Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Santorini's Red Beach and a Boat Tour

Having grown up on the coast, one of the things I dislike about living in Germany is the lack of swimming and seafood opportunities. So when we were planning our summer trip I was determined to live up being on the coast and to go swimming at least once. Fionn is not a beach person, but since he's awesome he humored me :)

I can be a little stubborn sometimes...

Santorini has a lot of beaches, but what makes them so unique is that they're all different colors. There's a black pebble beach, white stone beach and red beach. Red beach looked the coolest, so we took the bus out there and hoped for the best. When we arrived there was no obvious beach in sight, but we did notice a boat with the words "RED BEACH" painted on it, so we thought, huh, it must only be accessible by boat.

For 5 euro a person we climbed on the rickety boat, realized our captain spoke zero English, laughed and hoped for the best. The boat zoomed around some rocky cliffs, and red beach came into sight. 

"Red Beach!" hollered the captain, and kept going.

We were a little confused. Had we signed up for a boat tour instead of a boat ride? We shrugged and snapped pictures (it was still really gorgeous). We rounded some giant white rocks and saw a tiny stretch of white sand with umbrellas on it behind a giant white rock.

"White Beach!" announced the captain, and kept going.


We rounded another corner where kayakers were going into cliff caves (way braver than me) and saw the third beach-Black Beach. Finally, the captain slowed the boat and got us just close enough to the shore that we could jump out and swim to shore.


A few couples stripped down to swimsuits and hopped overboard, holding their bags over their heads to keep them dry. Fionn and I laughed and declined-we had planned to swim that day but this wasn't really what we had in mind...

We rode the boat back, making a stop at White Beach, and finally back to the harbor near Red Beach. We laughed about our unexpected boat tour, and were happy that in the end we got to see all of Santorini's beaches (which we previously thought we wouldn't have time for!). We hiked up and around to get to the path leading down to Red Beach, climbed down the rocks, and found a shady spot to lay our towels down.

The water was nice and cool but the rocks were a little bit sharp sometimes. A German couple nearby told us that black beach has smoother stones. We started chatting with them and found out we have a mutual friend, since they went to high school with one of my German friends I met in France. Small world, right?

Rocks or no, we enjoyed our beach time (yes, even Fionn) and stayed for a while, watching our boat man sail back and forth...

After a while at the beach the sun was really starting to do a number on our poor, pale skin, so we packed up and headed back to Fira to grab a gyro and enjoy our hotel room for a little bit. En route we found a store making sun dried tomatoes.

Next up, we return to Oia to catch the sunset!

Which beach would you have picked? Red, black, or white?

Linking up for Travel Tuesday!


  1. Sounds like you guys did everything we didn't get to do when we went to Santorini in June. We went to the black beach but it was too cold that day to swim. We wanted to do the Volcano tour but didn't have enough time and we also wanted to do Oia!

    -Brittany Ruth

  2. Wow, these pictures are stunning! And that boat ride sounds like an adventure to say the least!
    - Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

  3. Shannon, your photos are absolutely glorious! I have wanted to go to Santorini for such a long time (and yes, I blame Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants :) and your photos definitely have me convinced. Thanks for stopping by Club Narwhal--I'm excited to explore your blog!

  4. What an unexpected adventure! I love those. The only thing I usually worry about is not being appropriately dressed, but I think I can get out of that mostly.