Header Image


Navigation images

Just keep swimmin’, just keep swimmin’…

Given his love of the sea and observation of underwater life, it would be absolutely frustrating for Frédéric had we not check out a few beaches while in Santorini. As for me, I must admit I am totally envious of his level of confidence in just jumping in and swim away from the shore/boat. (The question then is: how is it that I am still so bad at hauling my a** to classes and learn how to swim properly???) In the mean time, I stay in the role of guardian of the bags and I kill time by taking photos and/or reading.

Katharos Beach

Talk about going off the beaten path… On our first morning in Oia, we thought we would head down to Ammoudi Bay but somehow got lost along the way. After about 40 minutes walk, we found ourselves at Katharos Beach, down on a steep dirt path and nestled between high white cliffs. It is technically the closest beach to Oia, since Ammoudi Bay is more of a port right next to the water. There were not many people around on this black pebbled beach (3-4 other couples) so it felt like we were on our own private beach.

Katharos

Katharos

Katharos

The waves were pretty strong when we were here (not sure if this is the norm, or just under certain condition) and hit the shore rather vigorously. Nonetheless, the water here is clear and refreshing, especially after a long walk under the sun! The depth increases gradually away from the shore and F was happy to observe plenty of fish swimming with him, presumably due to the abundance of Neptune Grass and the lack of major human activities e.g. watersports.

Red Beach

Not far from Akrotiri lies the Red Beach, one of the must-go beaches of Santorini. It is easily accesible by bus (although going back in the evening can be a hit-and-miss exercise) followed by either a 10 minutes walk or a short boat trip over. The path can be slippery heading down to the beach, but the setting with gleaming-red cliff above us was downright impressive.

Red Beach

Red Beach

Red Beach

The water is slightly murky here, and the bay rather shallow. Some fish were spotted but not too interesting otherwise. F does not recommend this stretch of water for snorkeling. While it is not particularly deep here, I found myself unable to gain stable foothold on the loose grainy sand while in the water and therefore apprehensive about wading in by myself.

It was rather crowded at the Red Beach (a lot of Singaporeans for some reason), and some visitors were just not that responsible with the litter they left behind. The family who run the boat operation (along with rental of beach chairs and umbrellas) were busy cleaning up in the evening after most people left.

En route to White Beach

The same boat that transports people from the small port near the bus terminus and the Red Beach would also take swimmers for a ride to the White Beach and away from the crowd. What I found impressive was the stunning landscape here. Iceberg-like cliff that loomed over us had me wondering about the composition of the cliff that makes it so different from the red cliff mere few hundred of meters away!

Red Beach

White Beach

White Beach

Of course, with my imagination running wild, I was also spotting snail that raises its head as well as rhinos that are sniffing close to the “ground”. This was also the point where I momentarily pondered if F and I should have hired a boat and drive around the island ourselves. Yes, boat hire comes by quite easily in Santorini, except for 2 persons, it also makes a very expensive mean of transportation around the island.

White Beach

Strictly speaking, we never docked at this beach adjacent to the Red Beach but inaccesible by foot. Instead, the boatmen stopped a good distance away and told us we can jump in for a swim. F needed no further encouragement and went for it, while the Italian couple who travelled together in the boat and I stayed behind. This was how it was at the cove just beyond the gigantic white cliff, and it was repeated when the White Beach was in view.

White Beach

White Beach

White Beach

Perhaps late evening was not a good time to want to be out in these more secluded waters. The boatmen were keen to get back to the Red Beach and the port, and hurried F along each time. They yelled for him to get back to the boat within 5-7 minutes, hardly satisfactory length of time for him to snorkel. The water was crystal clear around here and there were more finned friends to keep him company. I can feel his longing to head closer to the cliffs and looked them over, and the frustration of not having enough time to do so.

Perivolos Beach

Perivolos is one of those super duper organised beaches. And we were not big fans of it. The setting looks beach perfect, with little huts providing covers to those rested underneath on the sun beds, long and vast simmering black shoreline, bars and restaurants nearby to provide food and drinks. However, with loud music thumping incessantly, one could hardly be expected to find it relaxing around here.

Perivolos Beach

Perivolos Beach

Perivolos Beach

The water here laps gently onto the shore and the ground leads out in a fairly flat manner – even I waded in the water and stayed there for as long as F was out snorkeling, and never once worried about going out of my depth. Strangely, for a beach with amazingly clear water, it was devoid of all signs of aquatic life. F who was further out didn’t see any fish either. He declared this the worst beach of Santorini among those that we’ve visited.

 

All posts in this series:
Greece: Postcards: Sunset in Oia
Greece: Chóra, Hora or Náxos Town? | Flickr Photoset
Greece: The Venetian Museum of Náxos | Flickr Photoset
Greece: An afternoon walk from Firá to Oia | Flickr Photoset
Greece: Caldera, volcano and hot spring | Flickr Photoset
Greece: Island time(table), Santorini edition
Greece: Postcards: Blue in Oia
Greece: Postcards: The idyllic village of Oia | Flickr Photoset
Greece: Just keep swimmin’, just keep swimmin’
Greece: Touring southern Santorini | Flickr Photoset
Greece: Postcards: Athens and the Acropolis | Flickr Photoset



Category: Europe, Greece, Travel

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

6 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    beautiful beaches and i can totally understand why F jump in whenever he can ;) i am pretty sure he will enjoy himself at P island soon!

    As for you, i think its just confidence in water…you just need more motivation and yes, you will enjoy it more when you are more confident and comfortable especially in the sea….even Emily who is quite a good swimmer herself is very wary of swimming in the open sea :)

    • Lil says:

      Fingers crossed! Trying to organise the logistics haven’t been easy, with the lack of online booking etc. Had to bug my brother to do money transfer as I am not comfortable sending my entire credit card info via email!

      Yeah, you’re right there. It’ll be a long way yet for me, but I’ll get there, right? ;)

  2. med says:

    Of course you will lil hehehe ;)

    Let me know if you need any help with the P island arrangements okie

    • Lil says:

      P Island planning all going well, I think we’re sorted. Just hoping no problem getting taxi at the airport to go to the port. ;)

  3. sila says:

    wowwww i love all the cliffs and the beautiful quiet beaches (not that last one though!) :) santorini is on my must-see list. one day, one day.. :)

    you must learn to swim! look at all the clear blue water! :)

Scribble a note to med × Cancel reply


Notify me!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Most read today