Want to know which are the best beaches in Greece? Then look no further. The Greek islands and the mainland are home to some of Europe’s most beautiful stretches of sand and rival any that you will find around the world.
Table of Contents
- 15 Best Beaches in Greece
- 1. Porto Katsiki, Lefkada
- 2. Elafonisi, Crete
- 3. Koukounaries, Skiathos
- 4. St Paul’s Bay, Rhodes
- 5. Lalaria, Skiathos
- 6. Myrtos, Kefalonia (by far one of the best beaches in Greece!)
- 7. Sarakiniko, Milos
- 8. Matala Beach, Crete
- 9. Voidokilia Beach, Messinia (one of the best beaches in mainland Greece)
- 10. Navagio Beach, Zakynthos
- 11. Diamandi Beach, Skiathos
- 12. Lindos Beach, Rhodes
- 13. Mylopotamos Beach, Pelion
- 14. Balos Beach, Crete
- 15. Xi Beach, Kefalonia
- FAQs about the Best Greek Beaches
- Now You Know the Best Beaches in Greece
The best Greek beaches are some of the most unique on the planet and are stunning to behold. There are numerous places to visit in Greece, but the Greek islands are a place where modern-day luxury and ancient history walk hand in hand.
And, if you travel smart, Greece can be a great budget travel destination.
15 Best Beaches in Greece
Greek beaches are some of the more popular destinations to visit in Europe, and are definitely one of my favorite places to spend the summer months.
To avoid the inevitable arguments about which should be number one and how this beach is better than that one, this list is in random order. So, from golden sand and crystal clear waters to wave-sculpted rock, here are the nicest beaches in Greece you won’t want to miss!
Here’s my list of the the top 15 best beaches in Greece.
1. Porto Katsiki, Lefkada
First on the list is Porto Katsiki, which roughly translated means goat port. This is because at one time only goats could reach the shore by scrambling down the treacherous cliffs.
These days, however, Porto Katsiki has opened up and stairs run down from a parking lot at the top of the cliff.
Located on the Ionian Island of Lefkada, during the day boat tours also drop tourists on the sands from the nearby town of Nidri. The best time to visit is early in the morning, at around 8 am, as the beach soon fills up with tourists. Although a major hotspot for travellers, you should still make time to see Porto Katsiki.
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There are no hotels or places to stay near the beach and also it is prohibited to camp. There are however some small restaurants on the cliffs where it is possible to get food and drinks.
How to Get to Porto Katsiki
The beach is located on the southernmost peninsula of Lefkada Island and can be reached from most towns either by bus or taxi. It is also possible to take a boat tour, where Porto Katsiki is one of the main stops.
Being one of the most famous beaches in the Greek Islands, this is a very easy spot to reach. Porto Katsiki is a stunning place and easily makes the list of the best beaches in Greece.
2. Elafonisi, Crete
Next up is the beautiful Elafonisi Beach which is located on its namesake, Elafonisi Island. With its pink sand and warm waters, this is one of the most famous beaches in the Greek Islands.
Situated off the southwest corner of the Island of Crete, on calm days it is possible to wade through the shallow waters between Crete and Elafonisi, to reach the beach.
The island itself is a protected nature reserve so is lovely and clean. However, as the day draws on the beach does get quite crowded. Arrive early to relax and see the beach in all of its beauty. Afterwards head out and enjoy the rest of the top things to do in Crete to avoid the crowds.
Windsurfing is also possible in the area, so if you like extreme sports this is the perfect destination for you. During the summer months, the conditions are perfect to surf almost every day.
How to Get to Elafonisi Beach
Elafonisi is a small island tethered to the Cretan mainland by a ribbon of sand. The best way to reach Elafonisi Beach is by taxi from the nearby city, Chania.
If you are traveling on a budget however, there are also frequent buses that can drop you at the beach. Although, do keep in mind that the buses will take a lot longer than a taxi.
3. Koukounaries, Skiathos
Skiathos is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, and Koukounaries is just one more of the Greek Islands’ spectacular stretches of sand. Koukounaries Beach is famous for its fine white sand and fragrant pine forest, from which the area took its name.
Since the 1960’s the island has been a protected reserve, which has helped to made Koukounaries Beach one of the most unspoiled in all of the Mediterranean. The crystal clear waters of the lagoon are deep and perfect for those looking for a good place to swim.
Koukounaries Beach offers many activities from watersports to nature walks through the pine forest. This is not only the best beach on Skiathos, it is one of the best beaches in Greece.
How to Get to Koukounaries Beach
The Island of Skiathos lies off the coast of mainland Greece, east of the Pelion peninsula. Koukounaries is on the southwestern corner of Skiathos.
The region around the beach is well catered for tourists, offering many restaurants, beach hotels and bars. Local buses circle the island for most of the day, with Koukounaries being one of the main drop off points.
4. St Paul’s Bay, Rhodes
St Paul’s Bay is a picturesque piece of Rhodes. Situated just south of Lindos, it is said this is where the Apostle Paul landed during a heavy storm. There is a small church built on the hill to commemorate the landing, which today has become a popular wedding location due to the stunning scenery around the bay.
St Paul’s Bay is one of the best swimming locations on the Island of Rhodes, sheltered by the arms of the cove. The bay is home to two beaches. The larger one is on the southern shore and is made of golden sand. The beach laying on the northern shore is a mix of sand and gravel.
The bay is also well-known for snorkeling and diving due to the calm waters and is a great place to take young children. Visit in any month other than August and you will also find St Paul’s Bay relatively uncrowded.
How to Get to St Paul’s Bay
St Paul’s Bay is on the east coast of the Island of Rhodes near the town of Lindos. The bay is around fifty kilometers from Rhodes city and is quite easy to reach.
It is possible to take a bus from the city straight to the bay, with a journey time of around 1h 40 mins. A taxi is the fastest option however, taking approximately 50 mins.
5. Lalaria, Skiathos
The secluded and beautiful Lalaria Beach is only accessible by taking a boat from Skiathos town. Also due to it being exposed to the northerly winds, can only be visited when the waters are calm.
With its white sandy beaches and spectacular cliffs rising out of the waters, Lalaria Beach possesses a dreamlike beauty.
This is one of the more unique beaches in the Greek Islands, unlike all of the others on this list. Due to the constant barrage of waves in the area, sea caves have been formed in the vicinity of the beach. By taking a small boat, it is possible to get up close and sail inside some of the larger ones.
If you’re an adventurous soul, this is the best beach in Greece for you.
How to Get to Lalaria Beach
Situated on the northeastern tip of Skiathos, as stated, Lalaria Beach can only be reached by boat. Both boats and sea taxis are available from the harbour in Skiathos town.
However, due to the strong afternoon winds, tourist boats only visit in the mornings. If you take a sea taxi, they will drop you off and then return later to pick you up. Even though your visit will only be a short one, Lalaria Beach is still definitely worth the visit.
6. Myrtos, Kefalonia (by far one of the best beaches in Greece!)
You may have seen Myrtos Beach in the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, where the beach played a starring role. As you can see from the picture, this is one of the Greek Islands’ most beautiful beaches. If you climb the peninsula to the north of Myrtos Beach, you will be rewarded with some stunning views.
Myrtos Beach is constantly mentioned in travel magazines as being one of the best beaches in Greece. With its high surrounding hills and beautiful turquoise waters, this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, and possibly anywhere.
This westward-facing beach also offers some incredible sunset views making the natural beauty of Myrtos unrivaled in the whole of the Greek Islands. There are numerous things to do in Kefalonia, but this should be number 1 on your list.
How to Get to Myrtos Beach
Myrtos Beach is the main attraction on Kefalonia Island and is located 30 kilometers north of the main town Argostoli. The beach is easily accessible by all means of transport and also offers amazing views when descending to the beach. Buses leave regularly from Argostoli taking approximately 1h 20 mins.
READ MORE: Discovering the Magic of Kefalonia, Greece: Our 5 Day Travel Guide
7. Sarakiniko, Milos
Sarakiniko Beach is a series of coves carved out of volcanic rock. It’s another of the Greek Islands’ stunningly unique beaches.
Whipped by both the wind and sea, the volcanic rock has been formed into otherworldly shapes which will have you thinking that you are walking on the moon itself.
The white rocks of Sarakiniko Beach have no vegetation, which makes the contrast of the clear blue waters more appealing. Normally Sarakiniko Beach is a quiet spot with only a few tourists. Find your own little cove and have a swim.
If you are looking for a beach with character, there are few that can match Sarakiniko. This alone makes it one of the best Greek beaches.
How to Get to Sarakiniko Beach
Sarakiniko Beach is on the island of Milos in the Aegean Sea. Located halfway between Athens and Crete, the island can be reached by air and also by ferry. Once there, make your way to the northern shore of the island where Sarakiniko Beach is waiting.
Milos is a small island and most of the towns are located near the north shore making Sarakiniko Beach very easy to reach.
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8. Matala Beach, Crete
Matala Beach is a place steeped in history. From the ancient Minoans and Gortynias to the legendary Romans, many civilizations have walked the sands of Matala Beach.
At the edge of the beach there are some Neolithic caves that in the 1960s, hippies used as shelters. Matala Beach was a famous hippie hangout until the Church drove them away from the golden sands.
Today the caves are fenced off and what was once a fishing town now survives only on the income from tourism. There is a campground close by the beach and also numerous hotels. Matala beach is very well set out, with toilets, lifeguards, snack bars, and even a volleyball court.
All in all, this makes Matala one of the best beaches in Greece for a family holiday.
How to Get to Matala Beach
Matala Beach is located 68 kilometers southwest of Heraklion, the capital of Crete. A taxi from the city to Matala Beach will take approximately 1 hour. There is also the option of a bus which will take up to 2h 30 mins to reach Matala.
9. Voidokilia Beach, Messinia (one of the best beaches in mainland Greece)
Voidokilia Beach is a natural semicircular strip of dunes that partly forms Gialova Lagoon. The beach, which forms the Greek letter Omega is also a protected bird sanctuary. This helps to keep this beautiful place free from the plagues of the modern age.
The history of Voidokilia Beach stretches back far into the mists of time with signs of occupation dating back to 4000 BC.
To the south of the beach stands a thirteenth-century Frankish castle which was built on the ruins of classical Pylos. Unfortunately, nothing now remains of Pylos, the ruins being used to build the Frankish castle.
For the naturalists out there, you may like to hear that the south end of the beach is a nudist area. This part of the beach attracts those that like to let it all swing free.
The surrounding lagoon and bird sanctuary, make Voidokilia Beach one of the most beautiful in the Greek Islands.
How to Get to Voidokilia Beach
The beach is located in the southwest region of mainland Greece, about 30 minutes from Pylos, the largest town in the area. If you are staying in Athens, buses do leave for Kalamata every three hours. From there you will need to catch another bus or taxi to reach Voidokilia Beach.
Navagio Beach, otherwise known as Shipwreck Beach, is another of the most photographed spots in all of the Greek Islands. This beautiful sheltered piece of heaven easily makes the list of the best beaches in Greece.
Navagio Beach is one of the most picture-postcard views you will ever see. On the white sand lies the ruins of a cigarette smuggler’s ship which sank 30 years ago. Over time the sand has surrounded the ship giving the impression that the ship rises from the sand itself.
Check out the incredible view of the whole cove from the viewing platform! This is definitely one of the best things to do in Zakynthos.
See Also: Top 15 Beaches in Zakynthos You Won’t Want To Miss
How to Get to Navagio Beach
Navagio Beach is located on the western coast of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea. The cove itself can only be reached by boat which one can take from the small port of Porto Vromi. Boats leave every hour and the trip takes roughly thirty minutes to reach Navagio Beach.
*Editor’s Note: While the cliffs might be a great place to get a photo and views of the beach, they are prone to erosion and many people have fallen from the cliffs. Do not go past the designated viewing platform.
READ MORE: 15 Cool Things To Do in Zakynthos Greece
11. Diamandi Beach, Skiathos
Next up is Diamandi Beach, another jewel in the crown of Skiathos. If visited outside of the highs of the tourist season, Diamandi Beach can be your very own little piece of paradise. This small secluded beach offers beautiful sand and turquoise blue waters to swim in.
Regrettably, however, in the high season (July and August) day trips drop tourists on the beach so it does lose a bit of its allure. During any other months however, Diamandi Beach ranks up there with the best beaches in Greece.
How to Get to Diamandi Beach
Diamandi Beach is situated on the southernmost tip of Skiathos Island. As stated, this is just one of the many beautiful beaches that this island has to offer.
Buses stop in the nearby town of Sklithri and from there it is a one-kilometer hike to the beach. For its secludedness, the hike is more than worth it.
12. Lindos Beach, Rhodes
Next is Lindos Beach, arguably Rhodes’ most beautiful sunbathing spot. The history of the Greek Islands is one of the reasons that draws countless travellers to these shores every year. Lindos Beach has both history and beauty all rolled into one.
Rising above the sands of the beach is the ancient Acropolis. The huge castle was fortified successively by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and also the Ottomans. This has left the area steeped in history, with some incredible places to explore.
The beach, just like the nearby St Paul’s Bay, offers some perfect swimming conditions and is a great family destination.
How to Get to Lindos Beach
Located just a couple of kilometers from St Paul’s Bay, Lindos Beach is 55 kilometers from Rhodes town on the eastern coast of the Island. Being one of the most popular beaches in Greece, Lindos Beach can be reached by either taxi or bus from anywhere on the island.
13. Mylopotamos Beach, Pelion
Mylopotamos Beach is a stunning white pebbled beach, which also boasts beautiful crystal blue waters. The beach itself is divided by rocks with a twisting and winding path leading to each part. There is a small tunnel that leads through the rocks connecting the two sides of the beach.
Above Mylopotamos beach is a bar and a few restaurants which is also where the paths down to the beach starts. These winding paths are shaded by fragrant pine trees and offer a nice gentle stroll down to the sands. This is another one of the best beaches in mainland Greece.
How to Get to Mylopotamos Beach
Mylopotamos Beach is on the eastern coast of the Pelion peninsula on the shores of the Aegean Sea. The nearest village to the beach is Tsagarada, which can be reached by taking a bus from the nearby city of Volos. From there it is another short bus journey to Mylopotamos Beach.
14. Balos Beach, Crete
Next up is another of the Greek Islands’ stunning beaches. Balos Beach has beautiful white sand and some of the clearest water in Greece — which is helping it to rise in the rankings of the best beaches in Greece.
This spectacular place, which is located on the edge of Balos Lagoon, also boasts its own piece of history.
Opposite the beach there is a rocky island called Gramvoussa, perched atop of this rocky bastion is an ancient Venetian castle. The climb up the steep cliffs is more than worth it, in addition to the sweeping views, one can also explore the Venetian castle.
How to Get to Balos Beach
There are two ways to get to Balos Beach. The island is accessible by boat, the other is by road along a track from Kaliviani, a village that is close to Kissamos. The track is 10 kilometers long and is only suitable for 4x4s. If you decide to take the sea route, boat excursions leave from Kissamos throughout the morning. Click here for details.
15. Xi Beach, Kefalonia
Finally, and last on the list of the best beaches in Greece, is Xi Beach. Characterized by the surrounding white rocky hills and reddish-brown sand, this is another of the Greek Islands’ little pieces of paradise.
On the beach itself, there is a beach bar which serves drinks and food, also for the more adventurous types there is a water sports centre. This is definitely one of the best Kefalonia beaches.
Xi Beach has shallow waters and very few waves, which consequently makes this a perfect destination for young children. The area has been built up for the tourist trade and offers lots of accommodation, and also there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area.
How to Get to Xi Beach
Xi Beach is situated on the southwestern coast of Kefalonia Island around 10 kilometers from the town of Lixouri. The beach is easily accessible by either public bus or by taxi from both Lixouri and Argostoli.
It is also possible to rent a private boat and go on a tour, but that can get quite pricey. If you are traveling on a budget, the bus is the best option.
☞ Click here to search for places to stay in Argostoli on Booking.com.
FAQs about the Best Greek Beaches
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the best beaches in Greece.
Generally the Greek Islands contain the country’s best beaches. Looks for beautiful Greek beaches in Lefkada, Skiathos, Rhodes, and Crete, among others.
It’s often said that Crete has the best Greek beaches. The island’s many stretches of gorgeous white sand are also some of the top destinations in Greece.
If clear water is what you’re after, head to Balos Beach in Crete, which has some of the clearest water in Greece.
Both Corfu and Crete have incredible Greek beaches. Corfu is smaller, making it easier to get around on day trips, while Crete is much larger.
Greece has many world-famous beaches with that winning formula of white sand and clear water. Turkey also has nice beaches, and they are typically far less crowded than Greek beaches.
Now You Know the Best Beaches in Greece
At this point, you should have picked your favorite from the list and already be planning your next adventure. As you can see, the Greek beaches are incredible, just waiting to be explored.
The best beaches in Greece are among the best in the world. Check out the weather in Greece, grab your passport, buy a plane ticket, and set off to see this wondrous country.
See Also: Our Guide to Greece Travel for everything you need to know about visiting Greece!
Images in this article are sourced from Shutterstock.com.
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