Vlychada beach may just be one of the best beaches in Santorini. It’s a happy medium between the dramatic scenery of Red Beach and Black Beach Santorini and the beach bar vibe of nearby Perissa and Perivolos.
Vlychada is one of the best places in Santorini to while away a few hours by the sea. The southern end of the beach has all the facilities you’d need, including a café bar that hires out beach umbrellas and loungers. Several Santorini hotels, resorts and restaurants are also very close by.
We visited Vlychada twice on our first trip to Santorini. We were so taken with this quiet spot that we’re contemplating staying there on our next Santorini holidays.
Read on to find out why you should add Vlychada to you Santorini must see list.
Where is Vlychada Beach Santorini?
Vlychada is a tiny village close to the southernmost point on Santorini island. It’s 11 km (7 miles) south of Fira, the Santorini main town. It’s also within easy reach of Perissa (5 km, or 3 miles) and Perivolos (2.5 km, or 1.5 miles). You may also see signs for Vlichada beach Santorini. No need for confusion – they are one and the same place.
How about getting to Vlychada?
This is straightforward. If you’re driving, there are two approaches – one from Perissa, Perivolos and Agios Georgios to the east, and one from the Fira to Emporio and Perissa road to the north.
Seven daily buses make the journey from Fira to Vlychada. The current timetable can be seen on the KTEL Santorini site here. Fares from Fira are currently 2.40 euros.
A tourist road train also operates during high season. This runs from next to Perissa bus station, through the village, and the beach strip at Perivolos.
Facilities on Vlychada Beach
The café and snack bar at the southern end of the beach cover everything you need – loungers, good food, drinks, cocktails and more. There is also a WC here, and another around the corner in the Museum. There are also some restaurants up the hill overlooking the harbour.
Describe Vlychada Beach
The first hundred metres or so are the only ‘developed’ part, with sunshades and loungers. After that, there’s a long expanse of the black sand Santorini is famous for, stretching away into the distance.
The cliffs form an amazing backdrop to the beach. They form a series of stunning rock formations, the ‘lunar’ landscape created by the weathering of the volcanic rock over millions of years. Once you’ve passed the beach umbrellas you can wander and explore this incredible gallery of nature’s abstract art.
One of the reasons I think Vlychada is one of the best resorts in Santorini is that the balance is just right. You can explore this magnificent coastline by yourself, then be back supping on a refreshing cold beer at the bar within a few minutes. There’s not really much scope for further development, certainly along the beach, because of the cliffs. It’s also very family friendly
What about other things to do in Vlychada?
There is a lovely small harbour at the end of the beach. The part closest to the beach is where the many small colourful fishing boats dock. The next section is given over to pleasure boats.
The Tomato Industrial Museum turned out to be one of the most enjoyable things to see in Santorini. My five-year-old son accompanied me and we were treated to a full guided tour. He was particularly delighted to make his own labelled tomato can.
The former Nomikos factory is one of nine old sites around the island that used to process and can tomatoes. The industry has declined, largely because cultivable land has been given over to tourism developments. It’s a sad, poignant tale, especially as the tomatoes grown in this volcanic soil are some of the most delicious you could ever taste.
What other things to do in Santorini are nearby?
Eros Beach Santorini is another hidden gem. It’s over a mile (2 km) along the beach and cliffs from Vlychada. There are no buses there, and access is via a not particularly difficult dirt road. If you’re heading up the hill from Vlychada towards the main road, it’s signposted on the left.
The main road leads to Perissa, passing the gorgeous village of Emporio along the way. The highlight is the area around the kastelli at the top of the hill, with some amazing cave houses built into the rock of the mountain.
David Angel is a British writer and photographer who has been travelling and photographing the world for over 25 years. His work is regularly featured in worldwide media including the BBC, the Guardian, the Times and the Sunday Times.