There is no experience compared to that of letting yourself submerge into the amazing sea of Santorini, feeling the coolness and the salt and the sun on your skin and in your soul, surrounded by the amazing landscape of the Caldera, the volcano and the villages hanging from the cliffs. Visiting Oia is a life experience in itself, so why not complete it with a swim in the beaches nearby? There are many, to suit every taste and desire.
Ammoudi beach is undeniably one of the most picturesque sites of Santorini, standing out for its traditional character. This is the beach closest to Oia, right below the settlement, at the Caldera’s feet. It is ideal for diving, offering an awesome view both to the village and to the volcano. Starting from Oia and following the coastal path after the end of the shops, you can reach Ammoudi by car, but it is not recommendable, because there is a lot of traffic at this road and not enough parking space at Ammoudi. The best way to reach the beach is on foot, by descending a series of 220 steps. Arriving at the bay, you will find vividly colored traditional taverns on the waterfront, offering delicious local food, with the Caldera and the houses of Oia hanging over you. At the end of the taverns, a small path leads to crystal waters for diving around a small rocky island bearing the picturesque chapel of Agios Nikolaos. This island is famous for its high diving spots, giving the opportunity to young people to perform spectacular dives. Swimming there, it is advisable to use a mask, in order to witness the rare and awesome changes of the seabed, a sight that you can only watch in films: by swimming for just 2-3 minutes away from the small island, you will see at the depths of the sea the beginning of the volcano’s crater. The seabed disappears, and you can witness a dark blue cone that grows deeper and darker, ending up in an abyssal void!
Armeni beach is located just below Oia, at the northernmost part of the Caldera. It is one of the less crowded beaches on the island. You can reach it on foot from the center of Oia, but there are quite a lot of steps to descend. There are also boats taking visitors to Armeni from Ammoudi beach. The crystal clear waters of Armeni are irresistible and lure even the most demanding visitor to take a swim. There is also a tavern right next to it, offering tasty traditional food. Its sheer tranquility, the stunning view of the volcano, Oia and the rest of Caldera’s settlements, its unique waters that hide so many treasures in their depths due to the special nature of the seabed, make the swimming in this beach a great experience.
Baxedes, or Paradise as it is also called, is the beach near Oia that families with young children prefer for its shallow waters and sandy seabed. Its largest part is organized with umbrellas and beach chairs, and it is easily accessible from the main coastal road running through the northeast areas of the island. Its dark sand -or fine pebbles at some parts- ends in crystal clear blue waters with an amazing view of the Aegean Sea. There is a canteen on the beach, and some traditional taverns nearby.
Koloumbos is located at the east of Oia, just 6 kilometers away from the village, facing the undersea volcano bearing the same name. To go there, you have to follow the coastal asphalt road and then continue on a short path with thyme bushes on both sides. Surrounded by high cliffs and covered with small pebbles and sand, the landscape offers an atmosphere of privacy and calmness, creating a unique sensation. At the end of the beach, you will find a very tall white rock, where the seal cave, an interesting geological formation, is located. The beach is really peaceful, and you can relax at the shade provided by the cliffs. Young people love this place, which is also known as the nudists’ beach. On a clear day, you can see from there many beautiful islands, like Ios, Amorgos, Anafi and Koufonisia.