A Guide to Red Beach, Santorini

Have you ever dreamed of walking on Mars? Do you see yourself strolling around the red planet? Well, this might as well happen one day, but until then, you can visit the Red Beach in Santorini…a landscape close to that of Mars.

Santorini island is one of the most famous Greek islands and attracts yearly millions of tourists. It is known as a romantic destination, and many choose this place to get married or spend their honeymoon. On the west side of the island, you can see the most beautiful sunsets. Apart from its romantic side Santorini is also one island with wild natural beauty.

The island was part of a volcano that erupted around 1613 BC and resulted in the destruction of its ancient civilization. Today what remains of the eruption is the volcanic soil that gives Santorini its unique geological interest. The Red beach is on the southeast part of the island in Akrotiri, about 8 kilometers away from Fira.

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Visiting the Famous Red Beach in Santorini

What to do in the Red Beach

Red beach in Santorini island

The small cove is under a cliff, surrounded by huge rocks. The sand and the soil around have a red-brown color which gives the beach its name. The pebbles at the beach are red and black. The lava monoliths from the ancient volcano give these colors to the area.

The temperature in Red Beach is higher than in other parts of the island. It happens because of its dark color and the quality of the soil. The beach is mesmerizing, and it is one of the places worth visiting when you go to Santorini.

Photographers and influencers get here to take a few photos of this alien landscape. Travel guides have it as one of the top attractions of the island.

When you swim in the sea close to the beach, you can feel streams of warmer water that come from the underground thermal springs. The cove is usually calm unless there is south wind is which case, the water gets wavy. Unless there is wind, the sea is nice and clean, and the beach is a perfect destination for a day of relaxation.

All tourists arriving at the island will try to spend at least one day at the Red beach, and for that, it is popular and busy, especially in the high touristic season.

At the beach, there are sunbeds and umbrellas that you can rent for a few hours. There is limited space for those who bring their umbrellas. Two small canteens serve snacks, coffee, and water. Some vendors walk around the beach and sell fruits. The beach is nudists friendly, especially in the northern part. If you like enjoying nature, the sun and the sea free of clothes, this is one of the places where you can do it without any restrictions.

For lovers of sea sports, there is the possibility of renting a sea bike or canoe at the beach. It is a lot of fun, especially when you do it with friends! The Red beach is the best place for those who love snorkeling as the bottom has an interesting structure that is worth observing.

Check out: The best beaches in Santorini.

The authorities of the island published, a few years ago, a prohibition directive. In the past, there have been landslides is the beach and the municipality advises visitors to avoid going to the Red beach. It, however, does not seem to stop the hordes of tourists that go there daily, but they access the beach at their own risk.

The archaeological site of Akrotiri

Akrotiri Archaeological site in Santorini
Akrotiri Archaeological Site

Near the beach is the archaeological site of Akrotiri, the prehistoric settlement of ancient Thera, destroyed by the volcano eruption. The lava covered the whole area, and, in this way, it protected the houses, temples, and markets through the centuries that passed.

Akrotiri was one of the most important centers of the Aegean area. Archaeologists found a great civilization under the lava. The walls of the building are painted with colorful frescos of exquisite beauty.  You can visit the site on your way to or from the beach.

The archaeological site is open daily, but the opening hours differ in winter and summer. If you plan to visit it, it is best to check the details about your visit on the website here.

How to get to the Red Beach

 Chapel of Saint Nikolas - Red beach, Santorini
Chapel of Saint Nikolas

There are three ways of getting to Red beach. One is by car; You follow the way to Akrotiri and, after the archaeological site, you turn right, and you park your car by the small chapel of Saint Nikolas.

The parking space is free. From there, you will have to walk downhill for ten minutes before you reach the beach. The sweltering heat of midday is hard to deal with, so do not forget to bring water and your hat. You will also need your sneakers because the walk down can be challenging with sea shoes or flip-flops. The beach is not accessible for wheelchairs.

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The second way to get to the Red beach is by small taxi-boats that depart from Akrotiri, Perissa, or Kamari. They drop off and pick up people approximately every half an hour. If you do not feel like walking down the hill, you can hire one taxi boat. The taxis make stops at the black and the white beaches. Many people choose it as a means of going around and seeing all of them.

Finally, you can arrive at Red beach with the Ktel bus (public bus) from Santorini. The buses drop off people at the parking space close to the museum. You can take the bus from the Fira bus station.

The Red beach is one of the best places to visit in Santorini, and you should spend a day there!

FAQ About the Red Beach in Santorini

Why is the Red beach in Santorini red?

As Santorini is a volcanic island the beach’s sand owns its color to the black and red pulverized volcanic rock.

Can you swim on the Red Beach in Santorini?

Yes, you can swim on the Red beach in Santorini although there is a sign that advises visitors of sliding rocks on the beach. The water is warm enough to swim between May and October.

Planning a trip to Santorini? Check out my guides:

A Guide to Emporio, Santorini
Best Sunset Spots in Santorini
Black Sand Beaches in Santorini
The Villages of Santorini
How Many Days Should You Spend in Santorini?
4 Days in Santorini, a Comprehensive Itinerary
How to Visit Santorini on a Budget
One Day in Santorini, an Itinerary for Cruise Passengers & Day Trippers
2 Days in Santorini, a Perfect Itinerary

3 days in Santorini, a Great Itinerary
When is the best time to visit Santorini
The best things to do in Santorini

Best hotels with private pools in Santorini

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