The other things to do in Santorini apart from tirelessly walking the magnificent caldera-edge pathways of Fira is to visit the nearby island beaches, with two of the most popular, appropriately-name in accordance to the color of the sand, the Red Beach or the Akrotiri and the Black Beach or the Perissa.
The local KTEL Bus in Santorini serves both beach areas, with buses coming to and from the main terminal of Fira. It is the cheapest way to travel around the island and the tickets are purchased on board. The fees are 2.40 Euro for Fira to/from Perissa and 2 Euro and Fira to/from Akrotiri.
Be warned. Taking the bus to move around Santorini can be a bit annoying and challenging at times, the conductor are not eager to entertain any questions, the terminal at Fira is always crowded with confused tourist and I personally spent my first day in Santorini waiting for the bus to the Red Beach that never shows up despite waiting way ahead of the schedule.
One thing I learned from using a local bus at Santorini is they are not on time and the best way to use them is to just take the first bus that comes your way. So, this is exactly what I did and not to waste time, I decided whichever bus arrives first at the Kartekados bus stop is the one I will take, and the Black Beach eventually becomes my first stop.
Perissa or the Black Beach, located 13km away from the capital is a laid-back coastal village known for its black-lava sand beach. It is a relaxing seaside town, small and very quiet, though I wonder if this is always the case or just so happen that it was autumn and off-season.
With the partial view of the mountain of Mesa Vouno, the beach area is lined up with straw-huts, shops and cafes, while towering the central square of the village is the blue-dome of the Church of Holy Cross.
My quiet morning at Perissa , drinking coffee by the seaside is one of my favourite mornings on this trip, I enjoy the simplicity of the surroundings, feeling as if I was in some undiscovered town despite being in a popular tourist island of Santorini.
Perhaps everyone’s favourite Santorini beach to visit is the Red Beach located at the village of Akrotiri.
Due to the uniquely dominant towering red rock formations, visiting the Red Beach is almost equivalent to seeing the blue-domed churches of the island, it becomes one of those places that every visitor wants to see and photograph but not necessarily to swim due to lack of facilities.
The bus stops at the parking lot near the Akrotiri harbour with few restaurants and many wandering cats, then it is an easy 15-minutes walk, passing by a small church plus some uphill portion for the best view of the volcanic landscape and the Aegean sea.