Just a Pack Contributor: Sara Monty | June 20th, 2019 | No comments

the best beaches in greece

Are you searching for the best beaches Greece has to offer? This guide will introduce you to some of the most incredible Greek beach destinations that are perfect for high-season or low-season exploring.

Have you been scrolling through images of idyllic beaches planning your next holiday? Perhaps you find yourself day-dreaming of sandy beaches and electric blue waters when you should be working? Well, we’re here to provide you with one more resource to keep the dream alive. Our comprehensive list of the best beaches in Greece features some of the most picturesque destinations in the world, and will definitely have you scouring the net for flights in no time at all.

Greece is a cultural treasure chest brimming with myths and legends of the present and the past. Home to diverse landscapes, ancient ruins, an endless coastline, and mouth-watering food – Greece is one of the most fascinating countries on earth. Birthplace of the ancient Gods and Goddesses of Olympus, there’s a story behind each place you encounter in Greece. From the Acropolis to the Oracle at Delphi, to Meteora’s spectacular stone carved monasteries – if you love sightseeing, you’re going to have your work cut out for you here.

Something else Greece does exceptionally well is beaches. Although this is a list of the best beaches in Greece, we think some of them would rank on a list of the best beaches in the world, and the best beaches in Europe – without a doubt. The Greek islands are renowned for their beaches. Whether you’re captured by the lively nightlife of Mykonos, the sandy havens of Milos, or the lava sand beaches of Santorini, Greece is guaranteed to have a beach you’ll fall in love with.

We examined some of the best Greek islands and the mainland when deciding on our picks for this list, and we’ve tried to cover as much ground as possible. We took into consideration features and aspects which are of paramount importance to us when we’re looking for our next beach destination. Cleanliness, overall beauty, accessibility, and a general harmony between the natural landscape and man-made elements were all examined in our search for the best beaches in Greece.

Please note – Some of our selections contain affiliate links which allow us to earn a small percentage every time you make a booking. Using our links helps us keep Just a Pack running, and allows us to provide all the information found on this site free of charge. Happy travels!

Enough chit-chat, you want to see some beaches, right? Let’s kick off our list of the best beaches in Greece!

The Best Beaches in Greece

Myrtos Beach – Kefalonia

myrtos beach - best beaches in greece

Situated between two imposing mountains, Myrtos beach isn’t just one of the best beaches in Greece but has often been featured on lists of the best beaches in the world. This stunning beach is surrounded by white cliffs topped with verdant vegetation and looks out to the expansive Ionian sea, giving the impression that you are completely secluded from the rest of the world. The pebble beach is always impeccably clean, and the crystal clear water ranges from being electric blue to a deep navy.

The stunning natural beauty of Myrtos has been recognized as one of the most spectacular places to visit in Greece. This gem of Kefalonia is easily reachable by car and bus. The picture-perfect sunsets from the beach look as though they’re straight out of a magazine, with warm red, orange, and yellow tones slowly seeping into the blue, resulting in a marvelous light show that you won’t believe is real. There’s a snack bar located on the beach in case you get hungry during your visit.

Myrtos represents some the best of Greece and is an idyllic island beach which you’ll never forget.

Where to stay: Cosi’s Inn

  • Address: Asos 280 84, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Just a short drive to Myrtos, Cosi’s Inn is located in the town of Asos and offers charming apartments and extremely affordable rates. If you’re traveling on a budget, this is the best place to stay in Kefalonia. Enjoy sea views from the terrace as you fill up on the delicious breakfast buffet.

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Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach), Zakynthos

shipwreck cove best beaches greece

Greece’s Navagio (or Shipwreck) beach is consistently voted one of the best beaches in Greece. Located on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, Navagio Beach provides a sandy haven for beach-goers and sun-worshippers.

If you use the internet then you’ve most likely seen photos of this famous beach crop up every now and again.

It was a stormy night in October 1980, when the MV Panagiotis ran aground in the shallow waters around Zakynthos. It washed ashore at Navagio Beach and was abandoned by the ship’s crew. Many believe that the ship was smuggling contraband items such as cigarettes, wine, and women – but nobody knows for sure. The rusty remains of the ship still lie buried in the limestone rock of the beach, creating a spectacular sight for anyone who visits it.

It’s easy enough to reach the beach, either by car or boat. If you travel by car or bus you’ll arrive at the top of the cliff, where you can look down on the incredible setting and capture that all-important Instagram-pic. This idyllic, iconic beach is one of the best beaches in Greece, but it’s also one of the most popular. Don’t expect to arrive at an empty beach, it’s often covered with tourists – but still worth the visit.

Where to stay: Palatino Hotel

  • Address: Kolokotroni 10 & Koliva, Zakynthos Town, 29100, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Located in a peaceful spot close to the center of Zakynthos Town, this is the ideal hotel if you want to visit Navagio Beach. Boasting elegant rooms with sea or mountain views, this hotel provides modern and spacious rooms with excellent facilities. Enjoy a taste of Mediterranean cuisine in the on-site restaurant.

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Elafonisi Beach, Crete

elafonisi best beaches greece

Located at the south-western periphery of Crete, the largest Greek island, Elafonisi is one of the best beaches in Greece if you love crystal clear waters and pink sand. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t?

In ancient Greek mythology, Crete was the birthplace of Zeus, the Olympian god of the sky and thunder and king of Olympus. You know, the one who swallowed his pregnant wife, gave birth to Athena through his forehead, and then married his sister? Regardless of his erotic escapades and infidelity, it’s pretty fitting for Crete to be the birthplace of the God of Olympus. It’s spectacular ruins, varied terrain, and traditional way of life make it one of the best Greek Islands.

Elafonisi is one of the beaches in Greece that is simply a must-see. It’s crystal clear waters, unique pink sand, and relaxed atmosphere makes it the perfect place to spend a day swimming, sunbathing, and exploring. Unfortunately, Elafonisi can get extremely busy during the summer season, so make sure you arrive early to secure a good spot before the hoards of sun-worshippers arrive. Otherwise, visiting in low-season is a great option too.

The sparkling azure waters are shallow and calm, and the magical lagoon-like setting makes it the perfect place for relaxing in the water, and it’s super safe for children. Make sure to explore the beach and find the rare pink sand that covers a section, it’s incredible – and you’ll have an Instagram-worthy pic before you leave.

Where to Stay: Elafonisi Resort by Kalomirakis Family

  • Address: Pelekanos 730 01, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Situated just a short 10-minute walk away from the sandy shores of Elafonisi, this serene resort is set amongst a garden filled with olive trees. Units are clean, modern, and spacious, and the property features an on-site restaurant serving up delicious Cretan specialties all day long.

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Plaka Beach, Naxos

plaka beach best beaches greece

Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades island group and is one of the best Greek islands for travelers who want to be wowed by incredible landscapes and experience a taste of the true Greece. Plaka is one of the best beaches in Greece for families. Naxos used to be a beach solely for nudists. Things have changed nowadays, although it remains “nudist-friendly”, the beach attracts families and couples in high season, consequently forcing the nudists to segregate towards the south of the beach.

With over 4km of beach to explore, walking is the main activity among visitors to Plaka. Sections of the beach provide umbrellas and sunbeds, and there are plenty of taverns that offer local cuisines and coastal views. If you need some peace, then this beach is the perfect place to relax and let all your worries drift away with the gentle waves as they lap the shores.

A long, wide expanse of glistening white sand, along with tranquil turquoise water make this one of the best beaches in Greece. Plaka is easily reachable by an asphalt road that tapers off into a well-maintained coastal dirt road. You can also take a bus which departs regularly from Naxos Town.

Where to stay: Iria Beach Art Hotel

  • Address: Main Street, Agia Anna Naxos, 84300, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Featuring beach-front views, Iria Beach Art Hotel is a great place to stay if you plan on spending most of your time at the beach. Located at the top of Agia Anna Beach, just keep walking along the sand and you’ll arrive at the sandy shores of Plaka in no time at all. This charming hotel provides spacious, modern, and comfortable accommodations for lone travelers, couples, and families.

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Paradise Beach, Mykonos

paradise beach mykonos best beaches greece

Situated between Paranga Beach and Super Paradise Beach, Paradise Beach is one of the best beaches in Greece for travelers craving some unbeatable nightlife. We’ve warned you, this is a party beach – so if you’re traveling with a family you might want to cross this one off your list. Or, simply make sure you’ve left before the drunken revelers begin spilling out onto the shores. Paradise Beach attracts a young crowd and is guaranteed to be a good time if you like eating, drinking, and dancing until the sun comes up.

Mykonos is affectionately (or regrettably, depending on who you ask) known as the “Ibiza of Greece” due to the huge crowds of party-goers it attracts during the summer months. There’s no question about it though, if you love to party then Mykonos will be just your cup of tea. Attracting international DJs and huge crowds, Mykonos is the place to be in summer. There are plenty of restaurants where you can line your stomachs with some traditional Greek cuisine before the sun begins to go down. Marvel at how the beach transforms into a giant nightclub at night, with music blaring and people dancing on the sand, until another day begins and they crawl away to sleep it off.

If you manage to wake up in time, you can also enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and beach activities that Paradise Beach offers. Soft sand and glistening water make this the ideal place to nurse a hangover. If you’re feeling up for it, there are water sports facilities and even a diving center located on the beach.

You can reach Paradise Beach by a footpath from Platis Yialos, by bus from Mykonos Town, or by taxi-boat.

Where to stay: Lino Apartments

  • Address: Paradise Beach , Paradise Beach, 84600, Greece 
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Lino Apartments provides stunning accommodation options, most of which feature dream-like sea views. Just a 10-minute walk from Paradise Beach, these apartments are in a traditional Cycladic building and feature simple but stylish decor.

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Ornos Beach, Mykonos

A cheap 10-minute bus ride from Mykonos Town, Ornos Beach is one of the best beaches in Greece and well deserving of a place on this enticing list. Ornos is a family friendly beach that features relaxing water with a shallow slope, making it ideal for children to splash around in.

Ornos is situated in front of a charming traditional fishing village 2.5km South of Mykonos Town. Relax on the fine white sand, or rent a sunbed and umbrella to add a little luxury to your day at the beach. Unfortunately, it often gets overcrowded, particularly during high season. However, it’s certainly worth a visit, and if you arrive early enough you’ll be able to secure a spot for the day.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are schools where you can try out water-skiing, wind-surfing, and diving. Plenty of bars and taverns lay close by for when you feel a bit peckish or need a refreshing drink to cool off.

Ornos is easy to reach by local bus from the island’s capital, which departs regularly every day.

Where to stay: Kensho Boutique Hotel

  • Address: Ornos Mykonou , Ornos, 84600, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Kensho Boutique Hotel combines traditional Cycladic elements with modern facilities and a relaxed atmosphere. Rooms open to a stunning terrace with sea, pool, or mountain views. Just a short distance from Ornos Beach, it’s the ideal location if you want to roll out of bed and onto the sand in the morning.

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St Paul’s Bay, Rhodes

st pauls bay best beaches greece

Regardless of its small size, St Paul’s Bay manages to pack a lot into its sandy shores. Located near the historic village of Lindos, overlooked by an ancient Acropolis, and protected from the wind by a circle of rocks, St Paul’s Bay is one of the most idyllic and best beaches in Greece. With clear blue water, golden sands, and Instagram-worthy views, St Paul’s Bay truly represents the best of Greece.

This secluded spot has a lot of history behind it. It’s said that St Paul the Apostle arrived on the island in 51AD, and brought with him the Christian faith, which he preached to the Rhodian people. Lindos Acropolis is an ancient citadel situated on a cliff that looms over the town of Lindos. If you visit the St Paul’s Bay, make sure to walk (or ride a donkey, whichever is more comfortable) up to explore the magnificent landmark.

The cove has a small opening for boats to bob in and out of, and small Orthodox chapel enhanced the traditional feel of this Rhodian town. Not a lot has changed here, and you’ll still see locals with donkeys loaded with produce wandering the charming cobbled streets. Lindos town is just a couple of minutes away on foot, and among the picture-perfect, white-washed houses you can find many traditional taverns and bars to grab a bite to eat.

Where to stay: F Charm Hotel

  • Address: Main Street, Lindos 114 76, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Just a short walk from St Paul’s Bay, F Charm Hotel is a comfortable boutique hotel in a beautifully restored building that maintains some stunning original features. Ideal for exploring Lindos, this lovely hotel features a courtyard, delicious breakfast, and a bar and restaurant.

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Sarakiniko, Milos

sarakiniki beach milos best beaches greece

Milos is one of the best Greek islands and a must-see for anyone interested in history. It’s supposedly the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Apros means “foam”, which comes from the story that Aphrodite was born from the white foam produced by the sea after Cronos threw the severed genitals of his father, Uranus, into the sea. It was in 1820 on Milos that a local farmer named Giorgos, while looking for stones he needed, stumbled upon one of the world’s most famous statues, the Venus de Milo, buried in the ground. Sadly his discovery was taken from him by pesky French soldiers, who realized its value.

Milos is also home to some of the best beaches in Greece – Sarakiniko being our favorite!

Sarakiniko might not be exactly what you think of when you think of the ideal beach because… er… there isn’t any sand. It keeps life interesting to visit somewhere a little bit different every now and again, right?

Located along the coast road east of Adamas in the north-east of the island, Sarakiniko is said to be the most photographed spot on Milos, and we completely understand why. The “beach” is entirely made up of bright white volcanic rocks that have been worn down over the centuries, resulting in weird and wonderful formations reminiscent of the moon’s surface. The contrast of the white rocks with the deep blue and turquoise tones of the sea is spectacular to behold. Another Instagram-worthy spot, we think.

Where to stay: Sarakiniko View Studios

  • Address: Periochi Kaminia, Mandrakia, 84800, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Sarakiniko View Studios offers traditionally built accommodation just 500 meters from the famous Sarakiniko Beach. Rooms are modern and clean, and feature balconies overlooking the Aegean sea with unforgettable views.

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Lalaria Beach, Skiathos

lalaria beach skiathos best beaches greece

You can only reach this sandy haven by boat from the island’s capital, and we think it’s definitely worth the trip. Skiathos’ Lalaria Beach is one of the best beaches in Greece because of its secluded location, bright white shores, and the unbelievable bright blue color of the sea. Surrounded by tall cliffs that shelter the beach from the wind, it’s the perfect spot to work on your tan while occasionally hopping up to cool off in the calm water. Another awesome thing about Lalaria is the natural bridge formed from rock to the left of the beach, which creates a spectacular view, and, you guessed it, another great photo opportunity.

Skiathos, like Mykonos, is one of the best Greek islands for nightlife. You can find a youthful crowd and plenty of open-air pubs all over the island. A refreshing dip at Lalaria is a great idea after a night out!

Where to stay: Hotel Kastro

  • Address: 4 Evaggelistrias Str., City of Skiathos
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Located 250m from the Port of Skiathos, this hotel is a great place to base yourself for exploring the island and getting to Lalaria Beach. Boasting comfortable rooms with sea view balconies, a great location, and a tranquil garden setting, Hotel Kastro is an ideal accommodation option for your visit to this magical island.

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Porto Katsiki – Lefkada

port katsiki lefkada best beaches greece

A secluded beach haven on the island of Lefkada, Porto Katsiki makes it onto our list of the best beaches in Greece thanks to its deep blue waters and the spectacular cliffs that surround it. The wild backdrop offers a pleasing contrast to the tranquil waters of the Ionian sea, a sight incredible to behold. Only accessible by descending an 80 step staircase, the narrow beach is one of Lefkada’s most visited spots. If you want to experience the best of Greece, Porto Katsiki is the perfect spot to enjoy some downtime.

Umbrellas are available to hire on the beach, but be sure to snap one up quickly before they’re all gone. There’s also a restaurant close to the beach where you can call up to place an order and get it delivered directly to the beach. If you’re feeling lazy, that is.

If you’re planning on spending the day at Porto Katsiki, you may as well know about some other stunning landmarks in the surrounding area that you can add to your itinerary, if you like. Cape Lefkada is home to the lighthouse where the poet Sappho allegedly committed suicide by throwing herself into the sea. A few kilometers from the lighthouse is a spot where you enjoy spectacular panoramic views stretching to Kefalonia and Ithaca, all the way to the mainland.

Situated 35km southwest of Lefkada town, the island’s capital, you can reach Porto Katsiki by car or taxi-boats from the villages of Nidri and Vassiliki.

Where to stay: Porto Katsiki Blu Apartments

  • Address: Porto Katsiki, Athani, Athanion, 31082, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Situated in a pine forest, Porto Katsiki Blu is a family run apartment complex offering charming rooms at affordable rates. An ideal spot for nature lovers, each unit boasts spectacular views of the Ionian sea, and feature air-conditioning, terrace, and a fully-equipped kitchen.

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Apella Beach, Karpathos

apella beach best beaches greece

The most famous of Karpathos’ coastal gems, Apella beach is deserving of a place on this list as one of the best beaches in Greece. Located about 20km north of Pigadia on the island of Karpathos, this serene beach is a must-see for any sun worshipper.

Surrounded by towering cliffs and rocky mountains, Apella beach is comfortably nestled among some of nature’s most beautiful formations. It’s one of the best beaches on the island for snorkeling and diving, where you can take a closer look at some of the weird and wonderful marine life that Apella Beach is home to. Take a dip in the crystal clear waters, before hopping out to dry off on the pristine sand. If baking in the hot Aegean sun isn’t your thing, there are plenty of pine and tamarisk trees that provide beach-goers with a shady break from the relentless sun. Set yourself up for the day by claiming some of the parasols and sunbeds available, and when you get hungry head over to the beach-side tavern where you can find hot food and refreshing drinks.

Apella Beach is easily reachable by car or motorbike, and there are also many boat excursions that depart from the harbor of Pigadia. Despite being the most famous beach on the island, it manages to remain uncrowded most of the time.

Where to stay: Hotel Finiki View

  • Address: Main Street, Foinikion, 85700, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

You’ll be able to reach the sandy shores of Apella beach in under an hour if you decide to stay at Hotel Finiki View. Offering modern rooms at affordable prices, you can cool off in the rooftop infinity pool while admiring the breathtaking vistas surrounding you.

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Voidokilia Beach, Messinia

voidkokilia best beaches greece

Situated in Messinia, in the Peloponnese region on the mainland, Voidokilia beach is cool because it’s in the shape of the Greek letter Omega. Oh, and it’s one of the best beaches in Greece – there’s that too.

Homer refers to Voidokilia beach in his Odyssey, and many archeologists believe that it was used as a port by King Nestor back in the day. Overlooking the pristine shores you can find the Old Frankish Castle, and the cave of King Nestor, where it is said that he hid his cattle.

The sands of the beach form a large semicircular dune, the land facing side of which is an important bird habitat. Voidokilia is an extremely popular spot, and there’s no wonder why. Its water change from deep blue to bright turquoise and its sandy shores are a great spot to chill out and relax.

Messinia is considered one of the most beautiful regions of Greece due to its verdant landscapes dotted with olive trees and serene beaches. If you want to discover the best of Greece, a visit to Messinia comes highly recommended.

Where to stay: Marko’s Cottage

  • Address: Agios Markos, Ágios Márkos, 49083, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

An easy 400 meters from the beach, Marko’s Cottage offers charming units in the heart of Voidokilia Village. Each air-conditioned unit features a kitchenette, comfortable bedrooms, clean bathroom facilities, and even a BBQ. You’ll start the day in the best way by enjoying breakfast on the terrace as you feast your eyes upon breathtaking sea views.

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Red Beach, Santorini

red beach santorini

What do you think about when you imagine Santorini – whitewashed houses with blue shutters precariously situated on the side of a hill? We thought so. There’s much more to the island than you might think. Santorini has a fascinating history behind it and owes its unique formation to a devastating volcanic eruption that occurred in 1600BC at the height of the Minoan civilization. Most of the beaches on the island aren’t what you’d imagine. They aren’t covered in pristine white sand like most of the entries on this list. Instead, they are composed of lava pebbles in hues of red, black and grey.

Red Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Greece and is situated just steps away from the ancient site of Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement that was destroyed by the historic eruption. Descend onto the red shores of Red Beach, or admire the strange colors that make this beach unique from the headland. Snorkeling is a highly recommended activity at Red Beach due to the fascinating rock formations under the water. Don’t forget your camera so you can snap some pics of this beach, there’s nowhere else like it!

It’s easy to reach the beach by boat or car, and once you get there a short descent down some steps is required.

Where to stay: Villa William’s Red Beach 

  • Address: Red Beach, Santorini 847 00, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Villa William’s Red Beach offers luxury accommodation just 300 meters from Red Beach. Stunning units boast sea views, modern facilities, and even come with access to a hot tub! This is a great accommodation option for couples.

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Perivolos Beach, Santorini

perivolos beach santorini best beaches greece option2

A picturesque beach located near the city of Perissa on the island of Santorini, Perivolos beach represents the best of Greece with its unique landscape and compelling history. Santorini is one of the best Greek islands for travelers who want to explore the volcanic landscape, sample traditional Greek cuisine, and learn about the history of this inspiring place.

Perivolos beach features deep sparkling waters and black lava sand. The stark contrast of the bright blue waters and the dark sand is truly spectacular. This is one of the best beaches in Greece for wedding receptions, and it plays host to hundreds every year. A lively beach, there’s always plenty going on on the sandy shores. The beach is well organized and provides visitors with a range of facilities. Are you feeling daring? Why not try out a new water sport on Perivolos Beach. You can find people jet-skiing, windsurfing and scuba diving.

There are plenty of bars along the beach which play loud music all day long, so if you were looking for silence then this isn’t the beach for you. The area attracts DJs and party-goers from all over the world, and its gloomy shores play host to huge parties every evening. If you’re looking for beaches in Greece which cater to a nightlife scene, then Perivolos Beach in Santorini is a must-see.

Where to stay: Istoria Hotel

  • Address: Perivolos, 847 03, Greece
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

A newly opened design hotel close to the beach, Istoria Hotel is a luxury accommodation option that ticks all the boxes. Rooms feature king-sized beds, air-conditioning, and private terraces. Take a break from the salt water of the sea and relax in the beautifully designed outdoor pool.

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