Greece has 13,676 miles of coastline. That’s an unimaginable number of beaches. There is a Greek beach for all tastes—whether you like white sand or red rocks or giant cliffs. But which Greek beaches are the most spectacular? Let’s have a look.
Here are the top 10 most beautiful beaches in Greece. There’s something here for everyone – from the famous Shipwreck Cove in Zakynthos to the lagoons of Crete, the lunar splendour of Santorini and Milos, to a few hidden gems in Koufonisia and Pelion.
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 just as spectacular but has more room for lounging. 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.
Paleokastritsa, at the northern tip of Corfu, is blessed with some of the most eye-catching scenery in the Ionian islands. This popular resort town hugs a series of 6 gorgeous bays and small rocky coves, and is ringed by green mountains and olive tree forests.
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.
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RED BEACH SANTORINI
Santorini is known for its volcanic landscape and pretty villages rather than its beaches. However, the unusual geology has created a few stunners such as the spectacular Red Beach near Akrotiri. The beach itself is now technically closed due to the landslide risk but it can still be admired from the headland and the viewing platform.
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.
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KOUFONISIA CHORA, LITTLE CYCLADES
This list wouldn’t be complete without a sandy Cycladic beach. And this little island, not far from Naxos, is a beach lover’s paradise and home to some of dreamiest waters in Greece. It’s worth making the trip out here if you like quiet and relaxed beach vibes. Pori may the longest beach on the island but the main town beach has beautiful sands and one of the best settings in Greece.
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