30 Best Beaches in Greece (Greek islands & Mainland for 2022)


If we’re honest with you, picking our best beaches in Greece is not easy!

Why?

Because beaches in Greece are mind-blowingly gorgeous and diverse: Sandy, shingle, rocky, secluded, cosmopolitan, you name it. No wonder Greek beaches are on the bucket list of many travellers!

 

But, we know you may feel confused. There are so many articles on the internet about the best beaches in Greece that it’s impossible to know what the ACTUAL good shores are.

No worries, we’re here to make your life easier! In our complete beach guide, you’re going to find not only a list of the most popular beaches in Greece, but also an explicit guide of the best beaches according to the locals, as well as a list of the best beaches for each type of beach.

 

Read on!

 

Although Greece is full of fantastic beaches and coasts, the areas where you can find a great number of amazing beaches are Crete, the Peloponesse, Halkidiki, and the Ionian islands.
The Greek islands that are famed for their beaches are Crete, Lefkada, Paros, Naxos, Paxos, Corfu, and Rhodes, among others.
The summer seems to be the best season to visit Greece, but it’s not the only option. Although in the summer the weather is hot, the sun shines, and the water is warm enough for swimming, It’s also the most crowded season in Greece. To skip the excessive crowds and enjoy the good weather, opt for late spring (May), early summer (June), and early fall (September). But, if you want total isolation and peace, your best bet lies in early spring and late fall.
Yes, Greece has many white sand beaches! Some of the best ones are Voidokilia in Messinia, Balos in Crete, Myrtos in Kefalonia, Koukounaries in Skiathos, and Simos in Elafonisos.
Some of the best sandy beaches in Greece are Mylopotas (Ios), Elafonisi (Crete), Plaka (Naxos), Simos (Elafonissos), Balos (Crete), and Golden Beach (Paros).
Swimming in Greece is safe for the most part. However, for your own safety, you need to follow some general safety rules, like not drinking alcohol or eating a heavy meal before swimming and swimming parallel to the shoreline. As for sharks, they are rare and harmless most of the time, but you should be aware of the scorpionfish and jellyfish, which are much more frequent.
Beach Place Highlights

Simos

Elafonisos

  • Exotic, Nature reserve, Windsurfing, White sand, Clean emerald water

Navagio

Zakynthos

  • Dramatic landscape, Photogenic, Caribbean-like, Accessible only by boat

Sarakiniko

Milos

  • Volcanic rocks, Lunar landscape, Turquoise water, Non-organized

Preveli

Crete

  • Exotic, River & sea, Unique setting, Palm forest, Gorge

Seychelles

Ikaria

  • Rocky landscape, Shingle, Emerald waters, Exotic setting

Saliara

Thassos

  • White pebbles, Milky water, Organized, Kids-friendly

Kolona

Kythnos

  • Unique geology, Sandy, Good for little kids, No shade

Lalaria

Skiathos

  • Remote, Rocky landscape, Smooth pebbles, Emerald water

Vai

Crete

  • Palm forest, Sandy, Tropical setting, Water sports

Myrtos

Kefalonia

  • Verdant, Blue/green waters, Shingle, Facilities

 

The best beaches in Greece according to the locals

 

The best beaches in the Cyclades Islands

 

Maganari, Ios

Maganari is a long sandy bay about 20 km away from the main town of Ios. Its beautiful natural landscape, soft white sand, and shallow turquoise waters make Maganari one of the most popular beaches in Ios. Some parts of the beach are organized with umbrellas and sun loungers, while others are isolated and offer privacy. Thanks to its location, Maganari is protected by the winds, but in case of strong north winds, a sandblast may occur.

 

Pori, Koufonissi

Pori is a horseshoe-shaped bay on Ano Koufonisi island. The shape of this beach offers protection from the winds, while its shallow turquoise waters are perfect for swimming. In Pori, you’ll find some picture-perfect sea caves and little coves, like the famous Gala. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you for super-Instagrammable shots! Above the beach, there are a couple of fish taverns, where you can sit and enjoy fresh fish and seafood along with yummy traditional delicacies. Keep in mind that when strong north winds blow, there may be a sandblast on the beach.

 

Psarou, Mykonos

Psarou is not only one of the trendiest beaches in Mykonos, but also one of the most beautiful ones. Nestled in a sandy cove backed by rocky hills, this beach offers protection from the strong Meltemi winds that batter the island in summer. Thanks to its protected position, Psarou is an ideal beach for swimming, no matter the wind conditions. Nammos, the upscale beach bar located on the beach attracts many celebrities and moguls every summer, making Psarou one of the most cosmopolitan beaches in Greece.

 

Kolymbithres, Paros

Kolymbithres is one of the most stunning beaches of the Cyclades in terms of natural beauty. Located in Naoussa village, this beach stands out for its huge rock formations that have been carved by the water and the sea over the years. Kolymbithres beach in Paros consists of consecutive little coves, some of which are organized with umbrellas and sun loungers, while others are isolated. If you’re lucky, you may find your own private cove for the day!

 

The best beaches in the Ionian Islands

 

Egremni, Lefkada

This 3km-long shingle is arguably one of the best beaches in Greece! Sandwiched between steep cliffs and mesmerizing turquoise and milky blue waters, Egremni beach boasts a dramatic landscape, which is every photographer’s dream. Thanks to its unique natural beauty and popularity, Egremni gets crowded every summer. If you want some privacy, opt for a quiet spot under the cliffs or avoid peak season (July-August).

 

Gidaki, Ithaca

Its stunning natural landscape makes Gidaki the best beach in Ithaca and one of the best beaches in Greece. This beautiful shingle has dazzling white pebbles, crystal-clear turquoise waters, but doesn’t have any tourist facilities, which means it keeps its unspoiled charm. If you are a trekking enthusiast, you can follow the hiking trail that leads to the beach. Otherwise, you can reach it by boat from the port of Ithaca.

 

Paleokastritsa, Corfu

Paleokastritsa is a verdant seaside resort northwest of Corfu town, which consists of six main beaches: Ampelaki, Agios Petros, Agios Spiridon, Alipa, Platakia, and Agia Triada. One of the most picturesque and family-friendly resorts in Corfu, Paleokastritsa has a cosmopolitan character without losing its traditional charm. It is a fully organized beach with many luxurious hotels, restaurants, beach bars, and taverns, where you can sit and enjoy a seafood meal after a long day at the beach.

 

Antisamos, Kefalonia

Antisamos is an idyllic beach in Kefalonia, located about 30 km away from Argostoli, the island’s capital. It boasts stunning natural scenery, as it is boarded by verdant hills and covered with white pebbles. As for its water, it has an exotic green/blue color due to its green surroundings. Thanks to its natural beauty, Antisamos beach has served as a filming location for the Hollywood movie ‘The Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’. At the beach, you’ll find umbrellas, sunloungers (the beach doesn’t offer natural shade), and a canteen, where you can buy refreshments and light snacks.

 

The best beaches in the Dodecanese Islands

 

Anthony Quinn, Rhodes

Anthony Quinn is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Rhodes. Named after the famous actor, who decided to buy the bay after filming The Guns of Navarone on the island, this paradise beach lies on the east coast of Rhodes. Anthony Quinn has an exotic setting with turquoise waters and pine trees that create a Caribbean-like atmosphere. However, it is not a good option for families due to the steep rocks in and out of the water. Because of its popularity, Anthony Quinn bay gets overcrowded in peak season (July-August). So, if you want to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach, we suggest that you avoid this period and opt for early summer or early fall instead!

 

Kyra Panagia, Karpathos

Nestled in a sandy cove between two rocky hills, Kyra Panagia beach has a unique natural beauty. This beach lies on the east coast of the island, 14 km away from Pigadia, the capital of Karpathos. Its crystal-clean cerulean waters and stunning mountainous backdrop make it popular with nature lovers, while its facilities make it a good option for families. You can reach Kyra Panagia either by following a 4.5-long path through the hills or by a boat from Pigadia.

 

Prasonisi, Rhodes

Prasonisi is one of the most beautiful beaches in Rhodes in terms of geology and a very popular destination for watersports enthusiasts. Prasonisi is a small islet that is connected to Rhodes by a strip of sand that forms two separate beaches, one on each side. The east side of this strip of sand is protected from the winds, while the west has the perfect wind conditions for watersports, like windsurfing and kite. Both sides have fine golden sand and shallow waters, while the eastern side is organized with umbrellas and sun loungers.

 

Koutsomitis, Astypalea

Koutsomitis is a tiny paradise island opposite Astypalea. Its exotic scenery, fascinating sea bottom, virgin natural landscape, and emerald waters make it a popular destination for day trips and snorkeling. Koutsomitis and the neighboring Tigani and Kounoupas islands, which are also a go-to for exotic beaches, are known as the ‘Exotic Zone’ of Astypalea thanks to their fantastic turquoise waters. They can only be reached by boat from Maltezana.

 

The best beaches in the Peloponnese

 

Foneas, Kardamili

Located between Kardamili and Stoupa in the Messinia prefecture, at the end of the Foneas gorge, Foneas is one of the most stunning beaches in the Peloponnese. The interesting thing about this little beach is that it is untouched by mass tourism, so it keeps its unspoiled charm and natural beauty. From the mesmerizing bright blue waters and rocky landscape to the huge hill sitting in the middle of the sea, everything in Foneas beach has a wild natural beauty that will captivate you!

 

Lagouvardos, Marathopoli

Lagouvardos is one of the best beaches for watersports in the Peloponnese. Thanks to its ideal wind conditions, this beach is popular with windsurfer fanatics from all over the world, who visit it every summer to catch the perfect wave. But even if you have no experience in watersports, there’s a surf school on the beach, where you can take lessons. Lagouvardos also boasts a beautiful natural setting: it has 2 km of golden sand and it’s surrounded by pine trees and tamarisks, which create an exotic atmosphere. Extra tip: Lagouvardos is an amazing spot for sunset-watching -the sunset view from the beach is magical!

 

Simos, Elafonisos

Simos is not only the best beach in the Peloponnese but also one of the top beaches in Greece. According to many, the best beach in Greece. You’ll probably have seen it in postcards long before you go, but the reality is far better than the pictures. Big dunes, mesmerizing emerald waters, endless white sand, a beautiful cedar forest…the setting is breathtaking! To reach this sandy paradise, you have to take the ferry from Vingliafa, a little village close to Neapolis town in southern Peloponnese.

 

Mavrovouni, Gythio

Mavrovouni is a 6km long -one of the longest in Greece- sandy beach located in Lakonia prefecture, just 2 km away from Gythio town in south Peloponnese. Organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, taverns, cafeterias, and water sports facilities, this beach is a perfect choice for all types of beachgoers, from families to water sports enthusiasts. If you fall into the latter category, you’ll love the wind conditions of the Laconic bay, which are ideal for windsurfing!

 

The best beaches on Crete Island

 

Balos, Chania

Balos is arguably the most iconic and most photographed beach in Crete. Boasting an exotic setting with Caribbean-like turquoise waters and white sand, Balos Lagoon has numerous fans all around the world, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Due to its popularity, Balos gets very crowded during the summer, especially in August. If you want to enjoy the natural setting of the beach, avoid peak season and opt for late spring/early summer or early fall. The water is almost always warm and pleasant for swimming, even in spring, so you don’t have to worry about that!

 

Preveli, Rethymno

Preveli is arguably one of the most exotic beaches in Crete! Insulated by a date palm forest and crossed by a river, this sandy beach has a stunning natural setting that’s nothing like you’ve seen before. When it comes to swimming in Preveli, you have two options: the beach and the river. Both are great for swimming, but taking a dip into the river, which is surrounded by palm trees and the stunning Kourtaliotiko gorge, is a unique experience. You can reach Preveli either by car (there’s a parking area nearby) or by boat from Agia Galini and Plakias.

 

Elafonisi, Crete

Located on a sandy peninsula in the southwestern part of the island, Elafonisi will make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean. The combination of the exotic turquoise waters and the pink sand, which is made of millions of crushed shells, attracts numerous tourists every summer. The part of the beach that’s on the mainland is organized with umbrellas and sun loungers. But, the island part of the beach, which is separated from the mainland by a shallow lagoon, is unorganized, keeping its natural beauty. Elafonisi is also a nice beach for families with little kids, as the water depth doesn’t exceed one meter at some points of the beach, making it safe for kids to swim and play.

 

Vai (Foinikodasos), Lasithi

Vai is a verdant pine tree forest -the biggest one in Europe- located 25 km away from Sitia in Crete. In front of the forest lies the beach of Vai, a long sandy shore with crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming. Vai beach is also perfect for water sports, including jet-skiing, windsurfing, and scuba diving. During peak season, Vai tends to get very crowded, so if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the beautiful setting, opt for late spring or early fall.

 

The best beaches in Sporades Islands and Eastern Aegean

 

Lalaria, Skiathos

Lalaria is arguably one of the most photogenic beaches in Greece. Surrounded by steep cliffs and carpeted with smooth white pebbles, this beach boasts a lunar landscape and majestic scenery. The only way to reach this beach is by boat. On the way to Lalaria lie the beautiful Blue and Dark caves, which you can also reach by boat. The Meltemi winds that blow in the Aegean in July and August affect Lalaria beach to the point that sometimes it can’t be reached by boat. We suggest that you check the wind forecast before your visit.

Seychelles, Ikaria

As its name indicates, Seychelles is a very exotic beach nestled in a picturesque rocky cove 20 km away from Agios Kirikos, on the south coast of the island. This beach stands out for its impressive rock formations and emerald waters that have a unique brightness due to the white pebble-covered sea bottom. The large rocks that back the beach offer natural shade, but there’s no other shade on the beach -bringing your umbrella is highly recommended! To reach Seychelles beach, you have to walk down a 300-meter long rocky path. This path gets slippery at some points, so you have to be extra-cautious.

 

Panormos, Skopelos

Panormos is one of the most beautiful beaches in Skopelos! Having a verdant landscape and dark blue waters (unlike the rest of the island’s beaches, which have light blue/turquoise waters), Panormos beach offers the perfect setting for an unforgettable day at the beach. This beach is also great for scuba-diving and swimming, as the water is deep and crystal-clear. It’s also a top spot for sunset-watching, as it offers a magical view of the sunset!

 

Nas, Ikaria

Tucked away into the wild nature of Ikaria, Nas is a unique beach with stunning scenery. This little sandy cove stands out for its unique geology, as it lies where the Aegean Sea meets a river, with a strip of sand being the only border between them. Nas beach doesn’t have only natural beauty, though, but also archaeological significance. On the beach lies the temple of the ancient Greek goddess Artemis, protector of the animals and the sailors. Nas is also famous for being the best spot for sunset-watching on the island!

 

The best beaches in Halkidiki

 

Kavourotripes, Sithonia

Also known as Orange Beach, Kavourotripes (which means crab holes in Greek) is one of the most beautiful beaches in Halkidiki. Kavourotripes is a 5km-long coast that consists of many little sandy coves, many of which are secluded, unlike the main beach, which is usually overcrowded in peak season. If you’re lucky, you may find an isolated cove to spend the day under the shade of the pine trees. As for the water, it is emerald and enticingly clean -perfect for swimming!

 

Possidi Cape, Kassandra

Possidi Cape beach in Kassandra has unique geology, as it is a strip of sand that forms beaches on both sides. The beach took its name from a 19th-century lighthouse situated at the beginning of the sand strip, giving the place a nostalgic charm. Possidi Cape is not organized and doesn’t have facilities, so it keeps its natural beauty. Since there is neither any natural shade nor umbrellas, we recommend bringing an umbrella with you. Oh, and don’t miss the sunset view from Possidi Cape -it’s magical!

 

Kalogria, Sithonia

This is arguably one of the most exotic beaches in Halkidiki! The pine tree forest that surrounds the beach, the white sand and the emerald waters create a beautiful tropical setting that will captivate you. The pine trees offer natural shade, but the beach also has umbrellas and sunbeds, which you can rent for the day. Thanks to its facilities and shallow waters, Kalogria is a very good option for families and kids.

Best beaches in Greece per type of beach

Sandy

Plaka, Naxos → Plaka is a 4 km-long a sandy beach in Naxos. Some parts of the beach are organized with umbrellas & sunbeds. Behind the beach, there are some taverns and accommodations.

Mylopotas, Ios → Mylopotas, which lies 3 km away from the island’s main town, is the longest beach in Ios. It has golden sand and turquoise waters. It is organized and has watersports facilities.

Elafonisi, Crete → Elafonisi lagoon is one of the most popular beaches in Greece. It has pink sand and crystal clear waters. It lies 1 hour away from Kissamos.

Pebbly

Saliara, Thassos → Also known as Marble Beach, Saliara is an exotic shingle in the northern part of the island, 5 km away from Limenas. It is covered with white pebbles and milky blue waters.

Mavra Volia, Chios → Mavra Volia is a beach covered with black volcanic pebbles. It lies 5 km away from Pyrgi village and 30 km away from Chios town. It has deep & cold crystal clear waters.

Lalaria, Skiathos → Lalaria is a shingle in the northeastern part of the island. It is boarded by white cliffs and has deep blue waters. It can only be reached by boat.

Scenery

Navagio, Zakynthos → Navagio is one of the most popular beaches in Greece. This small sandy cove has a dramatic landscape. It is backed by towering white cliffs and has turquoise waters.

Balos, Crete → Balos is a sandy lagoon that lies 17 km away from Kissamos. This beach has an exotic scenery. It is covered with white sand and has warm & shallow emerald waters.

Porto Katsiki, Lefkada → Porto Katsiki is an exotic beach that lies southwest of Lefkada Town. It is insulated by dramatic white cliffs, surrounded by vegetation, and has turquoise waters.

Natural setting

Simos, Elafonissos → Simos is considered by many the best beach in Greece. It boasts soft white sand, dunes, and crystal-clear water. Simos is nature reserve and doesn’t have facilities.

Sarakiniko, Milos → Sarakiniko is a volcanic beach located in the north part of the island. It is made up of peculiar white rock formations carved by the sea and the wind that create a dramatic setting.

Preveli, Crete →Preveli is an exotic sandy beach situated at the end of Kourtaliotiko gorge. Behind the beach lies a palm tree forest and a river that flows from the mountain to the sea.

Water sports

Golden Beach, Paros →Golden Beach is the most popular beach for water sports in Paros. It is loved by kite-surfers and wind surfers thanks to its ideal wind conditions. It stretches for 700m & has many water sports facilities.

Saint George, Naxos →Saint George beach is the closest beach to Naxos Town. It is a very long sandy beach with many water sports facilities. The southern end of the beach is ideal for windsurfing.

Psalidi, Kos →Psalidi is a long shingle located 3 km away from Kos Town. It is organized and has water sports clubs and facilities. It is ideal for windsurfing and kite.

Family

Paleokastritsa, Corfu →Paleokastritsa is a seaside resort with 6 beaches and many facilities, including hotels, restaurants, and water sports facilities. The main beach in Paleokastritsa is Agios Spyridon.

Faliraki, Rhodes →Faliraki is the most well-organized beach in Rhodes. This sandy beach stretches for 4 km and has many facilities including restaurants, water sports facilities, and a water park.

Nea Skioni, Halkidiki →Nea Skioni is a long sandy beach in Kassandra, Halkidiki. It has family friendly facilities, like a kids playground as well as tennis and volleyball courts.

Luxury

Astir Beach Vouliagmeni, Athens →Astir beach (Asteras Vouliagmenis) is a luxurious sandy beach in Athens Riviera. It is considered the most cosmopolitan beach in Athens and is frequented by calebrities and moguls.

Paraga (Scorpios), Mykonos →Scorpios Beach Club on Paraga beach in Mykonos is a hot spot for international VIP visitors. Scorpios has a bar, a restaurant, and several venues for event hosting.

Psarou, Mykonos →Psarou is one of the most popular beaches in Mykonos. Its beach club, Nammos, is very popular with international celebrities and moguls and hosts beach parties daily.

Couples

Red beach, Santorini →Red beach is a scenic beach located in Akrotiri, Santorini. This romantic beach stands out for its lunar landscape, as it is covered with red volcanic rocks and has dark blue waters.

Canal d’ Amour, Corfu →Canal d’Amour is one of the most romantic beaches in Corfu. It owes its reputation to a legend that states that the couples that swim through the canals stay together forever.

Chrissopigi, Sifnos →Chrissopigi beach in Sifnos is named after the romantic monastery that sits on the right side of the beach. It is a quiet shore, ideal for those who seek tranquillity and privacy.

3 Comments

Reply

Kevin

That's a wonderful guide thanks for sharing! My wife and I are planning to go to Corfu this summer. What would be the top beaches we must visit?

Reply

Tourist Hopper

Thank you! Corfu is a beautiful island! Thanks to its big size, it has many beaches, but you'll need a car to reach them. Some of the beaches you should visit are Paleokastritsa (six beaches with cold waters), Sidari Canal d'Amour (rocky beach with water canals), Glyfada (sandy beach surrounded by pine trees), Agios Georgios Pagon (horseshoe-shaped beach with many coves), and Myrtiotissa (beautiful beach ideal for scuba diving). We hope this was helpful!

Reply

John

Very informative article! I didn't know about most of these beaches. Thanks for sharing with us!

Reply

Tourist Hopper

Thank you! Greece is full of hidden gems. We love discovering them and sharing them with you!

Reply

Alice

Great post! Thanks for sharing all these beaches! I would like to visit all of them one day. Greece looks amazing!

Reply

Tourist Hopper

Thank you for your kind words. Beaches in Greece are so beautiful! We hope you'll visit them all!

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