Santorini’s Volcanic Beaches

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We spent a total of three days in Santorini, one of which was dedicated to the epic Fira Trail hike, which left us wondering:  what else is there in Santorini?

We looked around at our options and decided to check out some of Santorini’s beaches.  Since Santorini is a volcanic island, the beaches are not what you’d expect.  Most of them are pebble beaches as opposed to sand beaches and are black or red as opposed to golden or white.

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We first checked out Perissa beach towards the southern part of the island, which was a black pebble beach.  It was definitely not warm enough to swim, but the pebbles were warm enough that we could walk barefoot and small enough that it wasn’t too terribly painful to do so.

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As an added  bonus, the beach was practically deserted, so we had lots of space to spread out and explore.  There were also a few restaurants, bars, and shops open, so I had a nice vegan pizza, some wine, and bought myself an awesome hat that was pretty much attached to my head the rest of the trip.  It made for a relaxing evening, which was much needed after two flights in less than 24 hours.

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I was slightly more impressed with the Red Beach on the southern tip of the island, near the ruins of Akrotiri.  The contrast of the red volcanic cliffs and the clear, turquoise waters really did it for me.

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This beach also has the nice little perk of requiring a small hike to access it, which is always a positive for me.

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A little yoga on the rocks

There were a couple touristy restaurants open, so we sampled some interesting fig wine.

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Sadly, the ancient ruins of Akrotiri (which was the agenda item we were most looking forward to on that part of the island) were closed, so we had to settle for exploring the area around it.

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Twisted olive trees and wild daisies

Santorini is a very interesting and geographically diverse island, though it surprises me when people suggest itineraries of 5-7 days there because it is so tiny and mostly very touristy.  Perhaps it’s just me.  Still, our time in Santorini was lovely and relaxing, with views and weather that were hard to beat.  I’d certainly recommend it if you’re looking for a nice sample of the Greek Islands, although I would strongly suggest avoiding the high season so you can enjoy the views without the crowds.

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