Santorini really is as beautiful as the postcards show. The whitewash homes, hotels and churches provide a stark contrast to the islands extremely rugged terrain – mostly rocks and short grasses. The beaches of Santorini were largely rocky and rough and sometimes even hard to actually get to. And they were surprisingly hard to find.
Especially on this side of the island, the cliffs prevented any beach access. The islands in the back are the other side of the island – well, before the volcano exploded and separated the two. Underneath the water sits a huge caldera where the volcano imploded. Sometimes the most beautiful of places are also the most dangerous.
Red Beach is not that easy to reach. After walking up a light trail, you’re faced with a view of the beach far below. Then you curve up and around and then down a steep-ish and unstable path through the gravel and boulders. A misstep that led to a fall could end in tragedy. And even the beach itself isn’t that great. It’s very rocky. But, it is red. Also along the cliff that separates the beach from the rest of the island were a series of doors – doors that at first I thought might be living quarters, but then I changed my mind and decided they were boat lockers.
Finally we had reached the beach of our dreams. After climbing over boulders, through trash and down a cliff to get to separate beaches that were all disappointing, we found the town of Perissa on the eastern side of Santorini. This beach sat quaintly along a road. Each restaurant had its own set of umbrellas, chairs and planks to carry you to and from the beach.
We ordered Mythos beers and lounged for hours until the clouds drove us in to eat. Oh, and we had to catch our next ferry.