Greece has one of the longest coastlines in the world at almost 16 km. The mainland and island areas end in a myriad variety of coastlines, with countless beautiful small beaches, charming bays and coves. Half of this length includes the thousands of Greek islands scattered through the Greek seas, while the rest extends along the mainland.
The Greek shores are world-famous and exceedingly popular because they are known for their crystal clean and clear waters, as well as for their unique diversity. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy beaches stretching along over many kilometers, sheltered bays and coves, golden stretches of sand with dunes, pebble beaches, coastal caves with steep rocks and dark sand typical of volcanic soil.
It’s difficult to choose the best beaches in Greece. What’s the best beach for kids? What’s the best beach for swimming? What’s the best beach for partying? What’s the best beach for snorkeling? Everyone is looking for a great beach, but they all have different criteria. Add to that the fact that many islands have upwards of 20 different beaches. In Greece about 400 beaches and 9 marinas have been awarded the Blue Flag; this number rises each year, a true indication of the Greeks’ love and regard for the sea. Here are the best beaches in Greece:
Elafonissi is something like an island and a peninsula, because to reach the island you have to walk through the sea. It is located in the southwest end of the prefecture of Chania, Crete, about 70km from the city of Chania. There isn’t much else nearby besides a few small hotels, so most people do a day trip from Chania. Elafonisi is a place of an exceptional natural beauty, and it has been included in the Natura 2000 Protection Program. Someone could say that nature made it’s wonder in Elafonisi. That’s why Elafonissi beach is such a popular destination in and around Chania, and a top of the top things to do from all over Crete.
What characterizes the area of Elafonissos and makes it such an exotic place, are the little sand islets formed, the shallow turquoise waters of the sea, which at a point looks like a lagoon, and certainly the fine white sand, pinkish at several spots because of the crushed shell powder. The whole area is an endless summer playground for young and old alike.
Mylopotas Beach, Ios
Mylopotas beach is the most visited beach in Ios Greece, located close to the main village, Chora. This is a long white beach with sunbeds for rent but also with some large and unexploited areas to lay your towel on for free. It has wYou will find many restaurants and drinking holes along the beach. Far Out Beach Club is located at the end of the it. If you have not gotten enough of the partying during the night then this is the place to continue to during the day since the beach party on Ios Greece is located at Far Out Club.
Red Beach, Santorini
Perissa Beach, Santorini
Perissa is a beautiful beach situated 15 km southeast of Fira extending for 7 km on the southeastern side of Santorini. The beach features unique characteristics, black sand, crystalline waters and various beach facilities. However, the enormous rock called Mesa Vouno that rises from the sea is the main attraction of the beach and the entire area. Visitors are left spellbound by the stunning view of the rock especially when it shines in the dark. Perissa Beach
Perissa is a nice tourist resort witnessing a huge tourist movement that starts from in the middle of the summer season. The village offers a great variety of hotels for all tastes and budgets, restaurants, taverns, cafes and bars. The area is extremely developed with modern amenities and quite inviting while retaining its strong traditional character. From Perissa, a small path crosses the mountain and leads to the ruins of Ancient Thera. The excursions can be made by foot or riding donkeys.
Paradise Beach, Mykonos
Paradise beach Mykonos is located between Paranga Beach and Super Paradise Beach and is reachable by a footpath from Platis Yialos, by bus or by taxi-boat. The famous Paradise beach is a nice, flat beach. There are a number of popular bars and the majority of people on the beach are youngish. Nudists also frequent this beach. Water sports facilities and a diving centre are available in Paradise Beach.
A fully organized camping is located behind the beach. The famous Cavo Paradiso which is a large complex working like a night club, containing a pool, a restaurant and a beach bar, is located on a hill, above the beach. By night, Paradise Beach transforms into a huge club with music and people dancing on the sand and the rocks until dawn.
Ornos Beach, Mykonos
Ornos beach is situated in front of a small fishing village, 2.5 km south of town and is the closest beach to the capital, with fine sand and sun beds and umbrellas for rent; it is a really beautiful beach but, unfortunately, it is often overcrowded. A diving school as well as schools for sea-skiing and windsurfing are available on the beach. On the shore of the bay a huge hotel complex offers various restaurants and bars. Ornos is reachable by local bus, frequently leaving from the capital. The view from this beach is really good, looking up to houses perched precariously on the cliff.
Mytros Beach, Kefalonia
Myrtos is without doubt one of the most important poles of attraction in Kefalonia. It is located 30km north of Argostoli, in a beautiful area around huge verdant hills. Myrtos beach has gained worldwide reputation and has been constantly included in travel magazines among the best beaches in Greece and in the world. It has been awarded many times for its cleanness and the natural beauty.
The beach has a semi-circular shape surrounded by impressive white rocky cliffs with lush vegetation on top of them creating a spectacular setting. The lush green area, the abrupt terrain, the white pebbles and the crystal waters compose a stunning scenery. The beach is well-organized at the most part with umbrellas and sundecks while a small part remains completely unspoilt, ideal for total isolation.
The natural beauty of Myrtos is the trademark of Kefalonia and one of the most photographed places in Greece. It is affected by the strong winds. The western coast of Myrtos offers spectacular sunset views. visitors have direct access to a wide range of facilities and a nice sack bar offering cold drinks. Myrtos is easily accessed by all means of transport. While descending the beach, you will enjoy some amazing views from above.
Paleokastritsa is arguably the most famous picturesque village of the island of Corfu located 25 km northwest of Corfu Town. The word Paleokastritsa literally means old fortress, witnessing the existence of such a castle on the rocky cave where now stands the Monastery of the Virgin. The village of Paleokastritsa offers a plethora of local taverns overlooking the blue bay and six sandy and pebbled beaches which are scattered all around the area. Those beaches are surrounded by olive tree forests creating a dramatic yet beautiful scenery.
This cosmopolitan resort stretches along a coastal road around stunning bays and a picturesque harbor where the excursion boats depart for the nearby and isolated beaches. The settlement itself retains its traditional charm and character whereas today it is considered one of the main tourist attractions in Corfu displaying a great number of hotels, bars and restaurant. At the end of the road, right after the main harbor is the Monastery of the Virgin that dominates the village. The monastery hosts an interesting collection of post Byzantine icons, books and other objects. The main beach of Paleokastritsa is quite small but extremely known for its cold waters and delightful environment. It is considered as one of the best beaches in the Greek islands. It is surrounded by many bars and taverns therefore it is rarely quiet during the day. The area offers some excellent sea views.
This beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Milos and surely the most particular one. It is located along the coastal road east of Adamas, north-east of Milos. It is the most photographed spot of the island. Its particular landscape is very impressive and surely unforgettable: long horizontal rocks bent over the sea; those rocks are eroded by time and salt water, and have small and huge hollows all over them. The entire landscape formed by the volcanic rocks doesn’t show any signs of vegetation and is coloured entirely in a bright white, which makes an interesting contrast with the deep blue and turquoise of the surrounding waters. This amazing scenery gives one the impression of standing on the surface of the moon.
Stafylo Beach, Skopelos
Stafilos is one of the closest beaches to Skopelos Town. Just 5 km away from the capital, the stunning bay is accessible by local bus or private car. A nice fish tavern welcomes the visitors and some wooden steps lead down to the lovely pebbled bay with fine grey sand and crystal clear waters. Stafilos offers some rental facilities and a nice beach bar with cold drinks and snacks. It is partly organized, meaning that the other half of the beach is totally unspoilt. The beach is actually one of the most popular places for swimming for its crystalline bay and its close proximity to the town. This bay owns its name to the Minoan king Stafilos who was supposed to have disembarked in this lovely cove.
Kamares Beach, Sifnos
Kamares lies at the western side of Sifnos, close to the island’s port. It is one of the cleanest and longest beaches you will find here with shallow waters and lovely surrounding. If you love sunbathing then the golden beach of Kamares is the ideal destination as it provides numerous spots for relaxation in the soft sand. Close to the beach are some taverns and bars for a nice lunch and refreshing drinks. The beach offers various watersports for both adults and children and nice beach facilities like sunbeds and umbrellas. It is worth mentioning that Kamares is connected to the small and quite picturesque beach of Agia Marina that is highly recommended for those who want to stay away of the noisy crowds.
Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos
This is the most famous beach of Skiathos, therefore the most crowded. It is well-known for its extremely fine white sand and its fragrant pine trees forest from which the region took its name. It is considered as the most unspoiled natural beach of the Mediterranean and is a protected environment. The beautiful crystal-clear deep blue waters are a real pleasure. Since the beach is well-organized, it offers many water sports, chairs, umbrellas, beach bars. The region around the beach is full of restaurants, taverns and hotel units. A local bus links this beach to the capital every 30 minutes. A biotope can be found in the pine forest boarding the beach where different species of plants and birds are protected. This place, as well as the beach, is developed for ecotourism, financed by the Municipality and the European Union.
Faliraki Beach, Rhodes
Faliraki is one of the most cosmopolitan resorts of Rhodes lying 16 km south of the main town and 10 km from the airport. It is well-organized with dozens of colorful sunbeds covering the sandy coast, umbrellas and many watersports facilities like (water skiing, wind surfing and much more. In the wider region plenty of taverns, restaurants and beach bars are found. The golden sands of Faliraki extend over 4 km and, along with the crystalline blue waters of the Aegean, create a relaxing and attractive scenery. For those who wish to be in a more quiet and less crowded environment, the bay of Kathara is just the right place for them. It is close to Faliraki Beach, near the small fishing harbour. The whole area is full of luxurious hotels and other kinds of accommodations.
Matala is one of the most famous beaches of Greece located 67 km south west of Heraklion town.The beach extends over 300 meters, with light golden sand and bamboo umbrellas and sun beds available for rent. On the right side of the beach are the famous imposing cliffs with the curved caves that hippies used as a shelter in the 1960s. Equally important is the fact that the beach was actually inhabited during Antiquity where the locals dug these caves into the rocks.Today, the prehistoric caves are fenced. Matala used to be a fishing village while today locals are mostly engaged in tourism. It offers numerous accommodations and modern facilities. There is a camping site and many fish taverns.
Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos
The beach of Navagio or Shipwreck cove is the most famous beach of Zakynthos lying on the western side of the Ionian island, close to Anafotiria village. The Shipwreck is one of the most photographed landscapes in Greece. It is considered as one of the best beaches in Greece. It was initially called Agios Georgios but owes its new name to the shipwreck of a boat that transported illegal cigarettes, in 1983. The ship was washed ashore.
With the years passing, the sand completely surrounded the ship which looks now as it emerges from it. The vestiges of the ship can be seen in the middle of the large white sandy beach which has amazing turquoise and crystalline waters. Huge vertical cliffs of white rocks are surrounding the sand creating a unique and enchanting image. To reach this paradise, one has to take a little boat from the small port of Porto Vromi. These taxi boats are leaving every hour and the trip is about 30 minutes.
Vai Beach, Crete
The beautiful Vai beach, known as Palm Forest, is located 25 km east of Sitia and 94 km east of Agios Nikolaos town. It is the only indigenous wild date palm grove of Greece, extending over an area of 250 square kilometres and consists of 5000 palm trees which make it the largest known palm tree forest throughout Europe.
This forest was first mentioned during the Classical period and its existence is attributed to Phoenician merchants who threw away the seeds of the dates they were eating. In front of this unique forest, kilometres of pure and soft golden sand are extending, boarded by an azure sea. The magic and tropical aspect of the place attracts thousands of visitors which makes it very crowded during high season. The main entrance to the beach is open from sunrise to sunset to avoid fires and camping is prohibited. Snack bars and coffee places can be found on the beach.
Vouliagmeni Beach, Athens
Vouiagmeni is one of the best-organized beaches offering all types of beach facilities. Tennis and volleyball courts, play area for children, water slide, individual cabins and a restaurant are some of the features that make the area quite famous among Athenians.It is located 23 km south of the city center and is easily accessed with local buses. In the wider region you will find seaside cafes and restaurants.