Greece is home to some truly jaw-dropping coastal landscapes – the only trouble is deciding where to go. You’ll find plenty of variety in Greece, whether you’re after rugged cliffs, picturesque coves, or scenic fishing villages.
Here are 10 of the most spectacular and unspoiled coastlines in Greece not to miss:
Pelion is a lush peninsula is located in central Greece, starting by the coastal city Volos and winding around the Pagasetic Gulf. The scenery here is to die for, with stone villages tucked away in lushly forested mountains, and craggy cliffs ending abruptly by the sea.
The highlights are mostly in the northwest around Damouchari – one of the filming locations for Mamma Mia! Don’t miss the scenic narrow gauge railway that starts at Ano Lekhonia.
Santorini’s Caldera coastline is the most famous (and unique) in Greece. The name refers to a steep shore which was one the inside lip of a volcanic crater.
These days it’s well known for the iconic whitewashed villages which sit atop the cliffs, looking out across the crater to the horizon beyond.
The caldera villages run from Oia in the north around to Thira in the centre but Akrotiri in the south is also worth visiting for knockout geology and ancient history.
Mountainous and green, Corfu has long been a favourite of international visitors for its spectacular coastal scenery.
The north of the island is particularly dramatic, with limestone cliff beaches as well as picturesque pebble bays and the island’s highest peak – Mount Pantokrator – looking out across to nearby Albania. Pines and Cypress trees cover the landscape.
Head to the areas around Arillas and Paleokastritsa for coastal walking trails, or hire a boat to explore the many coves on the quiet northeast coast around Kalami.
Sithonia is the middle peninsula in the Halkidki region and it’s one of the prettiest areas in Greece for beach-goers. Carpeted in pine forest, it’s tranquil and less developed than its busier neighbour Kassandra.
Standout areas include the pretty bays around Paralia Sykia and the granite boulder beaches at Vourvourou and Kavourotrypes.
South West Crete
Crete has a varied landscape which is home to many blockbuster attractions, but for big nature head to the southwest coast.
Hikers start the popular Samaria Gorge hike inland at Omalos are emerge by the sea at Agia Roumeli (pictured above), one of several small harbour villages along this mountainous stretch of coast.
It’s possible to hop between them by boat as you spend your time exploring the area’s less famous walks – Samaria is not the only gorge here – and swimming in the cool Libyan Sea.
If big sandy beaches are your thing then head west to Palaiochora or Elafonissi, or take a ferry to the small island of Gavdos – one of the last hippie islands in the Aegean.
If you enjoy mountain trails, waterfalls, fragrant pines, wine, and picturesque harbour villages then Samos is your kind of island.
It’s a large and green island and out of all the Greek islands it most closely resembles the landscape across the border in neighbouring Turkey.
There are some fantastic pebble beaches at the foot of vast mountains like Potami (pictured above), Limnionas, and the wonderful Megalo and Mikro Seitani.
Lefkada is an island in the Ionian group primarily known for its natural beauty, watersports, and some of the most epic beaches in Greece thanks to the steep limestone cliffs that are a feature of its vertiginous west coast.
Head to Nidri for sailing, Vasiliki for windsurfing, or the beaches at Egremni, Porto Katsiki, Milos, and Kathisma.
The Epirus Riviera is the name given to a particularly delightful stretch of coast in north west Greece. It’s just as beautiful as the nearby Ionian islands, with densely forested hills, crystal clear waters, the colourful coastal town Parga, and plenty of treats for active travellers.
There’s no shortage of great beaches either – Syvota’s Blue Lagoon and Bella Vraka (pictured above) are highlights.
The Cycladic islands have a rocky barren landscape which has its own unique appeal, none more so than the volcanic island of Milos.
It’s home to weird and wonderful beaches like Sarakiniko and Papafragas, unique and colourful boat huts called klima, and boat trips to the dazzling seascapes around neighbouring island Polyaigos.
Evia is one of the quietest Greek islands despite being one of the biggest. But it’s a favourite with campers and nature lovers from Athens which is only a short drive away.
The central part of the north coast is where you want to head, for pristine and unspoiled pebble beaches like Chiliadou and Thapsa (pictured above). Waterfalls and gorges are tucked away in the mountains behind.
- Quiet sandy beaches of the Little Cyclades
- Rugged mountain scenery on Karpathos, Thassos, and Kefalonia
- Snorkelling and diving in Alonnissos Marine Park
- Picturesque coastline at Kardamyli
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Pelion: © Mariana Ianovska / Adobe Stock
Pelion arch: © cristianbalate/ Adobe Stock
Santorini: © The Mediterranean Traveller
Corfu: © kite_rin/ Adobe Stock
Sithonia: © bortnikau/ Adobe Stock
South West Crete: © Fifi montagne / Shutterstock
Samos: © pkazmierczak/ Adobe Stock
Lefkada: © cristianbalate/ Adobe Stock
Epirus Riviera: © Katarina Maletic/ Shutterstock
Milos: © Karl/ Adobe Stock
Evia: © costas1962/ Adobe Stock