Panoramic view of Santorini Red Beach
Panoramic view of Santorini Red Beach
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Boasting a Mars-like landscape, Red Beach in Santorini, or else Kokkini Paralia, is one of the most stunning landmarks on the island.

With its dramatic cliffs, vibrant colors and serene atmosphere, one thing is certain: it’ll instantly spellbind you! Whether you’re a beach lover or seeking unforgettable experiences, you cannot go wrong by adding it to your itinerary.

In this guide, you’ll uncover everything you need to know about this world-renowned natural wonder that graces the shores of Santorini. So, keep reading to discover all of our expert tips for a smooth expedition.


Where is Red Beach Santorini?

Red Beach is located on the southern coast of Santorini, just 5 minutes from the archaeological site of Akrotiri.

Its proximity to other notable attractions, such as the Akrotiri Lighthouse and the famous White Beach, make it a must-visit destination.


A catamaran sailing past Red Beach Santorini


How to get to Red Beach Santorini?

  1. By car: The beach is accessible from 2 roads. The first one is from Akrotiri village. There’s a parking lot where you can leave your vehicle and visit a part of the beach to swim.

    The second one is from the Archaeological site of Akrotiri. There, you can also park and snap jaw-dropping photos from the top. Although descending to the beach is prohibited due to potential stone slides, the elevated vantage point offers incredible vistas that are well worth the trip. 
  2. By bus: Take the bus route from Fira to Akrotiri and get off at the 2nd stop in Akrotiri, which is close to the archaeological area. From there, walk for about 15 minutes to reach the top of the beach. 
  3. By boat: The only way to reach the actual bay and dip in its turquoise waters is by taking one of the available Santorini sailing tours. Such excursions are great for exploring the island’s mesmerizing coastline from a different perspective.


What makes it so special

Red Beach in Santorini is more than a place to relax and sunbathe. It’s a surreal sight that evokes a sense of awe. 

With its rare beauty and otherworldly scenery, it has plenty of unique features that set it apart from others on the island.

To start with, it’s one of the very few red-sand beaches in the whole world! The crimson volcanic cliffs and dark pebbles create a visually striking contrast against the azure waters, making it a photographer’s paradise. 

Additionally, its secluded location offers moments of tranquility and a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of touristy spots.

All of the above add to its unparalleled charm, drawing visitors from around the globe eager to witness its treasures!


A woman hugging a little girl in front of Santorini Red Beach


Important things to know before visiting


The first thing to keep in mind is that the beach is semi-organized, meaning that there are some sunbeds and umbrellas that you can rent for a few hours. This is fantastic news, as lying on the pebbly sand isn’t the most convenient option.

On the other hand, there’s no beach bar or toilets available. However, this should be no problem if you’re visiting by boat!


Best time to visit

For a more peaceful experience, it’s best to visit early morning or late afternoon, especially during the peak season when the beach is more crowded.



There are rarely big waves, as the imposing cliffs protect the cove from the winds. Also, note that there’s no lifeguard on duty, so only go to deeper waters if you’re a confident swimmer.


What to pack

  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn
  • Sea shoes to walk on the pebbly sand comfortably
  • Plenty of water and snacks
  • Snorkeling gear


Red Beach Santorini


The top things to do in Red Beach Santorini

There’s a plethora of activities you can do during your visit to this remarkable beach. Here are our best recommendations:

  • Swim in its crystal-clear waters
  • Explore the colorful marine life and intriguing rock formations with snorkeling
  • Admire the wonderful views of the volcanic landscape and the Aegean Sea
  • Photograph the astonishing setting that’s full of contrasts
  • Take leisurely walks along the shoreline
  • Relax and unwind under the Greek sun


Nearby attractions you can add to your itinerary

Red Beach’s prime location allows you not only to enjoy a blissful day away from the crowds but also to uncover the island’s rich history and geology.

From volcanic bays to a 3,500-year-old archaeological site, these are the top landmarks close to it.

  1. White Beach: Accessible only by boat or water taxi, White Beach Santorini is yet another surreal spectacle to behold. Featuring impressive white cliffs, crystalline waters and a tranquil ambiance, it’ll be etched in your memories forever! 
  2. Akrotiri archaeological site: Witness the well-preserved remnants of the advanced Minoan civilization that flourished on the island until the cataclysmic volcanic eruption of 1600 BC.Akrotiri archaeological site


  3. Akrotiri Lighthouse: Offering magnificent panoramic vistas and a front-row seat to Santorini’s sunset, this lighthouse is of great importance as it was one of the first built in Greece. 
  4. Emporio: Just a 7 km drive away, Emporio is the largest village in Santorini, celebrated for its medieval castle, blue-domed churches and traditional windmills. 
  5. Vlychada Beach: Known for its lunar-like landscape, Vlychada is a hidden gem along Santorini’s southern coast. Boasting white cliffs, sky-blue waters and coarse black sand, it’s the perfect spot to unwind in solitude.

    Sunbeds and umbrellas in Vlychada beach


Wrapping it up: Is it worth going to the Red Beach in Santorini?

Our answer is a big resounding yes! 

Red Beach ranks #1 on the list of the best beaches in Santorini and deserves your time. Its unsurpassed beauty promises to captivate you and fill you with once-in-a-lifetime memories.

To make the most of your experience, we recommend booking a boat tour that sails past it. This is a fantastic way to explore its allure along with other coastal jewels that are worth visiting.


FAQs about Santorini Red Beach

Why is the Red Beach in Santorini Red?

The beach gets its red color from the iron-rich volcanic rocks and sand, making it one of the most unique beaches worldwide.


Can you swim at Red Beach Santorini?

Of course, you can, but only on the part that’s safe (the other part is dangerous due to landslides, and thus, access isn’t allowed). Its sparkling waters are so inviting that even if you weren’t in the mood, you’d be intrigued to take a dip! The area is also ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.


What is Red Beach known for?

The beach is famous for its imposing red cliffs, azure waters and secluded atmosphere, creating a magical setting unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

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