Europe,  Santorini

Best Snorkeling in Santorini: 13 Amazing Spots (With Map)

Are you visiting Greece this summer and looking for the best places for snorkeling in Santorini? Then I got you covered!

I have been to Santorini many times, I even got married there last year. The underwater world in Santorini is pretty spectacular, especially in light of the island’s volcanic history.

Snorkeling in Santorini is still a bit of an underrated thing to do, so there is not much information out there on where to find the best spots and tours.

My husband and I are avid snorkelers, so it was a pleasure of mine to make this list of the 13 best Beaches for Snorkeling in Santorini.

Let’s dive right in!

snorkel beach in santorini

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. Read my disclaimer for further information.

Best Snorkeling Beaches in Santorini: at a Glance

Best Overall: Red Beach

Most Unique: Nea Kameni

Beginner Friendly: Perissa Beach & Kamari Beach

1. Red Beach – Kokkini Paralia

Picture of huge red cliffs on red beach in Santorini taken from a boat

The Red Beach (Kokkini Paralia) near Akrotiri is one of the best destinations for snorkeling in Greece. It is also one of the most popular beaches in Santorini.

The red beach has an intense red hue that happened due to a strange geological phenomenon of frozen lava. You can either reach Red Beach by boat or by car.

We opted to visit Red Beach with a sunset catamaran cruise, and I thought it was absolutely stunning.

It is the perfect spot for snorkeling, there are many underwater caves and caverns. Also, it is a pretty safe space to snorkel and scuba dive, without bad currents. There are lots of different species of fish on Red Beach.

If you wish to stay longer on the beach, there are beds and umbrellas available for rent.

Red Beach is quite small, so I suggest going there early in the morning to have the bay to yourself.

2. White Beach – Aspri Paralia

picture of impressive white cliffs in santorini taken from a boat, white beach santorini

White Beach is another interesting and unique spot in Santorini for snorkeling. The Beach is famous because of its impressive, white cliffs surrounding it.

The sand on the beach is dark and volcanic. The sand was left on the beach during the Minoan eruption back in the day.

Underwater you can explore some stunning caves on White Beach. There is not a lot of marine life underwater near White Beach, but the geological structures are quite impressive.

The only way to access white beach is via boat. You can find good connections from Perissa Beach, Akrotiri, or Red Beach.

3. Nea Kameni

Nea Kameni is a small island right off the coast of Santorini, in the middle of the famous caldera. Snorkelers love Nea Kameni mainly for one reason, a sunken shipwreck. The Wreck sunk in 1981 and is now a major hotspot for divers and snorkelers.

The easiest way to reach Nea Kameni is by catamaran tour. They will also let you take some time at the natural hot springs in the western part of Nea Kameni. This is also what we did.

There is not a lot to see underwater at the hot springs, but it is quite nice jumping in. Fair warning: do not wear a white swimsuit, otherwise it will turn yellow (happened to me).

Nea Kameni does not really have any beaches, it is mostly rocks and stones. You have amazing visibility there to see some stunning marine life.

4. Caldera Beach

Black sand beach and blue ocean in santorini caldera beach

Caldera Beach offers some of the most dramatic snorkeling in Santorini.

It is a black, sandy beach and the only beach that is accessible without boats in the entire volcanic crater, the Caldera.

Not only do you have an amazing view over the entire Caldera but the water there is also quite deep. This results in rich marine life with lots of fish. Sometimes even sea turtles have been spotted there.

You might need some reef shoes to access the beach, the stones are quite rocky. You can either paddle out for about 50 meters or head to the east for the best snorkeling experience.

The beach is pretty non-touristic and relaxed. Make sure to eat at the nice panoramic restaurant there, they serve amazing Greek food.

5. Perissa Beach

black pebble beach with beach beds in santorini for snorkeling perissa beach
Perissa Beach

Perissa Beach is very shallow, family-friendly, and clean. The beach is incredibly long and wide with very calm waters. This is a great spot for beginner snorkelers.

Perissa Beach is located in the Southeast part of Santorini, it is right at the base of the Mesa Vouno Mountain. This gives the beach a great panoramic in the background.

The bottom of the beach consists of black volcanic pebbles. You can see plenty of fish on Perissa Beach, including some starfish and crabs.

The beach has all the amenities you may need on a long day in the sun. Find restaurants, bars, and playgrounds on Perissa Beach.

6. The Caves

The Sea Caves is a very popular spot for snorkeling in Santorini.

You can marvel at some underwater canyons, with enormous swim-throughs and boulders. There are lots of interesting fish and wildlife in the water.

The easiest way to reach the caves is with a Sea Caves Kayak Snorkel Trip.

7. Black Beach

black pebble beach with lots of clear blue water in santorini black beach

Black Beach is, for some reason, one of the most underrated snorkel spots in Santorini.

You can easily reach it with your car and leave it in an on-site parking lot. There is a tavern for you to grab a snack or a drink after a nice snorkel expedition.

The black beach is nicely protected from the Aegean winds, so you can expect a calm swim. However, visibility might not be that great because there is some sand in the water.

There are some interesting caves and grottoes on the right side of the beach to the east. You can see lots of urchins and colorful fish there.

8. Kamari Beach

drone shot of beach town kamari with white houses in santorini

Kamari is a lively beach with lots of restaurants, beach bars, and beach clubs. It is one of the busiest beaches in Santorini.

It is a black pebble beach and is great for observing marine life. On the right side of the beach, you can see a huge rock, Mesa Vouno. It separates Kamari from Perissa Beach. This spot is also great for hiking, there are ancient ruins on top of it and you have an amazing view.

It is probably a good idea to bring snorkel shoes to Kamari, the stones can get quite hot.

If you are still looking for a place to stay in Santorini, I can wholeheartedly recommend Kamari. The village is super lively and there are so many fun things to do on the 2 km long beach promenade.

9. Kambia Beach

picture of rocks in front of beach and sailboat in the background snorkeling in kambia beach

Kambia Beach is a less popular spot on the island, so you can get a great snorkel experience there without any crowds. It is located between the famous Red Beach and White Beach.

The beach is surrounded by cliffs on both sides. This protects the beach nicely from the strong winds.

Also, the water at Kambia Beach is quite shallow. With the pebble and stone beach you have great visibility underwater.

There is a wooden staircase into the water. Nevertheless, bring some water shoes!

With an ATV you can easily reach it, but the dirt road down there might not be great for a rental car.

Do you need travel insurance in Santorini? Yes, travel insurance in Santorini is highly recommended. Unsafe roads, water sports accidents, and food poisoning are only a few examples of when travel insurance could come in handy. EKTA offers worldwide travel insurance with 24/7 service and no hidden fees or restrictions.

10. Vlichada Beach

picture of black pebble beach with a few tanning beds in santorini Vlichada Beach

Vlichada Beach is a lovely beach off the beaten tracks in Santorini. It is beautiful and not very touristic, which makes it a great snorkel spot in Santorini.

Some people say Vlichada Beach looks kind of like the moon. This is especially due to wind-shaped cliffs on both sides that look like sand sculptures.

Also, the marine life is amazing at Vlichada Beach. You can see a wide array of fish at this beach. The water is relatively deep with good visibility.

11. Ammoudi Beach

Ammoudi Beach is located right below the famous white house town of Oia. It is not so much a beach as it is a platform from where you can jump into the water.

Walk by all the restaurants and head over to the diving area. From there you can do some of the best snorkeling in Santorini. The water is crystal clear and deep blue, overshadowed by 300 m high red cliffs.

The water in Ammoudi Beach is slightly warmer because there are thermal springs underground. It may also be slightly sulfatic.

You can easily reach Ammoudi from Oia, just walk down until you reach the beach. Make sure to try some of the taverns in Ammoudi Bay for fresh fish, they are legendary!

12. Monolithos Beach

black sandy beach for snorkeling

Monolithos Beach is a little more off the beaten track. Nevertheless, it is a magnificent beach for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling.

It is close to Kamari Beach, but a lot less crowded. The beach offers black and grey sand and crystal clear, shallow waters that are perfect for beginner snorkelers and families.

There are also some impressive rock formations, although slightly less impressive than at Vlichada Beach.

13. Cape Columbo Beach

black sandy beach in santorini for snorkeling

Cape Columbo Beach is by far the most isolated beach on the island. It is located 8.5 km outside Fira, the island’s capital.

The beach got its name from the underwater Columbo crater that last erupted in 1650. The scenery is quite impressive and dramatic, the landscape is wild and untouched.

It can get quite windy there, so this beach is more for adventurers and advanced snorkelers. There are no amenities on this beach, so you have to bring your own stuff.

Best Snorkel Tours in Santorini

As you’ve learned earlier, many beaches in Santorini are quite hard to reach from the land. Especially the famous Red Beach is even more impressive if you see it from the water.

We opted to book a Catamaran Tour instead of visiting all the beaches by car, and I can recommend it.

If you are a smaller group, I recommend booking the 3-hour private Sailing and Snorkeling charter from Fira. The boat brings you to all the important hot spots – and you can customize the itinerary. Booking a private charter as a group is cheaper than going on a group tour.

My husband and I booked the half-day romantic Catamaran tour. This tour gave us a chance to snorkel at Red Beach and White Beach and see the sunset from the water. Of course, we also visited the hot springs and Nea Kameni. Super romantic and adventurous at the same time. We even had drinks and dinner included in our cruise. 10/10 recommend.

If you wish for a smaller group trip, I suggest the Santorini Caldera Luxury Cruise. You will see Red Beach, White Beach, and Nea Kameni, as well as the hot springs. The boat does not admit more than 20 people, so there is a lot of space for relaxation.

If you are on a budget, you will love the Santorini Volcanic Islands Tour. You get to snorkel and swim at Nea Kameni and the hot springs. The tour takes about 6 hours.

What Gear Do You Need For Snorkeling in Santorini

Here are my favorite things I used on a daily basis in Santorini for snorkeling:

Snorkel Glasses and Fins

Water Shoes (quick drying)

GoPro Hero 11 (amazing for super stable pictures underwater)

GoPro Dome (for these Instagram shots where you are half in and half out of the water)

Underwater Phone Case (if you don’t have a GoPro)

UV Protection Swimming Shirt

Non-toxic DeFog spray

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there sharks in Santorini?

Yes, there are several different species of sharks in the Aegean Sea around Santorini. However, there has never been a shark attack reported off the coast of Santorini.

Is there good snorkeling in Santorini?

Yes, there is good snorkeling in Santorini. Santorini has a volcanic reef that is very impressive to see. You can also see underwater caves and cliffs as well as the biggest underwater caldera in the world.

Does Santorini have a reef?

Yes, Santorini has a volcanic reef. You can see underwater caves and cliffs as well as the biggest underwater caldera in the world.

What can you see snorkeling in Santorini?

You can see interesting volcanic reefs while snorkeling in Santorini. There is also a wide array of marine life, such as fish, urchins, and sponges in Santorini.

Can you see turtles in Santorini?

Yes, you can see turtles in Santorini. Your best chance of seeing sea turtles in Santorini is at Caldera Beach, they have been spotted there before.

Can you snorkel in Oia?

Yes, you can snorkel in Oia. Heading down the staircase towards Ammoudi Bay will lead you to one of the most beautiful snorkel spots in Santorini.

Are there dolphins in Santorini?

Yes, there are dolphins in Santorini. Your best chance of seeing dolphins in Santorini is on a catamaran sailing cruise around the island.

Are there sea urchins in Santorini?

Yes, there are sea urchins in Santorini. It is recommended to always wear reef shoes when snorkeling in Santorini to avoid injury.

Conclusion: 13 best Beaches for Snorkeling in Santorini

The best beaches for Snorkeling in Santorini are without a doubt Red Beach, White Beach, and Nea Kameni. But as I pointed out in this post, there is so much more to discover in Santorini’s underwater world than these three well-known spots.

Make sure to also hop by less frequented places, such as Black Beach or Caldera Beach. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find the sunken city of Atlantis on your snorkel tour.

Lastly, I want to recommend booking a snorkel tour in Santorini. Most beaches are simply too hard to reach by car, so a boat tour can be very beneficial and fun.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends most parts of the year abroad at various destinations with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.