Santorini may be one of the world’s most photographed islands, but it’s also home to some of the Aegean’s most impressive beaches. The island’s wild beauty emanates from the caldera, an active volcano that has also shaped the island’s black-sand beaches, giving them a bruised, rocky look. From the popular and loud to the concealed and quiet, these are the most beautiful beaches in Santorini.
A natural continuation of the much busier Perivolos beach on the island’s eastern shore, Perissa is where adventurers and water sports aficionados gather. Accessible by car or bus, this long, black-pebbled, Blue Flag beach is ideal for bold dives and fun activities such as canoeing and windsurfing. For those looking to relax, there are plenty of sunbeds to choose from, as well as an array of beach bars and restaurants, including the serene, seafood-specialising Demilar, where you can tuck into fresh calamari or snapper.
Somewhere between the scenic villages of Oia and Imerovigli, you will find Mouzakia (if you know where to look). Utterly sequestered, it can only be accessed by boat, and is not included in any organised tours. A favourite among boat and yacht owners, Mouzakia is as private as it gets in Santorini. Its waters are mirror-like, and there’s also a little chapel on the beach (Agioi Epta Pedes), semi-hidden in a cave. If you don’t have your own yacht (nope, us neither), hire a skippered boat for the day from Fira’s old port and set off in search of mystical Mouzakia.