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The 19 Best Beaches in Greece

It’s difficult to choose the best beaches in Greece. What’s the best beach for kids? What’s the best beach for swimming? What’s the best beach for partying? What’s the best beach for snorkeling?

Everyone is looking for a great beach, but they all have different criteria. Add to that the fact that many islands have upwards of 20 different beaches.

Here are some of the best

Elafonisi, Crete

Elafonisi on Crete.
The best beach in Greece: Elafonisi beach on the south coast of Crete. There isn’t much else nearby besides a few small hotels so most people do a day trip from Chania. Recommended Hotels: Elafonisi Resort by Kalomirakis Family • The wonderful town of Paleochora is a one hour boat ride away. Recommended Paleochora Hotels: Caravella Luxury Apartments (moderate) • Aris Hotel (budget)

Mylopotas Beach, Ios

Milopotamos Beach on Ios in the Cyclades.
Wonderful sand and a quick drop-off for people who like to swim. Stay at either Mylopotas Beach or in the fun main town (Chora) up on the hill. Recommended Hotels: Ios Palace Hotel & Spa (moderate) •Nissos Ios (budget) • Rita’s Place Hotel (budget)

Red Beach, Santorini

Red Beach on Santorini.
Santorini has some of the most unique beaches in Greece. They aren’t of the soft white sand variety. Most are composed of volcanic sand and are red, black, or grey. Nearby Akrotiri has hotels for all budgets but it’s better to stay in Fira and make a day trip by bus. Recommended Hotels in Akrotiri:Astarte Suites (luxury) • Apanemo (moderate)

Perissa Beach, Santorini

Perissa Beach on Santorini.
The nicest beach and sand on Santorini. Nearby Kamari beach is almost as good but has more restaurants and nightlife. A boat connects the two beaches (the trip takes 10 minutes and is quite fun). Recommend Hotels in Perissa: Anastasia Princess (moderate) • Recommended Hotels in Kamari:Santorini Kastelli Resort (luxury) • Tamarix Del Mar Suites (luxury) • Aegean Plaza Hotel (moderate)

Plaka Beach, Naxos

Plaka Beach on Naxos.
Naxos has many great beaches and if you’re looking for an island with a large variety of beaches it should be at the top of your list. Naxos Town is wonderfully charming and St George beach (a short walk away) is a great town beach. But down the southwest coast there are many others that are even better: Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Mikri Vigla, Pyrgaki – and perhaps the best of the lot, Plaka beach. I recommend staying in Naxos Town and taking the frequent buses to the beaches down the coast. Recommended Hotels: Nissaki Beach Hotel (luxury) • Naxos Resort Beach Hotel (moderate) • Xenia Hotel (budget)

Logaras Beach, Paros

Logaras Beach on Paros.
Paros has many great beaches – some of them like Pounda and Piso Livadi are a bit too popular. Logaras is located away from the main towns and thus never overly crowded. I suggest staying in Parikia and making a day trip to Logaras by bus. Recommended Hotels in Parikia: Argonauta Hotel(moderate) • Captain Manolis (budget)

Paradise Beach, Mykonos

Paradise Beach on Mykonos.Beautiful through the day, then turns into a party beach in the late afternoon and evening. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants here or you can commute from Mykonos Town. Recommended Hotels:Paradise View Hotel (moderate) • Mykonos View Hotel (moderate, in Mykonos Town)

Ornos Beach, Mykonos

Ornos Beach on Mykonos.
The most family friendly beach on Mykonos. Great sand and calm relaxing water with a shallow slope. It’s 10 minutes by bus from Mykonos Town. Recommended Hotels: Kivotos Luxury Boutique Hotel(luxury – great for honeymoons) • Santa Marina Resort & Villas (luxury – great for families) • Mykonos View Hotel (moderate, in Mykonos Town)

Mytros Beach, Kefalonia

Myrtos beach on Kefalonia.Myrtos beach on Kefalonia. Recommended Hotels: Odyssey Villas (moderate – great place but you do need a rental car)

Paleokastritsa, Corfu

Paleokastritsa on Corfu.
Paleokastritsa is a series of bays on beautiful Corfu. Recommended Hotels: Zefiros Traditional Hotel(moderate)

Sarakiniko, Mylos

Sarakiniko on Mylos.
Is this a beach? Who knows, who cares. Mylos has a many great little coves for swimming and sunning. Sarakiniko is one of the best spots to swim and relax. Recommended Hotels: Giannis Hotel Apartments (budget) • Semiramis Hotel (budget)

Stafylo Beach, Skopelos

Stafylo Beach on Skopelos.Stafylo is one of the many great beaches on Skopelos. Recommended Hotels: Skopelos Village(moderate) • Denise Hotel (budget)

Kamares Beach, Sifnos

Kamares Beach on Sifnos in the Cyclades.
Sifnos – a quiet island in the western Cyclades – is loaded with great beaches and Kamares is on of the best. The water is shallow and perfect for kids and there are many tavernas and hotels nearby. Recommended Hotels: Delfini (moderate) • Morpheas Pension Rooms & Apartments (budget)

Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos

Koukounaries Beach on Skiathos island.
Koukounaries Beach on Skiathos. Absolutely beautiful. Recommended Hotels: Skiathos Palace Hotel(moderate) • Golden Beach (budget) • Meltemi Hotel (budget – in Skiathos Town)

St Paul’s Bay, Rhodes

St Paul's Bay near Lindos on Rhodes.
A great little swimming spot near the castle at Lindos. The east coast of Rhodes is loaded with great beaches (including Faliraki and Lindos), but anything west of Rhodes Town will be very windy. I love staying in beautiful Rhodes Town and busing to the beaches through the day. Recommended Hotels:Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort And Villas (luxury – near Lindos) • Spirit Of The Knights Boutique Hotel (luxury – Rhodes Old Town) •

Matala Beach, Crete

Matala Beach on Crete.
A great little town. The cliff at the end of the beach is filled with caves that you can explore. Recommended Hotels: Matala View (budget)

Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos

Shipwreck Beach on Zakynthos.
Accessible by boat on a day trip. Take one of the smaller operators out to the beach and you’ll be able to explore some caves. The beach is always busy but the magical setting makes it all worthwhile. Recommended Hotels in Laganas: Castelli Hotel (moderate)

Vai Beach, Crete

Vai Beach on the Greek Island of Crete
The best beach in eastern Crete and backed by a unique palm forest (the only one in Europe). Vai is a good day trip from Sitia. Recommended Hotels: Petras Beach (budget)

Vouliagmeni Beach, Athens

Vouliagmeni Beach near Athens.
The best beach near Athens and about an hour’s trip by bus from the city center. Recommended Hotels on the Coast: The Westin Athens, Astir Palace Beach Resort • Recommended Hotels in Athens:Electra Palace Hotel Athens