The White Beach is the most particular of all the beaches of Santorini. It is located in the southeastern part of the island, in the area of Akrotiri, 14 km south of Fira and very close to the famous and spectacular Red Beach. On White beach, which the locals often call White Sand (Aspri Ammos), the thing that sets it apart is exactly what gave it its name: the white color, which contrasts with the dark, reddish or ocher tones encountered on other shores.
The beach has fine black sand, clear blue water, and a canteen, which operates from an undercut cavern house, – a building in the rock, according to the traditional Santorini architecture that takes full advantage of the properties of volcanic rocks. From this canteen visitors can purchase water and other beverages and snacks, as well as umbrellas and sun loungers – there is no natural shade on the beach.
In order to reach the White Beach, you need to either board one of the boats that make the trip from the port of Akrotiri or the nearby Red Beach, either of course rent a boat, to make an independent route. However, if you want to enjoy this strange beach as well as the nature of the island in all its glory and away from the crowds, you can reach it on foot. The path, which is considered the most difficult routes of the island, starts from the nearby beach Kambia – where you can get by following the short and easy dirt road that starts from the main road nearby.
The third option for those who want to see up close the spectacular beach is the most … alternative: you can swim to it, passing through a cave that connects the White Beach with the nearby beach Mesa Pigadia! The whole area has strange rock formations and spelunking lovers will be impressed, especially by the small sea caves along the coastline that stretches from the White to the Red Beach. It is no coincidence that there are many diving centers in the area, although one can get a good taste of the specificity of the seabed with just a mask and a snorkel.
The fact that access is not that… simple, does not mean that the White Beach is a quiet and deserted shore. Instead, during the summer months it is almost always crowded making it nearly impossible to find a free umbrella or sun bed. Due to its reputation and the stunning scenery, this beach is the first choice of the visitors to the island. The white rocks in combination with the volcanic rocks, mainly pumice, create imaginative formations that are a wonder to look at. The crystal blue water of the sea will tempt you for a refreshing swim – after all … the best place to admire the grandiose beach is from the sea!
Apart from the adjacent beaches, Red, Kambia, Mesa Pigadia, but also the smaller Akrotiri beach, all located within the area that the locals call Mesa (Inner) Caldera, close to the White Beach you will also find two of the most important attractions of the island: the prehistoric settlement and the lighthouse. In the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri an ancient city has been discovered that dates back to 1800 BC and was destroyed by the great eruption. That means that many of the buildings and objects are preserved in a very good condition, composing an impressive whole, while it is remarkable that throughout this great excavation no human skeletons have been discovered – which means that the inhabitants were ‘warned’ apparently by the successive earthquakes that preceded the explosion and had the time to abandon their city.
The Lighthouse in Akrotiri is located at the most southern point of the island, within walking distance from White Beach. It was built in the late 19th century by the French Lighthouse Company and from there one can enjoy a magical sunset: the sun sinks into the blue sea, painting the sky in dozens of colors…
The Akrotiri village itself also attracts the attention of visitors, with the old castle and its Goula (main tower), La Ponta (the bridge), and Balos, a picturesque bay with a stunning view of the caldera.