The beaches of Santorini are unlike other Greek beaches and have special and dramatic geological features like black shining pebbles and unique land formations, coloured by black, white and red sands. The beaches tend to be coves surrounded by steep cliffs which add to their beauty. The waters are deep though, so be cautious. The Red beach is possibly the most famous and is located near the village and ancient site of Akrotiri. It is popular because of the stunning volcanic slabs and colour of its sand, although the sand is not comfortable to sit on so the sun loungers on the beach are necessary.
Perissa beach, just southeast of Fira, is another favourite and has an impressively long, black sandy beach with an enormous rock rising out of the sea. For those who prefer a quiet and unspoilt beach environment, Cape Columbo is one of Santorini's most beautiful and most isolated beaches. The waves here are rougher though so beware of a more dangerous sea. The southeastern beaches of Monolithos, Avis and Kamari are family favourites. At Monolithos beach kids love the football pitch, basketball court and play area. Trees at the back of the beach provide shaded respite from the sun, and there are also snacks available on the beach.