A Walk to Red Beach on Santorini Island Greece.
Santorini Red Beach walk via Akrotiri, Kaparies, Panaghia, Taxiarchis Monastery, Kambia Beach and back to Red Beach.
Walking Distance 7.8kms.
There is quite a lot of car-parking available at the Santorini Red Beach parking area - if this is full up you can also find a large car park near to the Archaeological
Site. From the Red Beach car park walk back up the road to the Archaeological Site car park - at the far end corner of the car park and up the bank you will find the start of a narrow path heading straight ahead with fields on the left and a nice
stone wall on the right - this is a bit hard to find because the bank is overgrown with foliage but it is there. Go ahead and soon join a
Moni-path - turn right onto this really nice path which goes along the countryside and gives great views of Akrotiri and it's castle. The path goes round the side of a hill and has extremely high rock walls either side - when we walked this there was a considerable amount of undergrowth (some
quite thorny) in places which was mixed up sadly in places with general rubbish - no way to treat such a really good path.
The path comes out on a small road, turn right and on reaching the main road turn left and follow this main road up and around to reach the square and bus stop in Akrotiri.
Opposite the bus stop/bus shelter take a narrow road on the left which goes uphill and soon reaches a school where
you keep left. Just a little way along you can take steps on the left which lead up into what is left of the castle. Otherwise bear right going past a church to
reach a road - here go right and follow it until you reach a hairpin bend where you need to take the alley on the left which continues up hill. A little way up
the alley take the first left soon passing a sunken church and village houses - continue on out of the village to reach a road. Go right and soon reach a mini-market on the right - follow the road on round to the left and just after
passing some more houses a very rough surfaced concrete track leaves on the right. This goes below a new villa and then continues round the hill-side now thank goodness in the form of a nice path.
The views from here are excellent - you can see everywhere - for instance Oia, Thira, Pirghos and the Monastery - in other words the whole of Santorini's cauldron. The path reaches but does not end at a road but stays as a path for some time just above it. On eventually joining the
road you only have to follow it for around 50 yards when you reach a twin church on the left and right next to this steps lead down to Panaghia Kinisi church. This is quite an area - there are several churches here including one just left of Panaghia's entrance gate which is almost built into the rocks. Continue on
from the church on a mule-track which goes between fields of grape vines to reach a dirt track. Turn left then around 80 yards along turn right onto a wide fairly sunken path which goes between more fields and finally arrives at another track.
Turn left and now follow this track heading towards Taxiarchis church which is nestled in the hills in front of you.
The church is situated just off to the right of the track - actually it's quite a knee-bender to walk those last few metres up to it. This quite large church almost looks as if once it was used as a
monastery - it is very interesting to look round the various parts of it. There is plenty of seating around the church and also a well where you can have a nice refreshing splash.
From the church return to the track and turn right - continue along as the route takes you down heading ever closer to the coast and reaches a
sort of farm which is situated on a bend. As you walk round the bend there is much higher ground to the right - you can if you wish walk up here and on reaching the top there are suddenly views of the sea and cliffs etc.
Continue along the top on a rough path - this opens up even more cliff views and you can also see small beaches below. The path reverts to a very slippery track just before some rocks - walk back down the left hand fork to get back onto the original track.
Continue along and shortly a small church appears ahead of you.
However follow the track as it bends right and soon arrives at Kambia Beach. The beach is extremely stony in places but there are some bits where you can stretch out on a towel and have a sunbathe etc. if you wish - also there is a small taverna on the beach offering drinks and food. Facing the sea turn left
and follow the shoreline to go round an outcrop and then arrive at another quite scruffy beach - you can now see Santorini's famous Red Beach in the distance. When we did this walk the shoreline was covered with thick layers of seaweed - it did not look too inviting to stay around on.
At the far end of the beach you have to scramble up about 2 metres or so of loose rock and shingle to reach a narrow path - turn right and follow it on round the hill. Vertigo Note:
I dislike some heights and I did not at all take to the first 20 metres of this
path as there was a big drop down on the right - I therefore scrambled on up the hillside for another 2 to 3 metres where there is another parallel path which is wider and better to walk as the drops were not so apparent. Whichever path you chose they both meet a little way round the hillside and then just continue
along to quite soon arrive at Santorini's famous Red Beach. This part of Red Beach is mentioned as a popular place for naturists but we did not see anyone stripped off. Walk on across this black, white but mostly red shingle beach with it's impressive overhanging but badly crumbling red-coloured cliffs (in fact in some places the cliffs are now coloured white as
erosion has collapsed the red rock layer). There are beach chairs and so on available towards the far end of the beach but we could not see any drinks or food facilities on it. At the far end of the beach just walk on up and over the rocks and then shortly arrive back at the Red Beach car-park.
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