When asking around for Santorini’s hidden spots or less publicized locales, two names seemed to pop up instantly in the local’s thoughts; one was Columbos, and the other was Cambia, and both were acclaimed as the “secret gems” of the island. But what is the fuss – or, better, lack thereof – about these beaches? Are they just some hard to reach shores or are they truly the undiscovered havens kept from becoming popular touristic spots?
Columbos beach is located on the northeastern coast of Santorini, approximately 12 km from Fira. It got its name from the Columbo underwater volcano lying in the seabed, to which attest the warm waters of the beach. Columbos lies under the shadow of a windswept rock formation that offers its cool shadow and the desolate landscape of the cape makes this beach a true haven for naturists or simply those wishing to have an entire beach all to themselves!
On top of the hill you will find a charming little chapel from the 1700’s devoted to Mother Mary of the Good, an offering to calm the “evil” volcano that terrorized the area. Note that the gorgeous Columbos is completely unorganized, so come prepared!
On the other hand, Cambia beach is a small cove, squeezed between the Red and the White beach, near Akrotiri. It is easily approachable and you can choose either to walk for a few minutes in a path from the Red Beach in order to get to Cambia.
Unlike the White beach, which is only reachable by sea, you can get to Cambia by car also; and the destination is worth it. An awe inspiring beach, with thick blackish sand and crystalline, ice cold waters for a refreshing dip and even a small wharf for jovial dives!