Greece has some of the best beaches in the world and definitely the best beaches in Europe. The great thing about Greece’s beaches is that they are extremely diverse. In Greece, you can find sandy beaches that look like the Sahara desert, or beaches with white sand and pine trees shadowing the sea waves. Most of the best beaches in Greece are easily accessible and have lots of amenities, restaurants, beach bars, umbrellas, and sunbeds around, but there are literally thousands of beaches that are only accessible by boat. It goes without saying that if you visit any of these beaches in August they will be super busy and crowded, as August is not really the best time to visit Greece.
The best beaches in Greece are:
- Elafonissi (Crete island)
- Balos (Crete island)
- Plaka (Naxos island)
- Myrtos (Kefalonia island)
- Navagio beach (Zakynthos island)
- Porto Katsiki (Lefkada island)
- Paradise Beach (Mykonos island)
- Koukounaries (Skiathos island)
- Sarakiniko (Milos island)
- Super Paradise (Mykonos island)
- Red Beach (Santorini island)
- Perissa (Santorini island)
- Vai (Crete island)
- Kolybithres (Paros island)
- Mylopotas (Ios island)
- Valtos (Parga)
- Simos (Elafonisos island)
- Paleokastritsa (Corfu)
- Seychelles (Ikaria island)
- Mylopotamos (Pelion)
- Kolona (Kythnos island)
- Kavourotrypes (Halkidiki)
It is true that some of the best beaches in Greece such as Porto Katsiki (Lefkada), Myrtos beach (Kefalonia), Navagio beach (Zakynthos), or Plaka beach (Naxos) are frequently on the lists with the best beaches in the world. Their crystal clear waters along with the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape create a breathtaking scenery that cannot be found easily.
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So, let’s see the best beaches in Greece in more detail:
1. Elafonissi (Crete)
Elafonissi is one of those magical places that you have to see to believe they really exist. Make no mistake: this is one of the best beaches in the world! Hundreds of meters of incredible golden sand and turquoise shallow waters along with beautifully shaped sand dunes produce an almost mythical tropical landscape. Elafonissi is on west Crete in the Chania prefecture and you either need a car to reach it or you can just take the bus from Chania. It is about a 1-hour drive through beautiful little villages and rocky mountains but in the end, you will be rewarded with the most stunning scenery. Elafonissi is very popular and you should expect to see lots of people gathering on the beach in July and August but if you can manage to be there before 11 am on any day you won’t have issues finding a sunbed and umbrella. The number of sunbeds though is very limited in general and there is only a couple of canteens with drinks and food so you should better be prepared for that.
2. Balos (Crete)
Balos beach in Crete is an astonishing natural sea lagoon with clear waters and lovely white sand. The beach itself is not very easily accessible though and you can either approach it with a 4×4 or by boat (there are a few organized tours that you can also get). Yes, it is difficult to approach the beach by car and that is for a good reason as if it was easily accessible the incredible landscape will be spoilt. it’s difficult to get there by design! You will feel that the place is coming out of a travel brochure or magazine. There are a few canteens around and some sunbeds and umbrellas but it’s always better if you bring your own stuff. Sometimes there are strong winds in the area so you might be unlucky on that. As a plus, you may see lots of cheeky wild goats around!
3. Plaka (Naxos)
Plaka beach in Naxos is excellent example of a typical beach in Greece: easily accessible, lots of amenities around, very wide with beautiful soft sand, super clean waters and very picturesque surroundings. There are lots of local restaurants around so you will be getting many options for food. This is one of the most family-friendly beaches in Greece and if you like swimming, sunbathing and relaxing this is the place to go in Naxos island.
4. Myrtos (Kefalonia)
Myrtos beach is one of the most famous beaches in Greece and chances are you have probably seen it being featured in travel magazines or websites all over the internet. there is no doubt that if you visit in July or August be prepared to find lots of crowds and people on the beach (even traffic…) but you will be rewarded with a unique landscape. There are some sunbeds on the beach but most people bring their own umbrellas and chairs. I highly recommend you arrive there as early as possible (meaning before 10am in morning) to ensure you get a nice spot on the beach before most of the people arrive. The sand is white on the beach itself and the waters have a unique light blue colour but be careful they deepen very quickly!
5. Navagio Beach (Zakynthos)
Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach) is what I call a tourist trap really. Unfortunately, the rise of social media in the last 10-15 years has actually made this very unique beach extremely viral and chances are you will see lots of tourists on the beach. Especially, if you go to Navagio beach in July and August get prepared to find 100s of other people arriving on a boat (that’s the only way to access the beach) every 5 mins looking for a spot on the beach. Don’t get me wrong: if you are in Zante, you must visit the Navagio beach somehow but it won’t be the relaxing and magical experience you may see in pictures. Oh…and in case you are wondering there is literally a real shipwreck from the ’80s on the beach. The boat was carrying illegal contraband cigarettes from Turkey to Italy when it faced stormy weather and it was abandoned on the natural cove so that its crew couldn’t get captured by the authorities.
6. Porto Katsiki (Lefkada)
Porto Katsiki is one of the most famous beaches in Greece and many people consider it very similar to Myrtos beach in Kefalonia. The dramatic rocks behind the white sand beach offer a unique view. I am not going to lie to you: there will be crowds and most possibly strong winds but this doesn’t change the fact that this is a very beautiful beach. If you visit the beach in the morning you won’t find that many people. There is also a parking space just behind the beach (not free). Porto Katsiki is one of those beaches that because they have become so famous they are almost always crowded (especially during July and August). My recommendation is to visit the beach for a short time and then head over to one of the other beautiful and probably more quiet beaches of Lefkada island.
7. Paradise Beach (Mykonos)
Paradise beach in Mykonos is a lovely sandy beach that attracts all kinds of people and visitors to the beautiful island of Mykonos. The beach itself is sandy with very clear turquoise waters and the famous Paradise Beach Bar is sitting on the beach and there is a large number of sunbeds and umbrellas you can rent. I am not going to lie to you: these can be very expensive (literally hundreds of euros in August) but there is nothing blocking you from bringing your own umbrella or towels.
8. Koukounaries (Skiathos)
Koukounaries beach on the island of Skiathos is completely different than any of the Cyclades islands beaches due to the fact that it is sitting in the middle of a pine tree forest. This is one of the best sandy beaches in Greece. It goes without saying that you will be getting crystal clear sea and shallow waters. This is an ideal beach for families and kids as it is very long with very clean and fine sand with a few tavernas around where you can get some food.
9. Sarakiniko (Milos)
Sarakiniko is not really a beach but frankly…it does not matter at all! This is one of the quirkiest and most unique landscapes anywhere in the world. Milos island is one of the most underrated Greek islands and it’s my personal favorite from the Cyclades group of islands. The unique rocky volcanic formations create a surreal environment with a small tiny beach with white sand. you can definitely lie there on the small beach but I usually go on the moon-like rocks and dive from the top. Sarakiniko can be a bit busy in August but even then you will always get a spot.
10. Super Paradise (Mykonos)
Super Paradise beach is one of the busiest beaches in Greece and probably the busiest on Mykonos island. If you want to party by the beach then this is the place. This is the beach with the craziest parties in Greece and not only in Mykonos but it is not for kids. However, this is an Adults only beach and you should also know that there is a small nudist area on the right side of the beach. If you are actually looking for a family friendly beach in Mykonos then head over to Elia or even Lia beach.
11. Red Beach (Santorini)
Red Beach in Santorini is not really a great beach and I am totally honest with you. It is though the quirkiest and one of the most dramatic beaches in the world though as the volcanic red rocks and the red sand create a unique landscape that cannot be found elsewhere. There is a real danger though with the beach as there is a danger from falling rocks and stone from the top of the hill because you will literally be sitting on an active volcano and small (or bigger sometimes…) earthquakes are to be expected at any given time. Authorities have actually blocked the area that is closer to the red slope but the danger is still there if you want my opinion. If I was you, I would definitely visit the beach but I wouldn’t spend a whole day there swimming. It is one of the most famous beaches in Greece though because it is without a doubt on the best greek island which is Santorini.
12. Perissa (Santorini)
Perissa is the famous Black Beach in Santorini. There are many reasons why this beach is on this list and first and foremost it is because it’s sitting on the most famous greek island which is Santorini. It is indeed a unique long beach with black pebbles and black sand that can become extremely hot during summer, so do not think of stepping on that during summer without any shoes or flip-flops. There are lots of restaurants, beach bars, and amenities behind the beach and the sea waters deepen quite quickly as you step in. This is not a typical Cyclades sandy beach but this doesn’t mean you cannot have a great day there. It is a great spot for kids as well, as it is very family-friendly.
13. Vai (Crete)
Vai beach in Crete is the only beach in the whole of Europe with natural palm trees and it is one of the best beaches in Crete. This is the most tropical scene you will ever see in Greece. The beach itself is very easily accessible by road and you can also find lots of sunbeds and umbrellas on the sand (not free). As Crete is a pretty big island you do need to have a car in order to be more flexible to move around. It would be very tiring to make the trip to Vai if you actually live anywhere outside of the Lasithi prefecture as you would need more than 2 hours to drive to the beach.
14. Kolymbithres (Paros)
Kolymbithres is a great beach to visit in Paros but it may get very crowded in July and August. The beach itself has a bit of sand but also some smooth rocks and obviously crystal clear waters. You can access the beach by bus or even by car very easily. The water is very shallow and the whole beach is ideal for kids that can play around with the beautiful rocks around. I do not recommend visiting in the summer though but the beach is perfect in June, September and October.
15. Mylopotas (Ios)
Mylopotamos is the best beach in Ios and it is the ideal family beach with lots of restaurants, hotels, tavernas, and even watersports available around. Mylopotamos is a great beach for young couples and families but in reality it is perfect for any age. As a plus, there are a couple of beach volleyball courts on the beach so there is something for everyone!
16. Valtos (Parga)
Valtos is one of the best beaches on mainland Greece and it’s just outside of Parga town which is a famous holiday spot on the northwest coast of Greece between Greece and Italy. Parga is just opposite Lefkada island and Valtos is a long sandy beach with lovely clear waters and lots of beach bars on the beach. However, bear in mind that as Parga is not as famous as Santorini for example most of the hotels, shops and restaurants as shutting down by the end of September. August is the busiest month for the beach but I have explained thoroughly that August is not the best month to visit Greece.
17. Simos (Peloponnese)
Simos beach on Elafonissi island is a well-known spot for Greeks but not that much for non-greeks. This is possibly the most breathtaking beach of Peloponnese even though typically Elafonissi is an island. In order to access it, you have to take a short ferry from Neapoli port but you will be rewarded with a completely tropical beach with fine golden sand and incredible transparent waters. This is a wild but very beautiful beach and Simos camping which is behind the beach is adding more to the wild side of the landscape as there are no hotels or many restaurants around.
18. Paleokastritsa (Corfu)
Paleokastritsa beach is a lovely sandy beach below the green hills of Corfu overlooking the Ionian sea. There are lots of umbrellas and sunbeds that can be rented. The waters are very clear (as usual…) and there is also a small diving spot on some rocks behind the main beach. This is one of the most popular beaches in Corfu so you should expect lots of people in July and August.
19. Seychelles (Ikaria)
Ikaria is not an island that you usually see on the list of the best greek islands but in reality, it is a fantastic island with lovely local people and amazing food. Ikaria belongs to the Dodecannese islands group which is closer to Turkey on the eastern side of the Aegean sea. Seychelles beach is a unique beach that is attracting many visitors for its exceptionally transparent waters and the white sand below the rocky geological formations.
20. Mylopotamos (Pelion)
Pelion is one of the most magical places on mainland Greece and it’s literally only a 3 hours drive from Athens and close to the city of Volos. Pelion is basically a beautiful and very green peninsula overlooking the Aegean sea and the Sporades islands (Skiathos and Skopelos) with many lovely villages. The peninsula is full of small or big beaches with pebbles or white sand and Mylopotamos is probably the best one with lots of sunbeds and a beach bar. But it’s not the only beach on Pelion. Beaches such as Horefto or Agios Ioannis are equally beautiful.
21. Kolona (Kythnos)
You don’t really get the option to swim in two beaches while literally sitting on one! Kythnos is a less known island in the Cyclades group in Aegean sea and it is considered one of the most quiet greek islands as you won’t find that many tourists even in the summer. And…that’s a good thing! Kolones beach is a very unique beach that you won’t be able to experience elsewhere in Greece and that is why it’s on this list. It’s literally two sandy beaches overlooking each other. You will find some sunbeds and umbrellas that you can rent during the summer months of June, July and August.
22. Kavourotrypes (Halkidiki)
Halkidiki is a magical place and by far the most famous destination in the north of Greece. It’s not a secret that Halkidiki is the place where greeks from Thessaloniki city are enjoying their holidays and have their holidays homes around some of the best beaches in Greece. Kavourotrypes is not a beach only but a great hiking spot and a complex of pretty rock formations with fine sand around green waters and very green surroundings with pine trees and bushes. Truly a fantastic place in the Sithonia area of Halkidiki.
23. Seitan Limania (Crete)
Seitan Limania used to be a spot only known to locals till some people started posting photos of the beach on Facebook. It was an instant viral success for the beach and even though the fact that it is not a secret anymore and you will probably find lots of people on the beach is not making the scenery any less beautiful. Please note however that access is extremely difficult and not family-friendly at all. You literally have to climb on the rocks in order to reach the sand. I repeat: climb (not just hike) from where you left your car (there is no other access)! The beach itself is really small and the waters deepen suddenly so get prepared for a very wild experience overall!
Which island has the best beaches in Greece?
Crete, Mykonos, and Naxos have the best beaches in Greece. It’s not that you won’t find stunning beaches in other islands (such as Milos or Paros) but these islands have the most impressive ones. You can check the detailed guide: Best Greek island for beaches
Which island in Greece has the clearest water?
Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Paxi are considered the island with the clearest water in Greece. However, bear in mind that all beaches in Greece have amazingly crystal clear turquoise waters and this will probably be the clearest sea water you will ever see in your life!
Does Greece have white sand beaches?
Yes, Greece has lots of white sand beaches. The most famous ones are probably Vluchada beach in Santorini which is also called the “White Beach”. The Ionian islands such as Lefkada, Kefalonia or Zakynthos mostly have white sand and pebbles in general. In fact, Porto Katsiki beach and Myrtos beach all have white pebbles and white sand.
Which has nicer beaches Santorini or Mykonos?
Mykonos has much nicer beaches overall than Santorini. Santorini has basically 3 beaches with volcanic rocky pebbles while Mykonos has more than 20 golden sand beaches with great beach bars and restaurants (though on the expensive side…)
What is the prettiest Greek island?
Santorini is considered the prettiest greek island but, to be honest with you every greek island is a unique place with its own beauty.
Which is the most peaceful Greek island?
The most peaceful greek island is considered Alonnisos in the Sporades. However, there are many greek islands that are less touristic and they can be considered very quiet and peaceful. Some of them are Milos, Ikaria, Sikinos, Paxi, Koufonisia, Donoussa, Schinousa, Iraklia or on the north Aegean sea islands such us Samothraki and Thassos. But bear in mind, that all greek islands get some tourists in the summer months of July and August. If you are really looking for a completely secluded experience you should try the deserted islands of Chryssi and Gavdos in southern Crete or the small island of Arkoi or Anafi.
So, these are the Best Beaches in Greece but there are literally thousands of beaches in my country that deserve a visit. Greece has one of the longest beachside lines in the world for its size, so it is not a surprise that every greek island has tens or even hundreds of beaches packed on a small area. The great thing is that beaches in Greece are extremely diverse with a large variety of landscapes such as golden sand, black sand, white sand, white pebbles or even pink sand in many cases. Spending a day on the beach is always a day very well spent and if you are planning to visit any of the best greek islands for beaches you will be surprised by the large variety of options you will be getting.
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