Paralia Perissa – Perissa, Greece - Atlas Obscura

Paralia Perissa

Perissa, Greece

This black sand beach was crafted from volcanic explosions including the historic Minoan eruption.  

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While you might expect Santorini, Greece to be filled with beautiful beaches, this beauty has a violent past, as the island has been the site of massive volcanic activity, including the Minoan eruption. The volcanic activity that took place across the region is especially evident at Perissa beach, which is filled with black volcanic sand. Perissa beach extends about four miles (seven kilometers) along the southeastern side of Santorini.

The stretches of black sand strike a glorious contrast to the region’s light blue waters. You may simply want to spend your day laying on a rented sunbed admiring the hues. The beach is a popular spot to indulge in a variety of watersports and scuba diving. 

There are plenty of activities in Perissa to indulge in, such as the Santorini Waterpark, Museum of Minerals and Fossils, and one of the largest churches on the island, Timiou Stavrou.

If you do choose to stay in Perissa during your time in Santorini, you will be able to check out some of the beach bars open late at night at the beach. 

Know Before You Go

There are a few different ways to get to Perissa Beach. 


You can use public transport to catch a bus connection from Fira to Perissa roundtrip. The buses depart from Fira on a regular basis and leave from Perissa pretty regularly during peak season. Make sure to check out an updated bus schedule before you head out for the day!


You can also rent a car for the day, make sure to have an International Driver’s Permit if you aren’t from Europe, which would allow you to explore the black sand beach, as well as other cool and unusual places. Most of the car rentals are at the airport in Santorini, so you will most likely need to catch a bus from Fira to the airport to pick up your car for the day.


You could also arrange to do a private transfer or group tour if you would prefer to have all of the logistics handled for you as you discover Perissa Beach. 


While accommodation prices can creep into the thousands if you stay in Oia, Perissa has many affordable options. If you are looking for an affordable hostel with fantastic reviews, be sure to check out Stelios Place.