows of deck chairs. And waves will often touch the first row. You can also find a spot for yourself on one of the stone "islands" near the beach.
  • The sea bottom surface depends on where you descend - it may be covered in stones or just sand. But the depth along the majority of the shore is sudden and starts about 2 meters away from the shore. Sand and small pebbles red in color cover the shore and the sea bottom.
  • The sand is so saturated in some parts of the shore that it looks bloody red, which, combined with black and red pebbles and small stones, looks breathtaking.
  • The water is so clear that you can find colorful sand near the shore which changes colors as it's reflected in the azure waters.
  • High waves are often seen during low season which makes swimming impossible, and during high season the amount of visitors is overwhelming.

Red Beach attracts with its scenic landscapes and photo shoot opportunities. But it's far from being the best beach in terms of swimming and relaxation. Red is especially popular among youth and couples. But tourists of all ages can be met here.

When is the best time to go?

Greece - a country with a long length from north to south, so the recommendations will vary depending on the place where you are going. The holiday season  begins in May and reaches a peak in July-August: there are too many tourists, and the temperature on the southern islands reaches 40 degrees, which may still not play a role on the beach, but certainly not suitable for sightseeing. So the best time to relax in Greece is the end of spring-beginning of summer or September-October. 

Video: Beach Red


The infrastructure in terms of entertainment on Red is not developed. There is only rental service of diving equipment available. As a rule, people come here for sunbathing and colorful photo shoots. It was the opportunity to admire the incredibly contrasting combination of turquoise waters and red sand with red-brown cliffs that made this beach especially popular among tourists.

Parasols and deck chairs can be obtained, but fresh water is better to stock up in advance. There are a couple of cafes cut down right in the rocks, and grocery kiosks near the beach, which operate only in the summer season. The Red is comfortable compared to the neighboring White Beach - more wild, without any infrastructure.

The hotels closest to the beach are in Akrotiri. The cost is not budget-friendly. For instance, you can stay in Akrotiri Hotel, which is located in 2 km away from the village and only in 100 m away from the sea. The balconies of the rooms offer impressive views of the beach itself.

While keeping in mind that a beach vacation in its true sense is not the best here, and the beach is more attractive for landscapes for photo shoots, it is better to stay in a different place, and come here for a day. You can settle in any corner of the island. Excursion trips are offered from everywhere to the Red Beach.

Weather in Red

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Useful information

You can get to Red Beach from the capital by bus to Akrotiri or by taxi. You can get from the village by sea, by boat or as part of organized sea excursions that are offered on almost any other beach on the island.

If you go by car, you can first get to Rahidi – the archaeological park, near which there is a parking lot and the church of St. Nicholas. From there you have to walk to the beach in about 15 minutes.

It is worth considering that along the way to it you will have to get over stones and huge boulders. Traveling with children is not very convenient. You can also get here on foot from the village of Akrotiri, but the path is very tiring due to the numerous descents and ascents, given the scorching sun, from which there is nowhere to hide.

It is important to consider such nuances:

  • If you count on swimming here, it is better to come in August, when the water in the sea is the warmest.
  • Near the cliffs – is the only place on the beach where you can hide from the scorching sun.
  • The most spectacular scenery is the beach of Red in the rays of dawn and sunset.
  • Some may find the area very depressing, especially against the background of the light and more picturesque cliffs of Vlychad beach.
  • Among the sights in the vicinity it is worth exploring the ruins of ancient Akrotiri.

The proximity of the rocks, prone to erosion, and frequent rockfalls also do not make this beach the safest place to relax. It is often closed for visiting tourists due to rockfall collapses. Therefore, most often people come here just to take a walk and take colorful photos on an exotic background of red sand.

The beach participates in ratings:

25 place in rating Europe 17 place in rating Greece 2 place in rating Santorini 13 place in rating The best sandy beaches in Greece
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