Having only been sea kayaking once before in Huntington Beach, California, I was very excited to sign up for what was bound to be a real adventure! The seven mile trip to the deserted black beach of Kambia would take us along the coast of the islands’ impressive caldera while paddling past a few of Santorini’s most famous beaches.
Having experienced heavier winds the days prior, we were happy to find that the winds had calmed down and were working in our favor. We were promptly picked up along the main rode in Firostefani and then we continued to Fira to pick up our final passenger. After all seven adventurers in our group were picked up we made our way towards the south end of the island near Akrotiri. There, we met with our bearded Greek guide Andreis and the rest of the enthusiastic crew who runs Santorini Sea Kayak. After a quick lesson on paddling and steering we were fitted with our spray skirts. Worn like suspenders, the spray skirts are tightened around the kayaks opening once the kayaker is comfortably seated in order to prevent water from entering the kayak. I rode in the back and controlled the rudder with my foot pedals, while my friend was in charge up front.
Seated in our kayaks the guides pushed us out into the Aegean Sea where we would wait bobbing in the water while everyone else got ready to go. Once we were all out to sea we began our trip along the south end of Santorini’s towering caldera.
As we headed towards the west the towering rocks of red, black and white appeared to rise out of the deep blue sea that surrounded us. It almost seemed unreal. Careful to avoid the incoming catamarans, filled with excited beach goers who were headed to Red Beach, Andreis gave us instructions on when we could forge ahead. Luckily these kayaks are nearly impossible to tip even when the seas get rough from the passing boats!
Red Beach is Santorini’s most famous beach, due to its unique volcanic red rock formations and red sandy beaches. The beach is easily accessible by foot thanks to the rocky trail leading from the parking area.
We paddled on continuing down the coast, past the Red Beach, through towering rock archways and onward towards the more secluded White Beach.
Only accessible by boat, White beach is given its name from the towering white cliffs that surround black sand beaches dotted with grey and white stones along the shore.
Just beyond White Beach we paddled into a narrow inlet leading us to one of the sea caves that out kayaks could enter. As we approached the entrance we could see scuba divers below with their neon colored flippers and bubbles rising to the sea’s surface.
Following closely behind Andreis, we entered the sea cave one at a time. It was incredible, completely hidden from those outside of it, the reflection of the water danced along the pumice-colored cliff side as if glittering in the sunlight.
Thanking the calm seas for allowing us this unique experience, we headed out of the cave to allow the others in our group to enter. Once we had all experienced the magic we paddled on towards the secluded beach Kambia where we would rest, have a picnic lunch and do some snorkelling.
Even in the beginning of October the water was warm enough for me to enjoy splashing around and exploring some of Santorini’s colorful underwater life. After our picnic lunch everyone was ready to go so we suited back up and began heading towards Santorini Sea Kayak’s base camp.
As more boats had been in and out of the beaches all day, the seas were a little choppier once we rounded the coast, periodically giving my face a dusting of refreshing sea spray!
Catching it just right, we rode the waves onto shore where all seven adventurers, myself included, disembarked their kayaks with huge smiles spread across their faces from a successful and fun kayaking trip!
Tips Before Your Trip:
—Santorini Sea Kayak has multiple trips available for every type of adventure traveler! The South Discovery tour is perfect for beginner kayakers who want to spend a couple hours in the deep blue Aegean Sea paddling past Santorini’s beautiful beaches and towering caldera. If you are an experienced kayaker then the Round the Lighthouse full day tour is perfect for you! Prices start at €75 per person and includes pick up and drop off, as well as the picnic lunch!
–Make sure to bring your swim suit, towel, hat, sunscreen, lots of water, and water shoes or sandals. Santorini Sea Kayak provides a dry bag to put your belongings in while on the kayak or you can leave your extra stuff behind at their store.
–No need to bring your own camera! Santorini Sea Kayak takes photos during your trip, uploads them to photo bucket and then emails you the link a few days after your trip!