Greece has 13,676 miles of coastline. That’s an unimaginable number of beaches. There truly is a Greek beach for all tastes – whether you like white sand or strange rocks or giant cliffs. But which Greek beaches are fairest them all? Let’s have a look.
There’s something here for everyone – from the famous Shipwreck Cove in Zakynthos to the sandy lagoons of Crete and the otherworldly intrigue of Milos, plus a few hidden gems for good measure.
So read on for the top 10 most beautiful beaches in Greece.
Navagio is undoubtedly the most famous (and photographed) beach in Greece. It’s popularly known as ‘Shipwreck Cove’ or ‘Smuggler’s Cove’ for the rusty wreck that is the photogenic centrepiece of the beach. You’ll have to take a boat trip to visit the beach itself, which can get very crowded in high season although the beach is so small that nobody stays too long.
Arguably the beach is better viewed from the platform and trails up on the cliffs. These are not accessible from the beach or by public transport so you’ll need a rental car for the best photo ops.
PORTO KATSIKI, LEFKADA
With its gleaming white cliffs dropping sharply into azure waters, Lefkada’s Porto Katsiki is a spectacular sight. Porto Katsiki (‘port of the goats’) named for the goats which were previously its only inhabitants, it now attracts tourists from all over Lefkada as well as visiting yachts.
These exotic pink-tinged sands belong to the lagoon beach at Elafonisi, a tiny islet just off the coast of western Crete. With crystal-clear shallow waters, punctuated by grey rocks and cedar trees, it’s no wonder Elafonisi is a popular day trip for holidaymakers and families on Crete. It’s the broken pink and red seashells in the sand which lend it the characteristic hue.
The island of Milos in the Cyclades is known for its dramatic and unique landscape. Over the years the wind and seas have carved soft pale volcanic rock into bizarre shapes. Sarakiniko is one of the most popular beach spots on the island, providing the opportunity to swim and relax amongst these lunar rock formations.
Mylopotamos is one of the most famous beaches in the Pelion, a beautiful and underrated part of the Greek mainland. Two sandy, partly organised beaches are separated by rocky arches. You’ll have to climb down a number of steps to get to this beach, which has been awarded Blue Flag status for its clean and clear waters. No sun loungers here but there is a small beach bar.
Another dreamy Cretan lagoon, this time in the north-west of the island. This well-photographed beach has warm shallow waters and pinky-white sands, similar to Elafonisi. It can get extremely busy in high season. It’s worth visiting in the winter months if you can, as it’s outstandingly beautiful in the quiet sparkling cold.
VOIDOKILIA BEACH, PELOPONNESE
Forming a perfect semicircle (or the Greek letter omega) of sand, this magical beach in the Messinia region has ancient links and is one of the most picturesque settings in Greece. The beach is surrounded by sand dunes and there’s an old Frankish castle to explore.
There’s no need for a filter with the dazzling colours of Myrtos on the Ionian island of Kefalonia, where the wild, fragrant mountains collide with the sea. The water here is so bright it almost glows. The beach itself is composed of dazzling white pebbles. You won’t forget the amazing views as you descend to this beach.
ORANGE BEACH, SITHONIA
One look at this boulder-strewn beach with powder-soft golden sand and iridescent seas and you might think you’re looking at a Seychelles scene rather than Greece.
But in fact, the beautiful Orange (Portokali, in Greek) Beach is in the Chalkidiki Peninsula in the north of the country. Sithonia is the middle finger of the peninsula. It has an alternative (and rather fantastic) name Kavourotripes which translates as ‘crab holes’. Whatever you call it, this beach is something special.
APELLA BEACH, KARPATHOS
The Dodecanese island of Karpathos is still under-the-radar as a vacation destination, which is amazing considering views like this. The spectacular Apella Beach is unsurprisingly the most popular beach on the island, but even in the peak of summer it’s still relatively uncrowded. Dramatic mountain scenery surrounds a pine-flecked pebbly beach and outstandingly clear waters for swimming and snorkelling.
- Santorini’s striking (though technically off-limits) Red Beach
- Picture-perfect Voutoumi Beach on Antipaxos
- Cliffs and colours of Seychelles Beach on Ikaria
- More big boulders on Kolymbithres on Paros
- Dramatic cliffs of Lalaria on Skiathos
- Exotic sandy spit and turtles of Marathonisi islet, Zakynthos
- Plaka and Prokopios on Naxos for golden sands
- Saliara Beach on Thassos for its marble-sized white pebbles
- Orange sand of Xi and the sumptuous beauty of Petani and Antisamos on Kefalonia
- Pine-drenched Lemonakia on Samos
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Navagio © GKor / Adobe Stock
Porto Katsiki © cristianbalate / Adobe Stock
Elafonisi © Zakhar Marunov / Adobe Stock
Sarakiniko © jsk12 / Adobe Stock
Mylopotamos © cristianbalate / Adobe Stock
Voidokilia © Maresol / Adobe Stock
Balos © smallredgirl / Adobe Stock
Myrtos © Dimitar Georgiev / Adobe Stock
Orange Beach © zdravinjo / Adobe Stock
Apella © kilinson / Adobe Stock