Greece boasts some of the best beaches in all of Europe, maybe even the world. The scenic landscapes and crystal waters are sure to attract anyone looking for the perfect vacation.
The 15 Best Beaches in Greece in 2023
Maybe you haven’t realized it yet, or maybe you have, and that’s why you’re here, but Greece has a lot of beaches, like, hundreds of beaches. And it can be hard to choose where to go when planning a vacation.
There are so many spots, each more beautiful than the last, and you may not even know where to begin. Well, worry not, because we have here a list of the 15 best beaches in Greece.
Whether you’re traveling alone, planning a honeymoon, taking a family vacation, or adventuring with friends, you’re sure to love all of these beaches.
Slap on some shades and adjust your sunhat because we’re about to head to the beach. These beaches are scattered all over Greece, but you can add a few of them to your plans.
1. Elafonissi, Crete
Perhaps the most stunning beach in the entire Mediterranean, Elafonissi beach on the island of Crete, boasts dazzling pink sand and shimmering waters.
With shallow waters and a view of the distant mountain, this beach is ideal for couples, families, and parties, but be advised that it is one of the world’s most popular beaches and tends to be quite crowded.
Situated in the southwestmost corner of Crete, Elafonissi beach is ideally located to watch the sunset over the water. The vast open sky and natural flora turn this oasis into a magical spot for a romantic getaway or family vacation.
This beach has several eateries, washrooms on site, changing cabins, showers, as well as lounge chairs, and umbrellas that you can rent for the day. Nude bathing is permitted, and the sandbar across the way is the perfect spot to find a secluded sunbathing location.
2. Voidokilia, Messinia
Located on the southwest edge of Greece, Voidokilia beach is the jewel of Messinia. With its large horseshoe shape welcoming the ocean and lake Divariou at its back, this beach is a sight to behold.
You can see clearly across the spit of land that divides the lake and ocean, and the beach’s almost perfectly semi-circular shape gives every vacationer the perfect view.
Adored with yellow cliffs, hiking trails, and archeological ruins, this beach is the best spot to sunbathe, hike, wander, sightsee, and enjoy the scenery.
You can drive up to and park right at the beach. While Voidokilia is crowded during the summer, the fine golden sand and shallow turquoise waters are beautiful year-round.
As lovely as the beach is, keep in mind that the car park is not secure or monitored, and there is little available when it comes to on-site facilities.
3. Myrtos, Kefalonia
Myrtos is a west-facing beach in Kefalonia, ideal for sunbathing or watching the striking sunsets. While the trek to the beach is nothing more than a remote windy road, the bordering cliffs offer a sense of wild solitude.
The beach consists of white sand and small pebbles adorning a crescent coast. As remote as it may seem, this beach can also get very crowded when the weather is right, and it does have facilities, including lifeguards, washrooms, and snack bars.
Kefalonia island is home to many attractions, including other wonderful beaches. Myrtos, in particular, exemplifies everything the island has to offer, full of natural and abundant beauty like underwater caves, weathered limestone cliffs, and unique flora.
Accommodations are easy to find on Kefalonia Island. from resorts to hotels to villas. This beautiful island is chock-full of exquisite scenery and friendly locals.
4. Balos, Crete
If you are looking for a more secluded beach away from the crowds and tourists, head to Balos beach on the northwest side of Crete. You can get to the beach by driving the dirt road or taking a boat from Chania Town or Kissamos.
Balos beach may be in Greece, but it feels like the Caribbean with its snow-white sand and iridescent turquoise waters. The island of Gramvoussa sits right beside Balos beach and is an uninhabited rocky mountain with a medieval castle atop it.
It is a must-visit location if you go to Balos beach. Additionally, Balos beach is home to wild goats, and while there are a couple of canteens and you can rent umbrellas and chairs, you’d be best off bringing your own supplies to this secluded beach paradise.
Before you go, keep in mind that the beach is hard to access, and you may be better off joining a tour group or booking a private boat.
5. Porto Katsiki, Lefkada
If you are looking for azure waters and humongous cliffs, look no further than Porto Katsiki. Located on the southwest edge of Lefkada, Porto Katsiki is similar in landscape to Myrtos beach, but the rocky terrain reaches even higher into the sky.
The best time to visit is in the morning to avoid crowds, and as this beach has gained significant popularity as of late, there will be crowds. The parking is also not free. There are also facilities on-site and plenty of eateries nearby.
The beach is mostly sandy, but there are some rockier parts and flat stones, especially near the water and cliffs, but don’t let that deter you because this beach is absolutely breathtaking and worth a visit.
The best time to visit is in July and August, but those are also the most popular times, and there will be a lot of people. Visit in the offseason for a more tranquil getaway.
6. Plaka, Naxos
Plaka beach offers an experience like no other. Located on the southwest shore of Naxos, Plaka is one of the longest beaches in Greece. The nearly straight strip of land is a favorite of nudists and families alike.
The beach is lined with bountiful accommodations and plenty of shops and restaurants. Dotted with sparse amounts of trees and a view of the surrounding islands, this beach is the perfect oasis retreat for those looking to hang around for a bit.
The idyllic scenery is perfect at any time of day and makes for a lovely background for long walks, sunbathing, swimming, and dining. You can rent chairs and umbrellas and hang out at the beach or eat at one of the open terraces at one of the tavernas.
The beach consists of sand and pebbles. They act as beds for hundreds of sunbathers that frequent the beach. Crowds can get quite substantial during the summer months especially.
7. Sarakiniko, Milos
Sarakiniko beach is the most photographed spot in Milos and is well-known for its unique landscape. While not a beach in the typical sense, this bitty spot is a sight to behold.
Sarakiniko is a channel to the sea bordered by smooth, sloping gray rocks. It looks akin to a desert canyon but is filled with cerulean water that welcomes boats and swimmers alike. Not only is Sarakiniko beautiful, but the entire island of Milos is as well.
The volcanic landscape and shimmering sea that surrounds it is positively picture perfect. This underrated spot is hardly ever crowded, even in the busier season, and it offers a sense of surreal tranquility you won’t find anywhere else.
There are accommodations and eateries near the beach and a port city just across the spit. If you decide to stay on any island, choose Milos and take your time to explore all that it has to offer.
8. Simos, Elafonisos
If you’re looking for a spot that holds all the same luxuriant beauty of other beaches but want to avoid foreign tourists, then head over to Simos, a favorite spot of the locals. This beach is flat and sandy and can only be accessed by taking a ferry from the port of Neapoli.
The translucent waters are unlike all the other beaches and contrast the soft, golden sand wonderfully. There are no hotels near Simos, but there are a few restaurants, and you can camp at the beach.
Try staying a night to experience the true wonders of a wild Greek beach. Keep in mind that only one side of the bay is for camping and that the goal of the beach is to preserve that natural and naked landscape.
9. Platys Gialos, Mykonos
So far, many of these beaches have leaned towards showcasing the natural beauty of Greece, but for many travelers, roughing it in the outback isn’t fun or even possible. Sometimes you need a beach with a little more convenience and infrastructure.
Platys Gialos village and resort in Mykonos provides just that; comfortable accommodations and a beautiful scenic beach that doesn’t shy away from embracing the resort aesthetic.
The beach is lined with hotels, restaurants, and shops and has whole chunks covered in umbrellas and chairs to please the many tourists.
In addition, this beach is super family-friendly and caters to people looking to have extravagant and luxurious vacations. The upscale hotels and amenities ensure everyone can feel like royalty while they take in the sights and sun.
There are also several boat shuttle services to take you around and ferry you to different sites or activities. You can even rent a private yacht to feel like a ruler of the sea or take a day off at one of the many spas.
10. Paleokastritsa, Corfu
Paleokastritsa beach looks like a postcard for Greece. It’s vibrant, lush, and bursting with activity. The small cove rests in the far north of Greece on the west shore of Corfu. Paleokastritsa is a collection of inlets and beaches along the coast.
The main beach, Agios Spyridon, features many tavernas, snack bars, and cafes. It’s also the largest of the beaches. Alipa beach holds a harbor where you can rent yachts and fishing vessels. There are many hotels and resorts along the beaches and in the village of Paleokastritsa.
These beaches are ideal for any vacationer looking to have a good time. There is so much to do both on and off the beach and the number of places – like caves – to explore on the coast that could easily take up your whole vacation.
11. Koukounaries, Skiathos
Skiathos is an island on the east side of Greece that houses the crescent-shaped beach of Koukounaries. This is one of the sandiest beaches, with the clearest waters, and it’s lined entirely by pine trees.
As Koukounaries is a protected natural area, the water is pure and clean, and there are many natural wonders to observe on land and in the sea around the beach.
Preserved nature doesn’t mean you’ll be entering a wild scrap of wilderness, though. There are many facilities and amenities, including snack bars, boat docks, and chair and umbrella rentals. There are also plenty of hotels and attractions nearby.
Koukounaries has the softest, finest snack possibly in all of Greece. It makes it a very popular spot, so be prepared for crowds. As Koukounaries is more north than some of the other beaches, the on-season is slightly shorter.
12. Mylopotas, Ios
If you are looking for a place to party, then Ios Island is it. Not only does it have spectacular nightlife, but it’s also home to the large Mylopotas beach. The coast stretches over a kilometer, so there’s room for everyone even in the high season.
Mylopotas beach is popular among international youth and is a popular spot for college kids. The wide beach welcomes gentle, transparent waves and has a backdrop of picturesque white houses on the surrounding hills.
Mylopotas is the perfect spot for any and all water sports and welcomes the tourist crowds with plentiful bars and cafes.
Some restaurants even provide lounge chairs for customers to take in the sights as they enjoy cool refreshments. This beach is also pristinely clean and has a blue flag label to indicate its safety and security.
13. Golden Beach, Thassos
The Golden Beach, or Psili Ammos, sits at the base of lush mountains and boasts the most golden sand of all the beaches. While nestled in a cove, there are still abundant waves for those looking to surf or wind sail.
Take a dip, hang out at one of the resorts, or wander the pine and olive-covered hillsides. There’s so much to do and so much beauty to take in at this beach. Thassos sits at the north end of the Aegean Sea, with the Golden Beach nestled snugly along its eastern shore.
The island is small and mountainous but has several towns and villages with fun attractions and lots of hotels. There are also plenty of places to stay right on the shoreline thanks to the beach’s great length.
14. Potami, Samos
Potami beach has some of the bluest water you’ll ever see. Located along the north coast of Samos island, this curving beach is sheltered by sloping hills and vibrant foliage. The natural scenery is marvelous, full of lush plant life and interesting rock formations.
There’s so much to look at. The beach itself is rocky, covered in small gray stones and sand, which only makes the vivid blue water stand out all the more prominently.
The overall look is unique even among Greek beaches and well worth a visit. You can rent umbrellas and chairs or visit the restaurants and cafes, or simply take in the sites and admire the undeveloped look of the beach.
There are also a medieval castle and 11th-century church to tour on the hilltops. Make sure you stick around and pick a spot on the beach or up in the hills to watch the spectacular sunsets.
15. Kolymbithres, Paros
Kolymbithres beach in Paros is actually a cluster of small coves and rocky shorelines. It rather resembles a group of swimming pools with their shallow calm waters, which is fitting as Kolymbithres means swimming pools.
The Kolymbithres beaches have washrooms and seat and umbrella rentals, but only some spots have snack bars and water sports rentals. Head up the hillside to dine at open terrace tavernas and beach clubs.
You can get to any of the beaches by boat or drive from the picturesque village of Naoussa. There’s so much to do in the area, and it’s all only a stone’s throw away. Try visiting several of the Kolymbithres beaches while you’re there to see all the beauty from every angle.
Things to Consider
Vacationing at a beach in Greece seems like a dream, but there are a few things to take into account before you plan your trip, especially if you want to check out multiple beaches:
Always try to learn when the beaches are most crowded. July and August are the high seasons for most beaches, but there may be ones with longer or shorter seasons. Most beaches tend to get more crowded in the afternoon, but that isn’t always the case.
Many of the above beaches are only accessible by sea or have very out-of-the-way secluded roads. If you don’t have the means to get there, you may need to book one.
Additionally, if you have mobility difficulties or special medical needs, traveling to the most remote, inaccessible beaches might not be possible.
Not all beaches are created equal, and some – especially the more rustic and natural ones – won’t have places to eat or sleep. Some may not have parking or rental shops. Make sure you either bring what you need with you or check if you can get it at the beach.
The last big thing you’ll want to consider is your vacation style. Are you traveling with kids? Do you plan to book everything ahead of time or pick hotels as you go? Do you want a fast-paced, fun-filled vacation or a relaxing, scenic tour?
Decide beforehand if you are comfortable with things like nude sunbathers and limited amenities and recognize that it’s not something you may be able to account for. Take your time learning about the vibe of each beach before you jam it into your schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the beaches Greece has to offer:
Which part of Greece has the best beaches?
If you can only make it to one part of Greece and beaches are high up on your to-do list, then you’ll want to be sure to book your travel in Crete. Crete is home to some of the best beaches and amazing cities with pink sand and marinas galore.
Which island has the best beaches in Greece?
The five best islands for beaches in Greece include Mykonos, Naxos, Crete, Corfu, and Skiathos. While every part of Greece is beautiful and all the islands have incredible beaches, you will find the most plentiful and exquisite beaches on these islands.
Where are the sandy beaches in Greece?
Greece is home to many sandy beaches, but some of the best are found on the islands of Skiathos and Crete, specifically Koukounaries beach in Skiathos and Balos beach in Crete.
Koukounaries is a remarkably famous beach renowned for its fine white sand, and Balos is the most visited beach on Crete. It has white and pink sand, breathtaking mountains, and crystal clear water.
Which island has the clearest water in Greece?
Kefalonia island is surrounded by crystalline waters of magnificent blue. One of the best beaches for admiring the beauty of the island is Myrtos beach on the northwest coast.
Are there private beaches in Greece?
Interestingly, Greece has no private beaches. All beaches, no matter the location of their access points or the presence of hotels, are free and public.
That means even if you have to go through a hotel to get to the beach, it is not private. Additionally, beaches can have no more than 50% of their surface covered with chairs and umbrellas.
The Best Beaches in Greece: Final Thoughts
It’s hard to pick just one when there are literally hundreds of choices, but we did get it down to 15. Any of these beaches would be the perfect vacation spot.
But our top pick probably has to go to Elafonissi in Crete. Crete is chock-full of glorious beaches, but something about Elafonissi just carries the quintessential vibes of a Greek beach.