20 AMAZING GREECE BEACHES
20 AMAZING GREECE BEACHES, Greece is a popular travel destination in the Eastern Mediterranean because of its rich history and culture. Greece is one of the best summer holiday destinations in Europe due to the Aegean Sea’s clear seas, the country’s temperate temperature, and its world-class beaches. There are hundreds of amazing beaches in Greece, especially on the island groupings like the Cyclades and the Ionian Islands, so picking only 20 is not an easy feat.
Crete is the largest Greek Island, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and its southernmost. In high season, there are direct charter flights into the largest of the islands. Some visitors start in Athens and then head on. Cruising the Aegean is hugely popular, allowing holidaymakers to visit several islands and beaches. Here’s our pick of the best beaches in Greece across the mainland and islands.
BEACHES IN GREECE – MAINLAND
Greece sits at the Balkans’ southern end. Thrace and Macedonia are the regions in the north, with Thessaly below, facing east towards Turkey.
The Peloponnese region is south and west of the capital Athens in Central Greece. Both of these regions face south into the Aegean.
1- VOIDOKILIA BEACH, PELOPONNESE
This beach in Messinia, on the South West of the Peloponnese, is shaped like the Greek letter for omega (Ω).
Its backdrop of dunes is a setting that earns the title of “a place of particular natural beauty.”
It lies on popular hiking routes but that does not mean it is remote, with good parking fairly close.
Voidokilia is famous for its birdlife, with over 250 different species recorded.
Nestor’s Cave and a 13th-century castle are two nearby attractions for those wanting a break from the beach while you can combine your love of birdwatching with time relaxing on the beach.
It’s a great day out.
2- PARALIA, PIERIA, MACEDONIA
Paralia Katerni is just one of several sandy beaches on a stretch of 70 km (44 miles).
Pieria in central Macedonia is famous for its ruins and is associated with Greek legends.
The beaches make it an excellent place for a holiday, with a setting of clear blue waters and glorious mountains.
With significant numbers visiting annually, there is a good tourist infrastructure here, including accommodation, excellent cuisine and a lovely climate for a long season.
3- KALAMITSI, MACEDONIA
Kalamitsi beach is in a sheltered bay on the tip of Sithonia, which is famous for its great beaches.
Kalamitsi is a popular choice because the beach and calm waters make this a great place to relax.
There are cool spots to eat and drink and water sports, including canoes and paddle boats.
However, there is also plenty of space to enjoy the beach without feeling crowded.
This is ideal for families with soft sand stretching into the shallows.
4- EROTOSPILIA, ATHENS, CENTRAL GREECE
Athenians have a few choices when it comes to getting away for a day at the beach.
While it can take an hour to get there, Erotospilia offers clear blue waters.
The beach is a mixture of fine sand and small pebbles.
Located within a small cove are trees to provide shade and a limited number of umbrellas.
A small beach bar caters for visitors, with numbers increasing at weekends.
There is a mix of patrons, from couples and youngsters to families.
5- AGIOI SARANTA, THESSALY/THRACE, CENTRAL GREECE
This beach in Magnesia, close to the Pilio Peninsula, sits in a bay with the shades of blue deepening as the waters get deeper.
It is mostly sand with some pebbles and occasional stones.
Shallow water in the central stretch makes it ideal for small children, but there are strong waves sometimes, so parents need to be vigilant.
Deck chairs and a small bar are among the facilities on offer.
Agioi Saranta can get busy, so it pays to head there early, especially if you require a parking place.
BEACHES IN THE GREEK ISLANDS
While there are more than 6,000 islands and islets in the Aegean belonging to Greece, only 3% of them are inhabited, with most of those catering for visitors whose presence is vital for the Greek economy.
You can see immediately that with such an extensive coastline, you will have plenty of choices when deciding where to go on holiday.
The Cyclades is a lovely group of islands in the central/southern Aegean.
6- PERISSA AND PERIVOLOS BEACH, SANTORINI
Santorini is the most stunning Aegean island, with volcanic, mostly black or red sand.
These two beaches in the southeast of the island are, in reality, just one, with Perissa in the north and Perivolos in the south.
The former is popular with youngsters who want to party, so head south if you want a quieter time.
Water sports are available in the south, and there is a good tourist infrastructure, bars, restaurants and accommodation.
7- POUNTA, PAROS
Paros is a typical Greek island with whitewashed houses, quaint villages and fine beaches.
Pounta village has a small beach facing the nearby Antiparos island to the west and the nearby port has regular ferries to Antiparos.
It’s one of the top kitesurfing spots in the Cyclades, but the downside for those not interested in kitesurfing is the steady breezes that blow.
The beach is large and sandy and backed by cafes, hotels and shops and schools that cater for kitesurfing.
It is rarely quiet, so if you seek tranquillity, this may not be the beach for you.
8- AGIOS GEORGIOS, NAXOS
Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades islands, is a fertile place with mountain villages, significant ruins and lovely beaches.
This “blue flag” beach is close to Naxos’ main town, Chora, hence its popularity with locals and visitors.
Surfers enjoy the southern end, with water sports available in general.
Umbrellas and beds are here for hire, with plenty of places for refreshments.
The sandy beach has shallow water suitable for young children.
There is also access for wheelchairs, so it is an excellent place for every generation.
9- PARADISE, MYKONOS
Mykonos is one of Greece’s most popular islands, attracting those looking for a lively holiday, day and night.
Paradise Beach was identified very early as a great setting, just one of the reasons why a resort developed here.
The beach is a match for any in Greece, if not the whole of the Mediterranean.
If you want every facility on hand, this is the place for you.
It is busy during the season, so if you want a quiet holiday, perhaps you should look elsewhere.
10- MYLOPOTAS, IOS
Ios is a hilly island between Naxos and Santorini with a reputation for being budget-friendly compared to other Greek islands.
This white-sand beach sits in a horseshoe-shaped bay and is a kilometre (0.62 miles) long.
Rocks at either end are its boundaries, while the largest settlement on Ios, Hora, is just a short distance away in the southwest of the island.
The permanent population of Hora is just 120, but in the holiday season, numbers swell significantly.
There is plentiful accommodation for visitors and good facilities at the beach itself.
11- SARAKINIKO, MILOS
Sarakiniko, on the north shore of Milos, is one of the southernmost islands in the Cyclades.
Its association with Greek legends is an attraction for those wanting more than just lying on a beach.
The northerly winds have created great shapes in the volcanic rock over the years to create a moonscape.
The sands are white, with photos of Sarakiniko Beach regularly used to promote Milos.
Cafes and chairs are on hand for visitors looking for a beach with a charming setting.
The Dodecanese group is found in the southeast of the Aegean, close to the Turkish mainland, with regular ferries linking the islands with Rhodes.
12- PRASONISI, RHODES
Rhodes is the largest Dodecanese Island and sits just a short distance from Marmaris, a tourist mecca on the Turkish mainland.
The island has a rich history, but its climate and beaches attract most of its visitors.
Its east coast is the most developed, stretching from Rhodes Town on the northern tip down past Lindos to the southern tip and Prasonisi, where the Mediterranean meets the Aegean.
This Greek beach is stunning and a place where windsurfers and kite surfers enjoy the typical winds of this fairly exposed beach.
13- KYRA PANAGIA, KARPATHOS
This semi-circular beach surrounded by cliffs is a stunning setting and the highlight of Karpathos.
Karpathos is a long narrow island southwest of Rhodes on the way to Crete, the beach on the sheltered east coast.
There are sunbeds and umbrellas available while some accommodation alternatives are close by if you decide against staying in the main town, Pigadia, which is 14 km (nearly 9 miles) away to the north.
The Ionian islands on the west of the Greek mainland have regular ferries running, allowing you to tour the group easily. Some are very popular while the quieter ones also have much to recommend them.
The beach has gone by a few names like “Smugglers’ Cove” and “Shipwreck Beach.”
Over 40 years ago, a ship ran aground in the cove during a storm and while no charges were ever brought, it seems it was heading to Italy from Turkey with contraband.
The beach closed briefly a few years ago when a cliff collapsed.
Soon afterwards, it was named one of the best beaches in the world in a poll by the travel industry.
Located on the island’s west coast, also known as Zante, daily boat trips to Navagio are very popular and you can visit the blue caves too.
15- EGREMNI, LEFKADA
“Travel & Leisure” voted this beach as one of the best places to go if you want to see clear blue waters.
The beach was initially quite remote in the southwest of the island before a road transformed its popularity in the mid-1990s.
An earthquake struck in 2015, and that was a major setback as rubble covered what was previously a sunbathing spot.
There is limited infrastructure and you access the beach down a flight of steps.
Perhaps that means it is not a place for families with young children, but it is otherwise worth the walk down and back up.
16- MYRTOS, KEFALONIA
Myrtos in the northwest of Kefalonia is regularly voted as the top beach in Greece.
It has small stones and the surrounding area is famous for its marble.
The waves forever make those pebbles smaller, especially closest to the sea.
Its curved shape and colour are stunning.
The mine explosion scene in the famous film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” was filmed here.
The beach is at the end of a steep and winding road from Divarata village.
A public bus runs throughout the tourist season from the harbour in Agia Efimia to the beach.
Car park spaces and tavernas are among the facilities available.
17- NISSAKI, CORFU
Corfu was one of the earliest islands to benefit from charter flights.
Its rich history includes time under the Venetians and the French, with plenty of reminders of those days.
Its location made it an obvious place for Venetians in days gone by.
Nissaki is just a small beach, well sheltered by the rocky backdrop, with local tavernas providing all the refreshments visitors might need.
Its relative proximity to accommodation makes it popular with hotel guests, yet few visit from places more distant, even though there is a regular bus service from Corfu Town.
The Saronic islands are to the east and south of the Greek mainland. They are a small group close to the mainland and the Greek capital, Athens. There are day trips from Athens and the mainland port, Piraeus, on the Saronic Gulf, taking in usually three small islands before returning to the mainland.
18- CHALIKIADA, AGRISTI
Agristi is a small island, the smallest of the Saronics, an hour away from Athens.
It is small with little in the way of tourist facilities with access by walking through a small pine forest.
The island is popular with both naturists and those who enjoy snorkelling in its clear blue waters.
You can camp there, but if you do that or want to visit for the day, you will need to buy food and drink before you head there.
Crete is approximately equidistant between the Greek mainland to the north and Turkey to the east. It’s on a different scale from almost all the other Greek islands, with a population over 600,000. The capital, Heraklion, is on the northern coast in the island’s centre. Another major town is Chania, 145 kilometres (90 miles) to the west.
Until fairly recently, Elafonisi remained little known but these days, its pink and white sands are known far and wide.
Elafonisi is 75 km (just short of 50 miles) from the town of Chania, the extreme southwest of Crete.
Regular timetabled bus services provide access in the summer season and a great place to make your base.
The clear waters are shallow and suitable for families but you may need to walk out a way to swim.
The area in the west is a lagoon and windier than the rest.
Umbrellas and sunbeds are available for rent but if you don’t go early, there may be limited availability as there’s no natural shade.
Refreshments are available locally. You can also take a day trip from Rethymno to Elafonissi Island to explore its beaches.
Balos lagoon is 56 kilometres (35 miles) northwest of Chania at the extreme northwest end of Crete.
Balos photos’ regularly promote Crete’s turquoise waters and natural beauty, making it a place to see for anyone heading to Crete.
Most visitors reach Balos by ferry from Kissamos and there are always crowds in the weeks of high season.
The early morning before the ferries arrive allows you to enjoy its beauty and remoteness at its best.
The pink colour of the beach comes from its crushed shells.
Rare flora and fauna have ensured that Balos is amongst the areas included in the Natura 2000 programme.
Loggerhead turtles, monk seals and falcons are among the highlights you will likely see during a visit.