On Santorini’s southeast coast, Perissa is a picturesque village dotted with whitewashed villas and framed by jagged volcanic scenery. It was only built in the Sixties, so is relatively new. And what it might lack in rustic appeal, it more than makes up for with its watersports portfolio, easygoing nightlife, and ancient sights.
Dark volcanic beach
Perissa sits on one of Santorini’s most beautiful beaches. This Blue Flag winner is a 7- kilometre stretch of velvety, black volcanic sand framed by Mount Vouno at its far end. The Aegean Sea is crystal clear, which means snorkelling is a popular pastime, and there’s a long list of watersports on offer, too.
Running parallel to the beach is a promenade crammed with chill-out bars, tavernas and shops. It’s the place to have a sundowner, a candle-lit dinner, or to catch live music sessions that go on late into the night. And set back from the seafront is the quiet village centre where you’ll find churches like 16th-century Agia Irini, which is where Santorini got its name from, plus the blued-domed Timios Stavrou in the main square.
Just a 20-minute walk from Perissa is the village of Emporio, a real back-in-time Greek village where old men chat in kafenion – or coffee shops – and churches fill up with families on Sunday mornings. For more of a cosmopolitan vibe, Santorini’s stylish capital, Thira, is a 20-minute taxi ride away.
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